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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Quoting scottsvb:


Rina can still hold her own and could get better organized before landfall.. but its a 50-50 chance.. Pressure is around 980mbs right now. Surface pressures are not exactly what you see listed. You have to add a few mbs upward on what is shown from recon


Why don't you think the recon measurements are accurate?
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I will add she is looking better than 4hrs ago.. if she can develop a wall completly around the LLC then she can deepen quicker as she starts moving NW. Pressure at 5pm update will be around 979-980mbs unless recon finds out the pressure went down some more before they leave.
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Quoting reedzone:
Impressive dark ring developing around the eye, sign of a strengthening storm.

Are you sure it is not just maintaining its strength, I thought the same thing last night, and it ended up weakening?
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Quoting reedzone:


Rina looks to be strengthening a bit and may reach a low end Category 2 before she starts to actually wind down. This morning Rina was caught in the upwelling of cooler waters and mixing out dry air, which caused her to weaken to a Category 1 storm. Now she has mixed out the dry air, blowing convection near the center, away from the cooler waters in high TCHP waters, and wind shear has also decreased to marginal conditions (15-20 knots). Rina has a decent chance at strengthening once again, at least to a Category 2.


Rina can still hold her own and could get better organized before landfall.. but its a 50-50 chance.. Pressure is around 980mbs right now. Surface pressures are not exactly what you see listed. You have to add a few mbs upward on what is shown from recon
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Impressive dark ring developing around the eye, sign of a strengthening storm.

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Quoting reedzone:


Rina looks to be strengthening a bit and may reach a low end Category 2 before she starts to actually wind down. This morning Rina was caught in the upwelling of cooler waters and mixing out dry air, which caused her to weaken to a Category 1 storm. Now she has mixed out the dry air, blowing convection near the center, away from the cooler waters in high TCHP waters, and wind shear has also decreased to marginal conditions (15-20 knots). Rina has a decent chance at strengthening once again, at least to a Category 2.


what info did the HH find?
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her core is much tighter than before
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Quoting sporteguy03:
Hi Woody,
Keep up the good blogging!


Now you're a "sport"!

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Quoting LargoFl:
just heard on the radio, it IS a cat 1 hurricane now and weakening he said...now it might NOT get caught up in that trough


Rina looks to be strengthening a bit and may reach a low end Category 2 before she starts to actually wind down. This morning Rina was caught in the upwelling of cooler waters and mixing out dry air, which caused her to weaken to a Category 1 storm. Now she has mixed out the dry air, blowing convection near the center, away from the cooler waters in high TCHP waters, and wind shear has also decreased to marginal conditions (15-20 knots). Rina has a decent chance at strengthening once again, at least to a Category 2.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 26th day of the month at 19:14Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 304)
Storm Number & Year: 18L in 2011
Storm Name: Rina (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 8
Observation Number: 12
A. Time of Center Fix: 26th day of the month at 18:57:10Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 18°05'N 85°46'W (18.0833N 85.7667W)
B. Center Fix Location: 164 miles (265 km) to the ENE (76°) from Belize City, Belize.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 2,967m (9,734ft) at 700mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 56kts (~ 64.4mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 14 nautical miles (16 statute miles) to the SE (131°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 202° at 63kts (From the SSW at ~ 72.5mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 13 nautical miles (15 statute miles) to the SE (129°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 978mb (28.88 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 15°C (59°F) at a pressure alt. of 3,049m (10,003ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 19°C (66°F) at a pressure alt. of 3,060m (10,039ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 9°C (48°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Open in the south
M. Eye Shape & Diameter: Circular with a diameter of 17 nautical miles (20 statute miles)
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 700mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 4 nautical miles
Remarks Section - Remarks That Were Decoded...
Maximum Wind Outbound: 73kts (~ 84.0mph) in the northwest quadrant at 18:59:40Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 73kts (~ 84.0mph) in the northwest quadrant at 18:59:40Z
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: 700mb
Maximum Flight Level Temp: 19°C (66°F) which was observed 8 nautical miles to the SE (140°) from the flight level center
Remarks Section - Additional Remar


Most interesting to note is that the Hurricane Hunters have found an eye once again with Rina, albeit open, when the eye had not been there for quite some time. Maybe a sign of restrengthening to come.
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Rina is now moving between NW/NNW IMO
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
South Floridians should be taking this seriously and really should start preparing for the arrival of "Mid Level Center Rina" this weekend.

