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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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: 22697
1886. BtnTx
I hope the fires in CA are staying far away from you!
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Quoting Tazmanian:
02/2345 UTC 16.1N 62.9W T1.5/2.0 ERIKA


TD by AM has i said


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!
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1884. KBH
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.

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

I say we hypothesis a bit and see where it goes, some of the best ideas come from the people at the bottom, who don't know alot

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.
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Lol finding the center of Erika and where she is gonna pop up next is like playing marco polo
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1880. Patrap
Quoting StormW:
1851. Patrap 11:21 PM EDT on September 02, 2009
Senior Chief..if ya still with us,check out how fast the Ne GOM is Filling in that er,area..
Watcha think come the am.


GOMEX is slated for high wind shear next 96 hours according to the latest runs.



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.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
1879. Relix
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.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
Quoting StormW:
1832. stormwatcherCI 11:14 PM EDT on September 02, 2009
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
I wonder if a tropical system has ever split into two distinct systems, like twin embryos?


A few of us have been asking this but none of the experts have kicked in with an answer yet.


Don't quote me fully, as I am dog tired and have a very bad sinus headache...I believe one year a system did that. Hard to recall, as I've dealt with so many storms, it's hard to remember all the details of every system during 8-10 years. But what basically happens, if it is the case, conditions have to be like perfect, as the LLC can get seprated, and could regenerate, and what energy is left at the mid level, could work down.

I'm out.
Thank you. Hope you feel better tomorrow.
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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.
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1876. Patrap
Ill tozz in a Bone for the Erika Hanger On's..

The Only thing Erika can do,,to survive the next 24,till she runs into a Boatload of Shear at various Heights..is this


Notice how the two convective Burst are Kinda Balanced and Symmetrical?..

If,..and itsa Big if..She can form a Tight CoC between the two..Maybe,Maybe she can sustain a Lil Convection and try,and I empathize try,..to Build a Column,..a warm column.

If she cant,well..best Look east for some action or the Ne Gom, Se US coast.



re: earlier: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: 428 Comments: 129902
Quoting Relix:
I see the system seems to have split up, but the convection to the south is dying while the one to the north is blooming and moving WNW towards Puerto Rico. It seems it has done another of its famous COC relocations.


Northern islands will get soaked
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6456
Quoting Nolehead:
TreasureCoastFl 3:17 AM GMT on September 03, 2009
Quoting Nolehead:
1786. GeoffreyWPB 3:01 AM GMT on September 03, 2009
Quoting mobilegirl81:
The NHC is saying it will probably become a depression or dissapate because it is the only logical explanantion without saying "We don't know".


Ridiculous post.

um....not really...seems everyone are scratching there heads on this one...why down her for just making a point??? like your forcast is any better????




You really believe they would say it is likely to become a depression or dissapate because "they don't know"? Come on..


of course they wouldn't put it that way...ok Mr. smarty pants let's here your forcast?? personaly i think it's going to form in the GOM..do i want it too?? NO! but at least i'm putting something out there and not slamming someone's ideas
I'm a missy pants (I'll leave out the smarty) . My apologies if I offended you but I really dont buy into the theories that they are just making it up cuz they don't know. They seem to know.. IMO
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1873. kachina
Quoting Relix:
Anyone can give me a summary of the past hour?


1. It's growing.
2. It's not growing.
3. It's headed for the CONUS.
4. It's a fish.

That about wraps it up I think. *wink*
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1872. Relix
Quoting BenBIogger:


Lacking the south?
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
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Quoting TropicalGenesis:
Nothing much yet on the long range radar out of San Juan, PR
obviously so, is out of reach, 350 plus miles away.
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Erika looks better in the martinique radar. Link
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:
I guess there's a conspiracy theory for everything, eh?


I'm kind of used to it, but it still struck me when I read it.

"It will either degenerate... or regenerate."

All right!
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1866. Relix
I see the system seems to have split up, but the convection to the south is dying while the one to the north is blooming and moving WNW towards Puerto Rico. It seems it has done another of its famous COC relocations.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
Quoting KBH:

I say we hypothesis a bit and see where it goes, some of the best ideas come from the people at the bottom, who don't know alot
wow.. what snobbery. lol
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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?
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Quoting StormW:
Quoting snow2fire:
StormW - I'm somewhat familiar with finite element analysis and some of the meshless methods for stress/strain. Things get complicated quickly and it's burns up computing power. It's hard to understand the models equations unless you're very familiar with the underlying math.


You're point? I think I analyze pretty darn good.
Agree, you are the most professional forecaster on this blog.
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Nothing much yet on the long range radar out of San Juan, PR
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TreasureCoastFl 3:17 AM GMT on September 03, 2009
Quoting Nolehead:
1786. GeoffreyWPB 3:01 AM GMT on September 03, 2009
Quoting mobilegirl81:
The NHC is saying it will probably become a depression or dissapate because it is the only logical explanantion without saying "We don't know".


