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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1646. Relix
I think Erika is about to breathe her last.
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Quoting WeatherStudent:
G'morning all!!!!!!!


Good morning to you two. Can you believe that erika is dead. You and I both had a lot of hopes for us here in Sflorida
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Quoting iluvjess:
"Quoting tigerfanintexas:
Gonna be even better to see bama struggle against a overrated VT team. I hope they win for the sake of the sec but I also hope they get exposed and everyone realizes how overrated the tide is. Geaux Tigers."

ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE! WE have some new weapons this year. You shall see tomorrow night why we are preseason ranked #5!
let the big gator eat, CHOMP !
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1643. NOLAGuy
Sounds like most say it is right front quadrant would be the most accurate way to describe the most dangerous sector and that generally is NE quadrant for the US mainland and Carribean. Thanks for the responses.
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Looks like Erika is starting to take her nap again today! The wane to the wax looks like its starting again! Nite Nite
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Quoting Vortex95:


OMG the Mad Dog I love em!!! Only during Dolphin games, still Listin to Lebatard :P.
thats a problem right there
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Oops that how long it takes me to type.
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1636. PBG00
Quoting StormW:


And the greatest pressure gradient.



Isn't that where most tornadoes are too?
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Quoting iluvjess:
"Quoting tigerfanintexas:
Gonna be even better to see bama struggle against a overrated VT team. I hope they win for the sake of the sec but I also hope they get exposed and everyone realizes how overrated the tide is. Geaux Tigers."

ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE! WE have some new weapons this year. You shall see tomorrow night why we are preseason ranked #5!


Better keep youre helmet on.
Erika could visit you.
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1634. Relix
Come on Erika at least bring some rain to me =(
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That sounds like one for Storm W, but I imagine that it boils down to most storms travel west or north or some combination of those two directions, so if a storm is moving in this direction at say 15 mph, you have to subtract 15 on one side and add 15 on the other . There are probably other forces involved but that's all I can add.
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Quoting NOLAGuy:
But suppose it is tracking SW, would NE still be most dangerous?


You are correct. It's the right front quadrant of the storm, relative to storm motion, that is most dangerous. That is often the NE quadrant, since many hurricanes hit the US cost moving in a northerly direction...but not always.
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"Quoting tigerfanintexas:
Gonna be even better to see bama struggle against a overrated VT team. I hope they win for the sake of the sec but I also hope they get exposed and everyone realizes how overrated the tide is. Geaux Tigers."

ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL TIDE! WE have some new weapons this year. You shall see tomorrow night why we are preseason ranked #5!
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1630. RJT185
Quoting StormW:


Don't know yet...just getting ready to analyze the vorticity maps and close up satellite loop images.


Links for the loops? please.
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1629. NOLAGuy
But suppose it is tracking SW, would NE still be most dangerous?
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Quoting StormW:


Don't know yet...just getting ready to analyze the vorticity maps and close up satellite loop images.


gogo gadget stormw.. *winks* cant wait to hear what your update says :)
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Quoting StormW:


Don't know yet...just getting ready to analyze the vorticity maps and close up satellite loop images.


Here are three areas i think i'm still seeing circulation

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Quoting NOLAGuy:
Since things are pretty quiet this morning, I hope this might be a good time for a question that has always puzzled me. I've always heard that the strongest winds in a hurricane are in the NE Quadrant of the storm. Is this true regardless of the direction of the storm or is it relative to the direction of the storm. For example, if a storm were tracking due SW, would the strongest winds be in the NW quadrant or still in the NE quadrant?

Just a curiosity I've had for a long time. And thanks for your posts in respone.


It's more accurate to say the strongest winds are in the "right, front" quandrant (in the northern hemisphere). so depending on how the storm is moving this may or may not be the NE quadrant.
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Quoting tigerfanintexas:
Gonna be even better to see bama struggle against a overrated VT team. I hope they win for the sake of the sec but I also hope they get exposed and everyone realizes how overrated the tide is. Geaux Tigers.
ROLL TIDE all over that statement!!!
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Quoting CandiBarr:
yeah, but it is what it is. each storm kinda like a person very unique to its environment. even when they can have the appearance of being the same; they can be very different.

