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 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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2036. eddye
keiraman your wrong
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Night all.. have fun
Taz, keep up the good work.


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI



thanks


night
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Erika is likely to dissipate.
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Hey all...I'm in for a few and then off to bed. Here's what i am currently observing with Tropical Storm Erika..
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us


I'm adding to my "to do" list to update my site and start updating the blog once a day for the rest of the season now that we are near the peak. Tonight I didn't have time so I decided to just make this image.
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Quoting BtnTx:
Taz - I hope the California fires stay away from you!


im going to assume he lives in California.... ha its getting late
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
CPUs:

lol - Good night
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Night all.. have fun
Taz, keep up the good work.


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
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2025. BtnTx
Taz - I hope the California fires stay away from you!
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Quoting intunewindchime:
I looked up the Asp, and thats not it. It was less furry, more spikey-silky haired. Will post a pic on my blog sometime.
Maybe it was a bleached out Wooleybear!
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Quoting snow2fire:
atomaggie - I think the CPU problem is: no matter how fast or big a computer we get, we'll soon bring it to it's knees.

Right. I have a surge simulation baseline test I do that takes 30 hours on 64 3.0GHz cores (4 year old machine).
Did a benchmark of the same test on the new Nehalem-Intels with DDR3 on 128 cores...
...
...
135 minutes.

Dayum.

I am encouraged to make the understatement of the year. But one day we will bring it to it's knees. You got that right.

Really.
Tired.
Now.
Good Night, all.
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Whoa, long time lurker for years, posted a few times, experienced several hurricanes and storms that I truly don't wish to repeat, but I stay informed and prepared. First of all, don't be critical of anyone on the blog unless they are solely posting to cause trouble, and second, learn by watching and reading, despite the grammar problems, from those that have provided unbiased and educated posts, such as Pat and Taz, a couple among many, many more. We are here to learn, share, and laugh from time to time (I'm still chuckling about Pat in the dishwasher!). Ease up, please. If this blog isn't your "cup of tea," please, respectfully requested, move on:)
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Quoting stormno:
erica is doomed stick a fork in her...


NOPE! prove it
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Quoting intunewindchime:
since the blog is slow I will ask this... remember in years past when we discusses the role animals play in weather predictions? Last year we talked about sea turtles... Yesterday I found a white, hairy caterpillar, fuzzy, fast moving with a tinge of orange just barely visible on his head. I grew up in the midwest with the brown "wollie worms" which were fuzzy brown caterpillars that people said would predict what winter would be like. Anyone here on the Gulf Coast know what this fuzzy white caterpillar is?


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.
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I looked up the Asp, and thats not it. It was less furry, more spikey-silky haired. Will post a pic on my blog sometime.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Couple of answers.
1. Yes. Once one begins enough convection to build on itself, draw the bulk of the surface convergence, the other will lose out and dissipate.
-or-
2. Or both stay as parts of Erika's convection (less likely)

*sarcasm on* Or they both start spinning around a center in a counter-clockwise fashion...oh wait, that would be a true tropical system. Erika is way too ADD to pull that. Need ritalin.

I understand now. She's only got a split personality but one will override eventually, right? ;)
Thanks for your explanations!
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
2015. jipmg
Quoting Brillig:
Erika is not trying to split. Someone posted a nice animation earlier in this blog (maybe you can post it again) that shows Erika over a period of 36 hours, I believe.

Over this period of time, it reminded me of a sort of heart beat, with auricles and ventricles beating in sync but out of phase with each other.

A new pulse started as a new round of convection started at the north or northwest side, growing until supplanting the previously larger section. Erika seems to be simply repeating the same pattern.

I suspect this is what happens when she fights sheer and wins. Each win is marked by another round of convection.

Any merit to this idea?


