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 serialteg:


If I recall correctly, ever since it was named...


LOL..Good answer.
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One thing we have learned this hurricane season is we still have a lot to learn
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Erika has had more swirls than a convention of Dervishes.
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cajunmoma
can you post a link to that gfs model please. thanks in advance
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Quoting OSUWXGUY:
Shear hasn't been variable in the Caribbean, but not necessarily above normal yet which is what we would expect with an El Nino. Models suggest that the very recent spike of high shear may be sustained for at least a week...

EDIT: Should have specified WESTERN Caribbean. The Eastern Caribbean hasn't seen as much variability or a recent upswing...



Where Erika is, currently:



Spikes are up, up and up.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
1540. JamesSA
--> 1530 That looks surprisingly alive still for a dissipated storm. Is that current?
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Quoting sarahjola:

i agree. once again the night proved good for her. she blew up convection last night i see and now she is calming down a bit, but lets see if she can hold on till tonight. then maybe she will blow up again.
I think she will keep blowing up at night to survive, until the enviroment gets right for developement.
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Quoting mobilegirl81:

When is she supposed to make what the NHC says what looks like a 90 degree turn?


If I recall correctly, ever since it was named...
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
Quoting mobilegirl81:

There is a low pressure just south of the panhandle drifing west that will enhance showers and thunderstorms on sunday from Mobile, AL to New Orleans, LA. NOAA


Thank's. I haven't looked into it except visual satellite observation. I saw someone else mention development in Gulf and assumed they were referring that.
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Quoting OSUWXGUY:


Ha Ha. So you got your dustbuster out then?


More likely a mop. Don't know if those heavy rains will come up on PR at all, but wind is blowing E down there in the Carib low level.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
Erika is the queen of convention.
What a nice convention.
Impressive.
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Quoting stormsurge39:
TX/LA or LA/MS?


TX/LA Link
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Quoting stormsurge39:
Thanks, If Erika hangs around like shes been doing, when is the shear suppossed to drop in the area ,for possible further developement?

When is she supposed to make what the NHC says what looks like a 90 degree turn?
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1532. LUCARIO
Quoting stormsurge39:
TX/LA or LA/MS?


it will go to texas

everything goes to texas

2007
humberto
Erin
Dean(almost did)

2008
dolly
ike
edward

so, don't see why it won't go to texas

texas is the real hurricane alley
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Quoting btwntx08:
wow i know wind shear is over former erika but she's still going good possibly better than the cv wave imo

i agree. once again the night proved good for her. she blew up convection last night i see and now she is calming down a bit, but lets see if she can hold on till tonight. then maybe she will blow up again.
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Blog Update
Reflector site for those at work, includes Dr. Masters & Weather456, daily update.


AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI
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Quoting apocalyps:
Long time lurker first time poster.
Here is how i see it.
Nice convention.


You probly do it on purpose, but you do know there is no convention going on in the middle of the Caribbean ocean... that I know of.

Convection (like your oven), yes maybe.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
Quoting serialteg:


And look at where she is... knocking on my doorstep. Actually, I think she's in the living room.


Ha Ha. So you got your dustbuster out then?
Quoting cajunmoma:


The GFS also is picking up on it, developing it with more intensity and bringing it to Louisiana.
TX/LA or LA/MS?
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Quoting Elena85Vet:


Check the swirl south of AL/Fla panhandle.

There is a low pressure just south of the panhandle drifing west that will enhance showers and thunderstorms on sunday from Mobile, AL to New Orleans, LA. NOAA
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Intensity is hard to forecast. Definately an area to monitor as we go through the weekend. If it does spin up it should definately head NE. Strength will be determined by upper level enviorment and shear at that time.
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Shear hasn't been variable in the Caribbean, but not necessarily above normal yet which is what we would expect with an El Nino. Models suggest that the very recent spike of high shear may be sustained for at least a week...

EDIT: Should have specified WESTERN Caribbean. The Eastern Caribbean hasn't seen as much variability or a recent upswing...

Quoting iluvjess:
"How developed?"

I have not looked at it since last night but if I remember it correctly maybe a strong TS or weak H.
Thanks, If Erika hangs around like shes been doing, when is the shear suppossed to drop in the area ,for possible further developement?
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Quoting serialteg:


That sounds great from a weight standpoint lol

Maybe not healthy, but...


The Jenny Craig diet for canes?
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In general, subsidence and dry air has lead to instability being below normal in the tropical atlantic and MDR.

