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Paul pulls its punch before hitting Baja; Rafael brushes Bermuda

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 12:31 PM GMT on October 17, 2012

Hurricane Paul weakened rapidly just before landfall on Mexico's Baja coast on Tuesday evening, as wind shear of 30 - 40 knots tore into the storm. Paul peaked as a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds at 2 pm PDT on Monday, but was just a tropical storm with 60 mph winds Tuesday evening when the center finally reached the coast of Baja. Paul hit a region of coast that is very sparsely populated, and I expect damage from the weakening storm was relatively light. Rainfall amounts of 2 - 3" were common over Baja from Paul, but there have been no reports of damaging flooding thus far. Paul has weakened to a tropical storm with 40 mph winds this morning, and will likely be declared dead later today or on Thursday. Significant moisture from Paul is not expected to reach the U.S.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Paul taken at 4:25 pm EDT Tuesday, October 16, 2012. At the time, Paul was approaching landfall on the Mexican Baja coast as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Rafael brushes Bermuda
Hurricane Rafael cruised by Bermuda Tuesday night as a Category 1 storm with 85 mph winds. At its closest point of approach, the center of Rafael passed about 110 miles east of Bermuda. The Bermuda Airport recorded top winds of 34 mph, gusting to 51 mph, at 9 pm AST Tuesday night. The hurricane dumped 1.71" of rain on Bermuda, and did no significant damage. Rafael is beginning to transition to an extratropical storm today as it heads northeastward out to sea, and it will likely be declared post-tropical on Thursday.


Figure 2. Radar image of Hurricane Rafael as seen by the Bermuda radar at 8:03 pm AST on October 16, 2012. At the time, Rafael was a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds, and was bringing sustained winds of 31 mph, gusting to 44 mph, to Bermuda.


Figure 3. MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Rafael approaching Bermuda, taken at 12:10 pm EDT Tuesday, October 16, 2012. At the time, Rafael was at peak strength as a Category 1 hurricane with 90 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic
Most of the models are predicting that the Southwest Caribbean Sea off the coast of Nicaragua will see a broad area of low pressure develop by the middle of next week. This low will likely bring a multi-day period of heavy rains to portions of Central America, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Cayman Islands late next week. None of the reliable models are predicting formation of a new tropical cyclone in the Atlantic through October 23, though we will need to watch the Southwest Caribbean late next week.

Jeff Masters

Hurricane

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Nobody agrees with anybody 100% of the time. This blog is informative and should be fun for everyone who is a weather nerd!
As a long time lurker but fairly noob poster risking the ignore button because I have provided no real value, this blog confuses me. What is the purpose of this blog? I thought it was to discuss the topic of the blogger's post. Or is the general purpose of Dr. Master's blog to be a broad "this is what is currently going on with the weather" type of thing?

It seems more like a chat room that lets you post pictures. Hardly ever a focused discussion, bouncing all around, conflicting personalities, it gets to be too much to even read through to find the good stuff, including skipping past the posting of info that only a small few even read.

I've tried to come up with some things to post but I feel like the new kid in school, what would I have to say that these people would care about. And then I see the reception that other new and some who I thought were regulars are getting... Geez, it certainly makes one less interested in posting. I wonder how many lurkers out there have thought to post, but decide against it because who wants to swim with sharks!

Then again, perhaps I simply picked the wrong time to start posting, with hurricane season past the peak, severe weather dwindling and winter storms not quite here yet... There just isn't a topic to stay focused on. So with less food in the water, the sharks start attacking each other.
There is tropical weather around the world year round. Just because it does not affect the US does not mean that it is not important. I enjoy hearing from different parts of the world and would hope those of you who I see regularly on this blog will check in every now and then through the winter. I especially enjoy seeing winter weather and know there are people here who will post pictures. My one dream is to be where there is deep snow and fall into a drift to the point that I have to dig myself out. May not like it after it happens, but I have never experienced snow to that extent. I have lived in the tropics most of my life. In fact, one year my daughter was saying she wanted to see snow, so I opened up the freezer to show her the built up ice and told her, "This is what it looks like!" LOL She has since been to Colorado during the winter.
Saturday!!!!!!!!!!:) WPB for me!:)
84° F | 62° F

