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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2135. Patrap
Quoting CCstormer:
Pat, can I get a synopsis on your thoughts. I have been following along for several hours but it seems like everyone is split as much as the storm
From what I gather, a relocation N will have a huge affect on whether or not this storm even holds.
I am about out and would like your take before I log off. Thanks in advance


What most are forgetting is that this is a LARGE Cv Circ that has always had Multiple CoC's within the Mean Overall Circ..thats whats been its problem from Genesis.
What its doing is the same as Last evening..One coc is trying to Dominate.

Until One does in the Center of the Overall Mean Circ..it will repeat the last 24,or spin Out,.or Consolidate a New central CoC in the end.

00 UTC Multiplatform Satellite Surface Wind Analysis
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
2133. 7544
if pat here at this time hes waiting for erika to do something lol
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2132. Patrap
Quoting iceman55:
thank alot pat .u smartt man


Pat tired man,,and is heading upstairs to his own wunderland for some rest.

G'night
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
2130. Patrap
Quoting iceman55:
Patrap new model run or is old run ???


Those are the 00 Z runs from earlier. The 06 Z runs will be out between 3-4 am CDT
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
2128. 7544
wnw now ?
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Pat, can I get a synopsis on your thoughts. I have been following along for several hours but it seems like everyone is split as much as the storm
From what I gather, a relocation N will have a huge affect on whether or not this storm even holds.
I am about out and would like your take before I log off. Thanks in advance
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2125. BKM77
If the north wins.. and she strengthens some she could miss hispanolia.. What does the shear look like ahead of her
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The wave coming off the African coast now looks formidable. Curious how it will look after a few days over water.

Link
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2122. Patrap
All GOES-12 Imagery is stale as the Last Image was from 0345 UTC..or 2 Hours ago.

GOES-12 Is In Blackout for a spell yet,..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
According to the W.C. and the NHC. dicussion at 11PM 9-2-09, Erika has two chances at survival, SLIM and NONE. We'll see.
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Looks like Erika likes the night. I guess she is a night owl... :)
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2117. Patrap
Latest RECON Data

Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 3rd day of the month at 05:27Z
Date: September 3, 2009
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 307)
Storm Number: 06
Storm Name: Erika (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 4
Observation Number: 04
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
2115. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
Here is the link for anyone who has Google Earth likes to follow along:

Link

It's actually pretty cool to see!
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2112. 7544
shes gaining weight again
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TROPICAL STORM ERIKA 06L
NEW GFDL


INITIAL TIME 0Z SEP 3


0 15.9 62.1 260./ 8.0

6 16.0 62.7 286./ 5.7

12 16.1 63.4 276./ 7.1

18 16.5 63.8 314./ 5.3

24 16.7 64.4 290./ 5.7

30 17.0 64.9 301./ 5.8

36 17.2 65.2 302./ 3.1

42 17.5 66.0 295./ 8.5

48 17.8 66.6 290./ 6.1

54 18.1 67.1 302./ 5.6

60 18.5 67.5 311./ 6.1

66 18.9 68.0 311./ 6.4

72 19.2 68.3 320./ 3.5

78 19.5 68.7 302./ 4.9

84 19.9 69.1 321./ 5.5

90 20.5 69.6 320./ 8.0

96 20.9 70.1 306./ 6.7

102 21.4 70.9 298./ 8.4

108 21.9 71.6 309./ 8.9

114 22.5 72.6 303./10.4

120 23.0 73.3 304./ 8.5

126 23.6 74.1 305./ 8.8




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2107. Patrap
00 Z Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
link for the observations of the HH Link
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2104. Patrap
00 Z Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 3rd day of the month at 05:17Z
Date: September 3, 2009
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 307)
Storm Number: 06
Storm Name: Erika (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 4
Observation Number: 03
05:17:00Z 18.017N 64.300W
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Question for the weather experts who may know! Is Erika trying to wrap around to connect both parts of the system??
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
2098. 7544
Quoting btwntx08:

i think someonr in here said the would take off at 1 am and be in the storm at 2 am
great thanks

it would be interesting if the do find the north part to be the new coc and relocate it there it stsring to gain more convection just before the blackout
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FLIGHT TWO - TEAL 75......NO CHANGE
A. 03/0600Z, 1200Z
B. AFXXX 0406A CYCLONE
C. 03/0445Z
D. 18.5N 62.2W
E. 03/0530Z TO 03/1200Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT
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2093. Patrap
GOES-12 is In Eclipse,Blackout sine 0345 UTC


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127804
Vc Bird International Airport Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda
Wind from the E (099 degrees) at 2 MPH (2 KT)
Visibility greater than 7 mile(s)
Sky conditions mostly cloudy
Weather Light rain showers
Temperature 78 F (26 C)
Dew Point 77 F (25 C)
Relative Humidity 94%
Pressure (altimeter) 29.80 in. Hg (1009 hPa)
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2090. 7544
are the hh in erika yet should be on the way correct >?
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I go to another more professional hurricane site... I see the whole 24hr radar updates every 15 minutes...
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Quoting scottsvb:
why dont you guys just watch the radar? You can clearly see the center just off the west coast of Guadalope around 16.2N and 62.1W movement is a drift NNW... the midlevel rainshield has just caught up to her...we will see if the pressure drops over the next few hours..but she does look alot better now then 4 hrs ago!

Also remember that the waters south of Puerto Rico are a boiling pot this time of the year...
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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.