Hurricane Tomas dealt a punishing blow to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, with the neighboring islands of St. Vincent, Dominica, and Barbados also suffering heavy damage. St. Lucia received the full brunt of the northern eyewall of Tomas as it intensified into a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds early this morning. The St. Lucia weather service reported that sustained winds of 90 - 95 mph affected the island. An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft arrived at Tomas at 2pm this afternoon, and found a much weaker storm. The 2pm EDT center fix found that the pressure has risen to 994 mb, and the strongest surface winds were barely Category 1 hurricane strength, 74 mph. The aircraft found the the eyewall had mostly collapsed on the south side of the eye.
JeffMasters, • 6:38 PM GMT on October 31, 2010
Hurricane Tomas, an unprecedented Lesser Antilles hurricane for so late in the season, is bearing down on the islands of St. Lucia and St. Vincent with Category 1 winds of 75 mph. Now that the eyewall of Tomas has completely closed off, a period of steady and possibly rapid intensification lasting until Sunday afternoon is likely. The intensification rate may then be slowed by increasing wind shear Sunday through Tuesday, but I expect the Tomas will strengthen to a Category 3 or 4 hurricane by Wednesday.
JeffMasters, • 3:38 PM GMT on October 30, 2010
Tropical Storm Tomas has exploded into existence in spectacular fashion, becoming the nineteenth named storm of this amazingly active 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Tomas' formation ties 2010 with 1995 and 1887 for 3rd place for most number of named storms in an Atlantic hurricane season. Only 2005 (28 named storms) and 1933 (21 named storms) were busier. The formation of a tropical storm so far south and east this late in the season is unprecedented in the historical record; no named storm has ever been present east of the Lesser Antilles (60°W) and south of 12°N latitude so late in the year.
JeffMasters, • 1:27 AM GMT on October 30, 2010
Tropical Storm Shary is here, the eighteenth named storm of this remarkably active 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Shary's formation makes 2010 tied for 5th place with 1969 for most number of named storms in an Atlantic hurricane season. Shary is going to be a weak and very short-lived storm, and Bermuda is the only land area that needs be concerned with the storm. A Tropical Storm Warning is posted for the island. Of more concern is a unusually strong and will-organized tropical wave approaching the Lesser Antilles today. This wave could potentially develop into a hurricane over the Caribbean next week.
JeffMasters, • 3:23 PM GMT on October 29, 2010
A tropical wave centered near 7N 49W, about 950 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands, is moving west to west-northwest at 15 - 20 mph, and will spread heavy rains and gusty winds to the northern coast of South America and the southern Lesser Antilles Islands beginning on Friday night. The system is under low wind shear less than 10 knots, but is too close to the Equator to spin up very rapidly. The storm will also have difficultly developing due to land interaction with South America this weekend. However, several models are indicating the possibility that the system could develop into a tropical depression in the Central Caribbean by the middle of next week.
JeffMasters, • 2:57 PM GMT on October 28, 2010
Tornadoes, violent thunderstorms, and torrential rains swept through a large portion of the nation's midsection yesterday, thanks to the strongest storm ever recorded in the Midwest. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center logged 24 tornado reports and 282 reports of damaging high winds from yesterday's spectacular storm, and the storm continues to produce a wide variety of wild weather, with tornado watches posted for Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, a blizzard warning for North Dakota, high wind warnings for most of the upper Midwest, and near-hurricane force winds of Lake Superior.
JeffMasters, • 3:09 PM GMT on October 27, 2010
Tornadoes, violent thunderstorms, and torrential rains are sweeping through the nation's midsection today, thanks to an explosively deepening low pressure system over Minnesota. The spectacular storm is expected to bottom out at a central pressure of 960 mb later today, the type of central pressure one commonly encounters in Category 2 hurricanes. A powerful cold front trails southwards from the storm, and this cold front has spawned an impressive squall line studded with violent thunderstorms. As many as eleven simultaneous tornado warnings have been issued late this morning for these thunderstorms, from southern Michigan to Kentucky.
JeffMasters, • 3:23 PM GMT on October 26, 2010
Hurricane Richard hit central Belize last night at approximately 8:45pm EDT as a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds. The hurricane made landfall about 20 miles south of Belize's largest city, Belize City (population approximately 100,000--1/3 of Belize's population.) Richard's northern eyewall passed just south of the airport, which measured top winds of 37 mph, gusting to 62mph, at 8pm CST. Richard was a hurricane for 18 hours, and was the 10th hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. This year's ten hurricanes ties it for sixth place for most hurricanes in an Atlantic hurricane season. Our seventeen named storms this year also ranks as the 6th most in history.