Sunday
83° F | 66° F
Well, since so many folks seem to have stepped on a Lego straight out of bed this morning, I give you... three dudes giving piggyback rides to empty spacesuits:



The three "dudes" in question are Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy, Flight Engineer Evgeny Tarelkin and NASA Flight Engineer Kevin Ford, who will be riding a Soyuz spacecraft mounted on an R-7 rocket (i.e. - a giant bomb that only explodes out of one side) to the International Space Station next Tuesday, Oct. 23rd.
Quoting WXMichael:
As a long time lurker but fairly noob poster risking the ignore button because I have provided no real value, this blog confuses me. What is the purpose of this blog? I thought it was to discuss the topic of the blogger's post. Or is the general purpose of Dr. Master's blog to be a broad "this is what is currently going on with the weather" type of thing?

It seems more like a chat room that lets you post pictures. Hardly ever a focused discussion, bouncing all around, conflicting personalities, it gets to be too much to even read through to find the good stuff, including skipping past the posting of info that only a small few even read.

I've tried to come up with some things to post but I feel like the new kid in school, what would I have to say that these people would care about. And then I see the reception that other new and some who I thought were regulars are getting... Geez, it certainly makes one less interested in posting. I wonder how many lurkers out there have thought to post, but decide against it because who wants to swim with sharks!

Then again, perhaps I simply picked the wrong time to start posting, with hurricane season past the peak, severe weather dwindling and winter storms not quite here yet... There just isn't a topic to stay focused on. So with less food in the water, the sharks start attacking each other.
Excellent post and I agree. The way to survive in Shark infested waters is to look them in the eye, never turn your back. However, if they do attack, don't respond. Then they think you have them on ignore or you can do just that. I do not contribute anything either to this discussion except about the local weather in the Florida Keys which gets real boring unless there is a storm approaching. However, I will take boring any day over a hurricane!So jump in, risk it and don't have too thin of a skin. Just be nice and people will be nice back.
12Z GFS!:)
Quoting kwgirl:
I especially enjoy seeing winter weather and know there are people here who will post pictures. My one dream is to be where there is deep snow and fall into a drift to the point that I have to dig myself out. May not like it after it happens, but I have never experienced snow to that extent.


Lol kwgirl!

Three winters ago, we got 3 feet of snow over the span of a few weeks. It was a blast, but I would rather have gotten it all at once and had fluffy snow. It was funny to watch the dogs try to hop their way through it.
Quoting 7544:


looks like the gfs is back with the fl ghost strom again and maybe a couple of more systems
yes this time two storms on either side of florida..
THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST
FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT.

...THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
SHOWERS AND A FEW THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE THIS AFTERNOON...
MAINLY SOUTH OF A LINE FROM HIGHLANDS COUNTY TO CHARLOTTE COUNTY.
NO SEVERE STORMS ARE EXPECTED.

...DENSE FOG IMPACT...
AREAS OF FOG HAVE DEVELOPED THIS MORNING ESPECIALLY OVER THE
NATURE COAST. VISIBILITIES MAY BE BRIEFLY BELOW 1 MILE.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY.

...WIND AND SEA IMPACT...
A COLD FRONT WILL MOVE ACROSS THE REGION ON FRIDAY FOLLOWED BY A
LARGE AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE BUILDING NORTH OF THE WATERS INTO NEXT
WEEK. WINDS MAY REACH 15 TO 20 KNOTS WITH SEAS OF 3 TO 5 FEET BY
TUESDAY.

