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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Are hurricane hunters currently investigating the storm?
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If they gave away Academy Awards away for the most unpredicatable, fickle, number of COC's and COC relocations, sheered, direction changes, quick intensification, then almost dropping dead, the winner would be, "ERIKA"!!
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StormW - Thanks for the update. It motivated me to actually look up the difference between statistical and dynamic models. I think I get it – sort of.
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1733. Drakoen
Avila taking note that a new center could form at any time.
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Quoting JLPR:
Well Erika is exploding and im expecting her LLC at 17-18N to have taken over by tomorrow morning



COC replacement cycle?
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Quoting Patrap:



Technical Attachment

AN OVERVIEW OF NHC PREDICTION MODELS

Bernard N. Meisner
Scientific Services Division
National Weather Service Southern Region
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.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8278
Reapeting the satellite loop that JLPR posted, it looks like there are three different circulations within Erika. Take a look.

I see one at 18N 57W, one at 16N 63.5W which was the main circulation earlier today, and now the HH's are showing another 1007 MB one forming at 17N 61W. Jeez, this thing is just a total mess.
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Quoting tornadodude:


today has been a fairly peaceful and humorous day on the blog :)
care to do a week in review? lol
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 467
1727. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
ZCZC MIATCDAT1 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
TROPICAL STORM ERIKA DISCUSSION NUMBER 6
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062009
1100 PM AST WED SEP 02 2009

ERIKA IS BARELY A TROPICAL STORM. DATA FROM A RECONNAISSANCE PLANE A
FEW HOURS AGO AND OBSERVATIONS FROM THE LESSER ANTILLES INDICATE
THAT ERIKA IS VERY DISORGANIZED AND CONSISTS OF A BROAD ELONGATED
CYCLONIC CIRCULATION WITH TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS IN
SQUALLS...LIMITED TO A FEW SPOTS OVER THE EASTERN SEMICIRCLE. A NEW
CENTER COULD REFORM AT ANY TIME WITHIN THE LARGE GYRE. INFRARED
PICTURES SUGGEST THAT THERE IS UPPER-LEVEL OUTFLOW IN ALL
QUADRANTS...BUT THERE IS ALSO SHEAR CAUSED BY WINDS BELOW THE
CIRRUS CANOPY BECAUSE THE CENTER CONTINUES TO BE LOCATED ON THE
WESTERN EDGE OF A STRONG AREA OF CONVECTION. IT APPEARS THAT ERIKA
IS ON ITS WAY TO DEGENERATE INTO A TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE OR REFORM
SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE CIRCULATION. GLOBAL MODELS ARE FORECASTING A
LITTLE MORE FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT IN 12 TO 24 HOURS AND THAT IS THE
REASON THE OFFICIAL FORECAST CALLS FOR NO CHANGE IN INTENSITY
DURING THE NEXT 12 HOURS. THEREAFTER...THE COMBINATION OF VERY
HOSTILE UPPER-LEVEL WESTERLIES AND THE LAND MASS OF HISPANIOLA
ALONG THE PATH OF THE CYCLONE...WOULD RESULT IN WEAKENING. THE HWRF
IS THE ONLY MODEL THAT FORECAST ERIKA TO BECOME A STRONG HURRICANE
AND THIS IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY TO OCCUR.

