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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Quoting sunlinepr:
Actually sunlinepr this is the steering you should use for a 70 knot Hurricane

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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
897. GTcooliebai 4:34 AM GMT on October 25, 2011

Edit 3a. Storms rotate "Counter Clockwise" around a common center. Rina would dive S as 97L approaches from the ESE.

Oh yeah so if Rina went south then 97L would move north and then comeback south while Rina went north?
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
you know the military came to help the gov. said no and we really needed the help
According to what I heard the govt. didn't want the US to know how bad it was because they wanted to get tourism back up asap.
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Quoting aspectre:
97L is still ~1300miles(~2100kilometres) east of H.Rina, a small bit less by now.

Copy&paste lrv, 12.5n64.3w-17.2n83.2w, mhic into the GreatCircleMapper

Looks more like 97L is pushing its associated convection from behind towards H.Rina.
So IF Rina continues traveling slowly enough that their convections meet, it seems more likely that H.Rina will add its strength to pull that convection off of 97L entirely, ingesting it and becoming bigger&stronger in the process.

In other words, 97L needs to ramp up fast into a full blown hurricane to have a chance at surviving an encounter with Rina.
And the easternCaribbean is far better known for keeping a damper on Intensification.
Speed Shear is the phenomenon...the trade winds in the Eastern Caribbean move fast and don't allow for systems to properly develop until once they reach the central/western Caribbean when the trade winds begin to slow down.
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Quoting will40:


1008 at 162hrs


Yep, that's even more mediocre. Of course this doesn't develop the other system basically until that hour, with two wussy tropical storm/depressions near each other.

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897. GTcooliebai 4:34 AM GMT on October 25, 2011

Edit 3a. Storms rotate "Counter Clockwise" around a common center. Rina would dive S as 97L approaches from the ESE.

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Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI





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97L is still ~1300miles(~2100kilometres) east of H.Rina, a small bit less by now.

Copy&paste lrv, 12.5n64.3w-17.2n83.2w, mhic into the GreatCircleMapper

Compare that with a full Caribbean animation in comment807 posted by sunlinerpr

Looks more like 97L is pushing its associated convection from behind towards H.Rina.
So IF Rina continues traveling slowly enough that their convections meet, it seems more likely that H.Rina will add its strength to pull that convection off of 97L entirely, ingesting it and becoming bigger&stronger in the process.

In other words, 97L needs to ramp up fast into a full blown hurricane to have a chance at surviving an encounter with Rina.
And the easternCaribbean is far better known for keeping a damper on Intensification.
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you know the military came to help the gov. said no and we really needed the help
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:



As close as you'll find in record.

In October 2009, Typhoon Parma interacted with Typhoon Melor, affecting the movement of Parma. Parma was moving through the South China Sea but made a recurvature move to southeastward, so it made its second and third landfall over northern Luzon. In addition, due to the interaction with Melor, Parma weakened into a tropical storm by October 4. Also in November 2009, Typhoon Nida absorbed Tropical Depression 27W (Urduja) and become a powerful typhoon.
Interesting...Pac-Man came to mind.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
Wow, that is a ULAC.



yep been a bigg one there all day
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Wow, that is a ULAC.

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Quoting Skyepony:
97L really deserves to have a floater pointed at it.




I've never seen one.


i think the aurora is a once in a lifetime thing for us in the south. i'm from arkansas and saw it once when i was a kid. it is really eerie to look at. btw, it was REALLY cold at the time we saw it. i hope everyone woke up and took a look.
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Ok here is what I think is going to happen feel free to comment.

Scenario 1) Rina follows the NHC track moving west with a gradual turn to the North in response to a strong ridge over Central America and an eventual turn to the Northeast in response to an approaching trough, however the trough out runs Rina and High Pressure Ridging builds in above it and forces Rina to the South over the Western Tip of Cuba and the Cayman Islands, after that the storm does a loop, meanders around the NW Caribbean for a while, and waits for the next trough to lift it up and out of the Caribbean towards the NE towards FL.

Scenario 2) The trough is strong enough to lift Rina out of the Caribbean and takes it towards FL.

Scenario 3a) Fujiwhara Effect with 97L forces Rina NE and 97L towards the WSW.

Scenario 3b) Fujiwhara Effect with 97L the stronger storm absorbs the weaker storm and plays follow the leader Rina goes NE followed by 97L going NE.

Scenario 4) Upon Rina completing her loop she weakens due to dry air and fast upper level winds and 97L absorbs the remnants of Rina.


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Anyway, Rina continues to look healthy with very intense cold cloud tops firing near the eye:

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Quoting njdevil:
RE: GFS, doesn't 1002 seem a little "soft" to get loose into the Gulf?


