Richard hits Belize, weakens to a tropical storm

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:38 PM GMT on October 25, 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. The airport picked up 3.66" of rain. Richard was a small hurricane, and hurricane-force winds affected a region of coast of no more than 20 - 30 miles wide, just to the south of Belize City. As Richard made landfall, the eye grew tighter and more defined, subjecting a smaller portion of the country to the extreme winds of the eyewall. This contraction of the eye was probably caused by frictional convergence--as the winds spiraling into the center of Richard passed from ocean to land, the increased friction caused the winds to slow down as they reached the eyewall. This made the inflowing air pile up near the eyewall, and this piled-up air was forced upwards into more violent updrafts, intensifying the thunderstorms in the eyewall and causing eye to contract. This intensification lasted only an hour or two, before the inland motion of the center removed Richard from its main energy source, the warm waters of the Western Caribbean.


Figure 1. Visible MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Richard taken at 12:45pm EDT 10/24/10 by NASA's Aqua satellite. A the time, Richard was a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

The top winds measured at any station in Belize occurred at a personal weather station on the offshore island of Caya Caulker, which had sustained winds of 54 mph yesterday afternoon at 3:55pm CST local time. Despite the relatively small portion of Belize that was subjected to strong winds from Richard, the storm was able to knock out power to the entire nation for a period of many hours. There are no reports of deaths or injuries, but preliminary media reports indicate major wind and flooding damage in regions near where the center came ashore.

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. Atlantic hurricane season records go back to 1851.


Figure 2. Zoom radar image of Hurricane Richard at landfall, 8:53pm EDT 10/24/10. Belize City was just north of the northern eyewall, and did not receive tropical storm force winds, according to the hourly observations taken at the airport. However, Belmopan, the capital of Belize, experienced the northern eyewall of Richard. Image credit: Belize Meteorological Service.

Forecast for Richard
Richard has weakened to a tropical storm with 45 mph winds, as it moves west-northwest over the Yucatan Peninsula. Richard's small size and relatively slow forward speed of 5 - 10 mph will lead to continued weakening today as it crosses the Yucatan Peninsula. The storm will probably be a tropical depression when it emerges over the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday--if it survives the crossing. If Richard does survive the crossing, moderate wind shear and dry air over the southern Gulf of Mexico should keep the storm from intensifying. Richard should dissipate by Wednesday, before affecting any other land areas.

Invest 90L
A low pressure system (Invest 90L) centered near 23N 42W in the middle Atlantic Ocean, has developed a broad circulation. A band of heavy thunderstorms has developed in an arc to the north and east of the storm, well removed from the center, suggesting that 90L is a hybrid subtropical system. Wind shear is a high 20 - 25 knots, but is predicted to drop to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, this afternoon through Wednesday. This may give 90L the opportunity to develop, though water temperatures are marginal for development, just 26.5 - 27°C (26.5°C is usually the limiting SST that a tropical storm can develop at.) The NOGAPS model is calling for 90L to develop into a depression by Friday, when the storm will be near Bermuda. NHC is giving 90L a 10% of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday.

Next update
I'll have an update on Tuesday. I'm not sure when that update will be, as I am catching a flight to Miami in the morning. I've been invited to spend the week at the National Hurricane Center as part of their visiting scientist program, and will be shadowing NHC forecasters on the evening shift Tuesday - Friday to learn more about their operations. I'll be writing a post later this week about what a shift is like at the Hurricane Center. I also have meetings planned with scientists at NOAA's Hurricane Research Division, and plan to write about some of the research missions performed during this year's hurricane season.

Our weather extremes expert Christopher C. Burt has a very interesting post today on the hottest temperatures ever measured on Earth.

