Tropical Storm Rafael drenching the Lesser Antilles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:15 PM GMT on October 13, 2012

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Tropical Storm Rafael formed late yesterday afternoon over the Lesser Antilles Islands, and is bringing gusty winds and very heavy rains to the islands today. Two-day rainfall amounts of 1 - 3" have been common over the Leeward Islands from Rafael, but the winds have stayed below tropical storm-force so far. Here are some of the peak gusts from Rafael as of noon EDT on Saturday:

Antigua: 37 mph
Martinique: 28 mph
St. Lucia: 39 mph
St. Martin: 26 mph

Satellite loops and radar loops show that Rafael has a large area of heavy thunderstorms to the east and southeast of the center. These thunderstorms are poorly organized, but were beginning to show a more organized spiral banding look late this morning. An upper-level low centered a few hundred miles south of the eastern Dominican Republic is pumping dry air into the west side of Rafael, and is creating a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear.


Figure 1. Radar image out of Martinique from 11:45 am EDT Saturday, October 13, 2012 showed a large area of heavy rain over nearly the entire Lesser Antilles Island chain due to Tropical Storm Rafael. Image credit: Meteo France.

Forecast for Rafael
The shear has dropped since Friday, and is is expected to remain in the moderate range through Monday, which should allow for some slow intensification of Rafael over the next few days. Heavy rains will continue over the entire Lesser Antilles Island chain, plus the Virgin Islands, today through Sunday. Puerto Rico can expect heavy rains on Sunday, but the dry air on the west side of Rafael should keep the Dominican Republic from seeing heavy rains. Rafael's strongest winds will be to the right of the center, and islands of Barbuda, Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Barthelemy, St. Eustatis, Anguilla, St. Martin, and Saba may see sustained winds as high as 45 mph Saturday night through Sunday as the strongest bands of Rafael move through. The only island at risk of seeing hurricane-force winds from Rafael is Bermuda. The 11 am EDT wind probability forecast from NHC gave Bermuda a 3% chance of experiencing hurricane-force winds on Tuesday, and a 27% chance of experiencing tropical storm-force winds.

Rafael's place in history
Rafael is the seventeenth named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, putting this year in eighth place for busiest Atlantic season since record keeping began in 1851. Here are the busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record:

2005 (28 named storms)
1933 (20 named storms, according to a new re-analysis)
1887 (19 named storms)
2010 (19 named storms)
2011 (19 named storms)
1995 (19 named storms)
1969 (18 named storms)
2012 (17 named storms)

There are two weak and short-lived storms from 2012 that stayed far out sea, and would likely have gone unnoticed in the pre-satellite era (before 1960): Tropical Storm Joyce and Tropical Storm Oscar. And while this season has been very busy for total number of named storms, we've had a below-average number of major hurricanes (just Hurricane Michael), and the total destructive power of the 2012 hurricane season as measured by the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) is only about 20% above average. See our newly-launched Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) page for a storm-by-storm breakdown of this years ACE, plus historical ACE stats for each ocean basin. Thanks go to Angela Fritz for putting this together!


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Patty taken at 1:30 pm EDT Friday, October 12, 2012. At the time, Patty had top winds of 40 mph. High wind shear had exposed the lower-level circulation to view. Late on Saturday morning, wind shear had ripped Patty apart and the storm was declared dead. Image credit: NASA.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

School. Teachers are going all out with their assignments this year.

Nah it can't be that much.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31575
Hey guys,

Greetings from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Long time lurker and occasional poster here. It IS weird to have a named storm and see this blog so quiet, but as already pointed out Rafael appears to be no threat to FL or the Gulf, so it's understandable that the trolls and wishcasters are not out full force yet. I do miss some of the true, well informed posters, though. Where are they? It's a long weekend for many here (yesterday was a holiday) and though people is aware that there's a tropical system near they may not be glued to their TVs and PCs following every move. If you can count my Facebook feed as proof, many are having a beach day, others are in outdoor activities and the rest are more interested in the baseball games for tonight. Oh, and of course we are twenty something days away from elections so every political candidate is out there doing their last minute campaigns. As you can see, Rafael is not the #1 priority for some right now. I dunno, but through the years I've seen more damage in terms of flooding being done by depressions and no named systems than hurricanes, so I try to pay more attention to this type of events, especially when they are so close and with a greater degree of uncertainty than other storms. I hope everybody is prepared here with at least the basics (flashlights, radio, canned food and water for a few days) as the first thing that always goes is power. For the rest, let's hope for the best. The good news is that at least temperature dropped significantly and that's a relief. I'll try to keep you guys posted for as long as there's power or as long as I can get in the car to recharge my phone. Hope you are all enjoying the weekend. Have a good one and thanks for keeping us weather freaks up to date with the latest satellite imagery and Hunters data.
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Quoting Grothar:


Too bad, Patty dissipated. We would have had a "P" in the Atlantic and a "P" in the Pacific at the same time.
wait to see how her low reacts under cuba..waters very warm there..mid 80's to almost 90..
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Quoting HuracanTaino:
Thank you my friend that's what I was trying to clarify..we are a latinamerican country that our first is Spanish of course, we study and try to learn English,...but as a 2nd language...