1008 at 162hrs
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00Z GFS makes no kind of sense to me. 500mb winds out of the SW the whole way from the Yucatan to Florida, but it dips Rina south? The only way I see Rina dipping south is if it gets sheared to death. If Rina remains anything more than a minimal tropical storm it looks like she is headed for South Florida at this time. I'm skeptical of the forecast shear. 200mb winds are at about 35-40 knots in four days over the SE Gulf. If the low-level flow is 15 knots that means wind shear is only 20-25 knots, similar to what Wilma saw back in 2005. 20-25 knots of shear isn't the end of the world for a major hurricane, assuming Rina reaches this level. Perhaps the resolution of the images I'm looking at aren't good enough...
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Quoting sar2401:


Not gonna be a strong cold front? Have you seen the winter storm warnings for this out all over the Rockies and Midwest? My point is that the cold front will be strong enough, with enough dry air, to keep Rina and Sean from being about to get out of the southern Carribean. It's not going to a situation where either storm "feels" a weak low pressure trof and gets dragged northeast.


That makes no sense. Cold fronts create weaknesses in highs and enable low pressure systems such as a hurricane to move more poleward. The cold front is strong right now however the flow is supposed to become more zonal as the week progresses and should result in a weak cold front that barely gets into south eastern United States this would result in what the GFS shows in 00z run in which Rina would get stuck in weak steering currents due to a high building in over the GOM once the trough lifts out and the high pressure centered over central america
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RE: GFS, doesn't 1002 seem a little "soft" to get loose into the Gulf?
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00z Gfs weakens her south of cuba at 162hrs
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Quoting scott39:
What happens if both hurricanes are strong in a Fugihara interaction? Have 2 Hurricanes ever hit land in the Atlantic Basin keeping the Fugihara effect until landfall?



As close as you'll find in record.

In October 2009, Typhoon Parma interacted with Typhoon Melor, affecting the movement of Parma. Parma was moving through the South China Sea but made a recurvature move to southeastward, so it made its second and third landfall over northern Luzon. In addition, due to the interaction with Melor, Parma weakened into a tropical storm by October 4. Also in November 2009, Typhoon Nida absorbed Tropical Depression 27W (Urduja) and become a powerful typhoon.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:


That scenario has never been seen in the Atlantic before.
Thanks, Lets hope it never does.
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Quoting scott39:
What happens if both hurricanes are strong in a Fugihara interaction? Have 2 Hurricanes ever hit land in the Atlantic Basin keeping the Fugihara effect until landfall?


That scenario has never been seen in the Atlantic before.
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What happens if both hurricanes are strong in a Fugihara interaction? Have 2 Hurricanes ever hit land in the Atlantic Basin keeping the Fugihara effect until landfall?
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Quoting MoltenIce:
Oh, probably I got confused Sean and Stan look pretty close.

Rina, potential major?



there a ch
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Quoting TampaSpin:



NOT GONNA BE a strong cold front...thats why Rina isn't going no where.


Not gonna be a strong cold front? Have you seen the winter storm warnings for this out all over the Rockies and Midwest? My point is that the cold front will be strong enough, with enough dry air, to keep Rina and Sean from being about to get out of the southern Carribean. It's not going to a situation where either storm "feels" a weak low pressure trof and gets dragged northeast.
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Quoting Twinkster:
http://raleighwx.americanwx.com/models/gfs/00zgfs 50 0mbHGHTPMSLtropical096.gif


quite the shift for GFS
Oh wow! Notice the little kink in the Jet Stream and how quickly it lifts out.
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Quoting Twinkster:
http://raleighwx.americanwx.com/models/gfs/00zgfs 50 0mbHGHTPMSLtropical096.gif


quite the shift for GFS



looks like it has her stalled also
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

yep I remember it like it was 2 hours ago

oh you remember the big screw up the Gov. did after Ivan
What ?
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Quoting Tazmanian:



it was Stan is now called Sean for this year name
Oh, probably I got confused Sean and Stan look pretty close.

Rina, potential major?
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Thanks Progressive re 844. Going to be an interesting couple of days!
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
boy I tell you the HH is gong to have a bussy few day to fly Rina and PRE-Sean(97L) I mean look how bussy it is for rina

mission that is now
FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 72
A. 25/0600Z
B. AFXXX 0318A CYCLONE
C. 25/0245Z
D. 16.9N 83.3W
E. 25/0530Z TO 25/0900Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

and the rest
1. TROPICAL STORM RINA
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 25/1800Z
B. AFXXX 0418A RINA
C. 25/1500Z
D. 17.7N 84.3W
E. 25/1730Z TO 25/2100Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- NOAA 42
A. 26/0000Z
B. NOAA2 0518A RINA
C. 25/2000Z
D. 17.8N 84.8W
E. 25/2230Z TO 26/0200Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

FLIGHT THREE -- TEAL 71
A. 26/0600Z
B. AFXXX 0618A RINA
C. 26/0300Z
D. 17.9N 85.2W
E. 26/0530Z TO 26/0900Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

FLIGHT FOUR -- NOAA 42
A. 26/1200Z
B. NOAA2 0718A RINA
C. 26/0800Z
D. 18.1N 85.7W
E. 26/1030Z TO 26/1400Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: CONTINUE 12-HRLY FIXES
AND A P-3 FLIGHT EVERY 12 HRS.