Quoting iluvjess:
"Ike, Whats got you thinking this about GOM?"

CMC picks up and develops a trough split in the W GOMEX. Developes it and brings it in around the AL/FL line in about 4-5 days.


The GFS also is picking up on it, developing it with more intensity and bringing it to Louisiana.
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Long time lurker first time poster.
Here is how i see it.
Nice convention.
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"How developed?"

I have not looked at it since last night but if I remember it correctly maybe a strong TS or weak H.
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Quoting iluvjess:
"guys you have to have the right set up in the gulf too get any thing biger the a cat 1 or 2 storm and with the cold fronts in the gulf and the higher wind shear and with cool AMs on the gulf coast its un likey it will get any stronger the 30mph

hurricane season is overe for the gulf coast"


As much as I wish it was over, unfortunately it's not over til November.

That could mean a storm in mid to late september. Georges did not make landfall in Moss Point, MS until 9/27/98.
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Quoting stormsurge39:
Ike, Whats got you thinking this about GOM?


Check the swirl south of AL/Fla panhandle.
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Quoting Elena85Vet:


Good morning OSU..For the past few nights, whatever Erika has gained overnight she's lost that and more during the day.


That sounds great from a weight standpoint lol

Maybe not healthy, but...
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
1513. LUCARIO
SEE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1988_Atlantic_hurricane_season

this season just got started

gilbert = fred


exept fred goes north and you know, i fear it will hit the big state.
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Quoting LUCARIO:
ITS NOT OVER TIL THE FAT WEATHER LADY SINGS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1977_Atlantic_hurricane_season

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Atlantic_hurricane_season


THERE Will be a monster out THERE

in the name of FRED OR GRACE




How new are you, 15yrs?
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
Quoting iluvjess:
"Ike, Whats got you thinking this about GOM?"

CMC picks up and develops a trough split in the W GOMEX. Developes it and brings it in around the AL/FL line in about 4-5 days.
How developed?
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Quoting OSUWXGUY:
Good Morning Everyone!

Looks like the MLC, though impressive yesterday afternoon, fizzled instead of refiring some convection like I thought.

Wasn't the first time that Erika has surprised me I suppose...


Shear is horrendous across much of the Gulf and the Caribbean and shouldn't allow ANY development there at least throught he weekend.

The wave near the Cape Verdes is ingesting some serious dry air. Very nice, broad rotation and banding with it...but this dry environment is really detrimental - as we saw with Erika!


Good morning OSU..For the past few nights, whatever Erika has gained overnight she's lost that and more during the day.
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"Ike, Whats got you thinking this about GOM?"

CMC picks up and develops a trough split in the W GOMEX. Developes it and brings it in around the AL/FL line in about 4-5 days.
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Quoting OSUWXGUY:
this dry environment is really detrimental - as we saw with Erika!


And look at where she is... knocking on my doorstep. Actually, I think she's in the living room.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
Quoting IKE:
The GOM may have something in the next 4-5 days. It ain't over in the GOM or anywhere else in the Atlantic basin.
Ike, Whats got you thinking this about GOM?
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"guys you have to have the right set up in the gulf too get any thing biger the a cat 1 or 2 storm and with the cold fronts in the gulf and the higher wind shear and with cool AMs on the gulf coast its un likey it will get any stronger the 30mph

hurricane season is overe for the gulf coast"


As much as I wish it was over, unfortunately it's not over til November.
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Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1975
Good Morning Everyone!

Looks like the MLC, though impressive yesterday afternoon, fizzled instead of refiring some convection like I thought.

Wasn't the first time that Erika has surprised me I suppose...


Shear is horrendous across much of the Gulf and the Caribbean and shouldn't allow ANY development there at least throught he weekend.

The wave near the Cape Verdes is ingesting some serious dry air. Very nice, broad rotation and banding with it...but this dry environment is really detrimental - as we saw with Erika!
1501. LUCARIO
ITS NOT OVER TIL THE FAT WEATHER LADY SINGS

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1977_Atlantic_hurricane_season

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Atlantic_hurricane_season


THERE Will be a monster out THERE

in the name of FRED OR GRACE


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Quoting stormsurge39:
Are you a troll? Hmmmm

nah.. sorry, a bit surly here this morning, this whole Erika thing just gets me frustrated
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Quoting Tazmanian:
Erika is dead


and it will get rip up by wind shear
OK YOUR RIGHT!!!
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1497. IKE
The GOM may have something in the next 4-5 days. It ain't over in the GOM or anywhere else in the Atlantic basin.
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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.