Tropical Storm Agatha, Pacaya volcano kill 15 in Guatemala; oil spill update

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 30. toukokuuta 2010 klo 14:39 (GMT)

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Tropical Storm Agatha, the first Eastern Pacific named storm of 2010, was short lived but deadly. Agatha was a tropical storm for just 12 hours, making landfall Saturday on the Pacific coast of Guatemala as a 45 mph tropical storm. However, the storm brought huge amounts of moisture inland that continue to be wrung out as heavy rains by the high mountains of Guatemala and the surrounding nations of Central America. So far, flooding and landslides have killed twelve people in Guatemala, and one person in neighboring El Salvador. According to the excellent Guatemala weather site, climaya.com, rainfall amounts of up to 152 mm (six inches) in 24 hours have occurred in some regions of Guatemala. The National Hurricane Center is warning that rainfall amounts of up to 30 inches may fall the next few days in some mountainous regions near where the storm has dissipated. Adding to the mayhem is fallout from the Pacaya volcano in Guatemala, which began erupting three days ago. At least three people have been killed by the volcano, located about 25 miles south of the capital, Guatemala City. The volcano has destroyed 800 homes with lava and brought moderate ash falls to the capital.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Tropical Storm Agatha at landfall. The storm was intensifying right up until landfall, and had an impressive "hot tower" of building cumulonimbus clouds near its center that brought heavy rains to Guatemala.


Figure 2. Flooding in Quetzaltenango, Zone 2, in Guatemala on May 29, 2010, after heavy rains from Tropical Storm Agatha. Image credit: Carlos Diaz, climaya.com

Oil spill update
Light onshore winds out of the south are expected to blow over the northern Gulf of Mexico today through Tuesday, resulting increased threats of oil to the Alabama and Mississippi barrier islands, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA. Winds are expected to shift to southwesterly on Wednesday and continue through Friday, increasing in force to 10 - 20 knots late in the week as a cold front approaches the Gulf. These persistent and strengthening southwesterly winds will likely bring oil very close to shore from Mississippi to the Florida Panhandle by next weekend.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post Wednesday with answers to some of the common questions I get about the spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
NOAA trajectory forecasts
Deepwater Horizon Unified Command web site
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Surface current forecasts from NOAA's HYCOM model
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

Join the "Hurricane Haven" with Dr. Jeff Masters: a new Internet radio show
Beginning next week, I'll be experimenting with a live 1-hour Internet radio show called "Hurricane Haven." The show will be aired at 4pm EDT on Tuesdays, with the first show June 1. Listeners will be able to call in and ask questions. Some topics I'll cover on the first show:

1) What's going on in the tropics right now
2) Preview of the coming hurricane season
3) How a hurricane might affect the oil spill
4) How the oil spill might affect a hurricane
5) New advancements in hurricane science presented at this month's AMS Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology
6) Haiti's vulnerability to a hurricane this season

I hope you can tune in to the broadcast, which will be at http://www.wunderground.com/wxradio/wubroadcast.h tml. If not, the show will be recorded and stored as a podcast.

I'll probably be back Monday with a quick update. Have a great holiday weekend!

Jeff Masters

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1690. stillwaiting
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 15:07 (GMT)
I believe I was the first to point it out using the belize radar....****pats himself on back****,;)
Member Since: 5.10.2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
1689. InTheCone
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 14:12 (GMT)
Just coming out of lurk mode to give my thanks to all the folks who have served our country so bravely and selflessly for our entire history.

THANK YOU to all of you and God Bless!
Member Since: 1.09.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1979
1687. hercj
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 14:09 (GMT)
Quoting PcolaDan:


Memorial Day - To those that gave the ultimate sacrifice


This was moving. Thank You
Member Since: 5.09.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 319
1686. Grothar
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 14:08 (GMT)
Dr. Masters just posted a new blog. Come on folks MOVE IT! MOVE IT!

