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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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: 10409

1660. Drakoen 2:16 AM GMT on September 03, 2009
The wave near to coast of Africa already shows signs of organization. An 850mb maximum is noted on the equatorward end of the wave axis. Cimms low level winds show sharp lower to mid level curvature. A large upper level anticyclone is just east of the system.
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1684. Patrap


Here ya go Patrap -- Gustav just before it was declared a TD



LOL..Dat be it fer sure. I have it in My Photobucket,..somewhere...amongst the Garbage<
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This has been a very odd storm to say the least.
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1682. ssmate
KOTG, I think the storm is stationary and islands are moving east.
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I am scheduled to leave FTL for PR tomorrow at 6:00pm. Do I bail? Do I go? Help!
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1620. TexNowNM
You're welcome. Can't take credit for the list, but I am, in fact, rocking, even as we converse.
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Parting shot, I see the models backed down from the 140 knot nasty-cane one of the CHIPS ensemble members wanted to give us last run.

Maybe by tomorrow afternoon, they will have a clue. No faith in them right now, though.
Apparently HWRF has no problem being a loner. Sticks way out as the outlier.
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Quoting Patrap:



We saw that exact same Dvorak,BD look when Gustav was forming..creepy Alien we call it


Here ya go Patrap -- Gustav just before it was declared a TD

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1677. kachina
Quoting Drakoen:
The wave near to coast of Africa already shows signs of organization. An 850mb maximum is noted on the equatorward end of the wave axis. Cimms low level winds show sharp lower to mid level curvature. A large upper level anticyclone is just east of the system.


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

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Speaking of a Hurricane Ethel...from Wiki..

Hurricane Ethel formed in the Gulf of Mexico on the morning of 14 September 1960, rapidly intensified into a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane, and weakened back to a tropical storm before making landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi, the next evening. Because of the rapid weakening, the storm caused little damage and no deaths.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11264
1675. Acorna
Quoting atmoaggie:
Could someone in the Lesser Antillies please put out some Ritalin for Erika?

Erika, the ADD of tropical systems.

Going to Bermuda, going to east coast, going to the Caribbean.
Little shear, a lot of shear.
No dry air, a lot of dry air, no dry air.
60 mph, 35 mph, 50 mph, 35 mph.
Moving 10 mph, not moving, moving a little.
a COC here, a COC there, here a COC, there a COC, everywhere a COC.
Old Altantic had a TC, and in it was an ADD TS Erika.
e - i - e - i - o

G'Nite, y'all
Thanks for that laugh, haha. Have a good night!
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1674. hydrus
Quoting Patrap:
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.
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1673. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 173 Comments: 54338
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Im out for the night, have a good night everyone!

-miamihurricanes09


Goodnight, you too!
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1671. 7544
CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
2.9 /1003.3mb/ 43.0kt
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6855
Could someone in the Lesser Antillies please put out some Ritalin for Erika?

Erika, the ADD of tropical systems.

Going to Bermuda, going to east coast, going to the Caribbean.
Little shear, a lot of shear.
No dry air, a lot of dry air, no dry air.
60 mph, 35 mph, 50 mph, 35 mph.
Moving 10 mph, not moving, moving a little.
a COC here, a COC there, here a COC, there a COC, everywhere a COC.
Old Altantic had a TC, and in it was an ADD TS Erika.
e - i - e - i - o

G'Nite, y'all
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1669. kachina
Quoting StormW:
As promised.

TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS SPECIAL EDITION SEP. 02, 2009 ISSUED 10:00 P.M. EDT


Thanks Storm!
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Im out for the night, have a good night everyone!

-miamihurricanes09
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting wcoastfl:


Quote

GeoffreyWPB 2:08 AM GMT on September 03, 2009
Wouldn't it be funny if somehow Erika was retired this year, and six years from now we had Fred and Ethel? I know...I'm tired.

If that happened, then NHC would lot's splaining to do


Good one!
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11264
1666. ssmate
Quoting Patrap:



We saw that exact same Dvorak,BD look when Gustav was forming..creepy Alien we call it.



That is nasty.
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Thank you Storm...I can tell you are tired from tracking this storm!
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11264
Quoting StormW:
As promised.

TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS SPECIAL EDITION SEP. 02, 2009 ISSUED 10:00 P.M. EDT
Thanks for the update.. It made things a lot clearer to me.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392
1663. hydrus
Quoting Patrap:



We saw that exact same Dvorak,BD look when Gustav was forming..creepy Alien we call it.