First off, there is no shear hurting erika right now, secound off, the difference between last time and this time, is that before the CENTER never had convection over it, now we do have convection over what seems to be a LLC.
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Quoting intunewindchime:
Beachbum,
An ASP? I did not touch it except with a twig because I did not know what it was.
I used to play with the brown ones as a child. They were ok.
A mild sting. Nothing too serious - unless you are allergic.
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atomaggie - I think the CPU problem is: no matter how fast or big a computer we get, we'll soon bring it to it's knees.
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2012. Brillig
Erika is not trying to split. Someone posted a nice animation earlier in this blog (maybe you can post it again) that shows Erika over a period of 36 hours, I believe.

Over this period of time, it reminded me of a sort of heart beat, with auricles and ventricles beating in sync but out of phase with each other.

A new pulse started as a new round of convection started at the north or northwest side, growing until supplanting the previously larger section. Erika seems to be simply repeating the same pattern.

I suspect this is what happens when she fights sheer and wins. Each win is marked by another round of convection.

Any merit to this idea?
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:
I don't after reading your reply atmoaggie, so what do you say is happening with erika? Just reforming altogether?

Couple of answers.
1. Yes. Once one begins enough convection to build on itself, draw the bulk of the surface convergence, the other will lose out and dissipate.
-or-
2. Or both stay as parts of Erika's convection (less likely)

*sarcasm on* Or they both start spinning around a center in a counter-clockwise fashion...oh wait, that would be a true tropical system. Erika is way too ADD to pull that. Need ritalin.
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Beachbum,
An ASP? I did not touch it except with a twig because I did not know what it was.
I used to play with the brown ones as a child. They were ok.
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SHIP S 0300 18.50 -59.30 229 51 100 35.0kts - 9.8 8.0 ship report 40 mph winds from that area east of antigua at 11pm
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*********** Original message follows: ***********
Sent by tornadodude at: 7:44 PM PDT on August 23, 2007

you got a yes from me man. you definitely got what it takes! yes!
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
ha so i was digging through my WU mail and found a message i sent Taz on Aug. 23rd 2007 saying that he has my vote. and that i have confidence in him. no idea what the vote was for lol
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting Orcasystems:
We are hooped now :(

I just looked at the models... all of them show something starting in the future.. with the exception of the CMC.. it shows NOTHING coming... that has to be a bad thing.



Has a lot to do with the current state of MJO, I imagine. Fine by me.

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Too much drama for me tonight...
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Quoting intunewindchime:
since the blog is slow I will ask this... remember in years past when we discusses the role animals play in weather predictions? Last year we talked about sea turtles... Yesterday I found a white, hairy caterpillar, fuzzy, fast moving with a tinge of orange just barely visible on his head. I grew up in the midwest with the brown "wollie worms" which were fuzzy brown caterpillars that people said would predict what winter would be like. Anyone here on the Gulf Coast know what this fuzzy white caterpillar is?
An Asp! And I suggest you avoid handling it!
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Quoting usviwalkingstick:
Simply to keep up the spirit ... I feel impelled to repost the NHC official (and my recollection of The Weather Channel blah-blah-blah) for Hurricane Marilyn, which brought utter devastation to the USVI in in 1995 ....

11.8-55.6 - 45MPH (No Luis)
13.0-58.0 - 55MPH (Small, insignificant, nothing to worry about)
14.1-59.9 - 70 MPH (Barbados, oh sorry, but where next? The GOM or Miami?)
16.0-61.8 - 70MPH 9/15 00Z (Guadeloupe, crossing the chain, oh probably into the GOM?)
17.0-63.6 - 80MPH 9/15 12Z (Somewhere, minimal, mainly rain event, NOT Puerto Rico)
17.8-64.6 - ONLY 85 MPH 9/15 21Z My home (Oops, sorry St. Croix,)
18.4-65.2 - A MISUNDERSTOOD Measly 85MPH 9/16 06Z (Oops again, sorry St. Thomas)

Erica is not a joke to us who may be dealing with the "misplaced" head tomorrow! Thanks to everyone trying to figure this B... out ... XO

i remenber twc too and also remenber Marilyn it was a caos! keep alert!
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I saved this image, looks so curious. Like a 2D mirror image, 180deg.

