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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Does it appear as Erika is re-organizing again a bit to the south of the current center?
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2835. IKE
I'll check back in a little while for the update.

Bye:)
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2834. centex
Did the two COC merge with the northern one moving down to the southern one?
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2833. Prgal
Good morning everyone! I wonder why people are saying that its a dead system and that its a no no storm. People, get real! We don't need a perfect storm to get problems from a system. Erika has been doing whatever she wants and that is scary. She is NOT behaving like the way mets are expecting...she is a lady that will do whatever she wants. She might get stronger...dissipates...but the truth is that even the rain can create problems for the islands and PR. People die from flooding...you know? Its like a wait and see game.
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2832. IKE
Quoting Orcasystems:


Now now Ike, give Kate back her stir stick.


Some of the comments on here...talk about wishcasters.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


You will see two 1008 and a 1009, the last one taken is 1010, that would mean its rising. Thats why they use 1010.


Yeah, totally my bad. Thanks

Erika, shame on you!
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Another point; the Recon planes are not in the storm 24/7 so as to cyclogenisis issues (TD or TS formation) and weak or weakening systems such as Erika, I'm sure that we have all tracked/seen storms that should perhaps not been declared (but were based upon sattelite presentation, etc.) which were very short-lived, or like Erika, seen storms weaken or dissipate but HNC has not been able/willing to downgrade the system yet and are waiting for recon to confirm the poor sattelite presentation. There is no real substitute for "on the ground" intel from the planes so no need to criticize NHC regardless of what we are "seeing" in the loops....They will downgrade when they reasonably eliminate the chance of a possible reorganization and confirm the lack of a viable lower level circulation.
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2828. IKE
The islands needed some rain. It's been a blessing for them that they got some.

As a wind event, it's been nonexistent.
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2827. LUCARIO
Quoting PensacolaBuoy:


This is why I like you. You don't let the computers do all the thinking for you! If the CMC is always right, as LUCARIO says, why has the track been pointed in a totally different direction the last three days? I hope the NHC isn't discounting this storm more than it should. There is a lot more complexity than usual to the shear environment. Shear is a fickled thing.


yes, NHC never could get hurricane IKE right, til the last day of land fall.

Erika will fall into her brother ike's path.
Quoting serialteg:


Get Google Earth and download the app from here.

This page should transform into a regular forum-like place so we could put stickies and tutorials like this one and sort things out a little better IMO

We could make tutorials for steering maps, all kinds of stuff ... and a page purely of links ...


Thanks!!
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Quoting IKE:


I never said RIP. I said they would downgrade it on the next advisory.

LMAO!


Now now Ike, give Kate back her stir stick.
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Watch and see, Erika’s antics will be published in meteorologist textbooks to show examples that a storm will do as it wishes, not we predict.
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2823. IKE
Quoting Relix:


They are checking. Can you really stop the obnoxious LOL RIP comments please? Let the pros decide what to do. Geesh.


I never said RIP. I said they would downgrade it on the next advisory.

LMAO!
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Quoting StormW:
Actually, I'm not buying the model guidance update that has been posted.


This is why I like you. You don't let the computers do all the thinking for you! If the CMC is always right, as LUCARIO says, why has the track been pointed in a totally different direction the last three days? I hope the NHC isn't discounting this storm more than it should. There is a lot more complexity than usual to the shear environment. Shear is a fickled thing.
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2820. Relix
Quoting IKE:


LOL! "Only uses 1010mb's"??????

That's the latest vortex message on this website.

Your comments are so laughable. Thanks...I needed it.


They are checking. Can you really stop the obnoxious LOL RIP comments please? Let the pros decide what to do. Geesh.
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Long time lurker from Palm Beach area, just thought I would throw this info out...I think Crown Weather has great storm information here is there update for this morning... Link
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Quoting serialteg:


Tbere is a 1008, I don't know why Ike only uses the 1010.

Check Google Earth's HHRecon app.


You will see two 1008 and a 1009, the last one taken is 1010, that would mean its rising. Thats why they use 1010.
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Quoting keys33070:


How do I do that?


Get Google Earth and download the app from here.

