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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1237. MahFL
More convection on the North west quarter now
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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
Right now we don't know for sure, but yes that is very possible.
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Quoting Chavalito:
I think that Erika is so bad that (as a Puerto Rican says) Ni el médico chino la salva". LOL
chinese doctor?
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
Quoting Dakster:
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is going with Erika? Is it RIP, is it going to be around, which way is she going?


don't you mean Romeo India Papa? LOL
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1233. Ossqss
TWC's call --



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1232. tbrett
Quoting Seflhurricane:
that wave coming off africa is a monster looks impressive
Quoting StormW:
Good evening!

Good Evening StormW
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1231. 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
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Is their any local weather information/ observation from the antilles showing Erika's winds or anything??
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1229. Dakster
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is going with Erika? Is it RIP, is it going to be around, which way is she going?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10748
1228. 789
Quoting CosmicEvents:

I know.
I was surprised to see it myself. I figured that it was midweek, when lots of ships are in the area, and checked it out, hereLink
Looks like all the other ships got out of dodge, but this one got caught. At sea. And it looks like there might be another one in or near port in Martinique.
neet ty
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1227. msphar
great link cosmicevents!
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
1211. LOL...i figured it was an inside joke!

Oh! Hmm, well if it is, I'm not in on it.. lol
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
02/2345 UTC 16.1N 62.9W T1.5/2.0 ERIKA
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Oh God Teddy...two more weeks of watching???? Can the blog handle it?
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11537
Highest 850MB vorticity seems to be placed to the northeast of where the "supposed" COC is located:

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IMHO we have a new dominant COC at 17N, 61W
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I think that Erika is so bad that (as a Puerto Rican says) Ni el médico chino la salva". LOL
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1211. LOL...i figured it was an inside joke!
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1218. jipmg
The northern LLC is going to take over, look at that eruption of convection right over it.. while the "CENTER" is waning.
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1217. Relix
Quoting reedzone:
Models are absolutely clueless!



This is ridiculous..


Using north COC as a base now I see. This is truly a MESS
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Quoting futuremet:
18Z HWRF- Erikane
WOW! A monster! ROFL
Link

Second run in a row that takes that track and intensity. Of course can't be correct or trusted. Right? I am right, right?
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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.
Was in the Mediterranian last fall on the Majesty of the Seas encountered 105 KT winds and 25 ft waves yes a bit rocky but the ship plowed right through it with no problems the captain just went directly into the waves, we encountered the winds for 10 hours before they subsided
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Odds are for this developing into Fred or TD7.
Model support, strong convection, good circulation. We'll have to watch it.
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Caribbean gal, via the islands, into the open Caribbean, up close under Cuba and above Jamaica, into Northern Gulf.

Night all.
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Quoting reedzone:
Models are absolutely clueless!



This is ridiculous..


...and will continue as such until a vertically stacked system with a single vortex forms.....
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
alright....someone's going to have to clue me in. i've seen "Flordia" six or seven times today...what gives?
fast fingers aka typo's
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
1210. JLPR
1151. P451 8:15 PM AST on September 02, 2009

that proves the northern LLC is taking over

thanks for posting this =D
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Quoting farhaonhebrew:
I've been reading your posts since the 94L began to be monitored .. and I must say that you were the ONLY one who constantly says that Erika would be in the Caribbean ...I just hope thepost that it will be a powerful hurricane not become true...greetings from Puerto Rico.

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.
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Quoting IKE:


Yes.
Florida is very flat, hispanoila high mountains
Quoting reedzone:
Models are absolutely clueless!



This is ridiculous..
well, would the models keep showing the points of a depression or a low?
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
Evening StormW…the NHC dissipates Erika at four days. Do you agree?
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11537
Quoting StormW:
Good evening!
Good evening. Maybe you can get a handle on this elusive lady.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
1205. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting StormW:
Good evening!
evening storm
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55971
Quoting StormW:
Good evening!

Welcome back!!!
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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.
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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.

WOW! That must have been some trip for those passengers. I know these ships aren't in danger of floundering under the present conditions. Just a rough night. I knew they could withstand a lot. Being in the wrong place in a Cat5 is a surprise though.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5684
Models are absolutely clueless!



This is ridiculous..
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Quoting drj10526:


yeah but in general do models react different to land like hispanola vs flordia?
No expert by all means but I think they do because they show weakening etc. going over certain land masses.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
alright....someone's going to have to clue me in. i've seen "Flordia" six or seven times today...what gives?
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Hello to all you great people who I have followed for years on here. My wife has been in a battle for years. So since there are no Hurricanes at this moment please look at this link Thank you very much!
Link
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Quoting bajelayman2:


as Cruise Ships have avoidance software

LOL


I respect you fully Patrap, just 'unusual' to rely on software when the models are not even working.
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1196. 100l
Quoting CosmicEvents:

You google "ships at sea locator".........


Thanks
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:


According to this page McAffe is aware of some false positives due to the newly added detection of js/exploit packed.c.gen

According to them detection for js/exploit packed.c.gen was added in their 5728 database (released today) and the 5729 update should fix the false positives. So, McAfee users should see the false positive on js/exploit packed.c.gen go away when they get their next antivirus database update.

From what they are reporting the false positive is showing up on sites that are using javascript and obfuscating some of the javascript source (substituting hexadecimal characters instead of plain text for instance.)


this is the page:
http://vil.mcafeesecurity.com/vil/content/v_218755.htm
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
1194. IKE
Quoting drj10526:


yeah but in general do models react different to land like hispanola vs flordia?


Yes.
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1192. Patrap
Quoting gordydunnot:
Patrap remember what division your in.


Division..as In USMC..?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129770
anybody see the circulation at 18N 56W

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t2/rb-l.jpg

could be one of two possibilities

1. it is another LLC circulation that is now in the mix

2. It is the MLC detaching from LLC meaning a non vertically stacked system and will likely weaken to TD tonight

also if LLC weakens this MLC can work down to surface and erika would thus restrengthen
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Quoting Relix:


But what if the REAL circulation is the one to the north? =)
nope, the COC of Erika is at 62W and 16N.
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1189. Relix
Though honestly, Erika is looking very bad. She might not survive the night if the convection keeps going down like this and a true COC doesn't settle soon. Dmax could help but... after that? Nah
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Quoting nearthesea:
I'm getting the McAfee alert also. Started tonight and is on both my systems. Message reads something like below:

McAfee has automatically blocked and removed a Trojan.
Detected : JS/Exploit-Packed c.gen(Trojan)…
Mootools-wu-1.11(1)s


According to this page McAffe is aware of some false positives due to the newly added detection of js/exploit packed.c.gen

According to them detection for js/exploit packed.c.gen was added in their 5728 database (released today) and the 5729 update should fix the false positives. So, McAfee users should see the false positive on js/exploit packed.c.gen go away when they get their next antivirus database update.

From what they are reporting the false positive is showing up on sites that are using javascript and obfuscating some of the javascript source (substituting hexadecimal characters instead of plain text for instance.)
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
Quoting stormsurge39:
If Erika keeps going due west it wont hit Hispaniola, right?


Correct, it's a longshot from it actually happening, but the tends are showing no northerly movement yet. We basically don't know what Erika is going to do, even the NHC has low confidence in there forecast. One of the most difficult storms I've ever tracked so far... Of course there was Fay :/
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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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