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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2086. jipmg
GFS developing FRED off that wave, and pushing it WNW,and W. Its also bring ericka up in strength, but then weakening it slowly as it approaches the southern Florida tip according to that model.
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2084. 7544
if this can all connect somehow at dmax and the north coc is the stronger one we can see a whole new erika but how far are the twins apart ? will they seperate or stay as one stay tuned
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6812
agree with you hurricanetracker
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All, the COC is not relocating. It is almost in same spot called on, and posted by the Dr. earlier today. Just click on the Martinique Radar link the Dr. posted, and you can clearly see the storms descending upon the almost stationary semi circle center west of Guadeloupe. Animate, and the storms appear to be wrapping around this center.
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the radar image looks impresive at 12:45am
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Latest sat does look like the center of all her energy is going to pass just south of PR and right over the middle of Hisp. PR does have some 3900 foot mtns. and usually does muck up the storms a bit as they pass over, but she'll probably be a bit more to the south than required for that effect. Well at least shes not a hurricane, and maybe even not a tropical storm. I can sleep. Nite all. Richard
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Link

radar of martinique click animation 3 times and the image load more fast.
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2077. tbrett
Here is the link to the radar.Link
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2075. Brillig
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!


The center, or a center? I don't think the radar reaches to the other putative center.
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2074. jipmg
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!


link to the radar, and thats the old center (or the current one..)
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2073. tbrett
Quoting jipmg:
SSW wind being reported in guadolupe, and the island north of there has No wind at all (meaning our "CENTER" is no longer in control)

The island north of Guadalupe is Montserrat and we have no wind what so ever, not even a breeze. Lots of lightening though
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2072. jipmg
Quoting KoritheMan:


Steering seems a tad more easterly than I would've expected by now.

If she does end up avoiding Hispaniola, vertical shear will still be prohibitive.


yep, thats what some models indicate, so its entirely possible
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Quoting jipmg:


why would she move over hispanola if she re develops her center further north?


Steering seems a tad more easterly than I would've expected by now.

If she does end up avoiding Hispaniola, vertical shear will still be prohibitive.

Then there's also Puerto Rico...
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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!

link? thanks
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8339
Yeah. Its coming to get me.
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2068. jipmg
Quoting KoritheMan:
Even if Erika does manage to reform an LLC underneath the deep convection, she will not survive Hispaniola in her current state. It has been notorious for destroying major hurricanes, how much easier it will be for it to destroy a tropical storm.


why would she move over hispanola if she re develops her center further north?
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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!
Member Since: January 22, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1689
2066. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
okay that is all.. for now ;-)
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2065. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #2
TROPICAL DEPRESSION
12:00 PM JST September 3 2009
=========================================

SUBJECT: Tropical Depression In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 3:00 AM UTC, Tropical Depression (996 hPa) located at 18.0N 129.2E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving west slowly

RSMC Dvorak Intensity:

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 19.0N 130.4E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
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Hi everyone,
lurk here a lot, well, actually, most of the time. Always scroll back and check out everyone's opinions and input to the blog. Tonight, I just signed in after finishing up my fantasy football draft, and decided not to scroll back whatsoever. All I looked at was, the satellite loops on the NHC and came here right after. I see two balls of convection, and am impressed how they are very similar. Amazing storm this Erika has turned out to be. I guess I just wanted to say hello to all, and I hada good Draft... As far as Erika is concerned, wow, I must admit, the "joker" STORM we dealt with from a year or two ago may have a definite partner as far as what may happen down the line..., as far as forcasting this little girl. Keep up the the good work all you guys, just throwing in my 2 cents tonight. A couple of the ole lager gets me thinking at times.. I will honestly give my opinion on the future of Erika, She will probably dissipate with all of the negative influences in front of her, but, just never, ever,ever, say RIP, until officially gone, and away.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
Even if Erika does manage to reform an LLC underneath the deep convection, she will not survive Hispaniola in her current state. It has been notorious for destroying major hurricanes, how much easier it will be for it to destroy a tropical storm.


Oh, I'm sorry, might there be islands to the East of Hispanola?
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2062. Brillig
Quoting KoritheMan:
Even if Erika does manage to reform an LLC underneath the deep convection, she will not survive Hispaniola in her current state. It has been notorious for destroying major hurricanes, how much easier it will be for it to destroy a tropical storm.