This page should transform into a regular forum-like place so we could put stickies and tutorials like this one and sort things out a little better IMO

We could make tutorials for steering maps, all kinds of stuff ... and a page purely of links ...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2816. Relix
Quoting DaytonaBeachWatcher:
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 03 SEP 2009 Time : 121500 UTC
Lat : 16:39:53 N Lon : 63:07:08 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.1 /1001.1mb/ 47.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
3.1 3.1 3.5

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.3mb

Center Temp : -61.5C Cloud Region Temp : -58.5C

Scene Type : CURVED BAND with 0.33 ARC in WHITE
Maximum CURVED BAND with 0.40 ARC in WHITE
at Lat: 15:51:35 N Lon: 63:06:36 W

Positioning Method : FORECAST INTERPOLATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 0.7T/6hr
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF


Weakening Flag off is pretty interesting. Erika is a mess an has been so for days now.
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2815. IKE
Quoting serialteg:


Tbere is a 1008, I don't know why Ike only uses the 1010.

Check Google Earth's HHRecon app.


LOL! "Only uses 1010mb's"??????

That's the latest vortex message on this website.

Your comments are so laughable. Thanks...I needed it.
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Quoting Grothar:


A place close to my heart. Great shot and great face. It is weather related. Don't worry about gettig banned.


Hi Grothar! You're so kind. Hope you're doing well. Looks like Erika has been given her pink slip. I just hope she doesn't turn out to be one of those disgruntled employees that comes back shooting. Reckon I’ll be a true believer when the fat lady sings; ‘til then, I’m a watchin’ ‘cause I know she’s a sneaky B…
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Good morning all! The $64,000 QUESTION IS- What "stunts" will TS Erica pull today? Will they downgrade her to a TD, then she'll shed the S sector and become a serious contender, will they say she's now an elongated trough, will she shrink down to a fit of convention, will she stay the same, will she fool everyone and intensify???????? Stand by and WATCH THE SHOW, LOL!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 03 SEP 2009 Time : 121500 UTC
Lat : 16:39:53 N Lon : 63:07:08 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.1 /1001.1mb/ 47.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
3.1 3.1 3.5

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.3mb

Center Temp : -61.5C Cloud Region Temp : -58.5C

Scene Type : CURVED BAND with 0.33 ARC in WHITE
Maximum CURVED BAND with 0.40 ARC in WHITE
at Lat: 15:51:35 N Lon: 63:06:36 W

Positioning Method : FORECAST INTERPOLATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 0.7T/6hr
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting serialteg:


Tbere is a 1008, I don't know why Ike only uses the 1010.

Check Google Earth's HHRecon app.


How do I do that?
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2808. LUCARIO
erika loves texas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Erika_(2003)

history will repeat its self just alot more north
2807. Grothar
Quoting serialteg:


Considering a couple of hours ago she was split in half, and hours before that the HH found stronger winds and 1004mb (vis a vis 1008 at 6AM EST today)...


True. Also, she is now not expected to go over Hispaniola, but through the Mona passage which i mentioned last night. Should not be much in the way of land interaction, but the shear is supposed to be high.
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2806. Relix
The circulation is weak as heck. They will probably downgrade it now even if it has some barbs of 40MPH+ winds. Pressure is too high... center is defined but not doing anything... it's enlogated... etc etc etc.
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Modified as per Epic Fail noted by Orca
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Morning All!

Looks like there is much less shear just below of the outflow layer from this mornings sounding from Saint Martin:

Saint Marting Sounding

However, San Juan sounding still showing 20kts of Southwest Shear at 250mb which is in the path of Erika though:

San Juan Puerto Rico Sounding
Quoting TheDawnAwakening:
Erika is three times at least the storm Ana or Danny ever were.


Agree!
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Quoting CaneHunter031472:


You are very right. When Florida got surprised a few years ago by a Hurricane (Charlie I believe) people here wanted the NHC guys head rolling, and now they get criticized for being cautios and maybe trending to keeping a Storm Upgraded. These people are the ones who feel like they know better and all the do is look down upon others. There are a whole bunch of those here. It is so easy to give your two cents when there is no accountability. I support the NHC and the have done a terrific Job ALWAYS. EVERY SEASON.....