:-b



we are well prepared for any MLC storm....we have them more than canes lately! Funny post.

This Visible IMO is the best out there right now in the terms of "awesomeness" Link
Member Since: July 30, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 960
Hi Woody,
Keep up the good blogging!
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18Z STATISTICAL MODELS
img src="Photobucket">

18Z DYNAMIC MODELS
img src="Photobucket">
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Quoting reedzone:


Looks like a Category 1 Hurricane to me. Stop the downcasting.
just heard on the radio, it IS a cat 1 hurricane now and weakening he said...now it might NOT get caught up in that trough
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Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 26th day of the month at 19:14Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 304)
Storm Number & Year: 18L in 2011
Storm Name: Rina (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 8
Observation Number: 12
A. Time of Center Fix: 26th day of the month at 18:57:10Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 18°05'N 85°46'W (18.0833N 85.7667W)
B. Center Fix Location: 164 miles (265 km) to the ENE (76°) from Belize City, Belize.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 2,967m (9,734ft) at 700mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 56kts (~ 64.4mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 14 nautical miles (16 statute miles) to the SE (131°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 202° at 63kts (From the SSW at ~ 72.5mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 13 nautical miles (15 statute miles) to the SE (129°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 978mb (28.88 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 15°C (59°F) at a pressure alt. of 3,049m (10,003ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 19°C (66°F) at a pressure alt. of 3,060m (10,039ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 9°C (48°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Open in the south
M. Eye Shape & Diameter: Circular with a diameter of 17 nautical miles (20 statute miles)
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 700mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 4 nautical miles
Remarks Section - Remarks That Were Decoded...
Maximum Wind Outbound: 73kts (~ 84.0mph) in the northwest quadrant at 18:59:40Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 73kts (~ 84.0mph) in the northwest quadrant at 18:59:40Z
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: 700mb
Maximum Flight Level Temp: 19°C (66°F) which was observed 8 nautical miles to the SE (140°) from the flight level center
Remarks Section - Additional Remar
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Gulfstream IV proposed flight plan for this afternoon, much broader than yesterday's research flight. Much help to the 00Z models tonight.


Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11343
THE LATEST
*Click images to magnify (images can further be magnified in Link Window by clicking on them)

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some tell it ot me straight what did the HH find lower preasure/ higher wind or higher preasure/ lower winds?
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Rinas convection is really starting to fire.
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Quoting eddye:
yes jrweatherman and max mayfield is my uncle nobody never knew about that before


lol
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Quoting FLWaterFront:


I think it is because they are very young and have no real experience with how horribly uncomfortable it is to live in the aftermath of a major hurricane strike.

To them it just seems like excitement may be in the offing with cool storm effects possibly taking place right overhead. And in fact, the adrenaline factor does happen when you are in the midst of a major hurricane strike. But the aftermath is both very depressing (some have even committed suicide) and extremely stressful. If it is still during the hot season, which it usually is in places such as Florida.. when it happens, then the physical discomfort level is very nearly unbearable.

In some cases it can even be nightmarish to experience the aftermath of a big storm because normal civil society breaks down and the authorities simply do not help at all, they just try to contain the disaster. Problem is, that containment may include yourself and that is where the nightmare comes in.

But if one is inexperienced or too young to remember these effects when they last happened, then it may just seem like a really cool thing to experience. I can remember when I used to feel that way, not so long ago. Then it happened to me. Now I don't feel any excitement when there is a risk of a major storm on the way, or even a so-called "minimal" hurricane (hint: there really is no such thing as a minimal hurricane). What I feel now when threatened with a storm is a combination of dread and slowly building anxiety. I think I'll pass from now on.


Extremely good post
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Quoting FLWaterFront:


I think it is because they are very young and have no real experience with how horribly uncomfortable it is to live in the aftermath of a major hurricane strike.