Or maybe Erika's game is just the ticket: fade to the left, pass to the right....
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Quoting CaneAddict:


Have you looked at any satellite imagery in the past hour? I'm not doubting your reasoning at all but it looks like a new circulation is attempting to close off just north of the official circulation..in the northern half of the system.


Indeed I have, but look what I said above about Hispaniola.
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2059. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippines Atmospherical Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration

The surge of the Southwest monsoon is expected to affect the seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #3
========================
At 11:00 AM PhST, Tropical Storm Labuyo located at 18.1ºN 129.4ºE or 710 kms east of Tuguegarao City has 10 minute sustained winds of 65 km/h (35 knots) with gustiness up to 80 km/h (45 knots).

Additional Information
======================
This disturbance is expected to enhance the Southwest Monsoon and bring occasional to frequent rains over Southern Luzon, Visayas particularly the western sections.

The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 11 PM today.
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Quoting PortABeachBum:
Speaking of biological weather predictors - The PortABeachBums lost their short-term predictor "Roy" to a coyote 4 nights ago! Roy wasn't much good for hurricane prediction but was at the door scratching to get in when a rainstorm was eminent. Anyone know how to train a coyote?


Groundhog Day?
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Portabeachbum
chek your mail for link to a pic of the critter
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Quoting KoritheMan:


If you say so, but most people will automatically discredit one who does not use evidence to back up his claims, like yourself.

Erika's circulation has become increasingly ill-defined today, as noted by surface observations from the islands, along with satellite imagery. QuikSCAT missed it earlier, but I imagine that had it caught it, the circulation would have been quite elongated. I am doubting if Erika has a closed surface circulation at this point.

Her only hope is to reform a new center underneath the deep convection.


Have you looked at any satellite imagery in the past hour? I'm not doubting your reasoning at all but it looks like a new circulation is attempting to close off just north of the official circulation..in the northern half of the system.
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Even if Erika does manage to reform an LLC underneath the deep convection, she will not survive Hispaniola in her current state. It has been notorious for destroying major hurricanes, how much easier it will be for it to destroy a tropical storm.
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The circulation to the north looks more pronounced on AVN imagery right now...I would say that center takes over by tomorrow morning.
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Quoting stormno:
erica is doomed stick a fork in her...


Hehe... you have to hand it to stormno, with Claudette and now Erika...

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2049. jipmg
SSW wind being reported in guadolupe, and the island north of there has No wind at all (meaning our "CENTER" is no longer in control)
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Quoting Tazmanian:



can we talk in the weather ch thursday night ?? at 6pm??


Possibly. Depends on if I'm busy then. I've been busy lately.
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alright, im going to bed, goodnight all! and Taz, dont let people get to you, keep youre head up!
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8339
Quoting eddye:
keiraman your wrong


If you say so, but most people will automatically discredit one who does not use evidence to back up his claims, like yourself.

Erika's circulation has become increasingly ill-defined today, as noted by surface observations from the islands, along with satellite imagery. QuikSCAT missed it earlier, but I imagine that had it caught it, the circulation would have been quite elongated. I am doubting if Erika has a closed surface circulation at this point.

Her only hope is to reform a new center underneath the deep convection.
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Quoting SunnyDaysFla:


I have no idea if you can predict weather with them, but DO NOT touch. There are a couple of kinds of caterpillars with fuzzies down here in tampa that make a fire ant sting feel like a pin prick in comparison, extraordinarily painful.
Speaking of biological weather predictors - The PortABeachBums lost their short-term predictor "Roy" to a coyote 4 nights ago! Roy wasn't much good for hurricane prediction but was at the door scratching to get in when a rainstorm was eminent. Anyone know how to train a coyote?
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Quoting btwntx08:

new center forming north of current coc and this current will die but not the new coc imo


That's what I am thinking.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
Erika is likely to dissipate.


Likely but..I want to see what goes on with the northern circulation that appears to be forming in the northern blob of convection before calling it dead.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
Erika is likely to dissipate.



can we talk in the weather ch thursday night ?? at 6pm??
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
Twins? There seems to be rotation in both N and S blob.


Yeah there does..for some reason i'm inclined to believe the northern blob will become the dominate circulation and again Erika will trick all forecasters. If this happens it would result in a major difference between dissipation and possibly a strong hurricane because Erika would avoid alot of land.
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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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