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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296. Skyepony (Mod)
BRITAIN SET FOR TRIPLE WASHOUT AS FLOODS AND GALES COME
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 196 Comments: 38769
295. Skyepony (Mod)
Cloudsat of the mid-Atlantic wave.


Barkeep1967~ We get a blog every month summing up the climate of the month before no matter what place in the record it makes.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 196 Comments: 38769
Rafael looking impressive tonight.
988.7 mb
(~ 29.20 inHg)

What's more, the winds died off when they pinned the center, and then increased as they moved out. That is an indication of a developing eyewall.
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Im sure the people in the islands are thrilled to read the GW or AGW arguments postings when they currently have a tropical storm affecting them..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16083
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The plane found an pressure of 989 millibars. Not to the center yet.

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
found an pressure of 989 millibars.

Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
an pressure

ಠ_ಠ
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5725
291. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting spathy:


Sky
You know me.
I have never and will never say that we should do nothing.

I have however repeatedly stated we should do all we can without bankrupting us in the process. All the while not neglecting all the other things that make for a cleaner planet now.


Quoting spathy:

The new figures were released as the Government made clear that it would %u2018bend%u2019 its own carbon-dioxide rules and build new power stations to try to combat the threat of blackouts.



I wasn't refering to you spathy just the article you seem to be defending.

Yet it has steadily become apparent since the 2008 crash that both the statistics and the modelling are extremely unreliable. To plan the future around them makes about as much sense as choosing a wedding date three months%u2019 hence on the basis of a long-term weather forecast.

Heat waves do cause blackouts.. solar panels would reduce the human feedback of hotter air = more AC = more CO2. It really could be achieved without bankrupting the world. Corrupt politicians are building a trash burning, air pollution power plant in Phoenix, one of our cities with the worst air. It's going to cost more than a solar plant & 20Xs as much to run.

Solar would be better then the shale gas industry getting caught red-handed discussing its use of military tactics and personnel on U.S. soil to intimidate and divide communities in order to continue its fracking bonanza...or TransCanada Tramples Free Press, Police Detain New York Times Reporter, Photographer on Private Property even though they had permission from property owner...or a cold war over the oil in the Arctic.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 196 Comments: 38769


how Dry I am.... : )
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Global Warming or No Global Warming - I believe that it is incumbent on us to prevent, as far as is possible to treat out environment responsibly - for the cleanliness of the rivers and oceans and the air we breathe, regardless of the never-ending bickering about Global Warming - just the hot air produced by both "schools'" pontificating is enough to cause Global Warming all by itself!

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Quoting spathy:


But who is this Rose person?

The one that quoted their words directly and precisely?
Again, not according to the UK Met Office. Samples:

1) "It is the second article Mr Rose has written which contains some misleading information..."

2) "...[contrary to what Mr. Rose wrote,] the Met Office has not issued a report on this issue"

3) "...Mr Rose says the Met Office made no comment about its decadal climate predictions. This is because he did not ask us to make a comment about them."

4) "...choosing a starting or end point on short-term scales can be very misleading."
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13626
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The plane found an pressure of 989 millibars. Not to the center yet.


Rafael?

It seems he's going all ninja at a not-so-turtle's pace now.
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 617
do I sense Rephael taking a brief nw turn.
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what a heat!!! so where we are in june.
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The plane found a pressure of 989 millibars. Not to the center yet.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
Quoting spathy:


Nea
That was actually a question.
The article only states "the met office"
What does that mean and who is the "Met office"?
The UK Met Office is the official meteorology/climatology entity in the United Kingdom; it's the UK's version of our NOAA. It's also the creator of the HadCRUT4 dataset from which Rose cherry-picked for his opinion piece in the Daily Mail
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13626
Oh, and an extra smiley just so little Dougie doesn't feel left out: ;-)

You're too good to me Nea!
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Quoting Neapolitan:
I have to say that I find it charming when some will cite an article that makes a claim based on a "report" from a particular entity, while simultaneously ignoring what that entity actually says. It's so cute! ;-)


Yea your right after Katrina GW was going to continue to form more and more superstorms. Oh wait that didn't happen scratch that

After Alabama and Joplin last spring these super tornadoes were now the norm. oh wait that didn't happen either

Listen GW is a concern but both side are so out to prove their point it has become ridiculous. On this site there was a huge blog about how September was the 23rd warmest September ever. ( so what but still). This article was 2 days after 100's of record lows were set in the Midwest. Nothing mentioned about that of course. Irresponsible journalism and hidden agendas on both sides is clouding the entire situation IMO
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Quoting Doppler22:
Im having issues with my computer and some websites... :/ Are the models still showing an "interesting" Halloween for Florida? as in a powerful storm smacking into florida?


