Tropical Storm Erika likely soon; a weaker Jimena powers towards Baja

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:48 PM GMT on September 01, 2009

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Hurricane Jimena has weakened to a low-end Category 4 hurricane with 135 mph winds, thanks to the collapse of its inner eyewall. The hurricane is undergoing a process common in intense hurricanes called an Eyewall Replacement Cycle (ERC), where the eye shrinks to a size too small to be stable, resulting in the disintegration of the eyewall, and the formation of a new eyewall from one of the outer spiral bands. Once the new eyewall becomes stable tonight, Jimena has an opportunity to re-strengthen.

The latest set of 12Z model runs show little change in Jimena's track. The hurricane is still expected to make landfall Wednesday along Mexico's Baja Peninsula. If the hurricane makes landfall over the southern portion of Baja, it would likely be at major hurricane strength. However, SSTs cool quickly to 23°C at the middle of the Baja Peninsula, and Jimena would likely weaken to a Category 2 or 1 hurricane if it makes a strike towards the middle of Baja. The computer models are split on what might happen once Jimena makes landfall on Baja, with one camp predicting a northeast turn bringing the storm over Mainland Mexico and eventually into Arizona, and the other camp stalling Jimena out over or just west of Baja. Regardless, the main threat from Jimena will be flooding and mudslides due to heavy rains.

Baja's hurricane history
The most powerful hurricane on record to hit the west coast of Baja occurred last year, when Hurricane Norbert made landfall on the central Baja coast with sustained winds of 105 mph (Category 2) . Norbert's central pressure of 956 mb at landfall made it the 3rd strongest hurricane to hit the Pacific coast of Mexico since record keeping began in 1949. Norbert killed eight, knocked out power to 20,000 homes, and damaged or destroyed 40% of the homes on the islands of Margarita and Magdalena. Norbert crossed the Baja Peninsula and made landfall on Mainland Mexico as a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds.

Only two major hurricanes have made landfall on Baja since record keeping began in 1949. Both hurricanes hit the east (Gulf of California) side of Baja. The first was Hurricane Olivia of 1967. Olivia made landfall on October 13, 1967 as a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds. Due to its small size and the unpopulated region of coast it hit, damage was minimal. The second major hurricane was Hurricane Kiko, which made landfall on August 27, 1989, as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph (minimal Category 3). Kiko was a small hurricane and hit a relatively unpopulated area, resulting in no loss of life and only scattered reports of damage.


Figure 1. A plot of all the major hurricanes to pass within 200 miles of Mexico's Baja Peninsula since 1949. Image credit: NOAA Coastal Services Center.

Invest 94L almost Tropical Storm Erika
The Air Force Hurricane Hunters are investigating tropical wave 94L, about 200 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands. So far this afternoon, they have found a broad circulation with top winds of 45 - 50 mph in heavy thunderstorms on the east side. The circulation may be too broad for 94L to be considered a tropical storm, but visible satellite imagery shows that the circulation is getting better defined, and 94L's heavy thunderstorms are moving closer to the center of circulation. Recent satellite wind shear analyses by NOAA/Colorado State University and the University of Wisconsin show that wind shear is a moderate 10 - 20 knots over 94L, and this shear is keeping any thunderstorms from developing on the system's west side.

The forecast for 94L
The latest of 12Z model runs are more in tune with the idea that 94L will become a tropical storm, with the latest ECMWF run now on board. The storm will be steered west-northwest to northwest over the next three days thanks to the presence to two upper-level lows to the northwest of the storm. Since most of 94L's heavy thunderstorms and high winds are on the east side, the northern Lesser Antilles and Puerto Rico will probably be spared tropical storm force winds from this system. The best guess track for 94L, assuming it does intensify into a tropical storm in the next 24 hours, is on a northwest path between the Bahamas and Bermuda. If 94L stays weak, a more southerly path, along the northern edge of the Bahama Islands, is more likely.


Figure 2. Infrared satellite image taken at 12pm EDT, Tuesday Sep 1, 2009. Five major African tropical waves are apparent. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Elsewhere in the tropics
It's September, the most active month for hurricane activity in the Northern Hemisphere. There's every indication that the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season will have an active first half of September, since SSTs are 0.5 - 1.0°C above average, wind shear is near average, and the African monsoon is sending a long parade of African waves spinning off the coast of Africa. An IR satellite image from noon today shows this activity well (Figure 2). We can see a line-up of five African waves stretching from the Lesser Antilles to eastern Africa. The GFS model develops the waves numbered "2" and "3" into tropical depressions next week, and the waves labeled "1" and "4" also have a chance to develop into tropical depressions, as well. The wave labeled "1" is mentioned on NHC's Tropical Weather Outlook as having a low (less than 30%) chance of developing into a tropical depression by Thursday. This wave is under a moderate 10 - 15 knots of wind shear, and is over sufficiently warm waters (27 - 28°C) that some development may occur this week. The wave is far enough north that it will be hampered by dry air from the Sahara Desert.