THE CENTER OF THE LARGE CIRCULATION ENVELOPE HAS BEEN MOVING
WESTWARD AT 7 KNOTS. THE CYCLONE SHOULD BE STEERED TOWARD THE
WEST-NORTHWEST DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS AROUND THE SUBTROPICAL
RIDGE WHICH IS FORECAST TO BUILD WESTWARD BY THE GLOBAL MODELS.
THE TRACK GUIDANCE IS LIMITED SINCE VARIOUS MODELS WEAKEN THE
CYCLONE WITH TIME AND THE TRACKERS NO LONGER FOLLOW THE CENTER.
HOWEVER...THE AVAILABLE CONSENSUS ALSO SUGGESTS THAT ERIKA OR ITS
REMNANTS SHOULD MOVE TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST UNTIL DISSIPATION
AND SO DOES THE OFFICIAL FORECAST.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 03/0300Z 16.1N 62.4W 35 KT
12HR VT 03/1200Z 16.4N 63.8W 35 KT
24HR VT 04/0000Z 17.0N 65.5W 30 KT
36HR VT 04/1200Z 18.0N 67.0W 30 KT
48HR VT 05/0000Z 18.5N 68.5W 30 KT...INLAND
72HR VT 06/0000Z 20.0N 71.0W 25 KT...REMNANT LOW
96HR VT 07/0000Z 22.0N 73.0W 20 KT...REMNANT LOW
120HR VT 08/0000Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER AVILA

NNNN


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 03/0300Z 16.1N 62.4W 35 KT
12HR VT 03/1200Z 16.4N 63.8W 35 KT
24HR VT 04/0000Z 17.0N 65.5W 30 KT
36HR VT 04/1200Z 18.0N 67.0W 30 KT
48HR VT 05/0000Z 18.5N 68.5W 30 KT...INLAND
72HR VT 06/0000Z 20.0N 71.0W 25 KT...REMNANT LOW
96HR VT 07/0000Z 22.0N 73.0W 20 KT...REMNANT LOW
120HR VT 08/0000Z...DISSIPATED

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11002
Quoting midgulfmom:
Lots of comics tonight. Enjoying it. :D BBL....


today has been a fairly peaceful and humorous day on the blog :)
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1724. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
now everyone can go to bed,, LOL
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11:00 PM AST Wed Sep 2
Location: 16.1°N 62.4°W
Max sustained: 40 mph
Moving: W at 9 mph
Min pressure: 1008 mb
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8278
Quoting StormW:
TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS SPECIAL EDITION SEP. 02, 2009 ISSUED 10:00 P.M. EDT


Ty StormW. Seeing lots of lightning off in the distance... will be interesting to see what we get from this girl tonight.
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1721. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
** WTNT31 KNHC 030241 ***
TCPAT1
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM ERIKA ADVISORY NUMBER 6
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062009
1100 PM AST WED SEP 02 2009

...ERIKA MOVING WESTWARD...EXPECTED TO WEAKEN...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR DOMINICA
GUADELOUPE... ST. MARTIN...ST. BARTHELEMY... ANTIGUA...
BARBUDA...MONTSERRAT...ST. KITTS...NEVIS...ANGUILLA...ST.
MAARTEN...SABA...AND ST. EUSTATIUS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR PUERTO RICO...THE U.S.
AND THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS.

...SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST INFORMATION...
LOCATION...16.1N 62.4W
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WEST OR 270 DEGREES AT 9 MPH
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1008 MB

12HR VT 03/1200Z 16.4N 63.8W 35 KT
24HR VT 04/0000Z 17.0N 65.5W 30 KT
48HR VT 05/0000Z 18.5N 68.5W 30 KT...INLAND
72HR VT 06/0000Z 20.0N 71.0W 25 KT...REMNANT LOW


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Lots of comics tonight. Enjoying it. :D BBL....
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1719. Patrap
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
What is the difference between the statistical models and the dynamic models please.



Technical Attachment

AN OVERVIEW OF NHC PREDICTION MODELS

Bernard N. Meisner
Scientific Services Division
National Weather Service Southern Region
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Quoting Vortex95:
wow im surpiwsed the blog is flatlined before 11pm shows how sick they are of this bloddy system. I just want it to go away and track a run of the mill storm.