To them it just seems like excitement may be in the offing with cool storm effects possibly taking place right overhead. And in fact, the adrenaline factor does happen when you are in the midst of a major hurricane strike. But the aftermath is both very depressing (some have even committed suicide) and extremely stressful. If it is still during the hot season, which it usually is in places such as Florida.. when it happens, then the physical discomfort level is very nearly unbearable.

In some cases it can even be nightmarish to experience the aftermath of a big storm because normal civil society breaks down and the authorities simply do not help at all, they just try to contain the disaster. Problem is, that containment may include yourself and that is where the nightmare comes in.

But if one is inexperienced or too young to remember these effects when they last happened, then it may just seem like a really cool thing to experience. I can remember when I used to feel that way, not so long ago. Then it happened to me. Now I don't feel any excitement when there is a risk of a major storm on the way, or even a so-called "minimal" hurricane (hint: there really is no such thing as a minimal hurricane). What I feel now when threatened with a storm is a combination of dread and slowly building anxiety. I think I'll pass from now on.

I agree with you but I think there are just as many people who are quick to RIP a storm and say it's gone when there is no justification to do so. There are people on either extreme that need to be dismissed just like the outliers of computer models.
::back to lurking::
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South Floridians should be taking this seriously and really should start preparing for the arrival of "Mid Level Center Rina" this weekend.

:-b
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Quoting SeniorPoppy:


I don't understand why someone would want a storm hurdling their way. I've been through some in South Florida and it's not that fun especially when you have no electricity and internet for weeks.


I think it is because they are very young and have no real experience with how horribly uncomfortable it is to live in the aftermath of a major hurricane strike.

To them it just seems like excitement may be in the offing with cool storm effects possibly taking place right overhead. And in fact, the adrenaline factor does happen when you are in the midst of a major hurricane strike. But the aftermath is both very depressing (some have even committed suicide) and extremely stressful. If it is still during the hot season, which it usually is in places such as Florida.. when it happens, then the physical discomfort level is very nearly unbearable.

In some cases it can even be nightmarish to experience the aftermath of a big storm because normal civil society breaks down and the authorities simply do not help at all, they just try to contain the disaster. Problem is, that containment may include yourself and that is where the nightmare comes in.

But if one is inexperienced or too young to remember these effects when they last happened, then it may just seem like a really cool thing to experience. I can remember when I used to feel that way, not so long ago. Then it happened to me. Now I don't feel any excitement when there is a risk of a major storm on the way, or even a so-called "minimal" hurricane (hint: there really is no such thing as a minimal hurricane). What I feel now when threatened with a storm is a combination of dread and slowly building anxiety. I think I'll pass from now on.
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Belize long range radar showing pretty consistant N.W. movement.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 9390
386. 7544
wonder why some models take her further north this run anyone can shed some light on this
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385. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Ya, I edited my earlier post, was looking at the wrong flight on tropical atlantic not thinking they would still have yesterday's flight still on google earth.


I saw 05 was still up. It about confused me too.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 226 Comments: 39438
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
for anyone here to say that South Florida is in the Clear is absurd , yes the chances of a hurricane affecting the area are much lower but tropical storm force winds are still around 25-30% if there were no chances the NHC would not have the area in the cone. everyone needs to stick to the facts and not imagine things just to post a point !!
There's nowhere on the Florida mainland with tropical storm probabilities higher than 14%, and thats Marco Island. Miami, WPB, Naples, all 11% or less. Even in the keys, the highest we have is 21%. And all these probabilities are undoubtedly going to be reduced down as the day progresses.
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Quoting robert88:
Rina barely even looks like a hurricane on visible satellite. You can really see that dry sinking air getting pulled into her from the W.



Looks like a Category 1 Hurricane to me. Stop the downcasting.
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Quoting Skyepony:


This is what I'm seeing on google earth & such.


Ya, I edited my earlier post, was looking at the wrong flight on tropical atlantic not thinking they would still have yesterday's flight still on google earth.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11343
I keep saying it. Currently it looks like Rina is following the NHC forecasted points.
She's been heading NW for the past few hours.

