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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WE NEED TO PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO 97L
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06Z GFS at 96 hours
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4763
1062. hydrus
Quoting roatangardener:
good morning. raining now on Roatan with some heavy gusts. am listening to the crash of the waves over the reef on the north coast, wondering what kind of day we will have here??? rg
You will probably get even heavier weather later today..Good morning, stay safe..:)
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oh I didn't see the 06Z well ok but I still say condition becoming more favoriable so 97L is going to grow and grow eventually the models will see the low and start to forecast
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9557
Up to 90 knots, says ATCF:

AL, 18, 2011102512, , BEST, 0, 174N, 838W, 90, 971, HU, 64, NEQ, 15, 10, 10, 15, 1012, 160, 10, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, RINA, D,
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

yeah and not so good outflow on the S,SE.ESE sides

yeah someone what to kill us Caymanians huh
ROFLMAO
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1058. Buhdog
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

umm yes the GFDL and the HWRF is developing 97L


Everyone talks about Heberts box and its danger. The Only time I pay attention is when the rule is applied. (Majors) Most people just see the box and call out the Name. The real trick is a Major rolling thru the box! WE have it forecast....look out florida.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

umm yes the GFDL and the HWRF is developing 97L



06Z GfDL has dropped 97L keeping it an open wave. 06z HWRF is less agressive on intensity by far ...doesnt make it a hurricane and weak TS as it goes by the caymans
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good morning. raining now on Roatan with some heavy gusts. am listening to the crash of the waves over the reef on the north coast, wondering what kind of day we will have here??? rg
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Quoting barotropic:
Quote from crown weather above post.....

"The GFDL model is forecasting that 97L will develop into a tropical storm over the next couple of days and potentially become a hurricane by about Friday. The GFDL model then forecasts that future Sean will turn northwestward and possibly affect the Cayman Islands as a major hurricane on Saturday this weekend and then approach western Cuba as a major hurricane on Sunday."



Not anymore. Now nearly none of the models develop 97L xcept HWRF..and it has backed off alot. Only the GFDL is bringing Rina near S Florida and at a weak TS at that. I just dont think Fla can xpect much from either. Big Ridge coming down and front. Getting more and more unlikely. But time will tell

umm yes the GFDL and the HWRF is developing 97L

Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9557
Quote from crown weather above post.....

"The GFDL model is forecasting that 97L will develop into a tropical storm over the next couple of days and potentially become a hurricane by about Friday. The GFDL model then forecasts that future Sean will turn northwestward and possibly affect the Cayman Islands as a major hurricane on Saturday this weekend and then approach western Cuba as a major hurricane on Sunday."



Not anymore. Now nearly none of the models develop 97L xcept HWRF..and it has backed off alot. Only the GFDL is bringing Rina near S Florida and at a weak TS at that. I just dont think Fla can xpect much from either. Big Ridge coming down and front. Getting more and more unlikely. But time will tell
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1053. hydrus
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

yeah and not so good outflow on the S,SE.ESE sides

yeah someone what to kill us Caymanians huh
Swan Island is getting whacked..Which is not unusual.
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Quoting hydrus:
Nice outflow on the west side..

yeah and not so good outflow on the S,SE.ESE sides
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Going morning Caymanlurker. This is an excerpt from Crown Weather. Pay special attention :)

Invest 97L:
If Rina wasn%u2019t enough, we are once again closely monitoring Invest 97L which is now located in south-central Caribbean just north of Curacao. Invest 97L has become better organized overnight and environmental conditions are expected to become more favorable for development over the next few days. I do think that this will become our next tropical depression and very possibly our next tropical storm over the next 2 to 3 days. None of the global models are spinning up this disturbance even though it is clearly showing signs of organization and development.

