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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Quoting MississippiWx:


That reading will most likely be thrown out then.
You know it, lol. Plenty of pretty decent readings in the southeastern quadrant. All are pretty suspect though.

000
URNT15 KNHC 032120
AF306 0805A EMILY HDOB 30 20110803
211030 1613N 06928W 8427 01561 0100 +150 +056 180030 032 049 014 00
211100 1615N 06928W 8429 01555 0096 +154 +057 181031 033 044 012 00
211130 1617N 06928W 8429 01556 0094 +158 +058 188030 032 038 011 00
211200 1619N 06928W 8432 01553 0097 +153 +059 184033 035 038 009 00
211230 1621N 06928W 8421 01565 0105 +139 +060 172038 039 038 018 03
211300 1623N 06928W 8440 01544 0103 +141 +061 175032 037 048 028 00
211330 1625N 06929W 8419 01566 0100 +145 +061 188029 031 044 031 03
211400 1626N 06929W 8431 01554 0100 +147 +061 182027 030 047 019 03
211430 1628N 06929W 8430 01555 0100 +148 +060 188027 028 040 015 03
211500 1630N 06929W 8426 01563 0100 +153 +060 191029 035 049 025 00
211530 1632N 06929W 8446 01542 0093 +165 +060 178039 040 044 013 03
211600 1634N 06929W 8423 01564 0091 +168 +058 187035 036 032 007 00
211630 1636N 06930W 8432 01558 0097 +163 +057 185035 037 033 007 00
211700 1638N 06930W 8426 01561 0096 +161 +057 184034 035 033 007 00
211730 1640N 06930W 8437 01552 0108 +143 +058 183035 035 034 008 00
211800 1642N 06930W 8425 01563 0092 +166 +058 179034 035 035 005 00
211830 1644N 06930W 8430 01559 0096 +164 +058 176033 034 033 003 00
211900 1646N 06930W 8425 01564 0095 +163 +059 173033 033 034 002 00
211930 1648N 06930W 8426 01564 0094 +166 +060 168035 035 034 001 00
212000 1650N 06931W 8428 01563 0093 +166 +061 165036 037 035 001 00
$$
;
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
1169. angiest
Quoting WxLogic:


In reality she still stationary or meandering. Testing grounds is what I call it. :)


Or trying to find a new COC. Let's see if she jumps backwards at all.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
1167. snotly
Looks like the NAM splits the remnant lows into two voracity centers after Hispaniola


Looking at the 850 vort.


Link

Will there be 2?
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Quoting OUSHAWN:


We have seen these increasing t-numbers day after day...just to have them go back down again...day after day. I agree with someone else on here who said we depend way too much on computers instead of realizing that this is Mother Nature we are talking about...and she doesn't answer to man nor computers.
? Look at the whole history of Emily on that page. It tracks perfectly well, though the min pressure and max wind is admittedly useless.

Our eyeballs aren't as adept at noting a few more or less square miles warmed or cooled in the cloud tops as a well-coded computer algorithm.

The trend in t-numbers in these SSD analyses show the waxing/waning behaviors well before this blog mood changes from RIP to RI to RIP...
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Quoting MississippiWx:


I must be joking? Why would I be joking?


no, I meant the other guy who said that
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Back later. Hopefully the turn comes sooner rather than later as it would then encounter higher terrain for a longer time in the crossing.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15826
1162. GHOSTY1
Quoting bocahurricane:



I agree but the average person isn't nearly as educated about these storms as the people on the blog. After going through Francis, Jeanne and Wilma all my family looks to me for info rather then the hype of local TV


Same thing here anytime something in gulf there asking me for the info except for my dad bcuz he always has to contradic me, but i respect his opinion
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
1161. tea3781
Quoting MississippiWx:


I think he was referring to them needing to downgrade her (I think). He may have been saying it needed to be adjusted upward some.

Anyway, that's an interesting reading.


I know...its weird...she doesnt look good but thats the lowest pressure she has had and her winds are strong too...
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1160. WxLogic
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Not much movement the last two hours

Dropsonde Location: Dropped in eye.

Splash Location: 16.77N 70.4W
Splash Time: 18:22Z


Dropsonde Location: Dropped in eye.

Splash Location: 16.86N 70.47W
Splash Time: 20:41Z


In reality she still stationary or meandering. Testing grounds is what I call it. :)
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
1159. Gaea
Quoting OUSHAWN:


We have seen these increasing t-numbers day after day...just to have them go back down again...day after day. I agree with someone else on here who said we depend way too much on computers instead of realizing that this is Mother Nature we are talking about...and she doesn't answer to man nor computers.


