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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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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1136. IKE
System is west of Guadeloupe, like the NHC says. They have south winds....

"Le Raizet Airport, GP (Airport)
Updated: 9 min 56 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy
82 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 84%
Dew Point: 77 °F
Wind: 10 mph from the South
Pressure: 29.80 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 91 °F
Visibility: 6.2 miles
UV: 0 out of 16
Clouds:
Few 1500 ft
Scattered Clouds 2000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 26000 ft
(Above Ground Level)"
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Quoting futuremet:
18Z HWRF- Erikane



do the models like this take into account the terrain below the storm like mountains vs. flat land? not just land or ocean but the shape, size, dimensions of the land the storm travels over? thanks
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1126

see Kevin, epac
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I thought that this unexpected movement might have caught a cruise ship or 2 in the wrong spot, and sure enough.
.
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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
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Those passengers are in for a bit of an adventure.
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Quoting IKE:


Gobble-Gobble.



LOL LOL
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114649
1131. 789
heard that this mourning waiting to see it develope
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Whenever I post, I usually hit [end] and then [page up] which takes me to the latest posts at the end of the page. I only scroll when there are fewer than 15 posts on the page.
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1129. Relix
Quoting IKE:


Consistently wrong. Goes from 35 to 57 knots in 6 hours.


It went from 35 to 50 last night in a few hours, it's all possible... though honestly... unexpected and nearly impossible to happen =P
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2642
A new center may relocate under this new blow up of convection. Keep in mind that Erika is still under an anticyclonic flow, wind shear is only 10-20 knots over the whole storm. I see no reason for it to weaken as the NHC says. Only one small band of 30 knot shear to the west, after that, conditions are favorable. I'm not writing off Erika yet and I also don't see how it goes north anymore unless that center relocates up where the burst of storms is. My personal opinion guys, please don't attack me or bash me, I'm not an expert.

Tropical Storm Erika


Shear map proves current marginal to somewhat favorable conditions for Erika tonight

Shear map

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Quoting IKE:
Moving: W at 1 mph


It should reach Florida by Thanksgiving!

LMAO! Good one!! I give up even trying to think what Erika might do next, though I did say from the start that Erika would probably make it into Eastern Caribbean,now I really don't know what to think, but I don't think Erika is finished just yet, I wouldn't turn my back on her for one minute.
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1125. Patrap
Quoting WPBHurricane05:
As a S. Floridian I am more worried about tomorrow's preseason Dolphins game than Erika.


I would be too since yer coming to the Dome. Saints have won 3 and have scored 45 and 38 Points the last 2 weeks and only given up 21..LOL


Regulars should only play a quarter,..so Beer Sales wont be as High as usual. Ill be the Guy in sec 211 with the funny Hat and Binocular Cam,for er..watching the cheerleaders,I mean game
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127367
Erika is Rip
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114649
1123. IKE
Quoting Patrap:


Save me a wing..LOL


Gobble-Gobble.
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Quoting Patrap:


Means that well,...."the Spice wont flow from Erika much Longer as a TS."
Don't think so. It's back on. LOL I just don't have a good feeling about Erika regardless of what the "models" are saying. Lots of confusing systems last year too.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8263
1121. 789
Quoting Grothar:
Interesting, they drop the little cyclone symbol of the NHC site. Wonder what that means
they lost there craola,s
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1120. IKE
Quoting WPBHurricane05:


Its consistent.


Consistently wrong. Goes from 35 to 57 knots in 6 hours.
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Quoting obsessedwweather:
Really VA


go to www.google.com and search "emoticons"
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1058

Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother...Erika
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1117. Patrap
Quoting IKE:
Moving: W at 1 mph


It should reach Florida by Thanksgiving!


Save me a wing..LOL
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127367
Quoting IKE:
Moving: W at 1 mph


It should reach Florida by Thanksgiving!


