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In the Eye of Katrina: A Personal Retrospective

By: Bob Henson 7:53 PM GMT on August 25, 2015


There’s a lot to monitor in the tropics right now, including Tropical Storm Erika, now heading toward the Lesser Antilles (see the Jeff Masters post from this morning, and watch for our update later tonight). We're also commemorating the onset of one of the biggest weather stories in U.S. history. Ten years ago today, a storm named Katrina swept into the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, just a few hours after it attained hurricane status. Even if it hadn’t gone on to cause colossal agony and destruction on the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Katrina would be a storm worth remembering. It knocked out power to more than a million people across South Florida, inflicted more than $500 million in damage--mostly to agriculture--and caused 12 deaths. Carving out a cyclonic loop across the southern tip of the state, Katrina held its own as it passed over the swampy terrain, with few ill effects on its structure or intensity from the six-hour trek over land. That left Katrina in a strong position to grow into the Category 5 monster it became over the Gulf of Mexico.

Figure 1. The NHC forecast for Katrina issued at 1700 GMT (11:00 am EDT) on Wednesday, August 24. Image credit: NHC.
 


I had the once-in-a-lifetime experience on August 25, 2005, of experiencing the passage of a hurricane at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami. For years, as a writer for the National Center for Atmospheric Research, I’d been interested in seeing how the center grapples with forecast challenges and deals with media during a U.S. hurricane landfall. Katrina’s development gave me a chance to fulfill this long-held interest while finding out what it was like to experience a minimal hurricane from a safe vantage point. I arrived in Miami on Tuesday, August 23. My host was long-time friend and colleague Hugh Cobb, then a forecaster at NHC and now head of its Tropical Analysis & Forecast Branch.


At 11:00 am EDT the next morning--Wednesday, August 24--Tropical Depression 12 became Tropical Storm Katrina. NHC correctly predicted that Katrina would strike near Fort Lauderdale as a minimal hurricane the next night, although its subsequent tenacity while over land was underestimated and its Gulf Coast landfall remained almost a week away. Heading to NHC with Hugh that afternoon, I found a top-notch team of forecasters and analysts demonstrating remarkable calm and focus as they dealt with a growing hurricane threat in their own backyard. Although many of the models and computer-based analysis tools now used were already place by 2005, hand-drawn analysis remained--and still remains today--an useful means of gaining detailed perspective on storm structure.
 
One of the greatest pleasures of my visit was meeting NHC’s director at the time, Max Mayfield. Now retired from NOAA, Max files reports during hurricane season for Miami’s Channel 10 (WPLG). To me, Max epitomizes the friendly yet sober demeanor and the grace-under-pressure mindset that any NHC director needs to master.
 

Figure 2. Max Mayfield and me at the NHC. Not only did Max and I discover that we were both alumni of the University of Oklahoma, but Max grew up just a couple of miles away from me in Oklahoma City, and we went to the same high school (more than a decade apart, though). Go Classen Comets!




Media interest in Katrina grew through the day on Wednesday as confidence in a South Florida landfall near hurricane strength increased. That evening I watched Max and forecaster Lixion Avila conduct a “pooled” interview, where national networks and local TV stations around the country can upload and/or broadcast the same sound bites at the same time. By this point, it was apparent that Katrina would likely circle the southwest side of an upper-level high and arrive near the Gulf Coast in about 5-6 days. How strong Katrina would be by that time was anybody’s guess, as skill at intensity prediction in 2005 was substantially less than it is today, especially beyond 2 or 3 days. (See Figures 1 and 2 in my recent post on progress in tropical cyclone modeling and forecasting).
 
The 11 pm EDT outlook on Wednesday night called for Katrina to strike the Gulf Coast as a Category 1 hurricane around Monday night, August 28. In Wednesday night’s NHC discussion, Lixion wrote: “The intensity forecast follows the SHIPS model but Katrina could intensify a little more than anticipated.”



Figure 3. NHC forecaster Lixion Avila (left) and director Max Mayfield conduct a pooled media interview on Thursday night, August 25, while Katrina was over the Miami area. Image credit: Bob Henson.



The drama escalated on multiple levels as Katrina approached Miami on Thursday, August 25. Hugh and I drove to NHC that afternoon for his evening shift, slated to begin at 4:00 pm, as palm trees were tossed in gale-force winds and pulses of heavy rain arrived. Forecasters zeroed in on the short-term impacts that afternoon while keeping an eye on Katrina’s longer-term future. As the storm crescendoed that evening, I didn’t worry about my own safety: the NHC building, with concrete walls and reinforced windows, was built to withstand the rigors of a Category 5 storm, after the previous NHC location in Coral Gables was hit hard by 1992’s Hurricane Andrew. (The radome of Miami’s pre-Doppler WSR-57 radar was blown off the center’s roof in wind gusts just north of the eywall that reached 164 mph.) Even with the sense of security provided by this state-of-the-art building, it was unsettling to watch sheets of rain fall in an increasingly horizontal orientation just outside the door.
 

Figure 4
. NHC forecaster Rob Handel (now with the NOAA/NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction) monitors the progress of Katrina on Thursday evening, August 25. Image credit: Bob Henson
 

Figure 5. Radar returns and surface observations just before 2300 GMT (7:00 pm EDT) on August 25, 2005, as Katrina was moving ashore just north of Miami. Image credit: National Weather Service.


Figure 6. The wind-speed trace from an anemometer atop the NHC building shows conditions going virtually calm around 8:30 pm, followed by a gust of more than 70 knots (81 mph) less than an hour later. Peak sustained winds at NHC during Katrina at NHC were 69 mph, with a top gust to 87 mph.


Between 8:30 and 9:15 pm, the eye of Katrina passed directly over NHC. A few of us stepped outside for a moment. It was Max’s first-ever time in the eye of a hurricane, as well as mine. The eye was mostly cloud-filled, illuminated by the lights of the Miami area, with occasional flashes of lightning along the horizon. I watched as the U.S. flag on the NHC grounds waved listlessly in a half-hearted breeze, then finally went limp. We stood quietly for a few minutes, taking in the surreal scene. Then Max, very calmly, said something to the effect of, “Time to get back to work.” Less than an hour later, the powerful eastern eyewall of Katrina was atop NHC, and winds were gusting to more than 70 mph.
 
The next morning, Hugh and I drove back to his home in Miami’s Upper East Side through a tattered landscape. Countless palm fronds littered the street, with pools of water everywhere. Rainfall totals during Katrina were as high as 16.33” in Perrine, about 20 miles southwest of Miami. After cleaning up Hugh’s yard, we went for lunch at a nearby restaurant, where it seemed all eyes were on the TV screen as a weathercaster showed the latest projected path for Katrina.
 
Figure 7. Damage was non-catastrophic but widespread across the Miami area in the wake of Katrina. Image credit: Bob Henson.
 
