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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Quoting Drakoen:
Erika has a low chance of surviving if the center being tracked by the NHC becomes dominant. It needs the northern circulation.

Well look at her NOW!! DMIN is on & so is Erika!! Go Erika GO!!
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1286. eddye
DRAKOEN THIS STILL HAS A GOOD CHANCE
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1285. Relix
Quoting Drakoen:
Erika has a low chance of surviving if the center being tracked by the NHC becomes dominant. It needs the northern circulation.


Do you think the one in the north is becoming the dominant one? IMO it is.
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1284. msphar
Bizarre night. Look at Jimena's actual track and Erika at the same time. Both grossly missed.
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Quoting amd:
Reply to post 1254:

I absolutely agree that the NHC may downgrade it, and downgrade it soon. There is not much evidence to suggest that surface winds of at least 39 mph exists anymore. And, if Erika does not reform its center in the convection to the east of Antigua (where I think a 2nd center exists), it will probably be a depression tomorrow morning while recon investigates Erika.


me three. This probably will be downgraded.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
1282. Drakoen
Erika has a low chance of surviving if the center being tracked by the NHC becomes dominant. It needs the northern circulation.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30494
1280. amd
Reply to post 1254:

I absolutely agree that the NHC may downgrade it, and downgrade it soon. There is not much evidence to suggest that surface winds of at least 39 mph exists anymore. And, if Erika does not reform its center in the convection to the east of Antigua (where I think a 2nd center exists), it will probably be a depression tomorrow morning while recon investigates Erika.


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1279. Ossqss
Here is the link to TWC and their latest update. They do a good job on explaining what is happening in the upper levels.


http://www.weather.com/multimedia/videoplayer.html?from=email&bcpid=823425597&bclid=877032950&bctid =959746457
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Quoting BDADUDE:

WEST WEST WEST> Its all we ever hear from you dude!!
Quoting BDADUDE:

WEST WEST WEST> Its all we ever hear from you dude!!
That is all she has been doing all day despite the fact she was forecast to be going wnw since last night so what else would he see right now but www ?
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8373
1277. Dakster
Quoting thelmores:


umm.... we can't predict local weather 3 days out, but you think we can predict a wave on the African Continent will enter the Gulf????

ROFL!

Give it a rest already!


So true. Heck, half the time they can't get the weather right 6 hours in advance. I watch the weather before I go work and half the time it is wrong...
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10314
Quoting PalmBeachWeatherBoy:
Is their any local weather information/ observation from the antilles showing Erika's winds or anything??

In Dominica it's pretty still. No rain at the moment but getting an amazing lightning show to our E & S. Expect the heavy rains to be with us soon.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
CHGHUR

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE

NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

0033 UTC THU SEP 3 2009



DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.

PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.



ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR



TROPICAL CYCLONE ERIKA (AL062009) 20090903 0000 UTC



...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...

090903 0000 090903 1200 090904 0000 090904 1200



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 16.0N 62.0W 16.7N 64.0W 17.5N 66.2W 18.3N 68.4W

BAMD 16.0N 62.0W 16.5N 63.4W 17.1N 64.7W 17.6N 65.9W

BAMM 16.0N 62.0W 16.4N 63.6W 17.0N 65.1W 17.5N 66.7W

LBAR 16.0N 62.0W 16.4N 63.7W 17.1N 65.5W 17.6N 67.1W

SHIP 35KTS 36KTS 38KTS 42KTS

DSHP 35KTS 36KTS 38KTS 42KTS



...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...

090905 0000 090906 0000 090907 0000 090908 0000



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 19.0N 70.4W 20.0N 74.5W 20.7N 78.4W 21.1N 81.8W

BAMD 18.0N 67.0W 18.5N 69.3W 19.4N 71.9W 20.6N 75.1W

BAMM 18.0N 68.0W 19.0N 71.0W 19.8N 74.1W 20.8N 77.3W

LBAR 18.2N 68.7W 18.8N 71.8W 18.7N 74.7W 18.7N 77.3W

SHIP 47KTS 49KTS 54KTS 61KTS

DSHP 42KTS 32KTS 39KTS 46KTS



...INITIAL CONDITIONS...

LATCUR = 16.0N LONCUR = 62.0W DIRCUR = 260DEG SPDCUR = 8KT

LATM12 = 16.4N LONM12 = 60.0W DIRM12 = 265DEG SPDM12 = 12KT

LATM24 = 16.9N LONM24 = 58.0W

WNDCUR = 35KT RMAXWD = 75NM WNDM12 = 40KT

CENPRS = 1008MB OUTPRS = 1011MB OUTRAD = 120NM SDEPTH = M

RD34NE = 90NM RD34SE = 150NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM



$$

NNNN


Very interesting how the models intensify it, any variable I am not aware of?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting stormpetrol:

Thanks , I thought no one had noticed, now to be honest I'm not sure about Erika , though I wouldn't write her off til shes totally gone. I live in Grand Cayman , Cayman Islands and after my experience with Ivan 2004 , I'm terrified of hurricanes and wish them on no one, would be great if she basically died out and went away! Greeting from Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. Keep safe.
not only me: JadeInAntigua 12:19 AM GMT on September 03,
I agree.. he also correctly predicted that the recon flight would find a 50 mph ts when others were saying the flight could be canceled and the system was deteriorating.