The dynamical hurricane models, however, are forecasting significant development with the SHIPS and LGEM models forecasting borderline Category 2-3 strength by this weekend. The track guidance like the three BAM models are forecasting a track that pulls this system northward across the Cayman Islands on Friday and then across western or central Cuba and towards south Florida by Sunday. As for the other dynamical hurricane guidance, the HWRF model forecasts that 97L will become a tropical storm during the day Wednesday and then a hurricane by about Friday. From there, the HWRF model forecasts that future Sean will affect the Cayman Islands as a upper end Category 2 hurricane late Friday and then cross central Cuba on Saturday night for a potential landfall in south Florida on Sunday.

The GFDL model is forecasting that 97L will develop into a tropical storm over the next couple of days and potentially become a hurricane by about Friday. The GFDL model then forecasts that future Sean will turn northwestward and possibly affect the Cayman Islands as a major hurricane on Saturday this weekend and then approach western Cuba as a major hurricane on Sunday.

I think there is enough evidence in the satellite presentation and the forecast favorable environmental conditions to say that Invest 97L needs to be watched very closely over the next couple of days and interests in the Cayman Islands should pay particularly close attention to this system.


yeah someone what to kill us Caymanians huh
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9557


When you guys see the eye, surrounded by a deep ring of convection, you know its a Category 3. Look for that today.

I'm off to school, and hoping there won't have been a 30 mph jump like yesterday when I get back.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
1050. hydrus
Nice outflow on the west side..
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SHIPS continues to paint a bad picture with 97L.


SHEAR (KT) 8 8 6 7 2 6 8 8 4 6 8 17 21

SST (C) 28.8 28.9 29.1 29.2 29.4 29.4 29.4 29.5 29.6 29.7 29.7 29.5 29.3

700-500 MB RH 62 63 62 62 62 66 66 68 68 71 68 68 63

HEAT CONTENT 61 54 60 63 53 77 95 112 111 107 109 114 117

Those conditions would allow for Rapid Intensification.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
Quoting caymanlurker:
97L down to 30% and moving up to 20mph. If it does not organise sufficiently in the next 48 hrs into Sean, it would seem that Rina will be the dominant feature, causing shear. So a 100mph Sean would then seem unlikely in the NW Carib as some models seem to predict?
Going morning Caymanlurker. This is an excerpt from Crown Weather. Pay special attention :)

Invest 97L:
If Rina wasn%u2019t enough, we are once again closely monitoring Invest 97L which is now located in south-central Caribbean just north of Curacao. Invest 97L has become better organized overnight and environmental conditions are expected to become more favorable for development over the next few days. I do think that this will become our next tropical depression and very possibly our next tropical storm over the next 2 to 3 days. None of the global models are spinning up this disturbance even though it is clearly showing signs of organization and development.

The dynamical hurricane models, however, are forecasting significant development with the SHIPS and LGEM models forecasting borderline Category 2-3 strength by this weekend. The track guidance like the three BAM models are forecasting a track that pulls this system northward across the Cayman Islands on Friday and then across western or central Cuba and towards south Florida by Sunday. As for the other dynamical hurricane guidance, the HWRF model forecasts that 97L will become a tropical storm during the day Wednesday and then a hurricane by about Friday. From there, the HWRF model forecasts that future Sean will affect the Cayman Islands as a upper end Category 2 hurricane late Friday and then cross central Cuba on Saturday night for a potential landfall in south Florida on Sunday.

The GFDL model is forecasting that 97L will develop into a tropical storm over the next couple of days and potentially become a hurricane by about Friday. The GFDL model then forecasts that future Sean will turn northwestward and possibly affect the Cayman Islands as a major hurricane on Saturday this weekend and then approach western Cuba as a major hurricane on Sunday.

I think there is enough evidence in the satellite presentation and the forecast favorable environmental conditions to say that Invest 97L needs to be watched very closely over the next couple of days and interests in the Cayman Islands should pay particularly close attention to this system.
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First visible imagery of the day:

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
Quoting caymanlurker:
97L down to 30% and moving up to 20mph. If it does not organise sufficiently in the next 48 hrs into Sean, it would seem that Rina will be the dominant feature, causing shear. So a 100mph+ Sean would then seem unlikely in the NW Carib as some models seem to predict?