 
The 11:00 am EDT advisory on this morning (Friday, August 26) showed Katrina striking the Gulf Coast as a major hurricane. Looking at the TV screen, I had a surprisingly unsettling feeling, knowing that a New Orleans landfall was a possibility. I’d read many articles pointing out the city’s huge risk of catastrophe from a major hurricane strike. ”Washing Away,” a brilliant five-part series by Mark Schleifstein and colleagues published in 2002 by the New Orleans Times-Picayune, had made an especially strong impression on me. Sadly, many of the dire predictions in “Washing Away” and other articles and analyses would soon come to tragic life. (I later discovered it took Schleifstein that four years to convince his editors to let him write that series.)

Jeff Masters, who launched this blog in April 2005--only a few months before Katrina--will take a look back at this life-changing storm later this week. The posts Jeff made during Katrina, which are available in this reverse-chronological compilation of posts from August 2005, make for compelling reading even a decade later. Meanwhile, I’ll discuss my own Katrina experience, plus what’s happening with Erika, in today’s installment of the Weather Underground TV show (#WUTV on Twitter) on The Weather Channel. The show airs between 6:00 and 8:00 pm EDT; right now the Katrina segment is scheduled for the latter part of tonight’s first hour. Hope you can join us! If you don’t have access to TWC on cable, you can still access selected clips from each episode, live streaming of online-only content, and a WUTV chatroom, all on the Weather Underground WUTV website. Also of interest: Peter Neilley, senior vice president of global forecast services for The Weather Company, weighs in on how forecasts and messaging have evolved in the 10 years since Katrina struck.

We’ll post an update on Erika later tonight.

Bob Henson

Hurricane

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

Quoting 992. nash36:

Guys and gals:

The issue here is Erika is tilted. Until the storm can slow down, stack vertically and build around the core, it's in trouble.


yup, it is forecast to slow down though, we will have to see what she does in the next 48 hours
1002. JRRP
Quoting 999. sporteguy03:


That is because of weak steering currents, there is no deep trof to lift whatever is Erika or left of Erika out.


It is what the GFS is seeing in its 18Z run of having the storm stall and meander in the Eastern Gulf
Quoting 992. nash36:

Guys and gals:

The issue here is Erika is tilted. Until the storm can slow down, stack vertically and build around the core, it's in trouble.


Well it slowed down to 18mph, it's a start lol
1005. nash36
Quoting 997. MisterPerfect:



You need a low trombone with your downcast there, Nash.


Yeah, I know.

I'd love nothing more than a blossoming hurricane out in the middle of the open ocean, but this is what we get.
time to bounce out...need sleep and there is nothing I can do about Erika tonight...I will see if she is out of the corner in the morning....
1007. Patrap
1008. SLU
This windfield is much weaker and may not even be a tropical storm anymore

Thanks for the link to Dr. Jeff Master's "reverse-chronological compilation of posts from August 2005". Been reading it all evening and taken a wonderful trip down the memory lane. Nice :)
Quoting 994. Patrap:




There is a plan for the upper air data.

000
NOUS42 KNHC 251457
REPRPD
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1100 AM EDT TUE 25 AUGUST 2015
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 26/1100Z TO 27/1100Z AUGUST 2015
TCPOD NUMBER.....15-091

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. TROPICAL STORM ERIKA
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 75 FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 73
A. 26/2330Z A. 27/1130Z,1730Z
B. AFXXX 0305A ERIKA B. AFXXX 0405A ERIKA
C. 26/2230Z C. 27/1100Z
D. 17.4N 59.5W D. 18.0N 62.5W
E. 26/2300Z TO 27/0200Z E. 27/1115Z TO 27/1730Z
F. SFC TO 15,000FT F. SFC TO 15,000FT

2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: CONTINUE 6-HRLY FIXES.
POSSIBLE G-IV SYNOPTIC SURVEILLANCE MISSION FOR 28/0000Z.
3. REMARKS:
A. NOAA P-3 RESEARCH MISSIONS AT 26/1800Z AND 27/0600Z
WILL PROVIDE ERIKA FIXES.
B. NOAA'S G-IV WILL FLY A RESEARCH MISSION AROUND ERIKA
AT 26/1400Z.

C. NASA'S GLOBAL HAWK WILL DEPART WALLOPS AT 26/1100Z FOR A
24 HR MISSION OVER ERIKA. FLIGHT LEVELS 55,000-63,000FT.
POSSIBLE 80 DROPSONDE RELEASES.




II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK.....NEGATIVE.

$$
JWP




The Global Hawk should prove to be an outstanding tool for gathering data- It can drop dropsondes for up to 24 hours straight before having to refuel. Its also a great re-purposing of a "tool of war" to a practical, life-saving application.

Heres some info on the program.
I wonder how the blog would have reacted to Andrew in 1992. Apparently, the NHC were close to downgrading it to an open wave at one point in its life.
before 5pm it was rolling at 24 mph. At 8pm it was down to 20 mph. Now its at 18 mph. That looks like a slow-down trend to me at the moment.

1013. nash36
The thing that is rubbing me raw is that we still have SEVERAL very bullish (and right many times before) models, showing a blossoming Erika once she gets through the 6th layer of hell. On the other side, we have two normally reliable powerhouses saying "goodnight Irene."

Bottom line: One camp will be heralded. The other will be ridiculed for a long time.
Quoting 1011. ElConando:

I wonder how the blog would have reacted to Andrew in 1992. Apparently, the NHC were close to downgrading it to an open wave at one point in its life.


I always think about that when I think of Andrew. At one point he was a pathetic storm too and I am sure there would have been a run of RIPs out there.
With all this talk of unusual  animal behavior i must say i have had a couple squirrels raiding the only pine tree in my yard eating all of the pine nuts and occasionally dropping full unopened cones. They are heavy and dangerous. Making a mess in back yard with all the cone pellets everywhere. Not sure if it is storm potential related or el nino maybe. First time in 8 years of living hear this has happened. Large mature tree.        Been watching Orlando news ( I live in Melbourne ) also and they are saying to keep watch cause we are in the cone so we should be prepared with the usual hurricane kit. The senior forecaster at the NHC just said he wouldn't be surprised if Erika dissipates like Danny did.
Quoting 1013. nash36:

The thing that is rubbing me raw is that we still have SEVERAL very bullish (and right many times before) models, showing a blossoming Erika once she gets through the 6th layer of hell. On the other side, we have two normally reliable powerhouses saying "goodnight Irene."

Bottom line: One camp will be heralded. The other will be ridiculed for a long time.


GFS intensifies Erika after getting her to the Gulf
You know, the best part of this blog, aside from some of you crawling out of the woodwork (Where's StormJunkie?), is Bob Henson's photo of Lixion Avila. His face. Great photo.

Take care all. Us here in the middle will be watchin'.
1018. LBAR
This is a huge "win" for the GFS.
Quoting 1011. ElConando:

I wonder how the blog would have reacted to Andrew in 1992. Apparently, the NHC were close to downgrading it to an open wave at one point in its life.

you mean when the NHC was on the 5th floor of the IRE Financial building across from UM? Their doplar wound up in the parking lot, 10 floors below. Ah, memories.
1020. MahFL
Quoting 1011. ElConando:

I wonder how the blog would have reacted to Andrew in 1992. Apparently, the NHC were close to downgrading it to an open wave at one point in its life.