JeffMasters, • 12:38 PM GMT on October 25, 2010
Richard has intensified to hurricane strength, as it bears down on the coast of Belize. Richard is the 10th hurricane of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. This year is now tied for sixth place for most hurricanes in an Atlantic hurricane season. This year's 17 named storms also ranks 6th most in history; Atlantic hurricane season records go back to 1851. Richard's center passed just north of the Honduras' Bay Islands this morning, bringing winds of 46 mph, gusting to 58 mph, to the Roatan Airport. Belize City will experience a portion of the eyewall of Richard, and residents of Belize City can expect a 2 - 4 hour period of hurricane force winds to begin between 4pm - 6pm CST this evening.
JeffMasters, • 3:35 PM GMT on October 24, 2010
Tropical Storm Richard suddenly overcame its struggles with dry air and wind shear this morning, took advantage of low wind shear of 5 - 10 knots and warm water temperatures of 29°C, and intensified into a strong tropical storm. Richard will continue to move just north of west today, in response to a ridge of high pressure that is expected to build in over the Caribbean. This path will bring the center of Richard very close to Guanaja and Roatan Islands off the northern coast of Honduras near 8am EDT Sunday. Residents of those islands can expect tropical storm force winds of 39+ mph to arrive at the islands between 8 pm - midnight EDT tonight.
JeffMasters, • 4:14 PM GMT on October 23, 2010
Tropical Storm Richard continues to struggle with dry air and wind shear, despite the fact that both of these influences have waned significantly today. However, the storm is poised to begin a period of steady intensification that should take it to hurricane strength by Sunday. There have not been any hurricane hunter aircraft in Richard since late this morning, and we have to wait until 8pm tonight for the next mission to arrive. The closest buoy to Richard is NOAA buoy 42057, which is about 80 miles north of the center. Winds at the buoy were 38 mph, gusting to 47 mph, at 3:43am EDT.
JeffMasters, • 9:07 PM GMT on October 22, 2010
Tropical Storm Richard remains a minimal strength tropical storm this morning, but is poised to begin a period of steady intensification that should take it to hurricane strength by Sunday. Richard is the seventeenth named storm of this very busy 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, putting 2010 into 6th place for the greatest number of named storms in the Atlantic since record keeping began in 1851. Steering currents are weak in the Western Caribbean, and Richard will move little today. By Saturday, Richard will begin moving due west and will pass close to the northern coast of Honduras on Saturday and Sunday. Richard is not a threat to the U.S. for the at least the next five days.
JeffMasters, • 2:04 PM GMT on October 22, 2010
Tropical Storm Richard is here, the seventeenth named storm of this very busy 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Richard's formation puts 2010 in 6th place for the greatest number of named storms in the Atlantic since record keeping began in 1851. The latest set of model don't help illuminate what the long-range fate of Richard might be. Steering currents are weak in the Western Caribbean, and will remain weak through Friday morning, resulting in a slow, erratic movement for Richard. Most of the models favor a southerly, then southwesterly path at 5mph or less over the next two days. This may bring the center of Richard very close to or over the northern coast of Honduras on Saturday or Sunday.
JeffMasters, • 7:31 PM GMT on October 21, 2010
The Hurricane Hunters are in Tropical Depression Nineteen, and have found winds of 40 mph that support upgrading the depression to Tropical Storm Richard. The storm is expected to remain nearly stationary through Friday, then move westwards and intensify to a hurricane before making landfall on Sunday in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. It is uncertain at this point whether the storm might dissipate after hitting the Yucatan, of swing northwards and hit the west coast of Florida.
JeffMasters, • 1:48 PM GMT on October 21, 2010
A tropical disturbance centered 160 miles southwest of the Cayman Islands has changed little in organization this morning, and remains very close to tropical depression status. The storm is bringing heavy rain to western Jamaica. The disturbance will likely be Tropical Storm Richard by Friday. Steering currents are weak in the Western Caribbean, and it is uncertain if the storm will eventually follow a path to the west-northwest taking the storm over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday, or to the southwest over Honduras.
