Tropical Storm Paula forming

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:30 (GMT)

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Data from the Hurricane Hunters, land stations, and satellite imagery reveal that the strong tropical disturbance centered near the coast of Honduras just west of the border with Nicaragua is now Tropical Storm Paula. Paula is the 16th named storm of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. The Hurricane Hunters reported a central pressure of 1001 mb and top surface winds of 45 mph in their 2:11pm EDT center fix. Satellite imagery shows a well-organized system with a modest but increasing amount of intense thunderstorm activity, and some respectable low-level spiral bands. Water vapor satellite loops reveal that Paula has been able to substantially moisten the atmosphere in the Western Caribbean over the past day, and dry air will be less of an impediment to development than it was yesterday. Wind shear is a moderate 10 - 15 knots. Puerto Lempira, Honduras reported sustained winds of 35 mph at 12pm CST this afternoon, with 3.31" of rain from the storm thus far.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Paula.

Forecast for Paula
Proximity to land is hampering Paula's ability to intensify some, and the storm's northwest movement of 10 mph will take the center far enough away from the coast of Honduras this evening to substantially increase the storm's ability to intensify. The latest SHIPS model forecast calls for wind shear to stay mostly in the moderate range, 10 - 15 knots, through Tuesday afternoon, then increase to the high range, 20 - 25 knots, for the remainder of the week. The computer models predict Paula will continue on a northwest motion then turn more north-northwest on Wednesday, which would take the storm close to landfall on the coast of Belize or Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. At that time, Paula may be approaching Category 2 hurricane status, due to the moderate wind shear, SSTs of 29°C, and a sufficiently moist atmosphere. On Wednesday, there is considerable doubt about the future path of Paula. Steering currents in the Western Caribbean will collapse, potentially allowing Paula to wander in the region for many days, as predicted by the GFS and HWRF models. It is also possible that Paula will push far enough inland over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula that the storm will dissipate, as predicted by the NOGAPS model. Finally, if Paula grows strong quickly, and pushes far enough north, it could get caught up a strong trough of low pressure predicted to traverse the U.S. this week (and spawn a Nor'easter for New England this weekend.) In this scenario, offered by the GFDL model, Paula would make a sharp turn to the east-northeast, hit western Cuba, bring tropical storm-force finds to the Florida Keys on Thursday, then move into the Bahama Islands by Friday or Saturday. It is too early to say which of these scenarios is the most likely, as the storm is just forming and the models do not have a good handle on it yet. Regardless, northern Honduras, Belize, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula will receive dangerous flooding rains from Paula today through Wednesday.

The U.S. drought in major hurricanes
On average, the U.S. gets hit by one major Category 3 or stronger hurricane every two years. This year, the team of hurricane forecasters at Colorado State University called for a 76% chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S. in their June forecast. However, the odds of a major hurricane hitting the U.S. are rapidly dwindling. Over the past fifty years, the only Category 3 or stronger hurricanes to hit the U.S. after October 1 were Hilda (October 3, 1964), Opal (October 4, 1995), and Wilma (October 24, 2005). Hilda and Opal were already named tropical storms as of October 1, so Wilma was the major hurricane that formed after October 1 to hit the U.S. during this period. Although we still need to keep a wary eye on developments in the Western Caribbean over the next few weeks, the odds are that 2010 will join 1951 as the only year to have five or more major hurricanes in the Atlantic, but no landfalling major hurricane in the U.S. (1958 is also listed as such a year, but a re-analysis effort is showing that Hurricane Helene hit North Carolina as a major hurricane that year.) If 2010 finishes without a major hurricane hitting the U.S., this will mark the first such five-year stretch since 1910 - 1914.


Figure 2. Hurricane Wilma over South Florida as a Category 3 hurricane on October 24, 2005. Wilma was the last major hurricane to hit the U.S.

