Rafael intensifying, but is pulling away from the Lesser Antilles

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

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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

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496. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting washingtonian115:
Is that from Rafeal now?.Because if that's the case he may be a canidate for retirement. Sorta like Tomas was from causing damaging flooding in the islands two years ago.


It was from over the weekend. About the worst I've seen from it. Even those pics depicted one street. Another report..

There were no immediate reports of any significant damage or injuries in the Caribbean islands as the center of the tropical storm churned toward the north-northwest at about 10 mph (17 kph). By late Sunday night, it was about 235 miles (380 kilometers) north-northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and was packing winds of roughly 70 mph (110 kph).

Read more:
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Quoting AussieStorm:


The Arctic Sea ice area has recovered by 1.33105 million Sq. kilometres as of 1 week ago. Up from 2.23401 million sq. kilometres.



I'm pretty certain that when MOST people think about sea-ice recovery, they're talking about year-over-year net changes in sea ice, not the expected seasonal trends--ESPECIALLY when they're brought up in the context of global climate (it would be silly, misleading, and more than a little bit of arguing in bad faith to do otherwise).

It's also curious that it seems to be the people that complain the most vociferously when the blog topics turn to climate science are the ones that themselves have made it a topic on a blog post about tropical weather. Yet another example of humans influencing their own environment, I guess...
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Typhoon Prapiroon








Sitting and spinning over the same waters can kill even annular-looking typhoons.
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492. Skyepony (Mod)
I was looking over the Antarctic ice spread lastnight. Masters has discussed that here before, how it's a small probability short lived plus in a warming world. Anyway it makes for impressive calving incidence. As it did this year with Thwaites Glacier Tongue Major Calving Event. Pretty neat article. The mapping we are getting done down there is long overdue.
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Quoting Skyepony:
St. Kitts

Water running through College St. Ghaut



SKELEC informed consumers earlier today that crews continue to work to restore power to affected areas, many of which have been without power since Saturday (Oct. 13).

"Areas that are still without power are Lodge to White Gate; Crab Tree Sandy Point, St. Johnstons Village, Buckley's, Camps to Trinity, Lower Monkey Hill and areas of Frigate Bay. Several other localised (homes) areas are without power within the areas that currently are being serviced. Crews are working on all areas to restore service," the utility company said via press release.

It also informed that the early morning island-wide outage was due to damage to the Canada Feeder, which the company was working to repair.

"Crews are trying to overcome some infrastructural damage and gain access to the damaged area so persons in Conaree and Canada Estate and some in the Half Moon areas will be without power until we are able to get proper road access," the release stated.

"The Newtown Bay Road between the Craft House and the Fisheries as well as the Irish Town Bay Road between College Street and the Gardens Housing are closed to vehicular traffic.

"This closure is due to the deposit of sand and debris on the road. Crews are presently in the process of clearing the roads. Onlookers are cautioned to stay clear of these areas as your presence exposes you to injury and slows up the operations," the Traffic department informed.

There have been reports of major flooding in most of the island's ghauts and several vehicles have been washed away. Several small boats have also washed ashore. more here.

Is that from Rafeal now?.Because if that's the case he may be a canidate for retirement. Sorta like Tomas was from causing damaging flooding in the islands two years ago.
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490. Skyepony (Mod)
St. Kitts

Water running through College St. Ghaut



SKELEC informed consumers earlier today that crews continue to work to restore power to affected areas, many of which have been without power since Saturday (Oct. 13).

"Areas that are still without power are Lodge to White Gate; Crab Tree Sandy Point, St. Johnstons Village, Buckley's, Camps to Trinity, Lower Monkey Hill and areas of Frigate Bay. Several other localised (homes) areas are without power within the areas that currently are being serviced. Crews are working on all areas to restore service," the utility company said via press release.

It also informed that the early morning island-wide outage was due to damage to the Canada Feeder, which the company was working to repair.

