Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tropical Storm Richard: October 24, Update A

Not surprisingly Richard has intensified to a strong Tropical Storm with winds of 70mph (range: 39-73mph). He always looked stronger to me than the official numbers suggested. At this point, I think he might even be a cat 1. He's just north of the Honduras border at 16.5N, 85.5W and is heading WNW at 10mph towards Belize. Central pressure is 995mb. The warm waters are pretty deep in that part of the Caribbean, with 26.5 deg C waters in the upper 100-125m (surface temperatures are 29-30 deg C) and wind shear is weak. Both will allow him to intensify a bit more. However he is interacting with Honduras which may help to keep him from growing much beyond a cat 1. His vorticity is strong in the lowest half of the troposphere and there is a signal in the upper levels as well - another sign (to me) that he is already a hurricane. Convection is also pretty good, with thunderstorms and oodles of rain (a technically precise amount of rainfall ;-)).  He is forecast to make landfall overnight tonight.
I'll try and pop in later when they upgrade him to a hurricane (I'm assuming they will!).
Until then,
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These remarks are just what I think/see regarding tropical storms - not the opinion of any organization I represent. If you are making an evacuation decision, please heed your local emergency management and the National Hurricane Center's official forecast and the National Weather Service announcements. This is not an official forecast. If I was there and was going to "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.

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