However, some caveats are required. Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, which both made landfall in the U.S. in 2008 as top-end Category 2 storms with 110 mph winds, would probably have been classified as Category 3 hurricanes had they occurred early in the 20th century. This is because in past, when there were not any reliable wind measurements in the vicinity of a landfalling hurricane (a common occurrence), the storm was classified based on its central pressure. Gustav and Ike had central pressures of 957 and 952 mb, respectively, which would have qualified them as Category 3 storms. Similarly, Hurricane Floyd of 1999 and Hurricane Isabel of 2002 (though not within the last five years) were strong Category 2 hurricanes with 105 mph winds at landfall, but had central pressures of 956 mb. These hurricanes would also have been classified as Category 3 hurricanes in the past. There are many storms from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s that will likely change their landfall classification once re-analysis efforts are completed over the next few years. One case is Hurricane Ten of 1949, which is listed as having winds of a low-end Category 4 hurricane (135 mph) just before landfall, which would make it the only October major hurricane to make landfall in Texas. However, the hurricane is only given a Category 2 strength at landfall, based on its central pressure.

Prior to 1960, there were five major hurricanes that hit Florida in October. Most notable of these is Hurricane King, which hit downtown Miami on October 18, 1950, as a Category 3 hurricane.

Record quiet hurricane and typhoon seasons in the Pacific
Over in the Western Pacific, it is currently the quietest typhoon season on record, according to statistics computed by forecaster Paul Stanko at the NWS office on Guam. On average, by this point in the season, there should have been 21 named storms, 13 typhoons, and 3 supertyphoons (storms with 150+ mph winds.) So far in 2010, there have been just 12 named storms, 6 typhoons, and no supertyphoons. The record lows for the Western Pacific (since 1951) are 18 named storms, 9 typhoons, and 0 supertyphoons. We have a good chance of beating or tying all of those records. Over the in the Eastern Pacific, it has also been a near record-quiet season. On average, the Eastern Pacific has 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes in a season. So far in 2010, there have been 7 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. The record quietest season since 1966 was the year 1977, when the Eastern Pacific had 8 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and 0 intense hurricanes. Climatology suggests that on average, we can expect just one more named storm in the Eastern Pacific this late in the season, so there is a good chance that the 2010 season is over. La Niña is largely responsible to the quiet Eastern Pacific hurricane season, due in part to the cool sea surface temperatures it brought. La Niña also commonly causes less active Western Pacific typhoon seasons, since the warmest waters there shift closer to Asia, reducing the amount of time storms have over water.

I'll have an update Tuesday morning at the latest.

Jeff Masters

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1412. Skyepony (Mod)
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 23:44 (GMT)
Some of our storm specific models & OFCL got their first 24hr error ranks on forecast Paula tracks today..shaking up the field a bit.

Finally a few that get her..nose & nose ~ KHRM (cat2 FL panhandle) with 36.9nm error in the last 24hrs & MM5E (Cat3 at Disney World) 37.4nm. OFCL is in the hunt with 38.2nm.

Trailing is the rest doing about as well as they have.. HWRF 78.3, BAMD 93.3, GFDL improved a little 97, LBARS 103. CMC & NOGAPS aren't getting this one. Interesting how CMC doesn't even really have the hurricane on the 12Z run, that is uncharacteristic of it.

Member Since: 10.08.2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36105
1411. toddbizz
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 14:31 (GMT)
Well...some good rain in SFL is always welcome...open the spillway in my backyard and catch that 45 inch snook that broke off the last time it poured down here...he's messing with the wrong man...
Member Since: 28.09.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 77
1410. jonelu
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 14:01 (GMT)
Quoting WillandGrace:
Good morning to all. This is my first post but I have been following this blog since my experience with Willma on 2005, and I really apreciate it. I live in Cancun, Quintana Roo Mexico, but I´m not a weather expert... so I hope you excuse my intrusion on your blog (and my english). I can not predict if Paula will hit SFL (to be honest, I can not predict Anything!) but I can tell you that the air so far over here (Cancun and Playa del Carmen, just in front of Cozumel) is fresh at 23C (not as warm as it is when we have hurriacane warnigs) No rain yet, and not even as cloudy as it supoussed to be. Any way, I just want to ask you if you think that Paula will go inland? Our authorities are very quiet and there is just a minor alert, however will not be the first time that they rush the alerts last minute, and unfortunately I live in a zone of high flooding risk. Thank you in advance for your answers.