And thanks Dan and Flood. Let's go to the new blog and see what is new?
Member Since: 17.07.2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23724
1685. PcolaDan
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 14:06 (GMT)
NEW BLOG
Member Since: 22.08.2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
1684. hercj
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 14:03 (GMT)
StormW have you noticed that the NHC Atlantic Floater is named Agatha?
Member Since: 5.09.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 319
1683. TampaSpin
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:59 (GMT)
StormW go online to chat
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1682. Fl30258713
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:59 (GMT)
new blog up
Member Since: 24.07.2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 981
1681. HyDrO420
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:55 (GMT)
Good morning all


Thank you to all the Vets out there!!!!!!
Member Since: 28.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 87
1680. hercj
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:53 (GMT)
Quoting StormW:


Generally, Saturdays are best...but if you need to visit during the week, we can work something out.


morning Senior, I am going to take you up on that as well.
Member Since: 5.09.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 319
1679. JamesSA
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:53 (GMT)
Quoting Grothar:


Thanks, Dak.

On the article about the 1979 spill, it stated that they finally stopped the leak with lead balls. Maybe that is what they need for this one.

I am surprised know one remembers that one. Those who were alive at the time, course. It was actually worse than this one.
There were some big differences. For one, the well was only in 150 feet of water. The oil was all at the surface and we did not have these massive underwater plumes.

Location was also better. The currents took most of the oil onto the pretty much barren sandy barrier islands of South South Texas and Northern Mexico. That was bad for the islands but much better than having oil in environmentally sensitive marshlands.

After 30 years the beaches were finally looking really clean again.

This is looking like a much worse environmental catastrophe due to the depth, the heavy use of dispersants at depth, and the proximity to very important wetlands.
Member Since: 17.08.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 579
1678. gordydunnot
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:53 (GMT)
We could do 2000 post on those that paid the ultimate price and wouldn't do it any justice. I hope to spend some time with my family this afternoon enjoy some quality time, that we too often take for granted. Looks like Center is just inland or on coast llc wise. The models look a little better this morning with there previous forecast. Low level looks like it wants to go north. I believe shear will keep this in check. You can definitely see the explosive heat content of the water.
Member Since: 18.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3109
1677. WxLogic
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:50 (GMT)
Agatha's remnants are now in the NW Carib. If it's able to fight off some of the shear and keep the vorticity signatures it has from 850MB to 500MB stacked enough it might have a chance to redevelop into the first TD in our HURR season.

It currently has a decent low level convergence and upper level divergence.
Member Since: 14.08.2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4881
1676. Ossqss
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:49 (GMT)
On this day we commemorate the brave individuals that gave their life for this country.

Flag etiquette for this day.

"On Memorial Day the flag is displayed at half staff until noon and at full staff from noon to sunset."


History of Memorial Day





Member Since: 12.06.2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8183
1674. WxLogic
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:47 (GMT)
Good morning...
Member Since: 14.08.2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4881
1673. BenBIogger
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:46 (GMT)
Member Since: 19.03.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1419
1671. IKE
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:44 (GMT)
Definitely offshore.
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1670. Grothar
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:44 (GMT)
Quoting Dakster:


Very Nice Grothar.. I had seen the photos and words before, but without the music...

Brings back a bumper sticker I saw some time ago, If you can read this thank a teacher, thank a soldier it is in English... (Not meant to offend the many international contributors to this site - just a little American patriotism and reflection of how our country was founded)

Also - The thing about Ixtoc I was really interesting. What made them think that if it didn't work before in 200 ft of water, it would all of a sudden work in 5,000 ft of water. DELAY tactics and things to make US think that they are trying...



Thanks, Dak.

On the article about the 1979 spill, it stated that they finally stopped the leak with lead balls. Maybe that is what they need for this one.