"Crews are trying to overcome some infrastructural damage and gain access to the damaged area so persons in Conaree and Canada Estate and some in the Half Moon areas will be without power until we are able to get proper road access," the release stated.

"The Newtown Bay Road between the Craft House and the Fisheries as well as the Irish Town Bay Road between College Street and the Gardens Housing are closed to vehicular traffic.

"This closure is due to the deposit of sand and debris on the road. Crews are presently in the process of clearing the roads. Onlookers are cautioned to stay clear of these areas as your presence exposes you to injury and slows up the operations," the Traffic department informed.

There have been reports of major flooding in most of the island's ghauts and several vehicles have been washed away. Several small boats have also washed ashore. more here.

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Quoting Neapolitan:
You never presented any "sound, scientific peer-reviewed data" showing that the Arctic sea ice was in recovery. I know this because a) I have a really good memory, and b) it ain't happening. But if you do have any such evidence--and by "evidence", I don't mean a WUWT blog entry--I would, again, really love to see it.

BTW: I've ever voted down one of your comments. Just thought you should know that.


The Arctic Sea ice area has recovered by 1.33105 million Sq. kilometres as of 1 week ago. Up from 2.23401 million sq. kilometres.

I'll say no more. Goodnight all.
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I see Rafeal is now a hurricane.

Anyway Noaa is building a station in College park M.D which is about 10 miles away from me.It's located near the University of Maryland campus.They are having a ribbon cutting ceremoney today.I hope they give tours soon.
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Nice eye Paul is developing..I think this storm could reach major status...
It looks like a 90 - 105 mph storm to me
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Quoting TomballTXPride:

Thanks for making my point, Bif.

Neapolitan--the information is out there. And when I did present the sound, scientific peer-reviewed data a few blogs back it was unfairly shunned and cast out with a strong, bias agenda stench... You are welcome to go back a few pages and read it....that is of course after you unhide the comment due to the repeated minusing of it.
You never presented any "sound, scientific peer-reviewed data" showing that the Arctic sea ice was in recovery. I know this because a) I have a really good memory, and b) it doesn't exist. But if you do have any such evidence--and by "evidence", I don't mean a WUWT blog entry--I would, again, really love to see it.

BTW: I've ever voted down one of your comments. Just thought you should know that.
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483. SLU
AL, 17, 2012101512, , BEST, 0, 226N, 656W, 65, 983, HU

This is now the 26th hurricane in the Atlantic since 2010. Incredible.
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Quoting TomballTXPride:

Maybe the last, Allan.

Or not.
I think we will end with 10 and the last one will be a major.I am really hoping that Gordon is upgrade to a major to end at least with descent numbers in terms of majors in the Atlantic.
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Quoting TomballTXPride:
More evidence coming in suggesting that the Arctic may be following suit with increasing the ice area, volume, and extent.
Well, don't be shy; please do share with us any evidence you've seen that Arctic sea ice is in recovery. I--and about a hundred thousand scientists--would love to see it...
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http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/

It isn't misinformation. it is a gain of 0.9% /- 0.6%
so it is a very minor deal but not nothing.
It is warmer there.

"First, climate is warming over much of the Antarctic continent, as shown in several recent studies (e.g., Chapman and Walsh, 2007, Monaghan et al., 2008, Steig et al., 2009) and is related to Pacific Ocean warming (Ding et al., 2010) and circumpolar winds. Both warming and ozone loss act to strengthen the circumpolar winds in the south. This is due primarily to persistently cold conditions prevailing on Antarctica year-round, and a cold stratosphere above Antarctica due to the ozone hole. Stronger winds generally act to blow the sea ice outward, slightly increasing the extent, except in the Antarctic Peninsula region, where due to geography, winds from the north have also increased, pushing the ice southward. Thus, sea ice extent near the northwestern Antarctic Peninsula continues to decline rapidly, while areas in the Ross Sea and the southern Indian Ocean show significant increases (Stammerjohn et al., 2012). Circumpolar-averaged sea ice extent changes nearly cancel each other out for all months of the year (Parkinson and Cavalieri, 2012). This winter, atmospheric conditions were near average overall, with roughly equal areas of cooler and warmer air temperatures over the sea ice."

