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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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
The nothern COC will win the so called battle of the atlantic. I still think it will go north of puerto rico possibly. Im more interested in what comes off africa.
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Quoting IKE:


A naked swirl?


By my understanding her name is TS Erica, so the hope rule is out.
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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?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


So? So were most of 2007's with the exception of Dean and Felix. NOW to the ignore list ;)


*facepalm*
Member Since: August 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 451
Quoting Tazmanian:



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


MY GOD!

sorry about i get confused of the way u type it
Member Since: July 13, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 10796
Quoting Tazmanian:



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


MY GOD!
jumping alot of the characters today hows the smoke
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629. IKE
Quoting Hurricane009:
When should we expect the next tropical depression from the wave exiting off africa??


And when a TD or TS comes from that, I can see the arguments over....it's a fish, it's not a fish starting up.

Get ready!
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The later it gets, the more entertaining this blog gets. Thanks, Erica!! ;)

The "convection" has really expanded in the last couple of frames.
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Anybody trying to downplay a system like Erika affecting Hispaniola is upsetting.
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Oficial center looks to be dissipating. New center appears to be re-forming near deep convection once again.
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624. Relix
North COC should win. Both moving due west though. 16N one seemed to stall and get picked by convection.
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Is the "show/hide" button not working for anyone else or did I get a bug off that trojan earlier?
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Quoting FloridaTigers:
WHY IS EVERYONE YELLING


IDK!!! :O
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When should we expect the next tropical depression from the wave exiting off africa??
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WHY IS EVERYONE YELLING
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619. IKE
Quoting caneluver:


Its already formed!


A naked swirl?
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One thing thats funny is we are all watching the storms in the atlantic and pacific but am I the only one that finds it very odd it was 53 degrees in Oklahoma last night in September and its only 69 right now! Very Very wierd weather across the US . Im not going to complain its nice change from mid 90's but odd to say the least.
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"... and the sea will grant each man new hope, as sleep brings dreams of home." Christopher Columbus.
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Chris, Ingrid, Karen, Melissa, Josephine, Ana, oops I mean Erika. These may all have something in common.
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agree fat lady for Erika
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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.


Its already formed!
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Quoting Patrap:




LOL..OMG..that's the best yet today here..


haha you gotta love it, right?
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Quoting JadeInAntigua:


Good evening 456.


hey, hows it over in Antigua
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It's about that time of day for Erika to get jiggy with it again.
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#591...For goodness sake. Noticed NHC took yellow off the screen at 5 p.m. for the one in front of it. Time to walk the dog. Once the lights go out expect Erika to come to life. lol. Otherwise, it's crow for breakfast (again!)
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Centers are battling it out right now and it could mean a generous fight where they both give in to one another and become one, or it will be rather gruesome as one beats the other one out, or they both dissipate due to the anticyclone being more dominant. If one center was to develop into a vigorous circulation and become more vertically stacked the anticyclone will venture or be forced to accompany the circulations and help ventilate their convection.
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Quoting tornadodude:


and you misspelled misspelled.... wow




LOL..OMG..that's the best yet today here..
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Quoting futuremet:


The TUTT axis still extends somewhat into the Caribbean, which will cause marginal shear if it were to move there. Moreover, it would run into the ragged mountains of Hispaniola. If the southern COC wins, then will likely go to the Caribbean, and toward the Bahamas if the northern one wins.
WOW, Now it's a COC duel. This is real theatre... Ok, team north or team south.
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Good Evening!
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we don't have 95L yet
Member Since: July 13, 2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 10796
602. 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.
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Quoting futuremet:
Stormsurge29, I have inadequate data right now to determine which one will win. I'll now by 21z or 00z.
Ok thanks i thought you might go with your gut this time. Just messing with you.
Quoting Tazmanian:
95L is on the way likey too be are next name storm


That one looks NASTY!!!!!!!!!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
Quoting Weather456:
Good evening all

It seems Erika presence is being felt here, overcast skies with gusty winds steadily increasing all day.

Her track has shifted well south of the 1st advisory yesterday this time.


Good evening 456.
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thanks so much for the answer I was wondering if it was something like going by more than one name lol at me....
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Stormsurge29, I have inadequate data right now to determine which one will win. I'll know by 21z or 00z.
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Quoting Joshfsu123:
Looks to me like the center to the south is dying (the swirl we have been watching) and that there is a larger "center" that is starting to tighten up a little bit to the NE of the swirl (near the latitude of Puerto Rico). Thunderstorms are popping up near the swirl center and the NE center so tonight we should find out which one will become dominant and if Erika survives.


The center I see possibly getting better organized is near 17.5 N, 61 W or there about... Seems like something could be tightening there but then again, who knows with Erika.
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I have a question that will probably show just how ignorant I really am, but I am trying to learn and this is driving me nuts. Where exactly is Hispanola? People keep talking about it and puerto rico and I find puerto rico on the map but nothing says Hispanola. Anyone care to help the completly lost? Is it because Hispanola goes by another name? Thanks for helping to educate me
The Dominican Republic and Haiti make up Hispanola.
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Quoting zebralove:
I have a question that will probably show just how ignorant I really am, but I am trying to learn and this is driving me nuts. Where exactly is Hispanola? People keep talking about it and puerto rico and I find puerto rico on the map but nothing says Hispanola. Anyone care to help the completly lost? Is it because Hispanola goes by another name? Thanks for helping to educate me


Hispaniola is the island that is shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
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Quoting rareaire:
If she continues to remain slow and in struggle for a coc that can be both good or bad as it will drastically affect the direction she finlly goes. And as DRAK stated it could go south of the big rocks and we have a whole new set of problems!
bingo...
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Hispaniola is Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
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Good evening all

It seems Erika presence is being felt here, overcast skies with gusty winds steadily increasing all day.

Her track has shifted well south of the 1st advisory yesterday this time.

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Quoting futuremet:


Umm..er..umm

the Nourthern one.
You know the next question is why? LOL
588. CUBWF
There is where I'm seen, and is becoming more evident in each frame.
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Quoting zebralove:
I have a question that will probably show just how ignorant I really am, but I am trying to learn and this is driving me nuts. Where exactly is Hispanola? People keep talking about it and puerto rico and I find puerto rico on the map but nothing says Hispanola. Anyone care to help the completly lost? Is it because Hispanola goes by another name? Thanks for helping to educate me

You're ok, this is a place to LEARN!! Hispanola is the island containinh Haiti and the Dominican Republic! It has 10,000' mountains that will tear Erika apart!! Island just west or Puerto Rico
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785

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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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