No, because Rina may actually act to ventilate the system for a while. They may interact eventually, but if 97L follows the statistical intensity forecasts, Sean would be the dominant feature at the time.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
97L down to 30% and moving up to 20mph. If it does not organise sufficiently in the next 48 hrs into Sean, it would seem that Rina will be the dominant feature, causing shear. So a 100mph+ Sean would then seem unlikely in the NW Carib as some models seem to predict?
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Quoting hydrus:
I see what your talking about. It does not look like a complete eyewall to me though..It is only my opinion, do not bite my head off.

What would I bite your head off for? lol.

First visible image of the day coming within minutes.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
Quoting hydrus:
An eye would normally show up on the shortwave IR.

only of two things happen
#1 ir2 sat needs to be on day mode
#2 the eye need to be full formed(fully clears out in eye)
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9557
old vis rule was if you see an eye its 100mph waiting for the shot
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4017
1041. hydrus
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Tip #1

- When looking for an eye not actually visible, use JSL.



Sure enough, look at 83.6W, 17.5N
I see what your talking about. It does not look like a complete eyewall to me though..It is only my opinion, do not bite my head off.
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Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
Quoting hydrus:
An eye would normally show up on the shortwave IR.
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Tip #1

- When looking for an eye not actually visible, use JSL.



Sure enough, look at 83.6W, 17.5N
Quoting hydrus:
Dvorak..
lmao. Helpful guys, helpful
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well drop to 30% is expected however expected to increase
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9557
Quoting barotropic:


LOL...thought you were talking about the white dot on the rainbow... I do see the beginning of the eye coming thru though

lol ok now I see why u thought that no I know the diffrence between the cold cloud top and an eye plus on rainbow the colour is dark red and I was looking at JSL which the colour of red surrounding colour is pink
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9557
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT TUE OCT 25 2011

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

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON HURRICANE
RINA...LOCATED ABOUT 305 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF CHETUMAL MEXICO.

AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTH-CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SEA IS
PRODUCING DISORGANIZED SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY. UPPER-
LEVEL WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO BECOME MORE FAVORABLE FOR SOME GRADUAL
DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS IT MOVES
WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 15 TO 20 MPH. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM
CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS. LOCALLY HEAVY RAINS ARE POSSIBLE OVER ARUBA...CURACAO
AND BONAIRE...THE NORTHWESTERN COAST OF VENEZUELA...AND THE
NORTHEASTERN COAST OF COLOMBIA TODAY. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION...
PLEASE SEE INFORMATION FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.

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

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN



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BULLETIN
HURRICANE RINA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 8A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182011
800 AM EDT TUE OCT 25 2011

...RINA MOVING SLOWLY WEST-NORTHWESTWARD...ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING
EXPECTED...


SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.4N 83.8W
ABOUT 215 MI...345 KM SW OF GRAND CAYMAN
ABOUT 305 MI...490 KM ESE OF CHETUMAL MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...100 MPH...160 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 3 MPH...6 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...975 MB...28.79 INCHES
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
Quoting hydrus:
An eye would normally show up on the shortwave IR.

Tip #1

- When looking for an eye not actually visible, use JSL.



Sure enough, look at 83.6W, 17.5N
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
1033. hydrus
Dvorak..
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1032. hydrus
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
btw looking at sat loops rina now has a pinhole eye at 17.5N 83.6W
An eye would normally show up on the shortwave IR.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

umm yes


LOL...thought you were talking about the white dot on the rainbow... I do see the beginning of the eye coming thru though
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Hurricane Rina (100 mph):



Invest 97L:

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30251
Quoting barotropic:


Thats not an eye.

umm yes
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9557
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
btw looking at sat loops rina now has a pinhole eye at 17.5N 83.6W


Thats not an eye.
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Quoting ChrisDcat5Storm:
the gfdl must see something diffrent


Yea the decapitation waiting for it to its north.
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btw looking at sat loops rina now has a pinhole eye at 17.5N 83.6W
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9557
Good morning everyone! Thanks for the graphics and insights.
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Quoting Cotillion:


If she doesn't, might end up shearing the invest to death as opposed to getting maybe two systems.


