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 stormpetrol:


Pure BS !!!
Agreed almost no model can handle this storm! But she is a closed LLC 1003mb.
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Quoting stormpetrol:


Pure BS !!!


LOL! Oh well!!
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Quoting midgulfmom:
Evening all. Oh my...in an earlier post today I wondered if she'd stall for a while... and darn if she did. Many tricks up under those clouds... she's a sneaky one...
Note to self: Before commenting after first logging back in read through to the end. She's apparently not stalled now. LOL
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I was lurking at the time. I really don't think that poster was that dumb...I think he was trying to be a wise cracker.....but that was no laughing matter storm.
Imagine if Charley had hit any further north or south? I predict there would have been well more than the 13 lost lives ...It was that strong and Fort Myers/ Sarasota/ Naples/ or heaven forbid Tampa are more populated and have low coastal residences (lower than Sanibel/Captiva) that would have had people who were riding it out....

Quoting robj144:


Some idiot was on today claiming they should have reclassified Charley's strength at landfall to cat 1. It was an overrated storm, he claimed.
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Quoting wayne0224:
I wont went thru the eye here in charlotte harbor never heard anything like it lost everything when the garage door failed nothing left on my street trees power poles roofs ect


Street signs, now that was different trying to find stuff when all the landmarks were gone....
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1964. WxLogic
Emily starting to move West based on last HH fix.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4972
Looks like the HWRF and the GFDL models now have a Florida landfall as a hurricane... that's interesting...
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Quoting barotropic:


Emily is a 1003 - 1004mb closed low. The dynamic models can handle this system fine and with greater detail and resolution. The bam and stat models are not right, if they were Emily would be south of eastern cuba right now or approaching Jamaica.


Pure BS !!!But the 1003-1004 mb closed low is accurate!
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7862
Quoting charlottefl:


Yeah well there are people that will disagree with me on this, but I honestly think it was a 5 when it made landfall in Charlotte Harbor. The sound the wind was making was indescribable. And as a side note one of the first few lines of the NHC Tropical cyclone report says: ", although small in size, it caused catastrophic wind damage in Charlotte County, Florida." Catastrophic is an interesting word, look at the descriptions next to the hurricane categories on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
I wont went thru the eye here in charlotte harbor never heard anything like it lost everything when the garage door failed nothing left on my street trees power poles roofs ect
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1960. myway
Quoting cloudburst2011:




well i have been in 2 cat 5s and possibly 3 its debateable..


Due tell
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Quoting cloudburst2011:



280 is due west


No, he's right. 280 is just north of due west. 270 is due west.
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1958. Levi32
12z ECMWF ensembles are right where I've been all along with the end-game track.

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1957. Skyepony (Mod)
PR rainfall
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Your missing the point Barotropic. The point is track, and Bamm has been spot on where all other have not.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:


270 is due west


Thanks for clearing that up for him.
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Quoting Goldenblack:
I agree with you, saw the damage myself on Monday the 16th, first hand in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte. That was incredible.

Yet, I went to see friends who were 10 miles north in North Port. Their property was untouched. What a small powerful core it had.



Yeah we have family in North Port we stayed with afterwards, most of our homes were pretty messed up. Kinda strange to see your town destroyed and 10 miles up the road they have power.
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Quoting doabarrelroll:

Miami cant talk, the entire ACC is a joke right now.


Your AD knows where we are headed or he (Foley) wouldn't have said that. Believe that speaks for itself.
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Quoting 2ifbyC:


Ummmm, OK... did you predict it?

BTW, I've been in three cat 1s, one cat 2 and one cat 3. Do I win? 8-)
NO
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Evening all. Oh my...in an earlier post today I wondered if she'd stall for a while... and darn if she did. Many tricks up under those clouds... she's a sneaky one...
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Quoting mrsalagranny:
Yes sir/mam.
Haven't seen ya on here since early last year. I gave up and left for the rest of the season. I'm gonna try to make it a little longer this season. No promises though....LOL
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Nice guess, that would make sense, since I do live in Tampa now....but it is actually for my Purdue Boilers....who are a sad sad sad sight in football these days *sigh* but what a meteorology school! lol

Quoting floodzonenc:
Is the Goldenblack a Southern MIss reference?  Just wondering since my ECU Pirates are in their conference...

FWIW... marine discussion from Morehead City...

EXPECT LONG PERIOD SWELL TO BEGIN INCREASING THIS WEEKEND INTO
EARLY NEXT WEEK WITH TS EMILY MOVING ALONG THE SE US WITH SEAS
BUILDING. HAVE INCREASED SEAS FOR SATURDAY NIGHT INTO MONDAY.
HAVE CAPPED AT 8FT FOR NOW...THOUGH MAY NEED TO BE ADJUSTED UPWARD
DEPENDING ON TRACK OF TS EMILY. WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR TS EMILY
FOR IMPACTS THIS WEEKEND INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK.

