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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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 KoritheMan:


It's going to bomb out over the western Caribbean and then hit NOLA as a Cat 5. Board up. ZOMG!
Sandbag the levees!
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Quoting iceman55:
o really
Hey, somebody IS still here. I figured if I didn't get a response back with those statements then everybody must have gone to bed.
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1043. 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........:)
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Quoting AllBoardedUp:
Look! I see a pinhole eye on Erika! The pressure is dropping! It's alive!!!!


It's going to bomb out over the western Caribbean and then hit NOLA as a Cat 5. Board up. ZOMG!
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1040. 7544
Quoting iceman55:
me to bored 2009


cmon ill give ericka one more dmax before rip i think she nmght just get dreess again latter tonight and its her fav time to blossom

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Look! I see a pinhole eye on Erika! The pressure is dropping! It's alive!!!!
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Patrap -- you eyeballin' that blast of convection between Cuba & FLA to the far east side of the image? Almost looks like a bit of spin on the animated loop.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


Yes, how are ya, my friend?




doing well
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
1031. IKE
Quoting StormW:


No on El Nino lasting.


Good. Not wishing harm to anyone, just more activity.

Thanks.

Quoting iceman55:
Link


go here ike see if help u ?


Hope it doesn't last.
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1030. JamesSA
1023.. Pat, whatcha lookin' at? That big empty space in the middle? Or do you see something?
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Some days ago someone and I had it out in here about whether or not it was even possible for Erika to dissipate. That might have been before it was named. The system was looking like it had potential. All of the regular TC models wanted a cat 2, except GFS (which changed it's mind in the worst way), and the expectation was that 94L would be an actual threat to the East Coast, or at least threaten to be a threat.
Well, can 94L/Erika just dissipate without doing much of anything?

Answer: Yep.

Most ADD TC we've seen in a while.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
that wave have note even been name 95L yet and evere one calling it a fish storm lol
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1023. Patrap
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"Looks as if it's trying to develop something at 500 mb from a trof split.
"

OK. Thnaks as always... guess we will have to see if any others models pick up on it. Thats a pretty short window.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


I agree, what about it's future trajectory?


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.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
Hi Taz.



WeatherStudent do you own a name called


WEATHERSTUDENTJFV????


and hello to your sir

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1017. IKE
Quoting StormW:


No.


No to question one?
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2010 will likely be a very active year. Historically speaking, the year following an El Nino is very active in the Atlantic. I would wager that something like 2008 is possible.
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1014. IKE
Quoting reedzone:
I think the NHC pulled the plug to fast but they could be right, Erika may never come back. Yet some models disagree with the NHC showing Erika lifting north and out of the Carribean into an anticyclone next to the East Coast. Anything can happen, I guess just keep at least on eye on former Erika, I personally feel she could make a comeback as models suggest. I'm writing songs, composing music so I can't stay on long. A songwriters gotta do what a songwriters gotta do.


I see your avatar and it reminds me of.......
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Somebody pinch me because I can't believe that the confusion and frustration that happened with Tropical Cyclone Erika has come to an end with the NHC issuing their final advisory. Still going to watch it just in case it makes one last effort to come back from the dead, but for now, it appears that it has met the end. I won't soon forget this storm as it really challenged everything I knew about tropical forecasting and weather in general. I have very seldom ever been so confused by a storm as I have with this system. I have to give props to the NHC for handling this system as best as they could with all the unexpected twists and turns this storm made.
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G'nite Storm. In lurk mode and mood. :)
Member Since: July 9, 2005 Posts: 2 Comments: 1164
And then looked like this 6 hours later. Pffffft.



I think NHC has been generous, really.
These plots are from an analysis that considers all available satellite, surface, and HH data.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
Quoting reedzone:
I think the NHC pulled the plug to fast but they could be right, Erika may never come back. Yet some models disagree with the NHC showing Erika lifting north and out of the Carribean into an anticyclone next to the East Coast. Anything can happen, I guess just keep at least on eye on former Erika, I personally feel she could make a comeback as models suggest. I'm writing songs, composing music so I can't stay on long. A songwriters gotta do what a songwriters gotta do.


It does have model support for such a scenario, but I find it unlikely. Still, will watch it as I am in SC.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:


Evening, Reed. Thoughts on our beast to the east?


Looking at the IR that Taz just posted, I'm impressed, but needs to persist till morning in order for an invest to pop up.
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Quoting StormW:
Good night.


have a great night StormW
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this is are next player we need too watch


Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456
R.I.P. Erika, next Fred in a few days...
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999. IKE
Is this El Nino expected to last into the 2010 Atlantic season? Or is it way too soon to know?
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According to HRD, Erika did have a prime in her life.

Yesterday...

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463

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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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