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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2687. IKE
Quoting serialteg:


Maybe not within 25, but certainly farther east. Almost 50mph surface


Can you post a surface observation with winds that high?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting IKE:


They can keep it a TS if they want to. It's there call. But, I find no tropical storm force winds on any of the 3 islands I've been following.


Thats because it hasnt arrived yet its still at sea...
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Well guys it's Erika vs. Shear it would be interesting due to El Nino and the models being crap with the exception of the UK is the shear maps giving us a false sense of hope too.
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2684. IKE
Quoting GTcooliebai:
wow~! we have a bunch of shear and downcasters. Just give it 24hrs and it will recuperate... does Ana ring a bell the only reason she fell apart was because of DR.


We also have a bunch of wishcasters too...who don't even believe the NHC nor believe recon reports about where the center is.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
2683. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
CHGHUR

TROPICAL CYCLONE GUIDANCE MESSAGE

NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL

1227 UTC THU SEP 3 2009



DISCLAIMER...NUMERICAL MODELS ARE SUBJECT TO LARGE ERRORS.

PLEASE REFER TO NHC OFFICIAL FORECASTS FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE

AND SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION.



ATLANTIC OBJECTIVE AIDS FOR



TROPICAL CYCLONE ERIKA (AL062009) 20090903 1200 UTC



...00 HRS... ...12 HRS... ...24 HRS. .. ...36 HRS...

090903 1200 090904 0000 090904 1200 090905 0000



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 16.8N 63.0W 17.8N 65.1W 18.8N 67.2W 19.6N 69.3W

BAMD 16.8N 63.0W 17.5N 64.2W 18.2N 65.4W 18.8N 66.4W

BAMM 16.8N 63.0W 17.5N 64.6W 18.3N 66.3W 18.9N 67.7W

LBAR 16.8N 63.0W 17.7N 64.3W 18.4N 65.5W 19.1N 66.7W

SHIP 35KTS 39KTS 42KTS 44KTS

DSHP 35KTS 39KTS 37KTS 42KTS



...48 HRS... ...72 HRS... ...96 HRS. .. ..120 HRS...

090905 1200 090906 1200 090907 1200 090908 1200



LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON LAT LON

BAMS 20.4N 71.6W 21.5N 75.8W 22.1N 79.5W 22.5N 82.3W

BAMD 19.2N 67.3W 20.2N 69.2W 21.5N 71.4W 22.9N 74.2W

BAMM 19.5N 69.3W 20.6N 72.3W 21.5N 75.1W 22.5N 78.0W

LBAR 19.5N 67.9W 19.5N 70.7W 19.4N 73.8W 19.9N 76.8W

SHIP 46KTS 46KTS 46KTS 50KTS

DSHP 45KTS 45KTS 44KTS 48KTS



...INITIAL CONDITIONS...

LATCUR = 16.8N LONCUR = 63.0W DIRCUR = 300DEG SPDCUR = 6KT

LATM12 = 16.0N LONM12 = 62.0W DIRM12 = 275DEG SPDM12 = 6KT

LATM24 = 16.4N LONM24 = 60.0W

WNDCUR = 35KT RMAXWD = 120NM WNDM12 = 35KT

CENPRS = 1010MB OUTPRS = 1012MB OUTRAD = 125NM SDEPTH = M

RD34NE = 150NM RD34SE = 150NM RD34SW = 0NM RD34NW = 0NM



$$

NNNN

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Quoting IKE:


Because that's what I see happening. I've look at surface ob's from reporting stations within 25 miles of the center. There are no tropical storm force winds...none.


Maybe not within 25, but certainly farther east. Almost 50mph surface
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
wow~! we have a bunch of shear and downcasters. Just give it 24hrs and it will recuperate... does Ana ring a bell the only reason she fell apart was because of DR.


there is no downcasting here, just reporting what we see ahead..read your shear map before making statements without backing them up with facts..JMO
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
2680. IKE
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Not IMO. The 5AM advisory forecast to still be a TS at 18Z, and the HH are still finding TS strength winds. Unless shear picks up in the next few hours I still see a TS at 11AM.


They can keep it a TS if they want to. It's there call. But, I find no tropical storm force winds on any of the 3 islands I've been following.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
2679. Dakster
ISN'T Erika heading towards the Hurricane graveyard anyways?
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Here she is

looks like she has some rain
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Quoting markymark1973:
A buoy to the west of the center just had a pressure rise to 1011.1MB with a north wind. Erika is weakening. latest vortex message shows 1010mb. Up 1mb from a while ago. She is turning into an open wave like the GFS forecasted from the very first runs.


