Hurricane Paul pounding Baja; Hurricane Rafael brushing Bermuda

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:06 PM GMT on October 16, 2012

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Hurricane Paul put on an impressive burst of rapid intensification on Monday, topping out as a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds at 2 pm PDT on Monday. Paul has weakened some this morning, due to high wind shear of 30 knots, but remains a potent Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds as it heads towards landfall this afternoon on the Baja Mexico coast. The 3006-passenger cruise ship Carnival Splendor made a daring run southeastwards along the Baja coast in front of Hurricane Paul, and encountered some very heavy weather this morning. At 2 am PDT, the vessel reported sustained winds of 54 mph and hail in a heavy squall located about 160 miles northeast of Paul's eye. Four hours later, at 6 am PDT, the ship was still measuring 54 mph winds, at point about 140 miles east of the eye and 40 miles northwest of the Cabo San Lucas on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. The winds were measured on top of the ship, at an altitude more than 100 feet above the standard 10 meter (32.8') altitude used to report winds. If you know of a passenger who was on the ship, tell them to upload a wunderphoto and a report of what is was like! The view from the deck webcam shows that not too many passengers were out taking wunderphotos this morning, though.

Since the region of coast where Paul will hit is very sparsely populated, heavy rains will be the main threat from the storm. Cabo San Lucas has picked up 2.23" of rain from Paul as of 7 am PDT this morning, and San Jose Del Cabo picked up 2.00". Neither city is expected to get tropical storm-force winds from Paul, according to the latest wind probability forecast from NHC. Paul's formation brings this year's tally in the Eastern Pacific to 16 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 5 major hurricanes. An average Eastern Pacific season has 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Paul taken at 2:15 pm EDT Monday, October 15, 2012. At the time, Paul was peaking in intensity--a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Rafael becomes a hurricane
Hurricane Rafael became the ninth hurricane of this busy 2012 Atlantic hurricane season on Monday afternoon. Data from the Hurricane Hunters and satellite loops show that Rafael is holding its own against high wind shear near 30 knots. Rafael has even managed to intensify slightly this morning, to a Category 1 storm with 90 mph winds, as it heads north-northeast on a path that is expected to take the center about 140 miles east of Bermuda near 8 pm EDT this Tuesday night. Images from the Bermuda radar show that the outer spiral bands of Rafael have reached the island, and very heavy rains lie just to Bermuda's south. Wind shear is expected to increase to an extremely high 40 knots on Wednesday, which should be able to weaken Rafael to a tropical storm. The 11 am EDT wind probability forecast from NHC gave Bermuda a 44% chance of experiencing tropical storm-force winds from Rafael. 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 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Rafael taken at 11:55 am EDT Monday, October 15, 2012. At the time, Rafael was intensifying, with top winds of 70 mph. Image credit: NASA.

Possible Caribbean development next week
Most of the models are predicting that an area of disturbed weather capable of becoming a tropical depression will form in the Southwest Caribbean Sea off the coast of Nicaragua by the middle of next week. It's too early speculate on where such a storm might go, but residents of Central America, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands should anticipate the possibility of a multi-day period of very heavy rains affecting them late next week, even if a tropical depression does not form.


Figure 3. I couldn't resist reposting this image: a coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field on Oct. 8, 2012, sparking a dramatic display of Northern Lights that lasted for several days. The aurora combined with clouds to create this remarkable scene over Lekangsund, Norway, on Oct. 10, 2012, as captured by Hugo Løhre. Larger versions of the image are available at nasa.gov.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
If the GFS run pans out, it seems as if we will have a storm form in the WCAR and brush Cuba until it runs staight into Hati and keeps going toward PR.
Unbelievable.


Wrong-way Lenny's niece?
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
So far, so good :)...



The little popup of moisture in the Gulf of Honduras area catches my eye. Just a blobservation.

