Little change to Erika; Jimena makes landfall as a Category 2 hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:30 PM GMT on September 02, 2009

Share this Blog
2
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 537 - 487

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59Blog Index

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!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Floodman:


Have you been much thought to cut off lows in the GOM?


The Front has some interesting Mojo occurring seems Floodman.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What a year thus far...This is what el nino will do for you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NWWNCAVL:
I am surprised no one has started the one goes N and the other goes S and boom GOM and Estern CONUS...Oooops


definitely like your avatar
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Look at the latest visible satelite loop of Erika, the 2 centers will be consolidating soon to become one imo.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


Run the RGB loop on the floater there is a circulation west of the islands that is naked near 16N 62W then there is another circulation near where new convection is trying to blow up near 18N 60.5W


I was just looking at that. Is she being fickle? ;)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I am surprised no one has started the one goes N and the other goes S and boom GOM and Estern CONUS...Oooops
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting futuremet:
The northern COC seems to have the advantage, because surface convergence is more focused near it, and the latest TCPW images show a surge of moisture advecting toward it. However, the southern COC is now interacting with the convection mass just to the east of it, which may help it to sustain itself. Erika will put on a show tonight LOL.


she has the past couple of nights too
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Folks, if there was ever a storm to take out to pasture and shoot it dead, it's this ONE!! Hopefully, it takes a path away from land and goes to sleep!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
528. Relix
Both centers seem to be moving west right now... so that doesn't change much the outlook for us in the northern antilles.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The northern COC seems to have the advantage, because surface convergence is more focused near it, and the latest TCPW images show a surge of moisture advecting toward it. However, the southern COC is now interacting with the convection mass just to the east of it, which may help it to sustain itself. Erika will put on a show tonight LOL.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting foggymyst:
I'm confused..local mets (yeah, sofl)say Erika can possibly decipated, I just looked on the WWU tropical section..the GFDL has it developing to cat 3.. can someone PLZ clear this for me.. Thanks.


Local Mets in my area (S.W. Florida) don't seem worried at all by Erika. They also think it will be very weak and nothing to worry about.
We'll see.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting foggymyst:
I'm confused..local mets (yeah, sofl)say Erika can possibly decipated, I just looked on the WWU tropical section..the GFDL has it developing to cat 3.. can someone PLZ clear this for me.. Thanks.


I think you mean HWRF not GFDL.

And the explanation is simple: the HWRF model is out to lunch. It also predicted Danny to become a hurricane.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:


Yes, I posted a close up of that in post 396. The challenge though is twofold. The first is that there is currently "zero" lower level convergnce there which means the low has to rebuild itself.

Secondly, the off-center high above the storm has been imparting shear for days and disrupting the circulation. That needs to end. The anicyclone is very tight. If it relaxed and allowed for better divergence aloft that would also ease the shear issue.


Cool insight,Im understanding the converge,Diverge stuff a Lil better now
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"i'm so tired...so tired of all this coming and going and going and coming"...oh Erika
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Advisory 1 to 1a
21GMT 09/01/09 17.2N 57.3W
00GMT 09/02/09 17.2N 57.3W
0north to 0south ... Stationary

Advisory 1a to 2
00GMT 09/02/09 17.2N 57.3W
03GMT 09/02/09 17.5N 57.6W
3north to 3west ... InvTan(3/3/cos17.5) = 46.357degrees north of W
heading 1.357degrees north of NW

Advisory 2 to 2a
03GMT 09/02/09 17.5N 57.6W
06GMT 09/02/09 17.0N 58.7W
5south to 11west ... InvTan(5/11/cos17) = 25.42degrees south of W
heading 2.92degrees south of WSW

Advisory 2a to 3
06GMT 09/02/09 17.0N 58.7W
09GMT 09/02/09 17.0N 59.0W
0north to 3west ... due West

Advisory 3 to 3a
09GMT 09/02/09 17.0N 59.0W
12GMT 09/02/09 16.5N 59.5W
5south to 5west ... InvTan(5/5/cos16.5) = 46.2degrees south of W
heading 1.2degrees south of SW

Advisory 3a to 4
12GMT 09/02/09 16.5N 59.5W
15GMT 09/02/09 16.5N 60.4W
0north to 9west ... heading due West

Advisory 4 to 4a
15GMT 09/02/09 16.5N 60.4W
18GMT 09/02/09 16.2N 61.1W
3south to 7west ... InvTan(3/7/cos16.2) = 24.05degrees south of W
heading 1.55degrees south of WSW

Advisory 4a to 5
18GMT 09/02/09 16.2N 61.1W
21GMT 09/02/09 16.4N 61.7W
2north to 6west ... InvTan(2/6/cos16.4) = 19.16degrees north of W
heading 3.34degrees west of WNW

Erika still jitterbugging through LARGE changes in its heading... ?mostly center relocations?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
521. JLPR
yep quite a nasty battle going on there

the one to the south was supposed to leave but it appears it wants to go back in and the one to the north doesn't like that xD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
503. Neither can I!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Check out 16W 62N.
Maybe she's going to get fired up again during Dmax. What a pain. Reminds me of teenagers.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
kman, if the anticyclone was to center over the storm, it would throw yet another wrench into the forecast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Relix:
The Epic Battle of the COCs!

Who shall win? South or north?!


tropical "civil" war
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
516. Relix
The Epic Battle of the COCs!

Who shall win? South or north?!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
515. LBAR
Very small swirl JUST west of Puerto Rico...you can see it in the Eric flash loops...anything to worry about?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Kman,Floodman,..can ya see the Convective Burst around that Southern Swirl..itsa gonna be da Weiner,er..winner..!

