Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tropical Storm Richard Forms In Caribbean

Tropical Depression #19 was upgraded to Tropical Storm Richard this Thursday morning in the western Caribbean. Maximum sustained winds are just at tropical storm strength at 40 mph (extending out 105 miles to the east of the center), but it shouldn't stay this weak for much longer. It is expected to slowly drift westward into this weekend toward Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula, likely strengthening into a hurricane. There is some data indicating that Richard could become a major hurricane over the weekend:
In any case, this will be another strong tropical system to affect this part of the Caribbean and Central America this hurricane season. Richard should dump 4"-8" of rainfall on Jamaica today and tomorrow before moving onto Belize and the Yucatan. Northeastern Honduras may be clipped by the system, but since the strongest winds and heaviest rains are east of the center, Honduras may be spared the brunt of the storm.
Into next week, Richard or its remnants may pass over Florida and southeast of the Carolinas. We'll be monitoring this system for any shift in the extended track.