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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can't wait and see. that would not be consistent with this blog's attitude.
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The wave coming off of Africa is impressive, even though models curve it out to sea you have to remember models are useless when it is not a TD or higher. Here is the wave:
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Oh and apologies about the center relocation.. I read the NHC discussion a bit fast. Thought it said the center was not west of that Island. The center is surely that naked low level swirl. We'll see what Erika can do tonight.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
Quoting rareaire:
The man with a PHD says to close to call but many here are ok its gone, lol I laugh at that optimism. Its doing what its done since it started, grow sheer, die down, grow, go west, go nw, go nnw. How about we wait and see!


I have to admit that Erika's chances of strengthening are not looking good -- but I will continue to watch just in case.
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As i explained this morning in the other entry. Erika is a Large CV circulation,..always has been. And She can develop a Central CoC due to the Ongoing shear at different Levels.

She has a Good Up Pulse Like Last Night that had even the featured Bloggers crying Havoc,but unless she can Find a way to Maintain a CENTRAL CoC within the Overall Cyclonic Flow,..well
Shes never going to be all that some would Like her to Be.
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Is anyone else getting trojan alerts from McAfee when they click on this website?
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GFDL run is corrupt:

Link
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Quoting Ossqss:
Updated DAT is catching this file each click on this site using IE.

mootools-wu-1.11[1].js

It is the JS/Exploit-Packed.c.gen

I hope some have forwarded this info to Admin.

I will also as I depart.


I've noticed occasionally some of the ads on this site have questionable active scripting. This problem is not just unique to this site. The pay per click ad suppliers like Google Adwords need to start vetting their ads better from their clients.
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We could be looking at a whole new situation if Erika bypasses all land masses towards the south (Hispaniola, PR, Cuba, etc.).
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Quoting SykKid:


Every storm with the exception of Bill has been a disorganized mess.


Right to the ignore list buddy. Tell that to the family of the person killed in Claudette bub. Or the family of that small boy who was washed out to sea by Danny's waves and who they've still not found. You really have no clue do you?
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427. CUBWF
Hey, remember, not always D.R. destroy tropical storms. Fay runs the entire island, from east to west, and everybody knows how she finished.
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The quikscat for 10N 43W should be interesting this evening

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Why has no one mentioned the possibility that Erika may continue to go W and just stay in the Caribbean? Is this not a possibility? Why?
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Here's a scenario, for fun :)

What if Erika keeps moving west? haha.. Longshot but anythings possible.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
The man with a PHD says to close to call but many here are ok its gone, lol I laugh at that optimism. Its doing what its done since it started, grow sheer, die down, grow, go west, go nw, go nnw. How about we wait and see!
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The storm off of Africa's coast seems to be strong it will become T.S. Fred as soon as it comes offshore
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In the updated blog entry above, the good Dr points out that the swirl he referred to as a "false center" this morning is now the real center. So Erika really is going naked, at least for now . . .
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Cimss shear tendency map shows decreasing shear. If Erika can avoid Hispaniola moving east of the landmass then it has the potential to become better organized again...
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Quoting Funkadelic:
Erika will be moving at a slow speed of 10mph over the those tall mountains. Oh well the African wave looks good, but will move out to sea according to the models.


If you are a thrill seeker(which i'm not) this season as been pretty pathetic...with storms going out to sea and non-closed LLC or naked swirls it has just been pathetic thats why downcasting is the way to go be skeptical about every storm until it shows it can hold its own its the only way to be right
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Why would Erika not regenerate after sunday in the very warm and low shearing area around the bahamas?
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The storm at the 18UTC NAM Develops is not Erika, but the wave behind her...

Oh, and by the way, that's in the face of 30 knots of westerly shear. LMAO.
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What do you call the mouse shadow on the second moon?

We call that one Muad'Dib.
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Quoting SykKid:
Another pathetic storm....in what's been a pathetic season.


Oh so true.. no massive property damage.. no ravaged city s... no fatality lists 1000's long... ohhh such a dismal season.. where is the carnage....

Poof.. your gone
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Quoting Patrap:


..."Up on yer feet,Moods are for women and Cattle...
Note the Pressures Mid-Gulf Man"..!


