Rina still a Cat 2, and may have peaked in intensity

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:48 PM GMT on October 26, 2011

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There is little change to Category 2 Hurricane Rina, which continues slowly west-northwest at 4 mph towards Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The most recent hurricane hunter mission was at 3:58 am EDT this morning, and the next aircraft is not due into the storm until this afternoon, so we'll have to rely on satellite estimates of the storm's strength until then. Recent satellite intensity estimates suggest Rina has peaked in intensity, and may have weakened slightly since the last hurricane hunter mission. The eye is no longer visible on visible satellite loops, and the storm has a distinctly lopsided appearance, which are both signs that Rina may be weakening. Recent microwave images (Figure 1) suggest that the southern portion of Rina's eyewall may have a gap in it. Wind shear is a moderate 10 - 20 knots due to upper-level winds out of the south. Water temperatures are very warm, 29 - 30°C, but Rina will be leaving a region of high oceanic heat content late tonight, and will not have as much high-energy fuel to sustain itself. Rina has brought sporadic heavy rain squalls to the Yucatan; Cozumel Island airport reported 9.10" of rain yesterday and another 3.25" as of 9 am EDT today. I'm not sure this is correct, since two personal weather stations on the island reported only 1 - 2" of rain over the past two days. The outer rain bands of Rina are visible on Cancun radar and the La Bajada, Cuba radar.

If Rina does make it to Category 3 strength, it would join a very short list of major hurricanes that have occurred this late in the year. Since record keeping began in 1851, there have been only twelve major hurricanes in Atlantic on October 26 or later. Rina is a medium-small hurricane, with hurricane-force winds that extend out 25 miles from the center. The latest estimates of Rina's Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE) made yesterday afternoon by NOAA's Hurricane Research Division put the damage potential of Rina's storm surge at 2.5 on a scale of one to six. This is a relatively low number for a Category 2 hurricane, and means that storm surge damage will be confined to a relatively small area in the right front quadrant of Rina's eyewall. For comparison, the storm surge damage potential for Hurricane Irene when it was a strong tropical storm approaching Long Island, New York on August 28, 2011 was 4.1 on a scale of 1 to 6, since Irene was a huge storm that put vast areas of the ocean into motion.


Figure 1. Microwave satellite image of Hurricane Rina taken at 7:15 am EDT October 26, 2011. Rina appears to only have the northern half of its eyewall intact. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Forecast for Rina
The hurricane hunters found that Rina had a large elliptical eye with a diameter of 23 - 34 miles with a gap in the south eyewall during their 3:58 am EDT eye penetration this morning. Rapid intensification usually requires a circular eye with no gap in it, and thus I expect only gradual intensification of Rina can occur today. Wind shear is not expected to increase to the high range until Thursday afternoon, so Rina still has a day and a half to potentially intensify. Given the storm's inability to close off its eyewall so far, I expect that a Category 3 storm is the strongest that we will see. It is more likely that Rina has peaked in strength, and will begin to weaken. On Thursday, Rina will encounter high wind shear associated with upper-level westerly winds associated with the jet stream and a trough of low pressure moving through the Gulf of Mexico. These conditions should weaken the hurricane, and turn Rina more to the northwest by Thursday and northeast on Friday. Cozumel Island off the coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula appears at the highest risk of receiving a direct hit from Rina; the 5 am EDT Wind Probability Forecast from NHC gave the island a 27% chance of receiving hurricane force winds, the highest chance of any land area in the forecast. If Rina hits Mexico, it would most likely be at Category 1 strength, with Category 2 strength also quite possible. NHC is giving Rina a 21% chance of being a Category 3 or stronger hurricane on Thursday afternoon, and I don't expect the storm will be a major hurricane at landfall. The chief threat from Rina is probably its rains; the hurricane is moving slowly and has the capability of dumping 8 - 16 inches of rain over the coastal Yucatan. Western Cuba is also at risk of receiving heavy rains of 5 - 10 inches.

After Rina makes its closest pass by Cozumel, it is uncertain if the storm will be strong enough to fully "feel" the steering influence of the trough, and be swept to the east-northeast into Southwest Florida and the Florida Keys. If Rina makes landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula and weakens significantly, the storm will likely be too weak to get caught up by the trough and will remain trapped in the Western Caribbean. This is the solution of the latest runs of the ECMWF and HWRF models, with the usually reliable ECMWF model continuing to predict that Rina will dissipate over the Yucatan. However, if Rina grazes the Yucatan and remains strong through Friday, it is more likely to get caught up by the trough and drawn into the Florida Keys or Southwest Florida near Marco Island, as a weakening tropical storm. This is the solution of the latest 2 am EDT run of the GFDL model. The latest 2 am EDT runs of the GFS and NOGAPS models are in-between, predicting that Rina will get very close to the Keys on Saturday, but then weaken and sink southwards towards Cuba. There is high degree of uncertainty which set of model runs will be correct, and the threat to Florida depends strongly upon how much of a blow Mexico receives from the hurricane.

