Small town USA guy. Politics nerd. Soccer fan. Interested in eyewalls, deformation zones, and hook echos.
By: TropicalAnalystwx13, 4:32 AM GMT on October 27, 2013
Tropical Storm Raymond is still spinning in the East Pacific tonight, a week after first being designated as a tropical cyclone. Since its inception, Raymond has managed to attain Category 3 hurricane intensity, the first in the West Hemisphere in 2013! If you would have told me back in June that on October 27, 2013 we would be sitting with 1 major in the East Pacific and no majors in the Atlantic, I would have called you insane. The system has since weakened but it remains a tropical storm that has most recently started an intensification trend again. As of the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center, maximum sustained winds were up to 65 mph and the minimum barometric pressure was down to 997 millibars. Raymond was moving west at 10 mph, far away from any landmasses. Infrared satellite imagery shows a well-developed system, with deep convection bursting over the low-level center. Microwave imagery revealed a closed...yet loose...eyewall. The latest satellite intensity estimates are T3.0/45kt from SAB and UW-CIMSS ADT...and T3.5/55kt from TAFB.
Figure 1. MODIS satellite imagery of Hurricane Raymond on October 21, 2013. At this time, Raymond packed sustained winds of 120 mph, making it the first major hurricane in the East Pacific and West Hemisphere during 2013.
Forecast for Raymond
Tropical Storm Raymond is currently tracking westward at 10 mph under the influence of a mid-level ridge situated to the cyclone's north. This motion should continue for the next few hours before a gradual turn towards the west-northwest occurs as the high shifts ever so slightly eastward. By 24 hours out, a potent upper-level trough currently west of California is expected to progress eastward while digging down, opening a passageway for Raymond to turn north and then abruptly northeastward. When exactly this turn occurs is dependent on how strong Raymond becomes; a stronger cyclone will feel the weakness more and turn quicker accordingly. The ECMWF depicts this and I see no reason why to disagree. As the cyclone weakens and becomes a shallower system, a developing disturbance to the east may be capable of drawing its remnant circulation southward while the remaining mid-level energy streams towards Baja California.
Raymond has finally begun an intensification phase tonight. The system has perplexed most of us for the past 24 hours by refusing to intensify despite warm sea surface temperatures, light wind shear, and a relatively moist environment. Unlike the system at peak intensity, Raymond has been moving at a steady clip...therefore eliminating the possibility of upwelling. The only factor that I could see preventing intensification upon investigation was warm mid- to upper-level temperatures. Regardless of what prevented strengthening, it has since abated as evidenced by latest satellite developments. Given the favorable atmospheric environment, this intensification trend is expected to continue over the next day or so, and it would not surprise me to see Raymond become a moderate Category 1 hurricane again. By 36 hours and beyons, strong vertical wind shear, decreasing sea surface temperatures, and a drier environment will all lead to rapid weakening of the cyclone. It is unlikely Raymond will survive through the entire forecast period.
INIT 27/0300Z 13.2N 114.3W 55 KT 65 MPH
12H 27/1200Z 13.5N 115.6W 65 KT 75 MPH
24H 28/0000Z 14.4N 117.1W 70 KT 80 MPH
36H 28/1200Z 15.3N 117.8W 75 KT 85 MPH
48H 29/0000Z 16.2N 117.6W 60 KT 70 MPH
72H 30/0000Z 17.0N 116.8W 35 KT 40 MPH
96H 31/0000Z 16.5N 116.6W 30 KT 35 MPH
120H 01/0000Z 16.0N 116.5W 20 KT 25 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
Atlantic is quiet
The Atlantic remains quiet as it has for an overwhelming majority of this "season" and there is nothing of significance in the basin to watch. A tropical wave in the central Atlantic has decent model support to become a weak tropical cyclone before upper-level winds shear it and/or it interacts with the Greater Antilles. As of this blog post, the season total stands at 12 tropical storms, 2 hurricanes, and 0 major hurricanes. 2013 is the first season since 2002 to feature no hurricanes through August. With an Accumulated Cyclone Energy index of 29 units, this season has been one of the quietest in decades. Though many systems have formed in the Bay of Campeche and hit Mexico, the death toll as best known is 47 and the damage total is $1.51 billion, nearly all of which from Hurricane Ingrid solely.
Updated: 4:42 AM GMT on October 27, 2013
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.