I think Rafael is finally succumbing a bit to the shear, I wonder how much longer he will last now that there are holes in his circulation?
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285. txjac
Quoting AegirsGal:
It shook here for about 15-20 seconds. There is a power pole, with a transformer, right outside the house that is now leaning a bit closer to the house now.I am about 80 miles to the south of where the epicenter was.


Well here's to that pole not leaning any more!
Hopefully they come and righten it soon
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been a while since a 8.0 + has occurred 6 months now i think should be one soon
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55971
Quoting txjac:


Did you actually feel it? Damage in your area?
Tell us
It shook here for about 15-20 seconds. There is a power pole, with a transformer, right outside the house that is now leaning a bit closer to the house now.I am about 80 miles to the south of where the epicenter was.
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282. txjac
Quoting MAweatherboy1:

We felt it in my house... no damage or anything like that (I don't know about closer to the epicenter but I can't imagine it's too significant with a 4.6), it wasn't a violent shaking, but it definitely felt weird... this is the first one I've felt. Some people here felt the one in the DC area last summer but just about everyone up here felt this one.


I've always wondered what one felt like ...one thing that I havent experienced as of yet.
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Quoting txjac:


Did you actually feel it? Damage in your area?
Tell us

We felt it in my house... no damage or anything like that (I don't know about closer to the epicenter but I can't imagine it's too significant with a 4.6), it wasn't a violent shaking, but it definitely felt weird... this is the first one I've felt. Some people here felt the one in the DC area last summer but just about everyone up here felt this one.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8032

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
279. txjac
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
We just had an earthquake up here!


Did you actually feel it? Damage in your area?
Tell us
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About 18 hours old.
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55971
Quoting lordhuracan01:


this thing in this frame, is over my house!!! OMG!!!
this run


there are alot of this runs left to go we shall see

stay tune for this and other dipictions yet to come

as the models turn
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55971
quake
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Quoting stormpetrol:
42058 Central Caribbean 1750 83.5 85.1 W 3.9 5.8 29.73 -0.01 1.3 9


Winds almost due west at this buoy!
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42058 Central Caribbean 1750 83.5 85.1 W 3.9 5.8 29.73 -0.01 1.3 9
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Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8032
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
We just had an earthquake up here!
== PRELIMINARY EARTHQUAKE REPORT ==



Region: MAINE
Geographic coordinates: 43.611N, 70.661W
Magnitude: 4.6 mb
Depth: 5 km
Universal Time (UTC): 16 Oct 2012 23:12:22
Time near the Epicenter: 16 Oct 2012 19:12:22
Local standard time in your area: 16 Oct 2012 18:12:22

Location with respect to nearby cities:
8 km (5 miles) SE (132 degrees) of Lake Arrowhead, ME
19 km (12 miles) WSW (246 degrees) of Gorham, ME
20 km (12 miles) NE (34 degrees) of Springvale, ME
94 km (59 miles) NE (42 degrees) of Manchester, NH
148 km (92 miles) NNE (14 degrees) of Boston, MA

quake
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Just felt shaking at my house in North Mass. E4.5 Magnitude earthquake in Southern Maine.
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We just had an earthquake up here!
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8032
Pressures are below average in W/NW Caribbean, here in Grand Cayman, its been 1008/1009mb all day.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Of course the track and intensity forecasts are going to change in the longer range, but that doesn't make the development of the storm any less likely. A lot of the models have at least a defined area of low pressure in the West Caribbean before 200 hours, and some even have it as a fully-developed storm. As it stands now, I'd give it a 6/10 chance of eventually developing. The only reason that number is not higher is because it is still a while out. However... environmental conditions are expected to be favorable in the Caribbean in general, with below average amounts of dry air and wind shear, and above average sea surface temperatures and ocean heat content. Don't forget the exceptionally intense positive MJO pulse either.


