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: 164 - 114

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

Quoting Tazmanian:
i new it Rina killed 97L jail time for Rina



Death Penalty fits the CRime
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
back later
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
i new it Rina killed 97L jail time for Rina
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
161. Skyepony (Mod)
cchsweatherman~ Kermit is in there now. About to make a second pass.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37447
Quoting TampaSpin:


YOu have been saying this for days and it has not happened..........JUST SAYN


Oh no...not in the sense of cool air. I meant in the sense of a sharp dewpoint depressor Saturday Afternoon.;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Now we need to wait for the official "RIP" declaration from Taz.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting niederwaldboy:
I heard the European Model had the storm dissipating completely near it's current location. Of course the local weather guy disagreed with it. Time will tell


At this moment I would say the Euro just about nailed it. Had her going wnw and dying in the Yucatan. Looks that was at the moment.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If we do see any additional development, it will occur late tonight before land interaction begins and shear strengthens
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Right now, Hurricane Rina is struggling big time against increasing wind shear and dry air infiltration into the core. Would not be surprised to see Hurricane Rina downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane when the Hurricane Hunters get into the storm early this afternoon. It has the appearance of a quickly weakening storm, but it's not smart to let your guard down just yet since small storms like Rina are well known for having wild intensity swings and it could still surprise.

But based on the current state of the system and the more westward progression than expected yesterday, the threat to South Florida seems minimal right now. In the mean time, the Yucatan does face a real threat from what could be a dangerous system for them as they cannot take much more rainfall after Invest 95L dumped copious amounts of rain just a week or so ago.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5163
Rina is moving NW or 305 degrees. This is a 6 hour average. She is making the turn.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
154. 996tt
Quoting hurricanealley:


We might be dealing with a rapidly weakening system.


Yep, doesn't bode well for GOM shear survival. Bummer
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I heard the European Model had the storm dissipating completely near it's current location. Of course the local weather guy disagreed with it. Time will tell
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


WHERE DID THE CONVERGENCE GO.....POOOOF...Rina is about to die very quickly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:


Had a 1 hour cancellation.....LOL


Just pay the cancellation fee.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Sfloridacat5:


Is that for Tampa?


Ya,....Some cold front....HUH.....LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Getting our first snow storm of the season and it's starting to come down pretty hard here in Denver. Some places right along the front range have seen close to a foot already, with more forecast due to a continued upslope flow out of the NE in the low levels. Looks really cool outside with all the leaves still on the trees catching the snow.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:


HERE IS THE COLD FRONT.....LOL


Is that for Tampa?
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6198
Quoting hurricanealley:


I though you were out for the day.


Had a 1 hour cancellation.....LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Looks like this'll become part of the front and quickly skirt towards the Bahama's then up the eastern seaboard.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good Morning. Looks like Rita is headed for a close encounter with the Yucatan Peninsula. Bad for them in terms of rain and flooding but probably good for Cuba and Florida down the road.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


HERE IS THE COLD FRONT.....LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Sfloridacat5:
National Weather Service Forecast for South Fl. Shows the front to clear S. Florida most likely Saturday night.

Friday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. East wind between 8 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 83. East wind around 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Saturday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. Windy, with a north wind between 16 and 21 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.
Sunday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 83. Windy, with a northeast wind around 23 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.


Showing almost no temperature change. Too bad for us here in Naples.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Dr air really getting in there now. She could go down pretty fast.
Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 907
Quoting hurricanealley:


I though you were out for the day.


Lol, good one...
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
National Weather Service Forecast for South Fl. Shows the front to clear S. Florida most likely Saturday night.

Friday Night: Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. East wind between 8 and 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%.

Saturday: A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 83. East wind around 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Saturday Night: A 30 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 73. Windy, with a north wind between 16 and 21 mph, with gusts as high as 29 mph.

Sunday: A 30 percent chance of showers. Partly sunny, with a high near 83. Windy, with a northeast wind around 23 mph, with gusts as high as 32 mph.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6198
Quoting Sfloridacat5:


Pressure of 992. Was that the pressure yesterday evening?


Looking at the data on GE, I agree... they missed
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:


YOu have been saying this for days and it has not happened..........JUST SAYN


I though you were out for the day.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricanealley:
I miss the Advisory for Rina, can somebody post it again?


www.nhc.noaa.gov
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatherbro:


The models have been trending stronger.


YOu have been saying this for days and it has not happened..........JUST SAYN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:



ONE REALLY WEAK COLD FRONT FOR THE SOUTH.....


The models have been trending stronger.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting weatherbro:


Highly unlikely since the front will clear the area in 60 hours. Giving Florida a wonderful Saturday-Monday Halloween Weekend!

