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Dangerous Jova approaching Mexico; welcome rains hit Texas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 1:54 PM GMT on October 10, 2011

In the Eastern Pacific off the coast of Mexico, Hurricane Jova continues to intensify. Recent satellite loops show the hurricane has developed a prominent eye with very cold cloud tops. A hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to arrive at Jova near 11 am PDT today. The computer models are in good agreement that Jova will turn northeast and then north on Tuesday, with storm expected to hit near Manzanillo on Mexico's southwest coast Tuesday afternoon. The intensity forecast also appears relatively straightforward. Jova is under moderate wind shear of 10 - 15 knots, and shear is predicted to stay in the moderate range between now and landfall. Ocean temperatures are warm, 28 - 29°C, and Jova is now approaching a region where these warm waters extend to great depth, which should allow the storm to maintain major hurricane strength until landfall. The GFDL model predicts Jova will be a Category 3 at landfall on Tuesday afternoon, while the HWRF model predicts Category 4 strength. The hurricane is likely to undergo the usual fluctuations in intensity due to eyewall replacement cycles major hurricanes typically experience at this stage of their lifetimes, so Mexico will have to hope it catches Jova on one of the downswings of this cycle. If Jova maintains its current central pressure of 960 mb until landfall, it will rank as one of the ten most intense Pacific hurricanes to hit Mexico since record keeping began in 1949. According to a comprehensive list of Eastern Pacific hurricane landfalls at Wikipedia, only seven hurricanes with a central pressure of 960 mb or lower have hit Mexico's Pacific coast since 1949. Jova is a modest-sized hurricane, with hurricane-force winds that extend out only 15 miles from the center. A relatively small stretch of moderately to lightly-populated coast will see Jova's high eyewall winds and very dangerous storm surge. A much larger swath of Mexico will see very heavy rains of 5 - 10 inches, and these rains are capable of causing high loss of life due to heavy flooding and mudslides.


Figure 1. Rainfall forecast for Hurricane Jova from this morning's 2 am EDT run of the GFDL model. Image credit: Morris Bender, NOAA/GFDL.

Tropical Storm Irwin also headed for Mexico
Once Jova has made landfall, Tropical Storm Irwin, farther to the west, may also be a concern. The computer forecast models show Irwin could make landfall as a tropical storm on the Mexican coast late in the week, along the same stretch of coast Jova will affect. However, Irwin is a weak storm that is expected to weaken further as it approaches the coast, due to high wind shear, and Irwin may end up not being a significant threat to Mexico.

93L bringing heavy rains, high winds, and a tornado threat to the Southeast U.S.
A large extratropical low pressure system with heavy rain and gale-force winds (Invest 93L), is centered over Northern Florida. Water vapor satellite loops show that the center of this low is filled with dry air, and 93L is headed northwest at 5 - 10 mph. The west side of this low also has a large amount of dry air, which is limiting precipitation amounts along the Gulf of Mexico coast, but the east side has plenty of tropical moisture. Radar-estimated rainfall amounts since Friday are already in excess of ten inches just inland along the Central Florida coast. Melbourne, Florida had its second wettest October day in its history on Saturday, with 5.68" of rain. Much of coast of Northern Florida, Southern South Carolina, and Georgia, including Brunswick, are under a flood watch, high surf advisories, tornado watch, and a high wind watch for wind gusts up to 55 mph. Winds offshore the Southeast Coast are not quite as strong as last night, when tropical storm force winds occurred along the Central Florida coast. Buoy 41009 offshore from Cape Canaveral recorded sustained winds of 52 mph, gusting to 67 mph, at 10 pm EDT Sunday. St. Augustine airport had sustained winds of 38 mph with gusts as high as 51 mph Sunday night. Due to the large amount of dry air near the storm's center and west side, plus the fact the track of the storm will spend little time over water, 93L will not have time to organize into a subtropical storm that gets a name. NHC is currently giving 93L a 10% chance of becoming a named tropical or subtropical storm by Wednesday morning. This large diffuse system will bring strong winds and heavy rains to a large area of the Southeast U.S. coast over the next two days.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic, both the ECMWF and NOGAPS models predict a strong tropical disturbance could form in the Western Caribbean off the coast of Nicaragua in about seven days.