So in short, while it is still a while out conditions will be favorable and there is a high chance of something developing.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:




done now till 00z run


this thing in this frame, is over my house!!! OMG!!!
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Of course the track and intensity forecasts are going to change in the longer range, but that doesn't make the development of the storm any less likely. A lot of the models have at least a defined area of low pressure in the West Caribbean before 200 hours, and some even have it as a fully-developed storm. As it stands now, I'd give it a 6/10 chance of eventually developing. The only reason that number is not higher is because it is still a while out. However... environmental conditions are expected to be favorable in the Caribbean in general, with below average amounts of dry air and wind shear, and above average sea surface temperatures and ocean heat content. Don't forget the exceptionally intense positive MJO pulse either.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
So far, so good :)...

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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
If the GFS run pans out, it seems as if we will have a storm form in the WCAR and brush Cuba until it runs staight into Hati and keeps going toward PR.
Unbelievable.


thats not what im seeing
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Quoting Grothar:


More models are coming on board.


I agree,more model consus now...
By the way Gro..thanks for the post in my blog..
I left you a response my friend.. :)
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If the GFS run pans out, it seems as if we will have a storm form in the WCAR and brush Cuba until it runs staight into Hati and keeps going toward PR.
Unbelievable.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

Lot of rain into Central America.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4467
Quoting LargoFl:


This is quite interesting. I saw it, stopped, and then went to look at my local dopplar. There had been no mention of rain for today. I look and sure enough the rain is about 12 miles west of me and heading my way. I go back and check the forecast, 'partly cloudy' but no rain. Hmmmm. But now I don't have to go out to water the flowers and garden. *S*
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Quoting Grothar:


More models are coming on board.


I know ;>)
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Halloween is back on for south Fla.! My dog is very happy she can go out trick or treating! She worked hard on her costume...


And here I thought the "barking spider" was only a mythical beast...
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Quoting docrod:


GFS has been flipping back and forth regarding the latitude of the right turn. The last two runs suit me but I don't wish bad fortune to those zero'd in on this one.


More models are coming on board.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Halloween is back on for south Fla.! My dog is very happy she can go out trick or treating! She worked hard on her costume...




You've outdone the movie "Arachnophobia"; one of my fav's - nicely done.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

did you notice it said, The Associated Press contributed to this report at the bottom of the report?? I guess you have heard of "head-line" grabbing, this is all it was. end of story.
Of course, headlines are very often written by a local editor or copy editor, not by the wire service providing the story. At any rate, Fox has earned itself the the reputation of being the most misleading of all the major news outlets. Inaccurate and sensationalist headlines such as the one they selected for the explosion story are part of the reason they've earned that rep.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Halloween is back on for south Fla.! My dog is very happy she can go out trick or treating! She worked hard on her costume...




Geoff, that is cruel, but that is funniest thing I've seen on the blog in a long time.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
I dont like that run a bit with the Lenny type track.But is long range.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14883
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
And last frame... still going very strong and heading for Cariboy:


He'll be happy, he's wanted one all season. Could it be a Major?
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I have an eye doctor appt tomorrow. If he has GFS frame by frame maps on the eyechart, I'll pass with 20/10 vision.

Nice shortwave passing through the northern tier states.

Link
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Halloween is back on for south Fla.! My dog is very happy she can go out trick or treating! She worked hard on her costume...


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Quoting Grothar:


GFS has been flipping back and forth regarding the latitude of the right turn. The last two runs suit me but I don't wish bad fortune to those zero'd in on this one.
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And last frame... still going very strong and heading for Cariboy:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8032




done now till 00z run
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55971

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55971
372... still going east. I mentioned the possibility for a Lenny-like storm a couple weeks back... this run definitely supports that.

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8032
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Unbelievable... runs straight into Haiti as a hurricane, and check out the situation up north:




Looks like high pressure will build into the Southeast (Florida) blocking any system from coming north.
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Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Unbelievable... runs straight into Haiti as a hurricane, and check out the situation up north:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8032

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55971

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55971
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
276:

Can you continue to post trhis version please?.
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East it goes!

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8032

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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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