Rina rapidly intensifies into a hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:59 PM GMT on October 24, 2011

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Rina is now a hurricane, just 21 hours after becoming a tropical depression. An Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft found winds of 75 mph--Category 1 hurricane strength--at 1:40 pm EDT in the north eyewall of Rina, using their SFMR surface wind instrument. Winds at flight level of 5,000 feet peaked at 78 mph, which typically translates to surface winds of 62 mph. On their second pass through the eye at 3:30 pm EDT, the winds were about 5 mph less, but the central pressure had fallen by two millibars, to 989 mb. Visible satellite loops show that Rina now has an eye, and the storm is steadily expanding in size and developing an impressive upper-level outflow channel to the north. Wind shear is a moderate 15 - 20 knots due to strong upper-level winds out of the southeast, and these winds are injecting dry air into Rina's southeast side, inhibiting heavy thunderstorm development there. Water temperatures are very warm, 29 - 30°C, and these warm waters extend to great depth.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Rina. An intense thunderstorm with a top that reaches into the stratosphere is visible on the southwest side of the eye. These "hot towers" are commonly seen in hurricanes undergoing rapid intensification.

Rina in historical context
Rina intensified into a hurricane just 21 hours after the first advisory was issued for it as a tropical depression. This is the second fastest such intensification since record keeping began in 1851. Hurricane Humberto of 2007 holds the Atlantic record for fastest intensification from first advisory issued to hurricane strength--18 hours. (Actually, Humberto did the feat in 14 1/4 hours, but this was rounded off to 18 hours in the final data base, which stores points every six hours). There have been six storms that accomplished the feat in 24 hours. Rina's formation brings this year's tally of hurricanes to six, which is average for an Atlantic hurricane season. The number of named storms this season is now seventeen, making it the 7th busiest Atlantic hurricane season since record keeping began in 1851. Only 2005, 1933, 1995, 1887, 2010, and 1969 had more named storms. However, 2011 has had an unusually low percentage of its named storms reach hurricane strength. Only 35% of this year's named storms have made it to hurricane strength, and normally 55 - 60% of all named storms intensify to hurricane strength in the Atlantic. The rare combination of near-record ocean temperatures but unusually dry, stable air over the Atlantic is no doubt at least partially responsible for this very unusual occurrence.


Figure 2. Microwave satellite image from 11:39 am EDT October 24, 2011, showing that Rina had a partially complete eyewall, which was open on the east side. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Forecast for Rina
The hurricane hunters found an elliptical eyewall that had a gap in it during their 3:30 pm eye penetration. The aircraft measured a temperature difference of 6°C between the eye and the region outside the eye, which is difficult to get unless an eyewall is on its way to completion. Rina will need to complete its eyewall if it is to intensify into a major hurricane. Given the fact wind shear is not expected to increase until Wednesday, Rina has a 2-day period to close off an eyewall and intensify, and it will probably reach Category 3 or Category 4 strength by Wednesday. On Wednesday, Rina will encounter a dry airmass with high wind shear that lies over the extreme northwestern Caribbean. These conditions should weaken the hurricane, but Rina could still be a major hurricane if it makes landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday or Thursday.

A trough of low pressure is predicted to pass to the north of Rina late this week, and now that the hurricane is expected to be a Category 2 or stronger storm, the chances for Rina to make it farther north and affect the Florida Keys and Southwest Florida have increased. The latest 8 am EDT runs of the GFDL and HWRF models both predict that Rina will pass through the Yucatan Channel on Thursday and make landfall on Friday in the Florida Keys or extreme Southwest Florida, south of Naples. The NOGAPS and GFS models predict a weaker storm, and keep Rina trapped in the Caribbean. I think it is more likely that Rina will pass through the Keys. If Rina does make it to the Keys, it would likely be as a tropical storm, since wind shear, dry air, and possible land interaction with Western Cuba and Mexico would potentially knock down the storm's strength. Heavy rains from Rina should begin affecting Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, northern Belize, and extreme Western Cuba on Wednesday. Rina's intensification into a hurricane over the Western Caribbean during the last half of October bring to mind Hurricane Wilma, which also performed such a feat in 2005. Wilma went on to become a Category 5 monster, the strongest Atlantic hurricane of all-time. I don't think Rina will be another Wilma, even though the ocean temperatures and total heat content are similar to what Wilma experienced. Wilma had nearly ideal upper-level atmospheric conditions with an anticyclone aloft and light wind shear, under 5 knots. Rina is experiencing 15 - 20 knots of wind shear and is also a smaller storm, and is thus more vulnerable to the effects of wind shear and dry air.

