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

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

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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

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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 ?
2335. 7544
Quoting JLPR:
the HHs have not found much winds in Erika yet


so far 30k
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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.



So would that pull it north?
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I think convection is at the top of the heart.
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2331. msphar
I'd like to hear what W456 is seeing out his window right now.
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
2330. JLPR
the HHs have not found much winds in Erika yet
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Quoting iceman55:
new forecast track go to rigth .new model


http://raleighwx.easternuswx.com/models/atcf/06zatcfearlyinvest2.gif


More south?? Looks like CMC thinking.
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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.

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convection over relocated center which is the southern one looks like a chance in my book
Member Since: July 13, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 10796
2326. msphar
still looks like she has two hearts beating
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
2322. msphar
615 UTC on sat image now - out of eclipse
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2320. SykKid
=}
Member Since: August 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 451
2319. 7544
Quoting btwntx08:

would love to see it iceman55


same here


do you guys see the front over fla how south its going it could catch her and swing her to the right just before she get in th mountians before the front backs up again to the north of fla this is what the gfdl might be tring to show us
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Quoting iceman55:
i about nail my The forecast for Erika


What forecast.....i don't see any you have posted...J/K
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Quoting iceman55:
watch

would love to see it iceman55
Member Since: July 13, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 10796
well going to bed. I'll be looking forward to your updates and knowledge tomorrow iceman55
goodnight all:)
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Thank you
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Quoting kuppenskup:
Sorry to be so ignorant but what does COC stand for?

Center of circulation
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Quoting kuppenskup:
Sorry to be so ignorant but what does COC stand for?

center of cirulation
Member Since: July 13, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 10796
Quoting alpha992000:


Well, right now I'm threatened by the weirdest storm I've ever seen. As long as she doesn't go all boom on us now during DMAX and end up knocking us down here on the Island I'm fine with her behavior. ;-)

Latest satellite shows Erika has grown quite a bit during the satellite eclipse. Keep an eye out, let everyone know what's going on, more updates will follow as soon as we get the new information! My prayer is that you will all be safe!!
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iceman55
nice to see someone from home who has a good handle on things. makes me feel a bit more safe, cuz god knows the mets. have no idea whats going on. good weather instincts iceman
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Vortex data for center fix.

Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 3rd day of the month at 06:49Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 307)
Storm Number & Year: 06L in 2009
Storm Name: Erika (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 4
Observation Number: 03
A. Time of Center Fix: 3rd day of the month at 6:28:50Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 16%uFFFD40'N 62%uFFFD31'W (16.6667N 62.5167W)
B. Center Fix Location: 20 miles (33 km) to the WSW (256%uFFFD) from Salem, Montserrat.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,499m (4,918ft) at 850mb
D & E. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: Not Available
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 235%uFFFD at 6kts (From the SW at ~ 6.9mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 9 nautical miles (10 statute miles) to the SE (136%uFFFD) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 1008mb (29.77 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 19%uFFFDC (66%uFFFDF) at a pressure alt. of 1,525m (5,003ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 19%uFFFDC (66%uFFFDF) at a pressure alt. of 1,527m (5,010ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 12%uFFFDC (54%uFFFDF)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Wind and Pressure
N. Fix Level: 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 6 nautical miles
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 6kts (~ 6.9mph) in the southeast quadrant at 6:25:50Z
Maximum Flight Level Temp: 19%uFFFDC (66%uFFFDF) which was observed 8 nautical miles to the SE (136%uFFFD) from the flight level center
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Sorry to be so ignorant but what does COC stand for?
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06:47:00Z 17.383N 63.267W From 50° at 30 knots
(From the NE at ~ 34.5 mph)
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2298. msphar
40 kts plenty big!
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289
I think the COC is chasing the HH.
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Quoting JLPR:
Erika is looking much better

looks like the orignal coc in the convection it seems
Member Since: July 13, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 10796
2293. mks
wind and rain now picking up in antigua gust to about 40 kts+ with light Thunder
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2292. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)

NEW TROPICAL STORM FORECAST TO DEVELOP AFTER 36 HOURS
FORECAST POSITION AT T+ 36 : 15.4N 25.2W

VERIFYING TIME POSITION STRENGTH TENDENCY
-------------- -------- -------- --------
12UTC 04.09.2009 15.4N 25.2W WEAK
00UTC 05.09.2009 16.0N 27.0W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE
12UTC 05.09.2009 16.8N 29.1W WEAK LITTLE CHANGE
00UTC 06.09.2009 17.6N 31.6W WEAK WEAKENING RAPIDLY
12UTC 06.09.2009 17.7N 33.5W WEAK INTENSIFYING RAPIDLY
00UTC 07.09.2009 BELOW TROPICAL STORM STRENGTH


Outlook for possible 07L.. or "Fred"
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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....


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2289. 7544
Quoting druseljic:
Does blackout end in about 15 min? Tia


yes at 3am est
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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