You asked for it. Back to lurking.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
In what comes as no surprise at all, the ATCF says Rafael has made the big time:

AL, 17, 2012101512, , BEST, 0, 226N, 656W, 65, 983, HU, 64, NEQ, 40, 0, 0, 0, 1008, 300, 40, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, RAFAEL, D,
The ninth of the season.
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Quoting AussieStorm:
Typhoon Prapiroon









that eye is scary looking
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Hurricane RAFAEL
17-9-1
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In what comes as no surprise at all, the ATCF agrees that Rafael has made the big time:

AL, 17, 2012101512, , BEST, 0, 226N, 656W, 65, 983, HU, 64, NEQ, 40, 0, 0, 0, 1008, 300, 40, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, RAFAEL, D,

17-9-1
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Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 15th day of the month at 11:09Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 303)
Storm Number & Year: 17L in 2012
Storm Name: Rafael (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 6
Observation Number: 03
A. Time of Center Fix: 15th day of the month at 10:39:10Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 22°19'N 65°25'W (22.3167N 65.4167W)
B. Center Fix Location: 273 miles (440 km) to the N (9°) from San Juan, Puerto Rico (USA).
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,285m (4,216ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 44kts (~ 50.6mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 29 nautical miles (33 statute miles) to the SW (230°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 323° at 44kts (From the NW at ~ 50.6mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 31 nautical miles (36 statute miles) to the SW (230°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 985mb (29.09 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 18°C (64°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,525m (5,003ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 21°C (70°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,525m (5,003ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 16°C (61°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Levels (sfc and flt lvl centers are within 5nm of each other): Surface and 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 2 nautical miles
Remarks Section:
Maximum Wind Outbound: 81kts (~ 93.2mph) in the northeast quadrant at 10:55:00Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 81kts (~ 93.2mph) in the northeast quadrant at 10:55:00Z
Maximum Flight Level Temp: 24°C (75°F) which was observed 23 nautical miles (26 statute miles) to the SW (231°) from the flight level center
Maximum SFMR Estimated Surface Wind Outbound: 56kts (~ 64.4mph
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Quoting TomballTXPride:

Precisely, Aussie. Hence the need for me to edit my post and insert that little smiley at the end of it.

More evidence coming in suggesting that the Arctic may be following suit with increasing the ice area, volume, and extent. But that still wouldn't quiet some of the AGW warriors on here.

Shhhhhh don't say that, you'll stir them.
LOL
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Do y'all still complain that there are too many posts about global warming?
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Typhoon Prapiroon







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12z Best Track upgrades to hurricane.

AL, 17, 2012101512, , BEST, 0, 226N, 656W, 65, 983, HU
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14906
Quoting TomballTXPride:

Please refrain from spreading false information. The Antarctic Ice is deteriorating as much as the Arctic--with human C02 emissions being the sole culprit of ice loss.

EDIT: Forgot to add the smiley face. :-]


Um...... the Antarctic had it's record sea ice area of 16.22173 million sq. kilometres on the 24th of September 2012. The 2011/12 summer low was 1.96297 million sq. kilometres (02/24/2012). It will be interesting what the 2012/13 summer low Sea ice area is.
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I wrote a blog on Rafael and Paul, feel free to check it out.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


is there any wind evidence...the pressure can keep going down but if the winds don't go up then he stays as a TS

80 knot flight level winds and a peak surface wind of 61 knots.
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Good Morning/Evening

It is still weird seeing a clockwise spinning Typhoon next to a hurricane.

Interesting report on the antarctic. If the arctic can just remain stable for the next 500 years, the antarctic gains might off set the losses.(+1% per decade vs. -50% drop in summer minimum area this year.)
Mapping under the antarctic to get changes in ice thickness there is pretty cool. At least now we have a partial baseline to measure volume changes against.

