Tropical Storm Emily stalls, remains a threat to Hispaniola

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:37 AM GMT on August 04, 2011

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All afternoon, Tropical Storm Emily has remained on a westward track with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph. In the 8pm EDT update from the National Hurricane Center, the storm was nearly stationary, with no forward movement. The storm gained some thunderstorm activity over its center of circulation throughout the day, but remains sheared to the east. 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. Emily continues to be tilted east due to 20 knots of westerly wind shear, which is apparent on satellite and also in recent satellite analysis of upper-level circulation.

Emily's tropical storm-force winds extend 115 miles to the north and east of the center, and tropical storm conditions are probably already being felt in Hispaniola. Isolated rainfall amounts of up to 20 inches are expected on the eastern side of the storm. The longer Emily tracks west before making a turn to the northwest, the more likely it is that Haiti will see the heavier rainfall amounts. In any case, Emily is a serious threat for flash flooding and mudslides on the island of Hispaniola and eastern Cuba.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite imagery from earlier today, plotted using NASA's new Rapid Response Web Mapping Service.

Forecast for Tropical Storm Emily
The forecast for Emily remains similar to this morning's update, with a slight shift to the east in track. The National Hurricane Center forecasts that the storm will make landfall in Haiti overnight tonight or early tomorrow as a tropical storm. After that, it will continue on a track to the northwest until Saturday, when it will turn to the northeast and out to sea. This is all assuming Emily makes the turn to the northwest over the next 12 hours.

This afternoon the HWRF and GFDL shifted their forecast track slightly to the east away from the Florida coast. Consensus shifted this way as well, and that change is also present in the official forecast track. As the storm moves north of Hispaniola and Cuba, environmental conditions will become more favorable, and the storm could gain some organization. But this is very hard to predict since Emily hasn't actually made a turn to the northwest, yet. Furthermore, the longer Emily tracks to the west, the more of a threat it becomes to the Florida coast.

Typhoon Muifa a landfall threat for China coast

Typhoon Muifa has sustained winds of 109 mph, with gusts up to 132 mph, and is a category 2 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. Muifa's concentric eyewalls are plainly visible on both infrared satellite imagery as well as radar, which is indicative of a mature, intense cyclone undergoing eyewall replacement cycles. Typhoon Muifa is expected to remain a category 2 with winds of at least 104 mph through mid-day Saturday, at which point it is forecast to intensify slightly to a category 3 as it approaches the China coast. As of this afternoon, Muifa is expected to make landfall south of Shanghai, near Zhoushan, Saturday afternoon or evening (local time). In addition to being a serious threat to all of the involved coastal cities, this is a particularly dangerous track for Shanghai and Hangzhou, since near-hurricane-strength winds will be out of the east, pushing water into the surrounding inlets. The forecast landfall location has been trending south along the coast, so it doesn't appear that China will be able to escape a Muifa landfall.


Figure 2. Infrared satellite imagery of Typhoon Muifa from August 3rd.

Dr. Carver will have an update later tonight should there be any interesting changes to Emily or the forecast. I'll be back tomorrow with another post.

Angela

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I've come to the conclusion that Emily is blind, that's why she cant find the weakness... lol a little storm humor for your headache.
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Quoting ChrisDcat5Storm:



which way is she moving NW?


She's almost due west from the last center fix, which was about 5 hours ago. However, she has barely moved in that amount of time.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


I just LOL'd.


It is gallows humor but we need two hurricanes to reload our water tables and lakes in Centex now.

When your back's against the wall like ours is, it sounds irrational to pray for a small meteor in the middle of the GOM but the Tropics cannot provide relief for a long forecasted time.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


White Dot




which way is she moving NW?
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weakness is become less and less ridges bridging is more and more
Link
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1405. Drakoen
Unbiased infrared imagery shows a large region of -80C cloud tops with Emily:


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Any other time I'd be saying we have a borderline hurricane on our hands. Not with Emily. Nope. She's one of those people who puts on a nice front to fool you into thinking she's a great person, but she's really the devil on the inside.

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1403. Seawall
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1402. emguy
Actually, the pressure rise is not a big deal since Emily is not estblished. If this was a well devloped hurricane, it would be different, but I've seen this "pressure rise belch" many times before as the satellite presentation improves. I'm actually more concerned that not. We are starting to see the best satellite representation yet, and thunderstorms in the NE quad. In re-org, you will see a pressure rise as presentation improves, then a drop in pressure hours later, then a response in the winds. Just something to watch for.

