Tropical Storm RICHARD 10/24/2010 7:00 am

Colleagues, The forecast remains unchanged. FORECAST: Tropical Storm RICHARD has gained strength with winds near hurricane strength and probably will become (barely) a hurricane before making landfall in Belize, south of the Yucatan, very early Monday morning.. Movement is WNW at 10 mph. RICHARD will all but dissipate crossing the root of the Yucatan Peninsula and emerge in the Bay of Campeche late Tuesday. Florida and the Central Gulf Coast are out of it, and it is possible that this (once) hurricane will also not make landfall in the USA, preserving this record season.

DISCUSSION: The path trough Tuesday and entering the Bay of Campeche is solid. There after it is a bit less clear for the western Gulf. No prospect for a major hurricane and if the track remains westerly, then no USA landfall. The waters are still warm there, but there is little dynamical support for much restrengthening. Yet is is a bit too early to write the obituary becuase in this regime of weak forcing, it doesn't take much to keep it in warm waters and wait a few days for more favorable conditions. Right now, it looks like a Mexico or possibly a Southern Texas landfall, IF RICHARD can hang together. But there are still low provability scenarios that might take a day or so to resolve. The Eastern Gulf is safe.

NEXT FORECAST: Monday morning.

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