Erika dumping heavy rain on the Lesser Antilles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:12 PM GMT on September 03, 2009

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Tropical Storm Erika is hanging together despite strong wind shear, and is bringing high winds and much-needed heavy rain to the Lesser Antilles Islands. Winds on the south shore of Dominica Island were sustained at 37 mph this morning, and 8.03" of rain have been measured at the airport over the past two days. Winds and rain at nearby islands have been less, according to our wundermap for the region. The Hurricane Hunters are in the storm now, and have generally encountered top winds of 40 - 45 mph at the surface. They did find one spot of 50 - 65 mph winds, but that was likely due to outflow from a strong thunderstorm, and is not representative of Erika's wind field.


Figure 1. Radar image of Tropical Storm Erika at 9:15am EDT 9/3/09. Image credit: Meteo France.

Erika has improved in organization a bit since last night, but remains weak and disorganized, thanks to about 20 knots of shear at the 200 mb level, as seen on last night's Guadeloupe upper air sounding. Radar animations out of Martinique show plenty of heavy rain moving through the Lesser Antilles, but little organization of the echoes. Satellite imagery shows no low-level spiral bands and little upper-level outflow. Long range radar out of Puerto Rico is beginning to show rain echoes from Erika approaching the island.

The forecast for Erika
The computer models have come into better agreement about the track of Erika, taking the storm west-northwest over Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. This track will take Erika into a band of significantly higher wind shear of 25 - 35 knots, Friday through Saturday. Considering that Erika is barely maintaining itself as a tropical storm with 20 knots of shear, the combined effects of the higher shear and the encounter with the high mountains of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico should be enough to cause Erika to dissipate by Sunday. Erika's remains will still be capable of dumping very heavy rains of 3 - 5 inches over the Dominican Republic and 1 - 3 inches over Haiti and the Southeast Bahamas, due to the slow motion of the storm. By Monday, when the remains of Erika should be over the Bahamas, the storm will have penetrated through the band of high wind shear over the Greater Antilles, and shear may fall low enough for redevelopment of the storm. This is a scenario offered by the NOGAPS model, which then takes Erika northward towards North Carolina. The other models predict quite a bit more shear in the region than the NOGAPS, and any redevelopment of Erika early next week remains an iffy proposition. The GFDL and HWRF models continue to insist that Erika will brush off the high shear this weekend, avoid Hispaniola, and intensify into a Category 2 hurricane five days from now. These models have not been giving enough emphasis to how the current shear is affecting Erika, and are being discounted at this time.

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A number of wunderground users with the McAfee virus protection software installed were alerted yesterday that a possible Trojan virus existed on our web pages. After an investigation of the issue, we have determined that this is a false alarm. It appears McAfee updated their virus files yesterday, and included in their list of suspected viruses JavaScript web pages that are compressed using the packer compression system used by wunderground. We've changed the compression technique used on our web pages, and hopefully this will eliminate the bogus McAfee alert messages.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic
A large, strong tropical wave with plenty of spin emerged from the coast of Africa this morning. The wave is not yet generating much in the way of heavy thunderstorms, but has the potential to gradually develop into a tropical depression by early next week. NHC is giving this wave a low (less than 30% chance) of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday. The GFS model has been consistently developing this wave in its runs over the past few days.

I'll have an update this afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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The new wave off Africa has Bill's size and vorticity..

Any take on here...? :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
I see the naked swirl racing west near 17N and 65W.

I also see another swirl with convection near 16N and 62W.


She just keeps on shedding her skin. Same as yesterday afternoon. This may mean we are going to begin to see the NHC go ahead and shift the official forecast positions more west yet. She is just staying too low for the typical steering forces to move her like the models think they will.
Member Since: May 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 209
We might actually have a true established LLC finally near St. Johns island...



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Quoting Bonz:
"Driving is hectic/dangerous as no traffic lights work..."

LOL. At least you had the physical structures of traffic lights. Down here, Wilma stripped almost every single light in the county off of their wires. Boy those things are BIG close up!


Another thing: you can stand next to a 60' coastal pine and never realize how tall it really is until you see it laying across the neighbor's house...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting Orcasystems:


I still have the disks at home in my office... 3.5 and 5.25


I still got tape backup and 8" floppies. Need any extras? I keep them next to my manual calculator.

