Erika steadily weakening

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:43 PM GMT on September 03, 2009

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Tropical Storm Erika has weakened steadily this afternoon, and has not generated any sustained winds of tropical storm force (39 mph) at any weather stations in the Lesser Antilles Islands today, according to our wundermap for the region. Erika has dumped some heavy rain on the islands, with 8.03" of rain measured on Dominica over the past two days. The Hurricane Hunters are in the storm now, and have thus far found top winds of 36 mph at the surface and at their flight level of 1000 feet. Radar animations out of Martinique show that the areal coverage and intensity of rain echoes has diminished greatly since this morning, and IR satellite loops also show a major decrease in heavy thunderstorm activity. Visible satellite images (Figure 1) show that the low-level center has become exposed to view, and there is very little heavy thunderstorm activity near Erika's center. Erika is probably just a tropical depression now.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of Erika showing the exposed swirl of its low-level center southeast of Puerto Rico.

The forecast for Erika
Erika is headed west, in defiance of most of the computer models that predicted a northwest or west-northwest track. Regardless, Erika's track will take the storm into a band of significantly higher wind shear of 25 - 35 knots, Friday through Saturday. Considering that Erika is steadily weakening and is barely alive now, the storm should dissipate by Saturday, and perhaps much sooner. Erika's remains will still be capable of dumping very heavy rains of 3 - 5 inches over the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and the northern Lesser Antilles Islands, and 1 - 3 inches over Haiti and the Southeast Bahamas over the next few days. However, the recent decrease of Erika's heavy thunderstorms makes lower rainfall totals more probable. By Monday, when the remains of Erika should have penetrated through the band of high wind shear over the Greater Antilles, shear may fall low enough to allow redevelopment. This is a scenario offered by the NOGAPS and GFS models. The other models predict quite a bit more shear in the region, and I believe any redevelopment of Erika early next week is unlikely. The GFDL and HWRF models continue to insist that Erika will head northwest, brush off the high shear, and intensify into a Category 2 hurricane five days from now.

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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 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 continues to predict development of this wave into a tropical depression early next week.

I'll have an update Friday.

Jeff Masters

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1197. msphar
iceman - those models will give you bad dreams be careful
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
G'morning, Tim! I hope your doing well, my friend! Hey TS, what are your thoughts about the African wave/low as far as it's long term intensity and trayectory would go? :)


Honestly, anything above 10deg Latitude has a very low chance of making it to the ConUs. It will more likely get picked up by a weakness as it gets stronger. I do believe it has a strong chance of getting a Name but, a low chance of even making it to the 65W line before heading off to fishing. But, we need to watch it.
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1194. JLPR
Quoting iceman55:
JLPR .lol


xD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
ok im out . Thanks for the update Tampa and JLPR you guys be good im out...
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Quoting rareaire:
TS you are kind of a whack job lol. Do you think its dead yet. Cause its still spinnning!


Shear is at least 30kts on it now from the SW. It it ever moves it will hit higher shear to the WEST. I just don't see this moving North like NHC is showing......LOOKING at the current steering for a weak system. And look at this LOOP you can see the Bermuda High pushing the Clouds to the West building west.
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1189. centex
The steering for weak is W period. All those who think we can have low level N steering in tropics are full of it. Maybe it would be true at higher latitudes. IMO. If we assumed I was right the track would be expected.
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1188. JLPR
Quoting iceman55:
mlc can


lol you are really optimistic tonight =]
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
1185. msphar
One more week to the peak of this season. It'll take a week for the African wave to get to the islands. Perhaps after the halftime show things will "improve" ?
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Very nice update Tampa! Lots of pretty pictures and spinning things. Lol I did like the long range tracking map Its very interesting.
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1183. JLPR
People the LLC is dead, gone, RIP, etc, etc

now the MLC is still spinning but it wont matter as long as it doesn't reach the surface, which isn't doing according to CIMMS 850mb vorticity map

and regeneration seems unlikely, unless the MLC does end up digging down to the surface
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
1180. centex
Quoting TampaSpin:
Hopefully this is better!

I've been on south team for days. When I suggested caribbean I was told not likely. The weakness would pull even a weak system N. So I was told forget the weak W and strong N, even weak would go N. Never figured that out, I think this proves that logic.
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TS you are kind of a whack job lol. Do you think its dead yet. Cause its still spinnning!
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Quoting SouthFMY:
Oops!

Sorry Tampa Spin, I thought you were trying to show a new COC somewhere NE of Bermuda.

My bad....


As slow as this thing is moving it might make it to Bermuda by this time next year!...LOL
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1176. JLPR
Quoting TampaSpin:


I changed it too 400


much better =D
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
Quoting JLPR:


Less height please =], try 350 or 400


I changed it too 400
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Oops!

Sorry Tampa Spin, I thought you were trying to show a new COC somewhere NE of Bermuda.

My bad....
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1172. JLPR
Quoting TampaSpin:
Hopefully this is better!



Less height please =], try 350 or 400
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
Quoting SouthFMY:


Just signed on. Reviewing posts.

TS: You're a whackjob...but thanks for keeping things entertaining.....lol


A whackjob.......LOL.....I guess you know nothing!
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1169. JLPR
Erika's LLC is gone



recent ASCAT
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
Quoting TampaSpin:


i can read it fine.........anyone else having the same problem....


Just signed on. Reviewing posts.

TS: You're a whackjob...but thanks for keeping things entertaining.....lol
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Hopefully this is better!

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1165. centex
This is main month and only beginning of day 4 so "what have you done lately" may not apply.
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1164. boyzNme
Quoting TampaSpin:


i can read it fine.........anyone else having the same problem....


yep. all sqished in at sides and stretched long top to bottom.
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1162. msphar
scuz me ? I'll cheer the death of this night lady. Its cool.
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1160. centex
Quoting msphar:
Erika DOA before reaching the Greater Antilles how cool is that ?
You can craw back under that rock.
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1159. msphar
Erika DOA before reaching the Greater Antilles how cool is that ?
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1158. centex
This mid-low shear is not something I'm familiar with. Usually it's the tops and easy to see on Sat. It's not giving up yet.
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I know long range models are not set in stone and what not, just curious of what any may be suggesting for any future storms. Anyone?
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1154. JLPR
Quoting WaterWitch11:


I looked at the wikipedia page, but what caught my eye was the fact that 3 of the 10 for the lowest mbar was 2005. Do you think that's accurate?


yep that's right
Wilma
Katrina
Rita
all 2005, one heck of a year =|
TC were forming everywhere, it was crazy
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
1153. JLPR
Quoting serialteg:


i... cant believe its not butter...

darned if it rains

i saw thunder in ponce horita...


its raining here
a little shower passed by xD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223
Quoting KoritheMan:


Allen also happens to be my avatar. Quite a remarkable storm.


I looked at the wikipedia page, but what caught my eye was the fact that 3 of the 10 for the lowest mbar was 2005. Do you think that's accurate?
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Quoting JLPR:
looks like Erika is now a broad area of low pressure with one band of convection making its way to PR, S. Croix and St. Thomas

PR long radar loop

ummm apparently I could get some rain after all xD


i... cant believe its not butter...

darned if it rains

i saw thunder in ponce horita...
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1148. JLPR
Quoting centex:
Back after several hours. See models and NHC track in better alignment. Before NHC had track much further S than models. This all maybe moot if TD further weakens. T6 still refusing to die and may move or relocate several more times. My guess is sheer will finally get the better of it next 24 hours, but will need to see before I believe.


The NHC already made their last advisory =P
Erika is no more
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 5223

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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.