Also at one point Andrew was forecast to re curve out to sea.
Quoting 1017. Barefootontherocks:

You know, the best part of this blog, aside from some of you crawling out of the woodwork (Where's StormJunkie?) is Bob Henson's photo of Lixion Avila. His face. Great photo.

Take care all. Us here in the middle will be watchin'.


Are you really calling out Stormjunkie? this blog has reached a new level when that name graces the cyberwaves! LOL
1022. Michfan
Its official. This blog is about to hit critical mass with Florida in the cone. This is where the scientific "bias" rears its ugly head.
Quoting 968. StormTrackerScott:
Since everyone here can't post the updated NHC track visit my blog with all the details instead of garbage in garbage out blog time now.

http://www.wunderground.com/blog/StormTrackerScot t/comment.html?entrynum=18#commenttopLink


Checked out your blog, very impressive....bookmarked your site. Finally good relative info on Erika. Thanks.
1024. MahFL
Now we are talking !

Quoting 1022. Michfan:

Its official. This blog is about to hit critical mass with Florida in the cone. This is where the scientific "bias" rears its ugly head.


Great comment. Well said.
Anyone from Miami? What are the TV mets saying down there?
1027. Gearsts
1028. Patrap
Nola Roux's tail was pointing SouthEast jus now outside during her yard time..

That has to mean something, hmmmm ?

Quoting 1026. Bucsboltsfan:

Anyone from Miami? What are the TV saying down there?


To be prepared in case it comes with some mustard.
Earlier today, I saw a post saying that most of the "old timers" left. I am still here, lurking, reading, learning, and laughing at your jokes. I only log in about once a year to say hi. "Hi".
I was here in sw florida 10 years ago for Katrina. Enjoyed today's blog.
Quoting 1011. ElConando:

I wonder how the blog would have reacted to Andrew in 1992. Apparently, the NHC were close to downgrading it to an open wave at one point in its life.


ZCZC MIAWRKAD4 LOC
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
...FOR INTERGOVERNMENTAL USE ONLY...
TROPICAL STORM ANDREW DISCUSSION NUMBER 14
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
5 AM EDT THU AUG 20 1992

ANDREW CONTINUES TO BE POORLY ORGANIZED ON SATELLITE IMAGERY. THERE
ARE NO BANDING FEATURES...ONLY INTERMITTENT BURSTS OF CONVECTION
WHICH CONTINUE TO BE SHEARED NORTHEASTWARD FROM THE ESTIMATED
CENTER. THE CREW OF THE RECON AIRCRAFT WAS NOT ABLE TO LOCATE A
CENTER...HOWEVER A 54 KNOT WIND GUST WAS REPORTED AT THE 5000 FT
FLIGHT LEVEL IN AN AREA OF STRONG CONVECTION. WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT
FOR VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY AND THE FIRST DAYLIGHT RECON TO
DETERMINE WHETHER A CLOSED CIRCULATION STILL EXISTS ON THE SURFACE.

THE LATEST AVN RUN OF THE NMC GLOBAL SPECTRAL MODEL...AS IN PREVIOUS
RUNS...INSISTS THAT THE UPPER TROPOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT WILL BECOME
MUCH MORE CONDUCIVE FOR STRENGTHENING IN ABOUT 24 HOURS...IF ANDREW
CAN SURVIVE UNTIL THAT TIME. IT IS ALSO WORTHWHILE TO NOTE THAT THE
INITIAL STATE OF THE AVN MODEL WINDS AT 200 MB LOOK REALISTIC IN
COMPARISON TO OBSERVED CIRRUS LEVEL MOTIONS AROUND THE STORM. THIS
MIGHT GIVE SOME CREDIBILITY TO THE MODEL FORECAST. AGAIN...THE MAIN
QUESTION IS WHETHER THE SYSTEM WILL WITHSTAND THE SOUTHWESTERLY
SHEARING FOR MUCH LONGER.

THE TRACK FORECAST...WITH AN INITIAL MOTION ABOUT THE SAME AS SIX
HOURS EARLIER...IS AN UPDATE OF THE PREVIOUS PACKAGE. THERE IS A
SUBSTANTIAL SPREAD BETWEEN THE MORE STATISTICALLY-BASED OBJECTIVE
AIDS...NHC90 AND CLIPER...AND THE DYNAMICAL MODELS...QLM AND BAM.
THE STATISTICAL GUIDANCE TURNS ANDREW MORE NORTHWARD. THE AVN MODEL
PREDICTS A DEEP LAYER RIDGE TO BUILD OVER THE SOUTHWEST ATLANTIC.
THIS WOULD FAVOR A MORE WESTWARD TRACK WITH TIME AS SHOWN BY THE
DYNAMICAL TRACK GUIDANCE. THE OFFICAL FORECAST...AS BEFORE...IS A
COMPROMISE BETWEEN THE TWO BUT LEANS MORE TOWARD THE DYNAMICAL
GUIDANCE.

PASCH

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 20/0900Z 21.0N 61.0W 40 KTS
12HR VT 20/1800Z 22.2N 62.7W 40 KTS
24HR VT 21/0600Z 23.3N 64.7W 45 KTS
36HR VT 21/1800Z 24.3N 66.4W 50 KTS
48HR VT 22/0600Z 24.8N 68.0W 55 KTS
72HR VT 23/0600Z 25.5N 70.0W 55 KTS
Quoting 1028. Patrap:

Nola Roux's tail was pointing SouthEast jus now outside during her yard time..

That has to mean something, hmmmm ?




Now Pat is getting his eloquences in the game. This blog has reached official life! Thanks Pat :)

so..what does it mean?
Quoting 995. tiggeriffic:



and if everyone on here doesn't have a generator or if they cannot afford one?




I see what you are saying and agree with you... But any person that lives near the gulf or east coast that does get hit by storms should think about saving up a little money over a year and invest in a generator. You never know when you need one. It doesn't have to be extravagant and some can be purchased for as little as 3-400$. That is enough to keep your food from ruining and keep you cool, especially in the deep south. Where after a storm passes and the power is out... OMG it's always hot and humid. It is nearly unbearable.

I remember when Katrina hit I was working in Nigeria, West Africa. We were supposed to be flying into NOLA the day after she made landfall. Of course we couldn't and we were instead sent to Houston. I lived in Natchez Ms. at the time and I worked with several guys from Sumrall Ms. There were no real issues in Natchez but Sumrall was a mess. We rented a truck to drive home and stopped every where we could find a generator and bought one for them and their friends and families. We bought a couple chain saws and lots of gas. Along with water and other essentials. We actually had to use the saws to cut our way to their homes. That group of people were very happy to see some power and cool air after 2 days of scorching heat.... They had neighbors from all around coming to enjoy the break from the heat and get some food.
1035. ncstorm
00z Short Range Models

Quoting 1026. Bucsboltsfan:

Anyone from Miami? What are the TV mets saying down there?

I'm from West Palm Beach. I didn't catch the news tonight, but several local TV mets are posting about Erika on social media
1037. Patrap
It means I need a bigger yard.