I hope this thing dies sooner than later.


I agree.... drives me nuts when people post a track from 10 years ago and says it looks just like......
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Quoting NOLAGuy:
Since things are pretty quiet this morning, I hope this might be a good time for a question that has always puzzled me. I've always heard that the strongest winds in a hurricane are in the NE Quadrant of the storm. Is this true regardless of the direction of the storm or is it relative to the direction of the storm. For example, if a storm were tracking due SW, would the strongest winds be in the NW quadrant or still in the NE quadrant?

Just a curiosity I've had for a long time. And thanks for your posts in respone.


NE quadrant is the most dangerous part of a storm. You've got the winds plus the forward motion of the storm added to it. You've also got the greatest surge probability there.
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1619. NOLAGuy
Apocalyps, so you are saying it just depends on the specific storm and its convection at any given time?
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Quoting iluvjess:
It sure was nice to see 'ol Steve Spurrier struggle with a very weak NC state last night! lol
Gonna be even better to see bama struggle against a overrated VT team. I hope they win for the sake of the sec but I also hope they get exposed and everyone realizes how overrated the tide is. Geaux Tigers.
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Oh I forgot as Mad Dog would SAY ALLRIGHTTT MYYAMEEEE!!!!
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Quoting NOLAGuy:
Since things are pretty quiet this morning, I hope this might be a good time for a question that has always puzzled me. I've always heard that the strongest winds in a hurricane are in the NE Quadrant of the storm. Is this true regardless of the direction of the storm or is it relative to the direction of the storm. For example, if a storm were tracking due SW, would the strongest winds be in the NW quadrant or still in the NE quadrant?

Just a curiosity I've had for a long time. And thanks for your posts in respone.


That all depends on how strong the convention is.
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Quoting hydrus:
I remember Fred,We were whacked by David just before Freddie hit.
That was my first hurricane. I was 10 years old. What a way to get broke in!LOL
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1613. NOLAGuy
Since things are pretty quiet this morning, I hope this might be a good time for a question that has always puzzled me. I've always heard that the strongest winds in a hurricane are in the NE Quadrant of the storm. Is this true regardless of the direction of the storm or is it relative to the direction of the storm. For example, if a storm were tracking due SW, would the strongest winds be in the NW quadrant or still in the NE quadrant?

Just a curiosity I've had for a long time. And thanks for your posts in respone.
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1611. hydrus
Quoting stormsurge39:
I hope Erika doesnt show up for the 30 year Aniversary of Fredric. 9/12/79
I remember Fred,We were whacked by David just before Freddie hit.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 24244
Ericka is a card shark, pick a center any center in the deck.
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Quoting cajunmoma:


That's funny!! Almost spit my Diet Coke out all over my keyboard.
You never know when one of those are coming do you?LOL Hope your keyboard is alright!
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stormw does ericka still have multiple vortices?
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1606. edmac
Are there any long range models for the wave that exited the coast of Africa. Im assuming that it will go above 20N and be swept out to sea, but I was just curious if there were any different conditions forecasted around next week.
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Quoting stephelcarr:


I have been lurking here a while now and I thank you for your hard work....I have learned alot more about weather from you!


Hey,thanks.
I am modest but i am an expert about convention.
Glad i could help you.
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Quoting stormsurge39:
Yea,I blew up at a convention before and got fired!!LOL

lol! yes in deed!
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I hope Erika doesnt show up for the 30 year Aniversary of Fredric. 9/12/79
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yeah, but it is what it is. each storm kinda like a person very unique to its environment. even when they can have the appearance of being the same; they can be very different.

I hope this thing dies sooner than later.
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Quoting stormsurge39:
Yea,I blew up at a convention before and got fired!!LOL


That's funny!! Almost spit my Diet Coke out all over my keyboard.
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Quoting stormsurge39:
Yea,I blew up at a convention before and got fired!!LOL


You and Erika are two of a kind.
A lot of convention.
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Quoting StormW:


Yea...he tries to do that on and off during analysis.


I have been lurking here a while now and I thank you for your hard work....I have learned alot more about weather from you!
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ur welcome
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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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