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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214. 7544
85mph a strong cat 1 lol
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6874
000
WTNT63 KNHC 261644
TCUAT3

HURRICANE RINA TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL182011
1145 AM CDT WED OCT 26 2011

...NOAA HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT FINDS THAT RINA HAS SIGNIFICANTLY
WEAKENED...

RECENT REPORTS FROM A NOAA HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT
RINA HAS WEAKENED TO A CATEGORY 1 HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR SIMPSON
HURRICANE WIND SCALE. A SPECIAL ADVISORY WILL BE ISSUED AT 1230 PM
CDT...1730 UTC...IN PLACE OF THE SCHEDULED INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY.


SUMMARY OF 1145 AM CDT...1645 UTC...INFORMATION
------------------------------------------------- -
LOCATION...18.0N 85.7W
ABOUT 190 MI...305 KM SSE OF COZUMEL MEXICO
ABOUT 175 MI...280 KM ESE OF CHETUMAL MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...85 MPH...135 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 290 DEGREES AT 5 MPH...7 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...982 MB...29.00 INCHES

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
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Extreme cold cloud tops rebuilding again. The last few frames are showing more and more.

Member Since: April 24, 2011 Posts: 1 Comments: 601
New burst of convection on top of center. Could help to restrengthen somewhat.

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Here's some video of today's urban flash flood in northern Italy that has killed at least eight, the product of torrential overnight rains:

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209. eddye
so right know it is a strong catgory 1
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208. 7544
fact reamains shes still a hurricane peeps
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moisture from the east may help
Rina to get fired up again but hopefully not.
LinkFunkTopLoopFloater

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Product: NOAA Vortex Message (URNT12 KWBC)
Transmitted: 26th day of the month at 16:23Z
Aircraft: Lockheed WP-3D Orion (Reg. Num. N42RF)
Storm Number & Year: 18L in 2011
Storm Name: Rina (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 7
Observation Number: 08
A. Time of Center Fix: 26th day of the month at 15:53Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 1753'N 8535'W (17.8833N 85.5833W)
B. Center Fix Location: 174 miles (279 km) to the E (81) from Belize City, Belize.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: Not Available
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 50kts (~ 57.5mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 18 nautical miles (21 statute miles) to the SE (125) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 191 at 65kts (From between the S and SSW at ~ 74.8mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 15 nautical miles (17 statute miles) to the SE (126) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 982mb (29.00 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 14C (57F) at a pressure alt. of 2,443m (8,015ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 26C (79F) at a pressure alt. of 2,445m (8,022ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 8C (46F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Poorly Defined
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Level: Other - Not surface, 1500ft, 925mb (if vortex is newer than about mid 90's; see note for more), 850mb, 700mb, 500mb, 400mb, 300mb or 200mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 1 nautical mile
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 1 nautical mile
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 81kts (~ 93.2mph) in the northeast quadrant at 14:40Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind Outbound: 78kts (~ 89.8mph) in the northwest quadrant at 15:56Z
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Dry air will not be as much as a factor later tonight and Thurs as Rina moves more NNW and then NNE later Thurs.. still western side of the system will be pretty dry once your 50miles west of the LLC.

Again don't look past 36hrs. how far north and how fast she moves in days 2-3 will determine if she moves NE or if she moves slowly and lets the trough pass.. she will meander S or even SSW via GFS. Landfall still expected in Tuluman (sp?)
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1726
she's loosing the battle,imo maybe not even stilla cane in 24hrs
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Several rivers in southeastern Mexico spilled over their banks in late October, according to the Latin American Herald Tribune. The Usumacinta River alone damaged homes and croplands in multiple cities, and isolated rural areas by washing out roads. The governor of the state of Tabasco estimated that regional floods had affected 90,000 residents.






nasa
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Quoting Buhdog:
Round 2...........Fight!


Here she comes for another comeback!


She's tryin.
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Round 2...........Fight!


Here she comes for another comeback!
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Quoting eddye:
WOW THE DRY AIR IS NOT A PROBLEM THERE IS 2 MUCH MOISTURE


I agree for the northern, eastern, southern sides of Rina but not the west side. She is clearly being affected by the dry air over Mexico to her immediate west. I hate to say it but it is true.
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From Dr. Masters..