JeffMasters, • 7:11 PM GMT on October 20, 2010
A tropical disturbance near the Cayman Islands is drifting eastwards towards Jamaica, and has changed little in organization this morning, but is very close to tropical depression status. The storm is bringing heavy rain to the Cayman Islands and these heavy rains will spread to western Jamaica this afternoon. The disturbance will likely be Tropical Storm Richard by Friday. By Sunday or Monday, the storm will likely be near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and could be a hurricane.
JeffMasters, • 1:33 PM GMT on October 20, 2010
Heavy thunderstorm activity has increased and grown more organized over the past day over the southwestern Caribbean between Honduras and the Cayman Islands in association with a tropical disturbance. A surface circulation may be beginning to form, and the Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to investigate the area this afternoon to see if a tropical depression is forming. The storm is currently moving north-northwest at 5 - 10 mph, but is expected to move west or southwest beginning on Wednesday, making the storm primarily a threat to Honduras, Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and Belize late this week.
JeffMasters, • 1:38 PM GMT on October 19, 2010
Super Typhoon Megi hit northern Luzon Island in the Philippines near 3:30 UTC this morning as a Category 5 Super Typhoon with sustained winds of 165 mph and a central pressure of 914 mb. Megi is the strongest Category 5 tropical cyclone to make landfall in the world since August 21 2007, when Hurricane Dean hit Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula with sustained winds of 175 mph and central pressure of 905 mb. Megi is expected to dump more than a foot of rain over a wide swath of Luzon. Megi will re-intensify later this week over the South China Sea, and hit China between Hong Kong and Hainan Island on Friday.
JeffMasters, • 1:23 PM GMT on October 18, 2010
The world's strongest tropical cyclone of 2010 is Super Typhoon Megi, which intensified into an extremely dangerous Category 5 super typhoon with 180 mph winds this morning. The Hurricane Hunters measured a surface pressure of 893 mb at 12 UTC. This is a phenomenally low pressure, ranking Megi as the 20th strongest typhoon ever recorded in the Western Pacific. Megi is poised to deal a devastating blow to the northern portion of the Philippines' Luzon Island early Monday morning. If the super typhoon's winds stay near 180 mph, the damage will be catastrophic in the regions where the eyewall makes landfall.
JeffMasters, • 5:21 PM GMT on October 17, 2010
September 2010 was the globe's eighth warmest September on record, according to the National Climatic Data Center NASA rated September 2010 as the fourth warmest September on record. Both NOAA and NASA rated the year-to-date period, January - September, as the warmest such period on record. September 2010 global ocean temperatures were the ninth warmest on record, and land temperatures were also the ninth warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the warmest on record. The year-to-date period January-September is the 2nd warmest such period in the satellite data, behind 1998.
JeffMasters, • 10:53 AM GMT on October 16, 2010
There's not much left of Tropical Depression Paula, which continues to weaken as wind shear of 35 - 40 knots tears the storm apart. Paula caused only minor flooding and very little damage in Mexico, Cuba, and the Florida Keys. Havana, Cuba reported sustained winds of 41 mph, gusting to 54, at 7pm local time last night, and received heavy rain that caused moderate street flooding. Some isolated heavy rains affected the Florida Keys, with Key West picking up 1.40" inches of rain. Paula will bring some heavy rain showers to Andros Island in the Bahamas today, but the storm is not likely to cause any more flooding problems. High wind shear should be able to completely destroy Paula by Saturday morning.
JeffMasters, • 12:35 PM GMT on October 15, 2010
Data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicates that Tropical Storm Paula continues to weaken. The aircraft's latest center penetration at 3:08pm EDT found top winds at their flight level of 10,000 feet of just 55 mph in the eyewall. Since the high wind shear affecting Paula is pushing most of the storm's heavy thunderstorms to the north, Cuba is receiving very little rain from the storm. Havana has reported two brief rain squalls from Paula, and top sustained winds of just 20 mph. Sporadic heavy rains are affecting the Florida Keys today, with Key West picking up 1.01" inches of rain. Paula should dissipate by Friday.
JeffMasters, • 7:53 PM GMT on October 14, 2010
Data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicates that Hurricane Paula continues to weaken, and the storm may no longer be a hurricane. The latest 8:06am EDT center report found the pressure had risen to 1002 mb, and the aircraft saw top winds at their flight level of 10,000 feet of just 60 mph between 6am and 9am EDT. The Hurricane Hunters did not report the existence of an eyewall, and Cuban radar indicates that the southern portion of the eyewall has collapsed, leaving Paula with just 1/3 of an eyewall. Paula is moving at 5 mph along the northern coast of Cuba, and is bringing heavy rains to the western portion of the island.
