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 can settle the keys debat. Stock Island through big coppit is 2 lanes each direction. then single lane to big pinem, which is 2 lanes again, back to single until Marathon. Marathon is 2 lanes until just north of Hawks Cay.

I believe that there are 2 lanes in Tavernier, Islamorada and Key Largo.

And some will leave, a lot would stay. Work requires me to stay - so I do.
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Wow, the NHC really loves GFS Model !!!!!
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Quoting stormpetrol:


Grand Cayman finally in the cone, had this creepy it would come!
You do realize that for the Caymans to be hit directly by this NHC forecast it requires a rebondo shot off Cancun followed by a Chula! bouncing off the Isle Of Youth 5 days from now....don't you? There's little to no probability that this cyclone is going to head directly for you at this point. jmo
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5456
Aloha Brother - Used to live across the Street on Ortega Ln  - Yeah...it us a GREAT Spot 
Quoting floridafisherman:
hi noname!

i take it u go to the no name pub? i fish at the bridge and stay at the fishing cabins at the foot of the bridge whenever i stay in big pine. love it down there

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Quoting klew136:

the KEYS DO NOT HAVE TWO LANES BOTH WAYS where have you been driving


Actually two lanes in both directions beginning at entrance to Key Largo south to Tavernier Marina approaching Coral Shores High School then merge to one.....hit some two Laners along through Marathon over Seven Mile Bridge. Point is, to say there are no four lanes (2 in both directions) is not entirely true. And recent upgrades to Jew Fish creek bridge and Overseas Hey should prove beneficial in evac, of needed.
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Quoting klew136:

the KEYS DO NOT HAVE TWO LANES BOTH WAYS where have you been driving


Read the whole comment..."in times of an EVACUATION they make all the lanes go NORTH!" This has been procedure for quite some time. If the Keys have to be evacuated, the roads going south are closed and opened for ALL lanes to go North for EVACUATION. You are right in the fact that they don't go one way all the time. JUST FOR EVACUATING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE.
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Quoting A4Guy:


don't fully understand that forecast...seems like a stronger storm would get picked up....but I trust the NHC...and there's still lots of time for change.
That is the general rule of thumb, however should the trough out run Rina it is not entirely out of the question for Rina to do a loop.
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The Lower Keys are now in the error cone. This will be a close one, it's just a matter of timing of that front.
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737 NoNamePub, perhaps ya should provide the correct information insteada actin' like a lout.
Cuz to my knowlege, the Keys' Hurricane Emergency Plan does include turning the main highway into a one-way mainland-bound only evacuation route.
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LOL, the current position is just inside the 5 day cone.

The loop models might not be so "loopy". Looks like pretty much anything is game.
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I don't even think Rina knows where Rina's going...
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753. A4Guy
Quoting stormpetrol:


Grand Cayman finally in the cone, had this creepy it would come!


don't fully understand that forecast...seems like a stronger storm would get picked up....but I trust the NHC...and there's still lots of time for change.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
new track what to curve rina WSW at 96-120h


I think its just gonna make a big loop in this area
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11 p.m. advisory is coming out.
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She is barely holding on to being a Hurricane....Lets see how she likes the cooling of the nite tho.....
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new track what to curve rina WSW at 96-120h
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HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
RAINFALL...RINA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 4
INCHES OVER THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.

This is only hazard I've seen at the 11 pm advisory for Hurricane Rina!
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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
Not sure if any of you have seen this yet:



Recon tonight will be very interesting.


yes very interesting because now she completed the eyewall
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000
WTNT33 KNHC 250241
TCPAT3

BULLETIN
HURRICANE RINA ADVISORY NUMBER 7
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182011
1100 PM EDT MON OCT 24 2011

...RINA GRADUALLY BECOMING BETTER ORGANIZED AS IT MOVES SLOWLY
WEST-NORTHWESTWARD OVER THE NORTHWEST CARIBBEAN SEA...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM EDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.2N 83.3W
ABOUT 200 MI...320 KM SW OF GRAND CAYMAN
ABOUT 340 MI...550 KM ESE OF CHETUMAL MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 295 DEGREES AT 3 MPH...6 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...985 MB...29.09 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

INTERESTS IN BELIZE...THE EAST COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA...AND
THE ADJACENT ISLANDS SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF RINA.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 1100 PM EDT...0300 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE RINA WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 17.2 NORTH...LONGITUDE 83.3 WEST. RINA IS SLOWLY
MOVING TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST NEAR 3 MPH...6 KM/H. THIS GENERAL
MOTION IS FORECAST TO CONTINUE THROUGH TUESDAY...WITH A GRADUAL
TURN TOWARD THE NORTHWEST EXPECTED ON WEDNESDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 80 MPH...130 KM/H...
WITH HIGHER GUSTS. RINA IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-
SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS...AND RINA COULD BECOME A MAJOR HURRICANE BY
WEDNESDAY.

HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 15 MILES...30 KM...FROM
THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 115
MILES...185 KM.


THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 985 MB...29.09 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
RAINFALL...RINA IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAINFALL AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 4
INCHES OVER THE CAYMAN ISLANDS.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...500 AM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN/STEWART

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000
WTNT23 KNHC 250234
TCMAT3

HURRICANE RINA FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 7
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182011
0300 UTC TUE OCT 25 2011

THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

INTERESTS IN BELIZE...THE EAST COAST OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA...
AND THE ADJACENT ISLANDS SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF RINA.

HURRICANE CENTER LOCATED NEAR 17.2N 83.3W AT 25/0300Z
POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 20 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR 295 DEGREES AT 3 KT

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 985 MB
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 70 KT WITH GUSTS TO 85 KT.
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hi noname!

i take it u go to the no name pub? i fish at the bridge and stay at the fishing cabins at the foot of the bridge whenever i stay in big pine. love it down there
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Grand Cayman finally in the cone, had this creepy it would come!
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Quoting Islandgirl56:
Actually the keys has four lanes in most parts of the highway now and in an evacuation they bring all lanes headed north, I would be worried more about getting a conch to actually leave which encourages others to stay and have a hurricane party too.


Uh, US 1 through the Keys is a two-lane causeway.
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Quoting Tazmanian:




the GFDL love FL


It always does. LOL
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What are you talking about?   That is completely inaccurate information.
Quoting Islandgirl56:
Actually the keys has four lanes in most parts of the highway now and in an evacuation they bring all lanes headed north, I would be worried more about getting a conch to actually leave which encourages others to stay and have a hurricane party too.

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Quoting TampaSpin:


That is a DAM good MODEL brother....sure hope its wrong!


Me too! That's our house on the right corner. LOL
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Quoting FloorManBroward:



Quoting Dr. Masters "Water temperatures are very warm, 29 - 30°C, and these warm waters extend to great depth."


I was just going to ask about the depth in that area. Wilma was a monster, but she kept it going trapped in same area for 3-4 days before slingshotting ahead of a cold front if I recall.
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Dry air getting into the outer of outer areas of Rina now...but hasn't made it into the core. She is putting up a battle. You can see it on microwave ^
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Quoting Islandgirl56:
Actually the keys has four lanes in most parts of the highway now and in an evacuation they bring all lanes headed north, I would be worried more about getting a conch to actually leave which encourages others to stay and have a hurricane party too.

the KEYS DO NOT HAVE TWO LANES BOTH WAYS where have you been driving
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Quoting WoodyFL:
Latest GFDL at 108 hours






That is a DAM good MODEL brother....sure hope its wrong!
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However, as I said a minute ago, there's not much room for a "Very Big Eye". Solid grey ATM.
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Not sure if any of you have seen this yet:



Recon tonight will be very interesting.
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Quoting WoodyFL:
Latest GFDL at 108 hours








the GFDL love FL
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Latest GFDL at 108 hours




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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

What? I thought it was ready to take off?


Looking a little squished in the nw.
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Quoting klew136:

thanks, i am not going to the party, i live here and listen to your forecast, sure hope this goes away


I appreciate that....but you listen to the boys and girls from NHC and your local EMO
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Quoting kipperedherring:
TAZMANIAC! You crazy pelican! Glad to see you're monitoring the situation!




STOP IT
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You know, before the "revolution", the word "gay" used to mean "happy, fun-loving, bright, lively".... maybe that's the meaning in that sentence by daryl#...

Either way, this weekend's shaping up to be a potentially bad weekend for the "grasshopper" style of life, as opposed to the ant, that is.

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Night all. thanks for the maps and info. nhc issuing next advisory at 11pm. Rina, oh, Rina...
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Actually the keys has four lanes in most parts of the highway now and in an evacuation they bring all lanes headed north, I would be worried more about getting a conch to actually leave which encourages others to stay and have a hurricane party too.
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It will be interesting to see if Rina will absorb 97L for a nice snack. :)
Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 907
Quoting TampaSpin:


I honestly think you should plan that party as is........but, keep an eye open for the next 2 days.....in 2 days a better idea will be forthcoming.

thanks, i am not going to the party, i live here and listen to your forecast, sure hope this goes away
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Quoting Mel1978:


It is a good time. I have been, a few times, and it is a mix of gay and straight. It is a bunch of people having a great time regardless of their sexual preference.

True that. I've been half a dozen times now (but sadly won't make it this year due to a business obligation). It's a great ten days for those who like wild people and wilder partying. Those who are uptight, judgmental, intolerant, or easily-offended will likely be happier confining their late-October Florida visit to Disney World...
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
18z GFDL; 108 hours:



Me no likey.

lol.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30241
18z GFDL; 108 hours:



Me no likey.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


Its certainly not a long term forecast but, out to 3-4 days this is a very good model......anyone that follows my site knows i always post the 3 BAM models separate from the other models just to see the spread difference in the storm strengths and track possibilities.
this is from NOAA HOWEVER...IT IS DIFFICULT TO TELL HOW
FAR SOUTH ITS INFLUENCE WILL EXTEND AT THIS POINT AND WHETHER A COLD
FRONT WILL MAKE IT THROUGH THE KEYS CLEANLY ON SATURDAY OR SUNDAY.
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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.