97L approaching ABC islands
A broad region of low pressure approaching the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao (Invest 97L), is moving west-northwest at 10 mph. Heavy thunderstorm activity has increased today, but the activity is not organized into spiral bands, as is apparent from Curacao radar. 97L is surrounded by a large region of dry air, and this dry air will retard development. 97L is under low wind shear less than 10 knots, and this shear is expected to remain low through Thursday. By the time 97L reaches the region between Jamaica and Nicaragua in the Central Caribbean on Thursday or Friday, the storm should find a moister environment, and could develop into a tropical depression. However, none of the reliable models are predicting that 97L will develop. NHC is giving 97L just a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday. I put the odds higher, at 20%.

Jeff Masters

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414. j2008
Quoting Hurricanes101:
anyone want to venture a guess at the percentages for 97L at 8pm?

I may be inclined to go 30%
Afternoon everyone. I see Rina has unleashed the wrath, I think we will see her at 85-90 at next update. 97L will probably be at 20-30%, TD by tommorow night at soonest. So any ideas?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
20% it is.

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT MON OCT 24 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON RECENTLY
UPGRADED HURRICANE RINA...LOCATED ABOUT 195 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
GRAND CAYMAN.

A BROAD LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 100 MILES NORTH OF
MARGARITA ISLAND VENEZUELA IS PRODUCING WIDESPREAD CLOUDINESS AND
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS OVER MUCH OF THE SOUTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA
AND ADJACENT LAND AREAS. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE ONLY MARGINALLY
CONDUCIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT AT THIS TIME...BUT THEY COULD BECOME
SOMEWHAT MORE FAVORABLE IN A COUPLE OF DAYS WHEN THE LARGE
DISTURBANCE MOVES INTO THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SEA. THIS SYSTEM HAS A
LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH.
REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND GUSTY WINDS
ARE EXPECTED ACROSS ARUBA...BONAIRE...AND CURACAO THROUGH TONIGHT.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE SEE
STATEMENTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART


You know the rule right ?. No action from this until after 75W.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
Quoting Tazmanian:



thats it


POOF

Taz, stop being annoying. He didn't do anything wrong.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

LAZY!!! lol.
:) Sometimes.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
00
ABNT20 KNHC 242347
TWOAT

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT MON OCT 24 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON RECENTLY
UPGRADED HURRICANE RINA...LOCATED ABOUT 195 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
GRAND CAYMAN.

A BROAD LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 100 MILES NORTH OF
MARGARITA ISLAND VENEZUELA IS PRODUCING WIDESPREAD CLOUDINESS AND
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS OVER MUCH OF THE SOUTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA
AND ADJACENT LAND AREAS. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE ONLY MARGINALLY
CONDUCIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT AT THIS TIME...BUT THEY COULD BECOME
SOMEWHAT MORE FAVORABLE IN A COUPLE OF DAYS WHEN THE LARGE
DISTURBANCE MOVES INTO THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SEA. THIS SYSTEM HAS A
LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH.
REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND GUSTY WINDS
ARE EXPECTED ACROSS ARUBA...BONAIRE...AND CURACAO THROUGH TONIGHT.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE SEE
STATEMENTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:


I guess you are on the wrong end of the island right now LOL !


pretty calm in spotts right now where on island are you Kman?
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Per NHC... 97L is now at 20%
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Good link. Thanks Geoff!. Looks stronger than a 1.


