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 Tazmanian:
talk about my bad spelling some of you dont do any better


We got your back Taz
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Quoting KBH:
For those who what to follow the 'splitting storm' theory, noaa defines it a splitting storm.

Does not happen alot, but here it is 'Splitting Storm - A thunderstorm which splits into two storms which follow diverging paths (a left mover and a right mover). The left mover typically moves faster than the original storm, the right mover, slower. Of the two, the left mover is most likely to weaken and dissipate (but on rare occasions can become a very severe anticyclonic-rotating storm), while the right mover is the one most likely to reach supercell status'. www.srh.noaa.gov


And has everything to do with MCSs and supercells on land. Not at all applicable to the Caribbean.
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1935. hydrus
Quoting Patrap:


Thats a definite Possibility for sure.

If in fact two low pressure areas form(Gulf & Atlantic),whatever happens with Erika will probably be even more difficult to forecast.And by that time there will other players on the scene.Just my humble opinion.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20481
Quoting KBH:

So, you're basically in agreement that this system will split in two.?


Right now, I'm starting to think that the norther convective mass will develop a dominant low-level circulation and will take over as Tropical Storm Erika. Of course I'm going to get called a "wishcaster" or "guesscaster" by some, but given the current environmental data available through CIMSS and satellite analysis, this is my current thinking right now.
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OK guys,

For any McAfee users experiencing the script blocks after the "false trojan" was blocked on their system, I have a solution for our beloved WU.

What I did was restored my system to a day before, and reset my McAfee updates to download but don't install. After which I restarted my browser and I can use the script features here again.

I call them "script blocks," but I'm sure some of the whiz bangs have a better word for it. The bottom line is, the site features here can be restored using this method. Hopefully this will give the McA**wipes time to get their update fixed.
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Quoting KBH:
For those who what to follow the 'splitting storm' theory, noaa defines it a splitting storm.

Does not happen alot, but here it is 'Splitting Storm - A thunderstorm which splits into two storms which follow diverging paths (a left mover and a right mover). The left mover typically moves faster than the original storm, the right mover, slower. Of the two, the left mover is most likely to weaken and dissipate (but on rare occasions can become a very severe anticyclonic-rotating storm), while the right mover is the one most likely to reach supercell status'. www.srh.noaa.gov

So it is possible. Maybe that is what she is trying to do thus making it difficult to determine what path etc she will take.
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talk about my bad spelling some of you dont do any better
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Quoting bluewaterblues:


I have been around mostly lurking for a few years. I have seen a gazillion post from you and I have to ask....Is it possible for you to complete a sentence without butchering it!


have some patience, geesh
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Why does the HWRF continue to blow Erika up?
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Quoting serialteg:


I've never had to ignore anyone with the button. I just ignore them with my eyes!

Bloggers, all your messages I see. That don't mean I read them, but...

Sry, if I can easily make the childish posts have a permanent curfew, I will, gladly.
Iggy button better than sliced bread. (I haven't all the trouble slicing bread that others apparently have)
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1927. kachina
Quoting serialteg:


What is that, the remnants of a kite?


LOL...I was wondering what that was too...(and now I know I've been reading this blog for way too long and it's way too late because your comment has me giggling hysterically)
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Quoting pcolasky:


Really? your spelling and grammer is lacking to say the least...keeep lurking
Maybe his spelling and grammer is fine in his native language! Some have no trouble understanding.
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Quoting serialteg:


What is that, the remnants of a kite?



haha wow, that made me laugh, no its the track of tropical storm delta, 2005, made landfall in Morocco
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
1924. Lizpr
So it start my struggle of going to bed or not lol I really want to see what's going to happen with Erika tonight =p. I thought for sure Erika was going to poof tonight.
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Quoting intunewindchime:
We should have "Talk like a pirate day" on the blog... Then Taz won't get picked on.


rofl

im not familiar with taz and how he writes but it was good nonetheless
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Quoting pcolasky:


not u Taz



ok
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1921. Patrap
Quoting bluewaterblues:


I have been around mostly lurking for a few years. I have seen a gazillion post from you and I have to ask....Is it possible for you to complete a sentence without butchering it!


Ill say this once and pay attention Blogger. If you want to Bash on Taz..your gonna Have to Go thru this Former Jarhead to do it.