You should pay attention. Looks like you should be getting a CAT 1 Hurricane or a close brush with one. Paula es tan pequeña y por eso si ella va mas por el este,,,no vas a pasar mucho al playa Del Carmen. Pero ella va estar cerca...entonces tienes que tener dos ojos mirando haste que pasen por Cuba. Estoy seguro que no vas a tener una Wilma o algo tan fuerte.
Member Since: 31.10.2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 882
1409. AnthonyJKenn
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 14:01 (GMT)
Oh...and flip the page, y'all....new blog entry now up.


Anthony
Member Since: 20.09.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 206
1408. AnthonyJKenn
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:59 (GMT)
Quoting aislinnpaps:


huh? There's two cold fronts coming through here, one coming off the Texas coast and and a larger one following it coming down from northwest I think, could be wrong on its direction. But can't imagine anything getting by those. That said, we desperately need a tropical storm for the rain it would bring.


Just ignore him..we all know that XTRAP is not a model, just an extrapolation of current heading.

The only thing heading towards TX/LA for the next two weeks are cold fronts and October blue northers. Not saying we couldn't use the rain, but the tropical season is pretty much over for them.


Anthony
Member Since: 20.09.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 206
1406. PalmBeachWeather
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:56 (GMT)
Don't you hate that when you post something extremely important and the page changes ??
Member Since: 3.10.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 5750
1405. alvarig1263
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:56 (GMT)
Quoting jdshaw971:
So is it time to worry about our honeymoon trip to Cancun on Sunday? :(


Not necessarily, you need to watch it, but don't worry just yet. Give Paula at least a day or two more. We have to really see if she'll intensify nad if she'll be picked up by the trough and swept into FL, or if she meanders around i the NW Caribbean. It's all up in the air for now, but Sunday is still 5 days away.
Member Since: 2.09.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
1404. ChillinInTheKeys
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:55 (GMT)
NEW BLOG!!!
Member Since: 18.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 669
1403. myway
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:55 (GMT)
Quoting jdshaw971:
So is it time to worry about our honeymoon trip to Cancun on Sunday? :(


Nope...if it is a honeymoon you should not be spending much time outside anyways.
Member Since: 28.05.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 446
1402. jdshaw971
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:53 (GMT)
So is it time to worry about our honeymoon trip to Cancun on Sunday? :(
Member Since: 11.10.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1
1401. alvarig1263
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:53 (GMT)


Moisture continues to spread into the GOM.
Member Since: 2.09.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
1400. PalmBeachWeather
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:52 (GMT)
I feel like calling in sick tomorrow to watch the
Chilean miners get out of that freekin' hole... Those poor guys. My ex-hubby would have been absolutely bonkers by now. He coundn't even handle it when he went through that revolving tunnel at Ripley's Believe it or Not in St. Augustine Florida.
Member Since: 3.10.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 5750
1398. alvarig1263
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:51 (GMT)
Paula still appears to be moving NW. Where's the N turn?
Member Since: 2.09.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
1396. divdog
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:49 (GMT)
Quoting BobinTampa:


those models will shift west though.
because the storm will "pump the ridge"
Member Since: 22.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 755
1395. WillandGrace
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:49 (GMT)
Good morning to all. This is my first post but I have been following this blog since my experience with Willma on 2005, and I really apreciate it. I live in Cancun, Quintana Roo Mexico, but I´m not a weather expert... so I hope you excuse my intrusion on your blog (and my english). I can not predict if Paula will hit SFL (to be honest, I can not predict Anything!) but I can tell you that the air so far over here (Cancun and Playa del Carmen, just in front of Cozumel) is fresh at 23C (not as warm as it is when we have hurriacane warnigs) No rain yet, and not even as cloudy as it supoussed to be. Any way, I just want to ask you if you think that Paula will go inland? Our authorities are very quiet and there is just a minor alert, however will not be the first time that they rush the alerts last minute, and unfortunately I live in a zone of high flooding risk. Thank you in advance for your answers.
Member Since: 27.09.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
1393. TampaTom
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:49 (GMT)
Anyone know the latest Doomcast?