Finally!
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'bout time for my favorite yellow jacket to jump back in here and tell us what to think about Miz Emily...
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Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI






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Weaker storm = more westward movement.
My guess is the cone will shift slightly West.
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thank you Mucinex
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1153. angiest
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Interesting...

210900 1607N 06927W 8437 01548 0112 +129 +063 168036 036 051 028 00

Flight level winds are still pretty low in comparison to what SFMR gave.


We had the same with Don.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Interesting...

210900 1607N 06927W 8437 01548 0112 +129 +063 168036 036 051 028 00

Flight level winds are still pretty low in comparison to what SFMR gave.


That reading will most likely be thrown out then.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10252
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Walt Cronise (I think thats the spelling)?

Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I was thinking Don Noe.
That's him. He was good.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22140
1150. nash28
Had a mtg a couple of weeks ago at work about hurricane preparedness... My retort was very short and sweet... I said...

I lived through three of the boogers in a span of six weeks when I lived in FL. CAT3 or higher means HASTA!!! Goodbye!!

Laughter ensued.
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Quoting GHOSTY1:
bocahurricane, all stations do that and the people watching should just chill and wait and see, anytime there's a storm in the gulf it seems our news station does the same thing, any time they don't know where it will go sometimes too. They'll do it for a day and as soon as it turns away they totally forget it even happened.



I agree but the average person isn't nearly as educated about these storms as the people on the blog. After going through Francis, Jeanne and Wilma all my family looks to me for info rather then the hype of local TV
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1148. 34chip
US National Weather Service Key West Florida

At 500 pm EDT, Tropical Storm Emily was located about 910 miles east-southeast of Key West. Emily was moving just north of due west at 14 mph, and is expected to turn to the northwest during the next day or so. Maximum sustained winds are near 50 mph. Emily may weaken to a tropical depression Thursday afternoon or Thursday night as it encounters the high terrain of Haiti and eastern Cuba. If Emily weakens to a tropical depression or tropical wave, it could move in a more westward direction, resulting in rainfall for the Florida Keys this weekend. Assuming Emily remains a tropical storm, the more advanced meteorological computer models are tightly clustered, bending Emily northward through the Bahamas, then curving it out to sea off the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. If the aforementioned turn to the northwest does not begin soon, the threat to the Florida Keys will increase. As always, our staff meteorologists will monitor this situation around the clock from our forecast office in Key West.
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1147. emcf30
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:

Last three center fixes my show she is starting to make her turn ?
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Interesting...

210900 1607N 06927W 8437 01548 0112 +129 +063 168036 036 051 028 00

Flight level winds are still pretty low in comparison to what SFMR gave.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting kmanislander:
If you run this WV loop and check the boxes for the HDW- High winds as well as the box for fronts it gives a good picture of how far South the effects of the trough are now and where the flow diverges between the trough in the N Atl and the high over the CONUS

I dont see the trough catching Emily where it is now and will need to dig a lot further South real soon to do so as Hispaniola is nearly off the image at the bottom.


I'm betting NHC will wait until morning to see if their expected turn materializes before they decide to adjust their forecast track. US will have a little more time to prepare if she biases west of current track.
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Quoting muddertracker:

People actually steal hurricane shutters? They unbolt them from houses? That sounds crazy!


It's a crazy world... someone should sell tickets.

Heard that in a movie once... but yes, sadly, people will steal the shutters.
Member Since: July 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 645
Not much movement the last two hours

Dropsonde Location: Dropped in eye.

Splash Location: 16.77N 70.4W
Splash Time: 18:22Z


Dropsonde Location: Dropped in eye.

Splash Location: 16.86N 70.47W
Splash Time: 20:41Z
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1142. angiest
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:


From the first to the third VDM she moved 0.08 north, and 0.13 west.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
1141. ncstorm
Quoting Bluestorm5:
which meteorologist? I follow WRAL meteorologist and NWS Raleigh (i know their team personally).


WWAY..George Elliot..been here for all our past hurricanes in the last 20 years.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15307
Quoting tiggeriffic:


ask press...im not a it aint comin here this time...by the way Press...did ya get a chance to ck the crabs today? i still say more of a sign tomorrow tho


gonna go out this evening...will let ya know...
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Quoting tea3781:



51 knots
(~ 58.6 mph) 28 mm/hr
(~ 1.10 in/hr) 51.0 knots (~ 58.6 mph)
Tropical Storm 141.7%


I think he was referring to them needing to downgrade her (I think). He may have been saying it needed to be adjusted upward some.