...FIRE WEATHER IMPACT...
LOW HUMIDITIES ARE EXPECTED BEHIND THE FRONT ON SATURDAY. HIGH
DISPERSIONS IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE LOW HUMIDITIES COULD LEAD TO
RED FLAG CONDITIONS FOR PORTIONS OF OUR AREA ON SATURDAY.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTER ACTIVATION WILL NOT BE NEEDED TODAY.

$$

JILLSON
Quoting GTcooliebai:
LOL I read your mind, I could tell from the reaction of my mom leaving the house and just took a peep out the window and it is coming down. One of the models that was posted last night did show a batch of rain moving onshore from the Gulf, but was being disregarded. This is good though the more rain the merrier as we head into the normally drier season.



Yeah it wasn't too much, but I still thought it was funny anyway. And yes more rain is always a good thing, I'd rather see above average rain all the time of over drought any day. Especially living near the coast with the type of soil we have, it's extremely hard to see serious and dangerous flooding around here no matter how much and how hard it could rain. Generally flooding is short lived and not in a flash flood form around here due to low elevation and porous ground/close proximity to water.
new GFS at 72 hours.......................
WXMichael, I'd advise that posting here by new folks is always welcome so long as the post is relevant to tropical weather and/or the latest blog post by Dr. Masters.

When things on the blog are relatively quiet (like now) stories about local weather, space, or very cool science (esp. science loosely related to weather) seem to be well received. Of course, the local weather and science stories are best shared when there is NOT an ongoing weather emergency.

To summarize, don't be afraid to post... but yeah perhaps avoid diving into the AGW or hurricane track debates unless you're prepared to vigorously defend what you post. :)
Quoting WXMichael:


Lol kwgirl!

Three winters ago, we got 3 feet of snow over the span of a few weeks. It was a blast, but I would rather have gotten it all at once and had fluffy snow. It was funny to watch the dogs try to hop their way through it.
Is that usual for your area? My sister lives in Virginia Beach and they go out and shovel a path for their old fat rescue Yorkie. My dachsund would have hated it. She wouldn't step on wet grass!
Quoting kwgirl:
There is tropical weather around the world year round. Just because it does not affect the US does not mean that it is not important. I enjoy hearing from different parts of the world and would hope those of you who I see regularly on this blog will check in every now and then through the winter. I especially enjoy seeing winter weather and know there are people here who will post pictures. My one dream is to be where there is deep snow and fall into a drift to the point that I have to dig myself out. May not like it after it happens, but I have never experienced snow to that extent. I have lived in the tropics most of my life. In fact, one year my daughter was saying she wanted to see snow, so I opened up the freezer to show her the built up ice and told her, "This is what it looks like!" LOL She has since been to Colorado during the winter.



I'll make sure to give you a shout out later this winter, should it not turn out out as mild as last. I have seen winters where we plowed out the 24" of inches of snow from the driveway to get out to work in the morning, then had to plow again to go home because the driveway drifted shut during the day... and repeated this for a week or so until the wind died down. I'm sure you could get lost in some of that :)
While there are some people on this blog who I totally disagree with, or one or two who irritate the bejeebus outta me, I almost never hit ignore on anyone. JFV and a couple of his clones are the only ones, and that was years ago because I realized that the amount of time I spend reading a post is usually a matter of seconds. Not a big bite out of my day. I won't remember or care about this stuff a year from now.

If I don't like a post, I'm off to the next post a second later anyway. If I REALLY don't like it I hit the minus button and move on. The only time I hit the ! button is if someone is only posting to troll, pick fights, is being outrageous or generally disrupting the blog and I think the admins should be aware of it.

Really, the time it takes to read someone's comment is such a brief moment of our day, it doesn't warrant the level of ire I see every day on the blog. (I must admit I have to remind myself of that at times too, haha.)

Anyway, carry on. I'm enjoying our cool but sunny autumn day here in St. Louis today. :)
Quoting MrMixon:
WXMichael, I'd advise that posting here by new folks is always welcome so long as the post is relevant to tropical weather and/or the latest blog post by Dr. Masters.