Those of you on here who are Spanish speaking do pretty good in English.
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Quoting Grothar:


Thanks, Washi. So I remind you of an old man? :)
Lol well Gro with this image on the blog that your an older gentlemen and then the numbers reminded me so much of that episode and quote.
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Quoting JLPR2:


Rafael is looking better, seems its circulation isn't as exposed as yesterday. It hasn't received that much attention here and by the looks of it many people are going to be taken by surprise when it passes.


Once again we see a straight line "protective wall over our area".... Will Rafael break through?... We'll see tonight....

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9737
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Today!!:) The next 10 days it going to be awesome!!:) in S FL
82°F
74°F

WIND:
NE at 26 mph
Sun
Oct 14
86°
73°

WIND:
ENE at 16 mph
Mon
Oct 15
85°
69°

WIND:
NE at 10 mph
Tue
Oct 16
85°
68°

WIND:
N at 10 mph
Wed
Oct 17
84°
69°

WIND:
ENE at 8 mph
Thu
Oct 18
85°
71°

WIND:
SSE at 9 mph
Fri
Oct 19
85°
68°

WIND:
E at 10 mph
Sat
Oct 20
84°
69°

WIND:
NE at 11 mph
Sun
Oct 21
83°
68°



WIND:
NE at 11 mph

Mon
Oct 22
83°
69°
sure is beautiful weather here alright
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Today!!:) The next 10 days it going to be awesome!!:) in S FL
82°F
74°F

WIND:
NE at 26 mph
Sun
Oct 14
86°
73°

WIND:
ENE at 16 mph
Mon
Oct 15
85°
69°

WIND:
NE at 10 mph
Tue
Oct 16
85°
68°

WIND:
N at 10 mph
Wed
Oct 17
84°
69°

WIND:
ENE at 8 mph
Thu
Oct 18
85°
71°

WIND:
SSE at 9 mph
Fri
Oct 19
85°
68°

WIND:
E at 10 mph
Sat
Oct 20
84°
69°

WIND:
NE at 11 mph
Sun
Oct 21
83°
68°



WIND:
NE at 11 mph

Mon
Oct 22
83°
69°
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4424
Quoting Thing342:
It looks like 97E will go straight to Paul.

EP, 16, 2012101318, , BEST, 0, 140N, 1128W, 35, 1005, LO, 34, NEQ, 30, 0, 0, 30, 1010, 225, 30, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, PAUL, M,


Too bad, Patty dissipated. We would have had a "P" in the Atlantic and a "P" in the Pacific at the same time.
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Quoting JLPR2:


That sounded more like some of us don't speak Spanish which isn't true, if you are Puerto rican you speak Spanish, period. XD
Many know English, though only some dominate it.

Thank you, that's exactly what was trying to explain to him,,that our first language is Spanish as English is to the U.S. of course we study and try to learn English,but as 2nd language..
Member Since: May 31, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 845
College football games and playoff baseball games in the Great Lakes, Midwest, and Plains today are getting rained on. I was going to the UoM game but my dad was only able to get one ticket, luckily I'm staying dry unlike him.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It looks like 97E will go straight to Paul.

EP, 16, 2012101318, , BEST, 0, 140N, 1128W, 35, 1005, LO, 34, NEQ, 30, 0, 0, 30, 1010, 225, 30, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, PAUL, M,
Member Since: August 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 436
>
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Quoting txjac:


Speaking of people being missing in action ...has anyone seen AtHomeInTexas? I havent run across her in several weeks ...doesnt seem right not seeing her smiling face


She was a sweetheart. I miss her, too!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE FOR WS 662
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
135 PM CDT SAT OCT 13 2012

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 662 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 900 PM CDT
FOR THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS

TXC049-081-083-095-105-137-173-235-267-271-307-31 9-327-335-371-
383-399-411-413-415-431-435-443-451-465-140200-
/O.NEW.KWNS.SV.A.0662.121013T1835Z-121014T0200Z/

TX
. TEXAS COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE

BROWN COKE COLEMAN
CONCHO CROCKETT EDWARDS
GLASSCOCK IRION KIMBLE
KINNEY MASON MCCULLOCH
MENARD MITCHELL PECOS
REAGAN RUNNELS SAN SABA
SCHLEICHER SCURRY STERLING
SUTTON TERRELL TOM GREEN
VAL VERDE
$$


ATTN...WFO...SJT...EWX...MAF...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting washingtonian115:
Reminds me of Spongebob with the old man (Mermaid man I think?) and he said "Nine-teen eleventy tweleve".Lol thats what Gro's numbers remind me of.


