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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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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Looks like Emily is moving again. As far as I can see, centre seems to have moved slightly north of due west, maybe 280 degrees.
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1917. ncstorm
HPC extended discussion

TROPICAL STORM EMILY AIDING IN ITS RECURVATURE AND PUSHING IT EAST
AND NORTHEAST OFFSHORE OF THE EAST COAST. VAST MAJORITY OF
HURRICANE MODELS/ENSEMBLES TAKE THIS SYSTEM OF THE EAST COAST OF
FLORIDA AND THEN NORTHEAST AS IT ENCOUNTERS MORE MID LEVEL
WESTERLY FLOW. IT REMAINS INTERESTING THAT THE UKMET AND CMC ALONG
WITH BAM HURRICANE MODELS HAVE BEEN KEEPING THIS SYSTEM QUITE WEAK
AND ALLOW IT TO BE STEERED MUCH MORE WESTWARD BY LOWER LEVEL FLOW.
SEE NHC FORECASTS AND DISCUSSIONS.
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ATCF says pressure is even lower than before:

AL, 05, 2011080400, , BEST, 0, 169N, 707W, 45, 1004, TS, 34, NEQ, 100, 75, 0, 0,
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1914. Dakster
The way this has been going, I wouldn't be surprised to see Emily go south and East at this point...

(j/k)....
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1912. ackee
I Look like EMILY is moving WSW to me not sure if its convection but that what I am seeing
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Quoting Goldenblack:
By the way, I was lurking earlier today when you were talking about Charley in Punta Gorda. I was in Fort Myers Beach at the time of Charley, and I can truly say I was scared out of my mind by that storm.



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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Looks like Emily may be strengthening. I think it will be a Florida storm. Hate to say it but models keep shifting west ever so slightly. We need the rain but not the wind or damage. Insurance is bad enough from past storms as it is.

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Quoting wolftribe2009:


maybe she already knows (Would explain the WESTWARD movement where Mexico is) lol


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.
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1908. ncstorm
Updated 5 day total QPF map..

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Weaker circulation?

001530 1656N 07045W 8430 01548 0059 +201 +069 261005 006 020 000 03
001600 1657N 07045W 8428 01550 0057 +204 +069 192005 006 019 000 03
001630 1659N 07044W 8424 01556 0053 +211 +070 155007 008 020 001 03
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Granny, you still in Mobile?
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Thank you, Levi ,for your insights.
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
why does the last vortex message indicate it has moved WSW ???
Because it had moved sharply NE first....

Look at the previous message.
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Quoting NICycloneChaser:


It's not really the NHC's fault that she wasn't retired, it's the WMO and that Mexico didn't request it.

But I don't think anybody told Emily that... lol


maybe she already knows (Would explain the WESTWARD movement where Mexico is) lol
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Quoting NICycloneChaser:


I'd imagine the weakening high being described is the weakness due to be created by the next trough, which is the one forecast to fully recurve Emily. So the weakening high has already been taken into account in the current track.
Thank you NICcyclone for your rsponse and not being ugly to me about it.I am here to try and learn as is everyone else.If I dont ask questions then I will never know.
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1900. WxLogic
Quoting Drakoen:
NHC will likely shift the track to the left to account for this model cycle.


Indeed... even TVCN shifted so very likely. Won't be surprised if further shifts happen prior to the 11PM update tonight when 00Z should be out for some models and have path closer to the FL coast.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4965
Awesome! Thank you, I will not forget the favor...

Quoting floodzonenc:
For Goldenblack... better late than never...


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Quoting CanesfanatUT:
MH09 - I can not believe you would EVER go to a Nolie's site! What is wrong with you?
hah

BTW - did you see the Gates said they would never play us again after the '13 game at Miami? I was not surprised, bunch of babies.
Sometimes I gotta take one for the team and take a trip into their website, LOL.