Hey Flood, do you still have the compass galileo gave you?
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Quoting Floodman:


You missed further arguments on whether Erika will strengthen/weaken, move WSW, W, WNW or NW, arguments on the efficacy of the models currently used for forecasting, a brief lesson in Latin (where I showed how badly I misspent my youth) and Orcasystems unintentional blinding of himself...did I miss anything, guys?


People confessing they were posting/blogging from work, lol. And sharing of OS's and browser configurations.
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Omg! I'm gonna need another shot of cuban coffee to keep up with this storm...
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Just saw that a low is shown on the 24 hour surface forecast but then just a wave on the 48 hour surface forecast. On the 48 hour you can see a low moving into the graphic.
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could this be another fay? i hope not. looks like its gonna rain every day in fl this week and next week. geez!
471. Bonz
"Driving is hectic/dangerous as no traffic lights work..."

LOL. At least you had the physical structures of traffic lights. Down here, Wilma stripped almost every single light in the county off of their wires. Boy those things are BIG close up!
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Quoting dolphingalrules:
2:00 is right around the corner. we will see then


whos around the corner? the boogie man!!

Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
469. IKE
I see the naked swirl racing west near 17N and 65W.

I also see another swirl with convection near 16N and 62W.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Orcasystems:
This is going to be another one of those flights where they fly around like a drunk sailor looking for a free drink... the COC's will be all over the place.



agree completely....but i do think the 2 they will spend most time with will be the swirl their at now and the apparent newer coc in the islands...we will see what they find...
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1516
460. that's pretty funny--i didn't think of it that way!

463. you need some new workhands! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting Chavalito:
Just waiting for the confirmation: Erica is dead... Without convection and heavy thunderstorms and cold cloud tops it's almost impossible for Erika to survive. Requiem in Pacem...


Ahhh, I see...not a bad education, it's an unwillingness to learn...LOL

Bacca pro sus...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
2:00 is right around the corner. we will see then
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Quoting pearlandaggie:
431. what is it when you're at work but not *working*? LOL

It means you work for me...
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Quoting jeffs713:
212. I'm not quite sure how to respond to that. You obviously didn't lose any possessions, nor did you get to experience the excitement of feeling your entire apartment building move with each wind gust. And you apparently are completely ok working in an office with 400 other people with 80 computers between you. Or taking cold showers every day until your power came back on. Or when you want a drink, you have a choice between room temp water, room temp gatorade, or room temp (and flat) soda. Oh, lets not forget having intermittent contact with the outside world, and being concerned for your family who lives an hour away.

Yeah, thats all terribly exciting.


I had too much contact with the oustide world... The cold showers were not as annoying as the incessant HEAT as A/C doesn't work too well without power. I don't know how you had computers working without power. Driving is hectic/dangerous as no traffic lights work...

Yes fun times for all. Looking forward to never doing it again. All other perils were as you described...
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still finding 1009mb and 25mph surface winds near the westward marching swirl...lol

Link
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1516
Quoting pearlandaggie:
431. what is it when you're at work but not *working*? LOL

lentesco off??


isnt that a yoga bear aflac commercial..LOL
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
Quoting Floodman:


Stultus mos operor ut stultus mos operor; sapiens vir temerarius is non

Damn, I've forgotten a lot of subjugation


E Pluribus Unum my friend!
Let's burn a wheel!
Member Since: October 30, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 270
This is going to be another one of those flights where they fly around like a drunk sailor looking for a free drink... the COC's will be all over the place.

Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
451. nope, that about does it. ;)
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting Floodman:


You missed further arguments on whether Erika will strengthen/weaken, move WSW, W, WNW or NW, arguments on the efficacy of the models currently used for forecasting, a brief lesson in Latin (where I showed how badly I misspent my youth) and Orcasystems unintentional blinding of himself...did I miss anything, guys?


pretty much same topics as a month ago!!1
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
Quoting Floodman:


XP Pro Sp3 with IE8 and no strertch, not even before IE8 using IE7

IE7 has the fix (that was started by FF) of automatically sizing images to fit.

IE6 will do it also, but only when you open the image by itself. If it is embedded via HTML, it displays in its full blog-stretching glory.
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For anybody that has an opinion on this, Please tell me on the Sat loop,is Erika going a little S or is the wind sheer blowing the NW tops off ? Or is it both?
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1010mb surface low 14N 34w moving west. very little convection at the moment. area of disturbed weather off the african coast looking impressive and could be our next invest and storm
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Flood, I can't remember how to decline my nouns anymore... that hurts my brain!

