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 MiamiHurricanes09:
Emily's circulation appears to be opening up on the western semicircle.


I noticed that too however, it could be shading from the new convection at the center, the sun just past overhead and to the west now.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5458
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
You foresee a turn that sharp from w to nw?


The weakness is clearly close to Emily, as Levi said in his video blog, Emily must turn NW soon. However, will be a threat to the Bahamas and Florida this weekend.
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Quoting reedzone:
Here is my thoughts on Emilys future path.. This is my opinion based on observations and trends.



Haha, very similar thinking.

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Though void of deep convection , though some is nearing the LLC from the SE now also, the center has become better defined imo.
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8134
Quoting BioWeather:


No she means north and then out to sea.
Yes, out to sea would be NE lol
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Quoting lucreto:


Give me some official measurements on land of those winds??? There are none those storms had that wind speed over water.
I have heard talks of revising the SSHWS just like they did the Fujita Scale because the friction due to land doesn't usually translate the same surface wind speed as seen over the sea. The max sustained winds over water drop off right after the coast. I wish I could find the research as to where I've heard these talks. I don't agree with your talks about Charley though.
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Quoting lucreto:


Charley did not "blast" anyone it is arguably the most overrated storm to strike the U.S. in the past decade if they reclassified it, it would at be most likely a 100-105 mph Category 2, from the studies I have done on it.

Also this system is according to CSU's post july 31 analysis a bust, with only 4 or 5 more storms.


ok, I'm not into criticizing others on the blog, but you deserve it here, you are just flat out stupid. Either that or you are another one trying to cause trouble, I guess I spoke to soon about the blog improving...

Try and tell that to those that experienced it. You don't belong here.

Some of Charley's destruction could be confused with a high end tornado, even with how tiny it was and how fast it was moving, which all the more testifies to the power it had.
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Quoting lucreto:


Those were primarily poorly built mobile homes, Punta Gorda reported sustained winds of only about 90 mph, and believe me Cat.2 winds can cause some damage, but this storm was not even close to "wind-legends" like Frederic, Andrew, and Celia.


You can't be serious.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Charley

Its obvious you were no where near Florida when that thing hit. I live in Ocala, 100 miles away, and had such damage that our area lost power for a week. My street looked like a war zone with huge 100 year old oaks down, and roofs ripped off. NOT on mobile homes, on concrete block homes.
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Quoting robj144:


I know people are harping on you, but where are you getting your information from and where do you do these studies?


The NHC has a windgust from Charley at 173 mph when it made landfall. Don't think that's a cat 2.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 825
Quoting stormpetrol:
Product: Air Force Tropical RECCO Message (URNT11 KNHC)
Transmitted: 3rd day of the month at 17:19Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 306)
Storm Number: 05
Storm Name: Emily (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 8
Observation Number: 02

Mandatory Data...

Observation Time: Wednesday, 17:17Z
Radar Capability: Yes
Aircraft Altitude: Below 10,000 meters
Coordinates: 18.3N 67.6W
Location: 101 miles (163 km) to the W (266°) from San Juan, Puerto Rico (USA).
Turbulence: Light
Conditions Along Flight Route: In the clear
Pressure Altitude: 4,870 meters
Flight Level Wind: From 140° at 14 knots (From the SE at ~ 16.1 mph)
- The above is a spot wind.
- Winds were obtained using doppler radar or inertial systems.
Flight Level Temperature: -1°C
Flight Level Dew Point: Not available, probably because the dew point hygrometer was not working.
Weather (within 30 nautical miles): Overcast / Undercast
D-value: 25 geopotential meters
SP how do I transfer over to th HH in Emily from the one that left louisiana.

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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Thanks Angela!

You may want to edit this part though:

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 northwest.

Do you mean North then Northeast?


No she means north and then out to sea.
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Quoting SQUAWK:
IDIOTS!!!!!

lucreto is yanking your chains and you are falling for it.