JeffMasters, • 1:14 PM GMT on October 14, 2010
Data from an Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicates that Hurricane Paula has weakened substantially, and may now be a Category 1 hurricane. The aircraft has made three penetrations of the eye as of 3:30pm EDT, and found top surface winds of 80 mph with their SFMR instrument. Based on these data, it is reasonable to assume Paula is now a Category 1 hurricane with 85 - 90 mph winds, since the aircraft may not have sampled where the peak winds were occurring. Paula is in the Yucatan Channel, the narrow gap between Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula and the western tip of Cuba, and has now turned and is headed northeast towards Cuba.
JeffMasters, • 7:42 PM GMT on October 13, 2010
Hurricane Paula passed just 60 miles east of the Mexican coast this morning, but did not bring tropical storm-force winds to Mexico. In Cancun, top winds measured so far this morning have been just 17 mph, with gusts to 27 mph. A modest 0.17" of rain fell between midnight and 8:21am local time. Cancun radar shows that the rain bands in the tightly would core of Paula lie just offshore of Cancun this morning. Paula had little impact on Mexico's Cozumel Island as the storm passed by last night; winds remained below 20 mph during passage. Paula is expected to weaken significantly today, and approach the western tip of Cuba tonight as a tropical storm or Category 1 hurricane.
JeffMasters, • 1:29 PM GMT on October 13, 2010
Hurricane Paula put on a respectable burst of intensification early this afternoon, popping an eye and reaching Category 2 strength. Recent data from the Hurricane Hunters suggests that Paula is done intensifying, as the pressure has stopped dropping and the winds have stopped increasing. Paula is expected to bring tropical storm force winds to Mexico's Cozumel Island between 8pm - 2am local time tonight. The hurricane is expected to stall off the western tip of Cuba for several days, bringing heavy rains to western Cuba and the tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.
JeffMasters, • 7:34 PM GMT on October 12, 2010
Hurricane warnings are flying along the coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula for Hurricane Paula, the 16th named storm and 9th hurricane of this very active 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Paula intensified remarkably quickly, setting a modern record for the fastest intensification from the issuance of the first advisory to hurricane strength. The first advisory for Paula was issued at 5pm EDT yesterday, and Paula strengthened into a hurricane just twelve hours later, at 5am EDT this morning. Since reliable record keeping of intensification rates of Atlantic hurricanes began in 1970, when regular satellite coverage became available, no storm has ever intensified into a hurricane that quickly.
JeffMasters, • 1:54 PM GMT on October 12, 2010
Data from the Hurricane Hunters, land stations, and satellite imagery reveal that the strong tropical disturbance centered near the coast of Honduras just west of the border with Nicaragua is now Tropical Storm Paula. The computer models predict Paula will continue on a northwest path through Wednesday, which would take the storm close to landfall on the coast of Belize or Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. At that time, Paula may be a Category 2 hurricane. The long range fate of the storm is uncertain, and Paula could dissipate over the Yucatan, wander in the Western Caribbean for many days, or pass over Cuba and the Bahamas late this week.
JeffMasters, • 7:30 PM GMT on October 11, 2010
A strong tropical disturbance is centered near the northeastern coast of Honduras along the border with Nicaragua. This system is close to tropical depression status, but development is currently being hampered by the storm's proximity to land. There is an 70% chance of this storm developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday. The storm will bring heavy rains to the nations in the Western Caribbean this week, and could affect the Florida Keys and South Florida on Thursday.
JeffMasters, • 1:27 PM GMT on October 11, 2010
An area of disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean, a few hundred miles east of the coast of Nicaragua, has a 60% chance of becoming a tropical depression by Tuesday as it moves northwest at 5 - 10 mph. The disturbance has quite a bit of spin, but an organized surface circulation is not yet apparent on satellite images. The disturbance will spread heavy rains to northeastern Honduras and Nicaragua today and Monday, and to Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday. Intermittent heavy rains will also affect the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and Western Cuba over the next three days. None of the computer models presently predict the disturbance will develop into a tropical depression.
JeffMasters, • 5:24 PM GMT on October 10, 2010
An area of disturbed weather is in the Western Caribbean, a few hundred miles east of the coast of Nicaragua. The disturbance has a modest and slowly increasing amount of intense thunderstorms, and is showing some spin. The disturbance is drifting northwest, and has a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday morning. Several of the computer models call for this disturbance to intensify into Hurricane Paula and hit Cuba by Wednesday, but these forecasts are probably too aggressive. The deluge has finally ended for Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the northern Lesser Antilles Islands from Hurricane Otto. This is welcome news in St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where Otto and its precursor storminess dumped 15.25" of rain over the past eight days.