I've got a question for those of you in emergency management/disaster response. Can you tell me where to find information on career opportunities in the field? I'm kind of looking for a career change, and I think it's an area that I'd enjoy.

TIA!

Poor Erika has had a hard life. However, I bet she keeps TS status for at least one more update. No matter what, I bet they're not going to want to cancel the watches for PR after they've already told people to prepare.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8
Quoting justalurker:
back, what did i miss?

wow blog has only 442 posts, erika must of vanished!!


You missed further arguments on whether Erika will strengthen/weaken, move WSW, W, WNW or NW, arguments on the efficacy of the models currently used for forecasting, a brief lesson in Latin (where I showed how badly I misspent my youth) and Orcasystems unintentional blinding of himself...did I miss anything, guys?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Just waiting for the confirmation: Erica is dead... Without convection and heavy thunderstorms and cold cloud tops it's almost impossible for Erika to survive. Requiem in Pacem...
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Quoting BDAwx:

Bermuda, i live just less that half a mile from the coast which is about as far inland as you can go here.


Wow. Gotta stink when something is coming your way... I live in SE Tx. My sister lived in Fort Worth for many years. said everybody there would say.. I wish houston would get hit so we can get some rain.. Its sad but true. To wish something like that for rain. Not thinking of the people who loose everything they have worked for. Or the kids who have to change schools and loose everything they have and their friends. i know after going thru Alicia,Allison,and Ike i would never wish that on anyone. I live 5 miles from Sylvan Beach. At the same time this is my home and im not leaving
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Is this the last trick up her sleeve or is she about to go poof? 50/50 imo
I am not saying a word, I live in s.fl. can barley speak any Spanish. I do know from your postings you must have had a fine education one way or the other.
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Quoting LUCARIO:
looks like more days off of school next week
with erika, we will be off school for two weeks.
erika could be a cat2 next week?!?
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Quoting Floodman:


It pays to wear your shades all day long, huh?


I changed the format... easier on the eyes now :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Quoting justalurker:
back, what did i miss?

wow blog has only 422 posts, erika must of vanished!!


I am fresh out of things to say about her. Just sitting back and watching what mother nature has in store.
Quoting Orcasystems:
OMG, I think I blinded myself


It pays to wear your shades all day long, huh?
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
back, what did i miss?

wow blog has only 442 posts, erika must of vanished!!
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
Quoting pearlandaggie:
431. what is it when you're at work but not *working*? LOL


I bet you at LEAST 50% of the people here want to know the answer to that, lol. Including me.
Quoting gordydunnot:
Hey flood were you an alter boy. I thought that was a dead language.


Part of a failed classical education, I'm afraid...I was never very good at Greek and my Hebrew/Aramiac is abyssmal...the dude abides LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting pearlandaggie:
431. what is it when you're at work but not *working*? LOL


Its called the owner :)
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
431. what is it when you're at work but not *working*? LOL

lentesco off??
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting pearlandaggie:
422. i've always used Firefox and i've never seen "blog stretched"...i guess that's an Internet Exploder thing!


XP Pro Sp3 with IE8 and no strertch, not even before IE8 using IE7
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Hey flood were you an alter boy. I thought that was a dead language.
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Quoting tbrett:

I like the way you have done this, let's all see what you see. Good job, is it right, I am not knowledgeable enough to comment.


hell, i dont know if its right, but its my personal opinion of what i see...i dont judge peoples opinions, and id hope others will do the same..im wide open for discussion...lol...but with the last 2 new frames on visible you can definite see the circulation in the islands better and the banding...but with that i see the convection around the center is warming and fading slowly...will have to wait and see if it makes a comback in the next few hours...im curious to see what recon finds when they get over there...they passed right by the old vortex so i dont think they have too much interest with it...
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1516
433. IKE
I take back what I just said about not believing models. I do believe the ECMWF, but even it has flip-flopped on Erika.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
well, Orca, at least the Hurricane Hunters aren't flying into the sun like yesterday! LOL
Member Since: September 14, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 3963
Quoting pearlandaggie:
421. or, it's just someone referencing something beyond their means! LOL


Stultus mos operor ut stultus mos operor; sapiens vir temerarius is non

Damn, I've forgotten a lot of subjugation
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922

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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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