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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1146. 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.
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1144. JLPR
looks like Erika is now a broad area of low pressure with one band of convection making its way to PR, St. Croix and St. Thomas

PR long radar loop

ummm apparently I could get some rain after all xD
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Quoting crashingwaves:
We probably won't see the last of Erika. Don't be surprised, if she comes back as a TD. Few storms have come back to life after becoming a remnant low.Like one poster said, something to watch, indeed.
she's coming back as a Cat 7 heading up the mississippi river to minnesota
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Quoting KoritheMan:


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


I was born on '82, but I remember hearing the name and never investigating upon it.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
Quoting JRRP:
g.n

Link

Looks like TD/Remnants of Erika is keeping the spin going, but isn't maintaining convection. I see the convection pulsing and moving around in the complex, but not sticking over one area, or maintaining itself in the whole scheme of things. Its almost like the MLC is acting like a focus for the convection, rather than organizing it.
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Quoting serialteg:




"It was one of the strongest hurricanes in recorded history, one of the few hurricanes to reach Category 5 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale on three separate occasions, and spent more time as a Category 5 than any other Atlantic hurricane. Allen is the second of only two hurricanes in the recorded history of the Atlantic basin to achieve sustained winds of 190 mph (310 km/h), after Hurricane Camille in 1969."

Quote and more Allen on Wikipedia.


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


To add to that, in 1980, we didn't see our fifth named storm until September 4, so we're already ahead of 1980 in that regard.

1980 turned out to feature 10 hurricanes, including powerful Category 5 Hurricane Allen. Do not write this season off yet.




"It was one of the strongest hurricanes in recorded history, one of the few hurricanes to reach Category 5 status on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale on three separate occasions, and spent more time as a Category 5 than any other Atlantic hurricane. Allen is the second of only two hurricanes in the recorded history of the Atlantic basin to achieve sustained winds of 190 mph (310 km/h), after Hurricane Camille in 1969."

"Allen attained a central pressure of 911 mbar (26.9 inHg), the lowest pressure on record in the Eastern Caribbean."


Allen in the GOM. Wow.



"...a pressure drop to 909 mbar (26.8 inHg), the lowest pressure ever recorded in the western Gulf of Mexico."


"The hurricane also divided the Isla de Aves of Venezuela into two smaller islets."


"The storm caused 7 deaths in Texas and 17 in Louisiana (most resulting from the crash of a helicopter evacuating workers from an offshore platform). Allen spawned several tornadoes in Texas. One tornado caused $100 million in damage when it hit Austin, Texas, making it the costliest tropical cyclone-spawned tornado in recorded history."

Quote and more Allen on Wikipedia.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
1137. JRRP
g.n

Link
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Quoting SykKid:
Looks like a boring month ahead.

LMAO
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Quoting serialteg:


3rd day of the most active month tropics-wise

we're on an average year pace i believe


To add to that, in 1980, we didn't see our fifth named storm until September 4, so we're already ahead of 1980 in that regard.

1980 turned out to feature 10 hurricanes, including powerful Category 5 Hurricane Allen. Do not write this season off yet.
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Quoting SykKid:
Looks like a boring month ahead.


3rd day of the most active month tropics-wise

we're on an average year pace i believe
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
Quoting cyclone1:
Thank you KoritheMan

So is a system undergoing an ERC strengthening, weakening or just reorganizing?


They almost always weaken when they go through one, because the inner eyewall is where their strongest winds are.

Strengthening typically begins after the cycle ends. Some hurricanes can go through several eyewall replacement cycles throughout their lifetime.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Your picture is all squished together.. you can't read it.


just have to open it in a new tab
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
I am out for the night.. have fun everyone.. get some sleep.


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Your picture is all squished together.. you can't read it.


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

So is a system undergoing an ERC strengthening, weakening or just reorganizing?
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Evening all this is what i think will happen!



thats if she doesnt pull an Ana
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
Quoting TampaSpin:


What???


Your picture is all squished together.. you can't read it.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Compression?


What???
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Quoting TampaSpin:
Evening all this is what i think will happen!



Compression?
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Evening all this is what i think will happen!

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Quoting cyclone1:
Question out there for posting

Explanation of Eyewall Replacement Cycle?
What Triggers It?