Link
Member Since: April 24, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 601
Quoting CosmicEvents:
You don't remember right, or you weren't paying attention to the right people at the time. Here on this blog we used to have a few people who consistently outdid the NHC. These folks are still around on the net somewhere. Wilma was a much more definite forecast, so much so that when I bought a new car here in SFLA days before Wilma I closed the deal but asked the dealer to store the car at his place until after the storm hit. He said "what storm?" I picked my car up 3 weeks later, which was as soon as I could after he reopened.
yeah i sure do miss some of them
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
20% it is.

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT MON OCT 24 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON RECENTLY
UPGRADED HURRICANE RINA...LOCATED ABOUT 195 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
GRAND CAYMAN.

A BROAD LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 100 MILES NORTH OF
MARGARITA ISLAND VENEZUELA IS PRODUCING WIDESPREAD CLOUDINESS AND
SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS OVER MUCH OF THE SOUTHEASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA
AND ADJACENT LAND AREAS. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE ONLY MARGINALLY
CONDUCIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT AT THIS TIME...BUT THEY COULD BECOME
SOMEWHAT MORE FAVORABLE IN A COUPLE OF DAYS WHEN THE LARGE
DISTURBANCE MOVES INTO THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SEA. THIS SYSTEM HAS A
LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH.
REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND GUSTY WINDS
ARE EXPECTED ACROSS ARUBA...BONAIRE...AND CURACAO THROUGH TONIGHT.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE SEE
STATEMENTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER STEWART
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting Tazmanian:




your starting too get annyouing
He asked a good question, chill.
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if u guys care the weather channel tropical update in 3 min
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
lol. sPEAK FOR YOURSELF. wE ARE STILL GETTING HEAVY SHOWERS ABOUT EVERY 15 MINUTES OR SO. Sorry, about the caps. Not shouting but my finger hit cap lock and can't bother typing it again.

LAZY!!! lol.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
lol. sPEAK FOR YOURSELF. wE ARE STILL GETTING HEAVY SHOWERS ABOUT EVERY 15 MINUTES OR SO. Sorry, about the caps. Not shouting but my finger hit cap lock and can't bother typing it again.


I guess you are on the wrong end of the island right now LOL !
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
Quoting kmanislander:


Sublime. Light winds, no rain. Just another day in the tropics !
lol. sPEAK FOR YOURSELF. wE ARE STILL GETTING HEAVY SHOWERS ABOUT EVERY 15 MINUTES OR SO. Sorry, about the caps. Not shouting but my finger hit cap lock and can't bother typing it again.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I think 97L will be orange at 8pm either 30% or 40% any thinks so as well
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
Quoting Hurricanes101:
anyone want to venture a guess at the percentages for 97L at 8pm?

I may be inclined to go 30%

10%, maybe 20%. I doubt 30%, but I could be dead wrong.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting chrisdscane:
nhc use the gfdl alot right?

Sporadically, but not nearly as much as they used to.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting Levi32:


They look at everything.


I hope they are looking at a system sitting still for the next advisory.

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
anyone want to venture a guess at the percentages for 97L at 8pm?

I may be inclined to go 30%
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Models come out yet?
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Quoting chrisdscane:



does the nhc look at this image?


They look at everything.
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Quoting JNCali:
GFS = DOOOOOOOOOOM

GFS or NOGAPS?
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nhc use the gfdl alot right?
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i wish we had a recon
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453
Quoting yqt1001:
Newest microwave image.


well this show me that I was right 17.5N 83.1W

Quoting HurricaneDean07:


Yes, but VERY elongated(E-W)

no it not too elogated plus it will take no time for that problem to be fixed
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
img src="">

WOW
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
I've been watching 97L very closely, despite the fact that it is disorganized right now. I had a bad feeling with what was 96L several days ago, and now look. My bad feeling with 97L is about two times worse...and is made it much, much worse. The National Hurricane Center uses LGEM for intensity a lot...It takes 97L up to a Category 4 hurricane.

Not good...Not good...


But you do realize that all of the intensity models bring it to a TS in 24 hours, it would take a lot for that to happen that quickly for 97L, watch for development in about 3 to 5 days, not yet

You took the words right out of my mouth, lol.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting Articuno:

Yeah because, dang, is this thing deepening!
RINA DVORAK IMAGE




yup
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453
GFS = DOOOOOOOOOOM
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I should note however that these may be a little overdone, especially since they are all saying it will be approaching TD/TS status tomorrow.