I am surprised know one remembers that one. Those who were alive at the time, course. It was actually worse than this one.
Member Since: 17.07.2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23724
1669. Tropicsweatherpr
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:43 (GMT)
Quoting leo305:


http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8sht.GIF

there you go, shear is dropping


Thank you for the graphic. Do you have the link to the site from where the graphic is as I lost it?
Member Since: 29.04.2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13302
1668. Dakster
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:41 (GMT)
Looks like Agatha just put on the Wind Shear Wipers...

Good Morning FLOODMAN!
Member Since: 10.03.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9721
1667. Chicklit
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:41 (GMT)
Quoting IKE:


Agree. I wish I could advance forward 6 months...to Dec. 1st, 2010 and know...the totals in the Atlantic and the status of the oil catastrophe.

That ain't happenen' Going through this one invest at a time.
WVLoop
The anticyclone as moved to somewhere near the coast of Venezuela I think.


Conditions appear to be changing fairly quickly. BBL
Member Since: 11.07.2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11047
1666. TampaSpin
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:41 (GMT)


The window of less Shear is coming!
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1665. Floodman
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:40 (GMT)
Good morning folks...I want to join Grothar in a few minutes quiet reflection on those who have gone before us to protect our freedom...

We can never repay those that gave the last full measure of devotion so that we might enjoy the lives we've lived but we do honor their memory and we are grateful, truly, for the sacrifices they made...
Member Since: 2.08.2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1664. Dakster
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:39 (GMT)
Quoting Grothar:
Link

If you want to hear something really nice go to this link and at the bottom of the page, turn up the volume. Just thought it was appropriate today.


Very Nice Grothar.. I had seen the photos and words before, but without the music...

Brings back a bumper sticker I saw some time ago, If you can read this thank a teacher, thank a soldier it is in English... (Not meant to offend the many international contributors to this site - just a little American patriotism and reflection of how our country was founded)

Also - The thing about Ixtoc I was really interesting. What made them think that if it didn't work before in 200 ft of water, it would all of a sudden work in 5,000 ft of water. DELAY tactics and things to make US think that they are trying...

Member Since: 10.03.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9721
1663. leo305
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:38 (GMT)
Quoting kmanhurricaneman:
development emminent look at the feeders


I noticed, I agree, this is developing at the very least..
Member Since: 17.04.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
1662. SLU
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:38 (GMT)


The Atlantic continues to remain on fire. The tripole remains very well defined. Meanwhile the Pacific temps are definitely La Nina-bound.
Member Since: 13.07.2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 4733
1661. BradentonBrew
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:37 (GMT)
Quoting StormW:
I made this offer a couple of seasons ago, and it still stands...anyone in or close to the Tampa Bay area, who feels like traveling to Palm Harbor, you are welcome to drop in, and I will show you what goes into my analysis and forecasting. We'll pull up the tools I use, and go over each.

"Storm"


I would love to take you up on this. I am in Bradenton. What is your life schedule like? Weekend mornings? Afternoons? Weekday Nights? PM me and thanks for your openness to sharing information.
Member Since: 27.06.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 11
1660. afj3
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:36 (GMT)
Quoting leo305:


It' is expected to impact South/Central florida directly.. atleast that's what the models said until agatha was killed off.

at the very least (it's in the forecast) expect alot of stormy weather come mid / late week

Good. Rain without damage is a good thing!
Member Since: 10.06.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 346
1659. CyclonicVoyage
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:36 (GMT)
Quoting StormW:
I gotta wait until we get better Visible imagery. I'm gonna keep an eye on ex-Agatha...Although there doesn't appear to be a well defined LLC, there are hot towers going up in the convection...3 good ones on current visible.


One would assume that the center is somewhere in between those hot towers, rather impressive this AM. 12hr clock started at first blow-up.
Member Since: 30.01.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
1658. TampaSpin
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:36 (GMT)
Morning All! Happy Memorial Day! Always remember those that have gave up so much to protect us. My dad lost 2 brothers that hit our family hard when i was small but, it seems like yesterday each time the news came that one was gone.
Member Since: 2.09.2007 Posts: 177 Comments: 20430
1657. Grothar
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:35 (GMT)
Quoting IKE:


Had to dust em off first.

