Hurricane Paul pounding Baja; Hurricane Rafael brushing Bermuda

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

Share this Blog
37
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 436 - 386

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9Blog Index

436. AussieStorm
12:45 PM GMT on October 17, 2012


#NOAA42 watches the sunset under the CDO of #Rafael 10/15/2012
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
435. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
12:31 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
434. StormPro
12:24 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Just relaying what the SPC thinks.

Keep on keepin' on....all we do is discuss, not set forecasts. I don't understand some people on here wanting to call b.s. all the time...Jeez
Member Since: August 4, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 606
432. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:21 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
Quoting TomballTXPride:

Doubt that. There could be tornadoes, but I doubt they will be long-lived anything greater than EF2.

Just relaying what the SPC thinks.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32033
429. icmoore
12:12 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
Quoting islander101010:
sun has forgot to rise in e cen florida


LOL I know! It is so dark in the mornings now with the days getting shorter and today with the clouds it is very dark still but....daylight savings time ends Sunday November 4, 2:00am...
Member Since: July 18, 2005 Posts: 9 Comments: 4146
428. TropicalAnalystwx13
12:02 PM GMT on October 17, 2012
We will not have a ton of tornadoes today, but the ones that do form have the potential to become long-tracked and significant.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32033
427. islander101010
11:54 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
sun has forgot to rise in e cen florida
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 4587
426. TropicalAnalystwx13
11:46 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM PAUL INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 16A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP162012
500 AM PDT WED OCT 17 2012

...CENTER OF PAUL REMAINS CLOSE TO THE COAST OF BAJA CALIFORNIA DEL
SUR...
...EXPECTED TO WEAKEN INTO A DEPRESSION LATER TODAY...


SUMMARY OF 500 AM PDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...26.8N 113.8W
ABOUT 105 MI...170 KM SE OF PUNTA EUGENIA MEXICO
ABOUT 160 MI...255 KM WNW OF LORETO MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 325 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...999 MB...29.50 INCHES


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

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FROM...
* SANTA FE TO EL POCITO
* SAN EVARISTO TO BAHIA SAN JUAN BAUTISTA

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM...
* NORTH OF EL POCITO TO PUNTA EUGENIA

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 TROPICAL STORM PAUL WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 26.8 NORTH...LONGITUDE 113.8 WEST. PAUL IS
MOVING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEAR 13 MPH...20 KM/H...AND THIS MOTION
IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TODAY FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. ON THE
FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF PAUL WILL MOVE ALONG THE WEST COAST
OF THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON...AND THEN
MOVE AWAY FROM THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA TONIGHT AND THURSDAY.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS HAVE DECREASED TO NEAR 40 MPH...65 KM/H...
WITH HIGHER GUSTS. CONTINUED WEAKENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT
48 HOURS...AND PAUL SHOULD BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION LATER
TODAY. PAUL IS EXPECTED TO BECOME A REMNANT LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM BY
TONIGHT AND DISSIPATE ON THURSDAY.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 140 MILES...
220 KM...MAINLY NORTHEAST THROUGH SOUTHEAST OF THE CENTER.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 999 MB...29.50 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE ALREADY OCCURRING IN THE
SOUTHERN AND CENTRAL PORTIONS OF THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA...
AND SHOULD GRADUALLY SPREAD NORTHWARD ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF THE
TROPICAL STORM WARNING AREA THIS MORNING. TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS
ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE TROPICAL STORM WATCH AREA LATER TODAY.

RAINFALL...PAUL IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE ADDITIONAL RAINFALL AMOUNTS
OF 1 TO 2 INCHES OVER THE CENTRAL BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA.
ISOLATED MAXIMUM STORM TOTAL AMOUNTS OF 10 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE IN
ASSOCIATION WITH PAUL. THESE RAINS COULD PRODUCE LIFE-THREATENING
FLASH FLOODS AND MUD SLIDES...ESPECIALLY IN AREAS OF MOUNTAINOUS
TERRAIN.

SURF...SWELLS GENERATED BY PAUL WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT THE WEST
COAST OF THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA AND THE COAST OF SINALOA FOR
THE NEXT DAY OR SO. 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 BEVEN
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32033
425. Tropicsweatherpr
11:37 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Quoting wxchaser97:
Good morning everyone, Rafael is looking more like an extra-tropical storm and I see the 6z GFS develops a storm again.


If you see the 06z loop I posted on post #421 it develops two,one starting at 168 hours and the other a crossover from EPAC on long range.

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14253
424. wxchaser97
11:28 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Good morning everyone, Rafael is looking more like an extra-tropical storm and I see the 6z GFS develops a storm again.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
423. CybrTeddy
11:16 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
The 6z GFS showed virtually nothing as far as Caribbean development. We'll have to see what happens from here. It still makes sense to me that we would get something with the MJO, high SSTs, and climatology favoring this area. However if they do indeed continue to show little or nothing in future runs it's possible that our season is over as I don't see much in November.


You know they will show future development. It's simple inconsistency and model uncertainty, so I wouldn't make a conclusion yet.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24018
422. aislinnpaps
11:16 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Off to another day of teaching. Everyone have a great Wednesday!
Member Since: August 22, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3125
421. Tropicsweatherpr
11:00 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Lol, maybe I spoke too soon about the 6z GFS in my last comment... it is showing something, but the time frame for development was pushed way back. Development starts around 300 hours. Here's 336:



And check out that massive trough in the east by 348:



It forms first starting in 168 hours a Lenny type system that moves over PR from the Central Caribbean and then a crossover from EPAC forms the other one you describe.