Erika (post#1555) looks like a fish with heart shaped lips going after a piece of food>>lol.
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Quote

GeoffreyWPB 2:08 AM GMT on September 03, 2009
Wouldn't it be funny if somehow Erika was retired this year, and six years from now we had Fred and Ethel? I know...I'm tired.

If that happened, then NHC would lot's splaining to do
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Don't laugh, but any chance there could be 2 COC??? Has it ever happened and could it happen?? OK, its ok to laugh!!
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1660. Drakoen
The wave near to coast of Africa already shows signs of organization. An 850mb maximum is noted on the equatorward end of the wave axis. Cimms low level winds show sharp lower to mid level curvature. A large upper level anticyclone is just east of the system.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30562
Quoting StormW:
As promised.

TROPICAL WEATHER SYNOPSIS SPECIAL EDITION SEP. 02, 2009 ISSUED 10:00 P.M. EDT


YAY! thanks Storm!
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hi thelmores!
yes, that one is a monster.
will either fizzle out once it gets into water or end up as a fishstorm lol.
it's 2009, all of the systems are behaving themselves (so far!)
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Quoting Patrap:



We saw that exact same Dvorak,BD look when Gustav was forming..creepy Alien we call it.

Looks almost identical to Erika. Weird and look how Gustav developed and he had a tough time too. Seems about in the same location also.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8392
Interesting...
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Looks like a burst above the islands on "E", could see it move north of land. I dont think I will be sleeping much over the next few
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Impressive! Interesting to watch this wave over the next couple days......

Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
Quoting amd:
winds are a puny 5 mph from the east in anguila which is just to the east of the convection buildup east of the island.


Think you mean Antigua. ;)
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Quoting missmaxi:

When you say Florida, where?
South, Central or North????
BTW, welcome to our insanity, I hope your eye sight is better than mine.
Too much confusion with Erica, I wish she would make up her mind.
i say south florida
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1648. Patrap
Quoting DestinJeff:
Erika might pay Kman a visit at this rate ...


Yup..all 16 Swirls embedded Included..LOL
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1647. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)


PAGASA name Labuyo
TD 93W
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1646. Patrap
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Quoting DestinJeff:
Erika might pay Kman a visit at this rate ...


I hope not LOL
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1644. centex
Being still on the S team I agree patrap recent comments. I think we will know in a couple of hours, if the N starts to fad and S starts cranking it up again once it's under the best convection, looks like it already starting that process by the convection moving quickly toward the S COC.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3260
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
IF the northern LLC is the dominating one and Erika begins WNW movement quickly then I would have to say Florida might be in for a hell of a surprise.

BUT not so fast, it is still moving west:

When you say Florida, where?
South, Central or North????
BTW, welcome to our insanity, I hope your eye sight is better than mine.
Too much confusion with Erica, I wish she would make up her mind.
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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
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1641. kachina
Quoting TreasureCoastFl:

http://vil.mcafeesecurity.com/vil/content/v_218755.htm


Yup....overview says it's a false positive that the program was citing as a trojan.
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Quoting TexNowNM:
HIEXPRESS you rock!!

I didn't know that list of recommended books existed on this blog. Thanks for taking the time to let me know it does. I already see several I must have.

Anyone else who wants to recommend a book about an historical hurricane, please do.

Thanks

A couple of scientific inaccuracies in it, but I found Sudden Sea, the Great Hurricane of 1938 by R. A. Scott pretty good on a couple of levels. It is a bit heavy into the personal accounts.

Pat Fitzpatrick has an excellent book on everything hurricanes. Includes good enough science to be well versed on most anything that you would see on this blog and a good coverage of the subject's history. http://books.google.com/books?id=aJz0y__JHsYC&dq=fitzpatrick hurricanes&printsec=frontcover&source= bl&ots=IweKvHe0bs&sig=ZGKmsN2fRWwACAdvKg0gWMJGNaM&hl=en&ei=eSWfSoTtDcmK8QbniqTaDw&sa=X&oi=book_resul t&ct=result&resnum=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false

An easy read about the subject from a PhD in the field. Studied under Bill Gray. Well respected, etc.
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The new center is at 18.6N and 56.2W. It has retrograded. Take a look at the latest visible loop to confirm.
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You're welcome. You deserve it.
I hope you just join in on the banter.
I often find 'the kids' are much smarter and more astute than most of us, especially regarding the technical issues.
(I have a very smart boy, too, who is no longer at home...Hope I don't embarrass you! He was always mortified by me.)
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Quoting eddye:
were not saying goodbye were saying hello to erika


"you say goodbye, I say hello..."
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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.