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: 2187 - 2137

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 alpha992000:
OK, I no longer have nails from all the biting. Can Erika get her act together and decide once and for all what she's going to do? I need to sleep, you know. I've been glued to WUnderground for a full week now wondering what 94L was going to do and I've barely slept. Too addictive. :-s

The answer to that question is, only God knows! The rest of us have to wait, watch and see! This TS is the weirdest system I've seen in the 41 yrs I've followed tropical systems!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
2186. 7544
pretty wild at this time right peeps

how shes looking on the e musat iceman and btwntx08

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
new hwrfLink
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
OK, I no longer have nails from all the biting. Can Erika get her act together and decide once and for all what she's going to do? I need to sleep, you know. I've been glued to WUnderground for a full week now wondering what 94L was going to do and I've barely slept. Too addictive. :-s
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2182. 7544
Quoting JLPR:


its exactly the same as the 11pm one


maybe at 5 am anyone keeping track on the hh on what they find
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2181. will40
I guess it just looks dif on the WU page
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
new gfdlLink
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2177. msphar
I hope Erika passes by Eastern end of PR during the day time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2175. JLPR
Quoting will40:
Looks like track moved to right at 2:00


its exactly the same as the 11pm one
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2174. will40
Sure looks like they changed it to me
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
agree 7544 gfdl and hwrf both with cat3 hurricane
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2171. JLPR
Quoting THUNDERPR:
jlpr the gfdl00z model put erika at 24 hours over us with 75mph winds


well... that's not good =P
and how could that happen? aren't the upper level winds supposed to be a little unfavorable?
:S
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2169. 7544
Quoting THUNDERPR:
GFDL 00Z CAT 3 over Bahamas at 126 hours


wow and the gfdl killed it the last run now its back again this means we might see the coc relocate where the blow up in now happening and now most models are seeing this dont you just love this dmax hour where things always change
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2168. will40
Yes iceman?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
jlpr the gfdl00z model put erika at 24 hours over us with 75mph winds
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2164. will40
No she still a TS
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
AT 200 AM AST...0600 UTC...THE CENTER OF POORLY-ORGANIZED TROPICAL
STORM ERIKA WAS ESTIMATED NEAR LATITUDE 16.2 NORTH...LONGITUDE 62.6
WEST OR ABOUT 80 MILES...130 KM...WEST OF GUADELOUPE AND ABOUT 275
MILES...445 KM...EAST-SOUTHEAST OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
40mph 1008 mb ERIKA 200 AM Public Advisory 6A
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2160. will40
Looks like track moved to right at 2:00
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The African wave is mentioned in the 200am TWO.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2156. JLPR
Hey guys
im lurking xD
anything new with Erika since like 11pm ?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
no good for me live in Puerto Rico lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GFDL 00Z CAT 3 over Bahamas at 126 hours
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
gfdl ooz put Erika to a hurricane in 24 hours near PUERTO RICO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
so the fight goes on. Thanks for taking the time to wrap up your thoughts on this one. Im out until tomorrow. Between college ball this weekend and the height of storm season, I am only hoping for a few hours of sleep each night.

That being said, its good to have a wrap on the storm for the evening. See you all on the other side.


W.D.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
For all you satellite junkies that need a fix during blackout somehow this site gives updated pics of the Caribbean during blackout. They are somewhat grainy but you can see Erika is getting big again and convection appears to be merging.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
HWRF erika06l 2009090300
PUT ERIKA in a hurricane in 24 hours. and close to florida cat3 at 126 hours
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Nite all, check back in tomorrow.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2142. Patrap
Quoting iceman55:
u go to sleep


Thanx..I am now.

"Wake me Up,when September ends"..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127701

Viewing: 2187 - 2137

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.