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.


somehow, I see so many different scenarios wrong with that statement..LOL
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197. eddye
WOW THE DRY AIR IS NOT A PROBLEM THERE IS 2 MUCH MOISTURE
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Quoting alvarig1263:


Everyone wants to put Rina to sleep but I don't think she's done yet. She's surely is struggling more than yesterday but she's beginning to shelter her self well on the western side and is clearing out the dry air she's been ingesting for the past few hours. Anyone observing the same thing?
I'm observing a weakening system due to some easterly shear. I imagine she'll ingest a lot of dry air at some point today... it's bareley being held back at her current intensity.
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NP
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Quoting Seastep:
Rapid Scan


Thank you very much.
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Rapid Scan
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Anyone got the link to GOES Rapid Scan for Rina? Lost my link.
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Quoting Seastep:
New burst over the center:



Everyone wants to put Rina to sleep but I don't think she's done yet. She's surely is struggling more than yesterday but she's beginning to shelter her self well on the western side and is clearing out the dry air she's been ingesting for the past few hours. Anyone observing the same thing?
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
thought it would be easy got to love 2011
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New burst over the center:

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Quoting Patrap:
RINA is in a sealed bubble seem's skyepony.


Really surprised it's not doing better.



I don't think it is EVER a good thing for a tropical system to have such contrasting steering as you go up in the column.

Rina's low level circulation wants to go west and her upper level core wants to head north.

This is opposite to why Cape Verde storms flourish in deep layer easterly flow, all steering in the same direction.
Member Since: June 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 291

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RINA is in a sealed bubble seem's skyepony.


Really surprised it's not doing better.

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Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Wednesday, October 26th, with Video
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184. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting Patrap:


Looks like the dry air is backing off a bit..
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Latest GFS 12Z @ 90 Hours:

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Latest GFS 12Z @ 84 Hours:

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We have started to get some bands in Playa del Carmen. 10 minute dumps of mucha lluvia.
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179. Skyepony (Mod)
Kermit just hit center again..~17.883N 85.583W, 980.1 mb (~ 28.94 inHg). There maybe higher coming out..surface wind 66 knots (~ 75.9 mph). Highest flight level 73 knots
(~ 83.9 mph).
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 272 Comments: 40554
Latest GFS 12Z @ 78 Hours:

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Time: 15:52:00Z
Coordinates: 17.8167N 85.5167W
Acft. Static Air Press: 752.7 mb (~ 22.23 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 2,388 meters (~ 7,835 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 980.8 mb (~ 28.96 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 230° at 36 knots (From the SW at ~ 41.4 mph)
Air Temp: 25.7°C (~ 78.3°F)
Dew Pt: 7.2°C (~ 45.0°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 44 knots (~ 50.6 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 32 knots* (~ 36.8 mph*)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr* (~ 0 in/hr*)
(*) Denotes suspect data
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Lowest pressure offset from minimum winds

155230 1750N 08532W 7519 02386 9801 +252 +079 245028 030 024 000 00
155300 1752N 08533W 7528 02367 9810 +229 +099 237024 026 019 000 00
155330 1753N 08535W 7527 02369 9828 +205 +112 011006 020 029 001 00
155400 1755N 08536W 7528 02366 9833 +202 +115 040031 038 040 006 00
155430 1757N 08537W 7522 02381 9859 +175 +150 042041 043 044 025 03
155500 1758N 08538W 7541 02376 9880 +171 +155 058045 046 066 031 00
155530 1800N 08540W 7529 02403 9916 +150 //// 069063 073 064 038 05



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Latest GFS 12Z @ 72 Hours:

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Latest GFS 12Z @ 66 Hours:

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Latest GFS 12Z @ 60 Hours:

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Latest GFS 12Z @ 54 Hours:

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Latest GFS 12Z @ 48 Hours:

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NEW Steering LAYERS for a Weaker System
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Quoting Skyepony:
cchsweatherman~ Kermit is in there now. About to make a second pass.


Usually pay attention to the Air Force HDOB missions. Did not see the NOAA HDOB mission. Thanks for the alert.
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Rina's eye is apparent on Belize radar now.
Full size image/loop
Link
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Quoting Tazmanian:
i new it Rina killed 97L jail time for Rina


97L is still trutting along, doubt much will come of it , but who knows...
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Just for fun here's the 12z NAM at 84 hours. Rina has falling apart over the Yucatan, cold front is moving though Southern Fl and a new low has formed in the S.W. Caribbean.
(but the NAM peformed very poorly with Rina.)
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Quoting Tazmanian:
i new it Rina killed 97L jail time for Rina



Death Penalty fits the CRime
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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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