Richard hits Belize, weakens to a tropical storm

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:38 PM GMT on October 25, 2010

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Hurricane Richard hit central Belize last night at approximately 8:45pm EDT as a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds. The hurricane made landfall about 20 miles south of Belize's largest city, Belize City (population approximately 100,000--1/3 of Belize's population.) Richard's northern eyewall passed just south of the airport, which measured top winds of 37 mph, gusting to 62mph, at 8pm CST. The airport picked up 3.66" of rain. Richard was a small hurricane, and hurricane-force winds affected a region of coast of no more than 20 - 30 miles wide, just to the south of Belize City. As Richard made landfall, the eye grew tighter and more defined, subjecting a smaller portion of the country to the extreme winds of the eyewall. This contraction of the eye was probably caused by frictional convergence--as the winds spiraling into the center of Richard passed from ocean to land, the increased friction caused the winds to slow down as they reached the eyewall. This made the inflowing air pile up near the eyewall, and this piled-up air was forced upwards into more violent updrafts, intensifying the thunderstorms in the eyewall and causing eye to contract. This intensification lasted only an hour or two, before the inland motion of the center removed Richard from its main energy source, the warm waters of the Western Caribbean.


Figure 1. Visible MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Richard taken at 12:45pm EDT 10/24/10 by NASA's Aqua satellite. A the time, Richard was a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

The top winds measured at any station in Belize occurred at a personal weather station on the offshore island of Caya Caulker, which had sustained winds of 54 mph yesterday afternoon at 3:55pm CST local time. Despite the relatively small portion of Belize that was subjected to strong winds from Richard, the storm was able to knock out power to the entire nation for a period of many hours. There are no reports of deaths or injuries, but preliminary media reports indicate major wind and flooding damage in regions near where the center came ashore.

Richard was a hurricane for 18 hours, and was the 10th hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. This year's ten hurricanes ties it for sixth place for most hurricanes in an Atlantic hurricane season. Our seventeen named storms this year also ranks as the 6th most in history. Atlantic hurricane season records go back to 1851.


Figure 2. Zoom radar image of Hurricane Richard at landfall, 8:53pm EDT 10/24/10. Belize City was just north of the northern eyewall, and did not receive tropical storm force winds, according to the hourly observations taken at the airport. However, Belmopan, the capital of Belize, experienced the northern eyewall of Richard. Image credit: Belize Meteorological Service.

Forecast for Richard
Richard has weakened to a tropical storm with 45 mph winds, as it moves west-northwest over the Yucatan Peninsula. Richard's small size and relatively slow forward speed of 5 - 10 mph will lead to continued weakening today as it crosses the Yucatan Peninsula. The storm will probably be a tropical depression when it emerges over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday--if it survives the crossing. If Richard does survive the crossing, moderate wind shear and dry air over the southern Gulf of Mexico should keep the storm from intensifying. Richard should dissipate by Wednesday, before affecting any other land areas.

Invest 90L
A low pressure system (Invest 90L) centered near 23N 42W in the middle Atlantic Ocean, has developed a broad circulation. A band of heavy thunderstorms has developed in an arc to the north and east of the storm, well removed from the center, suggesting that 90L is a hybrid subtropical system. Wind shear is a high 20 - 25 knots, but is predicted to drop to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, this afternoon through Wednesday. This may give 90L the opportunity to develop, though water temperatures are marginal for development, just 26.5 - 27°C (26.5°C is usually the limiting SST that a tropical storm can develop at.) The NOGAPS model is calling for 90L to develop into a depression by Friday, when the storm will be near Bermuda. NHC is giving 90L a 10% of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday.

Next update
I'll have an update on Tuesday. I'm not sure when that update will be, as I am catching a flight to Miami in the morning. I've been invited to spend the week at the National Hurricane Center as part of their visiting scientist program, and will be shadowing NHC forecasters on the evening shift Tuesday - Friday to learn more about their operations. I'll be writing a post later this week about what a shift is like at the Hurricane Center. I also have meetings planned with scientists at NOAA's Hurricane Research Division, and plan to write about some of the research missions performed during this year's hurricane season.

Our weather extremes expert Christopher C. Burt has a very interesting post today on the hottest temperatures ever measured on Earth.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting NRAamy:
Orca....dont even talk to me about trouble....

;)


I just sent you a good weather link.. its in your WU inbox
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Quoting toprating49:
I decided not to leave, Orca.


I seriously think you should reconsider.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
Orca....dont even talk to me about trouble....

;)
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One of the strongest continental US extratropical cyclones is forecast tomorrow for Minnesota. The minimum pressure of 957 mb would rival the Cleveland Ohio Blizzard of 1978 for the lowest barometric pressure recorded by instruments [for the lower-48].

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Quoting NRAamy:
Orca....


;)


I found a fun website..its going to get me in trouble sooner or later ;)
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Orca....


;)
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71. JRRP
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Anyone want to trade weather... I feel like a duck right now :(

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
SQUAWK!!
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COMPLETE UPDATE

Click to ENLARGE





Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
BigPond News
7.5-magnitude quake strikes off Indonesian coast
CNN - ‎1 hour ago‎
A local tsunami watch was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center after the quake struck at 9:42 pm A destructive, widespread tsunami is not expected. ...
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A new Tsunami Warning station has been activated.......it is in the Indian Ocean south the EarthQuake and NE of Australia.....



Don't know if it means anything or not! Need to watch this for further info. tho.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
Quoting oracle28:
Comparison

Belize Airport 62 mph gust at 8 PM.

AT 523 PM TODAY...LITTLE ROCK ADAMS FIELD RECORDED A WIND GUST OF 63
MPH OUT OF THE WEST AS A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM PASSED OVER THE
AIRPORT. THIS GUST RANKS AS THE HIGHEST WIND GUST EVER RECORDED IN
THE MONTH OF OCTOBER AT LITTLE ROCK. THE PREVIOUS HIGHEST GUST WAS
60 MPH FROM THE WEST ON OCTOBER 26TH 1991.


