21 October 2010

Richard forms in western Caribbean...

The area of disturbed weather that I mentioned in my last update 6 days ago has been festering and very slowly getting better organized.  As several global models predicted about a week ago, a tropical storm has emerged from the southwestern Caribbean!  At 03Z today, it was upgraded to TD19, then at 15Z today, upgraded again to TS Richard based on aircraft recon, making it the 17th named storm of the season.  It's located about 200 miles ENE of the Nicaragua/Honduras border and the intensity is 35kts/1006mb.  Since 1900, only three other seasons have had this many named storms: 1933, 1995, and 2005, so this is among the most active seasons in recorded history.  Also, the name Richard has never been used before in the Atlantic, though it has been in the rotation for 30 years.

Richard is expected to continue strengthening as it heads slowly toward Belize and the Yucatan peninsula... the 5th storm this season to affect that area (Alex, Karl, Matthew, and Paula have already made their unwelcomed visits).  The official forecast brings Richard to a Yucatan landfall (as a Category 1 hurricane) early on Monday morning, then enters the southern Gulf of Mexico by Tuesday morning.  Beyond that, the states along the north and east Gulf coast (particularly Florida) should be watching this system closely.

Elsewhere, a surprisingly well-organized easterly wave has exited the African coast and is presently south of the Cape Verde islands and showing signs of a surface circulation.  The shear and SSTs are currently not inhibitive for this to become a tropical cyclone in the next couple of days, but the environment does become more hostile after that.  

Please visit my tropical Atlantic headquarters.

No comments:

Post a Comment