3. ADDED: REMARK GIV WILL FLY A RESEARCH MISSION AROUND
RINA DEDARTING 25/1730Z.

so think of this times 2
plus the NOAA mission to bombard the area around Rina up to the S. Fla area as they did for Irene. This is the info that will help with more accurate guidance for down the road.
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http://raleighwx.americanwx.com/models/gfs/00zgfs50 0mbHGHTPMSLtropical096.gif


quite the shift for GFS
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Quoting sar2401:
As I said few days ago, I'd hate to concentrate on Rina and then 97L sneek up on us, which it looks like What will become Sean is trying to do. It sure likes Rina will stay around long enough for a Fujiwhara effect between her and Sean. At this point, I'm not sure that Sean wouldn't be the stronger of the two. Nevertheless, both or either of these storms have a lot of dry air and shear to overcome of they are to get north of Cuba as hurricanes. A strong cold front in the Gulf with two tropical storms is a situation we rarely see.



NOT GONNA BE a strong cold front...thats why Rina isn't going no where.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

ok hold on let me ask my very close friend in the air force up there if I could borrow a WC-130J fueled and with a crew from 53rd recon or do you what to use a P-3
I have no preference as long as I get to fly out and gain some experience.
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As I said few days ago, I'd hate to concentrate on Rina and then 97L sneek up on us, which it looks like what will become Sean is trying to do. It sure likes Rina will stay around long enough for a Fujiwhara effect between her and Sean. At this point, I'm not sure that Sean wouldn't be the stronger of the two. Nevertheless, both or either of these storms have a lot of dry air and shear to overcome of they are to get north of Cuba as hurricanes. A strong cold front in the Gulf with two tropical storms is a situation we rarely see.
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wow look at the W atl sat loop that dry slot in C Carib is getting smaller and smaller
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Quoting wxgeek723:
SPECIAL Tropical Weather Outlook?

Dang, today's just full of surprises.


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here comes the HIGH....still think Rina goes further WEST than currently forcasted.
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Quoting Skyepony:
Overall model wise for 97L.. they aren't doing so good. CMC seems to be the one that has latched on to it.
CMC (ERror in nm) 30.2 (24hr) - 31.7 (48hr) -



I remember a quote from Dr. Masters some time ago. "Beware of a storm when all models develop a storm and Beware of a storm when no models develop a storm"
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SPECIAL Tropical Weather Outlook?

Dang, today's just full of surprises.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I am but of course our government will wait until the last minute to close down all government offices. When Paloma hit I had to drive home in TS force winds with blinding rain. A normal 1/2 hour drive took me over 2 hours.

yep I remember it like it was 2 hours ago

oh you remember the big screw up the Gov. did after Ivan
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868. Skyepony (Mod)
Overall model wise for 97L.. they aren't doing so good. CMC seems to be the one that has latched on to it.
CMC (ERror in nm) 30.2 (24hr) - 31.7 (48hr) -
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Quoting Skyepony:
For Rina AEMI is showing skill 1.7 28.1 44.4 39.0 (nm error 0hr, 24hr, etc). That has been favoring the hard recurve, then running south of Cuba from west to east. I've been thinking somewhere between there & SFL for a few days. Hope the Caymans are prepared.
I am but of course our government will wait until the last minute to close down all government offices. When Paloma hit I had to drive home in TS force winds with blinding rain. A normal 1/2 hour drive took me over 2 hours.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Hey WUNDERKIDCAYMAN how bout me and you rent a jet and fly into Pre-Sean 97L to take the load off of Recon? I know I know before anyone responds, that would win you a Darwin award :-P

ok hold on let me ask my very close friend in the air force up there if I could borrow a WC-130J fueled and with a crew from 53rd recon or do you what to use a P-3
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No sign of a visible Aurora here, near Montgomery, AL. It was a strong but brief CME. The 10 and 6 meter bands that are usually enchanced by a CME only opened up for about a half hour aorund 1:00 pm. CDT, and then closed down again. Pretty cool while it lasted.
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864. Skyepony (Mod)
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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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