Friday looks to be the day that could happen, but thereafter, expect sunny fall weather with low humidity(after the front goes through).


Currently a 50% chance of rain Saturday dropping to 30% on Sunday for S. Florida (highs in the low 80s with lows in the 70s)
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6198
Quoting Minnemike:
contrary to many comments here, i see an opportunity for Rina to re-intensify if staying over water in the next 24-48hrs. this based solely on precipitable moisture loops showing that the flow of dry air to the north is starting to get cut off, and after a pulse of dry air to the south and east gets ingested, there is a big moisture envelope coming in from the Caribbean. i am an expert in oversimplification, so just testing my lack of skills publicly ;)


I agree with you. Moisture is building on all sides except for the west side which is what is taking a toll on her. The shear forecast has weakened somewhat btw, so while shear will still be a big problem it won't be as bad as initially expected.
Member Since: September 2, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
Quoting hurricanealley:


963 MB was the lowest pressure yesterday.


I'm a day late dollar short it seems
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I can't wait to watch the shearing process take place on Friday as she noses her way towards the jetstream... She's gonna be tore up!


Its like going to krispy kreme's and watching how the donuts are made.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Sfloridacat5:


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


Highly unlikely since the front will clear the area in 60 hours. Giving Florida a wonderful Saturday-Monday Halloween Weekend!

Friday looks to be the day that could happen, but thereafter, expect sunny fall weather with low humidity(after the front goes through).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting eddye:
so let see wat happens and see if south florida is under a warning


Passing shower warning. JK... I think Rina is going to have a big fight on her hands with the shear forthcoming and the dry air. If she was a larger and deeper system, say high cat 3-4, she could stand a chance.
Member Since: August 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 497
I can't wait to watch the shearing process take place on Friday as she noses her way towards the jetstream... She's gonna be tore up!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NHC forecaster Stacy Stewart was scheduled to be a guest on the current NOAA research Recon mission. Wonder if he will be the flight meterologist and do the Vortex messages?

Link
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10922
contrary to many comments here, i see an opportunity for Rina to re-intensify if staying over water in the next 24-48hrs. this based solely on precipitable moisture loops showing that the flow of dry air to the north is starting to get cut off, and after a pulse of dry air to the south and east gets ingested, there is a big moisture envelope coming in from the Caribbean. i am an expert in oversimplification, so just testing my lack of skills publicly ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
125. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting osuwxguynew:


I can't tell if they missed it, or if there simply isn't an eye of any sort anymore...

I guess we'll have to see what the vortex message says.



We were only getting vortex messages out of Kermit for maybe 1/2 the passes lastnight. Hope we get one. Looks like they took a good jog in the center, so maybe not the cleanest of passes. Looked at MIMIC, eye wall looks open on the south side, deepening on the NE side & like she's begun to turn north.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37447
Everything posted here today shall be written in stone.


I'll be the first.


Its gonna hit the Yucatan.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI





Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good day/night,

Rina stretches from Cuba to Nicaragua. The keys will catch something!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
could someone plz post the discussion on Rina? (sarcasm flag on)

95l proved that it does not have to be a named storm to cause a mess!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Sfloridacat5:


Pressure of 992. Was that the pressure yesterday evening?


963 MB was the lowest pressure yesterday.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting alvarig1263:
Appears recon missed the center.

This is the highest wind report.

Time: 14:40:30Z
Coordinates: 17.85N 85.2833W
Acft. Static Air Press: 750.8 mb (~ 22.17 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 2,430 meters (~ 7,972 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 992.1 mb (~ 29.30 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 161° at 76 knots (From the SSE at ~ 87.4 mph)
Air Temp: 14.7°C (~ 58.5°F)
Dew Pt: 14.3°C (~ 57.7°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 82 knots (~ 94.3 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 62 knots (~ 71.3 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 2 mm/hr (~ 0.08 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data


Pressure of 992. Was that the pressure yesterday evening?
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6198
She's falling apart. I doubt she will be around 2 days from now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Skyepony:
Highest flight winds on that pass was 82 knots (~ 94.3 mph).
Highest surface winds was 62 knots (~ 71.3 mph).


We might be dealing with a rapidly weakening system.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
116. Skyepony (Mod)
AF304 is back up & on the way to Rina. That was a quick turn around..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37447
Quoting alvarig1263:


Your kidding right? It was posted like 10 times here. lol ;-)


Get it?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
114. Skyepony (Mod)
Highest flight winds on that pass was 82 knots (~ 94.3 mph).
Highest surface winds was 62 knots (~ 71.3 mph).
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 161 Comments: 37447

Viewing: 164 - 114

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.

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy
78 °F
Partly Cloudy