Blow me down!
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19L DEACTIVATE
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Quoting oracle28:



Is it just me, or does it appear that the eye cleared-out over land? Any argeement?


Maybe it just got closer to the radar site?
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Quoting islander101010:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera any friends down in haiti? read this. you might want them to get out of there. to top this off if some of the models are right they might get a cyclone near to the area next week. its probally the wave near 30 w


The aid groups are watching it and it also depends where people are at in the country. It has stayed mostly northwest of Port of Prince.
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Complete Update



AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26516
000
WEIO21 PHEB 251449
TSUIOX

TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 001
PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS
ISSUED AT 1449Z 25 OCT 2010

THIS BULLETIN IS FOR ALL AREAS OF THE INDIAN OCEAN.

... A LOCAL TSUNAMI WATCH IS IN EFFECT ...

A TSUNAMI WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR

INDONESIA

FOR OTHER AREAS OF THE INDIAN OCEAN REGION...THIS MESSAGE IS FOR
INFORMATION ONLY AT THIS TIME.

THIS BULLETIN IS ISSUED AS ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. ONLY
NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE
DECISIONS REGARDING THE OFFICIAL STATE OF ALERT IN THEIR AREA AND
ANY ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN RESPONSE.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME - 1442Z 25 OCT 2010
COORDINATES - 3.1 SOUTH 100.1 EAST
DEPTH - 33 KM
LOCATION - SOUTHERN SUMATRA INDONESIA
MAGNITUDE - 7.5

EVALUATION

A DESTRUCTIVE WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI THREAT DOES NOT EXIST BASED ON
HISTORICAL EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI DATA.

HOWEVER - THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF A LOCAL TSUNAMI THAT
COULD AFFECT COASTS LOCATED USUALLY NO MORE THAN A HUNDRED
KILOMETERS FROM THE EARTHQUAKE EPICENTER. AUTHORITIES FOR THE
REGION NEAR THE EPICENTER SHOULD BE AWARE OF THIS POSSIBILITY.
AREAS FURTHER FROM THE EPICENTER COULD EXPERIENCE SMALL SEA
LEVEL CHANGES AND STRONG OR UNUSUAL COASTAL CURRENTS.

ESTIMATED INITIAL TSUNAMI WAVE ARRIVAL TIMES AT FORECAST POINTS
WITHIN THE WARNING AND WATCH AREAS ARE GIVEN BELOW. ACTUAL
ARRIVAL TIMES MAY DIFFER AND THE INITIAL WAVE MAY NOT BE THE
LARGEST. A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE TIME BETWEEN
SUCCESSIVE WAVES CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO ONE HOUR.

LOCATION FORECAST POINT COORDINATES ARRIVAL TIME
-------------------------------- ------------ ------------
INDONESIA SIBERUT 1.5S 98.7E 1510Z 25 OCT
BENGKULU 3.9S 102.0E 1527Z 25 OCT
PADANG 0.9S 100.1E 1528Z 25 OCT

ADDITIONAL BULLETINS WILL BE ISSUED BY THE PACIFIC TSUNAMI
WARNING CENTER FOR THIS EVENT AS MORE INFORMATION
BECOMES AVAILABLE.

THE JAPAN METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY MAY ISSUE ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
FOR THIS EVENT. IN THE CASE OF CONFLICTING INFORMATION...THE
MORE CONSERVATIVE INFORMATION SHOULD BE USED FOR SAFETY.
...SP...


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 187 Comments: 57920
To: U.S. West Coast, Alaska, and British Columbia coastal regions
From: NOAA/NWS/West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
Subject: Tsunami Information Statement #1 issued 10/25/2010 at 7:53AM PDT

A strong earthquake has occurred, but a tsunami IS NOT expected along the California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, or Alaska coast. NO tsunami warning, watch or advisory is in effect for these areas.

Based on the location of the event being outside the Pacific Basin, the earthquake was not sufficient to generate a tsunami damaging to California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska coasts. Residents in the Indian Ocean region should refer to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center message.

At 7:42 AM Pacific Daylight Time on October 25, an earthquake with preliminary magnitude 7.5 occurred southern Sumatera, Indonesia . (Refer to the United States Geological Survey for official earthquake parameters.)

Pacific and Indian Ocean coastal regions outside California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska should refer to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center messages for information on the event.

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Magnitude 7.5 - KEPULAUAN MENTAWAI REGION, INDONESIA
2010 October 25 14:42:22 UTC
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Quoting SuperTyphoonLionrock:



Is it just me, or does it appear that the eye cleared-out over land? Any argeement?
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Wilma 5 years ago today. This time last week it looked like a possible repeat for today.

Link
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No TSuniami Monitoring stations show anything except near Hawaii and that must have been a glitch as it shows a rise of 6 meters for a 15 sec. My guess a ship passed near the station.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholera any friends down in haiti? read this. you might want them to get out of there. to top this off if some of the models are right they might get a cyclone near to the area next week. its probally the wave near 30 w
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Comparison

Belize Airport 62 mph gust at 8 PM.

AT 523 PM TODAY...LITTLE ROCK ADAMS FIELD RECORDED A WIND GUST OF 63
MPH OUT OF THE WEST AS A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM PASSED OVER THE
AIRPORT. THIS GUST RANKS AS THE HIGHEST WIND GUST EVER RECORDED IN
THE MONTH OF OCTOBER AT LITTLE ROCK. THE PREVIOUS HIGHEST GUST WAS
60 MPH FROM THE WEST ON OCTOBER 26TH 1991.
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thanks
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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