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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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 computer models have come into better agreement about the track of Erika, taking the storm west-northwest over Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Better agreement?? They are still out to lunch......http://my.sfwmd.gov/portal/page?_pageid=3194,21328260,3194_21169354:3194_21260388:3194_21 260861&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL
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Erika's picture.
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Quoting TexNowNM:


Jeffs, may I add this to your excellent response?

When a person has watched old people sobbing because their whole life has washed away; when the director a funeral home tells one, "Yes, we have been burying a lot more people than usual; It is so hard on the old folks;" when one helps working men and women clean up after losing everything they own; when one cooks a meal for people who did prepare for a hurricane with a hurricane closet full of food, but could not prepare to lose the closet with their house; when one helps calm the fears of children who can no longer sleep at night because that was when the water came; when one comforts those who have lost so much in three hurricanes in 36 months; then one may not find it so exciting. I won't even mention how many pets and wild animals died - maybe they mean nothing to some so they are irrelevant. My god, even a cow doesn't deserve to drowned, afraid and confused.

After reading a lot of the posts in the Houston Chronicle, it is obvious that many just don't get it. Personally, I prefer the kind of excitement that doesn't scar people, and they land on which they live, for life. Even little Humberto brought death to an old man in Bridge City, Texas. His family grieved. That is what hurricanes bring: misery, sadness, and death.


Wow!!! So true.. Thanks for reminding all these wishcasters of what it really means.
G-- Bless
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 379
Quoting mrnicktou:


Oh my uncle who we couldn't get ahold of since the eye of the storm or the fact that room temperature drinks are better (I think). Dude it was a bad storm we lost lots of trees around my house and around this whole area. Luckily we didn't have any directly come down on the house until after the storm ended and then one fell on the roof for some reason. I had to drive up to my work and do work there to before the electricity even came on and it was hot and nasty. But it makes you appreciate everything you have and even if you can't have it it shouldn't really make your life that miserable. Dont forget nobody in houston had any cell service or could talk to people. I had friends across the country asking me if i was alright but i couldn't get a message out to them


Well, when you go through a hurricane and find your elderly neighbor bloated and rotting in the rancid water that surrounds your neighborhood... maybe you'll see hurricanes as more than just a little exciting inconvenience. When you catch cholera after being in the water for one day... when you live without power for six months, schools closed for a year, you've lost all your friends because your cell phones got wet when the levees broke, and everything that can be salvaged on your block can fit on the floorboard of one car, maybe it won't be some big thrill anymore. I hope you never have to endure that.
Hurricanes are serious.
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I was feeling good yesterday - but seems even we (in Belize) will have to watch Erika. Any chance the western convection can take a form of its own in the Caribbean?
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LOL @ Orca! haha!
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I will post the picture in my blog instead. It doesn't seem to have gone through. Anyways there was spiral banding beginning to form on the south, southeast area of the new circulation BAP and I believe is forming. Rotation within the low level cloud is now beginning to favor this low around 62W and 16N. It now looks to be taking on more of a circular pattern with convection somewhat a little weaker, but I expect that to change once this circulation develops further.
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Should be a pulse swell from Erika by Monday at Daytona. Hey, right now looks like a little spin just south of Daytona! A low off the front boundary scooting to the NE??
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Quoting LUCARIO:
I told y'all Erika is like and Obessed lover, she ain't going away, ya just gonna have to accept her texas. Erika will cross over florida and build into a monster cat 5 and the rest is history. Don't say thats impossible. ANYTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!

Erika is not going to die, dont let me repeat myself.


You won't have to.. or better said.. if you do.. I won't know it :)
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Quoting StormW:
I'm just curious...why is it that everything that comes off Africa is "fish"? Ya ever think the pattern is telling us something that the waves coming off Africa keep getting closer and closer to the U.S. (i.e. Bill, Danny closer, now Erika).

Not only that...but someone want to tell me..in general...what is the flow on the south side of the Atlantic ridge? East to what?


Nicely put, sir...still more of the "I know what's going to happens". Where did Ike come from...or Rita, or Frances? All long track CV storms
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting jeffs713:
212. I'm not quite sure how to respond to that.......>Yeah, thats all terribly exciting.


Jeffs, may I add this to your excellent response?

When a person has watched old people sobbing because their whole life has washed away; when the director a funeral home tells one, "Yes, we have been burying a lot more people than usual; It is so hard on the old folks;" when one helps working men and women clean up after losing everything they own; when one cooks a meal for people who did prepare for a hurricane with a hurricane closet full of food, but could not prepare to lose the closet with their house; when one helps calm the fears of children who can no longer sleep at night because that was when the water came; when one comforts those who have lost so much in three hurricanes in 36 months; then one may not find it so exciting. I won't even mention how many pets and wild animals died - maybe they mean nothing to some so they are irrelevant. My god, even a cow doesn't deserve to drowned, afraid and confused.

After reading a lot of the posts in the Houston Chronicle, it is obvious that many just don't get it. Personally, I prefer the kind of excitement that doesn't scar people, and they land on which they live, for life. Even little Humberto brought death to an old man in Bridge City, Texas. His family grieved. That is what hurricanes bring: misery, sadness, and death.
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Quoting LUCARIO:
I told y'all Erika is like and Obessed lover, she ain't going away, ya just gonna have to accept her texas. Erika will cross over florida and build into a monster cat 5 and the rest is history. Don't say thats impossible. ANYTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!

Erika is not going to die, dont let me repeat myself.


