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

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

Share this Blog
17
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 364 - 314

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11Blog Index

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.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
Although convection is firing, Rina looks pretty sad. The person who posted Wilma on her descent to the Yucatan was right on. If Rina looked like that behemoth, there would be reason to worry.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SeniorPoppy:


Let me guess. They said Rina will go poof and not affect South Florida. Which I and many others would love to happen.


ROFLMAO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting robert88:
Rina is deflating quick. The data collected yesterday showed how dry it was over MX. At this rate the Yucatan might only see a moderate TS at best. Looks like the ECMWF comes out on top. At least we had an interesting cane to track. It was fun while it lasted.


Wow you are not even close to correct dude....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
360. 7544
Quoting cchsweatherman:


Was actually pretty surprised to see such weakening with the hurricane overnight and this morning. I'm not as surprised to see Rina attempting to make a comeback this afternoon, but it doesn't have much time left to restrengthen before meeting the Yucatan tomorrow.


looks like shes really trying to aviod the land could she stay a bit east and maybe just go thru channel and not touch it at all and that should keep her in check thanks for all u do here
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hard to believe her eyewall is already gone.
000
URNT12 KNHC 261818
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL182011
A. 26/17:50:00Z
B. 18 deg 00 min N
085 deg 41 min W
C. 700 mb 2969 m
D. 63 kt
E. 063 deg 3 nm
F. 151 deg 72 kt
G. 062 deg 6 nm
H. EXTRAP 976 mb
I. 11 C / 3048 m
J. 22 C / 3045 m
K. 9 C / NA
L. NA
M. NA
N. 13 / 7
O. 0.02 / 2 nm
P. AF304 0818A RINA OB 06
MAX FL WIND 72 KT NE QUAD 17:48:00Z
SLP EXTRAP FROM 700 MB
SFC WINDS REPORTED ON EYE DROP WERE 31KTS
SFC PRESSURE REPORTED ON EYE DROP WAS 985MB
;
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Sfloridacat5:


Extrapolated
Surface Pressure
That pressure is high about a 1006 mb.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting eddye:
29.71 wat that


Extrapolated
Surface Pressure
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 9390
Quoting WoodyFL:


I like yours, too!


Thanks!
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Quoting reedzone:


Thank you for your input Woody, greatly appreciated. :)


Thanks Reed.

Elongated from NW to SE, but strong convection. They could have missed the actual center.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Seflhurricane:
CCHS or Levi what do you guys think looks very intresting how things have changed so quickly


Was actually pretty surprised to see such weakening with the hurricane overnight and this morning. I'm not as surprised to see Rina attempting to make a comeback this afternoon, but it doesn't have much time left to restrengthen before meeting the Yucatan tomorrow.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
Quoting robert88:
Rina is deflating quick. The data collected yesterday showed how dry it was over MX. At this rate the Yucatan might only see a moderate TS at best. Looks like the ECMWF comes out on top. At least we had an interesting cane to track. It was fun while it lasted.


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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
351. eddye
29.71 wat that
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Core of Rina continues to enlarge and tighten, while wind shear lessens, and outflow improves on her NW side. Recon is 75 miles away heading back into the center. Let's see what they find...
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
29.71 found at 17.117N 85.283W
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 9390
348. eddye
robert wrong wat u talking about it has becoming better looking
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Quoting jrweatherman:


You keep posting the same thing over and over again about South Florida. Let me guess, you live in South Florida.......


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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Rina is deflating quick. The data collected yesterday showed how dry it was over MX. At this rate the Yucatan might only see a moderate TS at best. Looks like the ECMWF comes out on top. At least we had an interesting cane to track. It was fun while it lasted.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SeniorPoppy:


With this storm, anything can happen. The conditions are changing by the hour. There will be fluctuations both up and down.
CCHS or Levi what do you guys think looks very intresting how things have changed so quickly
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alvarig1263:


You are not on my ignore list. Btw, nice images Woody. ;-)


I like yours, too!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
343. eddye
yes jrweatherman and max mayfield is my uncle nobody never knew about that before
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Quoting eddye:
the wind shear is lowering 2 5 knots not good for florida a lot of things are changing and it looks like the storm is going 2 clip mexico


No, the shear is still in the 10-30 range, but has fallen 5-10 knots in the past few hours. But yes if that anticyclone with <5 knot wind shear was to head toward Rina, then Florida would have a very big problem.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Quoting eddye:
the wind shear is lowering 2 5 knots not good for florida a lot of things are changing and it looks like the storm is going 2 clip mexico


With this storm, anything can happen. The conditions are changing by the hour. There will be fluctuations both up and down.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting eddye:
there an antycyclone so florida could see more then a tropical storm


You keep posting the same thing over and over again about South Florida. Let me guess, you live in South Florida.......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ChrisDcat5Storm:


ill give it to her shear appears to be lowering near her


While conditions are not ideal, any lesser amount of shear will help her over the next 48 hours and after that to restrengthen.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
338. eddye
the wind shear is lowering 2 5 knots not good for florida a lot of things are changing and it looks like the storm is going 2 clip mexico
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Quoting Skyepony:
Noticed Kermit left before completing the pattern Nrt posted earlier with the flight plan.