Esp with "Baron of Bonnabel" now 12 weeks old.

I kept the Male Pick.

She had 8 June 6th.


Jack pot'

Welterusten allemaal, got a busy day ahead tomorrow. So does Erika.
Quoting 1024. MahFL:

Now we are talking !




ok, so what exactly are we talking? what do you see?
1040. Patrap
Anyone catch #wutv tonight ?

I missed it.





1041. K8eCane
Quoting 1033. SpudsMacKenzie:





I see what you are saying and agree with you... But any person that lives near the gulf or east coast that does get hit by storms should think about saving up a little money over a year and invest in a generator. You never know when you need one. It doesn't have to be extravagant and some can be purchased for as little as 3-400$. That is enough to keep your food from ruining and keep you cool, especially in the deep south. Where after a storm passes and the power is out... OMG it's always hot and humid. It is nearly unbearable.

I remember when Katrina hit I was working in Nigeria, West Africa. We were supposed to be flying into NOLA the day after she made landfall. Of course we couldn't and we were instead sent to Houston. I lived in Natchez Ms. at the time and I worked with several guys from Sumrall Ms. There were no real issues in Natchez but Sumrall was a mess. We rented a truck to drive home and stopped every where we could find a generator and bought one for them and their friends and families. We bought a couple chain saws and lots of gas. Along with water and other essentials. We actually had to use the saws to cut our way to their homes. That group of people were very happy to see some power and cool air after 2 days of scorching heat.... They had neighbors from all around coming to enjoy the break from the heat and get some food.

After one of the hurricanes, my neighbor went and sat in her car with the AC on
1042. nash36
Quoting 1029. ElConando:



To be prepared in case it comes with some mustard.


LOL!
Quoting 1037. Patrap:

It means I need a bigger yard.

Esp with "Baron of Bonnabel" now 12 weeks old.

I kept the Male Pic.

She had 8 June 6th.


Jack pot'




LOL. I am sorry sir, I still don't understand. I wish I did. I'm sorry :p

Oh....I get it now. you have a new white shep pup. no?
1044. Michfan
Also don't underestimate the fact that although you would expect most Floridians to have hurricane kits at the ready all the time, the fact is most of them do not. Especially those that are further inland like Orlando. It has been a LONG time since we have been seriously hit and people here get complacent quite easily. Sometimes it just has to be said to bring those who always blow these off into reality. Yes we all should be prepared no matter what but sadly that isn't reality.
1045. nash36
Quoting 1040. Patrap:

Anyone catch #wutv tonight ?

I missed it.






Unfortunately, no.

Life got in the way.
1046. Michfan
Quoting 1040. Patrap:

Anyone catch #wutv tonight ?

I missed it.






I though it was pretty good tonight. They spent a lot of time talking about Erika and Katrina. My son, who loves the weather, was glued to the TV.
1047. Patrap
A Local Tv met, a Nhc Met, and a wu blogger walk into a Bar'....



1048. Patrap
Quoting 1046. Michfan:



I though it was pretty good tonight. They spent a lot of time talking about Erika and Katrina. My son, who loves the weather, was glued to the TV.


Cool.

I saw the debut last night but tonight I had a interview that took 2 hours for a 2 minute blurb.

Sheeesh
Quoting 1040. Patrap:

Anyone catch #wutv tonight ?

I missed it.






I caught it. Henson was on. They did a lot of Katrina talk/remembrance of her beginnings. Norcross broke down Erika. First show I've seen. Not bad. The set looks a bit juvenile though. I think I saw an old gumball machine.

Henson not Benson. robert guillaume did not make an appearance.
Quoting 1047. Patrap:

A Local Tv met, a Nhc Met, and a wu blogger walk into a Bar'....







Almost fell out of the bed laughing
Quoting 1015. Flstorminterceptor:

With all this talk of unusual  animal behavior i must say i have had a couple squirrels raiding the only pine tree in my yard eating all of the pine nuts and occasionally dropping full unopened cones. They are heavy and dangerous. Making a mess in back yard with all the cone pellets everywhere. Not sure if it is storm potential related or el nino maybe. First time in 8 years of living hear this has happened. Large mature tree.        Been watching Orlando news ( I live in Melbourne ) also and they are saying to keep watch cause we are in the cone so we should be prepared with the usual hurricane kit. The senior forecaster at the NHC just said he wouldn't be surprised if Erika dissipates like Danny did.





LOL.... Squirrels love pine cones.. But also check the nut bearing trees around you.. If it's anything like where I live the pecan trees and oak trees didn't make very well this year. Could be some of the reason... Now I have a Hackberry Tree that is loaded with Hackberrys and they are demolishing them. I cut my only pine tree down a couple of years ago because they were eating the cones and dropping them on a metal roof and on the vehicles.

I don't think it has anything to do with storm potential.
1052. Michfan
Quoting 1047. Patrap:

A Local Tv met, a Nhc Met, and a wu blogger walk into a Bar'....






And the blogger hurls insults while pointing at a map before the rest even order their beers.
Quoting 1042. nash36:



LOL!


Well it's true, but first it needs to ketchup... okay I'm done now.
Quoting 1019. MisterPerfect:


you mean when the NHC was on the 5th floor of the IRE Financial building across from UM? Their doplar wound up in the parking lot, 10 floors below. Ah, memories.


Funny, I live no more than two blocks away from that building. Everytime I pass by the parking lot I can't help but think of this pic:

Quoting 970. SPLbeater:


Convection flare near the center. Maybe this is the beginning...of false hope of intensification for an hour then depressing thoughts of degeneration lol.


If Erica doesn't intensify and hit us here in Central Florida, it's okay.......
Quoting 1017. Barefootontherocks:

You know, the best part of this blog, aside from some of you crawling out of the woodwork (Where's StormJunkie?), is Bob Henson's photo of Lixion Avila. His face. Great photo.

Take care all. Us here in the middle will be watchin'.


Gotta love Avila. His updates are the Shakespeare of tropical discussions.

edit- I had to use that pic for my portrait... it is art.
1057. MahFL
Quoting 1033. SpudsMacKenzie:





It doesn't have to be extravagant and some can be purchased for as little as 3-400$.


A $400 generator won't run your a/c.
Quoting 908. StormTrackerScott:



Considering the cone of doom is moving up the FL Penisula with confidence building it sure as hell is time to get your kit in place just in case because come Friday or Saturday this place could be nuts with people hitting the stores to get supplies.


Well you're right people should have their hurricane kits for sure. I'm all about advising people to be prepared and stay safe. People should always get their kits ready to start the hurricane season in general, although when things start getting busier as we approach the peak, it's good to get more too.

I'm just saying there's no need for people to panic right now as it's a run of the mill deal for late August for the time being. Obviously that could change. It just sounded like the meteorologists in Orlando were already making a big deal out of it based on blogger comments.
1059. ncstorm
okay I'm out..Work in the AM..I doubt I'll be able to get anything done though..

I didn't see this posted today so my last parting model run..

12z JMA




Quoting 1055. LakeAlfredian:



If Erica doesn't intensify and hit us here in Central Florida, it's okay.......


