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 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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1119. IKE

Quoting MississippiWx:


Well, there's your WNW turn.
And land awaits it.
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1118. angiest
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:


Very little movement, hard to gauge what direction she is really heading right now.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
1117. nash28
Quoting tiggeriffic:


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


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.
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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.


Thanks a lot! I am no expert but your explanation said it all. I know we should have nothing to worry about here but I have witnessed many cones start north of us and slowly "fall". Thanks again.
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Quoting stormpetrol:


Update you post...........That is the 8:00 am track.... :)
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1113. 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.
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting angiest:
Ouch! I wonder where exactly this thermometer is placed. It is marked as South of Downtown Dallas on WU"

109.5 °F
Feels Like 117 °F
It has been 110 F, or better, in Tulsa for the last 3 hours. Forecast high (depending on source) of 113 to 115 F.

That site's temp prolly not far from the actual.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
1111. hahaguy
I'm surprised they kept Emily at 50mph.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:


Well, there's your WNW turn.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10220
it could possibly hit cuba and hispanola... three milibar drop as of 5 im thinkin a slight windspeed increase at 8 oclock to 55 mph after that its anyones guess, it mainly depends on the track
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Quoting ncstorm:


this is another earl again..they kept saying that last year as well but it was northeast instead of northwest
Yea I remembered Earl. I seriously thought Hurricane Earl was going to be the first hurricane in my life and in a big way, but it FINALLY TURNED few hours before hitting Wilmington as strong major hurricane.
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SOME DEEP CONVECTION RE-DEVELOPED NEAR THE CENTER THIS AFTERNOON...
AND DATA FROM THE AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE PLANE CURRENTLY IN EMILY
INDICATE THAT THE INITIAL INTENSITY REMAINS 45 KNOTS...WITH A
MINIMUM PRESSURE OF 1003 MB. WIND SHEAR IS STILL AFFECTING THE
CYCLONE...BUT GLOBAL MODELS AS WELL AS THE SHIPS GUIDANCE INDICATE
THAT THE UPPER-LEVEL ENVIRONMENT SHOULD BECOME MORE CONDUCIVE FOR
STRENGTHENING IN ABOUT 36 HOURS. BY THEN...EMILY SHOULD BE MOVING
AWAY FROM THE INFLUENCE OF THE HIGH TERRAIN OF HISPANIOLA AND
EASTERN CUBA...AND SOME INTENSIFICATION COULD BEGIN. HOWEVER...THE
OFFICIAL FORECAST IS NOT AS AGGRESSIVE AS THE GFDL AND HWRF MODELS.

SATELLITE AND AIRCRAFT FIXES INDICATE THAT THE EXPECTED TURN TO THE
NORTHWEST HAS NOT MATERIALIZED YET...WITH EMILY STILL MOVING
WESTWARD OR 280 DEGREES AT 12 KNOTS. SO FAR MOST OF THE DYNAMICAL
MODELS...WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE ECMWF...HAVE HAD A NORTHWARD
BIAS. EVEN THE LATEST RUN OF THE GFS STILL REFORMS THE CYCLONE
NORTH OF THE HIGH TERRAIN OF EASTERN HISPANIOLA. THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST HAS BEEN SHIFTED WESTWARD DURING THE FIRST 12 TO 24
HOURS...BRINGING EMILY OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN PENINSULA OF HAITI AND
THEN EASTERN CUBA. AFTER THAT...THE OFFICIAL FORECAST STILL
ASSUMES THAT THE WESTERN ATLANTIC TROUGH WILL DEEPEN SUFFICIENTLY
TO TURN THE CYCLONE NORTHWESTWARD AND NORTHWARD.
HOWEVER...IF THE
NORTHWARD TURN DOES NOT BEGIN SOON...THE THREAT TO THE SOUTHEASTERN
UNITED STATES WILL INCREASE




This system was supposed to start moving WNW-NW many hours ago, it still hasn't started its NW turning the NHC is referring to. I think that if Emily doesn't move NW within the next ~12 hours, it could take a much more WEST path than expected by the NHC.
Member Since: July 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 225
Quoting Mucinex:

Geez, haven't heard that name in a looong time.
I was think more Don Noe and his weather rock.

Personally, I trust the ghost of Weaver the WeatherBird.