Figure 2. Radar-estimated rainfall from the Tampa Bay, Florida radar as of Monday morning.

Heavy rains for drought-stricken Texas
A slow-moving low pressure system brought the heaviest rains of the year to large portions of rain-starved Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas over the weekend. Radar-estimated rainfall amounts reached eight inches over portions of Texas between Dallas and Abilene. Houston got 20% of their rain for the entire year--3.02"--on Sunday, breaking a string of 256 consecutive days the city had gone without a one-inch rainstorm. The longest previous such streak was 192 days, set in 1917 - 1918. The last one inch rainstorm in the city was January 24, 2011. The last time Houston had a two inch rainstorm was 383 days ago. Yesterday's rains brought the year-to-date precipitation to 15.25", which is 22" below normal.


Figure 3. Radar-estimated rainfall from the Dallas, Texas radar as of Monday morning.

Jeff Masters
Vero Beach, FL
Vero Beach, FL
Flooding in neighborhoods from 10+ inches of rain in the last 3 days. Photo by R.J.LeBleu
Streets turn into temporary creeks.
Streets turn into temporary creeks.
Luckily I was on the shallow side of this divided roadway as I slowly inched along to avoid stalling. On the Space Coast barrier island the waters generally flow west back into the Banana River Lagoon.
a reprieve from drought. Bosque River
a reprieve from drought. Bosque River
Erath County, City Park at Stephenville.

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

Looking at Jova this morning makes me think Cat 4 landfall could be a possibility. Its 5mph forward speed along with the deep warm waters give it plenty of time to reorganize and strengten. I'm thinking more along the lines of 125-130 mph at landfall. Regardless it's really all about the extreme rainfall amounts that will be the big story with this one.
also looks like the overall size of Jova's convection has almost doubled overnight
Anyone know if there are any radar or radar links in the region where Jova's headed?
Good morning everyone. Jova looks scary to me - from the standpoint of being in the bullseye of her at those wind speeds, even if she weakens, it's a dangerous storm. I've flown over those mountains in a small plane and a lot of the rain will get lifting from the upslopes from the many 10,000+ peaks, row after row of them. People who live among those hills have poorly constructed houses. It won't be a good day for them. Thanks to all of you on the blog for the good weather information and excellent arguments. Conflict is good as it brings out all sides of the information and lets the reader learn more.
Quoting skosty:
Anyone know if there are any radar or radar links in the region where Jova's headed?


Should be at Puerto Vallarta (big airport there), Acapulco, Manzanillo, maybe Ixtapec though it may be too far south.
Quoting TropicTraveler:


Should be at Puerto Vallarta (big airport there), Acapulco, Manzanillo, maybe Ixtapec though it may be too far south.

At Manzanillo when you land in a light plane the surf is right beside you and looks like it's higher than the runway. Sure to be flooded if any surge at all comes on shore.
BULLETIN
HURRICANE JOVA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 22A
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP102011
500 AM PDT TUE OCT 11 2011

...OUTER RAINBANDS OF JOVA MOVING ONSHORE IN SOUTHWESTERN MEXICO...


SUMMARY OF 500 AM PDT...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.6N 105.6W
ABOUT 130 MI...210 KM SW OF MANZANILLO MEXICO
ABOUT 195 MI...315 KM S OF CABO CORRIENTES MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...115 MPH...185 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNE OR 30 DEGREES AT 6 MPH...9 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...963 MB...28.44 INCHES
Good to see the dry air from the Mts. disrupted the core of Jova. This is still going to be a very bad situation with the flooding and surge. Jova could of been barreling down on MX as a Cat 4 with much higher winds. They lucked out there.
Here's a webcam link for Puerto Vallarta.

