Powerful Category 3 Hurricane Jova nears landfall in Mexico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:42 PM GMT on October 11, 2011

Share this Blog
20
+

Rain bands from powerful Category 3 Hurricane Jova are already deluging the southwest coast of Mexico as the storm heads towards landfall late this afternoon between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta. Recent satellite loops show the hurricane has weakened since yesterday afternoon, with the eye no longer visible and the cloud pattern no longer as symmetric. Moderate wind shear of 15 - 20 knots due to strong upper-level winds out of the southeast managed to inject some dry air into the core of Jova that disrupted the storm's eyewall, and it is unlikely the hurricane will be able to intensify beyond its current 115 mph strength before landfall. It is more likely that Jova will weaken as it approaches land, due to the storm's small size, which makes is vulnerable to disruption when the outer portion of the circulation hits the mountains along the Mexican coast. If Jova maintains its Category 3 strength until landfall, it will rank as one of the ten most intense Pacific hurricanes to hit Mexico since record keeping began in 1949, according to a comprehensive list of Eastern Pacific hurricane landfalls at Wikipedia. However, I expect Jova's interaction with the high mountains of Mexico will knock it down to a Category 2 storm with 100 - 105 mph winds by landfall. Hurricane-force winds extend outwards only 15 miles from the center of Jova, so a relatively small stretch of moderately to lightly-populated stretch of coast will see Jova's high winds and dangerous storm surge. A much larger swath of Mexico will see very heavy rains of 6 - 12 inches, and these rains are the primary threat from the hurricane.

The shape of the coast near Puerto Vallarta makes it difficult for a high storm surge to affect that city. Jova is passing far enough to the east of Puerto Vallarta that the winds in the Bay should be capable of elevating a surge to a height of just 1 - 2 feet above normal water levels, with perhaps a slight chance of a surge as high as 3 feet affecting the city. However, there will be high battering waves on top of the storm surge, and these waves may cause damage to ocean front property. I was in Puerto Vallarta during Hurricane Paine of 1986, and while we didn't see much of a storm surge, the coast experienced 10-foot waves that tore apart the sea wall protecting the swimming pool of the hotel I was staying at. The highest storm tide from Jova should occur near 9:55am CDT Wednesday morning, which is the time of high tide. Jova will be at its closest to Puerto Vallarta then, and is likely to be a strong tropical storm with 60 mph winds.


Figure 1. True-color MODIS image of Jova taken at 1:40 pm EDT October 10, 2011. At the time, Jova was a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 2. Rainfall forecast for Hurricane Jova from this morning's 2 am EDT run of the GFDL model. Image credit: Morris Bender, NOAA/GFDL.

Links to follow Jova
Wunderblogger Mike Theiss is in Barra de Navidad, just north-west of Manzanillo, and will be giving us live blogs and photos from the landfall of Jova, as his power and Internet connections permit.

Manzanillo weather

>Puerto Vallarta webcam

Tropical Depression Irwin also headed for Mexico
Once Jova has made landfall, Tropical Depression Irwin, farther to the west, may also be a concern. The computer forecast models show that late this week, Irwin will approach the same stretch of Mexican coast Jova is affecting. However, Irwin is a weak storm that is may not survive, due to high wind shear, and may end up not bringing significant rains to Mexico.

Quiet in the Atlantic
There are currently no threat areas in the Atlantic, now that Invest 93L has moved ashore over the Southeast U.S. Invest 93L did have tropical storm force winds, and will be re-analyzed in the off-season by NHC to see if it did indeed have enough organization to qualify as an unnamed subtropical storm.

The ECMWF and NOGAPS models continue to predict that a strong tropical disturbance capable of becoming a tropical depression could form in the Western Caribbean early next week. Some of the spin and moisture for this storm could potentially come from an area of disturbed weather in the Eastern Pacific, (Invest 99E), that is currently just offshore of the Mexico/Guatemala border. Invest 99E is expected to move inland over Central America over the next few days, bringing very heavy rains capable of causing flash flooding and mudslides to Southeast Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 167 - 117

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8Blog Index

167. Skyepony (Mod)
93L was closed. I had the west winds here. The surface center was ~40miles west of what was seen on radar (midlevels). It was somewhat elongated & sloppy at the surface. The center was north of me already on land before what was on radar hit KSC, it was within a very short time of it spinning up on radar. The center was on land from nearly if not the beginning..one of the many areas to look closely at all the data. The showers streaming in from the east flew over the obviously very shallow vorticity on radar..like a MCV. It was so small & ill stacked, the west side with convection was cold, the dry air it was sucking in the east side was warm. I stood in both. The rainband was cold the dry slot that arrived the next day was warm. It was bore out of a large area with other vorticity like a MCV out of a Mesoscale Convective System. We saw the ULL reflect on the surface of the east GOM finally on Oceansat that evening..weak & broad but the center of the MCS, that died sometime in the night. East coast one got in that sweet spot next to FL that spins things up.. Maybe had it had more time over water. It was a cyclone seed, tossed on land, but I'm not sure if it wasn't anything more than a mesoscale convective vortex.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

That's just false.