Second Note, everyone is worried about the east west shift of models...I'd like to remind everyone that the current models coming in now include data/measurements for temperatures that occurred during the maximum land heating portion of the day, which would show a stronger "TEXAS (CONUS)" ridge with Emily further east. Tomorrow afternoon/evening, models shift west again because the CONUS temps will be lower, while air temps over the ocean will remain about relative. You have to split the difference to get a best approach with these models...its not just a run to run thang...
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Flying this coast in the dark inthe rain at a couple 1000 feet max must be a real pain. u don't want 2 miss......
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Quoting ChrisDcat5Storm:
HI, can any1 plz tell me were emilys center currently is


White Dot

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HI, can any1 plz tell me were emilys center currently is
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Moving eastward over water...


Weird. I don't really understand their madness. I just go with it.
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If you look on shortwave loops or the RAMSDIS night time visible, it's still difficult to find any eastward moving clouds outside of the main ball of convection. She must be weak still on the southern side of the circulation and that could explain the elongated nature of the vorts. She almost seems like a trough of low pressure that has closed off somehow.
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interesting enough the 6z bam suites still say gom lol
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Quoting MississippiWx:


If they are headed towards land, they may have to ascend.
Moving eastward over water...
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Ufff, I've dated an Alexis and a Sarah, LMAO.

Anyways...

Recon is ascending, are they going home really early?


If they are headed towards land, they may have to ascend.
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i'm out gonna get some shut eye check back later in am, gnite all
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Quoting MississippiWx:


I'll add a couple names for you...Sarah, Maggie, Jessica, Alexis.
Ufff, I've dated an Alexis and a Sarah, LMAO.

Anyways...

Recon is ascending, are they going home really early?
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting redwagon:


Not that that little yellow spot W of FL has any chance against the TX High, but it looks to be trying.

I think our high could deflect an asteroid at this point.


I just LOL'd.
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Guys careful with the langauge there thanks,btw its not over till its over...
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Not that that little yellow spot W of FL has any chance against the TX High, but it looks to be trying.

I think our high could deflect an asteroid at this point.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
And still, miraculously, the system weakens.

Due to Emily I'll never date a girl named Emily cuz she causes too many headaches.


I'll add a couple names for you...Sarah, Maggie, Jessica, Alexis.
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Quoting yesterway:


Thanx man...
your welcome!
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I just wasted almost entire "Shark Week" just to track this d*** storm -_-* Who agree with me?
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Quoting kmanhurricaneman:
Link


Thanx man...
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Emily is now the most stacked from 850mb to 500mb that she has been in her lifetime. The strange, elongated orientation of the vort is what I can't understand.

850mb:



500mb:

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1383. Seawall
Sorry, just don't have these model links down yet; I'll try to get better at it. Again, sorry.
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Quoting Drakoen:
What also interesting to note is the increase in moisture out ahead of the system and notably ahead of the low level center. This could be a sign that the upper level winds are also decreasing allowing for the moisture field to expand westward.
And still, miraculously, the system weakens.

Due to Emily I'll never date a girl named Emily cuz she causes too many headaches.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2am GFDL, BAMM, and BAMD models

Link
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Link
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1379. Drakoen
What also interesting to note is the increase in moisture out ahead of the system and notably ahead of the low level center. This could be a sign that the upper level winds are also decreasing allowing for the moisture field to expand westward.
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1378. robj144
Quoting QPhysFTW:


Indeed, this is true if the storms were diametrically opposed on the Earth. When you consider storms at the same longitude the angular momentum vectors will not completely cancel, and result in a vector that points into the Earth.

So I guess I need to think bigger -- the whole atmosphere. Presumably, the angular momentum vector, integrated over the entire surface of the Earth, cancels out nearly completely. But my question dealt with the rapid spin up of a hurricane. Exactly where does this angular momentum come from, and what is its fate? If it comes from another part of the atmosphere, there has to be some physical mechanism belying the transfer process, like some fluid flow. Or, since it's the Coriolis force that exerts the torque, the storm picks up its angular momentum from the immense angular momentum of the Earth.

Seriously now, though, last post for me tonight. I'm zombifying out now. Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and realize this made no sense whatsoever :P


I think it's all of the above. The initial spin is from the Coriolis Force or Torque and the rest of it it gets from redistributing its mass and interaction with the atmosphere itself.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 825
Quoting extreme236:


Perhaps, but I don't know. Conditions really just don't seem THAT unfavorable, but I guess every system reacts differently.


I guess it's not just the 850mb vort that is broad...it's broad all the way up through 500mb. I would imagine that has something to do with it, but I just can't grasp in my mind why it is having such a tough time consolidating.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


The pressure is what has me scratching my head. Emily can kiss my a**.

