High wind shear disrupts Emily as it approaches Hispaniola

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:06 PM GMT on August 03, 2011

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In defiance to its forecast, Tropical Storm Emily continues to move due west this morning, and we wonder just how far west it will get before turning toward Hispaniola. Recent Hurricane Hunter missions have shown that Emily is still very poorly organized, and although the center of circulation is plainly obvious on satellite imagery, it's only because it is so displaced from the thunderstorm activity. Wind shear around the storm is just high enough, around 20 knots out of the west, to push the upper levels of circulation and thunderstorm activity to the east, exposing the surface low. In order for tropical cyclones to intensify (or, continue to exist at all), they need to be vertically stacked and standing straight up in the atmosphere. Right now, Emily is tilting to the east. This is bad news for the organization of the storm, and something that Emily will have to work hard at recovering from. In addition to the wind shear, dry air continues to wrap around the north and west of the storm. This isn't as critical as unfavorable wind shear, but it's not helping to create new thunderstorm activity. The strongest winds of 50 mph were found to the north and east of the center this morning, and Emily is not expected to intensify before making landfall in Hispaniola, which is forecast for tonight. The HWRF is forecasting the strongest precipitation to fall on the northeast side of the storm as is passes over Hispaniola. This is relatively good news for Haiti, but the country could still receive up to 5 inches of rain, and since the models have been trending the track west over the past couple of runs, it's something to watch closely. No matter the scenario, Emily is expected to produce heavy rains, flash flooding, and mudslides in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which are all to common on the mountainous island.


Figure 1. Forecast precipitation accumulation from the HWRF high resolution model's 6Z (2am EDT) run. The color contour scale is in inches. The coastlines are a thin, red line. The Dominican Republic is expected to get the most rain out of Emily. You can view the HWRF model runs on Wundermap.

Forecast for Tropical Storm Emily
The future of Emily remains uncertain, and even the National Hurricane Center is using the "if" word when forecasting Emily's track after crossing Hispaniola. "If" it makes it north of Hispaniola. Over the past couple of runs, the models have been trending their forecast tracks back to the west, most likely because Emily has remained on a westward track longer than expected. This is expected—the longer Emily remains shallow and unorganized, the longer it will track west. It will need to build up taller in the atmosphere to be influenced by the steering winds that can push it north. Given its westward track, today's models are likely closer to reality than what we've seen in the past couple of days. This morning, the CMC, UKMET, and HWRF models send Emily on a northwest track to Florida. This is a change from the past couple of days for the HWRF, but the CMC and UKMET have consistently been the western boundary of model consensus. THE GFDL has also taken a huge swing to the west, and now suggests it will come very close to a southeast Florida landfall. The ECMWF and GFS continue to forecast that Emily will take a harder turn north through the Bahamas, not reaching the Florida coast.


Figure 2. Satellite image of Tropical Storm Emily at 11:15am EDT. The surface circulation is visible to the west of the strongest thunderstorm activity.

Consensus of the models falls between the HWRF/GFDL solution and the ECMWF/GFS solution, and the National Hurricane Center continues to use the consensus for the official track forecast, which calls for Emily to take a turn to the northwest and make landfall in Hispaniola this afternoon, after which continuing northwest until Saturday morning when it's between the island of Grand Bahama and West Palm Beach, Florida. At this point, they expect the storm to jog north and then northeast.

Emily's intensity forecast continues highly dependent on the track it takes. Assuming it can survive the wrath of Hispaniola, Emily will enter slightly more favorable environmental conditions to the north of the islands. This is what the Hurricane Center is forecasting, although they remain cautious. There is a very good chance that, if Emily does turn northwest today, it will not be able to reorganize after crossing Hispaniola. If it does maintain organization, Emily could reach hurricane strength as it moves northeast out to the open Atlantic. The other scenario at this point is that the storm keeps moving west, which will be detrimental to its orgnization. The models that track Emily into the far eastern Gulf of Mexico don't suggest any reintensification—the CMC fizzles the system below tropical storm strength quickly, probably because of the long track over Cuba it would have to take. In any case, Emily remains a threat most certainly to Hispaniola, and potentially to Florida.

I'm planning a quick update later this afternoon/evening for an update on new model runs, and potential Hispaniola landfall.

Angela

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1002.8 mb
(~ 29.61 inHg)


LOWEST PRESSURE FOUND!?
Member Since: July 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 225
Westerly's are stronger than they where earlier, sign of a tighter circulation.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Except for the possible exception of the eastern gulf :)

I know, that's still kinda out there, but it is possible still, we will know more by tomorrow of this possibility.
Possibly :)
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1366. BrandiQ
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Down to 1002.8mb. Not bad.