What does the CPB model say?
Member Since: 20.06.2005 Posts: 22 Comments: 1050
1392. BobinTampa
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:48 (GMT)
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
oracle28.I looked at the 312 day model and it has it hitting West Palm Beach on August 12th, 2011...No doubt about it


those models will shift west though.
Member Since: 14.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 526
1391. divdog
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:48 (GMT)
Quoting aislinnpaps:


huh? There's two cold fronts coming through here, one coming off the Texas coast and and a larger one following it coming down from northwest I think, could be wrong on its direction. But can't imagine anything getting by those. That said, we desperately need a tropical storm for the rain it would bring.
Meant as a joke .. xtrp is just a straight line extended based on the storms current movement.
Member Since: 22.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 755
1390. weatherwart
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:47 (GMT)
This is just too funny. It's like a watching a pinball game. Bing! off the Yucatan Bing! off the western tip of Cuba Bing! back to the Yucatan. Hahahha!

Link
Member Since: 18.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 884
1389. PalmBeachWeather
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:47 (GMT)
XTRP.......Please don't make me say what this is (again) I need another Bud Light Lime
Member Since: 3.10.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 5750
1388. kwgirl
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:47 (GMT)
Quoting toddbizz:
Just watched tropical update weatherchannel stating not a major threat to South Florida too much wind shear as it progresses to the North and East...small storms more apt to being torn apart by the weather pattern soon to be in place in the gulf...looks like they are taking the track south of Florida just above Cuba and out...so does anyone want to counter the "experts"....????
Our weatherman here in the Keys is saying we need to watch this. The trough coming through may or may not pick up this storm. Anad they are saying there may be another one forming off of Honduras. So the rest of Fl. may be out of the woods, but the Keys definitely need to be watching this one.
Member Since: 28.03.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
1387. funeeeg
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:46 (GMT)
Paula is starting to look like an amorphous congested blob. SHe has a pretty unfavourable environment ahead....
Member Since: 20.10.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 218
1386. aislinnpaps
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:45 (GMT)
Quoting oracle28:


XTRP model points to TX/LA landfall.


huh? There's two cold fronts coming through here, one coming off the Texas coast and and a larger one following it coming down from northwest I think, could be wrong on its direction. But can't imagine anything getting by those. That said, we desperately need a tropical storm for the rain it would bring.
Member Since: 22.08.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
1385. PalmBeachWeather
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:43 (GMT)
Quinton, Quint, Queen, (Freddie Mercury)
Member Since: 3.10.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 5750
1384. oracle28
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:43 (GMT)
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
oracle28.I looked at the 312 day model and it has it hitting West Palm Beach on August 12th, 2011...No doubt about it


I saw that. We'll have to wait a few weeks to know if it's during low-tide or high-tide, however.
Member Since: 25.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 596
1383. oracle28
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:42 (GMT)
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
I have always wondered why there isn't a "Q"
Queen, Quinton, (Jaws had a Quint ) ??


Not enough choices, in case of retirements.
Member Since: 25.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 596
1382. PalmBeachWeather
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:42 (GMT)
oracle28.I looked at the 312 day model and it has it hitting West Palm Beach on August 12th, 2011...No doubt about it
Member Since: 3.10.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 5750
1381. weatherwart
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:42 (GMT)
Quoting oracle28:


Are you saying that the 300 day model shows a Florida hit.


Hhahaha! That's funny!
Member Since: 18.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 884
1380. aislinnpaps
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:42 (GMT)
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Good morning. You guys sure needed it.