?? seems it was very close to the proposed one


Edit: Skye is correct, I looked at the wrong NOAA flight on tropical atlantic.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 15 Comments: 11343
336. 7544
Quoting alvarig1263:


That's the thing about predicting the forecasts for hurricanes. They are so difficult to do because you are making a forecast for a hurricane based on not facts, but other forecasts of wind shear levels, cold fronts, and troughs. So if you get any of those wrong like wind shear levels for example, then your whole initial forecast for the hurricane goes out the window and the storm is gonna start doing what it wants because you really had no idea what it was going to do anyway. Forecasting while it has improved, really has no guarantees.
Quoting alvarig1263:


That's the thing about predicting the forecasts for hurricanes. They are so difficult to do because you are making a forecast for a hurricane based on not facts, but other forecasts of wind shear levels, cold fronts, and troughs. So if you get any of those wrong like wind shear levels for example, then your whole initial forecast for the hurricane goes out the window and the storm is gonna start doing what it wants because you really had no idea what it was going to do anyway. Forecasting while it has improved, really has no guarantees.
Quoting alvarig1263:


That's the thing about predicting the forecasts for hurricanes. They are so difficult to do because you are making a forecast for a hurricane based on not facts, but other forecasts of wind shear levels, cold fronts, and troughs. So if you get any of those wrong like wind shear levels for example, then your whole initial forecast for the hurricane goes out the window and the storm is gonna start doing what it wants because you really had no idea what it was going to do anyway. Forecasting while it has improved, really has no guarantees.


good post totaly agree anything can happen at this point system surpise us all the time its all up to mother nature
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wind shear is still falling around Rina.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Quoting eddye:
i hate the people on storm2k they dont know wat their talking about


Let me guess. They said Rina will go poof and not affect South Florida. Which I and many others would love to happen.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


ill give it to her shear appears to be lowering near her
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Storms continue to fire up over the core of Rina.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
320. alvarig1263 6:29 PM GMT on October 26, 2011

Looks like they missed the eye with that drop.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Seflhurricane:
levi looks likes rina is making a big comeback not i have noticed some intresting things . windshear appears to be relaxing over Rina and the Se Gulf and the anticyclone that was over former 97L is moving towards Rina ???? could the models that indicated that Rina would be stronger towards South Florida be true??? and the NW turn has begun


That's the thing about predicting the forecasts for hurricanes. They are so difficult to do because you are making a forecast for a hurricane based on not facts, but other forecasts of wind shear levels, cold fronts, and troughs. So if you get any of those wrong like wind shear levels for example, you forecast that wind shear is going to be 40 knots and then all of sudden it goes down to 15. So then your whole initial forecast for the hurricane goes out the window and the storm is gonna start doing what it wants because you really had no idea what it was going to do anyway. Forecasting while it has improved, really has no guarantees.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Quoting RickWPB:


Link
looks like the eyewall may be redeveloping according to radar from belieze
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
Hey can some post the Belize radar


Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
327. eddye
i hate the people on storm2k they dont know wat their talking about
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Quoting Levi32:


It's a great way to cover one's behind isn't it lol...

I suppose the NHC doesn't really look out to 120 hours? Maybe their forecasts are just guesses...?
levi looks like rina is making a big comeback now i have noticed some intresting things . windshear appears to be relaxing over Rina and the Se Gulf and the anticyclone that was over former 97L is moving towards Rina ???? could the models that indicated that Rina would be stronger towards South Florida be true??? and the NW turn has begun
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.


Thank you for your input Woody, greatly appreciated. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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 are not on my ignore list. Btw, nice images Woody. ;-)
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
When it comes to tracks, I give it to the NHC. They have done an excellent job in tracking this years storms. Irene was the best one. When it comes to naming systems, no..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
322. Skyepony (Mod)
Ha, they included both..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 226 Comments: 39438
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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 26th day of the month at 18:18Z
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: 06
A. Time of Center Fix: 26th day of the month at 17:50:00Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 18°00'N 85°41'W (18.N 85.6833W)
B. Center Fix Location: 169 miles (271 km) to the ENE (78°) from Belize City, Belize.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 2,969m (9,741ft) at 700mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 63kts (~ 72.5mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 3 nautical miles (3 statute miles) to the ENE (63°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 151° at 72kts (From the SSE at ~ 82.9mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 6 nautical miles (7 statute miles) to the ENE (62°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 976mb (28.82 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 11°C (52°F) at a pressure alt. of 3,048m (10,000ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 22°C (72°F) at a pressure alt. of 3,045m (9,990ft)
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: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration and Wind
N. Fix Level: 700mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 2 nautical miles
Remarks Section - Remarks That Were Decoded...
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 72kts (~ 82.9mph) in the northeast quadrant at 17:48:00Z
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: 700mb
Remarks Section - Additional Remarks...
SFC WINDS REPORTED ON EYE DROP WERE 31KTS
SFC PRESSURE REPORTED ON EYE DROP WAS 985MB
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
ok I say cause Rina is now making its Nward Movement early it very well make that NW-Eward earlier too may cause Rina to miss Fl, Fl Keys, and maybe even N Cuba


Rina not making a north turn early. Currently she seems to be following the NHC forecasted path pretty nicely.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 9390
Quoting scottsvb:


It looks like nothing right now cause your looking past 48hrs.. dont look past 36hrs right now.


It's a great way to cover one's behind isn't it lol...

I suppose the NHC doesn't really look out to 120 hours? Maybe their forecasts are just guesses...?
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26700
317. eddye
there an antycyclone so florida could see more then a tropical storm
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1386
Actually here is a better view of that trough over Southern California that should be the real kicker.

Western U.S. - Water Vapor Loop
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Seflhurricane:
hey reed how have you been. looks like the NW turn has begun


Using Belize long range radar, you can easily see a N.W. movement.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 9390
ok I say cause Rina is now making its Nward Movement early it very well make that NW-Eward earlier too may cause Rina to miss Fl, Fl Keys, and maybe even N Cuba
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 364 - 314

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Lake Effort Snow Shower Over Windsor, Ontario
Sunset on Dunham Lake
Pictured Rocks Sunset
Sunset on Lake Huron