Using the point lacks artistry lad; have you seen the steering?!
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Quoting scottsvb:


Not even close to what the NHC said


Do we have to find some sort of reason to always bash someone? Its his opinion, doesn't mean its right. I could say Erika might be bringing green eggs and ham to the Islands, does that automatically make it fact? No, just my opinion.
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407. IKE
Quoting reedzone:


Yep, land interaction and wind shear IF it's correct, but confidence is low. If it goes north, I feel it could regenerate. People still need to watch Erika, but again not panic, it's far from being a threat to anyone at this time. The naked swirl is NOT the actual center, it's a fake swirl as Masters pointed out this morning. This storm is so unvertically stacked, it's causing a couple of centers lol.


From his blog above...

"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."
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The NHC cone keeps going further and further south...

Now the southern portion of the cone bypasse all land to the south. Only way Erika survives past 72 hours IMHO...

If she were to go north of the islands, the westerlies are forecast to be quite strong = sheared to death.

Over the islands of Puerto Rico or Hispaniola = land induced dissipation
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Quoting KimberlyB:
So if that pans out and you have a remnant low in that area, is there no chance of that low redeveloping?

I'm not "wishcasting". Not by a long shot. I just wanted to ask since everyone is saying that if it takes that path then it will be completely gone in 5 days.


Once a tropical system becomes a remnant low...its chance of redeveloping is under 10%...if it does have the perfect ideal conditions...it happens..but rarely... more often a midlevel center works its way down to the surface and kicks out the old center.
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Don't know about the latest NHC forecast.
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IF Erika begins to move WNW/NW soon, then we most monitor Erika closely, if she follows the NHC come dead on, then we will be able to discard Erika in 3 to 5 days time if she is done for and the NHC is no longer posting advisories on her.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
just like the commercial says;

"what ever happens in the Caribbean, stays in the Caribbean"
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
18z nam at 84 hrs actually develops 94L compared the 12z that never developed it.
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Before heading out for a bit... appears that 18Z NAM has given TS Erika another chance:

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Anticyclone remains just south of Erika.



I can't make a new forecast with so much uncertainty with an unorganized mess. Not tonight unless it strengthens.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
Good afternoon

In this image we can see the center of Erika immediately W of Guadeloupe and sitting close to the 16 degree N line. Although still very disorganized, convection is trying to fill in the center and there are one or two "pop corn " type thunderstorms that have popped up in the immediate vicinty.

The cool of the evening is fast approaching which will give it another chance to try and come together again. If not, the Eastern Caribbean could prove to be Erika's graveyard.

It is very inhospitable for any weak system that does not produce deep convection in a hurry.

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ok
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I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when my fear is gone I will turn and face fear's path, and only I will remain.
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Quoting hurricanehanna:
are stormno and apocolypse related? Seems to be from the same gene pool...
Would that be Apocolypse or Apocolyps2? I think one got banned so he just blatently opened up again.

That's what the "Ignore User" button is for.

Back to the weather.
TROPICAL STORM ERIKA DISCUSSION NUMBER 5
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062009
500 PM AST WED SEP 02 2009
ERIKA HAS A DIFFICULT ROAD AHEAD WITH INCREASING SHEAR LIKELY AS THE
STORM NEARS THE GREATER ANTILLES. WHILE SOME INTENSIFICATION CAN
NOT BE RULED OUT IN THE NEXT DAY OR SO...ALL OF THE GLOBAL MODELS
SHOW A VERY HOSTILE ENVIRONMENT WITH 20-30 KT SOUTHWESTERLY WINDS
AT 250 MB OVER ERIKA. THESE WINDS ARE FORECAST TO CONTINUE...OR
INCREASE...AS THE STORM MOVES NEAR HISPANIOLA. ALTHOUGH MOST OF THE
INTENSITY GUIDANCE STILL SHOWS RESTRENGTHENING OF ERIKA...THE
GUIDANCE HAS COME DOWN QUITE A BIT FROM THIS MORNING. THE NHC
FORECAST IS LOWER THAN THE PREVIOUS ONE...AND SHOWS DISSIPATION OF
THE TROPICAL CYCLONE BY 5 DAYS. ONE ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION IS THAT
INTERACTION WITH HISPANIOLA CAUSES AN EVEN FASTER DEMISE OF ERIKA.