Your opinion...not the experts ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


GFS panels from 12Z run today show nothing coming of it.

24 hours:



48 hours:





Thanks, just been an interesting little swirl to watch today.

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/gmex/loop-rgb.h tml
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting OrchidGrower:
Re: #135 -- am I on Ignore? Anyone else noticing/have a thought on the swirl in the Western Gulf of Mexico? Thanks


GFS panels from 12Z run today show nothing coming of it.

24 hours:



48 hours:



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good to see Jova has weakened some for folks in MX.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting OrchidGrower:
Re: #135 -- am I on Ignore? Anyone else noticing/have a thought on the swirl in the Western Gulf of Mexico? Thanks


Not on ignore you even got a few pluses for the post. I think a few have been noticing it today.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Re: #135 -- am I on Ignore? Anyone else noticing/have a thought on the swirl in the Western Gulf of Mexico? Thanks
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting robert88:
93L was a extratropical mid latitiude cyclone. It wasn't subtropical or tropical...therefore it didn't warrant a name. Dry air getting sucked into the system blew up some powerful supercell T-storms over the gulfstream which brought the winds down to the surface. If you removed all the UL energy that was down there could the system still of powered itself? Nope....because There was no anticyclone sitting over it...so the air couldn't come over the center and come out at the top. NHC did their job with local authorities to give plenty of warning to folks in FL. I just can't believe all the bashing towards the NHC on all the weather blogs i have been reading....geez

That's just false.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32276
159. Gorty
Quoting entrelac:
Really?! Off to have a look....


Though it is been so warm lately, not sure how much of that will actually be snow despite it being west of the 540 line.
Member Since: November 8, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1058
Quoting wunderweatherman123:
yeah 100 105 is a good bet


I can see that. Down 5 mb to 968 mb and up 5 mph to 105 by morning. In my opinion the infrared pics in the past couple hours show a slight improvement in organization.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wunderweatherman123:
jova just formed on infrared a very ragged eye. AVN infrared. check it out before is vanishes

Its going to appear in and out from time to time, but that doesn't mean it is weakening or strengthening.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32276
93L was a extratropical mid latitiude cyclone. It wasn't subtropical or tropical...therefore it didn't warrant a name. Dry air getting sucked into the system blew up some powerful supercell T-storms over the gulfstream which brought the winds down to the surface. If you removed all the UL energy that was down there could the system still of powered itself? Nope....because There was no anticyclone sitting over it...so the air couldn't come over the center and come out at the top. NHC did their job with local authorities to give plenty of warning to folks in FL. I just can't believe all the bashing towards the NHC on all the weather blogs i have been reading....geez
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
jova just formed on infrared a very ragged eye. AVN infrared. check it out before is vanishes
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1725
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Of course, because a storm in the western Caribbean in October is always a good thing...


Oh I remember that storm, my house didn't get its electricity back until Halloween as the trick-or-treaters were coming by.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Discussion maintains Jova at about the same strength until landfall.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 11/2100Z 18.3N 105.4W 85 KT 100 MPH
12H 12/0600Z 19.3N 105.0W 85 KT 100 MPH
yeah 100 105 is a good bet
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1725
Discussion maintains Jova at about the same strength until landfall.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 11/2100Z 18.3N 105.4W 85 KT 100 MPH
12H 12/0600Z 19.3N 105.0W 85 KT 100 MPH
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Gorty:
I am very pumped up for a potential snow storm that the GFS shows for the Northeast for the 19th. Maybe just maybe it will go coastal!
Really?! Off to have a look....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting portcharlotte:
If you are not a trained Meteorologist and did not digest the buoy data than you need to just lay low and maybe take some tropical meteorolgy courses. I guess this is an amateur site. You should visit some of the professional sites and see what's being said by fellow meteorologists




This is an amateur site. None of us here are trained professionals, it is just a hobby of ours. If you want to rant like a classless maniac at the NHC and the fellow users like you did, go somewhere else. It has no use here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

No, that isn't what I meant. You said it would make landfall in 6-10 hours or so, and I said give or take one or two hours from that (Somewhere between 4-12 hours from now).

