Rafael intensifying, but is pulling away from the Lesser Antilles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:55 PM GMT on October 14, 2012

Share this Blog
29
+

Tropical Storm Rafael is intensifying, but is headed northwards away from the Lesser Antilles Islands, after bringing gusty winds and heavy rains to the islands over the past two days. Three-day rainfall amounts of 2 - 3" were common over the Leeward Islands, but the winds mostly stayed below tropical storm-force. Here are some of the peak wind gusts from Rafael and rainfall totals from Oct 11 through 10 am EDT October 14:

Barbados, 47 mph, 0.81"
Antigua: 37 mph, 3.66"
Martinique: 30 mph, 3.10"
St. Lucia: 39 mph, 2.07"
St. Martin: 45 mph, 2.56"
Guadaloupe: 36 mph, 2.51"
Dominica: 25 mph, 2.68"
St. Kiits: 34 mph, 3.47"

Satellite loops show that Rafael has gotten much more organized late this morning, with an impressive spiral band with very heavy thunderstorms to the east of the center. Heavy thunderstorms with cold cloud tops are forming over the center, the hallmark of an intensifying tropical storm. The Hurricane Hunters found a central pressure of 997 mb, and winds at their 5,000-foot flight level of 68 mph this morning. Rafael is experiencing a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Rafael.

Forecast for Rafael
Wind shear is expected to remain in the moderate range through Tuesday, which should allow Rafael to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane. Heavy rains will continue over the Leeward Islands today and diminish on Monday. A tropical storm watch has been posted for Bermuda, which is at risk of seeing tropical storm-force winds from Rafael on Tuesday. The 11 am EDT wind probability forecast from NHC gave Bermuda a 40% chance of experiencing tropical storm-force winds between Monday night and Wednesday morning, and a 6% chance of experiencing hurricane-force winds. The models are pretty tightly clustered showing a track for Rafael to the east of Bermuda, which would put the island on the weaker (left front) side of the storm.

Tropical Storm Paul forms in the Eastern Pacific
Tropical Storm Paul formed yesterday in the East Pacific, and is headed northwards towards Mexico's Baja Peninsula. Paul's formation brings this year's tally of named storms in the East Pacific to sixteen, making 2012 just the third year since records began in 1949 that both the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic have had at least sixteen named storms. The other years were 2003 and 2008.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Anais in the Southwest Pacific taken at 2:05 am EDT Sunday October 14, 2012. At the time, Anais was a Category 3 storm with 120 mph winds, the strongest tropical cyclone ever observed in the Southwest Pacific so early in their hurricane season. Image credit: NASA.

A rare early-season major tropical cyclone in the Southwest Indian Ocean
It's springtime in the Southern Hemisphere, where an unusual tropical cyclone has formed--Tropical Cyclone Anais, which hit Category 3 strength with 120 mph winds. According to Meteo France in La Reunion Island, Anais is the earliest major hurricane to form during the Southwest Indian Ocean's tropical cyclone season, which typically runs from November to May. Anais' formation in mid-October is akin to getting a major hurricane in the Atlantic during April, something which has never occurred (the earliest major hurricane on record in the Atlantic occurred on May 21, 1951.) Anais is the second earliest hurricane of any kind to form so early in the Southwest Indian Ocean tropical cyclone season, after Tropical Cyclone Blanche of October 10, 1969. Anais may reach Category 4 strength before cooler waters and increased wind shear weaken the storm as it approaches Madagascar.

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: 96 - 46

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12Blog Index

Somethin' is up...I still can't get advisory 8A...the tropical weather discussion...nor the TWO to show up on a smartphone and two laptops...oh well...

This is what the top of the NHC webpage keeps saying:
Last update Sun, 14 Oct 2012 16:11:00 UTC
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Slamguitar:
Did he break the sound barrier?



I don't know, but there were reports they could hear him screaming all the way to Japan.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LargoFl:
i hope so jed, righty now the straights are really warm


Indeed but that may change. We will cool off quite a bit next week around here, I won't be surprised if we don't hit 80 on Wednesday and especially by the weekend. Low temps inland will fall well into the 50's and 40's north. The crazy rainy season of 2012 is over and we are headed into Fall now.


Obviously a hurricane threat ca never be ruled out yet, but long term upper air patterns seem to be not favoring such.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR SOUTHEASTERN DE KALB...
NORTHEASTERN LA SALLE...WESTERN KENDALL AND SOUTHERN KANE COUNTIES
UNTIL 215 PM CDT...

AT 153 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR PLANO...MOVING NORTHEAST AT 45 MPH.

THIS DANGEROUS STORM WILL BE NEAR...
SUGAR GROVE AND MONTGOMERY AROUND 205 PM CDT.
AURORA AROUND 210 PM CDT.
NORTH AURORA AND ELBURN AROUND 215 PM CDT.

