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.

McAfee virus alert messages
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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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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1496. RJT185
Quoting 954FtLCane:

its raining is Hollywood FL right now, is that the ghost of D-E-A-D Erika?


We have crystal clear skies in Pittsburgh ... that only happens like five times a month. Maybe Erika stole our clouds!!!
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Erika is dead


and it will get rip up by wind shear
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115247
Quoting 954FtLCane:

its raining is Hollywood FL right now, is that the ghost of D-E-A-D Erika?
Are you a troll? Hmmmm
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Quoting serialteg:
Showers falling in Ponce, PR.

its raining is Hollywood FL right now, is that the ghost of D-E-A-D Erika?
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Quoting 954FtLCane:
I'm sorry someone tell me, am I wrong, Erika is dead...right D-E-A-D




She's looking for the Mona Passage...
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Quoting 954FtLCane:

again.... wishcaster Erika is D-E-A-D
The only thing i wish for is to win the lottery!
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Showers with 20mph winds and thunder falling in Ponce, PR. Nothing apocalyptic, but all true
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1983
Quoting Tazmanian:
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


If Stormno's around... he's going to have something to say about that :P

He did say he was going to leave the blog for a week until things got interesting. Bets, anyone?
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1983
Erika is dead


and it will get rip up by wind shear
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115247
Quoting stormsurge39:
W-R-O-N-G

again.... wishcaster Erika is D-E-A-D
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Quoting Tazmanian:
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
Time will tell
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Still think Erika is going to spit out Fred N of PR. Most of the models are calling for it.
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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
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115247
Quoting 954FtLCane:
I'm sorry someone tell me, am I wrong, Erika is dead...right D-E-A-D
W-R-O-N-G
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Quoting Relix:

Mind sending some of that to the north? It's kinda boring here, just cloudy. Looking for an excuse to not go to my 1PM class lol.


PR sent nine-to-fivers, kids and collegers home early yesterday, under bright sunny skies with trade wind flow, to prepare for Erika. At night, we Inter students get calls from the campus saying "class tomorrow" and all jobs and schools announce business as usual, exactly the day when the storm itself was coming ashore.

Please help me understand.

At least they had a break yesterday. 2 beers and I have a hangover headache.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1983
I'm sorry someone tell me, am I wrong, Erika is dead...right D-E-A-D
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Quoting Elena85Vet:


How is that right? Erica is a long way from reaching the SE GOM.
Really?
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Would not be suprised to the yellow crayon in the Gulf within the next 24 hrs.
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Quoting stormsurge39:
EURO model had Erika right 5 days ago with her going in the SE GOM!


How is that right? Erica is a long way from reaching the SE GOM.
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EURO model had Erika right 5 days ago with her going in the SE GOM!
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1469. Relix
Quoting serialteg:
Winds starting to pick up in Ponce PR, 15-25mph with thunder and overcast. Rain is a-coming.

Mind sending some of that to the north? It's kinda boring here, just cloudy. Looking for an excuse to not go to my 1PM class lol.
Member Since: August 3, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 2725
1466. MahFL
A COC does seem to be getting stronger,quite apparent on radar.
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1464. RJT185
Quoting serialteg:


Took the post right out of my mind


LOL
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Quoting FLGatorCaneNut:
Wow, 6 days till the peak of cane season and nothing out there worth mentioning. Interesting, very interesting.



Maybe you haven't seen this?

Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1983
Quoting Tazmanian:
thats what you get in a EL Nino year we may get 2 more name storms that get rip aprt by wind shear then that it


the gulf is out of the woods this year
How do you know?
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thats what you get in a EL Nino year we may get 2 more name storms that get rip aprt by wind shear then that it


the gulf is out of the woods this year
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115247
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Seriously, don't look at them, move on to the next post.


I do that 98% of the time, but sometimes I have to express my feelings in this marvelous text box.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1983
1454. JRRP
so erika is RIP... eh?
Link
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Its unreal how some of you kill this storm after all she has dealt with. I admit she looked ripped yesterday,and i even said it,but until the stake has been put thru her heart and all she is a mist, dont count her out!
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I heard DR. Lyons say that September 10 is the peak for overall averages, but some years peaks do occur in mid-late August and also early to mid October.
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Winds starting to pick up in Ponce PR, 15-25mph with thunder and overcast. Rain is a-coming.
Member Since: August 22, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1983
Quoting serialteg:


Fetch you a blankie?



Thanks. That's very considerate...

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Mornin' Storm.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300

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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.