97L in the Central Caribbean not expected to develop
A broad region of low pressure in the Central Caribbean south of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, (Invest 97L), is moving west at 10 - 15 mph. Heavy thunderstorm activity has decreased since yesterday, and is disorganized. The storm is surrounded by a large region of dry air, and this dry air is the main impediment to development. Wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots, and is expected to remain low through Thursday. None of the reliable models are predicting that 97L will develop, and NHC gave 97L just a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday, in their 8 am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook. NHC is no longer interested enough in 97L to generate computer model forecasts of its track. Heavy rains from 97L should reach Jamaica on Thursday, and the Cayman Islands by early Friday morning.

There will be a new post on Rina late this afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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guys wat u expect it 2 be if it hits fl

a tropical depression

b tropical storm

c cat 1 hurricane

d stronger then a cat 1
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Quoting TampaSpin:
http://mapcenter.hamweather.com/satellite/wv/24hr /us.html?s=800x600


The LOOP above speaks volumes what is gonna happen to RINA......something many won't like if you love Hurricanes...

Thanks - that's quite a website for those who love graphics.
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Rina has not looked as good since last night. She is fighting...but that should come to an end soon. Dry air is slowly getting sucked in now. You can see it funneling on the W side from MX. The Gulfstream's data showed very stable dry air to the W of her.


Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 907
Quoting eddye:
so we could see south florida in the cone 7544


South Fl. is in the current cone.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6089
59. Skyepony (Mod)
Hurricane Hunters settling in ~8,500'. A little lower than the last recon AF304 that hung around 10,000'. Maybe with the T numbers back in the 3s they are expecting a slightly weaker storm..
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Based on Tampaspin last map, I would be surprised if Rina can make North of Cuba. Provided it does not go deep into Yucitan Penisuala, she may go right over length of Cuba. That would be a really bad scenario for flooding in Cuba. With her strength, she may just scrape Cancun, although I still believe she will go more west of Cancun and west of Wilma's track in this area. Pulling for GOM and a much needed swell here, but not feeling it. Either Cuba or shear will obliterate her quickly.
Member Since: September 5, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 308
so we could see south florida in the cone 7544
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56. 7544
yeap i think if the turn is early the cone should shift further north eddy lets see what the hh find and go from there but imo that cone will be shifting some today and tomorow
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6690
55. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting alvarig1263:


It sure is! Dry air in the GOM also slowly getting sucked out as Rina continues to try to build a "shield" of moisture in the SE GOM and the moist cold front approaches from the north.



Wow, that is quite a change on the Water Vapor.


Can't help but glance at the invest in the Arabian Sea..it's got moisture but not much for structure.


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Hey, all. Video of Rina from the ISS. Link
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7544 u see my queston
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I put a RADAR LOOP from YUCATAN on the Website for you all that want that updated view.
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Quoting Sfloridacat5:


Local met (that's been wrong from the start about Rina) said that South Florida will see heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday.
The model he uses, shows Rina staying down in the Caribbean (not making it to Fl.),but a lot of her moisture will get pulled up into the next front (similar to last system).
So South Fl. could end up with a pretty good rain event this weekend (but no tropical system).


Agreed. Whether it's from Rina directly or moisture pulled up from her, us here in south Florida will be getting some wet weather this weekend.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Adios 97L
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Quoting alvarig1263:


It sure is! Dry air in the GOM also slowly getting sucked out as Rina continues to try to build a "shield" of moisture in the SE GOM and the moist cold front approaches from the north.



Local met (that's been wrong from the start about Rina) said that South Florida will see heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday.
The model he uses, shows Rina staying down in the Caribbean (not making it to Fl.),but a lot of her moisture will get pulled up into the next front (similar to last system).
So South Fl. could end up with a pretty good rain event this weekend (but no tropical system).
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6089
7544 wouldnt that be bad for fl if it goes towards the north quicker
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Quoting eddye:
tampaspin i see the dry air and the mositure but there is more mositure then dry air so i dont think dry air will be a problem


Agreed. The dry air as I mentioned in comment 39 while present for now, is slowly getting sucked out from Rina's north. She still has to deal with the dry air to the west though. That is her main inhibitor right now. But besides that she has plenty of moisture to her north and to her east thanks to 97L.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Skepony

thank you for the link... You are one of the most valuable bloggers this site has ever seen. You amaze me....kudos.
Member Since: July 30, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 960



ONE REALLY WEAK COLD FRONT FOR THE SOUTH.....
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41. 7544
cone change today maybe a little further north if she is making the nw turn at this hour ?
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6690
tampaspin i see the dry air and the mositure but there is more mositure then dry air so i dont think dry air will be a problem
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Quoting Skyepony:
There was a 97L reprise & new invest in the Arabian Sea 95A.

