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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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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alright, one word, describe Erika

female (no offense intended) :O
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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) Susan Soltero breaks the rum canita bottle in between advisories

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!
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1834. Relix
Quoting TreasureCoastFl:
Erika got an STD and is very weak..


What the heck is a STD? Sexual Transmission Disease? XD!
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
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.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Quoting Relix:
Anyone can give me a summary of the past hour?
Erika got an STD and is very weak..
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
Quoting snow2fire:
atomaggie. On finite elements in storm surge modeling - cool!

FEA is just a tool that allows one to solve the equations. I think some of the weather models are using spherical particle hydronamics and other meshless methods too.

There are a lot of similarities between weather and materials. Sometimes the models don't work as well as hoped - you gotta find out the answer in the real world and figure out what went wrong with the huge model for next time.

You are right on with the CPU time thing, though. We run 3.6 million grid-point meshes that sometimes have such high spatial resolution that all physical equations have to be carried out every 0.5 simulated seconds.
3.6 M x all calculations every 0.5 seconds for 22 simulated days. (18 days just to propagate tides into Bay/estuaries correctly)
Easy to start wishing for more CPU power.
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Erika will be a TD by 5am and no longer a name strorm by 11am
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115435
I wonder if a tropical system has ever split into two distinct systems, like twin embryos?

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Quoting KBH:

hey storm, we seem to be on the same wavelength!
Erika does look like it is creating two areas of activity, maybe even two centres!
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.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
Quoting Chicklit:
1800. TreasureCoastFl 3:05 AM GMT on September 03, 2009
Quoting naplesdoppler:
As unpredictable as she's been I would say STD. LOL
haaa she has been hard to get rid of and pretty viral at times.

Blog Mom speaking: Let that be a lesson to you. You will never amount to anything with too many coc's at one time.


If I had only listened to my mom... ;)
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Quoting pipelines:


Seems possible. A storm with two circulation centers like our storm here. If it happens to hit a location with weak steering currents and one CoC goes lets say SW and the other NW I don't see any reason why two storms couldn't form. I think one of the models a few days ago actually predicted pre Erika would do this very thing.
I remeber when they said that would happen but this is weird. Looks like it wants to split into two separate systems. Maybe one going west and the other wnw.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
1824. 7544
looks like shes starting to fill in again but as per the forcast we are eihter going to see a big red ball or nada i vote for a big red ball afater dmax she gets another shot to go
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1823. Relix
Anyone can give me a summary of the past hour?
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
StormW - you do analyze pretty good! I've been lurking for years.

I'm a researcher... so by the time we figure out all the details, it's too late to do anyone any good.
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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????

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Quoting Chicklit:
1800. TreasureCoastFl 3:05 AM GMT on September 03, 2009
Quoting naplesdoppler:
As unpredictable as she's been I would say STD. LOL
haaa she has been hard to get rid of and pretty viral at times.

Blog Mom speaking: Let that be a lesson to you. You will never amount to anything with too many coc's at one time.


LOL, hope I don't get banned but I couldn't resist. The COC comment put the icing on the cake! hahahhaha
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atomaggie. On finite elements in storm surge modeling - cool!

FEA is just a tool that allows one to solve the equations. I think some of the weather models are using spherical particle hydronamics and other meshless methods too.

There are a lot of similarities between weather and materials. Sometimes the models don't work as well as hoped - you gotta find out the answer in the real world and figure out what went wrong with the huge model for next time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Chicklit:
1800. TreasureCoastFl 3:05 AM GMT on September 03, 2009
Quoting naplesdoppler:
As unpredictable as she's been I would say STD. LOL
haaa she has been hard to get rid of and pretty viral at times.

Blog Mom speaking: Let that be a lesson to you. You will never amount to anything with too many coc's at one time.


wow... lol
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1800. TreasureCoastFl 3:05 AM GMT on September 03, 2009
Quoting naplesdoppler:
As unpredictable as she's been I would say STD. LOL
haaa she has been hard to get rid of and pretty viral at times.

Blog Mom speaking: Let that be a lesson to you. You will never amount to anything with too many coc's at one time.
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1813. Patrap
Quoting Vortex95:
Patrap, I would like to apologize for the nasty comment I sent you I had a migrane earliar and sometimes I can get nasty. I usually keep my opinions to myself although I dunno what in the world I was talking about in that in which I sent you.



