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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One thing I will say...

Erika still have quite impressive 850, 700 and 500 mb vorticity centers associated with it!


850 Vorticity
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amd - don't think anyone has questioned whether the naked swirl has winds. It does and they are rotating around that center, creating those readings.
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RIP?
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From Key West AFTN Discussion ( SRY IF POSTED Already)

LONG TERM (SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY)...
DYNAMICAL AND MEDIUM RANGE MODELS HAVE VARIOUS SOLUTIONS WITH THE
STATE AND TRACK OF TROPICAL SYSTEM ERICA. BUT THE BOTTOM LINE IS IF
ERICA DOES REBOUND...IT WILL MOVE AROUND THE OUTER PERIPHERY
OF A WEAKNESS IN THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE AND EAST OF THE BAHAMAS. A
VERY LIKELY SCENARIO IS MODERATE TO STRONG SHEAR WILL TURN ERICA
INTO A TROPICAL WAVE AND DRIVE IT WESTWARD AND PERHAPS INTO OUR
REGION LABOR DAY AND TUESDAY. UNTIL CONFIDENCE INCREASES
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Buoy C6OM8 reporting a relatively high pressure at 29.92 inches but it is reporting winds comming from the SSE at 37 MPH, which is somewhat impressive.
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181. amd
Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:


how many times you going to post that?


tried once, but it posted 4 times, must be a server error. trying to clear it up now
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http://www.wunderground.com/hurricane/at20065.asp
179. amd
.
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178. IKE
Quoting IKE:
Guadeloupe airport at 16.3N and 61.0W....that's the lowest pressure I've seen all afternoon at the airport and winds are now SE...last hour they were SSE....that naked swirl is the COC...

"Le Raizet Airport, GP (Airport)
Updated: 8 min 48 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy
84 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 79%
Dew Point: 77 °F
Wind: 15 mph from the SE
Pressure: 29.77 in (Falling)

Heat Index: 94 °F
Visibility: 6.2 miles
UV: 3 out of 16
Clouds:
Few 1600 ft
Scattered Clouds 6000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 21000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 26 ft"


From the latest public advisory...THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1008 MB...29.77 INCHES.


That matches up with the pressure at the Guadeloupe airport.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
how many times you going to post that amd?
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Quoting ConchHondros:
Or something more disturbing...


That's more than I want to contemplate
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174. amd
why are my post double and triple posting. something must be up.
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Quoting btwntx08:
look at this hmmm looks like anticyclone seems to be over the storm

It looks displaced to the south from what I can see.
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171. IKE
Quoting amd:
there is no LLC forming in the large convection. how can someone tell? There are absolutely no northerly winds being recorded along the Antilles. None.

Here is the wunderground info for le lamentin, martinique. If a LLC existed within the convection, winds would be from the NW, not the SW as currently updated.

86 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 70%
Dew Point: 75 °F
Wind: 15 mph from the SW
Pressure: 29.83 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 95 °F
Visibility: 6.2 miles
UV: 3 out of 16
Clouds:
Scattered Clouds 2300 ft
Mostly Cloudy 5000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 26000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 13 ft


You are correct.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting ncstorm:
Why Dr. M didnt say anything about this virus that is affecting this blog in the updated blog..he did previously?


Because he could tell you , but he would have to kill you.

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169. amd
sorry about the double post.
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Or something more disturbing...
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Quoting Floodman:
Has anyone seen this? The HWRF...at 144 hours, it shows us this view of Erica:



A strong CAT3, north of the Bahamas with a WNW track...LOL



book your ticket yet!! j/k..HWRF LOL
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Quoting ConchHondros:
Flood, saw the run already...sent it to Brown...no response


He's probably wet hisself...LOL
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164. amd
.
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Quoting Floodman:
Has anyone seen this? The HWRF...at 144 hours, it shows us this view of Erica:



A strong CAT3, north of the Bahamas with a WNW track...LOL

The HWRF is never the best model to follow for intensity, I do have to say the HWRF is a great forecasting model as in it is accurate where the system will end up, the maximum in my opinion it will be is a CAT 1 because Erika could possibly rapidly strengthen in the Bahamas area much similar to what Katrina did several years back.
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162. IKE
Guadeloupe airport at 16.3N and 61.0W....that's the lowest pressure I've seen all afternoon at the airport and winds are now SE...last hour they were SSE....that naked swirl is the COC...