Jeff Masters

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MN even lower:

Link

Albert Lea High Wind Advisory Record Report 46.2 °F 96% 27.28 in!! crazy
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If you look at the CAPE graphic above you can see the collision of winds in different directions, starting in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and into Mississippi! This will move to the East today. A day of Tornado's for those guys coming today. The heating of the day will really be bad late this evening and tonite. NOtice how OHio is the strongest possiblity....that is because of the heating of the day with clear skies before the front. Big time trouble coming there as i agree with the NWS.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20575
Good Morning WU -
S. Wisconsin this morning - Pressure is at 28.79, 30MPH SW winds with higher gusts. We are over 300 miles from the center of the low!
Is anyone on from Minnesota this morning?
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crazy low pressure readings in IL

28.15 pressure in Waukegan, IL

Link

sorted by pressure:
Waukegan Tornado Watch High Wind Advisory Public Information Statement 63.3 °F 87% 28.15 in Light Rain Calm 8:19 AM CDT
Chicago Tornado Watch High Wind Advisory Public Information Statement 66.4 °F 93% 28.42 in Light Thunderstorm Rain Mist SE at 8.0 mph 8:19 AM CDT
Taylorville High Wind Advisory Record Report 59.5 °F 74% 28.58 in Clear WSW at 16.0 mph 8:14 AM CDT
Danville High Wind Advisory Record Report Local Storm Report 62.5 °F 83% 28.61 in
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This has BIG TIME TROUBLE stamped all over it. Bad Tornado outbreak coming today. GEESH
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20575
Quoting jasoniscoolman2010xo:
wow look at the storm in the midwest.
here is a better image
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 200 Comments: 65932
I guess Jeff Masters is in Miami, wondering about the weather approaching his home in Ann Arbor.

Winds could reach 60 mph in Metro Detroit today
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Quoting BenInHouTX:
I was just re-reading the blog entry, and noticed Dr. Masters said "Our seventeen named storms this year also ranks as the 6th most in history." Isn't Richard number eighteen?


Never mind. I forgot we skip Q
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I was just re-reading the blog entry, and noticed Dr. Masters said "Our seventeen named storms this year also ranks as the 6th most in history." Isn't Richard number eighteen?
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are models developing wave moving towards southern antilles...
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Here's JB.

TUESDAY 7 AM EASTERN WARMTH... A GIFT OF THE MEGI?

Ken Reeves and I were on PT-CTRPOINT yesterday and I brought this up, and then my good friend and the ski-ing weatherman, Herb Stevens. independent of seeing that also brought that this warm spell occuring 6-10 days after MEGI moved west through the Philippines can be likened to a "gift of the MEGI". Actually its not the typhoon but what the typhoon is indicating about the overall pattern that is the big deal here. We have a recurving tropical cyclone in the wpac now and that means late next week a trough over the east and of course modeling is seeing that in no uncertain terms now.

What it is not seeing is enough northward move of the ITCZ disturbance that is out near 40 west to crank it up for a phasing as in the idea listed below. Lets see where this is Saturday as the assumption by modeling is that it is over S America and cant develop quick enough.

Richard is remarkable for its Peggy Lee "is that all there is" look. not even the slightest sign ( as of this writing) of convection trying to reform near the center, which is over the water now... as the air over the western gulf is so dry its yelling "die die die, how dare you even think of getting into the gulf" at it.


Notes and asides:

Read this: "...if you lose the summer sea ice, there are phenomena that could lead you not so very long thereafter to lose the winter sea ice as well. And if you lose that sea ice year round, itUs going to mean drastic climatic change all over the hemisphere."


Wouldnt you say that those are the words of an extremist? Alarming to say the least. Now how would you like someone like that being chosen by the president to be the chief science officer of the United States?

This is a direct quote from John Holdren just last year. Apparently he just assumes if we get rid of arctic sea ice in the summer ( target one from 2007 was 2010, we are now working on John Kerry's 2013) then winter is right around the corner.