Yeah...I put them on. Center looks offshore to me. In the extreme western Caribbean.



When I find mine, I'll take another look! LOL
Member Since: 17.07.2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23724
1656. kmanhurricaneman
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:34 (GMT)
development emminent look at the feeders
Member Since: 14.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1002
1655. leo305
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:32 (GMT)
Quoting afj3:
So, as a resident of South Florida, will Agatha's remains come here????


It' is expected to impact South/Central florida directly.. atleast that's what the models said until agatha was killed off.

at the very least (it's in the forecast) expect alot of stormy weather come mid / late week
Member Since: 17.04.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
1654. gordydunnot
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:31 (GMT)
Hey Storm looks pretty interesting on the RGB at the NHC in motion.
Member Since: 18.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3109
1653. bjdsrq
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:31 (GMT)
Quoting StormW:
I gotta wait until we get better Visible imagery. I'm gonna keep an eye on ex-Agatha...Although there doesn't appear to be a well defined LLC, there are hot towers going up in the convection...3 good ones on current visible.


Any prospects for eventually getting some much needed rain here in SW FL from this? Or will it be shot off to the NE if/when it gets to a higher latitude?
Member Since: 26.07.2003 Posts: 3 Comments: 428
1652. afj3
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:30 (GMT)
So, as a resident of South Florida, will Agatha's remains come here????
Member Since: 10.06.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 346
1651. IKE
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:30 (GMT)
Quoting Chicklit:

Agree. This is not 2009.


Agree. I wish I could advance forward 6 months...to Dec. 1st, 2010 and know...the totals in the Atlantic and the status of the oil catastrophe.
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1650. leo305
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:30 (GMT)
Quoting IKE:
86-87W and looks to be between 17 and 18N.


I think its around 87W 17.3N based on visible satelite
Member Since: 17.04.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
1649. Chicklit
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:29 (GMT)
Just want to post this for all my friends I lost in Vietnam and to all those others, past and present, who served and gave more than they took. It would be nice if we just reflected a few minutes today for their memory.

Moment of Silence. Moment for Tears.
Member Since: 11.07.2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11047
1648. Grothar
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:29 (GMT)
Link

If you want to hear something really nice go to this link and at the bottom of the page, turn up the volume. Just thought it was appropriate today.
Member Since: 17.07.2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23724
1647. afj3
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:28 (GMT)
Quoting StormW:
I made this offer a couple of seasons ago, and it still stands...anyone in or close to the Tampa Bay area, who feels like traveling to Palm Harbor, you are welcome to drop in, and I will show you what goes into my analysis and forecasting. We'll pull up the tools I use, and go over each.

"Storm"

That's the most generous thing I have heard in a long time. Big time.
Member Since: 10.06.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 346
1646. Chicklit
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:28 (GMT)
Quoting IKE:


Had to dust em off first.

Yeah...I put them on. Center looks offshore to me. In the extreme western Caribbean.

Agree. This is not 2009.
Member Since: 11.07.2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11047
1645. IKE
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:27 (GMT)
86-87W and looks to be between 17 and 18N.
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1644. gordydunnot
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:27 (GMT)
Agatha now on the Atlantic floater at NHC.
Member Since: 18.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3109
1643. IKE
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:26 (GMT)
Quoting Grothar:


Got your glasses on yet? Don't feel bad. I can't see any movement either. Just a blob.


Had to dust em off first.

Yeah...I put them on. Center looks offshore to me. In the extreme western Caribbean.
Member Since: 9.06.2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1642. leo305
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:26 (GMT)
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Any graphic about how is the shear in the area?


http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8sht.GIF

there you go, shear is dropping
Member Since: 17.04.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
1641. Tropicsweatherpr
31. toukokuuta 2010 klo 13:23 (GMT)
Any graphic about how is the shear in the area?
Member Since: 29.04.2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13302

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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