JeffMasters, • 1:48 PM GMT on October 09, 2010
The deluge continues over Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the northern Lesser Antilles Islands from Hurricane Otto, which is bringing a fourth straight day of heavy rains. Otto is the eighth hurricane of this very active 2010 hurricane season; our tally now stands at 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes. An area of disturbed weather in the Western Caribbean, a few hundred miles east of the coast of Nicaragua, has only a small amount of intense thunderstorms, but is showing some spin. The disturbance has a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday.
JeffMasters, • 2:51 PM GMT on October 08, 2010
Subtropical Storm Otto, the 15th named storm of this very busy 2010 Atlantic hurricane season, is here. Otto is not a threat to bring high winds to any land areas, but will produce heavy rains over Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and northern Lesser Antilles. Otto is transitioning into a tropical storm today, and has the potential to intensify into a hurricane by Friday. In the Western Caribbean, a tropical disturbance brought two inches of rain to the Cayman Islands overnight. The disturbance has a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression as it moves southwards at 10 - 15 mph towards Honduras and Nicaragua.
JeffMasters, • 1:35 PM GMT on October 07, 2010
Subtropical Depression Seventeen formed this morning, approximately 200 miles north of Puerto Rico. The storm is not a threat to bring high winds to any land areas, but will produce heavy rains over Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the northern Lesser Antilles, and perhaps the eastern Dominican Republic. The St. Thomas Airport in the Virgin Islands measured 6.61" yesterday--its 5th wettest day in history. St. Thomas has picked up an additional 1.48" today as of 9am AST. Flash Flood Warnings are posted for the island.
JeffMasters, • 1:04 PM GMT on October 06, 2010
A large region of disturbed weather is bringing heavy rain showers and strong wind gusts to the Lesser Antilles Islands and waters near Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic. At 8:30am AST this morning, Charlotte Amalie in the Virgin Islands recorded a wind gust of 52 mph in a heavy rain squall. Radar and satellite images show a broad circulation has developed, and there is a 60% chance this will be a tropical depression by Wednesday night, and it could become Tropical Storm Otto by Thursday. Heavy rain will be the primary threat from the storm, whose center is not expected to cross any land areas.
JeffMasters, • 12:55 PM GMT on October 05, 2010
A large region of disturbed weather covers the Lesser Antilles Islands and waters near Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. This disturbance is headed west-northwest at about 10 mph, and will bring heavy rain showers and gusty winds to the Lesser Antilles Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic today through Tuesday. The disturbance has a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday. All of the major computer models develop the disturbance into a tropical depression by Thursday, north of Hispaniola. The storm is expected to move northeastwards, out to sea, after development.
JeffMasters, • 12:27 PM GMT on October 04, 2010
A large region of disturbed weather centered about 200 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands has a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Tuesday. The storm is expected bring an extended 3-day period of heavy rains to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and eastern Cuba this week. Flood waters are receding in northeastern North Carolina, where the Cashie River in Windsor inundated many homes with 5 feet of water. North Carolina has been deluged by more than twenty inches of rain in some regions over the past week, due to tropical moisture streaming northwards in advance of Tropical Storm Nicole.
JeffMasters, • 2:51 PM GMT on October 03, 2010
A large region of disturbed weather centered about 400 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands has a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday. The storm is expected bring an extended 3-day period of heavy rains to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and eastern Cuba early next week. Major flooding continues in northeastern North Carolina, where the Cashie River in Windsor is 5.4 feet over flood stage. North Carolina has been deluged by more than twenty inches of rain in some regions over the past week, due to tropical moisture streaming northwards in advance of Tropical Storm Nicole.
JeffMasters, • 3:42 PM GMT on October 02, 2010
A large region of disturbed weather centered about 800 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands has a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. The storm is expected to slow down to 5 - 10 mph on Sunday, bringing the potential for an extended 3 - 4 day period of heavy rains for Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and eastern Cuba next week. My October Atlantic hurricane forecast calls for three named storms, two hurricanes, and one intense hurricane this month, with two named storms and one hurricane occurring in November - December. This would make 2010 the third busiest Atlantic hurricane season of all-time.
JeffMasters, • 2:08 PM GMT on October 01, 2010