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 Grothar:


I thought it was Fred and Ginger.


lol
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Quoting Patrap:


Google Hurricane Hannah 2008 and you will have a lot to digest

Rip Van Winkle has joined?
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Quoting newenglandnative:
So Ericka dies as quickly as she was born.
One quiet season we've had (thankfully).
Are you Serious?
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my new rule


read my commets 1st be for you even think about posting back too me about what i have said
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


It wont never change here, no matter how much you hope it will. Its unfortunate for those who are trying to get info


I totally agree. It's clear there will always be a variety of opinions on here and everyone is entitled to their own... just gets frustrating when they are stated as fact and defended to the point of arguing with others who want to keep a realistic view of all possibilities. Clearly nobody, even the NHC has a hold on this system so the opinions stated as absolutes get irritating after awhile. JMHO
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I always thought the Hope rule was the South Eastern Caribbean. Not the North East. Might be wrong tho.
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18 Z Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)

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Quoting IKE:
That's a nice healthy blob about to roll off of Africa. If it develops quickly after reaching the Atlantic, the odds are it will.....er, shutup IKE....don't go there.

***Reaches for xanax***
MY GOD,IKE, now you have done it, you sound just like Pat, lol.
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


It wont never change here, no matter how much you hope it will. Its unfortunate for those who are trying to get info


It needs to stop. We should be more objective rather than subjective.

If you look back a week or so you notice that those who post the water vapor charts, the concise data and discounted the models were all right about Erika.

You had the others who pick out models that suit them fine. Despite the models are not verifying, they continue to forecast it to go north of the islands and out to sea. Some believe the ECMWF track but not its strength. They were as inconsistent on track as the models.

As someone said this morning, Erika indirectly separated those who are old fashion forecast and those who look at models to best suit them.

It is becoming something where if you dont like hurricanes you will only post data against them. Not accurate at all.
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676. IKE
Quoting Hurricane009:
Nobody should be R.I.Ping Erika at all. A lot is possible. Remember Katrina was weak and even dissipated then formed and became the 6th strongest hurricane ever


The NHC RIP'ed it.

Look>>>120HR VT 07/1800Z...DISSIPATED

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Gotta make dinner... BBL
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673. CUBWF
The center to the north will absorb the naked swirl without chew.
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672. IKE
That's a nice healthy blob about to roll off of Africa. If it develops quickly after reaching the Atlantic, the odds are it will.....er, shutup IKE....don't go there.

***Reaches for xanax***
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Quoting sky1989:
We'll probably have both Fred and Grace in the Atlantic next week.


I thought it was Fred and Ginger.
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"The hard part about playing chicken is knowing' when to flinch."
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Quoting Weather456:
Anybody trying to downplay a system like Erika affecting Hispaniola is upsetting.


I have been thinking more of how Hispaniola would affect Erika. Assuming she wasn't strong enough to be dangerous Hispaniola would be a humane end for her.
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Geezzzz i see what is going to happen.....Our Storm in the Pacific is forcing the Play in the Atlantic and causing a stronger ridge to build. The High that Jimena is making to its North East will be a player and force Erika further South than the models are forecasting.
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I have watched this system for the last 3-4 days there has always seemed to be two centers, one ne of the other. NE one mid-level, SE low level. At night they seem to be closer to one another. Ne center more mid level pushed off more to the north se center has always been pushed westward. Question for anybody who might know Does high pressure mostly exist at surface and can a or does a ull exist above a high vertically stacked wise.
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This is like a play by play football game. I like it! :)
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The next two waves coming off of Africa look quite ferocious and the environment ahead of them is favorable. I predict that we'll have at least 2 new storms in the Atlantic next week.
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So Ericka dies as quickly as she was born.
One quiet season we've had (thankfully).
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Quoting Weather456:


exactly, this constant back and forth is ridiculous. The system has already done everything "some" have predicted and it is my prediction that it will continue.

NB, she was forecast to go out sea into the hurricane graveyeard.


It wont never change here, no matter how much you hope it will. Its unfortunate for those who are trying to get info
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Quoting Hurricane009:
Maybe as soon as it exits off africa??



may be not that soon but soon
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GFS 18Z 48hrs

img src="Image and video hosting by TinyPic" alt="" />
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Quoting Tazmanian:



I SAID IT COULD BE COME 95L I DID NOT SAY IT WAS 95L


MY GOD!


Yet ...

Quoting Tazmanian:
95L is on the way likey too be are next name storm
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Quoting Weather456:


hey, hows it over in Antigua


So far so good.. overcast and showers on and off. Will be watching her closely tonight.
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652. IKE
Quoting tramp96:


And you will be right in the middle of it
lol
p.s. love your avatar


Thanks for the compliment, but nope, I'll stay out of that argument.

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Quoting caneluver:


By my understanding her name is TS Erica, so the hope rule is out.


exactly, this constant back and forth is ridiculous. The system has already done everything "some" have predicted and it is my prediction that it will continue.

NB, she was forecast to go out sea into the hurricane graveyeard.
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We'll probably have both Fred and Grace in the Atlantic next week.
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We call it "Crazy Ivan." The only thing you can do is go dead. Shut everything down and make like a hole in the water
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Quoting btwntx08:

sorry about i get confused of the way u type it



that ok but Please read my commets more befor you post them
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646. IKE
Quoting caneluver:


By my understanding her name is TS Erica, so the hope rule is out.


Sorry, it isn't. It's a naked swirl with a blob of convection well east of the swirl that even the NHC said in their latest discussion wasn't part of the circulation.

The John Hope rule does apply.
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It would appear that Erika is going to be going through the Mona passage rather than interact with much land. While the shear is reported to be high there, as soon as it passes, the shear is to be lower and will be heading in much warmer water. I do not think we should write this one off too quickly. Opinion only. I haven't said much here today. Just allow me to have my moment of glory so I can strut my stuff.
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Quoting CaribBoy:
It looks like a new center is developping just east of barbuda in the northern leeward islands near 17.7N 60.5W. Do you see that?


That could be the new mean center correcting both coc off to the northeast and southwest.
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Quoting tramp96:


What happened to Hannah


Google Hurricane Hannah 2008 and you will have a lot to digest
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Quoting IKE:
To any and all....system is in the eastern Caribbean. The John Hope rule applies...."if it hasn't developed by the time it gets in the eastern Caribbean, it won't develop until it reaches the western Caribbean.

Erika has PR and then DR/Haiti to dodge, which I can't see happening. It may fire off some convection near the COc overnight, but it will fade again tomorrow.

98% chance the fat-lady is tuning up for Erika.
Theres a big black crow in my front yard, ill save it for you. If you dont need it ill probably need it because the way this storm is weak and how far S it is and traveling W still, it will be in the NE Caribbean tomorrow. Its already a TS so im sure it can handle it self in the NW Caribbean.
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Erika is firing off convection over the "FALSE" COC! Could be setting up for a jump Westward tonight.
Member Since: August 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 289

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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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