"Le Raizet Airport, GP (Airport)
Updated: 8 min 48 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy
84 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 79%
Dew Point: 77 °F
Wind: 15 mph from the SE
Pressure: 29.77 in (Falling)

Heat Index: 94 °F
Visibility: 6.2 miles
UV: 3 out of 16
Clouds:
Few 1600 ft
Scattered Clouds 6000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 21000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 26 ft"
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Floodman:
Has anyone seen this? The HWRF...at 144 hours, it shows us this view of Erica:



A strong CAT3, north of the Bahamas with a WNW track...LOL


Yeah lmao Thats a nice fairytale there.
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I think the dominant center might be around 15.2N/59.8W, I think in time the original LLC at 16N/62W will merge with the other and become one or vice versa.
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Flood, saw the run already...sent it to Brown...no response
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158. amd
there is no LLC forming in the large convection. how can someone tell? There are absolutely no northerly winds being recorded along the Antilles. None.

Here is the wunderground info for le lamentin, martinique. If a LLC existed within the convection, winds would be from the NW, not the SW as currently updated.

86 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 70%
Dew Point: 75 °F
Wind: 15 mph from the SW
Pressure: 29.83 in (Steady)
Heat Index: 95 °F
Visibility: 6.2 miles
UV: 3 out of 16
Clouds:
Scattered Clouds 2300 ft
Mostly Cloudy 5000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 26000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 13 ft
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Quoting cajunmoma:


Oh I don't worry. I have been through alot of storms, and really don't get worried until something is 3 days out and still headed in my direction. I am merely trying to learn, but this storm is keeping me confussed. Erika is giving everyone a run for their money. Very interesting!



i agree very weird indeed, i too wait until i'm in the cone before i make my get away plans to alaska..nice to meet you btw
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Its pretty obvious that the wunderground guesscasters killed another storm by overhyping it... ha! JK
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Why Dr. M didnt say anything about this virus that is affecting this blog in the updated blog..he did previously?
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With all due respect to you, I think that we have right now is a COC that is jumping around. Once it makes up its mind we should see a track along the north of hispanola. Maybe we should not call it NW, but I'm thinking that it will be in that general direction, but I do respect your opinion
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Quoting F5Tornado:


NO problem, but hey, do you have a humidity map for the atlantic? Or the centers of troughs and low and high pressure systems? Thanks


No, I don't....sorry....
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18z early model runs out.

http://raleighwx.easternuswx.com/models/atcf/18zatcfearlyinvest2.gif
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Erika is a vampiress... she will feed again tonight.
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people want erika to live

she will live then BLOW UP into the next carla
A center reformation farther to the east, around 59W could be in the cards soon. This would change the track quite a bit as well. Right now....I expect a WNW or just south of WNW motion thru the 5 day period. LOL....subject to change.
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Going by the center being further south and moving west this what is most likely to happen now. Erika will move south of PR into the DR and weaken to a TD. If the shear forecast holds then it will become a open wave headed for S FL. Thats my forecast peeps.
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Has anyone seen this? The HWRF...at 144 hours, it shows us this view of Erica:



A strong CAT3, north of the Bahamas with a WNW track...LOL

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Quoting taco2me61:


Thank You and "Wlecome to the Boards" we are glade you chose to be here...

Taco :0)
thank you too.
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it appears that last couple of loop frames on infrared , are depicting some convection sprouting around the "naked swirl's" that's perceived to be the center pf circulation. Specifically south & east sides of the swirl..
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Quoting zicoille:
Hey,

We Missed Bill,

Now We Miss Erika,

Please a Hurricane, Please !!!!
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Quoting WPBHurricane05:
HWRF

LOL!!!


insane!
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Quoting masonsnana:

Love to hear your thoughts on this weird storm called Erica!!!
lol, Erika has been a difficult storm to follow but there are only 2 likely scenarios, she either begins to strengthen (which is unlikely because the anticyclone over Erika has dissipated) or she takes scenario #2 which is most likely because she will probably stay weak...Scenario 2 is that Erika stays weak and goes somewhere along the eastern US seaboard, most likely Florida which is not good because I like in Miami.
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I cant imagine NHC changing much about their track due to so much uncertainty, its best to not show the public that u dont have a clue.
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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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