Rafael expected to brush Bermuda; Hurricane Paul headed towards Baja

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:24 PM GMT on October 15, 2012

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Tropical Storm Rafael is intensifying as it pulls away from the Lesser Antilles Islands. Data from the Hurricane Hunters and satellite loops show that Rafael has gotten more organized this morning, with a blow-up of very heavy thunderstorms near the center that have created a large Central Dense Overcast (CDO), the hallmark of an intensifying tropical storm that is near hurricane strength. Rafael is experiencing high wind shear near 20 knots, and this shear is expected to remain constant through Tuesday, which should allow Rafael to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane. Sporadic heavy rains from Rafael will gradually diminish today over the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. A tropical storm warning has been posted for Bermuda, but if Rafael follows the official NHC forecast track, tropical storm-force winds will remain just offshore from Bermuda as Rafael makes its closest pass by the island on Tuesday evening. The 11 am EDT wind probability forecast from NHC gave Bermuda a 29% chance of experiencing tropical storm-force winds between Monday night and Wednesday morning, and a 1% chance of experiencing hurricane-force winds. The models are pretty tightly clustered showing a track for Rafael to the east of Bermuda, putting the island on the weaker (left front) side of the storm.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Rafael.

Hurricane Paul forms in the Eastern Pacific
Hurricane Paul is putting on a burst of rapid intensification, and is a strong Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph as it heads northwards towards Mexico's Baja Peninsula. Paul will have favorable conditions for intensification through Tuesday morning, when wind shear is predicted to rise to the high range, above 20 knots. Paul should be weakening quickly as it approaches the coast of Baja Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, but heavy rains from the storm will spread over Baja beginning on Tuesday night, and these rains will be capable of causing flooding problems. 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. On average, the Eastern Pacific experiences one named storm after October 15, which would bring this season's total activity to 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes. An average Eastern Pacific season has 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Hurricane Paul.

A rare early-season major tropical cyclone in the Southwest Pacific
It's springtime in the Southern Hemisphere, where Category 3 Tropical Cyclone Anais is churning southwestwards towards Madgascar. 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 has moved over cooler waters, and has weakened slightly to 115 mph winds, down from the peak 120 mph it had on Sunday. Further weakening is expected over the next few days as wind shear increases and the waters beneath continue to cool, and Anais is not expected to directly impact any land areas.


Figure 3. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Anais in the Southwest Pacific taken at 5:40 am EDT Monday October 15, 2012. At the time, Anais was a Category 3 storm with 115 mph winds, and was the strongest tropical cyclone ever observed in the Southwest Pacific so early in their hurricane season. Image credit: NASA.

Jeff Masters

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62. wxchaser97
7:23 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Thanks Dr. Masters
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
61. Neapolitan
5:20 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting StormHype:


I believe that's pure speculation that temperatures will start to decline if man stops putting greenhouse gasses into the air. I've heard scientists say it will have negligible effects at this point.
That would be only because it takes decades for atmospheric CO2 to stop doing its dirty work of heating the earth's surface. But we have to stop sometime; there's no time like right now.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13536
60. StormHype
5:11 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting Neapolitan:
Well, it won't so long as we keep pumping 40 trillion liters a day of warmth-inducing CO2 into the air. But several decades after we wise up and stop putting fossil fuel profits ahead of people, temperatures will indeed start to decline. (Of course, a supercollosal volcanic eruption or the impact of a very large comet could greatly accelerate that cooling process, but those are cures every bit as bad as the disease, so I wouldn't wish them on anyone.)


I believe that's pure speculation that temperatures will start to decline if man stops putting greenhouse gasses into the air. I've heard scientists say it will have negligible effects at this point.
Member Since: May 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1204
58. Neapolitan
5:05 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting luvtogolf:


I don't know if GW is over or not. What I do know is that the earth will cool again.
Well, it won't so long as we keep pumping 40 trillion liters a day of warmth-inducing CO2 into the air. But several decades after we wise up and stop putting fossil fuel profits ahead of people, temperatures will indeed start to decline. (Of course, a supercollosal volcanic eruption or the impact of a very large comet could greatly accelerate that cooling process, but those are cures every bit as bad as the disease, so I wouldn't wish them on anyone.)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13536
57. GTcooliebai
5:05 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting StormHype:


Looks analogous to Wilma scenario. Still way too far out in time to give it much consideration obviously.
Agree and sometimes development can be pushed back or ahead and track hinges on the exact spot of development, so it still could miss FL. entirely.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
56. aspectre
5:03 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
32 CybrTeddy: Well, the ATCF has yet to take back the upgrade.
AL, 17, 2012101512, , BEST, 0, 226N, 656W, 65, 983, HU

The ATCF reports "the conditions on ground": ie as of 15Oct12pmGMT Rafael had hurricane-force MaxSusWinds.
BUT the NHC makes the call on whether or not Rafael has had those MaxSusWinds over a long enough period of time to have earned Cat.1 hurricane-status.