Think I'll make a new name - MrGullible - and start responding solely to those that come here just to pull peoples chains and make up numerous names acting like a bad version of someone else. ;>)
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Quoting patrikdude2:

Circulation getting broader?
Of course it will unwind some as it loses the support from its thunderstorms.
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Quoting lucreto:


Those were primarily poorly built mobile homes, Punta Gorda reported sustained winds of only about 90 mph, and believe me Cat.2 winds can cause some damage, but this storm was not even close to "wind-legends" like Frederic, Andrew, and Celia.


I drove through down-town Punta Gorda after Charley - it took apart two-story brick buildings. Gone. All of the historic district was under water. There are still some houses with blue tarps - get real. It looked like a nuclear bomb went of there.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Emily's circulation appears to be opening up on the western semicircle.

Circulation getting broader?
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Quoting reedzone:
Here is my thoughts on Emilys future path.. This is my opinion based on observations and trends.

You foresee a turn that sharp from w to nw?
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Quoting reedzone:
Here is my thoughts on Emilys future path.. This is my opinion based on observations and trends.

Reed that is a very reasonable track at this point assuming Emily survives Hispaniola. I was thinking she would take a very similar path.
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Quoting lucreto:


Yet these measurements do not show up on the official reports so what am I to believe? And also from a pure wind damage standpoint this storm was not in the same league as most other Cat.4's (Except Hugo which was probably really a Cat 2-3 at SC landfall).
Wrong. My mom survived Hurricane Hugo in Charlotte and it was Category 2 there. My grandparents survived that storm in CHARLESTON, SC, and it made landfall as high end Category 4.
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The Charley video Nea posted the other day filmed by a storm chaser sitting at the gas station shows a solid cat4. lucky that only lasted for a minute or two. I'll see if I can locate it for a repost.

Edit: I see it has been posted by Flweatherfreak91 at post #74.
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I made a blog of the August CSU forecast for anyone who want to visit and make comments about it.

Link
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Quoting Ryuujin:
Stop quoting lucreto he is a troll. Sheesh, just - & ! His posts


sorry.... i took a chill pill. Fired me up ...no winds greater than 90+


(stomps off mad but not quoting)
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Here is my thoughts on Emilys future path.. This is my opinion based on observations and trends.

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Quoting robj144:


I know people are harping on you, but where are you getting your information from and where do you do these studies?
A certain mom's basement in NOLA.
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Quoting Ryuujin:
Stop quoting lucreto he is a troll. Sheesh, just - & ! His posts
I wouldn't consider him a troll, he just isn't very educated when it comes to Charley lol.
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Quoting lucreto:


Yet these measurements do not show up on the official reports so what am I to believe? And also from a pure wind damage standpoint this storm was not in the same league as most other Cat.4's (Except Hugo which was probably really a Cat 2-3 at SC landfall).


Tell that to those affected by Hugo, areas as far inland in WV saw hurricane force winds. Again what the hell are you talking about, SC clearly saw cat 4 winds in hugo. Guess you would make up the LHC (Lucreto hurricane center) since you know it all.
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
convection continues to build over the northern side of emily
Interesting to see if this continues..
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Quoting lucreto:


Those were primarily poorly built mobile homes, Punta Gorda reported sustained winds of only about 90 mph, and believe me Cat.2 winds can cause some damage, but this storm was not even close to "wind-legends" like Frederic, Andrew, and Celia.


I know people are harping on you, but where are you getting your information from and where do you do these studies?
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 825
Emily's circulation appears to be opening up on the western semicircle.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting lucreto:




I would tell them that, but I would also tell them a Category 2 direct hit is nothing to laugh about, on another note I doubt anywhere expect maybe extreme Southeastern Louisiana (Plaquemines Parish, with Katrina) has actually seen 100+ knot sustained winds since Hurricane Andrew.


