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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928. Futuremet:

thank you a lot!
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Quoting bajelayman2:


The Gut Model.

LOL!! My gut is hurting right now! Not enough Vodka in SWFlorida for Erica!!
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904. TreasureCoastFl 11:03 PM GMT on September 02, 2009
How reliable??
none of them are reliable at this point, IMO


How can they be? The environment is pretty complicated...shear in single layers, that sort of thing tends to make the models go kerflewie...and yes, I said kerflewie
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Quoting masonsnana:

Apologize ahead of time for all the questions, which model in your opinion is the most reliable in storms like crazy Erica??

Eyeball Mk 1.

With a storm this whacked out, there isn't a model worth a darn. The BAM suite (shallow, middle, and deep) are decent for general track (shallow is best for an invest or weak TS), but those models are very basic, and dismiss quite a few things in their calculations.

Intensity-wise... who the heck knows. Intensity forecasting is an imprecise science at best, and wild guesses at worst.
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Quoting bajelayman2:


The Gut Model.


Better known as the GIA, or the Gastro-Intestinal Array.
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Quoting Patrap:



They couldnt figure it out Last Month as I was told today,

..so Im sure their probing the site Innerd's, Balls and Guts seeking the Infection.
its very well hidden and may never be found
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Shes still not blowing up like last night and remains disorganized I think shes finished.
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Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service New Orleans la
342 PM CDT Wednesday Sep 2 2009


Synopsis...
weak surface trough pretty much along Interstate 55 with no significant
weather associated. Circulation around 700 mb over southern Alabama
as well. Wind flow still mainly out of the north...keeping drier
air over the area. Temperatures generally in the 85 to 90 range...except
for 91 at Gulfport. Dew points upper 50s north to middle 60s along
the coast.
&&


Short term...
surface trough gradually washes out. 700 mb circulation will drop
southward into the Gulf over the next 24 hours...then gradually
fill. Expect area to remain dry through Thursday night. As next
vorticity lobe rotates around Great Lakes upper trough...moisture will
be on the increase. May be enough moisture on Friday to produce 20
to 30 percent areal coverage of convection. As trough axis sets up
along the Mississippi River...impulses moving through the base of
the trough will bring a better chance of precipitation on
Saturday. Generally in the 40 to 50 percent range with the best
probability of precipitation closer to the upper trough in the northwest portion of the area.


Will continue with at least 1 more night of below normal
temperatures...about 5 degrees below normal. Afternoon highs
should return to near normal levels. Once we get into Friday and
Saturday...clouds and precipitation will hold temperatures
slightly below normal. 35
&&


Long term...
upper trough remains over the area for Sunday and Monday...with
drier air starting to work into the area on Monday. Probability of precipitation start around
50 percent on Sunday...and slides back into the climatologic range
by Tuesday and Wednesday. As the probability of precipitation drop...temperatures start climbing
to slightly above normal by middle week next week. 35
&&
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Quoting Hurricane009:
When does the new Quickscat come out?? When does Dmax start??
very very soon, it is usually out before the eight o'clock hour in EDT.
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Guys, MiamiHurricanes09 is not JFV. WS is not capable of posting something like this, which I find very helpful.

All WS does is ask random questions and make irrelevant posts. Notice how he never post a link or image despite being here for over 2 years! lol

This is was MiamiHurricanes post earlier today

In meteorology, an anticyclone (that is, opposite to a cyclone) is a weather phenomenon in which there is a descending movement of the air, and with surface systems, higher than average atmospheric pressure over the part of the planet's surface. Effects of surface-based anticyclones include clearing skies as well as cooler, drier air. Fog can also form overnight within a region of higher pressure. Mid-tropospheric systems, such as the subtropical ridge, deflect tropical cyclones around their periphery and inhibit free convection near their center, building up surface-based haze under their base. Anticyclones aloft can form within warm core lows, such as tropical cyclones, due to descending cool air from the backside of upper troughs, such as polar highs, or from large scale sinking, such as the subtropical ridge. Anticyclonic flow spirals in a clockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
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927. amd
just did a quick check on the trojan, and it is likely a false alarm. I went to the mcafee website and looked up the trojan name, and they say its a false alarm. To be technical, Mcafee sent out a dat file to all those who use the anti-virus software and the newest dat file (#5728) is misreading some of the java code on this site and possibly other sites as being infected by the exploit trojan.

Therefore, i would like to apologize to the wu staff for implying that their servers carried a trojan that in all likelihood doesn't really exist.

Back to weather, Hurricane Jimena is on the verge of entering the Gulf of California, according to Jim Cantore.
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Quoting masonsnana:

Apologize ahead of time for all the questions, which model in your opinion is the most reliable in storms like crazy Erica??