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...?
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1105. 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..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15219
Quoting Seflhurricane:
more than likely watches will be issued for saouth florida tomorrow , but note if the westward motion continues you bet they will be issued its a 50/50 gamble right now


You know one of the issues of when and where to post the warnings have to do with the economics. There was an article that I saw that had the cost by miles. Five years ago they would have posted warnings from Miami to West Palm in this type of scenario -- they didn't have the sophistication with the tracking systems. Now they will post the warnings/watches for as small an area as just Miami Dade County.

Not saying that they don't post because of the economics, but they try to be cautious to not overextend the warning area.
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Quoting SeaMule:
this thing is a lot like Katrina....they kept saying what it would do....and it didn't. it tended west until it hit new orleans. the models have a biased towards turning.

I think the turn ain't a gonna happen till the GOM is clearly in her sights.....

we have a katrina on our hands.....it'll probably hook into Tampa Bay as a cat 4-5

imho


SeaMule, if that happens I will buy you a drink.

Drink? Scratch that...I will buy you the bar. Just pick one, it is yours.
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Quoting SeaMule:
not joking. it's august...HOT HOT HOT...

and we have a cyclone that is NOT RESPONDING TO THE MODELS...

I give in to her......she is going where she wants....

GOM


Unless the pattern that has been in place the entire summer changes before Emily gets into the Gulf, there won't be anything close to a major hurricane in the Gulf. The ridge will not allow it.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10220
Quoting weatherjr:
In my view Emily is disorganizing with time
The NOAA/SSD satellite analysis disagrees.

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

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21162
Link
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7862
1098. jonelu
Quoting stormpetrol:
A GRADUAL TURN TO THE
WEST-NORTHWEST AND NORTHWEST IS EXPECTED DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO.

Honestly, how many days now? I could be totally wrong, but Emily would have to turn NNW now just to encounter the mountains of Haiti alone.Man has become to dependent on machines, therefore not that he he doesn't have it in him, but common sense and old time forecasting sames to have taken a back seat( just my opinion)

I think the general consensus is that her COC will pass east of Port au Prince close to the Windward passage...which is no good for Haiti as they will get the most rain and wind on east side. If it survives with IMO is 60% likely then she will travel fairly close to the coast of FL. before out to sea. Its been pointed out that the fact she has slowed considerably could mean that she is finely feeling the pull that will take her more NW. If this doesnt occur it is likely she will dissipate.
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Quoting BrandiQ:
What I dont understand is that this forecast shows less land interaction but they still believe that it will stay a TS... does anyone know why?


Barely holding together at medium TS with no major land interaction.
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1096. angiest
Ouch! I wonder where exactly this thermometer is placed. It is marked as South of Downtown Dallas on WU"

109.5 °F
Feels Like 117 °F
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting Grandpato4:
I am watching this closely as I am currently at my home in NC and I have a home in FL as well. I am in NC, should I have my property manager prepare my FL home yet?


If you mean the part of Florida in the cone, then I would say yes. Especially if the house is empty right now. If they manage multiple places things could get busy real fast. You can't be too careful.
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1094. divdog
Quoting BrandiQ:
What I dont understand is that this forecast shows less land interaction but they still believe that it will stay a TS... does anyone know why?
mostly shear along with an exposed low level center. Shear may not relax for a while yet.
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1093. Mucinex
Ooh, Channel7
"Up next, Hurricane Shutter thieves caught on camera."

Better mark your shutters people.
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Quoting SeaMule:
not joking. it's august...HOT HOT HOT...

and we have a cyclone that is NOT RESPONDING TO THE MODELS...

I give in to her......she is going where she wants....

GOM

never gonna happen with the high over the gulf....
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1091. WxLogic
NVM on my post quite a bit of people already made a note of that.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4970
1090. aquak9
Quoting BrandiQ:
What I dont understand is that this forecast shows less land interaction but they still believe that it will stay a TS... does anyone know why?


Cause it's so decoupled...?
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Quoting nash28:
Hey Press!