220200 1653N 07029W 8422 01536 0028 +217 +083 214013 015 030 001 03


But she doesn't look good right now...
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1365. j2008
Quoting troy1993:
Why is it that the Pacific side keeps spitting out hurricanes where in the Atlantic side it seems like every system that forms has a hard time getting going? When are we going to get storms that begin to look more organized and turn into major hurricanes?

Wait till late in the month, then I think the Atlantic will start spitting out Majors one after another, and the EPAC will start to cool off.
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Pretty decent system by 105.
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1363. Seastep
1002.8 mb
(~ 29.61 inHg)
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National Hurricane Center did pretty badly on this...10% --> 70% --> 50%.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31315
Down to 1002.8mb. Not bad.

220200 1653N 07029W 8422 01536 0028 +217 +083 214013 015 030 001 03
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
OMG, idk Eugene got this strong i just that it was a low cat3. Looks like very strong cat4 to cat5 0.0!


Heh yeah, isn't it always like that though when there's a TC in the Caribbean/near CONUS? Big, bad hurricane Eugene will spin up, up, and away from land and we'll all do some tunnel-vision on the sloppy tropical storm. :P
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Thank you everyone for the working links :)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Probably not this wave then...



Looks like the combined vort of that one and the one behind it.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
GFS tries to develop something off of Africa in about 4 days.


Some healthy waves have been exiting the African coast. Wouldn't doubt it a bit if one tried to develop soon.
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Quoting muddertracker:
I don't know much...but I do know that the GOMEX is closed for business!


Except for the possible exception of the eastern gulf :)

I know, that's still kinda out there, but it is possible still, we will know more by tomorrow of this possibility.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
GFS tries to develop something off of Africa in about 4 days.
Indeed. 96 hours...could get interesting:

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
GFS tries to develop something off of Africa in about 4 days.


Probably not this wave then...

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31315
Quoting MississippiWx:


I agree on the gradual turn.


Yeah it just makes sense to me, based on what is in play.
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GFS tries to develop something off of Africa in about 4 days.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

Ok. That makes sense. Let's see if she'll get picked up. She's pretty easy I hear.


LOL. I dunno...She has been a tease her entire lifetime...
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The way I see it, Emily missing Haiti and bringing heavy rain in Florida is beneficial God send rather than something to worry about.
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I don't know much...but I do know that the GOMEX is closed for business!
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Quoting Grothar:


I will WU mail you the instructions. You DO know how to access that, don't you?


ummm yeah lol...i can copy cut n paste too...don't have a prob on any other site i use...just this one... :P
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
Quoting hyperanthony:
Meanwhile, in the Pacific...

OMG, idk Eugene got this strong i just that it was a low cat3. Looks like very strong cat4 to cat5 0.0!
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Well based on whats currently happening in the atmosphere, the weakness is shifting towards Florida before Emily can take that right curve, in other words, based on what I'm seeing, the path of least resistance is beginning to shift westward anyway, so if Emily does start to turn more WNW, it probably won't take a sharp turn, rather a more gradual one towards the FL straights.

Just my current view.


I agree on the gradual turn.
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Hey guys! Visit the tropics chat, we're looking for people.
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Why is it that the Pacific side keeps spitting out hurricanes where in the Atlantic side it seems like every system that forms has a hard time getting going? When are we going to get storms that begin to look more organized and turn into major hurricanes?
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even if emily dissipates over cuba, it could reintensify over the bahamas or off the coast of florida. this storm really has been a strange one.
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Quoting CNYILION:
oh my lol


Hahaha....I was thinking the same...LOL!!!
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1337. Grothar
Quoting tiggeriffic:


i am link illiterate roflmbo...no matter how many times i try, i cannot seem to post a link... :(


I will WU mail you the instructions. You DO know how to access that, don't you?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25045
Quoting MississippiWx:


We'll just have to see. No, Emily is still not stacked. For the record, I think the NHC track is a little too far to the east and that Florida is very much in the bulls eye. However, Emily should still feel the effects of the weakness to the NW of her, stacked or not.

Also, the slow down in forward speed should be an indication that she's about to change directions.


Well based on whats currently happening in the atmosphere, the weakness is shifting towards Florida before Emily can take that right curve, in other words, based on what I'm seeing, the path of least resistance is beginning to shift westward anyway, so if Emily does start to turn more WNW, it probably won't take a sharp turn, rather a more gradual one towards the FL straights.