To make it easier, I'll just say it will make landfall in 11 hours. :P

Somewhere between 100-110 mph.
still cat 2s are very rare on the pacific side of mexico... wish she was a ts but looks like cat can be confirmed..
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1725
Quoting wunderweatherman123:
hour or two? never mind then. cat 2 at landfall i say

No, that isn't what I meant. You said it would make landfall in 6-10 hours or so, and I said give or take one or two hours from that (Somewhere between 4-12 hours from now).

To make it easier, I'll just say it will make landfall in 11 hours. :P

Somewhere between 100-110 mph.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32276
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Give or take an hour or two.
hour or two? never mind then. cat 2 at landfall i say
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1725
If you are not a trained Meteorologist and did not digest the buoy data than you need to just lay low and maybe take some tropical meteorolgy courses. I guess this is an amateur site. You should visit some of the professional sites and see what's being said by fellow meteorologists


Quoting shred3590:


If you are sorry to sound rude, you would not have written that. Comments like this have been the downfall of this blog this year. Rather than take pot shots at posters, please explain why you believe that the NHC is wrong on this one.

Many people, myself included, are merely interested in weather, not trained professionals. The discourse on this blog will go back to the high quality it used to be if bloggers would say, "I disagree with that statement and here is why ..."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wunderweatherman123:
she finished her EWRC and starting to build an inner core and she has about what 6 to 10 hours before landfall? im seeing her at 105 to 115...

Give or take an hour or two.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32276
In a typical neutral to La Nina season you don't usually see the abundant of dry sinking air and SAL make it that far W. Wind shear was quite hostile at times also. The dry air that settled over TX also shut down business in the GOM as well.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

If she does, it won't be much. Maybe enough to get to 110 mph, but I doubt it.

Mexico got very lucky, but is still very unlucky.
she finished her EWRC and starting to build an inner core and she has about what 6 to 10 hours before landfall? im seeing her at 105 to 115...
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1725
Quoting wunderweatherman123:
uh oh she is closing her eye wall.. u think she will get stronger?

If she does, it won't be much. Maybe enough to get to 110 mph, but I doubt it.

Mexico got very lucky, but is still very unlucky.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32276
Gulf of Mexico Vertical Instability:


Caribbean Vertical Instability:


East Coast Vertical Instability:


Tropical Atlantic Vertical Instability:


Sub-Tropical Atlantic Vertical Instability:

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32276
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
uh oh she is closing her eye wall.. u think she will get stronger?
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1725
Quoting robert88:
It's never over until it's over..but the the global models do not look to enthused...even with a strong MJO pulse on the horizon. It's very possible the Pacific steals the energy from that pulse and the 2011 season comes to an end. The Caribbean has been very hostile this year and there isn't any tropical waves migrating into that region. Time is running out..we shall see
As the atlantic wind patterns shows is over.Nothing will forms there.So put yours eyes in the Caribbean Sea.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting robert88:
This has been one unusual hurricane season. I never expected it to turn out like this. I thought sure we were going to see more hurricanes and more powerful ones as well. So many negative factors out there for a neutral to La Nina season...very strange
I think it has something to do with the vertical instability, dry air in the GOM, and wind shear in the Caribbean. The MDR & Cape Verde season has been active though. And of course how can we forget the series of trough splits that formed storms like Bret, Cindy, Franklin, and Gert.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting robert88:
This has been one unusual hurricane season. I never expected it to turn out like this. I thought sure we were going to see more hurricanes and more powerful ones as well. So many negative factors out there for a neutral to La Nina season...very strange

What do you mean "so many negative factors out there for a neutral to la Nina season"?

The lack of vertical instability is the sole reason for a lack of hurricanes and major hurricanes so far this season.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32276
Anybody else looking at the naked swirl of clouds in the Central/SW Gulf on the visible loop at the moment?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This has been one unusual hurricane season. I never expected it to turn out like this. I thought sure we were going to see more hurricanes and more powerful ones as well. So many negative factors out there for a neutral to La Nina season...very strange
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32276
Quoting Gorty:
I am very pumped up for a potential snow storm that the GFS shows for the Northeast for the 19th. Maybe just maybe it will go coastal!

I will remind you of this post next April! It's funny how too much of a good thing spoils the moment. ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Now I did not say that, don't put words in my mouth!

I didn't say you did ;)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32276
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Of course, because a storm in the western Caribbean in October is always a good thing...

Now I did not say that, don't put words in my mouth!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Gorty:


Extreme western NE and Great Lakes (might be eastern Great Lakes. See for yourself if you can access the GFS and get ready to be excited!