Basicly what the NHC said on their intermediateAdvisory is,
"Unless something unexpected occurs, Raphael will be categorized as a Hurricane on the next Advisory."
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
55. StormHype
5:03 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting Xyrus2000:


It would be nice if people would understand that there is a huge difference between arctic and antarctic climates and their global impacts. They are not the same, they do not cancel out, and in fact the increase in antarctic ice was a predicted side affect of warming global temperatures. There are multiple papers on the topic, but of course we shouldn't let science and facts get in the way of truthiness.


I knew this would burst some bubbles. lol So you're saying this article is not telling the truth? Don't shoot the messenger.
Member Since: May 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1204
54. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
5:01 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
53. StormHype
5:00 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting GTcooliebai:
GFS says Halloween storm for FL. starting to see consistency with development from run to run.



Looks analogous to Wilma scenario. Still way too far out in time to give it much consideration obviously.
Member Since: May 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1204
52. Xyrus2000
5:00 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting StormHype:
Antarctic Sea Ice hits record HIGH?
Nat Geo Story

Fire up the coal. Let's make some electricity.



It would be nice if people would understand that there is a huge difference between arctic and antarctic climates and their global impacts. They are not the same, they do not cancel out, and in fact the increase in antarctic ice was a predicted side affect of warming global temperatures. There are multiple papers on the topic, but of course we shouldn't let science and facts get in the way of truthiness.
Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1480
51. Tropicsweatherpr
4:59 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting GTcooliebai:
GFS says Halloween storm for FL. starting to see consistency with development from run to run.



And the timeframe of development starts in 216 hours.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14266
50. FtMyersgal
4:55 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting Grothar:


One more.


You mean the Fresca? No thanks LOL
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1216
49. calkevin77
4:54 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting jeffs713:

Real quick quote from the Nat Geo article...

"Even so, it's a slow rate of growth—about one percent over last year—not nearly enough to offset melting in the Arctic, which broke records just weeks ago."



What is more important is the fluid in said glass.


And even more important than that is if it is single malt. :)
Member Since: June 9, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 848
48. Grothar
4:54 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
My prediction for the Winter season in the U.S.

-Temperatures will be colder than this past summer.

I have been trying to think of something intelligent to say for the past two days. After looking over some of the entries on here since yesterday, I see some have faced the same dilemna as I.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26146
47. jeffs713
4:54 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Well, I see it is going to be another bi-polar day, along with the polar opposites.


They have medicines for that, too.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5882
46. jeffs713
4:52 PM GMT on October 15, 2012

Real quick quote from the Nat Geo article...

"Even so, it's a slow rate of growth—about one percent over last year—not nearly enough to offset melting in the Arctic, which broke records just weeks ago."

Quoting RitaEvac:
I just added ice to my glass, ice is increasing around the globe


What is more important is the fluid in said glass.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5882
45. Grothar
4:50 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


And the Twinkies!


Haven't eaten Twinkies since we lived in San Francisco.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26146
44. GTcooliebai
4:50 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
GFS says Halloween storm for FL. starting to see consistency with development from run to run.

Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
43. Grothar
4:49 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting FtMyersgal:


Don't forget the cheetos


One more.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26146
42. RitaEvac
4:48 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
I just added ice to my glass, ice is increasing around the globe
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9630
41. jeffs713
4:47 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting StormHype:
Antarctic Sea Ice hits record HIGH?
Nat Geo Story

Fire up the coal. Let's make some electricity.



Um... its Winter down there... I wouldn't exactly be expecting a record low...
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5882
40. Some1Has2BtheRookie
4:44 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting StormHype:
Antarctic Sea Ice hits record HIGH?
Nat Geo Story

Fire up the coal. Let's make some electricity.



Well, I see it is going to be another bi-polar day, along with the polar opposites.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
39. Some1Has2BtheRookie
4:42 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting FtMyersgal:


Don't forget the cheetos


And the Twinkies!
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
38. StormHype
4:41 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Antarctic Sea Ice hits record HIGH?
Nat Geo Story

Fire up the coal. Let's make some electricity.

Member Since: May 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1204
37. FtMyersgal
4:40 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting Grothar:


I'm already filling my water bottles. :)


Don't forget the cheetos
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1216
36. Autistic2
4:39 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
For those more knoledge than me. Is the season over for the gulf and fl?
Member Since: August 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 461
35. Some1Has2BtheRookie
4:36 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting luvtogolf:


I don't know if GW is over or not. What I do know is that the earth will cool again. That's why it is called climate change.