No need to throw Texas in there.
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 379
It seems like the models have a much more difficult time tracking a system that stays weak, for a longer period of time, than other storms. Also it LOOKS like Erica is going a little S of W on the Sat picture. I got jumped on for saying this night before last and i was right. Just an observation in the last few frames. Also the guy on Crown weather site, said Erika has a chance to go S of Hispanola.
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Look Mommy.. a Choo Choo Train



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oops...looks like the troll spray is wearing off....
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Quoting BurnedAfterPosting:
new surface low possibly forming in the islands

turning really evident on radar and starting to on the visible

16N 62W


After reading this post BAP, I went and looked at the visibile satellite imagery to see for myself, and I noticed the same thing. While convection as a whole is decreasing in coverage, the convection over this area remains strong and the clouds are showing counter clockwise rotation at the low levels. I drew this map to give an illustration:

Could this be the organization we have all been waiting for?
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well one way or another its gonna take almost a week to completely get rid of ole erika, and by that time we will surely have 95L and or Freddie
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Banding? Looks like a damn squid.

I cant even make out a closed llc anymore,looks like an open wave to me.

Then again you never tc's this year are known to have multiple coc's 3-4 maybe. Blah.
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I don't see Ericka being killed by the shear/land i favor a hwrf track/intensity.Georgia/florida need to watch this.
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Erika looks like she is trying to get her act together, just in the last couple of frames on visible and wv you can see more of a spin in the overall pattern.
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Looks like the N half of Erika is dwindling away, is it POSSIBLE the OTHER circulation, in the S side of Erika is taking over??
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304. IKE
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, includes Dr. Masters & Weather456, daily update.


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
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fourcaster- when i play golf i four-cast alot!!!
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
12Z GFS 168 hours


Truthfully folks, what is the likelihood of THIS MODEL being accurate?? And I hope the model is WRONG, PERIOD! I live in Nashville, TN, several hundred miles inland, but no-one on the Eastern Seaboard needs THAT Erika!
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298. IKE
Erika....the energizer bunny. She just keeps going and going and going and going and going.....

***calls in xanax refill to Wal-Mart Pharmacy***
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
mrnicktou, you're not the only one. I too stayed for Ike and found it to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life, despite all the hardships. If I have the chance to experience a hurricane again, I will count myself as extremely lucky. That being said, I won't wish one here because it's so hard on so many people, and folks can get seriously hurt. Maybe someday I can move a little farther down the coast to where it's not so populated and wish them my direction without worrying about hurting others. Until then, I'll just have to follow and watch on TV, because the Galveston Bay area folks really need some time to recuperate.
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This thing hasn't had a spiral band since yesterday morning.
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Quoting StormW:


Fortunately, I'm neither...I'm a Forecaster.




You go boy! and I might add a very good one..
Member Since: August 15, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 90
On the RGB loop the COC is around 16.8N/64.5W imo.
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Mystery, thats true, but if you think about it.... if a person just agrees with the NHC then that would be boring. Everyone is looking for what the NHC might have missed, lol, which usually isnt much. After all, THEY are the experts.
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Just dont see anything promising with erika atleast in the near term or possibly ever.Satellite appearance is pathetic this afternoon with what ever is left of the weak vortex pretty much exposed. Large envelope of dry air and under cutting shear continues to take its toll on the system. I concur with TPC on dissipation soon despite some models showing some intensification.

Adrian
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Wow, just saw blue sky for the first time in days. Saw on quikscat a coc off the NC coast this am. Looks like its hightailing it out of town.
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Quoting Vortex95:


When did it stop?


Are you serious? Read Dr. Masters blog for starters.
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Quoting BiloxiIsle:
I hate the term "wishcasting". Anytime someone shows concern about a tropical system possibly coming their way, they are labeled wishcasting. If a particular model starts showing trends towards the GOM and I state my concerns, this does not mean I am "wishcasting". A true wishcaster is someone who says "I really hope this system gets in the Gulf". Yes, there are a few children here who does make such crazy statements, but most of us do not.


Few people ever actually SAY they want a storm to hit, because they'd be rightly ripped. But don't you find it funny that the majority of blog commenters predict storms to be much stronger and much closer to the CONUS than the NHC? It's been going on here for years. People post three-frame sat loops and go SEE IT'S MOVING WEST FLORIDA BEWARE. As soon as a storm develops, someone posts the track of whatever the strongest hurricane to ever form in that area, then goes "this could be another storm like this." If the models show landfall, the models are right. If they show it recurving, then well it's time to throw out the models, what do they know? They get butthurt when someone dares brings up the possibility the storm in question might go harmlessly out to see. And then they coach every stupid thing they say with "it's JMO", to give them cover when they're wrong, while allowing them to go SEE I TOLD YOU SO on the rare times they're right.

Showing concern or interest in a storm threatening your home is understandable. What goes on in the blog, with some exceptions, is inexcusable, disgusting and vile, and the people who engage in it are scum who should be deeply ashamed of themselves for trying to dredge up panic over every yellow circle on the TWO.

BUT IT'S JUST MY OPINION, THAT MEANS YOU CAN'T CRITICIZE ME I'M ALLOWED TO HAVE AN OPINION.

facepalm.jpg
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Convection waning ATM but, spiral banding begining again.
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"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."

Based on the current model map on this site, not sure where the Doc is seeing the storm crossing Hispanola. Also, seems the models were in greater agreement this am than now.

The models seemed to have a good handle on the tracks of Bill and Danny, but not so much with Erika...or Ana for that matter.
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Wishcasting is not when people say "i hope storm x does this". it's when people make forecasts that are clearly not based on what's actually happening, but on what they hope will happen. eg. "That trough is weak, it's not going to pick up Bill" when any rational observer could see the trough was plenty strong.

We can all stop calling people wishcasters when people stop doing wishcasting.

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wow...i guess someone sprayed the troll spray and poof! they seem to have scattered :)

LOL
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Nice little wave train there on the 12z GFS lol
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rollercaster
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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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