OTHER LOCATIONS AFFECTED...
AURORA UNIVERSITY...IL MATH AND SCIENCE ACADEMY...SANDWICH
FAIRGROUNDS...WAUBONSEE COMMUNITY COLLEGE...

THE FOLLOWING INTERSTATES MAY BE IMPACTED...

I-88 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 104 AND 117.


LAT...LON 4162 8877 4194 8848 4176 8826 4175 8826
4150 8853
TIME...MOT...LOC 1855Z 215DEG 38KT 4167 8853

$$

ENDERLEN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JLPR2:


Nah, someone even made an unofficial advisory on it yesterday. XD


:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jedkins01:


I'm making reference to the Florida area, water temps around Florida will drop quite a bit.
i hope so jed, righty now the straights are really warm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RetiredChiefP:


It seems they will have to analyze data in his suit to see if he broke the sound barrier. But so far looks like he may have. Was scary there for a bit...was watching him tumble uncontrollably. I started breathing again when he stabilized. He missed the longest freefall record by about 20 seconds though. Kittinger still holds that one.


So glad it ended well for Felix Baumgartner...it was amazing.

Coincidentally, on this day in history: Chuck Yeager was the first man to break the sound barrier on October 14, 1947, flying the experimental Bell X-1 at Mach 1 at an altitude of 45,000 ft (13,700 m). Wikipedia
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting LargoFl:
jed..water temps where it forms is high 80's


I'm making reference to the Florida area, water temps around Florida will drop quite a bit.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Moving north out to sea



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:

There is an intermediate advisory, 8A, with 60mph winds and a 996mb pressure.

Sorry. Just saw that. Computer just updated it. Weird...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NCHurricane2009:

Oooo lemme see...that means I'll be affected too...

NWS in Grand rapids put out a special weather statement on it, Link.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:

There are no watches or warnings anywhere. Therefore, no intermediate advisories.

There is an intermediate advisory, 8A, with 60mph winds and a 996mb pressure.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:

There are no watches or warnings anywhere. Therefore, no intermediate advisories.

There's a watch for Bermuda as of 11 AM EDT...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:
Storms rapidly developing in the Great Lakes, could have 50-60mph winds. I will probably be getting into the action is a couple hours as these storms are moving at 55mph.

Oooo lemme see...that means I'll be affected too...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NCHurricane2009:
I can't get the NHC website to update at 2 PM (Rafael Intermediate advisory...TWO...etc...etc..)...anyone else?

There are no watches or warnings anywhere. Therefore, no intermediate advisories.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wxchaser97:

I got part of the intermediate advisory and no TWO, 60mph and 996mb.

I guess I ain't the only one then...maybe the NHC was also busy watching Felix the skydiver...LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Storms rapidly developing in the Great Lakes, could have 50-60mph winds. I will probably be getting into the action is a couple hours as these storms are moving at 55mph.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Ok...I have tried my smartphone...and two different laptops...and I still can't get the 2 PM EDT info on Rafael...does anyone have the 2 PM advisory?

I can't imagine something is wrong with my stuff when I try three different machines...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
360 to 372 hours is the bad time down there......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NCHurricane2009:
I can't get the NHC website to update at 2 PM (Rafael Intermediate advisory...TWO...etc...etc..)...anyone else?

I got part of the intermediate advisory and no TWO, 60mph and 996mb.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:



lifting up and out now
with bermuda next up then on to the grandbanks of newfoundland
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
looking like a storm now Rafael

Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RetiredChiefP:


It seems they will have to analyze data in his suit to see if he broke the sound barrier. But so far looks like he may have. Was scary there for a bit...was watching him tumble uncontrollably. I started breathing again when he stabilized. He missed the longest freefall record by about 20 seconds though. Kittinger still holds that one.


I clicked on the feed a half minute into the jump, and saw him just flailing down the atmosphere. I don't think I took a breath until he stabilized either.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I can't get the NHC website to update at 2 PM (Rafael Intermediate advisory...TWO...etc...etc..)...anyone else?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
There's a tornado warned storm not far from Chicago right now.

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL
143 PM CDT SUN OCT 14 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHICAGO HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
SOUTHEASTERN DE KALB COUNTY...
SOUTHERN KANE COUNTY...
WESTERN KENDALL COUNTY...
NORTHEASTERN LA SALLE COUNTY...

* UNTIL 215 PM CDT

* AT 142 PM...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS DANGEROUS
STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR NEWARK...OR 6 MILES SOUTH OF SANDWICH...AND
MOVING NORTHEAST AT 45 MPH.