I asked too. Everyone is too busy debating global warming.
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274. Relix
The African blob should be a player down the road
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Im having issues with my computer and some websites... :/ Are the models still showing an "interesting" Halloween for Florida? as in a powerful storm smacking into florida?
Member Since: February 13, 2012 Posts: 11 Comments: 3825
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 14th day of the month at 22:57Z
Corrected: This observation corrected a previous observation.
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 308)

Storm Number & Year: 17L in 2012

Storm Name: Rafael (flight in the North Atlantic basin)

Mission Number: 5

Observation Number: 02
A. Time of Center Fix: 14th day of the month at 22:24:10Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 21°11'N 64°25'W (21.1833N 64.4167W)
B. Center Fix Location: 220 miles (353 km) to the NNE (29°) from San Juan, Puerto Rico (USA).
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,362m (4,469ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 31kts (~ 35.7mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 65 nautical miles (75 statute miles) to the SW (230°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 3° at 31kts (From the N at ~ 35.7mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 87 nautical miles (100 statute miles) to the WSW (242°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 991mb (29.26 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 17°C (63°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,521m (4,990ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 20°C (68°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,523m (4,997ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 18°C (64°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: No Observation
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 4 nautical miles
Remarks Section:
Maximum Wind Outbound: 71kts (~ 81.7mph) in the northeast quadrant at 22:41:30Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 71kts (~ 81.7mph) in the northeast quadrant at 22:41:30Z
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Quoting spathy:


You mean the part where they say they were wrong but are sure they will be correct later?
No, the part where they said a) there is no "secret report", and the other part where they said b) Rose is misleading readers again, and the other part where they said c) Rose is cherry-picking, and the other part where they showed that d) eight of the warmest years on record have occurred in the past decade, putting the kibosh on Rose's silly assertion that there's been "no warming in 16 years). Those are the parts I mean. ;-)

Oh, and an extra smiley just so little Dougie doesn't feel left out: ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13626
What does the latest GFS say about any new system? Has it been consistent?
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I have to say that I find it charming when some will cite an article that makes a claim based on a "report" from a particular entity, while simultaneously ignoring what that entity actually says. It's so cute! ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13626
A low of 70!:)
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Now there's more ice at South Pole than ever (So much for global warming thawing Antarctica!)
Link
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Excellent model agreement on Rafael. He should past just east of Bermuda.

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258. Skyepony (Mod)


Spathy~ That so correct that the climate models haven't done well, ice or air. They error on too cool & too slow, where does that make this argument that we should not do anything?
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 196 Comments: 38769
I read it in the Daily Mail....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eBT6OSr1TI&featur e=youtube_gdata_player
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254. Skyepony (Mod)
Had a nice OSCAT of the blob off Africa earlier..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 196 Comments: 38769
Well I was 5mph to high.
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252. Skyepony (Mod)
Spathy~ That starts on the record breaking El Nino of 97/98 & ends at about the coolest point in the ENSO cycle. The length of the warm cool back & forth varies in both time & intensity. This is foolish points to compare. ENSO is recharging now toward warmth. We broke incredible records this year for the La Nina to Neutral we had. When El Nino comes again over a summer, especially if we see something like 97/98 it's going to be ridiculous hot.

Temps should have decreased given the solar & enso cycles in the last 16 years if the climate wasn't changing.. I can see why the scientist state they don't understand the cycles. They should study them. The way they picked their years looks very cherry picked if you do understand the natural variables.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 196 Comments: 38769

...RAFAEL STRENGTHENS...


SUMMARY OF 800 PM AST...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...21.4N 64.5W
ABOUT 225 MI...365 KM NNE OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO
ABOUT 760 MI...1220 KM S OF BERMUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...65 MPH...100 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 345 DEGREES AT 10 MPH...17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...991 MB...29.26 INCHES
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I thought Neapolitian was at first named after ice cream until I did my research

"Pertaining to the city of Napels".I feel so dumb right now ha ha XD.
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The models continue with an intensifying MJO pulse in the East Pacific and Atlantic through the end of the month. This will definitely help anything that tries to develop in the Caribbean.

Not to mention the fact that dry air is minimal, Sea Surface Temperatures and Ocean Heat Content are more than sufficient, and wind shear is near to below average.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32558
There's a reason the 18z GFS isn't exactly reliable, especially beyond 10 days... I'm not saying tonight's runs solution can't happen but it's not the most likely scenario... don't get too excited yet.
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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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