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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264. scottsvb
5:48 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
Quoting eddye:
isnt northwest bad for south florida cchs


Eddy the models have been showing a turn to the NW for days..even north then Northeast.. we know you know this already. Maybe your very young under 16years old, if so I'm sorry but if your older, I'm sure you know after asking same questions to peeps about going to S Florida that we don't know and right now, probably not. Wait till Friday morning to find out if it's going to S Florida.. cause right now..chances are only about 20% it will.
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1615
263. Keys99
5:48 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
Belize Radar Tells a Different story
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 132
262. sar2401
5:47 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
It would be interesting to know exactly how much cold water upwelling has been caused by Rina remaining in essentially the same place for the past five days or so. Even though the Gulf of Honduras is really warm (I was diving there two months ago, with a water temperature of 81 at 110 feet), at some point all that churning has to bring up cooler water. Cooler water will tend to weaken a tropical storm, regardless of what else is happening around it. I've searched but can't find any information about current water temperatures under Rina, and it doesn't look like the HH's measure water temperature. Anyone have an answer for this?
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 14248
261. alvarig1263
5:47 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
Quoting cchsweatherman:


It all depends, and I mean all depends, on whether or not Rina makes landfall on the Yucatan and for how long it does.

Given the present state of the storm, IF Rina were to come to South Florida, it would not be stronger than a tropical storm.


Newest convection blob over the certain looking good and still expanding.

Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
260. WoodyFL
5:47 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
Quoting CitikatzSouthFL:


Just a thought to share. How many times this season have we said "RIP" to systems only to have them spring back to "life" and re-generate into a bigger (sometimes badder) storm? And, after all, it is Halloween weekend...so, even if she does fade out, she could rise and become ZOMBIE RINA! LOL


You're right. These systems often fade and come back. We have all seen systems fade completely and come roaring back.
Member Since: April 24, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 601
259. cchsweatherman
5:46 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
Quoting eddye:
isnt northwest bad for south florida cchs


It all depends, and I mean all depends, on whether or not Rina makes landfall on the Yucatan and for how long it does.

Given the present state of the storm, IF Rina were to come to South Florida, it would not be stronger than a tropical storm.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
258. Sfloridacat5
5:46 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
Quoting cchsweatherman:
It appears, based upon satellite imagery, that Hurricane Rina has begun turning towards the northwest. Will be interesting to see where and for how long Rina impacts the Yucatan.


That will be critical to her survival.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6496
257. alvarig1263
5:45 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
Recon only 40 miles away from the center.

No hurricane force winds yet.

Time: 17:38:00Z
Coordinates: 18.45N 85.1667W
Acft. Static Air Press: 696.3 mb (~ 20.56 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 3,144 meters (~ 10,315 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: -
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 118° at 53 knots (From the ESE at ~ 60.9 mph)
Air Temp: 4.1°C* (~ 39.4°F*)
Dew Pt: -*
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 55 knots (~ 63.2 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 43 knots (~ 49.4 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 6 mm/hr (~ 0.24 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data
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256. eddye
5:44 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
isnt northwest bad for south florida cchs
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1207
255. cchsweatherman
5:43 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
It appears, based upon satellite imagery, that Hurricane Rina has begun turning towards the northwest. Will be interesting to see where and for how long Rina impacts the Yucatan.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
254. scottsvb
5:42 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
Quoting CitikatzSouthFL:

I am chilling reading the blog. I am not a dude. I respect all opinions. That is why the blog is here as well as to teach, share and occasionally laugh. You are not expressing opinions...you are asking the same questions all the time. What we are not here to do is ask the same question over and over and over and over and over when there is no reasonable answer for it. It is annoying.

That said, I apologize for being harsh. Just want you two to understand that the repetitive same question can be extremely annoying at best.

At this point in time, there is no reason to believe that Rina will be hitting Florida with anything other than some rain and maybe some wind. Until that ABSOLUTELY WITH FACT changes, you all just chill and enoy the blog.


