Little change to Erika; Jimena makes landfall as a Category 2 hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:30 PM GMT on September 02, 2009

Share this Blog
2
+

Tropical Storm Erika remains weak and disorganized, and the future track and intensity of the storm remain highly uncertain. The center has jumped several times over the past 12 hours, and now lies exposed to view, west of the main area of heavy thunderstorms. Radar animations out of Martinique show little organization of the echoes, and satellite imagery shows no low-level spiral bands or upper-level outflow. Wind shear analyses from the University of Wisconsin diagnose a moderate 10 - 15 knots of shear over Erika, a decrease from yesterday. SSTs are warm, 29°C. The Hurricane Hunters are in the storm now, and have found a slight increase in the surface winds, up to 45 mph. They noted that the surface center was displaced 12 miles north of the center they found at 1500 feet, which is the sign of a disorganized storm undergoing wind shear.

The forecast for Erika
Erika is embedded in a weak steering current pattern, and the storm's current state of disorganization is allowing the center to make random jumps as it reforms near the heaviest thunderstorm activity. This makes for a low-confidence forecast. The future track of the storm will depend upon how strong the storm gets over the next few days. A stronger Erika will extend higher into the atmosphere and be steered more to the northwest by upper-level winds. A weaker Erika will be steered more by the low-level winds, which will keep the storm on a more westerly track. The intensity forecast models did a poor job with Tropical Storm Danny last week, and appear to be repeating that poor performance with Erika. All of the major intensity forecast models predict substantial strengthening of Erika. This seems unlikely to occur, given the storm's current disorganization, and the predicted increase in wind shear along the path of Erika to 20 - 25 knots 3 - 5 days from now. The more southerly than expected track of the storm also brings the possibility that Erika will encounter the high mountains of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The GFS, GFDL, and Canadian models predict Erika will pass near Puerto Rico on Friday, then move over Hispaniola on Saturday. Erika in its current weak state would probably not survive an encounter with these islands. A wide range of scenarios is still possible for Erika, from outright dissipation (as forecast by the GFS, Canadian, and ECMWF models) to intensification to a Category 3 hurricane (as forecast by the HWRF model). Erika is a long-term threat to the Bahamas and U.S. East Coast if it is still around five days from now. Potential landfall locations range from Florida on Tuesday to North Carolina on Wednesday. The NOGAPS model has Erika potentially missing the U.S. entirely, scooting northwards between North Carolina and Bermuda. My current expectation is that Erika will dissipate on Saturday when it encounters Hispaniola.


Figure 1. Afternoon image of Tropical Storm Erika. The swirl of clouds just west of Guadeloupe island is the center. This center was what I had labeled a "false center" in this morning's post, and has taken over as the main center this afternoon.

Hurricane Jimena hits Baja
Hurricane Jimena made lanndfall on Mexico's Baja Peninsula late this morning near Cabo San Lazaro as a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds. Jimena is the 2nd strongest hurricane to hit Baja's west coast since record keeping began in 1949. The only stronger storm was Hurricane Norbert, which made landfall in 2008 on the central Baja coast with sustained winds of 105 mph. Jimena has now weakened to a Category 1 storm, and will continue to weaken as it hits colder waters and interacts with land. No deaths or major damage have been reported from the storm.


Figure 2. Hurricane Jimena on Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2009, as seen by NASA's MODIS instrument. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

California fire webcams
As I discussed in yesterday 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.

I'll have an update Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 2387 - 2337

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59Blog Index

Quoting markymark1973:

Thats what i am thinking. She has to be close to an open wave now. Nice convection but looks pathetic. Looks like a strong plains t-storm.


She has the same satellite signature that Ana did when she was in the same vicinity.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Link
Latest Navy microwave image, looks a little better!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Good night all. Hey Tampa that gfs is the one I don't like. Look at the radar that 2365 linked. I think shes running over Puerto Rico but above Hispaniola.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting apocalyps2:


Erika is dangerous because of that.
It can drift wsw because of her weakness.
So it can drift south of all the mountains and flair up in the carribbean.
It seems it will be al or nothing with Erika.
POOF or a monster.All or nothing.


Thats probably a very fair statement..
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Quoting apocalyps2:


Erika is dangerous because of that.
It can drift wsw because of her weakness.
So it can drift south of all the mountains and flair up in the carribbean.
It seems it will be al or nothing with Erika.
POOF or a monster.All or nothing.


I'm not denying that. I am still going to keep a close eye on her, even if she degenerates.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2381. 7544
35 knots
(~ 40.2 mph) going up where the new center might be imo
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
Erika's convection is elongated north-south, indicative of an open tropical wave.

Thats what i am thinking. She has to be close to an open wave now. Nice convection but looks pathetic. Looks like a strong plains t-storm.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting homelesswanderer:
Tampa this is what they said

SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
1030 PM CDT WED SEP 02 2009

.SYNOPSIS...WEAK FRONT FROM N FLORIDA TO 25N96W WILL MOVE SLOWLY
SE AND REACH FROM CENTRAL FLORIDA TO NEAR THE YUCATAN CHANNEL
THU THEN LIFT BACK N AND DISSIPATE FRI.

I've heard them mention a pre frontal trough. So would the trough lift out too?