Anyway, that's an interesting reading.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10252
1138. OUSHAWN
Quoting atmoaggie:
The NOAA/SSD satellite analysis disagrees.

Weakening flag OFF for the last 2 hours, increasing t-numbers for the last hour.



We have seen these increasing t-numbers day after day...just to have them go back down again...day after day. I agree with someone else on here who said we depend way too much on computers instead of realizing that this is Mother Nature we are talking about...and she doesn't answer to man nor computers.
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Quoting angiest:


Very little movement, hard to gauge what direction she is really heading right now.
I agree, would like to wait another hour or two to see whether or not it has finally begun to turn though, but it's looking promising.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting Bluestorm5:
which meteorologist? I follow WRAL meteorologist and NWS Raleigh (i know their team personally).


Stacy Davis! (not a meteo, but well known reporter :) ) She used to be at my local cbs affilliate WTKR and went to WRAL! Miss her!
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1135. hahaguy
Quoting MississippiWx:


When you consistently have reports from recon of 50mph, it's hard not to keep her at 50mph.


Very true. The reason why i said it cause I haven't checked on her since mid morning when she looked horrible.
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Quoting reedzone:
Surprised watches weren't issued for South Florida.. Th Bahamas next to South Florida have watches.
Prolly in the next round. They've been rolling the watches west - and north - as Emily progresses....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22140
Quoting nash28:


Awesome... *Rolls eyes*

We could certainly use a weak TS. Nothing major. Don't want the trees in my living room, but rain would be welcome. Have only been here in SC for about three years, and everyone here says what they always said in Tampa when I lived there...

"It aint coming here.. Never does. Always hits NC."

LOL! I guess we'll see.


ask press...im not a it aint comin here this time...by the way Press...did ya get a chance to ck the crabs today? i still say more of a sign tomorrow tho
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Maybe there is no need to change the cone until/unless Emily moves more to the West. The present cone includes most of the SE coast.
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Quoting ncstorm:
Our local meteorologist is saying the turn will be much slower than what the computer models are saying and the track will be farther west..
which meteorologist? I follow WRAL meteorologist and NWS Raleigh (i know their team personally).
Member Since: August 1, 2011 Posts: 28 Comments: 8011
1129. tea3781
Quoting MississippiWx:


When you consistently have reports from recon of 50mph, it's hard not to keep her at 50mph.



51 knots
(~ 58.6 mph) 28 mm/hr
(~ 1.10 in/hr) 51.0 knots (~ 58.6 mph)
Tropical Storm 141.7%
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Really hoping Emily just decides to head on out to sea. I certainly don't have time for her nonsense and I doubt anyone else does.
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Quoting weathermanwannabe:


Update you post...........That is the 8:00 am track.... :)
I'm going remove it was trying to put it motion < I'll just link it :)
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7862
Quoting Mucinex:
Ooh, Channel7
"Up next, Hurricane Shutter thieves caught on camera."

Better mark your shutters people.

People actually steal hurricane shutters? They unbolt them from houses? That sounds crazy!
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1125. Mucinex
Quoting weaverwxman:

Bob Weaver was the best weatherman we ever had in South Fla.... I do have one stupid question for the experts on here. The XTRAP is not a model am I correct...?

You are correct! On both things.
Member Since: May 23, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 254
1124. ncstorm
Quoting nash28:


Awesome... *Rolls eyes*

We could certainly use a weak TS. Nothing major. Don't want the trees in my living room, but rain would be welcome. Have only been here in SC for about three years, and everyone here says what they always said in Tampa when I lived there...

"It aint coming here.. Never does. Always hits NC."

LOL! I guess we'll see.

thanks a lot Nash..LOL!
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15307
Quoting NOLALawyer:
That new cone is laughable.


no doubt. they have Emily making turns like sports car. Rack and pinion.
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Quoting hahaguy:
I'm surprised they kept Emily at 50mph.


When you consistently have reports from recon of 50mph, it's hard not to keep her at 50mph.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10252
Quoting tiggeriffic:


hey ya Nash...hot as Hades here too...heat index bout 112 in the low country...tomorrow is gonna be worse...


'here' for Nash is the same 'here' for us.'cause he's here...hear, hear..
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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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