We shall see...
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
I remember looking at this storm last night and thinking, "Man. We've really gotta keep an eye on this. It's looking good!"

Woke up this morning and looked, saw tropical storm. That was expected.

On the way home today listening to the radio, and they mention Hurricane Rina, and I'm like, "Whoa, WTH??"

Crazy intensification. Definitely worth keeping an eye on. I have a weird feeling about this one. I wasn't living in South Florida anymore (moved back in 2008) when Wilma came through, but everyone I know still talks about her. The similiarities are definitely interesting. I'm not wishcasting or anything...just keeping a sharp eye and an open mind...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I've been watching 97L very closely, despite the fact that it is disorganized right now. I had a bad feeling with what was 96L several days ago, and now look. My bad feeling with 97L is about two times worse...and is made it much, much worse. The National Hurricane Center uses LGEM for intensity a lot...It takes 97L up to a Category 4 hurricane.

Not good...Not good...


But you do realize that all of the intensity models bring it to a TS in 24 hours, it would take a lot for that to happen that quickly for 97L, watch for development in about 3 to 5 days, not yet
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Quoting BenBIogger:


Back from Happy Hour I see.

How's the weather?


Sublime. Light winds, no rain. Just another day in the tropics !
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
Quoting Levi32:
Hot off the satellite:

Partially-complete eyewall with an excellent core structure consisting of one curved band.




does the nhc look at this image?
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Rina is one heck of a storm, that also means the trolls will be back in full force so be ready to ignore.
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376. wpb
18z hmrf at 96 hours west of key west
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Quoting kmanislander:


That's what I told you a couple of days ago, Cat 3 or 4. You said "wow" lol


Back from Happy Hour I see.

How's the weather?
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Quoting Tazmanian:
i see a cat 5 in the makeing

Yeah because, dang, is this thing deepening!
RINA DVORAK IMAGE
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Hot off the satellite:

Partially-complete eyewall open to the east with an excellent core structure, consisting of one intense curved band.

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Microwave showing Rina is trying to close off her eyewall. I am very surprised she took off like this. It's quite amazing. Glad we have something to track.
Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 908

*Click the image to open in a new window. The image can then be further magnified.
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I agree Levi, see my post 335. Those 3 center fixes today showed a stalled or meandering hurricane drifting to the N for net motion.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
Quoting Levi32:
Rina is definitely going nowhere right now - maybe the slowest of northward drifts, but not west.


lets geta nice big fat juicy paragraph on ur thoughts on rina atm please :)
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
You don't remember right, or you weren't paying attention to the right people at the time. Here on this blog we used to have a few people who consistently outdid the NHC. These folks are still around on the net somewhere. Wilma was a much more definite forecast, so much so that when I bought a new car here in SFLA days before Wilma I closed the deal but asked the dealer to store the car at his place until after the storm hit. He said "what storm?" I picked my car up 3 weeks later, which was as soon as I could after he reopened.


It was like that with Frances too, the track was straightforward from when she was north of PR. I remember the Mets were hoping it would go north, but knew that monster ridge north of Frances was not going away.
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i see a cat 5 in the makeing
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453
I've been watching 97L very closely, despite the fact that it is disorganized right now. I had a bad feeling with what was 96L several days ago, and now look. My bad feeling with 97L is about two times worse...and the image below just made it much, much worse. The National Hurricane Center uses LGEM for intensity a lot...It takes 97L up to a Category 4 hurricane.

Not good...Not good...

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting Hurricanes101:
97L may be one to worry about too

huge anti cylcone over the system and the latest tracks have it curving north towards western cuba in 5-6 days



IMO... 97L has a long way to go before it becomes anything significant. Sure, it has favorable conditions over it right now (in terms of anticyclone aloft), however, it is pretty close to land for one. Two, there's no real defined circulation with thunderstorms/banding. It will be a few days before it can get its act together. I think the intensity models for 97L are a bit overdone right now.
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Quoting chrisdscane:
does 18z come out an exactly 8 or alitle before?




the 18z is out if your talk about the gfs
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453

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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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