It is also very important to keep in mind that no matter how many predictions are made, or what the computer models say, there is never and I mean never a guarantee to what a storm will do. I would rather they (NHC) continue to think on the side of what MAY happen. Just so that if Erika, or any other storm does intensify, we can be ready for it.
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2800. LUCARIO
CMC is always right
Quoting mikatnight:
I suppose it’s off topic and will probably get me banned, but…

Meet the new poster for global warming (climate change).


This photograph was captured at the Svalbard archipelago in Norway by marine photographer and environmental lecturer Michael Nolan while on an annual voyage to observe the glacier and its surrounding wildlife.


Yup about the ban, great sacrifice fly in the name of warming / art!
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2798. IKE
URNT12 KNHC 031212
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL062009
A. 03/11:47:30Z
B. 16 deg 47 min N
062 deg 57 min W
C. 850 mb 1522 m
D. 20 kt
E. 037 deg 74 nm
F. 096 deg 29 kt
G. 039 deg 91 nm
H. 1010 mb
I. 16 C / 1525 m
J. 19 C / 1524 m
K. 14 C / NA
L. NA
M. NA
N. 1345 / 8
O. 0.02 / 6 nm
P. AF307 0406A ERIKA OB 15
MAX FL WIND 49 KT E QUAD 10:48:50Z
MAX FL TEMP 26 C 002 / 34 NM FROM FL CNTR
ASSOCIATED DROP SONDE DATA ARE GOOD BUT DROP MESSAGE IS NOT AVAILABLE AT THIS TIME. SFC WIND FROM DROP SONDE WAS 11607KT.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2796. Grothar
Quoting mikatnight:
I suppose it’s off topic and will probably get me banned, but…

Meet the new poster for global warming (climate change).


This photograph was captured at the Svalbard archipelago in Norway by marine photographer and environmental lecturer Michael Nolan while on an annual voyage to observe the glacier and its surrounding wildlife.


A place close to my heart. Great shot and great face. It is weather related. Don't worry about gettig banned.
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Long time lurker, first time poster and weather watching is just a hobie. My question is... Our weather guy (WPB, FL) said that Erika will fail to develope, what is the probility of his prognosis?
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Quoting StormW:
Actually, I'm not buying the model guidance update that has been posted.


:/

Quoting serialteg:


StormW, hope you haven't gone out and maybe you answered my question back a while ago and I didn't get to read it, in that case ...

Could anyone had predicted that Erika would stall like this? She was moving regular-like and just stopped. Some systems run into the high shear, but she just stopped a bit behind it... was it because of the Mid-Level shear I wasn't watching? What features should I (and others) have been looking, what indicators?

This seems to happen a lot especially here close to the Caribbean and I would like to be able to tell it better.


and thanks lol i know you may be probly busy doing stuff!
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Quoting StormW:
Actually, I'm not buying the model guidance update that has been posted.

rhut rho
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Quoting SBG:


I get it that most people on here for the science and something meets the definition of something or doesn't. However, it comes down to what is the responsibility of the NHC. I am not a science person so I am not hung up on them getting it 100% right. I only care about people protecting life primarily and property. That is what I think the NHC cares most about as well. So what is so bad about them erring on the side of caution?

I was 25 when Andrew hit. It was written off as dead several days before. Surprise!! Now, I am not saying Erika will become an Andrew or that danny wase ever poised to do so. However, I think NHC learned a valuable lesson there. I applaud them when they are over cautious. Let the bloggers and Dr. Grays of the world debate the science all they want. I want the NHC to always err on the side of caution. If keeping a name one advisory longer keeps 1 small boat out of the water and saves 1 life as a result, it is a good thing.


You are very right. When Florida got surprised a few years ago by a Hurricane (Charlie I believe) people here wanted the NHC guys head rolling, and now they get criticized for being cautios and maybe trending to keeping a Storm Upgraded. These people are the ones who feel like they know better and all the do is look down upon others. There are a whole bunch of those here. It is so easy to give your two cents when there is no accountability. I support the NHC and the have done a terrific Job ALWAYS. EVERY SEASON.....
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Quoting JLPR:
looks like a decent LLC


there, I know this must have been posted a while back but I just logged in xD


Thank you JL, right on cue
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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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