THE LONG-TERM MOTION OF THIS SYSTEM IS ABOUT 275/9. DURING THE
NEXT SEVERAL DAYS...THE STORM SHOULD BE STEERED TO THE WEST OR
WEST-NORTHWEST PRIMARILY BY A RIDGE OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC. THE
GLOBAL MODELS HAVE SHIFTED SOUTHWARD WITH THE TRACK FORECAST SINCE
THIS MORNING...PERHAPS DUE TO THE WEAKER INITIAL STATE OF ERIKA.
THE NHC FORECAST IS SHIFTED SOUTHWARD AS WELL...REMAINING WEST OF
THE MODEL CONSENSUS.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 02/2100Z 16.4N 61.7W 35 KT
12HR VT 03/0600Z 16.8N 62.9W 35 KT
24HR VT 03/1800Z 17.4N 64.6W 35 KT
36HR VT 04/0600Z 18.0N 66.4W 30 KT...INLAND
48HR VT 04/1800Z 18.7N 67.9W 30 KT
72HR VT 05/1800Z 20.0N 70.5W 25 KT
96HR VT 06/1800Z 21.5N 73.5W 20 KT...REMNANT LOW
120HR VT 07/1800Z...DISSIPATED
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Quoting Floodman:


I notice you added the Hebert box to that graphic...remember, now, that that particluar brand of voodoo only owrks in hindsight and only when the storm is strong (LOL)


You notice I did NOT mention the new track is pointing at the other box??
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390. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
National Hurricane Center
Tropical Cyclone Warning #21
SEVERE TROPICAL CYCLONE JIMENA (EP132009)
21:00 PM UTC September 2 2009
=============================

SUBJECT: Center of "Jimena" Makes Landfall On The Baja California Peninsula

At 18:00 PM UTC, Hurricane Jimena (978 hPa) located at 26.4N 112.3W or just southeast of San Buenaventura, Mexico has sustained winds of 75 knots with gusts of 90 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving north at 11 knots.

Hurricane-Force Winds
======================
30 NM from the center

Gale/Storm-Force Winds
========================
120 NM from the center

Tropical Cyclone Warnings
==========================
A HURRICANE WARNING remains in effect for the Baja California Peninsula from Bahia Magdalena northward to Punta Abreojos on the west coast.. and from San Evaristo northward to Mulege on the east coast

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING is in effect for Baja California Peninsula north of Punta Abreojos to Punta Eugenia on the west coast..and north of Mulege to Bahia San Juan Bautista on the east coast

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING is in effect for Baja California Peninsula north of Punta Eugenia to San Jose de Las Palomas on the west coast.. and north of Bahia San Juan Bautista to Bahia de Los Angeles

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING remains in effect for northwestern mainland Mexico from Huatabampito to Bahia Kino

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
12 HRS: 27.4N 112.7W - 60 kts (Overland TS)
24 HRS: 28.1N 113.3W - 45 kts (Overland TS)
48 HRS: 28.1N 114.7W - 30 kts (Overland TD)
72 HRS: 28.0N 115.5W - 25 kts (Low Pressure Area)
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389. IKE
Quoting rwdobson:
"THE SWIRL SOUTHWEST OF GUADELOUPE APPEARS TO BE PART OF THIS ELONGATED CIRCULATION...BUT IS NOT THE MEAN CENTER OF THE OVERALL CYCLONIC ENVELOPE."

Is this even still a tropical cyclone? "overall cyclonic envelope"???


I would say no, but based on winds within the thunderstorm complex, their holding it as such.
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Erika RIP by Saturday!! Sorry GET OVER IT!!
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So if that pans out and you have a remnant low in that area, is there no chance of that low redeveloping?

I'm not "wishcasting". Not by a long shot. I just wanted to ask since everyone is saying that if it takes that path then it will be completely gone in 5 days.
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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.