Thanks, Washi. So I remind you of an old man? :)
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146. txjac
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

School. Teachers are going all out with their assignments this year.


Speaking of people being missing in action ...has anyone seen AtHomeInTexas? I havent run across her in several weeks ...doesnt seem right not seeing her smiling face
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
145. JLPR2
Quoting Doppler22:

Not everyone in Puerto Rico speaks spanish... and Im pretty sure there are a few on here from Puerto Rico... I remember hearing from them b4


That sounded more like some of us don't speak Spanish which isn't true, if you are Puerto rican you speak Spanish, period. XD
Many know English, though only some dominate it.


Also, Rafael is looking better, seems its circulation isn't as exposed as yesterday. It hasn't received that much attention here and by the looks of it many people are going to be taken by surprise when it passes.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8526
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

1933.

But they didn't have names back then.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
Quoting Doppler22:

Besides 2005 has there ever been a V storm?

1933 if they had names then.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31575
Quoting Grothar:


I'm still sticking with my orginal from April.

19-11-2
Reminds me of Spongebob with the old man (Mermaid man I think?) and he said "Nine-teen eleventy tweleve".Lol thats what Gro's numbers remind me of.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Doppler22:

Besides 2005 has there ever been a V storm?
No. A storm from 1933 would have been given a V name had they named storms back then, though.
Member Since: August 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 436
Quoting Doppler22:

Besides 2005 has there ever been a V storm?

2005 looks to be the only year to have a "V" storm, 1933 would've qualified but they didn't have a naming system yet.

Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Maybe we'll reach Alpha. Or even Omega....

So many storms we will have to make up new names;)
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928
BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_RENUMBER_ep972012_ep162012.ren
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201210131801
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting allancalderini:
Maybe we will reach Valerie.

Maybe we'll reach Alpha. Or even Omega....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting allancalderini:
Maybe we will reach Valerie.

Besides 2005 has there ever been a V storm?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
WOUS64 KWNS 131833
WOU2

BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE FOR WS 662
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
135 PM CDT SAT OCT 13 2012

SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 662 IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 900 PM CDT
FOR THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS

TXC049-081-083-095-105-137-173-235-267-271-307-319 -327-335-371-
383-399-411-413-415-431-435-443-451-465-140200-
/O.NEW.KWNS.SV.A.0662.121013T1835Z-121014T0200Z/

TX
. TEXAS COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE

BROWN COKE COLEMAN
CONCHO CROCKETT EDWARDS
GLASSCOCK IRION KIMBLE
KINNEY MASON MCCULLOCH
MENARD MITCHELL PECOS
REAGAN RUNNELS SAN SABA
SCHLEICHER SCURRY STERLING
SUTTON TERRELL TOM GREEN
VAL VERDE
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I'd certainly think it'll be amazing to have 19 named storms back to back,Would set a record.
Maybe we will reach Valerie.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Definitely. I'd say there's a very high chance we get at least 19.


I'm still sticking with my orginal from April.

19-11-2
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Quoting Grothar:


Where've you been?

School. Teachers are going all out with their assignments this year.
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Recon shows 2 centers?
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Somewhere.

I knew he was somewhere.

Quoting washingtonian115:
I see we have Rafeal.Is it a possibility we get 19 named storms?

A very good chance to get to 19, at least 18, storms with the mjo pulse and other decent conditions.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7928

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR PORTIONS OF SOUTH CENTRAL
ARKANSAS...SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS...NORTH CENTRAL LOUISIANA...
NORTHWEST LOUISIANA...SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA...EAST TEXAS AND
NORTHEAST TEXAS.

.DAY ONE...THIS AFTERNOON AND TONIGHT...