Aren't you supposed to be out buying supplies? That's what the Orlando media is telling you to do.
Quoting 1054. ScooterXX7:



Funny, I live no more than two blocks away from that building. Everytime I pass by the parking lot I can't help but think of this pic:


Interesting. The photographer is one of SPC's finest - forecasters, that is.
Again, why is Antigua and Barbuda Met Office so slow in bringing updates??????????????????? I will definitely voice my concerns to them
Honestly, just looking at this thing right now, the actual center is well north of the convection and conditions will prohibit any strengthening for the next couple of days, this very well could become an open wave in the coming days and just dissipating.
Quoting 1063. TeleConnectSnow:

Honestly, just looking at this thing right now, the actual center is well north of the convection and conditions will prohibit any strengthening for the next couple of days, this very well could become an open wave in the coming days and just dissipating.


convection is firing over the center right now
1065. MahFL
Plenty of yellow :

1066. nash36
Quoting 1056. SavannahStorm:



Gotta love Avila. His updates are the Shakespeare of tropical discussions.

edit- I had to use that pic for my portrait... it is art.


If Avila could really speak his mind, it would be very succinct:

"The system looks like me after an all night bender. Go home, WU community. It's over. AAAAARRRGGGHH!!! I have six hours left on this shift!!!"
Quoting 1057. MahFL:



A $400 generator won't run your a/c.




Yes it will run a small window unit 9 - 15000 BTU's. I promise you that it will. I'm not talking about running a 2-5 ton residential split system.
Quoting 1064. Hurricanes101:



convection is firing over the center right now


For the last time, that is not the actual center.....the center is to the north as the NHC literally just stated with the 11pm update.
wondering if that update on Erika will show tonight :D
WSVN CH 7 news Miami is saying that we should be prepared for some kind of something come Sunday evening if the storm makes it into the South Bahama area.. if it makes it we could at least expect a cat 1 hurricne off our coast Sunday night and the circle is huge so anywhere from here to Central floria or above.
Quoting 1068. TeleConnectSnow:



For the last time, that is not the actual center.....the center is to the north as the NHC literally just stated with the 11pm update.


Some kids don't listen to teachers
Quoting 1068. TeleConnectSnow:



For the last time, that is not the actual center.....the center is to the north as the NHC literally just stated with the 11pm update.


look at the shortwave, it is pretty clear it is over the center, but you can see what you want. I do not think the center is at 16N and ASCAT agreed
Quoting 1026. Bucsboltsfan:

Anyone from Miami? What are the TV mets saying down there?
I'm in Weston, Ft. Lauderdale, nothing, down playing.

Would you look at the size of this wave. Huge! If this wave does not develop into a hurricane then nothing will. Man thats a big wave. Wow!
1075. flsky
Fill up your bath tubs for flushing the toilet.

Quoting 924. ElConando:



If this is over a cat 1 and hits SE Florida I'm staying with my folks. They have a 36 pack of water bottles for drinking and 3 gallon jugs of water, which my dad buys two weeks before the season starts. The gallon jugs are for the toilets. My dad buys this every Hurricane season and after every November 30th, they drink it, it's like the 72' Dolphins players popping champagne after everyone losses a game, except far more healthy, though it's environmental impact might be more detrimental. The 72 Dolphins reference sadly is lost on my dad, he's more of a "football" guy.
Quoting 1072. Hurricanes101:



look at the shortwave, it is pretty clear it is over the center, but you can see what you want


It's pretty clear you don't know what you just said, the NHC has the center located to the north, not that hard to read from the PROs, yes PROs, they are the one with backing..don't take my word, take theirs. I see what they want..good day
Quoting 1074. HurriHistory:


Would you look at the size of this wave. Huge! If this wave does not develop into a hurricane then nothing will. Man thats a big wave. Wow!


Size matters not!!! As Yoda would say!
Quoting 1076. TeleConnectSnow:



It's pretty clear you don't know what you just said, the NHC has the center located to the north, not that hard to read from the PROs, yes PROs, they are the one with backing..don't take my word, take theirs. I see what they want..good day


lol, you are funny - take a look for yourself, it is pretty clear

there is no circulation at 16N, it is a bit further south. We will see in the morning
Quoting 1054. ScooterXX7:



Funny, I live no more than two blocks away from that building. Everytime I pass by the parking lot I can't help but think of this pic:




Coral Gables proud. A friend of mine lived adjacent to that building behind it in some apartments, forget the street. An alley separates between US1. He said dumpsters from Rite Aid were blowing down the alley like law chairs. Imagine what was going on in cutler Ridge. Crazy. Great pic.
Quoting 1077. scottsvb:



Size matters not!!! As Yoda would say!


I see a bit more orange now. (earlier people said it was water vapor, lacking orange)
Quoting 1073. KitKat66:

I'm in Weston, Ft. Lauderdale, nothing, down playing.

No alot of news stations are talking about it and preparations..what r u looking at?
Quoting 1073. KitKat66:

I'm in Weston, Ft. Lauderdale, nothing, down playing.


Right now.,.there is nothing to worry about... we have to wait for another 2 days to see what impacts or interactions with DR will be. Also how strong the trough is and how strong Erika will be in 3 days. Right now, it's just keep a eye on it and don't get too excited. Everyone in here is jumping up and down on their bed. Best to relax....people in FL will have plenty of time incase there is any threat to FL.
Quoting 1078. Hurricanes101:



lol, you are funny - take a look for yourself, it is pretty clear

there is not circulation at 16N


I am not going to go back and forth with you on this stupid stuff. You believe it's over the center, I don't. How many looks does it take to get the exact coordinates of the center,,we may never know.


only from a few hours ago, center is south of 16N, pretty clear on here
Quoting 1073. KitKat66:

I'm in Weston, Ft. Lauderdale, nothing, down playing.


STS is saying the Orlando mets are telling everyone to go out and get supplies now. Tampa mets are telling everyone to pay attention but it could dissipate. SF mets are down playing it. Hmmm.
Quoting 1085. Bucsboltsfan:



STS is saying the Orlando mets are telling everyone to go out and get supplies now. Tampa mets are telling everyone to pay attention. SF mets are down playing it. Hmmm.


Tampa Mets are saying just watch it and come back for updates in the morning and evenings. We will know by Friday morning what might occur.
1087. Mikla
Quoting 1078. Hurricanes101:



lol, you are funny - take a look for yourself, it is pretty clear

there is no circulation at 16N, it is a bit further south. We will see in the morning

[sigh]... turn on forecast points and don't look at the cloud tops, look at the circulation underneath. Use RGB, it might be easier. Center is where NHC said it is around 16N/54W. Otherwise, go with what you think and we can all move on...
Quoting 1082. scottsvb:



Right now.,.there is nothing to worry about... we have to wait for another 2 days to see what impacts or interactions with DR will be. Also how strong the trough is and how strong Erika will be in 3 days. Right now, it's just keep a eye on it and don't get too excited. Everyone in here is jumping up and down on their bed. Best to relax....people in FL will have plenty of time incase there is any threat to FL.
thank you, agree
Quoting 1079. MisterPerfect:



Coral Gables proud. A friend of mine lived adjacent to that building behind it in some apartments, forget the street. An alley separates between US1. He said dumpsters from Rite Aid were blowing down the alley like law chairs. Imagine what was going on in cutler Ridge. Crazy. Great pic.