I put alot of them peeps on ignore.. you are 100% correct... it's okay if someone asks a question but the same people asking each time and with each storm it get frustrating. Just put everyone on ignore that constantly asks the same questions over and over again and the ones that keep saying doom stuff or it's going to where they live. How many times do we have to say don't look at long term movement to someone..then they ask if it's going to Florida? It's a wait and see event like most systems. Just look to a point where models start to diverge..and right now its 24-36hrs out.. after that, we all dont know. I guess though there are alot of younger peeps that want to know the future, if we did, I would of won the lotto long ago.
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1615
253. CaneHunter031472
5:39 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
Rina is a Cat 1. Great news!! I figured this would happen conditions are just too hostile for further development. I predict gradual weakening, and if something of Rina happen to survive it might bring heavy rains to Florida.
Member Since: August 1, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 170
252. Buhdog
5:38 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
Quoting Sfloridacat5:


Currently Rina is a cat 1. That would be a major accomplishment if she could do that.

I think she will hold onto cat 1 and hit the Yucatan. After that, I'm really not sure.


Say what you will about her demise, she is lighting up like a xmas tree right now.

clouds filling into S FLorida now... still no real rain.


Radar with track imposed here Link

Member Since: July 30, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 960
251. alvarig1263
5:38 PM GMT on October 26, 2011
Quoting YouCaneDoIt:


Can you post please?


Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Quoting fredwx:


Lots of disruption to the fishing fleets and the east-west shipping lanes.
I have sailed those waters myself..They get pounded regularly..Good afternoon Fred.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20899
Quoting hydrus:
I said yesterday that Rina has a shot at breifly becoming a cat-3 , I am going out on a limb, but I think this will still happen.


Currently Rina is a cat 1. That would be a major accomplishment if she could do that.

I think she will hold onto cat 1 and hit the Yucatan. After that, I'm really not sure.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6496
Quoting alvarig1263:


IMO, I think the abrupt turn from west to north or northwest disrupted Rina's structure and threw off her symmetry. But she seems to be fighting back and building her eye wall and inner core back up again. We'll have to see what recon finds now that she seems to be straightening herself out and becoming symmetrical again.
I said yesterday that Rina has a shot at breifly becoming a cat-3 , I am going out on a limb, but I think this will still happen.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20899
Quoting alvarig1263:


Wow.


Can you post please?
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246. eddye
7544 bamm does it take it near south florida
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1207
Quoting 7544:
new speghitti out bam even takes her further north


Wow.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Quoting Sfloridacat5:


Newfoundland gets a lot of action. Too bad the water is too cold there for me.


Lots of disruption to the fishing fleets and the east-west shipping lanes.
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243. 7544
new speghitti out bam even takes her further north
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Quoting 7544:


chill out dude everyone here can post thier opinon being right or wrong thats what the blog is for not for judging others post thank you

I am chilling reading the blog. I am not a dude. I respect all opinions. That is why the blog is here as well as to teach, share and occasionally laugh. You are not expressing opinions...you are asking the same questions all the time. What we are not here to do is ask the same question over and over and over and over and over when there is no reasonable answer for it. It is annoying.

That said, I apologize for being harsh. Just want you two to understand that the repetitive same question can be extremely annoying at best.

At this point in time, there is no reason to believe that Rina will be hitting Florida with anything other than some rain and maybe some wind. Until that ABSOLUTELY WITH FACT changes, you all just chill and enoy the blog.
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Bummer. Or not:

invest_DEACTIVATE_al972011.ren
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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...


Those winds seem to be pulling back to the north
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Quoting fredwx:
At the same a Major North Atlantic Storm is producing hurricane force winds south of Newfoundland.




Read More


Newfoundland gets a lot of action. Too bad the water is too cold there for me.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6496
i will be in tropical chat if everyone would like to join.
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237. eddye
7544 is smart dude
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1207
236. 7544
Quoting CitikatzSouthFL:
7544 and Eddye MUST be brothers, friends or the same person. Neither of you can spell worth a hoot and you both ask the same question over and over and over and over and over.

To answer the thousand times you have asked about a Cat3/Cat2/Cat1/TS (pick one or all) hitting S Florida....drum roll....the answer at this time is a resounding WE DON'T KNOW YET! And the next answer is PROBABLY NOT.