No comment on the Gators. Haha.
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1896. scott39
Lurking and being entertained...Keep up the good job. LOL
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By the way, I was lurking earlier today when you were talking about Charley in Punta Gorda. I was in Fort Myers Beach at the time of Charley, and I can truly say I was scared out of my mind by that storm.

Quoting charlottefl:


I think they're having a little bit of a hard time with the degree of the turn, but with so many factors weighing in it's not hard to see why. And as far as intensity, well they've already said their intensity forecasts can be subject to large errors, just not well enough understood all of the variables.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Time: 00:10:00Z
Coordinates: 16.75N 70.5167W
Acft. Static Air Press: 841.9 mb (~ 24.86 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,570 meters (~ 5,151 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1009.8 mb (~ 29.82 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 169° at 5 knots (From the SSE/S at ~ 5.8 mph)
Air Temp: 15.3°C (~ 59.5°F)
Dew Pt: 5.7°C (~ 42.3°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 10 knots (~ 11.5 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 49 knots (~ 56.3 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 22 mm/hr (~ 0.87 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

HHs making another past, Emily is intensifying too I think


With a surface estimate 50mph higher than flight level winds, it isn't likely to be reliable at all.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Nicyclonechaser,
Shes pissed off, cuase the NHC rejected her from being retired after achieving category 5 status, so she has decided to defy all forecasts by the NHC, and is aimed for Miami(where the NHC is).
This storm really hates the NHC...

lmao! I just posted the same comment below.
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I know what is going on with Emily. She is extremely ticked off that she didn't get retired in 2005 (Year that she was the strongest JULY storm in history). She had come back to make sure we know she is mad.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:


Looks to me like the weakness is now a little further west. Would explain the persistent westward movement through today. Interesting to see if the weakness persists, in which case Emily should miss Florida, or if the high can poke it's nose a little further east, which could make a lot of difference. Still a lot of uncertainty.
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MH09 - I can not believe you would EVER go to a Nolie's site! What is wrong with you?
hah

BTW - did you see the Gates said they would never play us again after the '13 game at Miami? I was not surprised, bunch of babies.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Time: 00:10:00Z
Coordinates: 16.75N 70.5167W
Acft. Static Air Press: 841.9 mb (~ 24.86 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,570 meters (~ 5,151 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1009.8 mb (~ 29.82 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 169° at 5 knots (From the SSE/S at ~ 5.8 mph)
Air Temp: 15.3°C (~ 59.5°F)
Dew Pt: 5.7°C (~ 42.3°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 10 knots (~ 11.5 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 49 knots (~ 56.3 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 22 mm/hr (~ 0.87 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

HHs making another past, Emily is intensifying too I think
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7833
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.
I didnt mean to offend anyone on here.I am just trying to figure things out.I am sorry if I offended you or anyone else on here.
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1883. Drakoen
NHC will likely shift the track to the left to account for this model cycle.
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Why wouldn't you Barotropic? They are the only ones that have been spot on so far with EM.
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Recon going in for one more center fix before heading out. Pretty impressive that they've been out there for a little more than 6 hours.
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Quoting Drakoen:



If that happens, you guys won't see me for a few weeks lol..
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T-numbers have stopped declining:

03/2345 UTC 17.0N 71.1W T3.0/3.0 EMILY -- Atlantic
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Quoting wayne0224:
Prove that point where is your evidence not quite so sure about that any more.
Look at the models man...LOL Don't you know they are gospel.
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Quoting deaddude21:

The BAMS suite would beg to dream and differ


I wouldn't pay to much attention to them.
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1874. WxLogic
18Z GFDL
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 4965
Quoting WxLogic:
G-IV almost done with drops... we'll eventually see how 00Z and subsequent models change (if any).

that is will help the models so it will be interesting to see.
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Quoting mrsalagranny:
Please dont say that.I know you are playing around.But seriously I was just curious as to how it would affect her.TIA


I'd imagine the weakening high being described is the weakness due to be created by the next trough, which is the one forecast to fully recurve Emily. So the weakening high has already been taken into account in the current track.
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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.