It occurs when the eye becomes too small to sustain the circulation. Consequently, some of the outer rainbands of the hurricane rush in to the rapidly dissipating eye, in order to compensate for its destruction. These outer rainbands are first evident as an intense ring of convection surrounding the rapidly dissipating inner eyewall. This becomes known as an outer eyewall. The outer eyewall, when the inner eyewall dissipates, will become the new inner eyewall.

Typically, a tropical cyclone's wind field expands after an eyewall replacement cycle, and the eye typically gets larger.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Won't happen.


I Know! LOL
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 799
Quoting antonio28:
LOL 00Z GFS redevelops Erika in 12 hrs. LOL!!!


Won't happen.
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Quoting JUSTCOASTING:

Yea that really usets me when they do wish they would hit ignore on them. And i dont know if they are addicted but they love doing it as well as I. I think our planets weather is a amazing thing to watch.


are your pictures from where that awesome fudge comes from?
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Question out there for posting

Explanation of Eyewall Replacement Cycle?
What Triggers It?

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LOL 00Z GFS redevelops Erika in 12 hrs. LOL!!!
Member Since: July 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 799
Quoting WaterWitch11:


I'm not trying to be mean but it's not addicting for some. If you notice once all the arguing starts the ones who really know what they are talking about leave.

Yea that really usets me when they do wish they would hit ignore on them. And i dont know if they are addicted but they love doing it as well as I. I think our planets weather is a amazing thing to watch.
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WaterWitch11 Could not agree with you more! And those of use trying to learn watch and listen figuring out which one to learn from and which ones to pass over. Your comment wasn't mean and was not taken that way.
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Quoting stormno:
justcoasting its not dom and gloom it my forecast...you see what you dont understand as long as elnino stays strong the shear will continue over the eastern caribbean and nothing will form there...the cape verdes the sst are dropping so that will be a factor to get something started in that area...so my friend all we have is the nw caribbean and the gom...i see tonight a strong trough is over the eastern gom and is expected to shift westbound over the weekend bringing us some much needed rainfall for sat sun and mon...i think the gom even is looking better the shear has picked up and thats not going to allow anything to form for at least another 4 days...the shear is forecast to slow down as the trough disipates by then...if you have any questions ill be glad to answer them..i tried to tell this to storm w yesterday but he wouldnt listen..oh well even he is learning something this year..2009 will go down as one of the least active seasons...claudette was the only one that actually made landfall on the gulfcoast...Stormno


I was saying gloom and doom because there are no storm to be tracked. Lol but htanks for the forcast we will see how you turn out.
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Whoa! I just heard the "fat lady" sing. She singing "Rock-a-Bye-Baby." Good night all.
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Quoting texascoastres:
justcoasting the sad thing is everybody on this blog waits for hurricane season to start because even though we all complain and bicker at each other. No One would miss it! Its addicting!


I'm not trying to be mean but it's not addicting for some. If you notice once all the arguing starts the ones who really know what they are talking about leave.
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only 11 here been watching and lurking since '04. all of really knowledgeable folks on here. The varied opinions give it a little flavor to what would typical be full of worry and wonder.
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Quoting stormno:
well allboardedup if you read my prediction i said 6 storms so if 7 developed i would be one off so then you guys have something to criticize me for this year...im sticking with 6 my original prediction .just curious how many did you go with.....Stormno
I didn't predict any. I wasn't making a jab at you, I was just trying to figure the math chweatherman was using. I thought I had missed something.
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Quoting texascoastres:
justcoasting the sad thing is everybody on this blog waits for hurricane season to start because even though we all complain and bicker at each other. No One would miss it! Its addicting!

Midnight here and been here all week I know what you are talking about. This is my 4th year here. Very adictive.
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1099. Relix
That wave off Africa looks a bit to the north to me to get into the caribbean or affect the antilles at the moment. Of course... too far away! =P
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2639
justcoasting the sad thing is everybody on this blog waits for hurricane season to start because even though we all complain and bicker at each other. No One would miss it! Its addicting!
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Quoting futurenavymet:
ya the man orca. i have to admit that i ate my bbq crow today. she was coming towards fl tho just didnt quite make it. fred and the tropic train will keep heading west because of the high. we dont only have to look east sept anything can form.


I think we are going to have some long track ones coming up... CV season is almost in full swing... and they do long track into the Caribbean.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.