I went to Cutler Ridge Elementary in the mid 90's, and I remember there being obvious remnants of Andrew: An entire floor of Cutler Ridge Mall never being rebuilt, the various telephone poles that were leaning but not enough to be addressed, the stripped trees that were just dead and looked like a block of toothpicks. My mother's workplace took the northern eyewall and looked like a bomb went off:



Quoting 1087. Mikla:


[sigh]... turn on forecast points and don't look at the cloud tops, look at the circulation underneath. Use RGB, it might be easier. Center is where NHC said it is around 16N/54W. Otherwise, go with what you think and we can all move on...


shortwave is better to look at during nighttime. I think when the convection fired it sucked the center slightly southward.
My son a 9th grader is already counting on having off from school on monday morning...lol i remember being a kid and hoping for snow days being from the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Here in Florida the kids pray for hurricane days...lol

I too am of the opinion that Erika will not survive more then another 48-hours then transform down to an open wave. If it does maintain itself it will most likely miss the state of Florida all together and turn out to sea like most storms in that area of the Atlantic do.
GFS still looks like crap with this keeping it very weak. Definitely seeing consistency here with this model. And by the looks of Erika, hard to go against that outcome.
Quoting 1089. ScooterXX7:



I went to Cutler Ridge Elementary in the mid 90's, and I remember there being obvious remnants of Andrew: An entire floor of Cutler Ridge Mall never being rebuilt, the various telephone poles that were leaning but not enough to be addressed, the stripped trees that were just dead and looked like a block of toothpicks. My mother's workplace took the northern eyewall and looked like a bomb went off:






yeah the Holiday Inn on Caribbean blvd was totally ravaged. It took a while to rebuild it. Terrible.
There is a 60% chance this will crash into the Dom Rep. If this happens, it will be a trough all the way thru Cuba and into the FL Straits by Sunday. The 40% chance it has to miss the DR to the north is for this to get better organized before Thurs evening.
Quoting 1086. scottsvb:



Tampa Mets are saying just watch it and come back for updates in the morning and evenings. We will know by Friday morning what might occur.

Not mine my mets. They're taking it seriously
Quoting 1093. TeleConnectSnow:

GFS still looks like crap with this keeping it very weak. Definitely seeing consistency here with this model. And by the looks of Erika, hard to go against that outcome.


GFS "Wins" hands down within the first 3-4 days...then Euro slightly beats it out by day 5.
Quoting 1096. 12george1:


Not mine my mets. They're taking it seriously


um... ok lol
Quoting 983. SCwannabee:


Still has to pass through the El NiNO ribbon of death


No problem...Erica's from "African War zone, ship of death" (Sahara 2005) She should be able to handle a ribbon of death!!
Quoting 1031. Sharkicane:



ZCZC MIAWRKAD4 LOC
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
...FOR INTERGOVERNMENTAL USE ONLY...
TROPICAL STORM ANDREW DISCUSSION NUMBER 14
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
5 AM EDT THU AUG 20 1992

ANDREW CONTINUES TO BE POORLY ORGANIZED ON SATELLITE IMAGERY. THERE
ARE NO BANDING FEATURES...ONLY INTERMITTENT BURSTS OF CONVECTION
WHICH CONTINUE TO BE SHEARED NORTHEASTWARD FROM THE ESTIMATED
CENTER. THE CREW OF THE RECON AIRCRAFT WAS NOT ABLE TO LOCATE A
CENTER...HOWEVER A 54 KNOT WIND GUST WAS REPORTED AT THE 5000 FT
FLIGHT LEVEL IN AN AREA OF STRONG CONVECTION. WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT
FOR VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGERY AND THE FIRST DAYLIGHT RECON TO
DETERMINE WHETHER A CLOSED CIRCULATION STILL EXISTS ON THE SURFACE.

THE LATEST AVN RUN OF THE NMC GLOBAL SPECTRAL MODEL...AS IN PREVIOUS
RUNS...INSISTS THAT THE UPPER TROPOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT WILL BECOME
MUCH MORE CONDUCIVE FOR STRENGTHENING IN ABOUT 24 HOURS...IF ANDREW
CAN SURVIVE UNTIL THAT TIME. IT IS ALSO WORTHWHILE TO NOTE THAT THE
INITIAL STATE OF THE AVN MODEL WINDS AT 200 MB LOOK REALISTIC IN
COMPARISON TO OBSERVED CIRRUS LEVEL MOTIONS AROUND THE STORM. THIS
MIGHT GIVE SOME CREDIBILITY TO THE MODEL FORECAST. AGAIN...THE MAIN
QUESTION IS WHETHER THE SYSTEM WILL WITHSTAND THE SOUTHWESTERLY
SHEARING FOR MUCH LONGER.

THE TRACK FORECAST...WITH AN INITIAL MOTION ABOUT THE SAME AS SIX
HOURS EARLIER...IS AN UPDATE OF THE PREVIOUS PACKAGE. THERE IS A
SUBSTANTIAL SPREAD BETWEEN THE MORE STATISTICALLY-BASED OBJECTIVE
AIDS...NHC90 AND CLIPER...AND THE DYNAMICAL MODELS...QLM AND BAM.
THE STATISTICAL GUIDANCE TURNS ANDREW MORE NORTHWARD. THE AVN MODEL
PREDICTS A DEEP LAYER RIDGE TO BUILD OVER THE SOUTHWEST ATLANTIC.
THIS WOULD FAVOR A MORE WESTWARD TRACK WITH TIME AS SHOWN BY THE
DYNAMICAL TRACK GUIDANCE. THE OFFICAL FORECAST...AS BEFORE...IS A
COMPROMISE BETWEEN THE TWO BUT LEANS MORE TOWARD THE DYNAMICAL
GUIDANCE.

PASCH

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 20/0900Z 21.0N 61.0W 40 KTS
12HR VT 20/1800Z 22.2N 62.7W 40 KTS
24HR VT 21/0600Z 23.3N 64.7W 45 KTS
36HR VT 21/1800Z 24.3N 66.4W 50 KTS
48HR VT 22/0600Z 24.8N 68.0W 55 KTS
72HR VT 23/0600Z 25.5N 70.0W 55 KTS


Incredibly, by the 72 hour window, Andrew would instead be a category 5.
Someone please help me here. Why would Antigua's met office issue a watch for Antigua and Barbuda and a warning for Anguilla? Isn't a warning more urgent than a watch and wouldn't Erika reach Antigua before Anguilla? I am confused. Would someone more knowledgeable care to respond?
Quoting 1085. Bucsboltsfan:



STS is saying the Orlando mets are telling everyone to go out and get supplies now. Tampa mets are telling everyone to pay attention but it could dissipate. SF mets are down playing it. Hmmm.