Any news on the other 3 in the plane crash?
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What's the chance of a system spinning up in the SW Caribbean??

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Recon found 982 millibars with 26 knot surface winds. Rafael will be upgraded to a hurricane at 11am EDT.

I am certain Rafael will be a hurricane at 11am. I think he will go higher than 80mph but that is just me.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Recon found 982 millibars with 26 knot surface winds. Rafael will be upgraded to a hurricane at 11am EDT.


is there any wind evidence...the pressure can keep going down but if the winds don't go up then he stays as a TS
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Lenny type track on 06z GFS.

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14906
Good Morning! Rafael is still packing a punch..stay safe to those in its path.

On October 15, 1954, Hurricane Hazel made landfall in NC as a Category 4 powerhouse.



Look like a war zone!
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Recon found 982 millibars with 26 knot surface winds. Rafael will be upgraded to a hurricane at 11am EDT.
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...RAFAEL NEAR HURRICANE STRENGTH...
8:00 AM AST Mon Oct 15
Location: 22.5°N 65.5°W
Moving: NNW at 9 mph
Min pressure: 985 mb
Max sustained: 70 mph
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972

BULLETIN
HURRICANE PAUL INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 7A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP162012
500 AM PDT MON OCT 15 2012

...PAUL CONTINUES TO STRENGTHEN...


SUMMARY OF 500 AM PDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...16.8N 114.8W
ABOUT 530 MI...850 KM SW OF THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 10 DEGREES AT 9 MPH...15 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...986 MB...29.12 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE WEST COAST OF THE BAJA PENINSULA FROM SANTA FE NORTHWARD TO
PUERTO SAN ANDRESITO MEXICO

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE MONITOR
PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR NATIONAL METEOROLOGICAL SERVICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 500 AM PDT...1200 UTC...THE CENTER OF HURRICANE PAUL WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 16.8 NORTH...LONGITUDE 114.8 WEST. PAUL IS MOVING
TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 9 MPH...15 KM/H...AND THIS GENERAL HEADING
WITH SOME ADDITIONAL INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IS EXPECTED DURING
THE NEXT DAY OR SO. ON THE FORECAST TRACK...PAUL COULD BE NEAR THE
WEST COAST OF THE BAJA PENINSULA LATE TUESDAY OR WEDNESDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE INCREASED TO NEAR 80 MPH...130 KM/H...
WITH HIGHER GUSTS. PAUL IS A CATEGORY ONE HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-
SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SCALE. SOME ADDITIONAL STRENGTHENING IS
FORECAST TODAY. HOWEVER...WEAKENING IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN BY
TUESDAY.

HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 25 MILES...35 KM...EAST
OF THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO
90 MILES...150 KM.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 986 MB...29.12 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH
AREA BY LATE TUESDAY.

SURF...SWELLS GENERATED BY PAUL ARE EXPECTED TO BEGIN AFFECTING THE
SOUTH AND CENTRAL COASTS OF BAJA CALIFORNIA TONIGHT. THESE SWELLS
ARE LIKELY TO CAUSE LIFE-THREATENING SURF AND RIP CURRENT
CONDITIONS. PLEASE CONSULT PRODUCTS FROM YOUR LOCAL WEATHER OFFICE.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...800 AM PDT.

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN/BROWN

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14906
The highest flight-level winds recon has found so far is ~80 knots. Using the 80% reduction, that supports an initial intensity of 65 knots.
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Another Epac Carlotta
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


The 06z is a Lenny type track.

Yeah, the GFS has been showing multiple different scenarios. It has been very consistent with developing at least one storm and I think we have at least one more storm before seasons end.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting wxchaser97:

00z GFS at 384hrs:


06z GFS at 384hrs:


The 06z is a Lenny type track.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14906

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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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