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1946. Skyepony (Mod)
Heavy rains in recent days have inundated rice fields in North Korea and flooded parts of a city near the border with South Korea. Footage obtained Saturday by Associated Press Television News from North Korea’s state broadcaster showed flooded and damaged rice fields and people wading through water in the city of Kaesong. Also visible in the footage shot Tuesday through Friday was damage to a country road, a collapsed bridge, a bus left stranded and tilted at a precarious angle, bent over rice shoots and crops washed over by earth and gravel. North Korea’s state news agency reported Friday that the country is suffering “seriously” from flooding. Dozens of people in South Korea died after torrential rains caused landslides and flooding.
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Quoting cloudburst2011:



280 is due west


270 is due west
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5401
1944. robj144
Quoting westFLtropics:


Seeing the damage from Charley was eye opening. I helped out with recovery in Desoto county. Looked like a warzone.


Some idiot was on today claiming they should have reclassified Charley's strength at landfall to cat 1. It was an overrated storm, he claimed.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 825
1943. 2ifbyC
Quoting doabarrelroll:

OK, but I will continue to say whatever I please given that I am one of the few in here who have actually been in a cat 5.


Ummmm, OK... did you predict it?

BTW, I've been in three cat 1s, one cat 2 and one cat 3. Do I win? 8-)
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Quoting msgambler:
Why wouldn't you Barotropic? They are the only ones that have been spot on so far with EM.


Emily is a 1003 - 1004mb closed low. The dynamic models can handle this system fine and with greater detail and resolution. The bam and stat models are not right, if they were Emily would be south of eastern cuba right now or approaching Jamaica.
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Quoting doabarrelroll:

good point. The damage was Andrew-esque


And that damage was honestly done in a period of a little over an hour. Front eye wall was 25 mins or so, and the back was about the same, and moving at 20+mph, can't even imagine if it had been moving at 10-15. I think we would have started to have some serious safety issues where I was at. Already did, but would have been a lot worse, not to mention it spared us the 18ft storm surge..
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Quoting doabarrelroll:

OK, but I will continue to say whatever I please given that I am one of the few in here who have actually been in a cat 5.
If all the lurkers and folks who aren't posting right now who have, logged in at once, it would probably crash the site. I fail to see how "going through a cat 5" gives one extra insight as to understanding scientific data.
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Time: 00:16:30Z
Coordinates: 16.9833N 70.7333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 842.4 mb (~ 24.88 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,556 meters (~ 5,105 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1005.3 mb (~ 29.69 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 155° at 7 knots (From the SSE at ~ 8.0 mph)
Air Temp: 21.1°C (~ 70.0°F)
Dew Pt: 7.0°C (~ 44.6°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 8 knots (~ 9.2 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 20 knots* (~ 23.0 mph*)
SFMR Rain Rate: 1 mm/hr* (~ 0.04 in/hr*)
(*) Denotes suspect data
probably the new center fix with a possible 275-280 degree movement or just a tad N of due west!
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7862
Emily is a typical woman. She is taking her sweet time and none of these troughs are gonna rush her before she is ready. She will ignore any of those that try and wait for the right one to come along.
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Emily is feeling the weakness now as the clouds around are now drifting Nward. As others have pointed out, she's not stalled anymore.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5401
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
i have been on this website, can you post link please?
This?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting charlottefl:


Yeah well there are people that will disagree with me on this, but I honestly think it was a 5 when it made landfall in Charlotte Harbor. The sound the wind was making was indescribable. And as a side note one of the first few lines of the NHC Tropical cyclone report says: ", although small in size, it caused catastrophic wind damage in Charlotte County, Florida." Catastrophic is an interesting word, look at the descriptions next to the hurricane categories on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.


Seeing the damage from Charley was eye opening. I helped out with recovery in Desoto county. Looked like a warzone.
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Quoting Dakster:
The way this has been going, I wouldn't be surprised to see Emily go south and East at this point...

(j/k)....


Don't worry, I was forecasting a Cape Verde landfall a while ago.
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Quoting msgambler:
Granny, you still in Mobile?
Yes sir/mam.
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I agree with you, saw the damage myself on Monday the 16th, first hand in Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte. That was incredible.

Yet, I went to see friends who were 10 miles north in North Port. Their property was untouched. What a small powerful core it had.

Quoting charlottefl:


Yeah well there are people that will disagree with me on this, but I honestly think it was a 5 when it made landfall in Charlotte Harbor. The sound the wind was making was indescribable. And as a side note one of the first few lines of the NHC Tropical cyclone report says: ", although small in size, it caused catastrophic wind damage in Charlotte County, Florida." Catastrophic is an interesting word, look at the descriptions next to the hurricane categories on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.
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Quoting NICycloneChaser:


Haha, the target has changed. She's just stalled while she decides which is the better target, Mexico or Miami. The next move has nothing to do with the weakness, just whichever one she's picked... Lol.


or she might hit Miami and turn back west again and head for Mexico. Now that would do a number on everyone in this blog.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Damn.

Moving NE at 114 hours.

i have been on this website, can you post link please?
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1921. sdswwwe
Looks like Emily is moving NW based on HH data.
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I dont see a stalled storm looks to me like she is still drifting W The whole cloud mass almost looks like it is going to skirt the coast through the Carb. for a while then again a more Northern turn is expected by NHC they most of the time ant off very much I just dont see it beening pulled hard enough N yet maybe when the front digs deeper S if it does
this is just my opinion I ant a Met or a Dr just an observer

Thanks


Link
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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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