True, but She's looking better just SE of st johns.

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what are the chances of erika regenarating north of hispaniola
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3029
wow~! we have a bunch of shear and downcasters. Just give it 24hrs and it will recuperate... does Ana ring a bell the only reason she fell apart was because of DR.
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2674. IKE
Quoting caneluver:


Why even make statements like that especialy when it looks like its better organized now than it was at 5 am


Because that's what I see happening. I've look at surface ob's from reporting stations within 25 miles of the center. There are no tropical storm force winds...none.

Convection is already diminishing again. Like StormW posted within the last hour...she's headed for the toaster.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting rwdobson:


GFDL has been over-intensifying Erika all along too. Sept 1 GFDL run had Erika as a 100 knot cane by now. Just because a 2nd model suddenly comes into line with another model that is clearly out to lunch doesn't mean you should start believing them.



Nobody said anything about believing them. Not going to forget about them though.
2672. 996tt
Quoting 996tt:

Haha, Ike it is difficult to determine your opinions on what will happen to Erika so tell us how you really feel. Wouldn't mind some swell action in the Gulf myself. Heres to Erika keeping her act together a little bit anyway . . .

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2671. Dakster
T.S. Erika has BiPolar, Manic, Schizophrenia tendencies...

BTW, what happened to her convention yesterday? Someone said she was having one. Anyone know how many people showed up?
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Quoting reedzone:
IKE may be right, it might be downgraded do to the surface obs. You guys really think he's making all that up? No, Erika is weak, yet strong.. Hmm I hate this storm. Looks can be deceiving, I certainly don't believe this is the end of Erika though.
yeah if that happens you will see this blog become a "ghost town"
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
2668. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Seflhurricane:
I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS

1. TROPICAL STORM ERIKA

FLIGHT ONE - TEAL 76

A. 03/1800Z, 04/0000Z

B. AFXXX 0506A ERIKA

C. 03/1700Z

D. 17.7N 63.57W

E. 03/1715Z TO 03/2345Z

F. SFC TO 10,000 FT



FLIGHT TWO - TEAL 77

A. 04/0600Z, 1200Z

B. AFXXX 0606A ERIKA

C. 04/0500Z

D. 18.3N 64.8W

E. 04/0515Z TO 04/1145Z

F. SFC TO 10,000 FT



2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: CONTINUE 6-HRLY FIXES

IF SYSTEM REMAINS A THREAT.



II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS

1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.

3. REMARKS: MISSION FOR 02/1800Z ON HURRICANE

JIMENA CANCELED BY NHC AT 02/1130Z.

JWP


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2667. P451
48 Hours of Erika - WV



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love storms like this speculation everyone giving their best anaylsis nothing set in stone. the gulf could get interesting too have a good day everyone
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2665. amd
the only line of evidence to keep Erika as a tropical storm was flight level winds of 49 knots to the east of the islands.

Everything else, from pressure, to surface readings, suggests that Erika is a TD right now.
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Quoting IKE:
Look for a downgrade at the next advisory/discussion.


Not IMO. The 5AM advisory forecast to still be a TS at 18Z, and the HH are still finding TS strength winds. Unless shear picks up in the next few hours I still see a TS at 11AM.
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Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:



together, ya have to give them some respect.


GFDL has been over-intensifying Erika all along too. Sept 1 GFDL run had Erika as a 100 knot cane by now. Just because a 2nd model suddenly comes into line with another model that is clearly out to lunch doesn't mean you should start believing them.

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2662. 996tt
Haha, Ike it is difficult to determine your opinions on what will happen to Erika so tell us how you really feel. Wouldn't mind a swell action in the Gulf myself. Heres to Erika keeping her act together a little bit anyway . . .
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A buoy to the west of the center just had a pressure rise to 1011.1MB with a north wind. Erika is weakening. latest vortex message shows 1010mb. Up 1mb from a while ago. She is turning into an open wave like the GFS forecasted from the very first runs.
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IKE may be right, it might be downgraded do to the surface obs. You guys really think he's making all that up? No, Erika is weak, yet strong.. Hmm I hate this storm. Looks can be deceiving, I certainly don't believe this is the end of Erika though.
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
at what time is the HH suppose to investigate erika today
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3029
Quoting rwdobson:
"GFDL & HWRF, together, ya have to give them some respect."

Why? The HWRF has been over-intensifying storms all year. If you believe that model, Danny was a Hurricane. The HWRF intensity forecasts are pure garbage.



together, ya have to give them some respect.
2657. Dakster
Quoting justalurker:


no you what i meant 'U'= UNDERESTIMATE!!