Keep posting, everybody here, including the NHC models are not sure of anything ..

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The last wave that came off at 10N headed North very quickly. Any steering information on what this next one might do?
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:
Quoting TreasureCoastFl:


this is the page:
http://vil.mcafeesecurity.com/vil/content/v_218755.htm
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Quoting connie1976:
lol....I didn't catch the virus...I just wanted to make sure that I didn't....I'm paranoid...

lol
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Quoting fire635:
Im thinking this next wave coming off the coast might far enough south to go for the carribean, no?


umm.... we can't predict local weather 3 days out, but you think we can predict a wave on the African Continent will enter the Gulf????

ROFL!

Give it a rest already!
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
1269. Keys99
Quoting CosmicEvents:
I thought that this unexpected movement might have caught a cruise ship or 2 in the wrong spot, and sure enough.
.
.
Wherever the center is, the weather is down around Martinique, and it looks like we have a cruise ship, the Royal Caribbean Adventure Of The Seas, that's in the midst of the approaching worst of the weather. It's presently located at 14.1N and 61.1WLink
.
.
Whats interesting is that ship is home ported in San Juan. At the rate this storm is moving the storm will just be getting there when the ship returns to port on Saturday or Sunday
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1268. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
CHGHUR

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE

NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

0033 UTC THU SEP 3 2009



DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.

PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.



ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR



TROPICAL CYCLONE ERIKA (AL062009) 20090903 0000 UTC



...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...

090903 0000 090903 1200 090904 0000 090904 1200



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 16.0N 62.0W 16.7N 64.0W 17.5N 66.2W 18.3N 68.4W

BAMD 16.0N 62.0W 16.5N 63.4W 17.1N 64.7W 17.6N 65.9W

BAMM 16.0N 62.0W 16.4N 63.6W 17.0N 65.1W 17.5N 66.7W

LBAR 16.0N 62.0W 16.4N 63.7W 17.1N 65.5W 17.6N 67.1W

SHIP 35KTS 36KTS 38KTS 42KTS

DSHP 35KTS 36KTS 38KTS 42KTS



...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...

090905 0000 090906 0000 090907 0000 090908 0000



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 19.0N 70.4W 20.0N 74.5W 20.7N 78.4W 21.1N 81.8W

BAMD 18.0N 67.0W 18.5N 69.3W 19.4N 71.9W 20.6N 75.1W

BAMM 18.0N 68.0W 19.0N 71.0W 19.8N 74.1W 20.8N 77.3W

LBAR 18.2N 68.7W 18.8N 71.8W 18.7N 74.7W 18.7N 77.3W

SHIP 47KTS 49KTS 54KTS 61KTS

DSHP 42KTS 32KTS 39KTS 46KTS



...INITIAL CONDITIONS...

LATCUR = 16.0N LONCUR = 62.0W DIRCUR = 260DEG SPDCUR = 8KT

LATM12 = 16.4N LONM12 = 60.0W DIRM12 = 265DEG SPDM12 = 12KT

LATM24 = 16.9N LONM24 = 58.0W

WNDCUR = 35KT RMAXWD = 75NM WNDM12 = 40KT

CENPRS = 1008MB OUTPRS = 1011MB OUTRAD = 120NM SDEPTH = M

RD34NE = 90NM RD34SE = 150NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM



$$

NNNN


Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53841
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
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Like previous nights,Erika is coming back and COC is changing again. convection explodes over 17N,61.5W
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1265. Dakster
Quoting connie1976:
lol....I didn't catch the virus...I just wanted to make sure that I didn't....I'm paranoid...


Glad to hear it!
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10314
Quoting Ossqss:
TWC's call --



The weather channel's call is the same as the NHC's they always go by what the NHC says.
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Quoting 100l:


How do you know where cruise ships are?


If you have Google Earth you can find a KML for ship locations here.

www.seascanner.com/kml/kfben.kml
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any one else think that with the current thought of the center that Erkia will go more west than the current NHC track?
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lol....I didn't catch the virus...I just wanted to make sure that I didn't....I'm paranoid...
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Quoting Dakster:



Ahh. So we are starting to track thunderstorms over Africa now!!! Got it...

C-A-N-E-S, CANES, Goooooo Canes.
thats right! haha
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
1259. 7544
its preety hard to say a strom will be gone in 4 days out jsut as hard as it is if it surrives on where it will go imo this is a wait and see we all now things can from like ull and shear and dry air all be a factor if it comes and goes ect imo so
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6812
Quoting 7544:
same thing happen yesterday and the litttle red ball became huge could this happen again tonight all over again


yes especially with stronger surface convergence in the area and good upper level divergence.
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 245 Comments: 3901
1257. IKE
Quoting Ossqss:
TWC's call --





Has it going right over DR.
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Isn't TWC three-day cone the same as the NHC's cone?
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11159
1255. Dakster
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The reason no circle is because it is still not over water, but this could become Fred in 72 hours, many positive variables going for it.