Hot enough for ya? Hitting 100 here today. Hotter than Lucifers rear end!


hey ya Nash...hot as Hades here too...heat index bout 112 in the low country...tomorrow is gonna be worse...
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1088. BrandiQ
Quoting bocahurricane:
here is palm beach county the local news has already got their special "Tropical Storm Emily" graphics and very threatening music to go along with it. It's a shame these stations to this. Tons of people are going to get home from work today and be all freaked out over what could be nothing


Thats funny... I don't even remember seeing on the cover of the news paper today... I thought maybe everyone forgot about her lol
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


you must be joking


I must be joking? Why would I be joking?
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10220
1085. SeaMule
not joking. it's august...HOT HOT HOT...

and we have a cyclone that is NOT RESPONDING TO THE MODELS...

I give in to her......she is going where she wants....

GOM
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I say again for those trying to read through the clutter:

As far as South Florida/Bahamas, not time to put up the shutters yet but definitely a good time to stock up on some supplies and fill up your gas tanks as there will be a very small window to act on Friday if Emily survives the crossing intact and does intensify past TS.
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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.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15813
1082. WxLogic
This is the key note:

HOWEVER...IF THE
NORTHWARD TURN DOES NOT BEGIN SOON...THE THREAT TO THE SOUTHEASTERN
UNITED STATES WILL INCREASE.

If Emily keeps stalling then it will miss the second TROF.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4970
1081. GHOSTY1
im afraid to say this in fear of his returning but did "you know who" leave for good this time?
Member Since: July 25, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 453
Quoting MississippiWx:


I hope you're joking.


you must be joking
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
Quoting nash28:
Hey Press!

Hot enough for ya? Hitting 100 here today. Hotter than Lucifers rear end!


Hey. mon!!! Yup...it's pretty miserable in da Lowcountry...
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here is palm beach county the local news has already got their special "Tropical Storm Emily" graphics and very threatening music to go along with it. It's a shame these stations to this. Tons of people are going to get home from work today and be all freaked out over what could be nothing
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SeaMule:
this thing is a lot like Katrina....they kept saying what it would do....and it didn't. it tended west until it hit new orleans. the models have a biased towards turning.

I think the turn ain't a gonna happen till the GOM is clearly in her sights.....

we have a katrina on our hands.....it'll probably hook into Tampa Bay as a cat 4-5

imho


I hope you're joking.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10220
SATELLITE AND AIRCRAFT FIXES INDICATE THAT THE EXPECTED TURN TO THE
NORTHWEST HAS NOT MATERIALIZED YET...WITH EMILY STILL MOVING
WESTWARD OR 280 DEGREES AT 12 KNOTS. SO FAR MOST OF THE DYNAMICAL
MODELS...WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE ECMWF...HAVE HAD A NORTHWARD
BIAS. EVEN THE LATEST RUN OF THE GFS STILL REFORMS THE CYCLONE
NORTH OF THE HIGH TERRAIN OF EASTERN HISPANIOLA. THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST HAS BEEN SHIFTED WESTWARD DURING THE FIRST 12 TO 24
HOURS...BRINGING EMILY OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN PENINSULA OF HAITI AND
THEN EASTERN CUBA. AFTER THAT...THE OFFICIAL FORECAST STILL
ASSUMES THAT THE WESTERN ATLANTIC TROUGH WILL DEEPEN SUFFICIENTLY
TO TURN THE CYCLONE NORTHWESTWARD AND NORTHWARD. HOWEVER...IF THE
NORTHWARD TURN DOES NOT BEGIN SOON...THE THREAT TO THE SOUTHEASTERN
UNITED STATES WILL INCREASE.


A little scary...
Member Since: April 23, 2011 Posts: 104 Comments: 14873
1074. angiest
Quoting tatoprweather:
Wow huge wave off Africa!!!

Am I sounding like someone else;>)


Especially with beginning your comment to the right of the picture, instead of under it.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Some of us remember back farther..... when we can remember.
LOL, I could barely remember Don Noe. I literally had to go on Wikipedia to find his name.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21162
Quoting SeaMule:
this thing is a lot like Katrina....they kept saying what it would do....and it didn't. it tended west until it hit new orleans. the models have a biased towards turning.

I think the turn ain't a gonna happen till the GOM is clearly in her sights.....

we have a katrina on our hands.....it'll probably hook into Tampa Bay as a cat 4-5

imho


The Gulfstream IV dropsonde data should help some...
Member Since: August 28, 2006 Posts: 6 Comments: 2896
Wow huge wave off Africa!!!

Am I sounding like someone else;>)
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1070. wpb
bill gray

total year 15
hurricanes 9
major 5

issued today
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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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