We can also say that in 4 billion years, or so, our sun will grow into a Red Giant and toast Earth, if not eat it whole. What does a future cooling have to do with a present warming?
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4737
34. CybrTeddy
4:33 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting KUEFC:
"More and more models" not at all, ECMWF has already dropped any hint of developmeant, while the GFS is changing its mind in every run, and the CMC is well the CMC,

Never understand why people post model runs that are so far in the future, is it just to try and scare people?


The ECMWF didn't develop Patty and just about half the named storms this year. The GFS isn't changing its mind, and the CMC is far more accurate than some give it credit for. However, models beyond 120 hours out are in principle unreliable. We're looking though at stuff beyond 300 hours because, because they, the GFS particularly, goes out that far to tell us what kind of pattern might begin to take shape. It's not there for scare tactics, and we don't post it to scare people. We are weather enthusiasts, we post things because we like to track hurricanes.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24023
33. luvtogolf
4:31 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting LargoFl:
great news now we wont see any of your anti global warming posts?


I don't know if GW is over or not. What I do know is that the earth will cool again. That's why it is called climate change.
Member Since: June 12, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 992
32. CybrTeddy
4:30 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Well, the ATCF has yet to take back the upgrade.
AL, 17, 2012101512, , BEST, 0, 226N, 656W, 65
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24023
31. jeffs713
4:24 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting Arisilde:
Global Warming is over...

Link
This can be debunked so easily, I'm not even going to waste much time on it. Something about "cherry picking" and "tin foil hats".
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5882
30. aspectre
4:18 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
558 CybrTeddy: Huh?
..RAFAEL EXPECTED TO BECOME A HURRICANE LATER TODAY... ...TROPICAL STORM WARNING ISSUED FOR BERMUDA...
11:00 AM AST Mon Oct 15
Location: 23.0*N 65.7*W
Moving: NNW at 9 mph
Min pressure: 985 mb
Max sustained: 70 mph
What could have come in to not declare it a hurricane?

Lack of sufficient persistance thus far. It takes 6hours of having higher-category MaximumSustainedWinds to bump a TropicalCyclone into a higher StormCategory.
What the NHC is saying is that Raphael definitely did not have hurricane-force winds at the time of the NHCAdvisory 6hours ago, nor through the 6hour-span between ATCF reports
AND
Rather than confuse folks by putting Raphael into the 75mph MaxSusWinds category (of a minimal hurricane), the NHC dumped it into the 70mph category (showing that the average MaxSusWinds over the previous 6hours was less than hurricane-force)
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
29. GeorgiaStormz
4:17 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Thanks Dr Masters
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9727
28. KUEFC
4:14 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
"More and more models" not at all, ECMWF has already dropped any hint of developmeant, while the GFS is changing its mind in every run, and the CMC is well the CMC,

Never understand why people post model runs that are so far in the future, is it just to try and scare people?
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 93
27. SFLWeatherman
4:14 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
My new Winter 2012/2013 video!
Link
Member Since: May 23, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 4527
26. Neapolitan
4:13 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting Arisilde:
Global Warming is over..
That's great news! But someone needs to tell that to the planet; it seems to have missed the memo...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13536
25. LargoFl
4:11 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38509
24. LargoFl
4:10 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting Grothar:


I'm already filling my water bottles. :)
yeah gro, time to check over everything..just in case
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38509
23. ARiot
4:09 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting Arisilde:
Global Warming is over...

Link


Good thing the Met knew what was coming.

http://metofficenews.wordpress.com/
Member Since: June 24, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 366
22. JLPR2
4:06 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Looking interesting.

Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8698
21. Grothar
4:06 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting LargoFl:
more and more models are warning miami and south florida, though way off. 10 days or more


I'm already filling my water bottles. :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26146
19. LargoFl
4:05 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting Arisilde:
Global Warming is over...

Link
great news now we wont see any of your anti global warming posts?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38509
18. LargoFl
4:04 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting Grothar:
This is the FIM9 model for the 26th. Look at the east coast of Florida.

more and more models are warning miami and south florida, though way off. 10 days or more
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38509
17. jpsb
4:04 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting Arisilde:
Global Warming is over...

Link
Excellent News!
Member Since: June 30, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1192
16. Grothar
4:02 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
This is the FIM model for the 26th. Look at the east coast of Florida.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26146
15. SherwoodSpirit
4:00 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
An I seeing things?



Looks like an eye is forming.
Member Since: July 18, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 394
14. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
3:54 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53839
13. TropicalAnalystwx13
3:52 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
An I seeing things?

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32056
12. Arisilde
3:50 PM GMT on October 15, 2012
Global Warming is over...

Link
Member Since: June 15, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 18

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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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