Ahh. So we are starting to track thunderstorms over Africa now!!! Got it...

C-A-N-E-S, CANES, Goooooo Canes.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10314
1254. IKE
Quoting amd:
Ike, yep the NHC center is definitely west of Guadeloupe.

However, there are some northerly winds being reported in both antigua (NE) and nevis (NNE). There is at least 2 surface lows now associated with Erika.

Link

Link


Assuming there is....looking at those 2 locations you linked the readings I put up for Guadeloupe....winds are....

(1)16 mph.
(2)7 mph.
(3)10 mph.

I haven't seen one reading from any island location with winds over 20 mph. If this doesn't change by tomorrow the NHC may downgrade it.
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Quoting BDADUDE:

WEST WEST WEST> Its all we ever hear from you dude!!


Back off on me man, sorry if the current steering is west, not my problem. Just going by obs. I haven't even put a new forecast out for this mess, not going to until I have a better idea on what it will do. It could go NORTH, or west or WNW, NW, and maybe if it stays on slow speed.. OUT TO SEA!
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Quoting Chavalito:
My condolences for those who thought Erika would survive Caribbean...RIP Erika, let's see who will come next. I Think Ericka is just a blob of convection, but nothing else.


I think due to the high uncertainty of the forecast track, these type comments are irrelevant and absurd.....

Dr. Masters has said the range is from dissipation to Cat3...... with that spread on direction and intensity, I don't see how anybody can make anything more than a best guess at this point.

Obviously, interaction with land will be key..... and if the 25kts of shear actually occurs.....

bottom line, low confidence forecast at this point!
Member Since: September 8, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 3805
1251. Dakster
Connie1976 - Did you ever get rid of that virus you caught?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10314
Quoting Chavalito:
Yes...
I didn't qute understand it. I guess it was lost in translation..lol
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TWC's track would eliminate Erika with no question, if she/it stays in the northest part of the cone then she might keep chugging her pathetic self along.
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Quoting Dakster:


Sure, Romeo India Papa is possible... I hope CAT3 through Dade County isn't...

BTW, where is Fred gonna form? I can see posts mentioning him, but there isn't even a yellow circle on the NHC map. :-/
The reason no circle is because it is still not over water, but this could become Fred in 72 hours, many positive variables going for it.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
1247. fire635
Im thinking this next wave coming off the coast might far enough south to go for the carribean, no?
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Quoting kmanislander:


Hardly an adventure. When I was on my Alaska cruise in July the captain told me that they got caught in a NE Pacific Gale equivalent to a Cat 5 hurricane with 12 meter seas on the same Alaska run that we were on. The ship, Serenade of the Seas, was in it for 12 hours with a constant list due to partial beam on wind. Winds were well over 150 mph.

The ship returned safely to port in Vancouver without incident. You can google the story I believe. The ship is 90,000 tons and a little over 1000 feet long, 105 foot beam.

They can take a lot of punishment.
For the adventure of the sea it will be a cake walk over 100 feet long and 13 stories with over a 125 ft beam and stabilizers was on that ship and the captain said on the maiden crossing encountered 28 ft waves with no problem Royal Caribbeans ships are built for inclement weather
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Storm,

Hello! Do you think the storm is going to be gone soon? Thanks!
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1244. Ossqss
Quoting futuremet:


TWC's track is little biased.


Yup, they are calling for wet weather for FL starting Sunday.
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Quoting futuremet:


TWC's track is little biased.
It has Erika moving SSW, which i disagree completely with. Erika is moving W/WSW at 1 MPH.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
1242. Dakster
Quoting pearlandaggie:


don't you mean Romeo India Papa? LOL


Sure, Romeo India Papa is possible... I hope CAT3 through Dade County isn't...

BTW, where is Fred gonna form? I can see posts mentioning him, but there isn't even a yellow circle on the NHC map. :-/
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10314
Quoting TreasureCoastFl:
chinese doctor?
Yes...
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1240. 7544
same thing happen yesterday and the litttle red ball became huge could this happen again tonight all over again
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6812
Quoting Ossqss:
TWC's call --





TWC's track is little biased.
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1238. BDADUDE
Quoting reedzone:


I meant for tonight, course Hispaniola will weaken it. That is the main reason why the NHC kills it along with 20-30 knots of wind shear. With the way things are going, I won't be surprised if Erika ever turns NW for a while. Just keeps on chugging west very slowly.

WEST WEST WEST> Its all we ever hear from you dude!!
Member Since: September 3, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 602
1237. MahFL
More convection on the North west quarter now
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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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