California fire webcams
As I discussed in this morning's post, you can use our wundermap for Los Angeles with the fire layer turned on to see where the fire and smoke are located, and track the temperatures and winds during today's air pollution event. We also have two webcams with views of the fire: Altadena and Tujunga.

Jeff Masters

Backing Down (Fotoguy77)
Part of the massive Station Fire backs down toward Sunland, Ca in this shot taken around 1am. The fire has burned through over 122,000 acres and killed two.
Backing Down
getting out (Fotoguy77)
This fire Chief from El Dorado County in Northern California is chased out of Aliso Canyon by a wall of flames. This was in the Acton area just off the 14 Freeway.
getting out

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Quoting Weather456:


The steering flow I will use two models GFS vs NOGAPS

The NGAPS bring Erika very close to Florida eventually along the OBX of N carolina why?

It shows a deep layer ridge developing near Bermuda and pushing the trough back west - retrograde we call it.


The GFS doesnt develop Erika much but shows it a bit more east

why?

It shows the ridge but the trough still being able to deflect Erika more to the north.


the CMC shows something similar to the NOGAPS so we'll have to wait and see what happens.

Steering flow model comparison
Ok the light bulb is on, thank you and good job! Do you want steak or chicken?
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Hey Patrap who do you think would win a corruption contest between Miami and New Orleans oh heck we might as well make it state on state. Although the name smacks of the northeast coast if you know what I mean.
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1058. Drakoen
Quoting extreme236:


No, the center is in some of the convection, just look at the ADT position, just not the deepest convection.


Correct.
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1057. Patrap
NexSat African Vis to Night IR,Next wave exiting
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting Relix:
Moving west with a slight bit of touch still. Stop the jogs you ungrateful... lady!

lol... getting hairy
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Quoting Funkadelic:
Still erika is not moving that much to the north. And did anyone catch the way Phil Pherro said the name Erika? Its soo annoying lol


How does he say it? It is a really simple name.

Air-ick-uh
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Weird pattern going on. The trough is actually laying over the north gulf and not digging down.
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It appears Erika is going just a tad south of her forecast point...and if it continues will be south of the next forecast point.
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:

The stronger she gets the better for Florida!


Correct.
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Quoting scottsvb:
Erika has blown up the usual tropical burst at sunset...but the LLC isnt under the T-Storms...she has slowed down but is around 17.2N and 57.6W or on the edge of the high cloud tops....another words those are cirrus clouds shes under...but the storms overall have gone from 150-200miles away to just east of the LLC....pressure has droped some!


No, the center is in some of the convection, just look at the ADT position, just not the deepest convection.
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Quoting scottsvb:
Erika has blown up the usual tropical burst at sunset...but the LLC isnt under the T-Storms...she has slowed down but is around 17.2N and 57.6W or on the edge of the high cloud tops....another words those are cirrus clouds shes under...but the storms overall have gone from 150-200miles away to just east of the LLC....pressure has droped some!


one problem

DMAX is normally just before sunset.


I think its more to do with a change in the upper environment and ocean heat.
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Quoting palmasdelrio:


What do you base this on? None of the models take it into the Caribbean.
Maybe the models don't at this time but the NHC cone of uncertainty does and Stormpetrol and I have both seem too many storms not expected to enter the Caribbean actually do and travel all the way across the basin.
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1047. flsky
Quoting WaterWitch11:
seeing the pictures of the fires is unbelievable, I pray that Observatory is spared.


Me too! I used to live only a few miles from there.
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Quoting canesrule1:
Erika's convection continues to rise, expect 60+ MPH winds at 8PM.


The stronger she gets the better for Florida!
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Quoting Relix:
Moving west with a slight bit of touch still. Stop the jogs you ungrateful... lady!
Still moving WNW... No westward movement, yet.
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56 knots sfmr just found by recon
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Quoting flsky:


THanks for this - I really appreciate it.


No problem. Should have another 4ish hours of daylight over Baja. The seas have gotten noticeably more angry over the past few hours.
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Quoting scottsvb:
pressure has droped some!


so the hurricane hunter is still around? can anyone link me up? i have no google earth here
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Erika's convection continues to rise, expect 60+ MPH winds at 8PM.

