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 still a TS at 5..
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335. IKE
5:00 PM AST Wed Sep 2
Location: 16.4°N 61.7°W
Max sustained: 40 mph
Moving: W at 10 mph
Min pressure: 1007 mb
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Remnant low in 5 days.
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333. CUBWF
Good afternoon everybody. Erika is a mess. I'm seen trying to rebuild it's center just north of the forcast point. The burst of convection is been pulled to what appear the llc at 60.2 and 16.9. The false center, is becoming elongated and will disappear in a couple of hours. Also the out flow to the north is more visible and Erika, could take a track over P.Rico to the north of D.R. if she can survive the sheer in front of her. Just my opinion. I could be wrong as the models, the NHC or anybody, not a met, just a weather fan. Thank you
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Quoting mikatnight:
What we've got here is a failure to... extrapolate.


You're to young to remember that line!!
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Still a TS at 5pm.
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Trying to find the COC is making the HH pilot look like he is on drugs or drunk.. he is all over the sky

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Quoting WatchingThisOne:


Interesting storm. I note the BAMs are in fairly close agreement on track. Anyone know what shear is forecast to be along that track (along the islands or paralleling them south in the Caribbean waters)

Yeah, I am with SSIGAGuy on that. All 3 BAM flavors take the dirty (most convective) side right over the middle of Hispaniola. Shear will not matter on that track.
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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.
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All these self righteous people need to stop making bold predictions. WE DON'T KNOW!! Give it a few days. Erika is a complicated storm and still will remain a TS at 5 p.m. with 40-45 mph. winds. So many downcasters in here tonight, figured I'd see this.
For the people lurking..
Continue to monitor Tropical Storm Erika. Models have no clue on strength and track as of today, really depends if it can grab that next Anticyclone. The NHC has low confidence but they're right, Erika may dissipate, a 50/50 chance. Give it time and don't listen to the people who are declaring it gone. :)
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7437
Quoting KimberlyB:


I've been watching there myself. Is it as painful for you to agree with him as it is me?



No...Im well aware who He is.

But we all entitled to our opinions,..if not,well..we wouldnt be America.
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324. IKE
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
you are the incorrect one my friend, what CCHS posted is backed up by facts.


Sorry, you're wrong.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Good Evening!

I am brand new to Weather Underground and I would enjoy very much to get acquainted with you guys. I am studying tropical meteorology at the University of Miami, and i am striving for my masters degree. I will try very hard to post the best information I can give.

-MiamiHurricanes09


Welcome. We can always use another Weather Student on here.
Your avatar reminded me, where is Canesrule today?
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Quoting scottsvb:



Weatherstudent is this you??????
lmao, no its not, weatherstudent has his own handle, he posted earlier today.
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who cares?
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From what I can tell and see on the visible satellite loops, is that Erika is trying once again to wrap up her mid level and low level circulations. After dinner I will do another blog post about Erika currently. However I will say this, there is a rather ominous area of shear to her west which should still interfere with her as she heads westward in the Caribbean Sea. I believe her problem is that the exposed low level circulation is still well defined and is really showing no signs of letting go and wants to be the main center of circulation. Convection is showing signs of wanting to wrap around the NE quadrant of the weak storm and appears there is convection flaring right in the southeast quadrant of the low level exposed center. A hint of things to come tonight possibly?
Member Since: October 21, 2008 Posts: 248 Comments: 3970
...and today's blog is sponsored by the letter "V" - for voodoo
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Quoting stormno:
reedzone i disagree but we all have opinions and im not downcasting im giving you the facts as i see them...i been saying this since erica was born...conditions are very hostile reed.she is lucky she survived this long.....Stormno


But conditions will be favorable for her in 2-3 days.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
you are the incorrect one my friend, what CCHS posted is backed up by facts.



Weatherstudent is this you??????
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Erika is reminding me a little bit of Bertha at this point. Link
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Quoting scottsvb:



Errrrrrnttt Wrong... LLC is clearly away from the convection....Your guesscasting @ a midelevel center probably!


Have you been keeping track of the Hurricane Hunter data in the past couple hours?
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
Quoting atmoaggie:
Yeah, Nassau to Cayman. Again, the models are blindfolded in a cornfield and hopelessly lost.



Interesting storm. I note the BAMs are in fairly close agreement on track. Anyone know what shear is forecast to be along that track (along the islands or paralleling them south in the Caribbean waters)
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Quoting Baybuddy:
Let's just wait and see...like Erika, my wife is pretty erratic between cycles.
gee what a mental picture LOL
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3029
Quoting Patrap:




.."I set my Mind In Motion and I sense the GOM Ocean"..

There,..near the V,beware the Development,..





With the storm, we will set family aginast family and only the Padishah Emperor and House Harkonnen will profit....MUAHAHAHAHAHA!
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Quoting Patrap:


A Kink idn da Front.

"Vary" Interesting,..



I gotta go with stormno on this one,cept Im feeling more Mid-Gulfish on the Genesis.