You might be a Lurker,..and well...you might be very uninformed as to the Long road to becoming a Good Forecaster Taz has become.

Id apologize ASAP.

Or stay a Lurker and take that foot outta yer mouth.

Not everything is B&W in the WWW.

And now,..your Dismissed.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127512
Good night all,
Well it seems that the greater bit of lightning from Erika which St. Lucia was reporting earlier definitely appears to be affecting the islands of Dominica, Martinique and so far to a lesser extent Guadeloupe.

Conditions at Dominica's smaller airport, Canefield, in the south at 10:00 P.M. reported; Thunderstorm- Winds: South -South Easterly @ 10 gusting 25kt. (By 11:00 P.M. winds have shifted from the West-hmm? Erratic Erika again!) The Meteorological services of Dominica have been putting out posts this evening well beyond their normal period of cut off -inactivity which is a good precedent.
However, these conditions may catch a few persons in the Nature isle off guard. Nonetheless, it was great of the Barbados Government to have issued a Tropical storm warning for Dominica. That's a tell tale sign of Regional Unity/ sensibility -though it seems that lot of the people there may not have genuinely been aware of it since the Government of Dominica didn't expressly issue the warning. From the look on the satellite pics -Perhaps a tropical storm warning should have been issued for Martinique as well.

Now it seems that Erika's center of circulation is starting to look a lot more well defined on the FWI Radar (mosaic). It appears to be situated just north of Dominica (near Base Terre island of Guadeloupe) just waiting for the rest of its heaviest thunderstorm convection to 'catch up.'
Be careful all and God Bless especially all the affected islands tonight!
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1919. 7544
Quoting cchsweatherman:
Don't know about you all, but there are pretty decent odds that a new circulation center could take over overnight in the northern convective mass. Now, you may be wondering why I'm making such a claim. Well, first and foremost, convection has really been increasing with this northern region over the past several hours. Also, in analyzing the CIMSS products, you can clearly see that the strongest low-level vorticity maximum exists within the northern convective mass and there is far better low-level convergence occurring as well with this northern convective mass. Given the strong vorticity and better lower level convergence occurring with this northern convective mass, it would seem that a low-level circulation center could reform with Tropical Storm Erika there.


Exactly. Hit the spot.

agree bingo
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1918. KBH
For those who what to follow the 'splitting storm' theory, noaa defines it a splitting storm.

Does not happen alot, but here it is 'Splitting Storm - A thunderstorm which splits into two storms which follow diverging paths (a left mover and a right mover). The left mover typically moves faster than the original storm, the right mover, slower. Of the two, the left mover is most likely to weaken and dissipate (but on rare occasions can become a very severe anticyclonic-rotating storm), while the right mover is the one most likely to reach supercell status'. www.srh.noaa.gov

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i will start Ignoreing evere one when they start talking about the way i spell



i this added one to my Ignore do any one us like too join him???
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I think Erika is headed towards the EC. She looks to be holding on for dear life. Storms like these can have some tricks up there sleeves.
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Quoting hydrus:
Cool question. If I was a betting man I would say yes.

http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2F1520-0469%281978%29035197 4%3AANSOSS2.0.CO%3B2&ct=1
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We should have "Talk like a pirate day" on the blog... Then Taz won't get picked on.
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Quoting pcolasky:


Really? your spelling and grammer is lacking to say the least...keeep lurking


not u Taz
Quoting tornadodude:


What is that, the remnants of a kite?
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1910. Relix
Quoting serialteg:


Throw some East into it! BAM!


It's probably just gonna stall in front of PR again and relocate south. Just to... you know... make our lives happier.
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Quoting snow2fire:
atomaggie - I think I've heard of the analyses you're doing. Are these the very detailed storm impact analyses that are done in advance?

Almost never used as an operation forecast, but as an atlas of hypothetical storms or hindcasts. Then when a storm threatens, we can look at similar one that have been run.

BUT, getting more and more into trying to get this going as an operational surge forecast model.
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Quoting Tazmanian:




WHAT???


Really? your spelling and grammer is lacking to say the least...keeep lurking
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8201
Hmmm a split is possible by the looks of one of these pictures?


