Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hard to decipher "Rina"

I intentionally waited a good 24 hours from the last post to see if the models were agreeing more today on Rina's future. If you happened to catch my forecast last night after the X-Factor, I mentioned that a small kink had developed in Rina's armor in the form of dry air filtering into the center, and that we had to wait and see if it would have an impact.

Well the models are still all over the place and the kink appears to be a big one.

This is the latest on Rina:

  • The satellite shows a more ragged Rina than yesterday with its eye covered by clouds.  
  • It appears the eyewall has lost some of its shape. 
  • There is less rain than from early Wednesday morning.
  • The good outflow from yesterday has also diminished
  • We know what will happen over the next few days
  • Long range outlook is still a mystery

For the short term
Rina is sitting in the Northwest Caribbean Sea with a huge dome of high pressure to its East and some strong upper level winds coming in from the South. There is also a cold front over the Heartland moving into the Gulf of Mexico.

The models show the high moving east and the front entering the Gulf. This will cause Rina to move toward the Yucatan Peninsula. Given that it is not as healthy as it was a mere 24 hours ago, I do not foresee any more strengthening.

Long term
After 72 hours, the forecast becomes dicey. Rina will be impacted by stronger upper level winds pushing it east, at the same time, the winds near the surface will try to push it in the opposite direction. This tug-of-war should tear Rina apart. This sounds good, but the models will not tell us when this will take place. They give us a couple of case scenarios.

Scenario one: The shear is so strong that Rina won't even make it past the Yucatan and rain itself out.
Scenario two: The shear is weaker, Rina survives and eventually moves it in our general direction as a possible depression or tropical storm.

The rest of the models lay somewhere in between.

So the bottom line is as follows: Rina should move toward the Yucatan Peninsula. IF IT SURVIVES, then it may be a worry for South Florida.

This is the official forecast one from NHC

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