Ridiculous post.

um....not really...seems everyone are scratching there heads on this one...why down her for just making a point??? like your forcast is any better????




You really believe they would say it is likely to become a depression or dissapate because "they don't know"? Come on..


of course they wouldn't put it that way...ok Mr. smarty pants let's here your forcast?? personaly i think it's going to form in the GOM..do i want it too?? NO! but at least i'm putting something out there and not slamming someone's ideas
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Quoting serialteg:


Probly because they want to be right either way. It's either a boy, or a girl.

Wait, you can be both...
I guess there's a conspiracy theory for everything, eh?
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:
well, I did find this:
.. in 2004 the extratropical remnants of Hurricane Ivan split into an upper-level disturbance that sped away through New England while the low-level circulation tracked south off the east coast and re-developed into a tropical storm.


It happened before, but in this case very unlikely. Erika should continue to dissipate and byt the time it hits Hispaniola it will already be a low not even a TD. Once it gets there whatever is left will just dissapear. Good foight she put thought, but the odds were against it from the beginning. Hopefully we will get another year like this in 2010. Very difficult for hurricane formation this year, Early Fall. I am actually much more concerned for this comming winter which if these patterns hold. It could be brutal. It will make people pray for global warming...
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Quoting Relix:


What the heck is a STD? Sexual Transmission Disease? XD!


STD(Systemic Trans-central Dislocation) of an aggressive nature of course :)
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1854. hydrus
Quoting Dakster:


I'd like you to take a rosarch test, I can only IMAGINE the results.
bring it.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22697
Quoting KBH:
good facts, but did you find out what caused it to split?
They weren't getting along? lol
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1851. Patrap
Senior Chief..if ya still with us,check out how fast the Ne GOM is Filling in that er,area..
Watcha think come the am..?

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Quoting Relix:
By the way, seriously, I woke up today at 6AM dreaming about latitude changes, I am not kidding any of you. Thought it would be by 18N already then BAM... 16.5N. Wow what a shock.

@Taz: You've been killing Erika for a week now, give her the benefit of doubt. She has dmax ahead and great convergence. Let's see what she does first.



ok it has in tell the end of the day thurday
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Quoting Relix:


What the heck is a STD? Sexual Transmission Disease? XD!
or a strong tropical depression? I'm confused about it all anymore ;)
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1846. Relix
By the way, seriously, I woke up today at 6AM dreaming about latitude changes, I am not kidding any of you. Thought it would be by 18N already then BAM... 16.5N. Wow what a shock.

@Taz: You've been killing Erika for a week now, give her the benefit of doubt. She has dmax ahead and great convergence. Let's see what she does first.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
Quoting TreasureCoastFl:


You really believe they would say it is likely to become a depression or dissapate because "they don't know"? Come on..


Probly because they want to be right either way. It's either a boy, or a girl.

Wait, you can be both...
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1844. KBH
good facts, but did you find out what caused it to split?
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StormW I do materials science R&D - mostly on why things break when they do. I've been involved in hurricane damage after the fact (Andrew - FL and Mitch - Honduras).
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1842. Relix
@serialteg: LOL!! Well you lightened my mood... amplified by PR's victory over Dominican Republic in basketball hahhaa.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
Quoting serialteg:
Evenin. Just came out of my 24 hour holding, probly on parole.

Tonight's top ten!

You know Erika hasn't died down when

9) Stormno tells you he has no more forks to put in it

8) WUnderground bans me for this off-topic post

7) NHC says it may degenerate, or regenerate, in the same sentence

6) People are still forecasting a Florida hit

5) You can locate the F5 key in your sleep

4) You hear the updates on the storm every 5 minutes (only applies in Puerto Rico and the Islands)

3) Hurricane hunters visit a dissipating storm at least 3 times in 24 hours

2) Dvorak numbers were up to 4 just the night before

And #1...

You'll be here for the next three hours!


LOL!
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 25 Comments: 8360
02/2345 UTC 16.1N 62.9W T1.5/2.0 ERIKA


TD by AM has i said
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Quoting Nolehead:
1786. GeoffreyWPB 3:01 AM GMT on September 03, 2009
Quoting mobilegirl81:
The NHC is saying it will probably become a depression or dissapate because it is the only logical explanantion without saying "We don't know".


Ridiculous post.


um....not really...seems everyone are scratching there heads on this one...why down her for just making a point??? like your forcast is any better????



You really believe they would say it is likely to become a depression or dissapate because "they don't know"? Come on..
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Storm,

It seems like the coming weeks are going to be active. There has not been much talk of El Nino along with the upper winds...what gives?
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1837. KBH
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
A few of us have been asking this but none of the experts have kicked in with an answer yet.

I say we hypothesis a bit and see where it goes, some of the best ideas come from the people at the bottom, who don't know alot
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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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