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1039. amd
estimated surface pressure is now down to 1003.3 mb according to a flight level pass at 850 mb.

Also, estimated surface winds are 56 kts

Don't be surprised to see winds upped to 60 mph at the next advisory.

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Quoting JupiterFL:


Me to. Now if we could just get all the yankees to go home for good!

lol I hear ya! ;)
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Erika has blown up the usual tropical burst at sunset...but the LLC isnt under the T-Storms...she has slowed down but is around 17.2N and 57.6W or on the edge of the high cloud tops....another words those are cirrus clouds shes under...but the storms overall have gone from 150-200miles away to just east of the LLC....pressure has droped some!
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1723
1036. RJT185
Quoting palmasdelrio:


What do you base this on? None of the models take it into the Caribbean.


Ditto.
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My favorite is the 5% hurricane deductable. Why don't they just spell it out... "We don't pay for roof damage!"
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1034. flsky
Quoting violet312s:
Here are two working Baja web cams. One is in Cabo the other is on the other side of Baja peninsula in La Ventana. Haven't been able to find any further north up the peninsula where Jimena is more likely to hit.

Cabo: Link

La Ventana: Link


THanks for this - I really appreciate it.
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1033. Relix
Moving west with a slight bit of touch still. Stop the jogs you ungrateful... lady!
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Shear decreasing rapidly right over Erika, and decreasing in front of Erika.
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per 95L is looking well

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Quoting gordydunnot:
Shear maps looks hard on storm for the next 24 to 36 ,but I still see high pressure building out east from gulf I don't know how far it will go but looks interesting.
\

lets see if she makes it out that far, i have been watching that too (and i bet we're in good company)
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Quoting stormpetrol:
WOW! lots of opinions on the strength and direction of Erika, I still think Erika will get into the eastern Caribbean as a hurricane as pass just south of PR, after that it is wait and see.I'll give myself a pat of the back and say so far I've been mostly right regarding Erika, check the archives if in doubt.


What do you base this on? None of the models take it into the Caribbean.
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1028. DDR
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


just a huge field of -80C cloud tops...

barbados and other islands are missing from that animation...
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:


We'll have to agree to disagree. I'm a native Floridian , born and have lived all over in Southeast Florida and I feel it to be a paradise. One could do much worse. I love hot and humid, I have the beach, great nightlife venue's, from Miami to Lauderdale to Disney and the theme parks in Orlando. I honestly love Florida


Me to. Now if we could just get all the yankees to go home for good!
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Quoting stormsurge39:
OK Thanks, So it sounds right this minute that Erika is more of an east coast than Bill or Danny was?


I actually answer your question in post 1021. That was just a another post.
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Someone needs to teach Erika manners. She's lacking all composure and attention to proper ladylike etiquette.
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seeing the pictures of the fires is unbelievable, I pray that Observatory is spared.
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1023. Patrap
Quoting Patrap:
Corruption Follows Disaster everywhere..Like this Guy who was Taking yer Tax Dollars,..and now is in DEEP doo-doo.



Housing Authority of New Orleans ex-worker accused of embezzling $900,000
by David Hammer, The Times-Picayune
Tuesday September 01, 2009, 7:35 AM
Chris Granger / The Times-Picayune



A green sign saying "HANO" is barely visible as people paint a dumpster in the Iberville Housing Development in July.

A Florida contractor hired by the Housing Authority of New Orleans to oversee its finances embezzled more than $900,000 during the past three years, according to charges filed Monday by the U.S. attorney's office.

Separate public records show that during the same time period the fiscal manager, Elias Castellanos, 43, bought a $1.6 million mansion in Davie, Fla., just north of Miami, and five late-model cars -- including a Lamborghini Gallardo worth more than $200,000, a Ferrari F430, a Porsche 911 and two Mercedes-Benzes.

Federal prosecutors charged Castellanos with one count of embezzlement Monday through a bill of information, indicating that a plea agreement is likely soon to follow. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office didn't provide details of the alleged scam, but charged that Castellanos pocketed $900,927 while serving as HANO's chief financial officer.



The Guy wont be walking around the French Quarter anytime soon... Cuz Hes Begging to stay incarcerated.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting TheDawnAwakening:
My prediction a few days ago was what the NHC is saying for a track, but after watching this current blow up of deep convection and closer to alignment with both centers, I have a feeling that this will go further north then expected now. I believe I was wrong with that prediction.
Wow you dont see that very often!!
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Quoting stormsurge39:
Can somebody please put up a map and explain it to us dummies on why the models are different past 3 days? please show the trough and high and how it would be steared on a couple of different scenerios? Ill buy somebody dinner if they can do this in laymans terms! Thank you so much!


