Monday, October 24, 2011

Hurricane Rina

While I thought Rina could become a hurricane, I'll be the first to say it has strengthened much faster than I originally thought. With dry air all around and strong shear to the north, I thought it would be a much slower process. Of course this just goes to show how hard tropical cyclone intensity forecasting is, as I really believe the incredibly warm ocean waters has to be the main reason for intensification. That and the dry air staying out of the core/less wind shear than originally thought. If you look at the TCHP map I provide, you can really see the warm water Hurricane Rina is moving over, as this is some of the warmest/deepest waters in the entire Atlantic Basin.

So what does the future hold for Hurricane Rina? Well, the NHC now has Rina becoming a major hurricane (115mph), which is much different than the 60mph max intensity they originally forecasted. I still have a hard time seeing that with all the dry air around, but I guess it is possible with the warm/deep waters it is currently in. As it eventually moves north and begins to interact with land/increased wind shear, I really believe dry air will begin to entrain Hurricane Rina. It will eventually start looking like a "cinnamon roll" when the dry air does entrain. Once that happens, it will being to weaken...

As for the track? Man, that's tough, but I personally lean towards something similar to Hurricane Wilma. By the way, today is the 6 year anniversary of Hurricane Wilma's landfall near Cape Romano, FL as a category-3 hurricane (125mph). Obviously, I don't think it will be near as strong, but I guess there is an ok/decent shot South Florida could experience minimal hurricane/strong tropical storm conditions this weekend. I personally think the trough will be stronger than forecasted, as Rina will race towards the NE once it is caught. We have plenty of time to watch Hurricane Rina, as things can/do change quickly in the tropics! The threat to the US has increased without a doubt in the last 24 hours in my opinion. Many more updates to come!

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