Certainly will be interesting to see how it all plays out, Cot! Have a great day everyone.
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Quoting Chicklit:
Currently, it won't make it out of the Caribbean.


But there is higher than usual doubt about long-term track.


If she doesn't, might end up shearing the invest to death as opposed to getting maybe two systems.
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Current (consensus/compromise) track doesn't take it out of the Caribbean.


But there is higher than usual doubt about long-term track. Which of course means a free-for-all for ideas on the blog. Will be interesting to see what Dr. Masters thinks, too.
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Quoting ChrisDcat5Storm:
the gfdl must see something diffrent


The difference is the timing. The GFDL moves Rina N and NE quicker allowing it to get to and by Florida. THe others are just a tad slower and Rina misses and the front slides thru S Florida.
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Quoting NortheastGuy:
Rina isn't exactely a "Small" Hurricane. If you compare it to the Florida peninsula - it extends from Jacksonville - almost all the way down to the keys. Just a lurking who is not an expert-but I was always under the impression that systems "Larger in size" were less affected by wind shear? And in this case the wind shear that Rina is expected to run into in the future?
Her wind field is very small.
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Quoting ChrisDcat5Storm:
the gfdl must see something diffrent

From 5 a.m. NHC Disussion:

...Conversely...the GFDL model maintains
Rina as a hurricane and shows a much faster motion toward the east-northeast in the latter part of the forecast period.

However since this is now the only dynamical model showing such behavior...it is an outlier that is being disregarded at this time.

(As usual, the NHC will split the difference.)
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the gfdl must see something diffrent
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If it's going to take 48 hours for Rina to start weakening I wonder how strong she'll get in the meantime.

Real cause for concern along the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba.
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Next recon mission departs at 11:00 AM EDT.
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Rina will get plenty of ACE units.Below is her update at 09z at 85kts.

Season totalStorm Type ACE (104 kt2)
01L (Arlene) Operational 1.6275
02L (Bret) Operational 2.9450
03L (Cindy) Best Track 2.3125
04L (Don) Operational 1.4975
05L (Emily) Operational 1.9875
06L (Franklin) Operational 0.4050
07L (Gert) Operational 1.6025
08L (Harvey) Operational 1.2350
09L (Irene) Operational 20.3425
11L (Jose) Operational 0.5275
12L (Katia) Operational 24.8375
13L (Lee) Operational 1.7050
14L (Maria) Operational 8.6700
15L (Nate) Operational 3.8325
16L (Ophelia) Operational 18.3550
17L (Philippe) Operational 14.8025
18L (Rina) Operational 2.0400
Total 108.725
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986 BahaHurican "I also note the 4-5 day forecast still seems iffy....
997 barotropic "Going to be interesting. 97L is moving up on slow moving Rina rather quickly."

97L is getting ~100miles(161kilometres) closer to Rina every 6hours.
IF Rina keeps on dawdling along (while changing direction to minimize land interactions) and 97L continues speeding along its heading, 97L will have caught up with Rina in ~2&1/2days from now.
(MHIC on my mapping in comment_1001 is about where Rina should be now, and 97L should be at least 85miles closer to MHIC by now.)

Long before which, Rina would have already begun a Fujiwhara-like interaction with 97L's convection. In a little more than 1day from now, Rina would begin using its strength to strip 97L of its convection -- instead of using that strength to intensify -- while sacrificing its travel-speed to counterbalance the momentum change in 97L's(former)convection.

No wonder forecasts are iffy.

IF such an interaction were to occur, Rina would end up much bigger&stronger but a lot less intense than would have been the case without such interaction.
Probably so MUCH bigger that Intensification would be slowed enough to produce a hurricane similar to Ike: MaximumSustainedWinds lower than expectable from its MinimumPressure, and pushing along a HUGE storm surge totally out of proportion to its Cat. number.
And like Ike, that hypothetical Rina would probably create its own environment; allowing it to ignore what the models say it should be doing.
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About JeffMasters

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