Don't let Gator Bait get under your skin....
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Quoting IKE:
Look for a downgrade at the next advisory/discussion.


Agree TD Erika for sure. 30% chance of an open wave till they see what happens through today.
2655. A4Guy
Quoting Cotillion:
Is Erika stacked by now though? Last time I heard it wasn't.

Hey Hey - no sexual comments in the blog, please!

LoL - sorry!
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Quoting IKE:
Look for a downgrade at the next advisory/discussion.


Why even make statements like that especialy when it looks like its better organized now than it was at 5 am
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ike, gotcha...ok...but still since she can't make up her mind we just all need to watch her...that's all i'm saying...no pro over here just learning as i go...but i respect everyones opinions...except of course for WSJFV..LOL!!
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Could Someone please give me a link to a weather station in St Johns if there is one.

Could get a little nasty there over the next couple hours.
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"GFDL & HWRF, together, ya have to give them some respect."

Why? The HWRF has been over-intensifying storms all year. If you believe that model, Danny was a Hurricane. The HWRF intensity forecasts are pure garbage.
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2650. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
its finish surfmom once the day effect takes hold of her and the shear to the nw grabs her its all but over for this one she had her chance but failed to take advantage of it nothin but a little wind some good rain showers
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Quoting IKE:


What he was saying is it's fixing to be sheared....

Well, just looked at the shear forecast...she gonna be like a pop tart...headed for the toaster.



Yep Erika is definitely going to get sheared for the next 24 hours at the least.
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2648. IKE
Look for a downgrade at the next advisory/discussion.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting FLGatorCaneNut:


Maybe you meant the Who ????
Chomp !
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2646. IKE
Quoting Nolehead:
reed i agree, it's definatly getting better organized...this could be one of those storms that won't make up it's mind till it hits those sts's...granted it's in some warm waters now but just wait......think this could be one of those (pop-tart) storms.....lol love the way stormW put it......kinda like.....suprise!!!


What he was saying is it's fixing to be sheared....

Well, just looked at the shear forecast...she gonna be like a pop tart...headed for the toaster.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
ike, i agree with what you are saying...but lord knows if it stays together which it sure looks like it is..gets deeper in the carrib or closer to the GOM...um...we kight be looking at a good storm...
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Quoting IKE:
Winds from 10 minutes ago at Guadeloupe...Wind: 8 mph from the SE


Winds from 10 minutes ago at Antigua/Barbuda...Wind: 2 mph from the East



Erika is hours away from being downgraded.
sure aint much wind close to the circulation
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We'll we'll have to see what happens. Satellite appearance looks like a Tropical Storm to me but surface obs are finding light winds. Quickscat shows a well defined and tight circulation while the NHC says it's very ill defined. The anticyclone is moving NW towards the 20-40 knot wind shear and looks like it's splitting the shear into 2 if you look at the CIMMS shear map animated. Erika just needs to be watched. We simply just don't know what's going to happen with her, even the NHC has low confidence.
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2642. surfmom
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:


I personally think she has one more trick up her sleeve. GFDL & HWRF, together, ya have to give them some respect.


I respect Storm - but.... I just think that survival instinct is embedded deep in this girl.....I'm not signing her off just yet.....that Gemini quality to her is keeping me cautious.
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2641. MahFL
Also north of Hspaniola there is only 5 kts of shear for a large area. So if she survives the 35 kts she might regen.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
the center is still pretty well defined hmm no its not not any more that is from the nhc


SURFACE CIRCULATION
IS AT BEST POORLY-DEFINE


That was over 3 hours ago!
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2639. IKE
St. Kitts #'s from minutes ago.....

"Nevis, K1 (Airport)
Updated: 11 min 44 sec ago
Mostly Cloudy
79 °F
Mostly Cloudy
Humidity: 89%
Dew Point: 75 °F
Wind: 13 mph from the SE
Pressure: 29.86 in (Rising)

Visibility: 6.2 miles
UV: 2 out of 16
Clouds:
Few 900 ft
Scattered Clouds 4000 ft
Mostly Cloudy 24000 ft
(Above Ground Level)
Elevation: 0 ft"
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
at what time is the HH suppose to investigate erika today
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3029
2637. MahFL
If you look carefully the 40 kts of shear is pretty small, mostly Erika is in 25 kts, which can still allow slow strengthning, or at least able to maintain it's self. Later who knows what might happen ?
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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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