Just my current view.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

As much as I would love to agree with you, I thought the same thing yesterday when she hit the breaks, and no northerly component ensued. Not even the slightest. Don't forget they were just as dead set as tonight with this prediction of a northerly turn.

But so far, I have not seen anything yet that would indicate it.


She has to turn at some point... If she waits until the second trough moves onto the scene. She may make a little bit more of a mess for FL, but the turn would be quite a bit steeper too.
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Quoting hyperanthony:
Meanwhile, in the Pacific...



ADT weakening flag is ON
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
Quoting KanKunKid:


I am thinking too, her naked swirl is below 10K feet and she is south of the mountains of Hispaniola. Now I am just guessing here but, if the mountains can block the blow, they could probably block the suck too, right?

I mean, the low is sucking but there isn't enough of her sticking up to suck up! I guess if I had a naked swirl I wouldn't be standing up either. She is uncoupled or (as they say here in fancy schmancy technical terms)decoupled from her Center of Circulation, maybe the low will suck something else up north.
oh my lol
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Quoting OrchidGrower:
Re: #1284, thanks, HH27. I have indeed been here a long time, mostly lurking. Have learned so much from this site, and over the years used the various satellite/radar views here to spot storms "straying" from their projected paths in time to buy myself precious preparation time!

The bickering and silliness on this Blog of late, doesn't change for me that it's my most valuable site for tropic-weather info. Moreover, I think it performs a valuable service for a vast number of people. It's well worth my few bucks a year to support.

Thanks for being here!
Good to hear you still support the site, its been a huge learning database for me to!
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1331. Grothar
Quoting robj144:


No you guys are right.. that's why I erased my comment, but everyone is quoting my erased comment. Thanks a lot. I was trying to save myself the embarrassment. :)


Don't worry about embarrassment on this blog. We all do it every 5 blogs ourselves.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25045
Meanwhile, in the Pacific...

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Quoting Grothar:
Whoops. looks like Seastep and CharlotteFL beat me to it. Nice to see people sharing their links. Good to know there are still people willing to share their links with fellow bloggers.


i am link illiterate roflmbo...no matter how many times i try, i cannot seem to post a link... :(
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
Member Since: August 29, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5236
Quoting cat5hurricane:

As much as I would love to agree with you, I thought the same thing yesterday when she hit the breaks, and no northerly component ensued. Not even the slightest. Don't forget they worse just as deadset as tonight with this prediction of a northerly turn.

But so far, I have not seen anything yet that would indicate it.


There was also no weakness close enough to her yesterday to influence a slowing in forward speed. The slow forward speed yesterday that lasted for a short amount of time can be attributed to her reorganizing. Center fixes from the hurricane hunters also showed hints of a WNW motion.
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1326. Grothar
Whoops. looks like Seastep and CharlotteFL beat me to it. Nice to see people sharing their links. Good to know there are still people willing to share their links with fellow bloggers.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25045
Quoting atmoaggie:
That's a mess of a tropical storm...



Emily reminds me a lot a Fay and it's constant struggles, just organized enough to be a TS, but not enough to go anywhere with it.
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Quoting barotropic:


I wouldn't doubt it. Water vapor shows quite a bit of southerly shear still ahead of Emily and she's already really struggling. By the way, the mountains over eastern cuba aren't a walk in the park.


Yeah, Cuba topography:



Eastern Cuba isn't really any better than Hispaniola. However I don't think it'll just die there like the GFS shows.
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Quoting ElConando:


Not entirely sure. I know NW movement is at 315 Degrees because its splits the difference between 270 and 360. And I'd think WNW movement would bet the average between 270 and 315 which is 292.5 or 293. But I may be doing that wrong.


mathmatically 292.5 would be exactly wnw...but i am no met...
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3650
Quoting atmoaggie:
That's a mess of a tropical storm...



Looks like someone splashed multicolor paint on a map.
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Still just a tad north of the circulation. 1003.5mb.

220000 1700N 07029W 8432 01531 0035 +212 +076 103004 004 018 000 00
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
1320. Grothar
Quoting TampaBayStevo:
Could someone please just tell me if these wind sheer links are working for them?

http://tropic.ssec.wisc.edu/real-time/windmain.ph p?&basin=atlantic&sat=wg8∏=shr&zoom= &time=

They no longer work for me, and I dont know if my PC has something wrong, or if I need new links.


Try this:

Link
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 68 Comments: 25045

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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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