When things on the blog are relatively quiet (like now) stories about local weather, space, or very cool science (esp. science loosely related to weather) seem to be well received. Of course, the local weather and science stories are best shared when there is NOT an ongoing weather emergency.

To summarize, don't be afraid to post... but yeah perhaps avoid diving into the AGW or hurricane track debates unless you're prepared to vigorously defend what you post. :)


Appreciate the guidance! I didn't go to school for meteorology but I have always liked the weather. I'm the guy that if the weather is getting nasty, I'm looking out the window or going outside under the porch (while my wife is yelling to get back inside) to get a better view of the sky. I assume there are alot of like minded folks on here.
Quoting kwgirl:
My one dream is to be where there is deep snow and fall into a drift to the point that I have to dig myself out. May not like it after it happens, but I have never experienced snow to that extent.


Ah you really must visit Colorado in February or March. By then there are plenty of drifts in the mountains that will swallow you whole! :) Just make sure you have a partner to help dig you out...

There's nothing quite like suiting up in your heaviest winter gear, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing into the quiet, crystalline backcountry, plopping yourself down into a "snowdrift-chair", and sipping some hot soup/cocoa/coffee from a thermos (can you tell I'm ready for winter?)
Quoting kwgirl:
Is that usual for your area? My sister lives in Virginia Beach and they go out and shovel a path for their old fat rescue Yorkie. My dachsund would have hated it. She wouldn't step on wet grass!


That much snow was alot more than usual, although during the superstorm in early 90s, we had 52 inches. The one I'm talking about was in Pittsburgh after some back to back Nor'easters (spelling?) and daily lake effect snows. My wife had enough though when the cover on the pool collapsed and pushed half the water out. Oh that and the huge maple in the back came crashing down onto the shed.

We moved to SC the next year and have been here since. She wanted to move to VA Beach bad. My parents are in OBX so it would have been close.

Forgot to mention our golden loved the snow. would roll in it and eat it. the Cavalier not so much.
Quoting MrMixon:


Ah you really must visit Colorado in February or March. By then there are plenty of drifts in the mountains that will swallow you whole! :) Just make sure you have a partner to help dig you out...

There's nothing quite like suiting up in your heaviest winter gear, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing into the quiet, crystalline backcountry, plopping yourself down into a "snowdrift-chair", and sipping some hot soup/cocoa/coffee from a thermos (can you tell I'm ready for winter?)
Yes, it all looks so beautiful. Problem is, once it drops below 70 degrees, I am freezing. Not to mention the clothes. Do they rent ski suits or winter wear? I can't bring myself to buy clothes that I would only wear one time. So you see the paradox. I was told once that snow is fun to play in, but not live with.
Quoting kwgirl:
Yes, it all looks so beautiful. Problem is, once it drops below 70 degrees, I am freezing. Not to mention the clothes. Do they rent ski suits or winter wear? I can't bring myself to buy clothes that I would only wear one time. So you see the paradox. I was told once that snow is fun to play in, but not live with.


I find that to be true. It was a lot more fun to play in the snow as a kid than to drive to work in it now. Of course, it may be the "work" part I protest :) It's better to get out of school than to crunch numbers all day!
Quoting kwgirl:
Yes, it all looks so beautiful. Problem is, once it drops below 70 degrees, I am freezing. Not to mention the clothes. Do they rent ski suits or winter wear? I can't bring myself to buy clothes that I would only wear one time. So you see the paradox. I was told once that snow is fun to play in, but not live with.


That's a good question. I have never really seen snow suit rentals! When I was younger, we used to just use layers. In fact, I think we used spray starch on jeans to water proof them? does that sound right? Memories... lol
Quoting kwgirl:
Yes, it all looks so beautiful. Problem is, once it drops below 70 degrees, I am freezing. Not to mention the clothes. Do they rent ski suits or winter wear? I can't bring myself to buy clothes that I would only wear one time. So you see the paradox. I was told once that snow is fun to play in, but not live with.


