Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hurricane Rina Slightly Stronger; Idea on Future Track Remains Largely Unchanged...

You can clearly see the eye of Hurricane Rina on the above high resolution, visible satellite image (although she's got her eye closed at the moment).  The latest infrared image on a wider view is shown below:

Rina has intensified today, though at a slower pace compared to yesterday, with maximum sustained winds currently at 110 mph, with higher gusts.  The minimum central barometric pressure is 28.64 inches of mercury (970 millibars).

Rina wobbled a little bit to the left of her previous track during the afternoon today, but has since resumed a more West/Northwestward motion.  This trend is expected to continue tonight, with a turn more toward the Northwest and North expected during the day Wednesday.  I would expect Rina to become a major hurricane (which is a Category 3 or higher with sustained winds in excess of 110 mph) later tonight or early Wednesday.

I agree with the National Hurricane Center's (NHC) forecast track of Rina up toward the Yucatan peninsula by Thursday afternoon, as shown below:

...and on toward the Western tip of Cuba by Friday afternoon.  This is in close agreement, through that time period, with the HWRF and GFDL model forecasts, as shown below:

It's beyond this time period (Friday) that the models still diverge as to the path of the system over the weekend.  At this time, the graphic I posted in my last update yesterday evening still reflects the 2 major positions of the models for the weekend:  1). a track through far southern Florida and the Keys, or 2). a track more along the island of Cuba:

We should be able to fine tune this tomorrow.  If I had to draw a new line on the above image today, I would probably draw one right in between those two possible tracks, as that is the way the overall models are trending at this time...but it could still literally go either way...

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