28 October 2011

Rina passes over Cancun, weakens to a Depression

Since yesterday's update, Rina became even less organized and lost what little deep convection it had.  This was well-timed for Mexico though, since Rina made landfall on Playa del Carmen (the mainland city directly west of Cozumel) at 03Z today (late Thursday night for them) then passed over Cancun.  Its 9-hour traverse over land, combined with the increasingly hostile environment, was responsible for the downgrade to a 30kt Depression at 15Z today.  All that remains is a tiny harmless low-level swirl just off the northeastern tip of the Yucatan peninsula.  For a very Wilma-like origin and track, thankfully the intensity didn't follow suit.

The image below shows a vertical cross-section taken along the shear vector (southerly) from one of the regional hurricane models (HWRF's 06Z analysis).  The fields shown on there are the wind speed (shaded) and relative humidity (lines).  It's easy to see how weak and shallow the vortex is, and the intrusion and overriding of very dry air... the analyzed shear is 27kts too.  This is not an environment that a storm can redevelop in.

Rina is forecast to lose its remaining tropical characteristics and degenerate to a remnant low very shortly, meandering around in the same vicinity due to weak steering flow.

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