Sort of puts some things about extremist in perspective for me. I issued an impact forecast for the US strictly taking the means of a 16-18 TOTAL storm season with 11 TOTAL hurricanes and 5 TOTAL major overall from back in Feb, and simply using that to come up with 5 US hurricane impacts, 1 or 2 major, was was labeled extreme. Just by taking a mid ground on what such seasons produce. But you have to hit the first part first, which from Feb and then even May, if there is one more, was darn good.. Now we are at storm 17 with 10 hurricanes and 5, perhaps 6 majors for the total.


I guess if I forecasted the arctic ice cap to disappear, and had the power to affect national policy, thats no big deal.

Scientifically, when it comes to such things as AGW, its the age of witches

ciao for now **
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Quoting FLdewey:
Now THAT's a squall line...



Dominating Dominating Dominating Dominating...
ah bubbling up it will go as the heat from the day puts on a nice show thats just the way it will go



Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 200 Comments: 65932
There's already been a couple tornado warnings, here's a good link for keeping track of them.

College of DuPage Meteorology
Severe Weather and Flash Flood Warnings
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90L becoming better organized.....
AL, 90, 2010102612, , BEST, 0, 255N, 404W, 35, 1007, LO

Error on Richard's ATCF
AL, 19, 2010102506, , BEST, 0, 175N, 893W, 65, 987, TS

As of 2010102612:
200N, 929W, 25, 1004, TD (close to becoming a remnant low)
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LMAO!!

If you think THAT's a Squall line, come down here in Tx during the Spring...

You'll see one alright.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Family is in the HIGH circle in South Bend, IN. Didn't know about this one.


Yeah I'm in the same high circle here in Muncie.

That is one big area being mentioned in the Mesoscale Discussion, cant recall a bigger one.

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I expect Shary when I get home today, just my opinion...

This is actually the first time I've said something like that for an Invest that is still at 30%.

However, it has a decent ciruclation, convection, low pressure, and TS force winds.


*Correction** I expected Subtropical Shary when I get home from school today.
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Not much CAPE yet, but it should build rapidly through this afternoon...

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Quoting Vincent4989:

Did you see a shelf cloud?

No, wasn't much lightning with the storm, it was too dark to see anything too great, lots of low clouds though, but the winds were near or over 40 the entire trip over.
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Quoting nocaneindy:
Sure is going to be a interesting day in my neck of the woods!


Been a while since we've had a system like this!


Family is in the HIGH circle in South Bend, IN. Didn't know about this one.
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Quoting ILwthrfan:
Just drove through one heck of a squall line in Decatur, Illinois. Wow! I was only getting 24 mpg going 55mph, usually get 33 mpg. That averaged out over a 40 mile trip. I got a small taste of what it was like to be hurricane for a brief moment....lol winds were easily 60+ gusting higher. Rain was torential.

Did you see a shelf cloud?
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90L appears to have a closed surface circulation (or very nearly so) at 25.8N/40.4W, along with convection right at the center. 850mb vorticity is great, winds are at 35 knots, and pressure is steadily (though slowly) falling. If it can keep it up for several more hours, it just might squeeze into classification before the neighborhood turns on it tomorrow...

8:30 EDT ADDENDUM: ATCF now says pressure has dropped yet another millibar to 1007. Winds are still at 35 knots, and the system has moved a bit farther to the south; it's now centered at 25.5N/40.4W.
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Sure is going to be a interesting day in my neck of the woods!


Been a while since we've had a system like this!
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Just drove through one heck of a squall line in Decatur, Illinois. Wow! I was only getting 24 mpg going 55mph, usually get 33 mpg. That averaged out over a 40 mile trip. I got a small taste of what it was like to be hurricane for a brief moment....lol winds were easily 60+ gusting higher. Rain was torential.
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Good morning...

Well... pretty safe to say now that we're in for some additional slow down of the tropical season as we head into the last month of this season, and hostile environment(s) keep expanding.

It does appear neutral to weak La Nina is to be expected next HURR season so we shall see how things will transpire next year.