That trough goes bye bye.....there goes the protection and the high builds in....
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
I'm telling you all the high that rolls off the east coast in a few days will be much stronger than was originally thought a few days ago because of the hurricane in the pacific making a stonger high in the plains....
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Kori,

The HH have already located the center and we still have west winds. Might be close to turning into one but not yet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Erika's convection is elongated north-south, indicative of an open tropical wave.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Here is a little higher surface wind reading

SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind:34 knots (~ 39.1 mph)

The HH are in the NE area now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
All trending South of the Islands now.....i think we might have a much bigger problem coming if this dam thing stays south of the big rocks....

Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Whats the latest XTRP look like? Last I saw it was still pointed WSW, but movement stated as W
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting msphar:
I think there are still multiple COCs. The CDO may look merged but under neath things are not so blended.

That's why the HH are out there to check her out! Isn't there another site where we can get a microwave image, like the US Navy link someone posted earlier?
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Bordonaro coming right at you. Look for your rubber boots.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Latest satellite looks like it could split. Erika is in bad shape folks. Notice how elongated she has become. Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting msphar:
I think there are still multiple COCs. The CDO may look merged but under neath things are not so blended.

True, but she is NOT dead by a longshot!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Link
Before you put Erika on her deathbed check her out! SUPRISE!! LOOKS ALIVE TO ME!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting btwntx08:

brownsville u just added an e lol


Lol. My bad. I forgot how to spell years ago. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Highest winds found by HH so far 36.8 mph. She may be a TD.
2362. msphar
I think there are still multiple COCs. The CDO may look merged but under neath things are not so blended.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2359. xoverau
Quoting THUNDERPR:
Antigua -
Subject: ERIKA 2 a.m...


RAIN RAIN HAS COME... It has been a steady rain for some time now and my house is flooding as the rain runs down the hurricane shutters and comes under - not an ideal design!!!
... does not seem like much wind from INSIDE.
.. but RAIN FOR SURE... and the odd bit of thunder.
I just spoke to our Met Office and the main part of the storm has passed over Antigua and is in the Caribbean Sea, but there is a large cloud mass to the east that will continue to dump rain and the odd thunder storm
on us for the rest of the dark and into the morning hours. They say the air port should open tomorrow.


In 1995 on SEPTEMBER 3rd and 4th we were facing the Catagory 4 HURRICANE LUIS that was so destructive so this is a walk in the park in comparsion.


There is concern for some of our low lying areas where homes could flood. I am on the highest hill on the Atlantic side of the island so flooding is not one of my personal concerns ( except under the hurricane shutters...
and am already mopping that up! )... guess i will try to get some sleep....




I'll be thinking good thoughts toward you. I'm from up north, but in a low-lying area that's prone to trapping storm systems, so I've spent many a nine-to-twelve hour night pumping and sopping water that sneaks past the house's protective architecture. I hope everything continues to go well, and this system doesn't cause major inconvenience.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Link
I am not sure this link will work, but the latest satelitte pic shows the 2 areas of convection have merged!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting chucky7777:
yep Erika has the odds stacked against her. I look for her to degenerate into a wave,but could also refire later,just my opinioin..


I think thats what CMC sees. Or a very weak TD. Takes it into the GOM. Bombs it out and parks it by Brownesville at 240h.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting chucky7777:
yep Erika has the odds stacked against her. I look for her to degenerate into a wave,but could also refire later,just my opinioin..

looks to be taking the same fate as ana and danny. nothing can get stacked this year and get going.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting msphar:
Center was fixed at 0630Z 20 miles WSW of Monserrat. in the Vortex message above. That sounds like it is between the two components of the massive merging cells.


That's where I thought it was.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
EURO says bye bye
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Erika might just get ripped in the mountians if it goes over land......BUT, my best guess it will go south of all the islands....
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/ramsdis/online/tropical.asp for most recent satelitte pics of TS Erika
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
2349. msphar
Center was fixed at 0630Z 20 miles WSW of Monserrat. in the Vortex message above. That sounds like it is between the two components of the massive merging cells.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Tampa this is what they said

SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
1030 PM CDT WED SEP 02 2009

.SYNOPSIS...WEAK FRONT FROM N FLORIDA TO 25N96W WILL MOVE SLOWLY
SE AND REACH FROM CENTRAL FLORIDA TO NEAR THE YUCATAN CHANNEL
THU THEN LIFT BACK N AND DISSIPATE FRI.

I've heard them mention a pre frontal trough. So would the trough lift out too?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting markymark1973:
probably a TD now she is weak
yep Erika has the odds stacked against her. I look for her to degenerate into a wave,but could also refire later,just my opinioin..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2344. 7544
wnw now ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting iceman55:
TampaSpin so mean more w


Yes i think so...
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Quoting homelesswanderer:


So would that pull it north?
no west. Troughs steer N. Highs block it from going N.
probably a TD now she is weak
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
href="http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/ramsdis/online/latest_image_640.asp?product=tropical_ge_4km_ir4 _floater_2" target="_blank">Link 0645UTC Satellite of Erika
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting iceman55:
homelesswanderer yep


Ok. Thanks. I'm so confused. Gotta love this gal. Lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:
Here is where the models are messing up.....Our storm in the Pacific has pumped a larger High in the NE corner of Jimena into the Central ConUS. This high will be moving to the EAST Coast much stronger then Models are forecasting. That will cause the Trough that has dove into the GOM short lived and lift out fast......That is what i see happening.

Tampa why is this storm being down played so much right now? Also does it look like the N convection is trying to wrap around ?

Viewing: 2387 - 2337

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59Blog Index

Top of Page

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.

Local Weather

Overcast
52 °F
Overcast