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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2537. Dakster
Looks like Erika turned on her windshear wipers.

Not giving up on trying to get herself together...

In My Amatuer Weather Opinion:

As far as splitting into two... Anything is possible, but if Erika were to split into two it is going to have a "fujiwara affect" and I don't think that both stomrs would survive because of the already hostile environment. One of two things happen and this may be why we don't have multiple storms. The first is that the larger storm absorbs the smaller storm (I think this is happening and why the center keeps "jumping). The other is that they rotate around each other... Wiki has a very good article on the "Fujiwara Affect".
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40 KTS of shear ahead of erika.
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Quoting lurkn4yrs:
Good morning everyone.. One question how many storms have actually turned into hurricanes after looking like this besides the obvious one.
i can name one of my head "ANDREW"
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
Good morning everyone.. One question how many storms have actually turned into hurricanes after looking like this besides the obvious one.
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Quoting justalurker:


good morning miami,

i see you are a up early, getting addicted to this blog huh..?
lol
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2532. JRRP
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
good morning!!!


good morning miami,

i see you are a up early, getting addicted to this blog huh..?
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
Have a good day all. Be back later to see if she makes through the day. :)
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good morning!!!
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting Weather456:


earlier we has some gust blowing leaves around and a shower but now its overcast. The bulk of the rain is ever so slowing inching towards us.


is it like business as usual there, are people taking the warnings seriously?
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
2527. KBH
looks like two centres with circulation being different in each, anyone seeing that or I am still half asleep
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Quoting justalurker:


are you feeling the effects of erika?


earlier we has some gust blowing leaves around and a shower but now its overcast and still. The bulk of the rain is ever so slowing inching towards us.
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She's persistent, gotta give her that.

Further north she goes, more shear she finds though... however, we've already had problems with shear forecasts throughout Erika's life, so they're not exactly gospel.

They won't upgrade her any much more because the 50mph winds were isolated, it's still very weak with fairly high pressure. 1009mb is what you'd expect from a new low coming off Africa rather than a tropical storm.
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Quoting Weather456:


are you feeling the effects of erika?
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
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2518. Relix
... So I see it finally moves WNW and we might have a COC relocation further to the north. Right? Or at least a new center fix.
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Shear is now rising over Erika, 20 knots; however, since it may not go over Haiti, it could regenerate when it hits that area of light wind shear near the Bahamas. Something to think about. I'm still not writing this system off yet.
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7340
good morning,

i see erika has blown up like a blow fish again during DMAX, what is the deal with this girl!! she keeps on getting belt whipped (shear)but still comes back..new invest soon?
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
2515. jipmg
radar is showing a circulation under the main convection..

mhm
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HOT OFF THE PRESS!!!!!
10:48:00Z 16.800N 60.950W 842.9 mb
(~ 24.89 inHg) 1,589 meters
(~ 5,213 feet) 1014.8 mb
(~ 29.97 inHg) - From 151 at 45 knots
(From the SSE at ~ 51.7 mph) 13.0C
(~ 55.4F) 8.7C
(~ 47.7F) 47 knots
(~ 54.0 mph) 51 knots
(~ 58.6 mph) 27 mm/hr
(~ 1.06 in/hr) 48.8 knots (~ 56.2 mph)
Tropical Storm 108.5%

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A few stronger readings coming up, a couple near the 50mph mark. However, coupled near a few marked dodgy ones...

Still producing TS winds on the whole, though.
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oz...good to hear from ya...can't wait to see what you got from jimena
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2509. KBH
some of us amatuers were wondering last night if the system could split in two, nort hand south, but could not get confirmation
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2508. Relix
Guys! SUMARRY! I see the northern COC won thanks to NHC info! Summary please!
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At the end of this loop it looks like Erika has grown a tail?

Link
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2506. jipmg
alright link to the radar
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Radar reflectivity indicate 1 maybe forming in that convection though we need more images to confirm. Also hurricane hunters are finding 46 mph winds there but the west winds are further south.
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10:44:30Z 16.567N 60.933W 842.3 mb
(~ 24.87 inHg) 1,597 meters
(~ 5,240 feet) 1015.1 mb
(~ 29.98 inHg) - From 170 at 45 knots
(From the S at ~ 51.7 mph) 13.0C
(~ 55.4F) 9.0C
(~ 48.2F) 46 knots
(~ 52.9 mph) 43 knots
(~ 49.4 mph)
They found 43KT winds in the CDO so far!!!
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2502. KBH
Quoting tramp96:

caught ya

it looks to already have some circulation going and not much SALin that area
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Quoting VortMax1969:
They have to fly at that altitude when it is designated a TS. That's their floor.



Yet if it's a cane they can drop down to 1,000 ft or so? Seems odd.
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Vort, they've been flying at 5,000ft this whole trip. Not sure why they are not lower...

Still think this will be enough to determine if there is anything going on N of Guadeloupe.
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Quoting yonzabam:
Why is Albert Einstein wearing a baseball cap the wrong way round and staring at western Ireland?


Because ol' Bert has had one too many pints of Guinness again.
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2495. IKE
Quoting tramp96:

caught ya


Hand in the cookie jar, huh?

GFS has Erika/remnants, getting to SE FL. and then getting absorbed in a trough moving off of the SE USA coast in about a week.

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Why is Albert Einstein wearing a baseball cap the wrong way round and staring at western Ireland?

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HH are circling Guadeloupe...We will now find out if there is anything in that convective mass.
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Any data supporting a center relocation farther to the NHC under the deepest convection?
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5300
Hmmm. I was close. Lol
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Every tropical cyclone this year has initiate warnings and watches for some area in the Atlantic. we have 3 more weeks to watchful.
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I seriously hope the Hurricane Hunters go in the area of the deepest convection, there may be a new reformed center there, IMO.

Also, I am still skeptical of NHC killing it in short order....she may throw another trick at us if they are not careful.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5300
Hmm.

This is interesting:

W - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 03 SEP 2009 Time : 091500 UTC
Lat : 16:30:38 N Lon : 62:43:43 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.0 /1002.3mb/ 45.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
3.0 3.2 3.7

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.3mb

Center Temp : -60.8C Cloud Region Temp : -60.7C

Scene Type : CURVED BAND with 0.62 ARC in BLACK
Maximum CURVED BAND with 0.68 ARC in BLACK
at Lat: 15:42:36 N Lon: 62:19:11 W

Positioning Method : FORECAST INTERPOLATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 0.7T/6hr
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF
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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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