But I think the GFS might be slowly going with a coastal idea... Good for me in southern New England :D
Yep Euro shows a 988mb Low over the Great Lakes.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Nice! Euro still showing development in the Western Caribbean, probably from the migration of 99E. I need some storms to get cranking, so it satisfies my prediction of 21/7/4.

Of course, because a storm in the western Caribbean in October is always a good thing...

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32276
Nice! Euro still showing development in the Western Caribbean, probably from the migration of 99E. I need some storms to get cranking, so it satisfies my prediction of 21/7/4.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wunderweatherman123:
i think she is restregnthining now, the visible shows her eye reforming..


Possibly. But remember that the recent visible satellite shots were taken when it was near local noon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
125. Gorty
Quoting TX2FL:


Seriously??? What part of the NE?


Extreme western NE and Great Lakes (might be eastern Great Lakes. See for yourself if you can access the GFS and get ready to be excited!

But I think the GFS might be slowly going with a coastal idea... Good for me in southern New England :D
Member Since: November 8, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1058
Still arguing about whether or not 93L was a cyclone or not, huh?

My opinion is this -- Yes, they are the experts. They are far smarter than most of us amateurs on the blog. However, does that mean you can't question their decisions? This and dealing with the president could go hand in hand. Just because he is our leader, does that mean we can't question his authority? Of course not! There was a lot of evidence to support that Invest 93L was a Subtropical/Tropical storm at landfall two days ago, with ASCAT, Buoy data, land observations, and personal accounts from within the area. The only real reason I could see the NHC not naming 93L is because of its convection, but that just brings us to Tropical Storm Jose earlier this season. Did it keep convection atop its center? No. As with the case with 93L, you can't expect a Subtropical storm to have a lot of convection like a tropical cyclone does, so I see no reason why the NHC didn't classify the system.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32276
It's never over until it's over..but the the global models do not look to enthused...even with a strong MJO pulse on the horizon. It's very possible the Pacific steals the energy from that pulse and the 2011 season comes to an end. The Caribbean has been very hostile this year and there isn't any tropical waves migrating into that region. Time is running out..we shall see
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Hopefully Jova will continue her weakening trend.
i think she is restregnthining now, the visible shows her eye reforming..
Member Since: August 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1725
TWC stuff interests me because I was watching TWC when 93L was just off shore.

A "Subtropical Storm" was about to make landfall and they were showing "Storm Stories."

Now after the fact, they're looking back at the system. But when it was on going, they didn't even think it was worth interupting their normal programming (re-runs of Storm Stories).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hopefully Jova will continue her weakening trend.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting daveron:


well if stu were that talented he would'nt be wasting him time with the bozos on the weather channel and he would be with the NHC...


If we told you another met from TWC believes it wasn't would you say they're absolutely right?

Sheesh.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24185
Quoting Neapolitan:

The way you and some others (here and elsewhere) have personally gone about questioning the NHC about 93L shows maturity, class, and professionalism. There's nothing wrong with that, and, in fact, it should be encouraged; by such means is progress made. But the problem appears to be that so many others have moved far beyond questioning the mets at the NHC and have gone straight to engaging in name calling, insulting, and making wild allegations of misconduct: "Idiots! Morons! What are they smoking in there?! Are they blind or stupid or both?! They obviously have an agenda, and are covering for someone; this calls for a Congressional investigation!!! Any imbecile can see 93L was Rina; they blew it, and now they're too embarrassed to admit their screw up!!!!!" And so on, and so forth, ad nauseum, ad infinitum. And that's ponderous. At least to some of us. So, yes, everyone is entitled to an opinion. But as I said last night, those who wish their opinions to be heard need to consider how those opinions are expressed.

There is a right way and a wrong way to criticize. More of the former and far less of the latter is greatly appreciated.

Very well said!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
117. JeffMasters (Admin)
Added to the blog:

The shape of the coast near Puerto Vallarta makes it difficult for a high storm surge to affect that city. Jova is passing far enough to the east of Puerto Vallarta that the winds in the Bay should be capable of elevating a surge to a height of just 1 - 2 feet above normal water levels, with perhaps a slight chance of a surge as high as 3 feet affecting the city. However, there will be high battering waves on top of the storm surge, and these waves may cause damage to ocean front property. I was in Puerto Vallarta during Hurricane Paine of 1986, and while we didn't see much of a storm surge, the coast experienced 10-foot waves that tore apart the sea wall protecting the swimming pool of the hotel I was staying at. The highest storm tide from Jova should occur near 9:55am CDT Wednesday morning, which is the time of high tide. Jova will be at its closest to Puerto Vallarta then, and is likely to be a strong tropical storm with 60 mph winds.

Jeff Masters

Viewing: 167 - 117

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
64 °F
Overcast