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting Relix:


She will move WNW and maybe even W. Jog a bit north who knows. Track will definitely change. Will pass over or about 70 miles north of PR if it keeps that way. It all depends on how strong she can get during DMAX.


Throw some East into it! BAM!
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Quoting Patrap:



Ok..I'll go with that as observed,..I noted the shear,but I wonder if that energy at the Lower Levels just may over come it.


It's beginning to look like Halloween for Hurricanes.
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Quoting bluewaterblues:


I have been around mostly lurking for a few years. I have seen a gazillion post from you and I have to ask....Is it possible for you to complete a sentence without butchering it!
Go back to lurking!
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1902. szqrn1
Quoting bluewaterblues:


I have been around mostly lurking for a few years. I have seen a gazillion post from you and I have to ask....Is it possible for you to complete a sentence without butchering it!


ya know people get to typing quickly.. sometimes one needs to do that to keep up with this blog.... so be nice... not grammar 101 here!
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Is this about the dynamical and statistical models?

I can tell you, that Stormwatcher person you quoted (which is fine) has been on my ignore list most of the season.

Sux when someone acts a little too goofy in here, gets ignored by a number of the serious folks, then they have an actual question that goes unanswered. Might have been the night of the F5 attack (was stupid after the first 2 hours). Iggy-ed a lot of people that night and unlike that other btnwntx dude, don't feel the need to strike up 2-way communication with them (while everyone else excitedly watches) when I do it.

Patrap posted a link to the definitive hurricane model description a while back.


I've never had to ignore anyone with the button. I just ignore them with my eyes!

Bloggers, all your messages I see. That don't mean I read them, but...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1899. Relix
Quoting pcolasky:


And pull her to more north! ??


She will move WNW and maybe even W. Jog a bit north who knows. Track will definitely change. Will pass over or about 70 miles north of PR if it keeps that way. It all depends on how strong she can get during DMAX.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Is this about the dynamical and statistical models?

I can tell you, that Stormwatcher person you quoted (which is fine) has been on my ignore list most of the season.

Sux when someone acts a little too goofy in here, gets ignored by a number of the serious folks, then they have an actual question that goes unanswered. Might have been the night of the F5 attack (was stupid after the first 2 hours). Iggy-ed a lot of people that night and unlike that other btnwntx dude, don't feel the need to strike up 2-way communication with them (while everyone else excitedly watches) when I do it.

Patrap posted a link to the definitive hurricane model description a while back.
I am sorry if for some reason you feel I offended you but I am on here to learn something. If I knew the answers I wouldn't ask the questions. I am a 53 year old adult and if I seem "goofy" to you for asking something I don't know then I apologize.
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Quoting PortABeachBum:

Just about to post a lesson here of Linear Algebra solving of and with PDEs.
LOL.
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Quoting bluewaterblues:


I have neen around mostly lurking for a few years. I have seen a gazillion post from you and I have to ask....Is it possible for you to complete a sentence without butchering it!




WHAT???
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Quoting Relix:


Exactly. Hit the spot.


And pull her to more north! ??
Quoting KBH:

So, you're basically in agreement that this system will split in two.?

Will not be two. Will be the northern one according to what I read there. Southern one would dissipate.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

My failure to understand multi-function-partial-differentials 55 years ago brought on an immediate rush to the Registrars office to drop "Advanced Applied Mathematics." I certainly hope that is all behind me, now!
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Quoting cchsweatherman:
Don't know about you all, but there are pretty decent odds that a new circulation center could take over overnight in the northern convective mass. Now, you may be wondering why I'm making such a claim. Well, first and foremost, convection has really been increasing with this northern region over the past several hours. Also, in analyzing the CIMSS products, you can clearly see that the strongest low-level vorticity maximum exists within the northern convective mass and there is far better low-level convergence occurring as well with this northern convective mass. Given the strong vorticity and better lower level convergence occurring with this northern convective mass, it would seem that a low-level circulation center could reform with Tropical Storm Erika there.

Good. Not a stable coc, necessarily, but could be.
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1889. jipmg
The "center" is being absorbed into the northern swirl, and its starting to dominate
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1888. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127512
1887. hydrus
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
A few of us have been asking this but none of the experts have kicked in with an answer yet.
Cool question. If I was a betting man I would say yes.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 20481

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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.