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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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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Quoting cchsweatherman:


Just had one question. You say only six storms in the first post, but in the second you state two more storms, which would make seven storms for the season. Which one is it? Make sure you have your facts and conclusions straight.
If he stated six storms in the first post and two more in the second post, doesn't that equal eight?
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00z gfs. development in 12 hours
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1094. hydrus
Quoting AllBoardedUp:
Not a bad thing, for sure. Lots of people still recovering from Ike here in Galveston. Hell, people are still recovering from Katrina, Rita, Dolly, Gustav, etc.......
I went through many hurricanes, most recent, Charlie, Frances, Jeanne .Lived here since 1966.This place will never be the same.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21409
Quoting JUSTCOASTING:
Gloom and doom here. Just take the weekend off guys there will be another system soon to track we are in peak of the hurricane season.


ROFLMAO.. Gloom and Doom.. heck I am in Victoria BC Canada.. I only track them as a hobby.. I really don't care of we have one or not. The only reason I do this other then as a hobby is to find out where not to take my Vacation in January.
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Quoting stormno:
im having a good feeling my prediction of 6 storms for this year maybe right on the nose...the blob off the african coast is consuming to much dry air so that one wont develop..the only one we have to worry about if something forms in the eastern gom over the weekend..guys i really think elnino has done a real number on this hurricane season it looks like we will have to wait for 2010..Stormno
Quoting stormno:
i know allboardedup we need a break here on the gulfcoast and hopefully we will get it ..i have a real good feeling about this maybe we may squeeze 2 more storms out this year...Stormno


Just had one question. You say only six storms in the first post, but in the second you state two more storms, which would make seven storms for the season. Which one is it? Make sure you have your facts and conclusions straight.
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Quoting Orcasystems:



If I am not mistaken.. he is right. Which would make your remark wrong.

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.
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Quoting stormno:
any of you wishcasters still believe baby erika has some life left in her ...i told you stick a fork in here she is well done..Stormno
read that and see if that sounds funny !
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Gloom and doom here. Just take the weekend off guys there will be another system soon to track we are in peak of the hurricane season.
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Quoting Vortex95:
JMHO casting :P.


Not bad for an older fellow
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Quoting stormno:
im having a good feeling my prediction of 6 storms for this year maybe right on the nose...the blob off the african coast is consuming to much dry air so that one wont develop..the only one we have to worry about if something forms in the eastern gom over the weekend..guys i really think elnino has done a real number on this hurricane season it looks like we will have to wait for 2010..Stormno
Not a bad thing, for sure. Lots of people still recovering from Ike here in Galveston. Hell, people are still recovering from Katrina, Rita, Dolly, Gustav, etc.......
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it seems that with every system the mindset of some gets hotter not the systems.
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1078. JRRP
Quoting texascoastres:

unlikely....
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Quoting stormno:
any of you wishcasters still believe baby erika has some life left in her ...i told you stick a fork in here she is well done..Stormno
I'm still waiting for the "fat lady to sing."
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


Except for Georgiacasting. No one will ever believe that! :D
Georgia has a coastline? Kidding!
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


Except for Georgiacasting. No one will ever believe that! :D


Don't forget the Carols :)
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AllBoardedUp: "Couldn't the same be said for any other "casting" as well? Fish storms, East Coast, GOM, Caribbean, etc?"

If you've been called all of these kinds of casters in the past, you are probably none of them! ;-)
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Quoting AllBoardedUp:
Couldn't the same be said for any other "casting" as well? Fish storms, East Coast, GOM, Caribbean, etc?


It can be said for all of them, but if your going to call someone on it.. you best be right.
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Quoting BDADUDE:

Someone who westcasts consistently all season long has to be correct at some point. It is the law of averages and he knows it.
Couldn't the same be said for any other "casting" as well? Fish storms, East Coast, GOM, Caribbean, etc?
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Quoting foggymyst:
Orca.. thanks for the clarification.

For you foggy...anytime :)
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Quoting BDADUDE:

Someone who westcasts consistently all season long has to be correct at some point. It is the law of averages and he knows it.


That may be the case.. and this time he is right.
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Took a deeper look at the convection over the FL Keys from the loop Patrap posted earlier. Looks like it is heading straight north into the peninsula, and weakening. Pfffft....

Only game on this side of the Atlantic is the artist formerly known as Erika (and that isn't much of a game!) Strange and quite interesting when surface lows completely dislocate from their convection.
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Orca.. thanks for the clarification.
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1065. BDADUDE
Quoting Orcasystems:


If I am not mistaken.. he is right.

Someone who westcasts consistently all season long has to be correct at some point. It is the law of averages and he knows it.
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1064. 2ifbyC
Well, Erika sure has been a lady of the evenings. I'm curious as to her next 'move'.

At least she has taught us that we need to not only slice the storm data, but slice, dice and then mince.
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the same hapened with erika, i was waiting some drop of rain and nothin happened.

i will waiting for another crazy storm
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Quoting BDADUDE:

Keep dreaming dude and please stop the relentless westcasting and conuscasting. It is very boring.Please stop it.


If I am not mistaken.. he is right. Which would make your remark wrong.
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1061. BDADUDE
Quoting reedzone:


Don't know yet, GFS does have a High Pressure building and expanding to the north from the Northeast US to north of the Azores I believe, keeping storms from moving north. So this one may be interesting, it is September and the odds of it going all the way to the coastline are better then what you would see in July. Something to watch as well as Erika.

Keep dreaming dude and please stop the relentless westcasting and conuscasting. It is very boring.Please stop it.
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Quoting JRRP: do you think erika is not going away?
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1059. JRRP
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Hi guys,

I'm happy to see that they are getting a handle on the fires. I just want you to know that there is a few a you that all I do is look through the blog to see what you have said and I really think it's great all the links you guys post. Thanks for all the info!
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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.
I don't know much about the weather, nor tropical weather except for the things I've been slowly picking up here and there on this site. But one thing I've learned over the past 2 seasons, especially, is that stranger things do happen. Humberto and Dolly are 2 storms that come to mind. These storms seem to defy logic the past couple of seasons.
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Lesser Antilles Islands DEATH ZONE....ANA, ERIKA AND WHICH IS THE NEXT...Fred?
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Erika is a prime example that we don't understand everything about these storms...the conditions were right for the wave to develop....the models thought it would.....but it never got its act together......and by the time it did.....shear got a hold of it....which the models didn't forecast.....soooooo many things have to happen in just the right manner and timing for a system to develop....RIP Erika...now we all can enjoy a nice quiet beautiful Labor Day weekend......college football anyone??....:)
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Quoting IKE:
Good night Cyberspace.

Til we meet again. Thanks for your time, this time. Till next time, soooooo long........leave you with one of his best.........live........:)
a very welcome distraction from you IKE, thanks that waa awesome...
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1052. Halyn
924. midgulfmom 2:09 AM GMT on September 04, 2009
Chicklit, No harm done. I felt bad about "maggie" because I typed it without even realizing it until someone pointed it out. I had to laugh at myself because I am faced daily with my middle-aged mind which if I don't find humorous I find scary! :)


Midgulfmom .. just wait until you have the "early geriatric" (mid to late 60's)mind .. you have to laugh all the time .. lol.
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AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
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Quoting foggymyst:
Orca can you explain your graphic pleae??


Its a graphic showing the current windshear around Erika
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Orca can you explain your graphic pleae??
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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.
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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.