The steering flow I will use two models GFS vs NOGAPS

The NGAPS bring Erika very close to Florida eventually along the OBX of N carolina why?

It shows a deep layer ridge developing near Bermuda and pushing the trough back west - retrograde we call it.


The GFS doesnt develop Erika much but shows it a bit more east

why?

It shows the ridge but the trough still being able to deflect Erika more to the north.


the CMC shows something similar to the NOGAPS so we'll have to wait and see what happens.

Steering flow model comparison
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Quoting southfla:


But don't you understand ? The people who clean offices and schools, work at fast food places, serve your blackened fish sandwich or work at any of the many lower-paying jobs -- well they should just all commute 50-100 miles round trip. Surely if they are responsible individuals they would not live anywhere near the coast where their budget might be too tight to afford a disaster or insurance to pay for it. Personal responsibility is a good thing, but so is a little reality check.


Unfortunately, after a disaster, You get a lot more of this than you do kindness. Try not to let the bad out weigh the good.
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My prediction a few days ago was what the NHC is saying for a track, but after watching this current blow up of deep convection and closer to alignment with both centers, I have a feeling that this will go further north then expected now. I believe I was wrong with that prediction.
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Quoting cdnbananabelt:
Post 905 - Southfla, you're missing the point. I live on the coast, too, and my budget isn't huge, but it is my home. Are you recommending I move inland? The coast is not a preserve for the rich, nor is a hurricane a respector of persons..


Sorry I was being a bit sarcastic. Of course I understand the point. I was trying to point out that all those good folks who run the gas stations, check out my groceries and in general make my life easier - need someplace to live nearby as well. It gets my dander up when folks imply that the very people they depend upon for their services are being irresponsible for living in an area prone to hurricanes on a limited budget.
Member Since: May 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 252
Quoting AllStar17:
Erika literally exploding with thunderstorms.


thats a really old image, look at the time stamp and look at the one i just posted.
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1016. Patrap
Corruption Follows Disaster everywhere..Like this Guy who was Taking yer Tax Dollars,..and now is in DEEP doo-doo.



Housing Authority of New Orleans ex-worker accused of embezzling $900,000
by David Hammer, The Times-Picayune
Tuesday September 01, 2009, 7:35 AM
Chris Granger / The Times-Picayune



A green sign saying "HANO" is barely visible as people paint a dumpster in the Iberville Housing Development in July.

A Florida contractor hired by the Housing Authority of New Orleans to oversee its finances embezzled more than $900,000 during the past three years, according to charges filed Monday by the U.S. attorney's office.

Separate public records show that during the same time period the fiscal manager, Elias Castellanos, 43, bought a $1.6 million mansion in Davie, Fla., just north of Miami, and five late-model cars -- including a Lamborghini Gallardo worth more than $200,000, a Ferrari F430, a Porsche 911 and two Mercedes-Benzes.

Federal prosecutors charged Castellanos with one count of embezzlement Monday through a bill of information, indicating that a plea agreement is likely soon to follow. U.S. Attorney Jim Letten's office didn't provide details of the alleged scam, but charged that Castellanos pocketed $900,927 while serving as HANO's chief financial officer.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Shear maps looks hard on storm for the next 24 to 36 ,but I still see high pressure building out east from gulf I don't know how far it will go but looks interesting.
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Quoting Weather456:
Erika is one bad girl.

She never listen to the models from day 1

she does not seem to be listening to the NHC.



she also seems to be getting larger
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Hopefully, Erika's likely strengthening will help it become an eventual sea (fish) storm. It's travelling WNW so slowly however, that I doubt that the stationary front draped across the Gulf coast and Florida will influence Erika. The strong high which has brought chilly air to the Midwest and Northeast will eventually bridge across the front and dissolve the front before Erika gets within range to be influenced by the front itself. Still, Erika could eventually turn NW and N in time unless the high takes too long moving out early next week. It's still too early in the game to call this one for sure, though.
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It is going to be a tricky forecast with Erika.
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Quoting Weather456:
I don't know how much this is worth but here's a scenario I predicted with Danny on 25/8 that verified.

Erika is located much more south

The trough is a bit more slow but more evident



OK Thanks, So it sounds right this minute that Erika is more of an east coast than Bill or Danny was?
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just a huge field of -80C cloud tops...
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.