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14253
420. LargoFl
10:49 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38474
419. GTcooliebai
10:47 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Good morning looks like we are going to have Sandy and Tony before the end of the month. 6z GFS Loop
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
418. LargoFl
10:45 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38474
417. LargoFl
10:43 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
GFS AT 24 hours..some bad weather in mid country...........
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38474
416. LargoFl
10:41 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38474
415. MAweatherboy1
10:41 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Lol, maybe I spoke too soon about the 6z GFS in my last comment... it is showing something, but the time frame for development was pushed way back. Development starts around 300 hours. Here's 336:



And check out that massive trough in the east by 348:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7779
414. MAweatherboy1
10:38 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
The 6z GFS showed virtually nothing as far as Caribbean development. We'll have to see what happens from here. It still makes sense to me that we would get something with the MJO, high SSTs, and climatology favoring this area. However if they do indeed continue to show little or nothing in future runs it's possible that our season is over as I don't see much in November.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7779
413. MAweatherboy1
10:32 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Good morning. A localized, but potentially significant severe weather event is possible today. Keep a close eye to the sky if you're in the 10% area.

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7779
412. Maineweatherguy20023
10:31 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Quoting Astrometeor:


Isn't the Maine one a bit shallow for an earthquake? 6.7 kilometers down.

The USGS downgraded it to a 4.0 too.

yes shallow very shallow. We still felt it though...
Member Since: August 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 269
411. Maineweatherguy20023
10:27 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

I got a 4.6 quake at 722 last night...
Member Since: August 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 269
410. aislinnpaps
10:23 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Good morning/evening, all. We enjoyed the unexpected rain last night. It was interesting that my wunderground email weather was sent to me right before and right after and had no rain forecast in it.
Member Since: August 22, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3125
409. LargoFl
8:02 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38474
408. LargoFl
7:59 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38474
407. TomTaylor
7:32 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
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...


hahah this is great.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
406. aspectre
5:42 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
404 LostTomorrows: And I'm very interested to know what kind of damage was done to Bermuda by Rafael.

Couldna been much.
At its closest approach, Rafael's center was ~109miles(175kilometres) away from Bermuda

Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
405. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:31 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
404. LostTomorrows
5:29 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Quoting wxchaser97:

I agree on that an enhanced scale needs to be introduced. There are problems with the current scale that do need to be fixed. In late September I went as far as to make my own scale, Link.


That really was a great idea there, and it should be thrust into the limelight because the Saffer-Simpson HS needs a good retooling. Tropical cyclones, in this basin especially, seem to be evolving to suit the changing climate within the Atlantic.

And I'm very interested to know what kind of damage was done to Bermuda by Rafael. Leslie was one of the more damaging storms there (still didn't do much, but still more than most storms that brush by) since the infamous Fabian, and Rafael was more powerful, but both were large and intense cyclones at their time of passing.
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 595
403. KoritheMan
5:18 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Quoting nofailsafe:
I'm getting the suspicion that our marginal El Nino this year is going to be very short lived:



With decreasing subsurface temperatures from the east pacific and decreasing westerly anomalies I'm getting the impression we're about to see a shift back towards cooler than normal SSTs in the pacific.

Unfortunately, the Nino 3.4 consensus says about the same thing:



Just in time for summer.

EDIT: Those error bars are pretty big though.


I think Chantal will be the big one next year. Something about that name just doesn't sit well with me (could be due to that being my mother's middle name, when she caused a lot of division in my family :P).
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 575 Comments: 20572
402. nofailsafe
5:06 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
I'm getting the suspicion that our marginal El Nino this year is going to be very short lived:



With decreasing subsurface temperatures from the east pacific and decreasing westerly anomalies I'm getting the impression we're about to see a shift back towards cooler than normal SSTs in the pacific.

Unfortunately, the Nino 3.4 consensus says about the same thing:



Just in time for summer.

EDIT: Those error bars are pretty big though.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 3 Comments: 945
401. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:00 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
400. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:51 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
well it appears the gfs is slowly losing the dipiction this run and the last one

thats the way it goes
tomorrow may not even show at all
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
399. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:48 AM GMT on October 17, 2012


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
398. nofailsafe
4:48 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Quoting KoritheMan:
To put things into perspective, we've had 55 named storms during the last three seasons (2010-2012). Out of those, only seven have hit the United States, and only two were of hurricane intensity (Irene and Isaac). There have been no major hurricanes during this period. That is absurd.

For comparison, the most active three year period in terms of number of named storms was 2003-2005, where we had 59 storms. A total of 18 storms hit the United States during that era (17 if you want to exclude Henri in 2003, since it made landfall as a tropical depression), including 12 hurricanes and 7 major hurricanes.

Even considering that the recent numbers might be inflated somewhat due to better observational data (scatterometer and satellite) relative to the past, and even supposing the 2003-2005 period was an anomaly (which it clearly was), we should have still at least fallen in between the two compared periods.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that this is truly unprecedented. And at the moment, there is no clear explanation.


I still want an explanation for the drought we had here in Texas last year... We've also had a ton of tropical storms and unusually few hurricanes.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 3 Comments: 945
397. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:47 AM GMT on October 17, 2012


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
396. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:47 AM GMT on October 17, 2012


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
395. wxchaser97
4:46 AM GMT on October 17, 2012
Not as much development this run as the last few days. I am going to bed, goodnight everyone.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7942
394. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:45 AM GMT on October 17, 2012


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
393. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:43 AM GMT on October 17, 2012


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
392. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:41 AM GMT on October 17, 2012


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
391. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:40 AM GMT on October 17, 2012


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
390. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:39 AM GMT on October 17, 2012


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
389. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:39 AM GMT on October 17, 2012


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
388. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:38 AM GMT on October 17, 2012


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
387. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:37 AM GMT on October 17, 2012


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827
386. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
4:37 AM GMT on October 17, 2012


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53827

Viewing: 436 - 386

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.