Officially, this morning at the 5am EDT advisory.


Oh yes! Still need more, but we'll take every little bit we can get.

Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
I have always wondered why there isn't a "Q"
Queen, Quinton, (Jaws had a Quint ) ??


There aren't enough names to be used, especially if some are retired, same with letters x, y and z.
Member Since: 22.08.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
1379. oracle28
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:40 (GMT)
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
cat5....But that might not be a Florida hit until next August 12th as slow as this is going


Are you saying that the 300 day model shows a Florida hit.
Member Since: 25.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 596
1377. WarEagle8
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:39 (GMT)
Quoting bird72:
People in Cuba and South Florida needs to watch this system.
We'll do in Dunedin, WC FL. It has been very dry for several weeks. All summer, if we had a dry spell, rain did make it here to restore balance. I hope we do get 1-2" of precip in the next 3-5 days.
Member Since: 19.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 121
1376. oracle28
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:39 (GMT)
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


XTRP model points to TX/LA landfall.
Member Since: 25.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 596
1375. reedzone
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:38 (GMT)
Quoting Floodman:


I don't know what GFS he's looking at; the 06Z shows her drifting around but never getting above western Cuba


Hey Flood, what the GFS actually shows is Paula absorbing into a new low that forms near Panama, which makes it Richard, then heads north to Florida.
Member Since: 1.07.2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
1373. weatherwart
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:37 (GMT)
Hurricane Paula, huh? The GFS looks like a pinball machine. lol
Member Since: 18.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 884
1372. jonelu
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:37 (GMT)
She is so little....The models have been predicting SoFlo since before Matthew and we got nada. So dont put too much faith in them. I see Paula
being ripped apart and the remnants staying south of CONUS. MAYBE Richard develops in her wake. But once again that model "monster storm" hitting Soflo has been playing for so long, I just dont buy it anymore.
Member Since: 31.10.2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 882
1371. PalmBeachWeather
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:37 (GMT)
I have always wondered why there isn't a "Q"
Queen, Quinton, (Jaws had a Quint ) ??
Member Since: 3.10.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 5750
1370. 7544
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:35 (GMT)
so is this paula or richard at the end of this run tia

Link
Member Since: 6.05.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6618
1369. aislinnpaps
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:35 (GMT)
Good morning, everyone!

We had RAIN!! Doing a happy rain dance here.

When did Paula become a hurricane?
Member Since: 22.08.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
1368. bird72
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:35 (GMT)
People in Cuba and South Florida needs to watch this system.
Member Since: 5.08.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 389
1367. Floodman
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:34 (GMT)
Quoting stillwaiting:
...ensembles,i think...


You're probably right...he's a very excitable young man and likely forgot to qualify his statement
Member Since: 2.08.2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1365. hurricanejunky
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:32 (GMT)
This shear forecast map isn't showing anything major in the way of shear up to Oct 15th...beyond that maybe when she gets sheared apart, if she tries to make a run at South FL. The stronger she gets the further north she might be able to push the envelope?

Member Since: 28.08.2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2895
1364. PalmBeachWeather
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:31 (GMT)
My neck hurts, I was listening to Glen Glaser
Member Since: 3.10.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 5750
1363. reedzone
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:29 (GMT)
Quoting Jeff9642:
Oh and remember, to always trust model runs at 264 hours out! Most of the time they confirm, just like the majors that were supposed to come from the western caribbean the last few weeks :)

go away
Member Since: 1.07.2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
1362. alvarig1263
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:28 (GMT)
Quoting reedzone:


Paula is becoming better organized this morning. I don't think dry air was a big issue on the convection collapse. As another blogger mentioned above, Alex went through the same thing. I expect Paula to become a Category 2 storm later today as conditions are favorable for further strengthening.


That's what I'm thinking too, until it gets closer to that shear it still has room to strengthen. HH Aircraft leaves in 30 mins.
Member Since: 2.09.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744

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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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