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL INCREASE THIS AFTERNOON OVER CENTRAL
OKLAHOMA AND NORTH TEXAS...AHEAD OF A STRONG UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEM
THAT WILL SHIFT EAST INTO KANSAS AND WESTERN OKLAHOMA. THIS SYSTEM
WILL DRIVE A COLD FRONT SLOWLY SOUTHEAST ACROSS OKLAHOMA AND NORTHWEST
TEXAS. THESE SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL MOVE INTO SOUTHEAST
OKLAHOMA...EXTREME NORTHEAST TEXAS...AND ADJACENT SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS
BY MID TO LATE EVENING...BEFORE PROGRESSING SOUTHEAST INTO THE
REMAINDER OF SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS...NORTHWEST LOUISIANA...AND EAST TEXAS
AFTER MIDNIGHT. STRONG SHEAR AND FORCING AHEAD OF THE FRONT AND THIS
STORM SYSTEM MAY BE ENOUGH TO OVERCOME MARGINAL SURFACE INSTABILITY
THIS EVENING FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF ISOLATED SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS OVER
PORTIONS OF NORTHEAST TEXAS...SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA...AND ADJACENT
SOUTHWEST ARKANSAS...MAINLY NORTH OF A TYLER TEXAS...TO TEXARKANA AND
PRESCOTT ARKANSAS LINE. DAMAGING WINDS AND LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL WILL
BE THE PRIMARY THREATS...BUT AN ISOLATED TORNADO CAN NOT BE RULED OUT
OVER EXTREME NORTHEAST TEXAS AND SOUTHEAST OKLAHOMA. THESE STORMS
SHOULD GRADUALLY WEAKEN AFTER MIDNIGHT AS THE PRIMARY UPPER LEVEL
FORCING SHIFTS NORTHEAST OF THE AREA INTO THE MID MISSISSIPPI VALLEY.
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I'd certainly think it'll be amazing to have 19 named storms back to back,Would set a record.
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Quoting LargoFl:
gro, some of the models make him a cat-1 later in the coming week


Yes, the latest intensity models are also showing that.

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MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 2046
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0110 PM CDT SAT OCT 13 2012

AREAS AFFECTED...CONCHO VALLEY/EDWARDS PLATEAU OF WRN TX

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH LIKELY

VALID 131810Z - 131945Z

PROBABILITY OF WATCH ISSUANCE...80 PERCENT

SUMMARY...ISOLATED TO SCATTERED DISCRETE TSTMS SHOULD INITIATE ALONG
THIS PORTION OF THE COLD FRONT BY 20Z. PRIMARY INITIAL RISK SHOULD
BE LARGE HAIL...BUT ISOLATED DAMAGING WINDS AND A BRIEF TORNADO WILL
ALSO BE POSSIBLE.

DISCUSSION...18Z SURFACE ANALYSIS PLACED THE TRAILING PORTION OF A
COLD FRONT FROM HOWARD TO ERN BREWSTER COUNTIES. PRONOUNCED SURFACE
HEATING IS OCCURRING BETWEEN THIS BOUNDARY AND A STRATOCU DECK
FARTHER E IN THE EDWARDS PLATEAU. CONTINUED DESTABILIZATION ALONG
WITH WEAK MID-LEVEL HEIGHT FALLS SHOULD SUPPORT ISOLATED TO PERHAPS
SCATTERED TSTM DEVELOPMENT IN THE NEXT COUPLE OF HOURS. ALTHOUGH
DEEP-LAYER WIND PROFILES WILL NOT BE AS STRONG AS FARTHER N...THEY
SHOULD BE SUFFICIENT FOR A FEW SUPERCELLS WITH LARGE HAIL AS THE
PRIMARY THREAT.

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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Somewhere.


Where've you been?
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Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Definitely. I'd say there's a very high chance we get at least 19.

...again.
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once it clears the islands the storm will be a canadian problem...................
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.
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THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR... CENTRAL HARDEMAN COUNTY IN NORTHERN TEXAS... JACKSON COUNTY IN SOUTHWEST OKLAHOMA... * UNTIL 215 PM CDT * AT 123 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS DETECTED A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING HALF DOLLAR SIZE HAIL AND DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH. THIS STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR QUANAH...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 40 MPH. OTHER STRONG TO SEVERE STORMS WERE LOCATED FROM ELDORADO TO ALTUS AND BLAIR. * LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE... ALTUS...QUANAH...BLAIR...OLUSTEE...ELDORADO...MART HA...ELMER... ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE...GOODLETT AND FRIENDSHIP.
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Quoting Grothar:
Very close to Puerto Rico and Vieques.


gro, some of the models make him a cat-1 later in the coming week
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I see we have Rafeal.Is it a possibility we get 19 named storms?

Definitely. I'd say there's a very high chance we get at least 19.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31575
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Somewhere.

He's back!
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Very close to Puerto Rico and Vieques.


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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.