They are saying its not a bad idea to start getting ready just in case as models are starting to converge on FL. NHC official track has a cat 1 just off WPB by Sunday afternoon.
Quoting 1059. ncstorm:

okay I'm out..Work in the AM..I doubt I'll be able to get anything done though..

I didn't see this posted today so my last parting model run..

12z JMA







Exactly what I said a few post before, it will ride around the periphery of the high pressure and it will miss Florida, as most of the time this storms do.
Quoting 1063. TeleConnectSnow:

Honestly, just looking at this thing right now, the actual center is well north of the convection and conditions will prohibit any strengthening for the next couple of days, this very well could become an open wave in the coming days and just dissipating.



If she approaches the bahamas, there are very warm temps there. I still wouldn't quite rule out a strong TS/minimal cat. 1 by this weekend.
Quoting 990. StormTrackerScott:


Your kidding right? Again people for a serious discussion come visit my blog it has all the NHC info in it instead of scattered litter on here.


You're not kidding....they should check out your blog!
1107. Drakoen
Something to watch, the GFS 00z has it going through the islands and south of PR. The ideal situation is for Erika to go north of them, otherwise this is Danny rinse wash repeat.
Quoting 1047. Patrap:

A Local Tv met, a Nhc Met, and a wu blogger walk into a Bar'....





Eventually the NHC met was laighing so hard he nearly went into repiratory arrest
00z GFS at 105hrs- very weak, but made it into the Florida Straits.

well, if the center is 16.0 54.4 it now is partially under convection for now.
What local mets are saying: WPTV is hedging saying it "may not last the week" and that "the hurricane center is the first one to admit that".


The track is already moving eastward like so many in the past have done.  So one way or the other, not much to be concerned about here in S. Florida.
1112. sar2401
Quoting 1102. wadadlian:

Someone please help me here. Why would Antigua's met office issue a watch for Antigua and Barbuda and a warning for Anguilla? Isn't a warning more urgent than a watch and wouldn't Erika reach Antigua before Anguilla? I am confused. Would someone more knowledgeable care to respond?
There's no one here who works for your weather service. They have a Facebook page where you can post your question and get an answer form the peopler who do know. You can probably hunt down a phone number since you're local, and give them a call.
Quoting 1101. wxgeek723:



Incredibly, by the 72 hour window, Andrew would instead be a category 5.


Lot's has changed since then with technology for Tropical Systems, but still that's crazy how much it changed from that forecast.
gfs not excited
Quoting 1033. SpudsMacKenzie:




I see what you are saying and agree with you... But any person that lives near the gulf or east coast that does get hit by storms should think about saving up a little money over a year and invest in a generator. You never know when you need one. It doesn't have to be extravagant and some can be purchased for as little as 3-400$. That is enough to keep your food from ruining and keep you cool, especially in the deep south. Where after a storm passes and the power is out... OMG it's always hot and humid. It is nearly unbearable.

I remember when Katrina hit I was working in Nigeria, West Africa. We were supposed to be flying into NOLA the day after she made landfall. Of course we couldn't and we were instead sent to Houston. I lived in Natchez Ms. at the time and I worked with several guys from Sumrall Ms. There were no real issues in Natchez but Sumrall was a mess. We rented a truck to drive home and stopped every where we could find a generator and bought one for them and their friends and families. We bought a couple chain saws and lots of gas. Along with water and other essentials. We actually had to use the saws to cut our way to their homes. That group of people were very happy to see some power and cool air after 2 days of scorching heat.... They had neighbors from all around coming to enjoy the break from the heat and get some food.


I got my generator from Harbor Freight. They are pretty cheap as they always have coupins.....
Quoting 1110. ElConando:

well, if the center is 16.0 54.4 it now is partially under convection for now.


nope it's still north of there....and cirrus clouds don't count.
Quoting 1114. chrisdscane:

gfs not excited



Nope... 144 hours...



Check out the position of that ridge off the SE coast, though. Even if Erika turns out to be stronger than this, it would be hard to get it to turn around that without hitting the CONUS.
Erikas center still half exposed
Just did a blog update on the Atlantic tropics....including an updated detailed discussion of Erika. The biggest takeaway tonight:

"Tropical Storm Erika is currenlty struggling as it approaches the northeastern Caribbean Sea Islands (the northern Lesser Antilles...Virgin Islands...Puerto Rico...Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Even though Erika is currently struggling...interests in these islands...as well as Cuba...the Bahamas...Florida and the southeastern United States including the eastern Gulf of Mexico should continue to carefully monitor Erika as the storm will be finding a much more favorable environment if it survives the next couple of days."

I personally believe right now that Erika is more likely headed toward south Florida and perhaps the eastern Gulf of Mexico if it indeed does survive.
1120. Dakster
Quoting 1085. Bucsboltsfan:



STS is saying the Orlando mets are telling everyone to go out and get supplies now. Tampa mets are telling everyone to pay attention but it could dissipate. SF mets are down playing it. Hmmm.


The ones that hype it, a storm never comes. The ones that downplay I worry about.

Unfortunately, the one thing that is true - for those of us in Florida we have to wait and watch. I hope the dropsonde data helps out the current model runs.

Quoting 1115. LakeAlfredian:



I got my generator from Harbor Freight. They are pretty cheap as they always have coupins.....


Yep - and the generators are good for about one storm without having any issues too.
The center appears to be near the intersection of 55W 16N on the northern side of the convective burst.

Quoting 1047. Patrap:
A Local Tv met, a Nhc Met, and a wu blogger walk into a Bar'....





And the TV Met said "I get paid whatever way it goes", the NHC Met said "I get paid whatever way it goes", the WU Blogger replied "I really enjoy doing what I do do"!!!
1123. sar2401
Quoting 1078. Hurricanes101:



lol, you are funny - take a look for yourself, it is pretty clear

there is no circulation at 16N, it is a bit further south. We will see in the morning
Why would you think you are more capable of locating a storm center than the NHC? They have tools we can only dream about, education, training, and experience. You have...stuff you can find on the internet. Seriously, why are you arguing about this?
GFS shows nothing but a Tropical Wave as it passes into the GOM in 4.5 days! This is mostly due to it moving into Dom Rep and then moving along the Cuban coastline. So , Unless Erika can gain a little more latitude by getting better organized before Puerto Rico...then the GFS will be right on. I think it will skim the north coast of the DR just north of the GFS Model but not by much.
Quoting 1121. TropicalAnalystwx13:

The center appears to be near the intersection of 55W 16N on the northern side of the convective burst.



Yes, it does look that way...
Vis/IR Loop
Good early morning everyone! Hey Scott!
1127. TX2FL
Quoting 1119. NCHurricane2009:

Just did a blog update on the Atlantic tropics....including an updated detailed discussion of Erika. The biggest takeaway tonight:

"Tropical Storm Erika is currenlty struggling as it approaches the northeastern Caribbean Sea Islands (the northern Lesser Antilles...Virgin Islands...Puerto Rico...Haiti and the Dominican Republic). Even though Erika is currently struggling...interests in these islands...as well as Cuba...the Bahamas...Florida and the southeastern United States including the eastern Gulf of Mexico should continue to carefully monitor Erika as the storm will be finding a much more favorable environment if it survives the next couple of days."