So, I would kindly ask you two to wait and watch and see what happens. Just lurk. Lurking is a marvelous thing and a way to learn lots of neat stuff about the tropics.


chill out dude everyone here can post thier opinon being right or wrong thats what the blog is for not for judging others post thank you
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Quoting hydrus:
I expect some re-intensification too. There will be some warmer water and the western flank will moisten up a bit.


IMO, I think the abrupt turn from west to north or northwest disrupted Rina's structure and threw off her symmetry. But she seems to be fighting back and building her eye wall and inner core back up again. We'll have to see what recon finds now that she seems to be straightening herself out and becoming symmetrical again.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744



Member Since: April 24, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 601
7544 and Eddye MUST be brothers, friends or the same person. Neither of you can spell worth a hoot and you both ask the same question over and over and over and over and over.

To answer the thousand times you have asked about a Cat3/Cat2/Cat1/TS (pick one or all) hitting S Florida....drum roll....the answer at this time is a resounding WE DON'T KNOW YET! And the next answer is PROBABLY NOT.

So, I would kindly ask you two to wait and watch and see what happens. Just lurk. Lurking is a marvelous thing and a way to learn lots of neat stuff about the tropics.
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Quoting Buhdog:


Great call...exactly what i think happened.

100 mph at next advisory




That will not happen at all.. 80-85 at 5pm but she should hold her own.. might get better organized again tonight before landfall on Thurs. Question will be how far north she gets after leaving the Yucitan.. I dont see her weakening very fast after leaving..but staying a 60mph-70mph storm for another day or 2 after leaving due to her moving in tandom with the shearzone.
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1615
Next Air Force recon plane about 160 miles out from Rina's center. Should get a center fix within the next hour.
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230. 7544
Quoting eddye:
so south fla better get ready 7544


still 50/ 50 on that call

remember what that invest did in so fl with the tornados lol and that was just a invest wait watch and see mode here
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Quoting eddye:
so south fla better get ready 7544


For what? It's not even clear what's going to happen during the next 24-36 hours. Just watch and wait for now.
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Quoting Buhdog:


Great call...exactly what i think happened.

100 mph at next advisory


I expect some re-intensification too. There will be some warmer water and the western flank will moisten up a bit.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20899
At the same a Major North Atlantic Storm is producing hurricane force winds south of Newfoundland.




Read More
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226. eddye
so south fla better get ready 7544
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1207
Quoting 7544:
still looks like a strong ts for fla ?


The strength over the next few days makes a huge difference in both track and intensity. The track is very dependent/sensitive to the strength on this one, and we all know how poor intensity forecasts are. Exactly why the cone is so huge.
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224. 7544
yeap right eddy waiting on the new speghtti runs what time do they come out ?
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Quoting MahFL:
Some nice new almost circular convection again....maybe moving away from upwelled waters.


Great call...exactly what i think happened.

100 mph at next advisory


Member Since: July 30, 2005 Posts: 1 Comments: 960
Quoting WoodyFL:
This loop shows the flare-up of strong convection. Not saying it is intensifying, but certainly not dying yet.



Just a thought to share. How many times this season have we said "RIP" to systems only to have them spring back to "life" and re-generate into a bigger (sometimes badder) storm? And, after all, it is Halloween weekend...so, even if she does fade out, she could rise and become ZOMBIE RINA! LOL
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221. eddye
so a strong ts 7544 and it is moving wnw? and i was saying a strong cat 1 i said it on comment 209
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220. MahFL
Some nice new almost circular convection again....maybe moving away from upwelled waters.
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This loop shows the flare-up of strong convection. Not saying it is intensifying, but certainly not dying yet.

Member Since: April 24, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 601
218. 7544
Quoting 7544:
still looks like a strong ts for fla starting the wnw turn now ?
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217. 7544
still looks like a strong ts for fla ?
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216. eddye
i was right 7544 lol
Member Since: August 12, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1207
A small weakening phase for now, Rina may be re-strengthening just a bit as we speak. Cold cloud tops developing over the center.. Interesting storm.
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214. 7544
85mph a strong cat 1 lol
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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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