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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:
Heck if I know. I barely understood it. LOL
I'm waiting for someone who does to chime in ...

Being an El Nino year, the troughing situation, creating alot more sheer than usual, it appears possible that the atmospheric dynamics, which occur over Tornado Alley may be similar. SW sheer, upper level dry air earlier today at 250MB and the system rotation might have created the monstrosity named :ERIKA"!!
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Quoting atmoaggie:

1986: LOL, great. You are going to confuse them.

Do you give the notion of a splitting tropical system and weight? Jump in anytime. Today. C'mon.
I don't after reading your reply atmoaggie, so what do you say is happening with erika? Just reforming altogether?
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:
aha, I see! Thanks for clarifying that for me! Much appreciated


no prob lol
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Quoting Greyelf:


The problem though, Pat, is that sometimes it's almost impossible to translate what Taz is saying. Yet, when someone takes the time they're having trouble interpreting his message, he seems to take offense versus working on what he could to try to improve. From my view, if I wanted to be read and understood, I'd do what it took to do that. Now, if Taz chooses not to, then well, I'll continue to just do what I've always done. I try to interpret once. If I don't get it, I give up and move on.
Quoting Greyelf:


The problem though, Pat, is that sometimes it's almost impossible to translate what Taz is saying. Yet, when someone takes the time they're having trouble interpreting his message, he seems to take offense versus working on what he could to try to improve. From my view, if I wanted to be read and understood, I'd do what it took to do that. Now, if Taz chooses not to, then well, I'll continue to just do what I've always done. I try to interpret once. If I don't get it, I give up and move on.


It's like moving to a foreign country without speaking the language. Just give it a chance and you'll get to understand Taz. He gives good input here.
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Quoting snow2fire:
atomaggie - I can't quote. I'm running McCaffe and superantispyware...

I looked at the ADCIRC web page: very useful analyses. Yep - the CPU time makes it hard to get detailed info quickly - even with a supercomputer. But with faster computers and better models, these tools will become operationally useful.

I didn't drop the advanced math courses - but seldom do real math anymore.

Problem is, the level of spatial detail in our bathymetry, levees, elevation, etc got exponentially more fine faster than the CPU increased. So much finer grid year-to-year, but processors didn't keep up.
The ADCIRC community went backwards on that front for a while. Getting better...I think.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

1986: LOL, great. You are going to confuse them.

Do you give the notion of a splitting tropical system and weight? Jump in anytime. Today. C'mon.


ha just thought id mix it up a little, and just so you guys know, feel free to call me Matt, i dont care either way, but just a thought.
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
since the blog is slow I will ask this... remember in years past when we discusses the role animals play in weather predictions? Last year we talked about sea turtles... Yesterday I found a white, hairy caterpillar, fuzzy, fast moving with a tinge of orange just barely visible on his head. I grew up in the midwest with the brown "wollie worms" which were fuzzy brown caterpillars that people said would predict what winter would be like. Anyone here on the Gulf Coast know what this fuzzy white caterpillar is?
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Quoting tornadodude:


aha, I see! Thanks for clarifying that for me! Much appreciated
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
Goodnight WU. You all have a good night.
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tornadocane loop
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
Best view showing a possible split

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Quoting tornadodude:



1986: LOL, great. You are going to confuse them.

Do you give the notion of a splitting tropical system any weight? Jump in anytime. Today. C'mon.
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1989. hydrus
Quoting Lizpr:
North part getting bigger?


Looking at that satellite pic you posted, There is alot of dry air around Erika...IMHO,
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atomaggie - I can't quote. I'm running McCaffe and superantispyware...

I looked at the ADCIRC web page: very useful analyses. Yep - the CPU time makes it hard to get detailed info quickly - even with a supercomputer. But with faster computers and better models, these tools will become operationally useful.

I didn't drop the advanced math courses - but seldom do real math anymore.
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1987. BKM77
It does look like it is trying to split... There are 2 areas ov convection... Has this ever happened on a tropical wave and I wonder how this will effect the overall storm.. Any ideas
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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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