Well, snow can be hard to live with, but the absolute key to being comfortable in the winters here is having the right gear. There are numerous options for renting winter gear in Colorado. If you (or anyone on the blog here) ever do make the trip out to CO shoot me a wumail and I'll point you in the right direction for rentals.

Oh, and speaking of snow... it's finally starting to pile up in the high country (i.e. - above 10,000ft). This webcam in Nederland is looking towards the Indian Peaks Wilderness (just south of Rocky Mountain National Park). Treeline is just above the 10,000ft mark, so you can see that Old Man Winter is beginning to work his way down the mountains...:


(Click the image above to link to the main page for the webcam. Some of the 24 hour loops for the past week are pretty awesome, like THIS ONE which shows some wind-induced* snow showers yesterday along the continental divide).

*The higher mountain areas will get wind-induced or blow-over snow even when the atmosphere is bone dry. The rapid rise of air over the continental divide on windy days manages to condense some clouds out of the dry air and some light precipitation falls from the combined effect of this rapid condensation along with snow that is physically ripped off adjacent mountains).
Quoting WXMichael:


That's a good question. I have never really seen snow suit rentals! When I was younger, we used to just use layers. In fact, I think we used spray starch on jeans to water proof them? does that sound right? Memories... lol


Oh yea, I remember that! Spray starch in an aerosol can... ah, the 70's :) We also wore 3 or 4 pairs of pants out into the snow. I used to get into my older brother's jeans, as they were bigger than mine and would fit over the others I was already wearing. You would come back inside stiff, frozen and wearing most of the snow from ouside- but never wet or cold.
525. txjac
Quoting WXMichael:


That's a good question. I have never really seen snow suit rentals! When I was younger, we used to just use layers. In fact, I think we used spray starch on jeans to water proof them? does that sound right? Memories... lol


Remeber a little farther back ...when your mom made you wear plastic bread wrappers over your socks before you put on your boots. And back in the day you HAD to have wonder bread bags!
Quoting txjac:


Remeber a little farther back ...when your mom made you wear plastic bread wrappers over your socks before you put on your boots. And back in the day you HAD to have wonder bread bags!


Thank god, I don't think my mother ever did that to me. But I was more late 70s through the 80s. I do recall being Randy from a Christmas Story though. I can't put my arms down! or the frozen fingers because I was using knitted mittens while making a snow fort. so dumb.

Did anyone else notice the blog got mysteriously quiet suddenly? Could it be everyone that was complaining got sick of each other all at the same time?
527. txjac
Quoting WXMichael:


Thank god, I don't think my mother ever did that to me. But I was more late 70s through the 80s. I do recall being Randy from a Christmas Story though. I can't put my arms down! or the frozen fingers because I was using knitted mittens while making a snow fort. so dumb.

Did anyone else notice the blog got mysteriously quiet suddenly? Could it be everyone that was complaining got sick of each other all at the same time?


Either that or they are scratching their heads as to why my mom made her kids wear bread bags!!!! Seriously though, everyone in my little community of 800 did it to their kids when growing up! lol
Quoting AussieStorm:
In fact,,,, I'll make it easy on everyone.... I'll just say goodbye.

I hope everyone here "enjoys" a blog that wont allow criticism or freedom to have an opinion.

Goodbye and good luck in years to come, Stay safe and stay well.
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Initiate permanent lurk mode.......
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Lurk mode activated


You should not leave. That spells victory for those who do not appreciate varying opinions. I thought Communism was dead.

The way to get back at them is to participate and let their anger reduce their lifespan.

JeffMasters has created a new entry.
Quoting MrMixon:


Well, snow can be hard to live with, but the absolute key to being comfortable in the winters here is having the right gear. There are numerous options for renting winter gear in Colorado. If you (or anyone on the blog here) ever do make the trip out to CO shoot me a wumail and I'll point you in the right direction for rentals.