I've been watching there myself. Is it as painful for you to agree with him as it is me?
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Local WPB news just said WORST case scenario we will see a little rain from Erika... is this premature or right on?
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To be sure,,theres mucho mo to the Atlantic Basin in September than Just Erika,or the TD its become.
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Quoting scottsvb:



Errrrrrnttt Wrong... LLC is clearly away from the convection....Your guesscasting @ a midelevel center probably!
you are the incorrect one my friend, what CCHS posted is backed up by facts.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
000
AGXX40 KNHC 021906
MIMATS

MARINE WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
306 PM EDT WED SEP 02 2009

TROPICAL STORM ERIKA REMAINS DISORGANIZED WITH LARGE CLUSTERS OF
CONVECTION WITHIN 300 NM OVER THE E SEMICIRCLE. LATEST ADVISORY
HAS LOWERED THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS TO 35 KT GUST TO 45 KT.
STRONGEST WINDS PRESENTLY IN NE SEMICIRCLE AND SE QUADRANT OF
THE STORM. THE S PORTION OF ERIKA WILL BRUSH THE NE CORNER OF
CARIBBEAN TONIGHT TROUGH FRI. ELSEWHERE IN CARIBBEAN...ERIKA HAS
FLATTENED PRES GRADIENT AND EFFECTIVELY DIMINISHED ANY STRONG
WINDS ACROSS MOST OF BASIN. ONLY SMALL AREA ALONG COAST OF
COLOMBIA ACCOUNTS FOR A MODERATE BREEZE WHILE REMAINING CARIBBEA
WINDS ARE GENERALLY LIGHT.

WARNINGS
ATLC...
.TROPICAL STORM WARNING N OF 15N...AMZ087.

CARIBBEAN...
.TROPICAL STORM WARNING N OF 16N E OF 66W...AMZ086.

GULF OF MEXICO...
.NONE

$$
FORECASTER WALLY BARNES
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56028
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Let's just wait and see...like Erika, my wife is pretty erratic between cycles.
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Quoting hurricanehanna:
Pat - what is that "V" ???


A Kink in da Front.

"Vary" Interesting,..



I gotta go with stormno on this one,cept Im feeling more Mid-Gulfish on the Genesis.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Erika is slowly becoming a bit more organized on satellite:



Once again, I agree!
Member Since: February 14, 2004 Posts: 2 Comments: 664
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Erika is slowly becoming a bit more organized on satellite:




very strange how a storm can change its face during a day and night..Dr Jekyll and Mrs Hyde
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
298. JLPR
I have a theory lol

maybe the old circulation is interfering with the new one
so maybe once the old circulation gets further away or dissipates the new center might have a chance at strengthening
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It will survive for another day! Still TS at 5pm. for the PooL LoL.
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Quoting Patrap:




.."I set my Mind In Motion and I sense the GOM Ocean"..

There,..near the V,beware the Development,..





Yikes
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Quoting cchsweatherman:
After analyzing the Hurricane Hunter data for the past couple hours, it appears that we indeed do have a new circulation center pretty much covered with convection somewhere around 16.8N and 59W. The Hurricane Hunters have been sending in very good data and it appears that Erika may be trying to regather itself as they did report some decent tropical storm force winds near 45-50 mph winds. But the data does show that Erika remains rather disorganized as the system isn't really stacked which has been caused by some isolated wind shear.
cchs does it look like the track will be shifted southward and what kind of strength does it look like it will be by the time it gets to the bahamas
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3029
Quoting Patrap:
seems to be like the forecast cone's intensity should be increased.
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Quoting hurricanehanna:
are stormno and apocolypse related? Seems to be from the same gene pool...

That one is so ripe for jokes I'm going to have to pass on it. WAY too easy.
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Quoting cchsweatherman:
After analyzing the Hurricane Hunter data for the past couple hours, it appears that we indeed do have a new circulation center pretty much covered with convection somewhere around 16.8N and 59W. The Hurricane Hunters have been sending in very good data and it appears that Erika may be trying to regather itself as they did report some decent tropical storm force winds near 45-50 mph winds. But the data does show that Erika remains rather disorganized as the system isn't really stacked which has been caused by some isolated wind shear.



Errrrrrnttt Wrong... LLC is clearly away from the convection....Your guesscasting @ a midelevel center probably!
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291. IKE
weather456, I think, lives on St. Kitts, which is at 17.3N and 62.7W. They have NE winds at 14 which would be correct if the naked swirl is the COC, which it is.

Not sure what the NHC will do at 5 pm. There's TS warnings in effect. Tempted to think they may hold Erika as a TS at 5 and wait until the 11 pm update to give it a few more hours.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting KimberlyB:

Check the name. That would be ma'am. Or chick or broad or hun or babe or just plain Kim, but not sir. ; )


A "Dune" reference! Nice.

Now, I'm reading everyone's varying opinion's on the models, but I was curious as to which model has been used the longest?



sorry about that i meant mam and spelled sir, once again sorry.
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289. Relix
Local Met in PR said that the NHC has probably determined the strongest circulation will be the one east of 59E and around 16.5. Also, it probably is turning WNW already (or was it NW, can't remember) and into the caribbean. The Anticyclone will leave behind though, and the system could be sheared to death before passing right over PR.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2741
Pat - what is that "V" ???
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Quoting btwntx08:

oh really look at the shear map it hasn't got to that area of 20-30 shear yet which is south of pr right now its in 10 kts of shear

Not all shear shows on the maps. Some of it only shows in soundings and cloud drift.
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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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