Webcam courtesy of: http://www.puertovallarta.net/interactive/webcam/i ndex.php#
I'm definitely laughing at myself. Googled Manzanillo weather radar and Wunderground popped up with complete data - but no radar available. Best site for out of country up to the minute wx report.
Good Morning...


Interesting 850 MB vorticity in relation to the convection near the eastern tip of Cuba:

CARIBBEAN SEA...
A 1008 MB LOW LOW IS CENTERED E OF JAMAICA AT 18N75W. WIDELY
SCATTERED MODERATE CONVECTION IS OVER E CUBA...THE WINDWARD
PASSAGE...HAITI...AND THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN FROM 15N-20N BETWEEN
72W-76W.

Quoting Skyepony:
Tom~ Anything more than 50 miles from the COC was moving East to west..not with the circulation. The circulation was very small at landfall. The center that was seen by PWS & such was on land nearly from the beginning. Atleast an hour before what was on radar hit KSC.

Islander~ Mesoscale vortex have closed circulations too.. I usually refer to them as landcanes.

Atleast they have months to evaluate it. Had it been called a STS at landfall..even though it was questionable stacked & feeding on temp diff..the mob would be chanting..NHC failed..they only had 15 mins STS warning.


TWC expert was calling the center of circulation (93L) observed off Cocoa Beach area that moved into Florida's East Coast a "Microscale Convective Complex."
From reading about this that doesn't seem right. But that's what he called it. He was basically saying the weather(strong localized wind gusts) was not representative of the system as a whole.
NAM develops the Cuba low, but keeps it just off shore the East Coast.
That seems likely with the dry air moving into Florida this week.

GFS shows (2 weeks out) a Caribbean system. We'll have to see if that continues with future runs.
About generators... I live in a Houston apartment that faces into a courtyard, and I have no secure place to put a fuel-burning generator. If I put one in the courtyard, it would wake up the neighbors (the design tends to collect and magnify sound). If I put it in the apartment, I'd be dead.

The best I could do was a Freeplay Weza (the foot-powered rechargable "generator"), and it works great. However, they've been discontinued long since by the company that made them.

What have you guys seen as far as options go for people who live in small apartments and can't use generators?
Quoting KoritheMan:


I wanna say 2015, but don't quote me on that.
Sorry, couldn't resist.... lol

Seriously, I only remember it seemed like yeah forever a long time, expecially taking into consideration how long QuikScat was supposed to have been done before it actually finished. It would be nice to get some new imaging technology up there to give us more detailed and sophisticated data. On top of that, if it doesn't go up for another 3-5 years, how long do we in the general public wait before we get access to info from the newest satellite?

Anyway...
MJO on the move, should be in Caribbean by the end of the week. This is the strongest upward pulse of the season and the same pulse that just brought Jova to the eastern Pacific. The entire Carib. will be oozing with moisture and its very likely something will develop over the next 1-2 weeks. With the high THCP all we need is low wind shear and a strong Hurricane would not be out of the question.
thx for the link really makes me appreciate the kind of tools and networking we have in this country
OP GFS AND GFES ENSEMBLE GUIDANCE SHOW MID-UPPER LEVEL RIDGE
FINALLY BREAKING DOWN BY NEXT TUE OCT 18 AS A SERIES OF POLAR
PERTURBATIONS ROTATING AROUND BASE OF ERN NOAM MEAN TROF ERODE THE
RIDGE. THIS SHOULD RESULT IN AN INCREASE IN MID-UPPER LEVEL
INSTABILITY AND THUS BETTER CHANCES FOR DEEP CONVECTION FOR THE
LAST TEN DAYS OF OCT. INTERESTINGLY...A FEW GFS ENSEMBLE MEMBERS
SUGGEST TC FORMATION NEAR THE WINDWARD ISLANDS AROUND THE 19TH AND
LATEST CPC GLOBAL TROPICS BENEFITS/HAZARDS ASSESSMENT PAGE AND MJO
FORECASTS HAVE THE ENTIRE CARIBBEAN BASIN HIGHLIGHTED UNDER A
MODERATE CHANCE OF TROPICAL CYCLOGENESIS AND A HIGH CHANCE OF
ABOVE AVERAGE RAINFALL FOR WEEK-2. SO...
AFTER A RATHER QUIET FIRST
HALF OF OCT THINGS LOOK TO TURN MORE EXCITING FOR THE END OF THE
MONTH.



YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Quoting BahaHurican:
Sorry, couldn't resist.... lol

Seriously, I only remember it seemed like yeah forever a long time, expecially taking into consideration how long QuikScat was supposed to have been done before it actually finished. It would be nice to get some new imaging technology up there to give us more detailed and sophisticated data. On top of that, if it doesn't go up for another 3-5 years, how long do we in the general public wait before we get access to info from the newest satellite?

Anyway...


----------

A joint project for creating a new satellite with the next generation of equipment has been announced by NASA and the NHC. The new satellite is scheduled to be operational in 2015, at which time it will be put in orbit around Earth.[9]

http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/weather/hurr icane/blog/2009/11/quikscat_satellite_dies.html
^ a b c Ken Kayes (November 24, 2009). "QuikSCAT satellite dies". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved November 24, 2009.



Link

Interesting little piece (with photos!) of glacier change on the Himalayas.
493.

Entirely possible that 93L wasn't anything we've ever seen in the Atlantic. It doesn't meet the requirements for a tropical or subtropical storm, but it didn't meet the requirements for a nontropical low, a landcane, or anything of the such. Wasn't a tropical wave, wasn't a nor'easter either or extratropical for that matter. Was a warm core feature, that's for sure, with a closed circulation, that's pretty much for sure to. But looking closer into it, you only had the warmcore features in a small core surrounded by an entirely non-tropical system. It was almost two systems in one, I have never seen anything like 93L in the Atlantic before.
New blog, folks
Even though we haven't had "the big one" develop this year I have to say that Irene was the biggest, strongest, most devestating Cat 1 I've ever seen. Even when it became extra-tropical the CP was still that of a major hurricane. WOW!
By the way anyone know Irene's effects on the UK as it passed. Didn't hear much but I thought it was supposed to have a big impact in some parts over there.
Yeah 93L is unique, so much so that if it weren't it would merit a new kind of storm classification.
How about 93L was a extra-sub-tropical mesoscale vortex?
this major cold front scheduled to head as far south as south fla should just about put a squeeze on anything trying to head towards south fla which is very good news...this should happen sometime on friday..i think fla has had enough rain for now...i think the yucatan and central america are the ones in the line of fire jmo...
From previous blog

Quoting BahaHurican:
Sorry, couldn't resist.... lol

Seriously, I only remember it seemed like yeah forever a long time, expecially taking into consideration how long QuikScat was supposed to have been done before it actually finished. It would be nice to get some new imaging technology up there to give us more detailed and sophisticated data. On top of that, if it doesn't go up for another 3-5 years, how long do we in the general public wait before we get access to info from the newest satellite?

Anyway...


Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


----------

A joint project for creating a new satellite with the next generation of equipment has been announced by NASA and the NHC. The new satellite is scheduled to be operational in 2015, at which time it will be put in orbit around Earth.[9]

http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/weather/hurr icane/blog/2009/11/quikscat_satellite_dies.html
^ a b c Ken Kayes (November 24, 2009). "QuikSCAT satellite dies". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved November 24, 2009.





Perhaps we should encourage StormKen to do a followup article on the status of the plan to replace Quikscat... in these times of so many budget cuts.

Now that I type this, I realize that we could encourage Dr. Masters to do an article on this, and find out "what's up" with the QuikScat program.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!