The Gut Model.
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Quoting masonsnana:

Apologize ahead of time for all the questions, which model in your opinion is the most reliable in storms like crazy Erica??
none, but i would say either BAMM, BAMD, or BAMS, but other than those the GFS would be a good one.
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Erika's trick for this evening will be to keep her "circulations" close enough to the islands so that quikscat can't see them.
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921. JLPR
909. Relix 11:06 PM GMT on September 02, 2009

Track will shift south between Mona passage or over DR's tip.


that's what im thinking
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Quoting Chicklit:
Patrap's on firefox duty, the 'new boy' is NOT JFV/WS, and JLPR thinks the LLC is where I thought it was...my faith is restored!
thank you!
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:
Erika is as good as dead if she tries to cross Hispaniola, imo


She will not go anywhere near Hispaniola, she is crossing the islands into the open Caribbean, well below Hispaniola.
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I don't know anything about the Models but I assume they are designed to solve the problem of a single COC. When a storm like Erika comes along and has multiple COCs it must be difficult for the models to assume a correct location for the aggregate effect of the multiple COCs. The math involved would be horrendous. So trying to apply models to these sorts of storms has to be very frustrating to those who depend solely on models. Hence the need to fall back to basics including rulers.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
AVNO, is not the most reliable model in the world, but it can be dependable sometimes.

Apologize ahead of time for all the questions, which model in your opinion is the most reliable in storms like crazy Erica??
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Quoting TreasureCoastFl:
Erika is as good as dead if she tries to cross Hispaniola, imo
Well, if current steering patterns hold and she stays weak then she should continue her W/WSW movement until she reaches just about 70W where she will stall and begin to move WNW/NW, farther than that location it will just be too inaccurate to know for sure where she will end up if she survives.
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Patrap's on firefox duty, the 'new boy' is NOT JFV/WS, and JLPR thinks the LLC is where I thought it was...my faith is restored!
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Evening all,

I'm hoping Quickscat hits Erika tonight. I am not convinced that there are not still multiple centers. Odd little storm...
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Quoting Detrina:
who what or where on possible GOM formation please? Point me in a direction and I will go see what I can hunt up:)

thx

Any time a front stalls out over the GOM, it needs to be watched. The current front stalled out has some vort maxes along it at different levels, but shear is marginal at best (and getting worse, according to CIMSS)
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909. Relix
Quoting JLPR:
seems like the LLC at 16N is taking control,
look at the convection pulling west


Track will shift south between Mona passage or over DR's tip.
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Quoting bajelayman2:
Erika is a Caribbean gal! She is going to take everyone on a long ride until the Gulf....
Erika is as good as dead if she tries to cross Hispaniola, imo
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Quoting masonsnana:

How reliable??
AVNO, is not the most reliable model in the world, but it can be dependable sometimes.
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Erika is a Caribbean gal! She is going to take everyone on a long ride until the Gulf....
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Quoting edmac:
I have a question, givin that Erika has basically done what it wants too, what are the chances of Erika tracking through the Carribean, and entering the Gulf. Not wishcasting, but i have seen some models posted here that show this. Are they junk, or could this actually take place. Anyone???


I'm in Corpus so watching carefully... some models take it to the GOM, and so far none of the models have been too accurate yet. Should be much more clear in 2 days or so.
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Quoting masonsnana:

How reliable??
none of them are reliable at this point, IMO
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 474
who what or where on possible GOM formation please? Point me in a direction and I will go see what I can hunt up:)

thx
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It can be found on the link below:
Link

How reliable??
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Never mind, i remembered.
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Off topic some but, its do or die for my RAYS tonite against the Dam Red Sox.....game coming on now....BBL...Go RAYS and Die Erika!
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Quoting WindynEYW:
---- is on a mac powerbook pro no virus from WU
same here but the other day I did get that fake page that pops up and says you have a virus, which is the virus. It didn't get me though.
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Quoting masonsnana:

Do you have a link to that?? How reliable???
It can be found on the link below:
Link
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Quoting RufusBaker:
Wow that AVNO model hooks Ericka right into the west coast of FL near Punta Gorda

Do you have a link to that?? How reliable???
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Quoting WindynEYW:
---- is on a mac powerbook pro no virus from WU
If you are operating on a mac like me you should not be encountering problems. If you see pop-ups for whatever reason it may be, I recommend that you download McAfee or any other protection download that can be found on apple.com.
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895. JLPR
seems like the LLC at 16N is taking control,
look at the convection pulling west
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02/1745 UTC 16.0N 62.1W T1.5/2.5 ERIKA
02/1145 UTC 16.8N 59.0W T2.0/2.5 ERIKA
02/0615 UTC 17.9N 59.0W T2.5/2.5 ERIKA
01/2345 UTC 17.2N 57.8W T2.5/2.5 ERIKA
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Quoting Patrap:


Bobs a 30 year Met and a Good Ol Marine too. Id listen to Him,as hes usually ahead of the Curve as well.


Yes i have always liked him, he does a good job at getting the information out. He did say we wouldnt have to worry about Erika because it would die which i am not so convinced of yet
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I haven't had any virus problems all day. FYI
I don't know anything about computers either.
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Wow that AVNO model hooks Ericka right into the west coast of FL near Punta Gorda
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883. Patrap 6:52 PM EDT on September 02, 2009
Im now tracking 10 Malicious codes from the site.

...“He is in a gunfight right now. I'm gonna have to take a message.” Erika
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---- is on a mac powerbook pro no virus from WU
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Quoting Chicklit:
IM NOT JFV/WS, SHEESH!!! lol, what can i do for you people to understand?

Keep spelling correctly and don't act like a kicked dog.
no problem, lol, i can spell and i can not act like a kicked dog, lmao!
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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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