Saturday, October 17, 2009
Every year around the first of October, we Bajanians get restless for the "all clear" signal. This year we had a close call when Jimena skirted us on the Pacific side and did her damage to our compadres to the North. We've had plenty of rain but not enough to cause flooding and do us some damage. So for a week or so, we've been living under the delusion that the worst is over. HA!
It looks like any hope we had of easing into fall is now being threatened. Tropical storm Rick is heading toward us with the promise of lots of rain in a short time and possible winds of the high-velocity type. (See above illustration.)
We locals are in high hopes the storm will start losing strength when it passes over cooler water as it approaches Los Cabos. This idea is reinforced by the weather folks over at NOAA. Here's an excerpt from the National Hurricane Center:
RICK IS STILL INTENSIFYING...WITH THE 10 NM WIDE EYE BECOMING BETTER DEFINED AND THE EYEWALL CLOUD TOPS COOLING DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS. SATELLITE INTENSITY ESTIMATES FROM TAFB AND SAB WERE 127 KT AT 18Z...SO THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS INCREASED TO 130 KT BASED ON THIS AND THE SUBSEQUENT INCREASE IN ORGANIZATION. THE CIRRUS OUTFLOW IS GOOD TO EXCELLENT IN ALL DIRECTIONS. QUIKSCAT DATA NEAR 14Z INDICATED THAT RICK IS GROWING LARGER IN SIZE...AND THE WIND RADII HAVE BEEN EXPANDED ACCORDINGLY.
RICK SHOULD REMAIN IN A NEARLY-IDEAL ENVIRONMENT OF LIGHT VERTICAL WIND SHEAR AND OVER WARM SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES FOR THE NEXT 18 HRS OR SO. THUS...IT SHOULD CONTINUE TO INTENSIFY UNTIL AN EYEWALL REPLACEMENT CYCLE OCCURS OR IT REACHES THE MAXIMUM POTENTIAL INTENSITY FOR THAT AREA. BASED ON THIS...THE INTENSITY FORECAST CALLS FOR THE HURRICANE TO REACH CATEGORY FIVE STATUS IN ABOUT 12 HRS IN AGREEMENT WITH THE SHIPS MODEL. AFTER THAT...GRADUALLY COOLING SSTS AND GRADUALLY INCREASING SHEAR SHOULD START A STEADY WEAKENING TREND FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE FORECAST PERIOD...WITH LAND INTERACTION ALSO BECOMING A FACTOR DURING THE 96-120 HR PERIOD. EYEWALL REPLACEMENT CYCLES COULD CAUSE FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY SUPERIMPOSED ON THE GENERAL TREND INDICATED IN THE FORECAST.
I'll post updates at irregular, un-predetermined intervals.