I wonder if the overall broad structure of the 850mb vort has something to do with the pressure not being able to drop and the winds not being able to spin up more quickly?

yeah, Emily is turning out to be a real b****

lol

In all seriousness, this storm has been a misleading mess from the get go. Before it was named we had several LLCs. Finally we got one LLC but it also turned out to have a trough attached to it extending out to the SW. All the while, the MLC and convection has been terribly lopsided to the east. And despite very nice flare ups in convection, pressures have failed to drop.

ugh anyway...on the positive side, I have learned a lot from Emily.
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can some1 link the latest modles for 2am?
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Quoting Drakoen:
Still wondering why she refuses to move to the north. Beel noted earlier the localized increase geopotential heights on the mid level surface to the north of the system, which could be why she isn't moving more otwards the north. Fun system to track indeed.


You have a sick sense of humor.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


The pressure is what has me scratching my head. Emily can kiss my a**.

I wonder if the overall broad structure of the 850mb vort has something to do with the pressure not being able to drop and the winds not being able to spin up more quickly?



Perhaps, but I don't know. Conditions really just don't seem THAT unfavorable, but I guess every system reacts differently.
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1371. Drakoen
Still wondering why she refuses to move to the north. Beel noted earlier the localized increase geopotential heights on the mid level surface to the north of the system, which could be why she isn't moving more otwards the north. Fun system to track indeed.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


The pressure is what has me scratching my head. Emily can kiss my a**.

I wonder if the overall broad structure of the 850mb vort has something to do with the pressure not being able to drop and the winds not being able to spin up more quickly?



Hahaha..I luv it. You make a good point
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1369. GetReal
Good night.... I have had all of emily that I can handle for tonight!!!
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Quoting MississippiWx:


The pressure is what has me scratching my head. Emily can kiss my a**.

I wonder if the overall broad structure of the 850mb vort has something to do with the pressure not being able to drop and the winds not being able to spin up more quickly?



This one made me laugh...
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Quoting reedzone:
I still hold strong on my initial forecast, which I made this morning.

Tropical Storm Emily moves WNW as the weakness pulls it north. The a ridge will build back in for about 12-24 hours and steer Ems to South Florida, then either scraping or making landfall on the South Florida coastline. A shortwave trough diving south pulls Ems and recurves her around Melbourne or east of Melbourne, depending if she makes landfall, sharply recurves out to sea. As for the strength, I'm looking at least a strong TS near or landfall in Florida. Adrians forecast is also a very good possibility, but right now, until Ems makes her move WNW, I'm not buying a straight NW to NE movement right now. If she recurves, it will be dangerously close to Florida, enough to get watches and warnings.


Easy does it. No matter where it goes we are only dealing WITH a TS....
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LOL, whoever said that we were wrong and that the GFS initialized correctly is a genius.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting TomTaylor:


Hi there, QPhysFTW. I'm not here to answer your questions, as I'm only in high school and haven't learned squat about what you guys are talking about.

Anyway, just wanted to comment and say keep up the questions, learning about this stuff and watching others discuss it on here is very interesting for me.

Too bad Levi and Drakoen left, they could probably contribute a lot to the discussion

surprise surprise drak's here
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Quoting Drakoen:
Based on the center fix Emily continues to move towards the west.


This is exactly why I'm against the new model runs. Ems continues to prove them wrong, even if they have recon data. Watch the models push west again on the 06Z runs.
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Quoting extreme236:
Id say they can keep her at 45kts on the next advisory because of the SFMR, but its hard to ignore that the the flight level winds have consistently supported a slightly weaker system. Increasing pressure isn't good either.


The pressure is what has me scratching my head. Emily can kiss my a**.

I wonder if the overall broad structure of the 850mb vort has something to do with the pressure not being able to drop and the winds not being able to spin up more quickly?

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Quoting Twinkster:
is emily still moving west according to recon's new center fix?

yes
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Quoting QPhysFTW:


Indeed, this is true if the storms were diametrically opposed on the Earth. When you consider storms at the same longitude the angular momentum vectors will not completely cancel, and result in a vector that points into the Earth.

So I guess I need to think bigger -- the whole atmosphere. Presumably, the angular momentum vector, integrated over the entire surface of the Earth, cancels out nearly completely. But my question dealt with the rapid spin up of a hurricane. Exactly where does this angular momentum come from, and what is its fate? If it comes from another part of the atmosphere, there has to be some physical mechanism belying the transfer process, like some fluid flow. Or, since it's the Coriolis force that exerts the torque, the storm picks up its angular momentum from the immense angular momentum of the Earth.

Seriously now, though, last post for me tonight. I'm zombifying out now. Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and realize this made no sense whatsoever :P


Hi there, QPhysFTW. I'm not here to answer your questions, as I'm only in high school and haven't learned squat about what you guys are talking about.

Anyway, just wanted to comment and say keep up the questions, learning about this stuff and watching others discuss it on here is very interesting for me.

Too bad Levi and Drakoen left, they could probably contribute a lot to the discussion.

edit-guess drak is still here
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is emily still moving west according to recon's new center fix?
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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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