* THIS TORNADIC STORM WILL BE NEAR...
SANDWICH AROUND 150 PM.
PLANO...LITTLE ROCK AND YORKVILLE AROUND 155 PM.
SUGAR GROVE AND MONTGOMERY AROUND 205 PM.
AURORA AROUND 210 PM.
NORTH AURORA AND ELBURN AROUND 215 PM.

OTHER LOCATIONS IMPACTED...
AURORA UNIVERSITY...IL MATH AND SCIENCE ACADEMY...SANDWICH
FAIRGROUNDS...WAUBONSEE COMMUNITY COLLEGE...

I-88 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 104 AND 118.


PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A
STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A VEHICLE OR OUTDOORS... MOVE
TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING
DEBRIS.

&&

LAT...LON 4176 8826 4175 8826 4145 8859 4145 8860
4144 8860 4156 8882 4194 8848
TIME...MOT...LOC 1843Z 215DEG 38KT 4157 8863

$$

ENDERLEN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aspectre:
Grothar: I saw it first.
54 JLPR2: Nah, someone even made an unofficial advisory on it yesterday. XD

And Grothar called it 3&1/2 days ago or thereabouts.


Ah... missed that, yeah, Gro called it. xD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jedkins01:


The good news is, water temps are going to drop quite a bit for the rest of October as a cooler weather pattern arrives.
jed..water temps where it forms is high 80's
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aspectre:
Grothar: I saw it first.
54 JLPR2: Nah, someone even made an unofficial advisory on it yesterday. XD

And Grothar called it 3&1/2 days ago or thereabouts.
it dont matter guys..south florida had better stay tuned if what i just saw comes true..remember..wilma came about this time huh...floridians remember for sure...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LargoFl:
guys whatever the GFS is picking up on..from 348 hours to 360 hours it moves towards south florida, at 372 hours it clips miami and south florida..lets pray the GFS does NOT see a hurricane ok..850 vorts..and its a LONG ways off but.......


The good news is, water temps are going to drop quite a bit for the rest of October as a cooler weather pattern arrives.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RetiredChiefP:


Thanks KOG...was wondering how fast when he was tumbling. The live video feed couldn't keep up with the data. It only showed about 695 MPH, there was a pause, then started slowing.
the feed here at city tv had speed up till just before 1000 mph mark

but i can not confirm 1000mph

highest maybe 985 or 995 before city dropped that part of the screen
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
The amount of awesome in this picture is indescribable. My heart hasn't pounded that much while watching a live event since the space shuttle.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24579
Doc you are better at this than i am, but the GFS picks up something from 348 hours to 384 hours and it comes real close to, even hits..south florida then heads up the east coast..i know its too far out but...we need to watch this one..water temps below cuba are mid to upper 80's still.......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Grothar: I saw it first.
54 JLPR2: Nah, someone even made an unofficial advisory on it yesterday. XD

And Grothar called it 3&1/2 days ago or thereabouts.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


he tumbled from 650mph point till about 885mph or there abouts
said he felt like passing out and visor had fogged up

tumble stopped after nearing or passing 1000mph
mark i figure

chut deployed and free fell all the way to surface perfect full standing landing


Thanks KOG...was wondering how fast when he was tumbling. The live video feed couldn't keep up with the data. It only showed about 695 MPH, there was a pause, then started slowing.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Slamguitar:
Did he break the sound barrier?


he tumbled from 650mph point till about 885mph or there abouts
said he felt like passing out and visor had fogged up

tumble stopped after nearing or passing 1000mph
mark i figure

chut deployed and free fell all the way to surface perfect full standing landing
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
guys whatever the GFS is picking up on..from 348 hours to 360 hours it moves towards south florida, at 372 hours it clips miami and south florida..lets pray the GFS does NOT see a hurricane ok..850 vorts..and its a LONG ways off but.......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
I saw it first.











Nah, someone even made an unofficial advisory on it yesterday. XD
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hydrus:
To far out . but..
Thats our Sandy. I know, no model, not even Bar Rafaeli develops her. But she looks better today, large circulation.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Slamguitar:
Did he break the sound barrier?


It seems they will have to analyze data in his suit to see if he broke the sound barrier. But so far looks like he may have. Was scary there for a bit...was watching him tumble uncontrollably. I started breathing again when he stabilized. He missed the longest freefall record by about 20 seconds though. Kittinger still holds that one.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Slamguitar:
Did he break the sound barrier?


I see one news site reporting that he did. I truely hope so ...amazing to watch
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Did he break the sound barrier?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Felix B safely on the ground after jumping from over 127,000 feet. Congratulations.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
AWESOME JUMP LIVE ON CITY TV


CONGRATS FELIX

NEW WORLD FREE FALL RECORD
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141
Quoting 954FtLCane:
Link

Jump is about to happen any second!



And it was AMAZING!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Link

Jump is about to happen any second!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 96 - 46

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12Blog 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