So far I don't see any northward movement beyond the forecasted path which is currently N.W.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 9390
let me say that i appreciate the feedback and comments by knowledgeable people in here, but i don't know why we have so many high-ball and low-ball betters that come in here thinking they know what the hell is going on just to make comments that are bogus.

if you can't understand what is going on, don't comment and guess, watch and learn.......you are making confusion for those that also don't understand but are looking for more info than TWC or their local news gives.....

In lieu of the trolls and idiots i think there should be a ranking system in here so onlookers and concerned people could quickly discern between who is knowledgeable and who is full of crap....
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Rina barely even looks like a hurricane on visible satellite. You can really see that dry sinking air getting pulled into her from the W.

Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 908
Quoting cchsweatherman:
It does appear that Hurricane Rina is gaining some latitude and on a more northward course than yesterday. The storm is making the turn more towards the north now.


Agreed. You never know, her center could miss the Yucatan could stay offshore and spare them from the worst of it.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Quoting WoodyFL:
Gee, I've been posting models and images for days and I don't even get a "Nice image, Woody" or Hi, Woody. Am I on the ignore list? If I am on anybody's ignore list could they please let me know right away. :)

P.S. I'm really a nice guy.

You're not on my iggy list Woody.
I think you do a good job posting images.
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Quoting FLWaterFront:


You're going to make eddye depressed.

I learned long ago not to root for anything to happen with tropical cyclones. They do as they please. However, one can get a feel for what they are doing by looking at the data and the atmospheric trends but not hoping for one outcome or another.


You are right. I'll keep my feelings to myself.
Member Since: August 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 497
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373. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


?? seems it was very close to the proposed one


This is what I'm seeing on google earth & such.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 226 Comments: 39438
Quoting SeniorPoppy:


The overall trend is weakening. I think the harsh conditions to its north will tear Rina up. Wind shear dropping 5 to 10 knots from being around 30 knots is not a big deal.


Oh I agrfee she will be sheared once she enters into those conditions, but to say she's still weakening after getting obs and reports that her pressure is dropping and deep convection firing near the center? That's immature. I agree, she will be a TS after entering the GOM. Also interesting to note that wind shear is dropping up there to, but still hostile.
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Quoting eddye:
lets see wat it looks like tommorrow and if it still looksgood fl will have to worried


LOL. Rina is going poof. So much for it being a cat 1 smacking into Florida. It's not going to happen. Some people are going to have to wait until next year.
Member Since: August 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 497
Quoting SeniorPoppy:


The general trend looks like it is weakening in the long run. The few spurts of strengthening more than likely will be followed by steady weakening. I am still pulling for Rina to be thrown in the meat grinder.


You're going to make eddye depressed.

I learned long ago not to root for anything to happen with tropical cyclones. They do as they please. However, one can get a feel for what they are doing by looking at the data and the atmospheric trends but not hoping for one outcome or another.
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It does appear that Hurricane Rina is gaining some latitude and on a more northward course than yesterday. The storm is making the turn more towards the north now.
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Quoting reedzone:


Wow you are not even close to correct dude....


The overall trend is weakening. I think the harsh conditions to its north will tear Rina up. Wind shear dropping 5 to 10 knots from being around 30 knots is not a big deal.
Member Since: August 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 497
367. eddye
lets see wat it looks like tommorrow and if it still looksgood fl will have to worried
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
That pressure is high about a 1006 mb.


They looked to be S.E. of the center.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 9390
Image with the dry air in the Gulf



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Quoting scottsvb:
When it comes to extra surface pressure's it's not at the sea floor. That's why last night the recon posted 960mb but NHC posted 967 then earlier they gave 980mb but they stated 982mb on official 2pm adv.

Rina will get herself back together before landfall..so pressure should start droping.. again she leveled out around 982-983mbs with 980.5 the latest 1 hr ago or so.


Recon never reported 960mb, and all of their vortex fixes yesterday were not based on flight-level extrapolations but rather the dropsondes that were dropped into the eye. The NHC advisories have always followed the recon measurements except when there was no recent data.
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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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