Saturday, October 13, 2012

Tropical Storm Rafael: October 13, Update A

Tropical Storm Rubba da Bubba (aka Rafael ;-)) is a weak Tropical Storm as far as the winds and structure go, but he sure has a lot of convection on his eastern side. Here is the infrared satellite image – the clouds, rain, and thunder extend all the way from South America to the low-pressure-front-formerly-known-as-Patty:

Like Patty, he is being kept in check by wind shear and also by dry air to the west, as well as by his interaction with the islands.

He is currently ‘centered’ at 17.3N, 63.3W, moving NNE at 12mph. The winds are 50mph (TS range: 39-73mph), central pressure 1004mb. I’m glad the NHC know where his center is because from what I can see the circulation is spread out over a large area and, despite his convection, he does not have a very good structure. They sent a plane into the system to get better data on the center, the wind speed and pressure. Based on this I would agree with their assessment of the winds and pressure, although I’m still not sure about this center location.

As you can see from the satellite image, the greater part of the Lesser Antilles are being swamped, however the U.S. Virgin Islands are still on the dry side of things. From Tom in St. Thomas around 9.30am: “We are sitting here with a force field around us. we thought we would be engulfed by now with the forecast….no rain this morning, trees are barely moving, however we know rain and wind are coming...things will probably deteriorate soon. people here are not preparing and the warnings have been sketchy and vague. am hoping for no intensification, just long steady rain.” And from Julie who is currently on St. Croix at around 8am (looks rough):

And at 3.30pm with a report: “Weather is still pretty nice here.  It is definitely cooler though.  Blue skies with clouds but still no rain (on the north shore anyway).” :

You can check the Puerto Rico radar for rain if you wish: You guys are right on the edge of the convection, so it is difficult to tell if you will get any – if you do, it looks like it will be tomorrow. However, given that the convection is on the east side and he is supposedly heading NNE, you may not get much at all.

I’ll be back tomorrow. I will leave you all with something profound to ponder… what if the hokey pokey really is what it’s all about? ;-) (seen on a bumper sticker this morning).


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DISCLAIMER: 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 "run away, run away" (Monty Python), I'll let you know.


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