High wind shear disrupts Emily as it approaches Hispaniola

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:06 PM GMT on August 03, 2011

Share this Blog
26
+

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

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 70 - 20

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41Blog Index

Quoting SQUAWK:
IDIOTS!!!!!

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


Thank you
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting lucreto:


I currently have a self-imposed 2011 tropical season ban, if Emily is ever classified a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico.
Before you go, I still want to see some publications about that McTavish factor.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
convection continues to build over the northern side of emily
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WarEagle8:
Thanks Dewey for sharing the video link of Charley. Here in Dunedin on the coast, west of Tampa, we sure had a scare from Jeanne and Frances in 2004....lots of debris, trees down, and roof damage.
From seeing the damage caused by those two tropical storms as they passed just north of Tampa, I'd say we'd be in DEEP trouble with actual hurricane force winds.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3620
GFDL model projecting CAT3 storm just off the Florida East coast? o_O , click the link and check out the GFDL forecast dots next to Florida. Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.


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

It was essentially a large tornado.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLdewey:
Charley was no peach...



Thanks Dewey for sharing the video link of Charley. Here in Dunedin on the coast, west of Tampa, we sure had a scare from Jeanne and Frances in 2004....lots of debris, trees down, and roof damage.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Very much still a TS. And new convective uplift beginning to brew and wrap around the naked LLC.

I think it's also safe to say that Emily will now avoid the most rugged terrain of Hispaniola, unless it does the unthinkable and makes a super hard, sharp right turn. I don't see that happening though.



Wouldn't that just frost some cookies, shoot the passage, avoid all land and start taking off. One of the many many possibilities.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5405
This is a crazy storm, I think the entire east coast needs to keep their guard up. Keep watching and see what Miss Emily is going to do next.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DestinJeff:
Strange things happen sometimes with storm tracks:

Link

and

Link
Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Katrina was the only tropical system that came over me while I was living in St. Louis. Katrina wasn't bad for St. Louis, but Ike was awful... I think we got 8 inches of rain in single day from Ike. I was living on top of hill, and I was stuck on there because floodwater surrounded it. I still haven't witnessed tropical storm or hurricane, but I sure had witnessed tropical depression.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cat5hurricane:

Very much still a TS. And new convective uplift beginning to brew and wrap around the naked LLC.

I think it's also safe to say that Emily will now avoid the most rugged terrain of Hispaniola, unless it does the unthinkable and makes a super hard, sharp right turn. I don't see that happening though.
Neither do I considering the flow to the north of Hispaniola is still strong to the wnw
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3620
lucreto,

''stupid is as stupid does'' right?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IceCoast:
Repost from last blog



I'll take that bet if Lucreto doesn't. How much? I could really use the extra cash for college.


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.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tropicfreak:


What the hell are you talking about, it was a Cat 4 at landfall, tell that to the folks in Punta Gorda and Charlotte Harbor.
I live 9 miles south of Charlie's landfall,,I kept quiet knowing all of you would take care of this idiot for me.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Buhdog:


Captiva and Sanibel and parts of Cape Coral went thru 110+ mph sustained and 150 gusts. get your facts straight.


And lucreto, explain to me why it was retired?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tropicfreak:
Thanks for the update.

REPOST



You call a Cat 4 hitting FL over rated?







Lucreto just lost all of his creto....

15 billion in damage.

Second costliest hurricane to hit up to that point in time.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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 beg to differ. Winds recorded on the barrier islands reach some 125+ mph before the anemometer broke. Captiva island was literally cut un half by the surge as well.

It was just an extremely compact storm upon landfall, and I imagine the core of cat 4 winds unwound quickly after coming ashore, providing most of punta gorda with cat 1-2 winds.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3620
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.


Captiva and Sanibel and parts of Cape Coral went thru 110+ mph sustained and 150 gusts. get your facts straight.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks for the update Angela!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Starting to refire convection as wind shear weakens slightly, according to the CIMMS shear map, went from 30 knots to 20 knots.

Definitely no depression, this is a 45-50 mph. Tropical Storm that is sheared. A classic "sheared TS"


Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Convection trying to wrap around the COC?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NVM I over reacted its still trying to fire off thunderstorms near its center. We'll see if this one gets blown away soon enough.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks Angela... you are doing a great job in Dr. Jeff's stead!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Repost from last blog

Quoting HimacaneBrees:


I'll give you 4 to 1 that she does. She will make it to the Gulf, strengthen some, then make that recurve, button hook move. Going anywhere from Ms/Al to the Florida Gulf coast.


I'll take that bet if Lucreto doesn't. How much? I could really use the extra cash for college.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

1757. stormpetrol 5:10 PM GMT on August 03, 2011 +0
I know some might laugh and thats ok , but it wouldn't surprise me if HHs find Emily a bit stronger!

Btw, I see the HHs flying over the south coast of PR/land
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7862
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.


What the hell are you talking about, it was a Cat 4 at landfall, tell that to the folks in Punta Gorda and Charlotte Harbor.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
just another lesson in model casting
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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?
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3620
From the previous blog.

Quoting lucreto:
You all are insane Gulf-bound?? Emily will either die or move out to see it will not reach the gulf as a TC.



I'll give you 4 to 1 that she does. She will make it to the Gulf, strengthen some, then make that recurve, button hook move. Going anywhere from Ms/Al to the Florida Gulf coast.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CorneliaMarie:
POLL


Odds of Emily hitting New Orleans:

A. 5%
B. 7%
C. 100%
D. 100%
E. 100%
LoL! A.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CorneliaMarie:
POLL


Odds of Emily hitting New Orleans:

A. 5%
B. 7%
C. 100%
D. 100%
E. 100%
pointless poll... but I'll give it less than %5
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What ever happened to Jeff
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks for the update.... A weak storm or depression would be welcome here in South Florida as we need the rain.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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.


You are 100% off base kid. Your studies? This ought to be good. It was small...not alot of surge very true. VERY HIGH END CAT 4 ....yes. Please enlighten us Lucreto.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CorneliaMarie:
POLL


Odds of Emily hitting New Orleans:

A. 5%
B. 7%
C. 100%
D. 100%
E. 100%
ZERO ZERO ZERO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
From Angela's post

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 Northeast or Northwest?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
05L/TS/E
MARK
16.90N/69.83W


Not even a hint of a northerly turn yet. Tough for me to see how it hits the island at all right now
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
angela looking at visible images she is starting to fire convection on the NE and Se side , any thoughts
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 70 - 20

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.