Viz Loop,FLASH


Yes, I posted a close up of that in post 396. The challenge though is twofold. The first is that there is currently "zero" lower level convergence there which means the low has to rebuild itself.

Secondly, the off-center high above the storm has been imparting shear for days and disrupting the circulation. That needs to end. The anicyclone is very tight. If it relaxed and allowed for better divergence aloft that would also ease the shear issue.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting futuremet:


Convection is increasing with both COCs; both are trying to become dominant. They may merge into one COC.


That dosent Happen FM,..angular momentumn will either have one Dominate,or they will both spin Out and another form, They cant merge,Physics 101
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
488. Excuse me?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Chicklit:
Patrap yer killin' me with the Dune references...along with the 'Avila Spouts Off' passages yesterday, I know I'm in the right place! LOL.


I try to Lighten da mood some chicklit,..we all have a tendency here to think what we say is,..er critical to the Planet..

LOL

Its more challenging than using images for Humor too.

On a side Note,The Daily Show with Jon Stewart purchased 12 of my inside Political Humor Jokes,..the checks in da mail!!!

They will run the week after next when the Break is over
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What Drakeon sees is a midlevel-vortex...thats not on the surface... LLC is just SW of Quat...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Kma,Floodman,..can ya see the Convective Burst around that Southern Swirl..itsa gonna be da Weiner,er..winner..!

Viz Loop,FLASH


Convection is increasing with both COCs; both are trying to become dominant. They may merge into one COC.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Last post and I'm out for the evening... Have a good one everyone and play nice!

Just like last night, it appears on the TPW below that a large surge of moisture is wrapping around the elongated circulation from the southeast side. This helped kick off the large expansion of convection, and I'm kind of expecting this to happen again.

This may (emphasis on may) help let the circulation to tighten back to a more round nature and allow Erika to strengthen somewhat. Guess we'll know by tomorrow morning if what I'm seeing is right...



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Here now in the east of Guadeloupe : no rain... very little wind. And according to the differents maps the center of Erika is over us ????????
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
504. Relix
The naked circulation seemed to stall and convection picking it up, now one to the NE, quite to the north in fact, seems to be vigorous. It's a nasty battle, and I think the final center could be right in between these two circulations.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Cant quote for some reason...agree with Drak...still interested in the gulf
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:
I just took a look at the lower level convergence and it is situated well to the NE of Guadeloupe. It is virtually non-existent in the Caribbean to the West of that island.
It makes you wonder if we may not be in store for yet another center relocation soon.

TS Erika has more personalities than "Sybil"! This little monster has headed in the direction is wasn't supposed to go, had or has 2 COC, explodes during DMIN, has a stronger wind field not associated with the main system (I do not understand how the NHC determined that one) somewhere in the SE quadrant! I believe this storm is gonna drive the NHC and forecasters nuts for a few days!!
Member Since: August 25, 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
I'm confused..local mets (yeah, sofl)say Erika can possibly decipated, I just looked on the WWU tropical section..the GFDL has it developing to cat 3.. can someone PLZ clear this for me.. Thanks.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
IMO, it is premature for the NHC to dissipate Erika before 5 days....especially since the forecast is extremely uncertain. What if shear does not materialize, and people fall into a false sense of security because the NHC called for the storm to dissipate?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


Run the RGB loop on the floater there is a circulation west of the islands that is naked near 16N 62W then there is another circulation near where new convection is trying to blow up near 18N 60.5W


I agree with you Drak...When i saw the NHC center location i scratched my head...I know you have been saying that it was the Northern one all day and i see you are sticking to it...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting taco2me61:


Anything is possible.... But I have to say as long as the storm remains unorganized then it could keep going west and stay away from the sheer...


that's my point. Just curious..thanks for your input.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
SykKid is correct, there hasn't been any good looking storms out there except for Bill, I don't think he was really thinking as them not being dangerous per say but they have not look good unlike some of the eastern pacific storms this year
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
yes ...the cut off low...or, Dune bro's, do we need to take the water of life 1st?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Erika is getting alittle better organized..and if she does..she will slow and move more WNW letting the T-Storms to catch up some..but we still need a blow-up near the LLC!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This kindof reminds me of Hurricane Jeanne, it too was an 'is it or isnt it' storm for a while.


I think it will barrel west into Puerto Rico and get irreparably damaged
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Kman,Floodman,..can ya see the Convective Burst around that Southern Swirl..itsa gonna be da Weiner,er..winner..!

Viz Loop,FLASH
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Erika is like a baby, keeps moving her center around like a child not staying at one spot.. "Good girl Erika now stay where you are... wait, no Erika STAY, don't me me chase after you! " :P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Yes, McAfee is warning of Trojans on this site.
Ran a full scan and finally turned the warning off.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Poor Erika,I think the storm will dissapate
Rest In Atmosphere:

http://www.wunderground.com/tropical/tracking/at200906_hd.html#a_topad
Quoting AllStar17:
I think it is premature of the NHC to dissipate the cyclone before 5 days because of all the uncertainty. IMO, they should have maintained Erika through 5 days.


well, if something changes, they have plenty of time to update that forecast. you're just disappointed because yet another storm is basically sputtering into nothing.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I am looking at the satellite loops, and Erika has not moved since 15:45 UTC in my opinion. It is now 20:15. This is allowing thunderstorms to catch up a bit to the center. Take a look:

Erika stalled...?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 537 - 487

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
30 °F
Overcast