No Problem..if I got bent over every not so Kind wu-mail I ever received since July 06,over Politics,My role In Katrina,My Familys life in a FEMA trailer for 27 Months,or anything over Portlight etc,etc,..

I doubt Id be able to Babble.


Fergetaboutit,...Life's too short
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129402
Quoting iluvjess:
"My version of finite elements...in storm surge modeling.
ADCIRC grid example:"

Just out of curiosity, where is that?

Uh, that plot includes Seattle, Oregon, NOLA, and the Outer Banks.
See it at www.adcirc.org
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Thank you. So, in simple terms statistical is tracks of previous storms around the same area and dynamical is what is expected out of the current storm. Please correct me if I am wrong.I asked this same question earlier but no-one saw fit to answer.


Seems possible. A storm with two circulation centers like our storm here. If it happens to hit a location with weak steering currents and one CoC goes lets say SW and the other NW I don't see any reason why two storms couldn't form. I think one of the models a few days ago actually predicted pre Erika would do this very thing.
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Quoting SykKid:


WTF?!

haha u don't know what that means don't u
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1809. KBH
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I asked this same question earlier but no-one saw fit to answer.

hey storm, we seem to be on the same wavelength!
Erika does look like it is creating two areas of activity, maybe even two centres!
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
well iam out as well see ya all later in the am have a good night/ good morning


you too!
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Good of you to say.


It was more ignorant than nasty but still not right of me to say.
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1806. Brillig
Regarding the virus alerts, at work, I get a message that the connection was reset by the server if I use the blogs. This is something the firewall does. In a conversation with security folks, I was informed their system treats certing select statements (or maybe it's the compressed javascript, I don't know) as harmful.

The behavior continues on almost all wunderground pages until I clear cookies. It's only the cookie that gets set in the blogs that causes the problem.

But maybe this is a completely different issue, since I've had this problem for months.
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1805. DocBen
With Erika staying weak and reforming its center i wonder if she might slip across to the south of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico. With that she could be 're-born' in the western Caribbean and possibly into the Gulf of Mexico.
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1804. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
well iam out as well see ya all later in the am have a good night/ good morning
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I asked this same question earlier but no-one saw fit to answer.
I, for one, have no idea :)
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
It may be false alarm, but it doesn't explain some of the other side effects of McAfee blocking this file. There are no instructions for getting our script features back.
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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

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Quoting naplesdoppler:


As unpredictable as she's been I would say STD. LOL
haaa she has been hard to get rid of and pretty viral at times.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
1799. furacao


What do you think about this?
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:
Jane, you ignorant sl..


haha good one
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Convergence has changed a lot over the last 9 hours. It will be interesting to see what we have in the morning. Nite all.
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"My version of finite elements...in storm surge modeling.
ADCIRC grid example:"

Just out of curiosity, where is that?
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Quoting kmanhurricaneman:
at the risk of not sounding dumb is it possible for a storm to split in two , i have never seen that happen too many reasons for it not to happen , but really can it happen?
I asked this same question earlier but no-one saw fit to answer.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
1793. SykKid
Quoting btwntx08:

now ur # 39 i just about had it with u


WTF?!
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Quoting Vortex95:
Patrap, I would like to apologize for the nasty comment I sent you I had a migrane earliar and sometimes I can get nasty. I usually keep my opinions to myself although I dunno what in the world I was talking about in that in which I sent you.

Good of you to say.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Ridiculous post.
agree
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
1789. KBH
Quoting Patrap:
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.


Im in agreement that she will spin Out and go diffuse,as per the NHC


00 UTC Multiplatform Satellite Surface Wind Analysis

Another view, conventional thinking is that a system normally has one centre of circulation, is it possible that Erika actually formed with two areas of circulation, each effectively minimizing the effect of the other hence the uncertainty of where/ what the the system is going/doing?
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Quoting 1733. Drakoen 2:47 AM GMT on September 03, 2009 Avila taking note that a new center could form at any time
I think that's called CYA.
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1787. Patrap


1140. JeffMasters (Admin) 7:12 PM CDT on September 02, 2009

Quoting JeffMasters:
Many of you using the McAfee virus protection software reported today that wunderground web pages were triggering a Trojan virus alert.
Our thought at this point, from looking at the tickets, is that McAfee updated their virus files today and they've once again included JavaScript that is compressed with the compression tools we use, in their list. This is a false alarm.

Jeff Masters
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129402

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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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