For one, I sure hope this Winter is not too dry for N and C FL... almost a month with no rain.
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quiet in here this morning
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 200 Comments: 65932
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 200 Comments: 65932
UPPER MID WEST GRT LAKES SECTOR

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 200 Comments: 65932
Off to teach school, Red Ribbon Week here, so I've got my Saints shirt on. Those in the midwest take care with the weather up there!
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I was hoping Richard would bring a little rain to the S. TX Gulf Coast--but I'm not seeing rain in the extended forecast. It's either feast or famine!
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Quoting SAINTHURRIFAN:
Hey aquak. Looks like Ike nailed Richard.Shame he commented on reality of the situation and was unneseccarily bashed for it.Today was the day Richard was supposed to obliterate Florida.Remember Jeff 9641 lol.Well I guess thats why most of us original members quit blogging on here, too much drama and a mostly a 20 and under crowd.Well Ike if your out there, you nailed the progression of this hurricane season.But wait that mojo and pattern still could change lol.God Bless Aquak and have a blessed day.
a blog is no fun unless there are speculators. gfdl been off this yr
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Hey aquak. Looks like Ike nailed Richard.Shame he commented on reality of the situation and was unneseccarily bashed for it.Today was the day Richard was supposed to obliterate Florida.Remember Jeff 9641 lol.Well I guess thats why most of us original members quit blogging on here, too much drama and a mostly a 20 and under crowd.Well Ike if your out there, you nailed the progression of this hurricane season.But wait that mojo and pattern still could change lol.God Bless Aquak and have a blessed day.
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aislinapps- welcome to the weather! even tho hurrican season may be close to over, weather still has a way of keeping us interested.

I find winter/spring weather to be much more nail-biting than summer weather.

You'll learn all about the SPC...some of the folks here do a GREAT job for watching weather all across the country.

Hi Bord!! just a zoom thru for me but I saw ya and wanted to say g'morning!! :)
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How can one be in a 3 out of 10 tornado possibility area if one is in a 0% chance of rain area???
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You guys are just rubbing it in where there is rain everywhere else! *G* But the Wranglers Fire here in the National Forest is about 90% contained now. Anyone want to share their rain? Send it this way? We're 80 degrees already and supposed to be close to 90 today with high winds. Glad the fire is so contained.
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THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN KEY WEST HAS ISSUED AN

* URBAN FLOOD ADVISORY FOR MINOR FLOODING OF POOR DRAINAGE AREAS
IN...
LOWER KEYS IN MONROE COUNTY IN FLORIDA...
THIS INCLUDES THE COMMUNITY OF KEY WEST...

* UNTIL 715 AM EDT

* AT 510 AM EDT LOCAL DOPPLER RADAR SHOWS A PERSISTENT LINE
OF SHOWERS WITH EMBEDDED THUNDERSTORMS LIFTING NORTHWARD FROM THE
ATLANTIC WATERS ADJACENT TO THE LOWER KEYS...ACROSS KEY
WEST...INTO THE GULF WATERS.

RADAR ESTIMATES OF RAINFALL SHOW AROUND 2 INCHES OF RAIN HAS FALLEN
IN A NARROW STRETCH FROM THE ATLANTIC WATERS...ACROSS KEY WEST...AND
FURTHER INTO THE GULF WATERS. THE SENSOR AT KEY WEST INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT HAS IN EXCESS OF 2.4 INCHES OF ACCUMULATION EARLY THIS
MORNING. AT THE WEATHER FORECAST OFFICE...ACCUMULATION IS IN EXCESS
OF 2.1.
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A little damp this mornin'.

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Morning, everyone. TWC is talking about a Bombogenesis for the midwest, kind of like a hurricane over land with low pressure dropping into the mid 900'S? We're under high winds advisory all the way down to Louisiana. Now if only we could get the rain... We're down around 16 inches of rain for the year so far.
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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