Yup.. I am so sick of it that I've started posting images of previous storms just to keep myself amused.
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Quoting StormW:
TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS SPECIAL EDITION SEP. 02, 2009 ISSUED 10:00 P.M. EDT


Thanks StormW, a good read as always.
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1714. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
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1713. Patrap
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Quoting Patrap:
00Z 2 Sept Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)

What is the difference between the statistical models and the dynamic models please.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8278
1711. Dakster
Stormw - Erika keeping you up late tonight?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
1710. Patrap
00Z 3 Sept Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)


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1709. ssmate
Easy Dakster, she's only a Tropical Storm and barely that.
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1707. Patrap
00Z 2 Sept Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)

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...have yourselves a good evening. And if you find you're not sleeping well - just blame the moon. P451
Love that.
Blame the moon.
Goodnight!
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Im out for the night, have a good night everyone!

-miamihurricanes09
Back at ya!
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1702. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Disturbance Summary
9:00 AM JST September 3 2009
=========================================

SUBJECT: Developing Low In Sea East Of Kurils Island

At 0:00 AM UTC, Developing Low, Former Krovanh (998 hPa) located at 46.0N 166.0E. The low is reported as moving east-northeast at 15 knots.
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Looks as our young vampiress is not as anxious to feed this eve as last...
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It looks like Erika may finally form that equatorward outflow channel I have been waiting to see develop to show me a sustainable intensification period. Last night I should have known better when there was no feeder bands to show that it had a well defined center. I am not saying that it does now, but the outflow channel is a start.
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Quoting TwoEyedJack2004:
I am scheduled to leave FTL for PR tomorrow at 6:00pm. Do I bail? Do I go? Help!

Depends on what you're going for.
If you want sunny skies, you'll prolly get rain.
If you just want to go, then go.
Erika is not forecasted to strengthen that much between now and tomorrow.
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1698. JLPR
Well Erika is exploding and im expecting her LLC at 17-18N to have taken over by tomorrow morning

Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
Sorry folks, but I dont think Erika is finished. Its still there and and not going away. Atmospheric conditions can change in a night.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Why are you referring to an entertainment blog instead of what the offical NWS advisories are putting out?


I say go, Erika won't do you any harm, maybe a shower and a few clouds
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1695. BDADUDE
Quoting TwoEyedJack2004:
I am scheduled to leave FTL for PR tomorrow at 6:00pm. Do I bail? Do I go? Help!

Of course you go dude. Dont be so silly.
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 602
Quoting kachina:


And that will probably become Fred and be a monster of a storm. I'm figuring that solely on the fact that there's a "Fred" in my office and he is the biggest pain the butt that's always puffing himself up in conversation. LOL



WOW you must work with my brother in law Fred! If TC Fred is anything like him.. I'm outta here, cause once he comes over you can never get rid of him!
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1693. Dakster
Quoting hydrus:
Erika (post#1555) looks like a fish with heart shaped lips going after a piece of food>>lol.


I'd like you to take a rosarch test, I can only IMAGINE the results.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034
Quoting StormW:
As promised.

TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS SPECIAL EDITION SEP. 02, 2009 ISSUED 10:00 P.M. EDT
Thanks, clear and individualized synopsis. I look forward to every one!
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Quoting TwoEyedJack2004:
I am scheduled to leave FTL for PR tomorrow at 6:00pm. Do I bail? Do I go? Help!


Why are you referring to an entertainment blog instead of what the offical NWS advisories are putting out?
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11002
1690. Patrap
Quoting hydrus:
PATRAP-I think that low pressure is going to form(non-tropical) off the S.E. U.S. or G.O.M. and move n.e. up the seaboard, and high pressure will build in behind it.After that ,who knows.


Thats a definite Possibility for sure.

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Yep. and just think, Fred hasn't even come yet.
Boys are easier, in a way, lol.
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1687. Dakster
Quoting kmanislander:
When you run this loop the wind barbs show an elogated wind / low stretching from the SW of Guadeloupe to the NE of that island.

Maybe there is really only one S T R E T C H E D center !. In any event it will be until tomorrow until we know the truth about this, MAYBE LOL

I am out for now. May be back in an hour or so but if not catch you tomorrow.

Ramsdis Loop


Yep. and just think, Fred hasn't even come yet.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10034

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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.