I've been following the near constant recon for over 12hrs. About got the recon sleep schedule down..planning on getting my fix.. ya'll follow along if ya want. On the right is google earth link, which is fun for great visuals & keeping up at a glance. I'll be posting highlights here & in my blog hopefully til it dies or gets overland.

Looking at wind shear tendency, shear in the gulf is dropping..


It sure is! Dry air in the GOM also slowly getting sucked out as Rina continues to try to build a "shield" of moisture in the SE GOM and the moist cold front approaches from the north.

Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
seflhurricane if it goes to the north quicker is that bad for fl yes our no
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Booo Tampa! Gooo Boston!

Pats > Bucs

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http://mapcenter.hamweather.com/satellite/wv/24hr /us.html?s=800x600


The LOOP above speaks volumes what is gonna happen to RINA......something many won't like if you love Hurricanes...
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35. Skyepony (Mod)
Kermit is descending into Rina..
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Recon now 140 miles out from Rina's center. Looks like they're going to do a NE to SW pass through.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
33. Skyepony (Mod)
There was a 97L reprise & new invest in the Arabian Sea 95A.

I've been following the near constant recon for over 12hrs. About got the recon sleep schedule down..planning on getting my fix.. ya'll follow along if ya want. On the right is google earth link, which is fun for great visuals & keeping up at a glance. I'll be posting highlights here & in my blog hopefully til it dies or gets overland.

Looking at wind shear tendency, shear in the gulf is dropping..
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
can you please post the recon info and flight level winds


Will do. Though no real flight winds to display yet. Only flying through 35 MPH winds at this time.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
oceandirect if the turn to the north happens is that good for fl our bad for them
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
can you please post the recon info and flight level winds


Still got a ways to go. Pretty far north of the center currently.

Product: NOAA Tropical RECCO Message (URNT11 KWBC)
Transmitted: 26th day of the month at 14:02Z
Aircraft: Lockheed WP-3D Orion (Reg. Num. N42RF)
Storm Number: 18
Storm Name: Rina (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 7
Observation Number: 04

Mandatory Data...

Observation Time: Wednesday, 14:02Z
Radar Capability: Yes
Aircraft Altitude: Below 10,000 meters
Coordinates: 19.8N 84.8W
Location: 161 miles (260 km) to the SE (125°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.
Turbulence: Light
Conditions Along Flight Route: In the clear
Pressure Altitude: 4,220 meters
Flight Level Wind: From 110° at 25 knots (From the ESE at ~ 28.7 mph)
- The above is a spot wind.
- Winds were obtained using doppler radar or inertial systems.
Flight Level Temperature: 2°C
Flight Level Dew Point: 2°C
Weather (within 30 nautical miles): Thunderstorm(s)
D-value: 21 geopotential meters
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6089
29. 7544
Quoting Seflhurricane:
the NW turn has begun and the center is to the right of the next forecast point, i have a feeling that Rina will only have a glansing blow to the yucatan and south florida and the keys will receive a 60-70 MPh Tropical storm with hurricane force gusts


agree with you and eddy its only one mph away to being a cat 3 and if it stays east we could have more promblems next
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6690
Looking at the CIMSS that turn to the north seems to be happening.Link
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Quoting Sfloridacat5:
Recon's getting pretty close.
can you please post the recon info and flight level winds
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Work?!?! More like "check out all my bookmarked sites" there is a CANE below us!!!!!! How can nerds like us work under these tropical conditions?
Member Since: July 30, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 960
watch them find a catgory 3 storm
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Quoting OceanDirect:


Working
yesterday at this same time this blog was wild , maybe everyone is waiting for the 11Am Advisory
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Recon's getting pretty close.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6089
tampaspin it going to clip the yucatan
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
where is everyone ????? blog super slow for a hurricane in the Nw carribean


Working
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Doc did not give a percentage of what he thought a fl strike would be. I personally like when he does that. Seems alot of uncertainty. What a great morning here in SWFL regardless.
Member Since: July 30, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 960
If Rina does not make it to a CAT 3....She will go further WEST onto the Yucatan.....because of her size...i very quick death will come with the added SHEAR and Dry Air.
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where is everyone ????? blog super slow for a hurricane in the Nw carribean
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lets go miami heat
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lets see what the 11am advisory says
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Quoting TampaSpin:


That really shows how small Rina really is. She's a very small system overall.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6089
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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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