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 954FtLCane:


kinda, sorta, blobbish like feature?


What you people don't know about blobs...... :)
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Quoting unknowncomic:
Latest Gfs good news for Fla. Looks more like a TD and it goes elsewhere.


WAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY too early to tell where the potential system will go but this time of year all depends on the inevitable cold front that will be approaching the coast. "IF" something develops it will most certainly go north until the front sweeps it east.... the timing (as usual) will determine the threat. BOTTOM LINE.... watch the weather next week
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Quoting Grothar:


kinda, sorta, blobbish like feature?
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Quoting Matt1989:
Looks like the storm in 10 days is another recurver. Moving on.
Too early to say.
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Paul at Baja

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GFS really made a big change since the 006Z

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78. 7544
gfs is flip floping but thats to be expected thisfar out as it did a couple of days ago then took it back to so fl time will tell with lots more runs to come
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000
FXUS62 KTBW 161420
AFDTBW

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY RUSKIN FL
1020 AM EDT TUE OCT 16 2012

.UPDATE...
RATHER QUIET MORNING ACROSS THE REGION WITH JUST A BAND OF CLOUDS
MOVING SOUTH NEAR THE COAST AND OVER THE COASTAL WATERS ASSOCIATED
WITH THE COLD FRONT. DRIER AIR BEHIND THE BOUNDARY WILL MOVE SOUTH
INTO SOME OF THE AREA THIS AFTERNOON WITH DEW POINTS EXPECTED TO
FALL INTO THE UPPER 40S FAR NORTH TO MID 50S CENTRAL...BUT ONLY
FALLING INTO THE LOWER TO MID 60S SOUTH. OVERALL MAINLY SUNNY
DRY WEATHER IS EXPECTED FOR THIS AFTERNOON WITH TEMPERATURES
CLIMBING INTO THE MID TO UPPER 80S.

&&

.AVIATION...
VFR CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO PREVAIL FOR THE NEXT 24 HOURS AT
THE TAF SITES.

&&

.MARINE...
NORTH TO NORTHEAST WINDS WILL CONTINUE INTO TONIGHT AS HIGH
PRESSURE BUILDS IN FROM THE NORTH. WIND SPEEDS AROUND 15 KNOTS IN
THE NORTHERN OFFSHORE WATERS WILL DIMINISH SOME THIS AFTERNOON
WITH SPEEDS GENERALLY 10 TO 15 KNOTS ACROSS THE COASTAL WATERS.
PRESENT MARINE FORECAST LOOKS OK WITH NO MAJOR CHANGES PLANNED FOR
LATE MORNING FORECAST.

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
TPA 85 68 79 70 / 0 10 40 10
FMY 88 71 84 69 / 0 10 50 20
GIF 86 67 80 66 / 0 10 40 10
SRQ 86 67 79 71 / 0 10 50 10
BKV 85 61 79 62 / 0 10 40 10
SPG 85 72 78 72 / 0 10 50 10

&&

.TBW WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
FL...NONE.
GULF WATERS...NONE.
&&

$$

SHORT TERM/MARINE/FIRE WEATHER...69/CLOSE
LONG TERM/AVIATION...24/COLSON




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Looks like the storm in 10 days is another recurver. Moving on.
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Latest Gfs good news for Fla. Looks more like a TD and it goes elsewhere.
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continued from previous post:


Located over France and Germany on October 7 and then moving off towards the East on October 8:



In other words, Nadine spent 10 days around and three directly over Europe and dumped a lot of rain on Western and Central Europe. With increasing moisture in the atmosphere and a warmer than usual September I think we'll have to get used to picking up former tropical systems. I can recall bad winter storms from my childhood but those extremely wet systems from the tropics seem to have increased over the last decade.
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Quoting dolphingalrules:
Other Halloween Hurricane in south fla??? I already ate all of the food from Issac...

There are some places that still have elevated water levels in South Florida from Isaac
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
Wow, Rafael is quite impressive in the face of 30kts of shear.
The picture of the Northern Lights reminds me of my time in Finland. The winter 2001/2 was also quite active so I saw the Northern lights for many nights.

I just checked the website of the Free University of Berlin for the current names of lows. Tavinia is going to drench us in the UK in the next days. While doing so, I noticed that they were tracking Nadine for over a week, first as a tropical system and then over Central Europe as a post-tropical storm for three days:

Nadine appears on the map on September 29


October 4: Final day as a tropical system.


Ex-Nadine on October 5


Now a full fledged frontal system which even gets a proper red name like the other lows on the map.


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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
This chart shows arctic sea ice anomaly is still widening. The chart shows the difference between a "normal" year and actual conditions. Sea ice reached a record low in September and has started to re form, but ice is not recovering as fast as usual, and this may spell trouble for next summer.

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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639


Rafael
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228HR!!
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Other Halloween Hurricane in south fla??? I already ate all of the food from Issac...
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639


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Bermuda Radar.................
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
beautiful clear day here by me,no rain in sight..........
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
new GFS at 153 hours.........................
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46. 7544
thanks for the play by play keeper good job
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
GEFS model spread at 306 hours....................
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hr144
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
When you guys post the model runs, can you post the hours as well too? the fine print is hard to read for these old eyes over here..
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
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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.