Wilma naples....just 1 year later 120 at landfall... got stronger OVER LAND!
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Quoting lucreto:




I would tell them that, but I would also tell them a Category 2 direct hit is nothing to laugh about, on another note I doubt anywhere expect maybe extreme Southeastern Louisiana (Plaquemines Parish, with Katrina) has actually seen 100+ knot sustained winds since Hurricane Andrew.
Last time I checked, 100 knots = 115 MPH... so you are saying there never been a landfall with Category 3+ force winds since Andrew? Um, Hurricane Rita (2005) made the landfall in Texas/Louisiana border at 125 MPH. Hurricane Wilma made the landfall in west Florida with winds of 120 MPH.
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I must admit...despite her unfortunate affiliation with the trade school on 10th Street in Atlanta....I really like Angela's entries....
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Historically, it's a bit of a mixed bag what seasons do in August after a fast early start (for all seasons with 4 or more storms prior to Aug 1st):

1886 – 3 storms, all majors; 1887 – 2 storms, both majors; 1908 – 1 storm; 1909 – 3 storms, 1 major; 1916 – 4 storms, 3 hurricanes, 1 major; 1933 – 7 storms, 3 hurricanes, 1 major*; 1936 – 6 storms, 3 hurricanes; 1959 – 1 storm; 1966 – 1 storm, major; 1995 – 7 storms, 4 hurricanes, 1 major**; 1997 – none; 2003 – 3 storms, 2 hurricanes, 1 major; 2005 – 5 storms, 2 hurricanes, 1 major; 2008 – 4 storms, 1 hurricane, 1 major***

* - 2 storms formed in august and then later became majors, but only in September.
** - Luis became a major in September.
*** - Hanna became a hurricane in September.
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Product: Air Force Tropical RECCO Message (URNT11 KNHC)
Transmitted: 3rd day of the month at 17:19Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 306)
Storm Number: 05
Storm Name: Emily (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 8
Observation Number: 02

Mandatory Data...

Observation Time: Wednesday, 17:17Z
Radar Capability: Yes
Aircraft Altitude: Below 10,000 meters
Coordinates: 18.3N 67.6W
Location: 101 miles (163 km) to the W (266°) from San Juan, Puerto Rico (USA).
Turbulence: Light
Conditions Along Flight Route: In the clear
Pressure Altitude: 4,870 meters
Flight Level Wind: From 140° at 14 knots (From the SE at ~ 16.1 mph)
- The above is a spot wind.
- Winds were obtained using doppler radar or inertial systems.
Flight Level Temperature: -1°C
Flight Level Dew Point: Not available, probably because the dew point hygrometer was not working.
Weather (within 30 nautical miles): Overcast / Undercast
D-value: 25 geopotential meters
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8134
78. wpb
cmc 12z emily dropped
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Stop quoting lucreto he is a troll. Sheesh, just - & ! His posts
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

Could be an entirely new ball game. Stranger things have happened.



Our local in WPB, Steve Weagle, said last night "Look, we really need to wait until Emily gets N of the islands and see what shape the circulation is in before stating what impacts to our area will be". It's been that way since day 1.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5458
12Z CMC: Dissipates over Cuba and as it attempts to get into the E GOM.
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Quoting lucreto:


Yet these measurements do not show up on the official reports so what am I to believe? And also from a pure wind damage standpoint this storm was not in the same league as most other Cat.4's (Except Hugo which was probably really a Cat 2-3 at SC landfall).
Check out this video, and you will see cat 4 damage occur.

Link
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Quoting HimacaneBrees:


I got 2 dimes and a bag of cheetos right now. You notice how confident I am in the odds I've given LOL.
In my college day's a bag of cheetos was very welcome, it broke up the same ol' same ol' Ramen noodle diet.


Deal. So if I lose expect a nickel and three quarters eaten bag of cheetos to be mailed to you.
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Quoting Abacosurf:


You are a clown....It caused 15 billion in damage.

It was essentially a large tornado.


+1,000
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Quoting SQUAWK:
IDIOTS!!!!!

lucreto is yanking your chains and you are falling for it.


Thank you
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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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