Oh, and speaking of snow... it's finally starting to pile up in the high country (i.e. - above 10,000ft). This webcam in Nederland is looking towards the Indian Peaks Wilderness (just south of Rocky Mountain National Park). Treeline is just above the 10,000ft mark, so you can see that Old Man Winter is beginning to work his way down the mountains...:




Wow, breathtaking! The hills are a lot lower here in the east, so you seldom see the same effect. If it's cold enough to snow at the top, it usually snows at the bottom too. But sometimes you can see the peaks of the Allegheny Front turning white, and can feel a bit smug because it's still not snowing lower down :) I like to call my sister who lives at the summit and point this out every once in a while.

And if we have broken the bad mood from earlier today by calling up old childhood memories of spray starch and bread bags (and remember sledding on garbage can lids???) then we have obviously been of service to the blog :) The young'uns will thank us for the wisdom we have imparted, when they go out to play in the snow this winter.
Having been born and raised in S. Fla I never saw snow til 1978-79 when I went to Boston for work. What a wake up call for winter. I had a heavy FLA coat(LOL) and two pair of jeans. I remember being on the Mass pike between Bos and springfield and it being -27 in my fla winter clothes brrrrrrr is an understatement.
Stayed there for 2 years, I love winter and 30's 40's with a snow shower or two for the whole winter but thats about it.
Gah, just when I thought everyone was ready to chime in with a chorus or two of Kumbaya, we get someone in here advocating a further escalation of tensions in an effort to shorten the lives of some complete strangers with whom he/she disagrees.

Ummm... is it too early for a Fresca?

Maybe I just haven't posted enough webcam links...


(Click image for webcam page)
Quoting SherwoodSpirit:
While there are some people on this blog who I totally disagree with, or one or two who irritate the bejeebus outta me, I almost never hit ignore on anyone. JFV and a couple of his clones are the only ones, and that was years ago because I realized that the amount of time I spend reading a post is usually a matter of seconds. Not a big bite out of my day. I won't remember or care about this stuff a year from now.

If I don't like a post, I'm off to the next post a second later anyway. If I REALLY don't like it I hit the minus button and move on. The only time I hit the ! button is if someone is only posting to troll, pick fights, is being outrageous or generally disrupting the blog and I think the admins should be aware of it.

Really, the time it takes to read someone's comment is such a brief moment of our day, it doesn't warrant the level of ire I see every day on the blog. (I must admit I have to remind myself of that at times too, haha.)

Anyway, carry on. I'm enjoying our cool but sunny autumn day here in St. Louis today. :)


That's what I do.
I dont even ignore JFVs when they pop up, but I gradually have drifted away from this blog and more into chat.
I dont like the arguments either, its really nothing to read over a post in 5 secs, and it is the internet, not like you are seeing these people in person.
Ive heard stories of so many people leaving and now i see why.
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


That's what I do.
I dont even ignore JFVs when they pop up, but I gradually have drifted away from this blog and more into chat.
I dont like the arguments either, its really nothing to read over a post in 5 secs, and it is the internet, not like you are seeing these people in person.
Ive heard stories of so many people leaving and now i see why.

GA, as long as you don't leave forever I'm fine. As for the arguments today they were pretty pointless and we shouldn't have lost a blogger today.
Quoting kwgirl:
Yes, it all looks so beautiful. Problem is, once it drops below 70 degrees, I am freezing. Not to mention the clothes. Do they rent ski suits or winter wear? I can't bring myself to buy clothes that I would only wear one time. So you see the paradox. I was told once that snow is fun to play in, but not live with.


Once it goes above 70...I'm roasting! hahaha Unless I can be boogieboarding...but the Wales beaches only have good waves on occassion at best...and usually not coinciding with a sunny day :p