Wow. I never thought that when I said a "slow crawl" into the Caribbean this morning that Erika would be listening LOL
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1115. Relix
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
NHC says 15.9 N 62.0W


They could relocate it again. Probable. At 11PM or 2AM or 5AM, depends on how it holds.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2642
Is Erika gone yet? lol
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As a S. Floridian I am more worried about tomorrow's preseason Dolphins game than Erika.
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1112. Patrap
Quoting Grothar:
Interesting, they drop the little cyclone symbol of the NHC site. Wonder what that means


Means that well,...."the Spice wont flow from Erika much Longer as a TS."
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127367
Not a newbie....just not able to be on the site all the time.

Ease up people.

Just a question...all good.
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Quoting obsessedwweather:
Really VA


:D = smileing, and :P means sticking your tounge out. they both are good things hahaha
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anybody else notice that a lot of the major models are developing a system off the south east coast and drives it into North Caroline
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Quoting futuremet:
18Z HWRF- Erikane


Its consistent.
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1107. IKE
Moving: W at 1 mph


It should reach Florida by Thanksgiving!
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Quoting futuremet:
18Z HWRF- Erikane


it has the 61W, 17N center as dominant, which i think we are starting to see occur. this is the best the convergence has been since the storm has formed. i think we will see some reintensification tonight which should pull it more north
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Have to run out for a bit
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Quoting JLPR:
what? is the center at 17N now taking command? ahhhhh :@

Erika is going to drive me nuts :S
NHC says 15.9 N 62.0W
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8263
Really VA
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


sigh... really?


I think we found an internet newbie.


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1101. Grothar
Interesting, they drop the little cyclone symbol of the NHC site. Wonder what that means
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Quoting stormpetrol:
I'm beginning to wonder if Erika has been an embarrassment of some sort.
I remember reading an article a couple of years ago about the storm NHC forecasters had the most trouble with, and they mentioned some (to us) "no-name, no-fame" system that had them all stymied from start to finish - track, intensity - everything.

I have a feeling storms like Erica are possibly more interesting to NHC personnel than the run of the mill cat 3, especially one that curves out to sea, meaning no need to determine / recommend watch areas.
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1099. JLPR
what? is the center at 17N now taking command? ahhhhh :@

Erika is going to drive me nuts :S
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Quoting msphar:
I think the NHC needs a "do over" for Erika.


mulligan
Member Since: June 28, 2006 Posts: 24 Comments: 8200
18Z HWRF- Erikane
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1096. Patrap
Quoting futuremet:


I use to use the "show all", but now I use "Show average". It is easier to filter out trolls that way. I use the "Show all" during the winter.


The words were on Comment Order,..not Filter settings FM.

You can configure to Show Newest Post First,or Order Posted. That selection is right below the Docs,entry..

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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127367
1095. msphar
I think the NHC needs a "do over" for Erika.
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1094. Grothar
Quoting obsessedwweather:
what does : D; : P, etc. mean?


You never saw Dune!
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Quoting obsessedwweather:
what does : D; : P, etc. mean?


sigh... really?
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sorry, 61W, 17N
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Im out for 10 minutes, BRB.

Me too, need a break!! HB!!!!
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what does : D; : P, etc. mean?
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Quoting pessimist:
After lurking for sometime...I think I have the hang of this blog.....

-The next update will be the one!
-Everybody better watch out....EXTREME Danger to come soon!
-The CONUS is going to have a deadly storm knocking at their door!
-The GOMEX better watch out!
-I know the models say it is going north, but my 11th grade Earth Science class tells me it is going south.
-The models are wrong...trust me.
-A*N*D*R*E*W
-K*A*T*R*I*N*A
-The storm in 1945 that was at the same location as this cloud mass is now hit the CONUS.
-ALL PRAISE DR. MASTERS .... MUST HANG ON EVERY WORD. HE KNOWS ME PERSONALLY FROM MY MUNDANE COMMENTS LIKE *thanks dr. m.!*
-last but not least......"Have to go now...mom said it's time for bed."


I think I have the hang of you from your handle.
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Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Just hit the page down key on your keyboard.


good call
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1087. hydrus
Quoting Patrap:






I'll miss the sea, but a person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow. Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken
Dune lives and breathes in cyberspace, speaking of space, to me, Erika looks like she is from outer space.
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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.