I personally believe right now that Erika is more likely headed toward south Florida and perhaps the eastern Gulf of Mexico if it indeed does survive.
If Erika does survive, and the environment is so conducive to development around the Bahamas, what would prevent it from becoming a 3 and surprise us like Daniel did.
Quoting 1126. TampaSpin:

Good early morning everyone! Hey Scott!


what's up....good to see you
I'm not sure Erika can hold on until she reaches favorable conditions and that is only if she can stay over water and not over mountains.
Quoting 1060. Bucsboltsfan:


Aren't you supposed to be out buying supplies? That's what the Orlando media is telling you to do.


I don't listen to Orlando stations as they will say anything just to sell a bunch of stuff for their advertisers....
1131. Dakster
Quoting 1129. TampaSpin:

I'm not sure Erika can hold on until she reaches favorable conditions and that is only if she can stay over water and not over mountains.



I hope you are correct in that Erika dissipates.

Quoting 1128. scottsvb:



what's up....good to see you

Thought I would check out my old stomping grounds and see if some of buds are still up....and sure enough. :)


nice t.storms next to center
Quoting 1131. Dakster:



I hope you are correct in that Erika dissipates.




I think everyone hopes that is the case. Could be a South Carolina and North Carolina system as a very strong cane if she stays together. Although, the models have been trending further west all day!
So Wait, Erika is done now??
I should stop watching it since I live in FL.
I'll tell my friends not to watch it since it won't last.
That's what I'm getting from this blog
1136. Dakster
Quoting 1134. TampaSpin:



I think everyone hopes that is the case. Could be a South Carolina and North Carolina system as a very strong cane if she stays together. Although, the models have been trending further west all day!


You remembered to put the Florida shields up, right?
I won't post my website....but if some of you have not visited it ...you might like it now! Someone else will have to post the site address. Its just a quick reference for all views at once.
Quoting 1136. Dakster:



You remembered to put the Florida shields up, right?


Oh yea.....full force! I love tracking them until they start harming others.
Erika is now at 16.1N and 54.7W moving 17mph pressure 1006mb
1141. Dakster
tampaspin.com... Nice quick reference point. Thanks for putting that together.

I like tracking them until the death and destruction happen too. Be a Cat 5 out in the middle of the ocean, but please dissipate before you make landfall.
Quoting 1137. TampaSpin:

I won't post my website....but if some of you have not visited it ...you might like it now! Someone else will have to post the site address. Its just a quick reference for all views at once.


Nice site TampaSpin
www.tampaspin.com
Quoting 1139. scottsvb:

Erika is now at 16.1N and 54.7W moving 17mph pressure 1006mb


Looks like she might be pulling together some. As long as she stays weak the further south she will stay! The BAM models are a great picture to see how that plays out!
Quoting 1107. Drakoen:

Something to watch, the GFS 00z has it going through the islands and south of PR. The ideal situation is for Erika to go north of them, otherwise this is Danny rinse wash repeat.

Is the difference in favorability of conditions really that much night and day below and above PR/Hispaniola??
The way that convective burst looks, doesn't seem like it will last long, but who knows maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and see a storm slightly more with it's act together.
Quoting 1096. 12george1:

Not mine my mets. They're taking it seriously


By George, it matters where you be at. Where you be at????
1148. sar2401
Quoting 1066. nash36:



If Avila could really speak his mind, it would be very succinct:

"The system looks like me after an all night bender. Go home, WU community. It's over. AAAAARRRGGGHH!!! I have six hours left on this shift!!!"
Avila has been a forecaster at the NHC since 1987 - 28 years. That's just his time at the NHC. You can read his biography here. He has two doctorate degrees, and has been a meteorologist since 1973 - 42 years total. I'm another old guy like Avila, and old guys that are still working are usually pretty smart. I know for sure that, if he said a storm center is in a certain location, there's about a 1000% better chance he's right than me. :-)
Quoting 1135. WeatherLover213:

So Wait, Erika is done now??
I should stop watching it since I live in FL.
I'll tell my friends not to watch it since it won't last.
That's what I'm getting from this blog

I would NOT take your eye off of Erika just yet. Even if Erika dies in the next couple of days...the conditions in the western Atlantic are so good that even the remnants could regenerate.
1150. sar2401
Quoting 1135. WeatherLover213:

So Wait, Erika is done now??
I should stop watching it since I live in FL.
I'll tell my friends not to watch it since it won't last.
That's what I'm getting from this blog
Who said that here? Maybe I didn't read that. There are always a few mental cases that show up for every hurricane but, by and large, what I see here is dissipation is one of the outcomes, but certainly not the most likely right now. People in Florida generally watch storms regardless of what someone in the internet said.
1151. Roxanne
Quoting 1137. TampaSpin:

I won't post my website....but if some of you have not visited it ...you might like it now! Someone else will have to post the site address. Its just a quick reference for all views at once.


It is a great site with everything in one place for a quick update. http://tampaspinsweather.webs.com/
The 00Z CMC model is not complete yet....but Erika goes thru the Florida straits and then hits Tampa.......LOL...YOU Can't make this stuff up....LOL
Quoting 1151. Roxanne:



It is a great site with everything in one place for a quick update. http://tampaspinsweather.webs.com/


I changed it to just tampaspin.com
I don't think anyone said to take their eye off Erika....I sure won't! Nobody, knows where she is going is the problem
1155. K8eCane
Quoting 1154. TampaSpin:

I don't think anyone said to take their eye off Erika....I sure won't! Nobody, knows where she is going is the problem


thats if she holds together
Quoting 1152. TampaSpin:

The 00Z CMC model is not complete yet....but Erika goes thru the Florida straits and then hits Tampa.......LOL...YOU Can't make this stuff up....LOL


7 or so days out, it is a good sign it will miss us.
edit: seems like they always point them at us at one time of another
Quoting 1156. SunnyDaysFla:


7 or so days out, it is a good sign it will miss us.


Exactly....you can't depend on models beyond 48hrs. These models will move west, south and north over the next 48hrs. Its just wait and see. I would say this tho, by Thursday morning we will have an idea what we might or might have to deal with.
1158. sar2401
Quoting 1144. opal92nwf:


Is the difference in favorability of conditions really that much night and day below and above PR/Hispaniola??
It's not exactly night and day, but it's close. North of Puerto Rico you have the second largest and largest landmasses in the Caribbean - Hispaniola and Cuba. Except for two passes, there's no escape for a storm to the south. The shear is generally less and the SAL and dry air tend have subsided.

South of PR, there's only Jamaica and other small islands like the Caymans until you hit Central America. The westerly trade winds usually howl in the summer, the SAL is much worse the further south you go and, in El Nino years, the instability tends to be low while the shear tends to be high. We've seen all of that this year. A ride south into the Caribbean "Zone of Death" will usually kill a storm. It's been happening much further east than usual this year.
1159. sar2401
Quoting 1152. TampaSpin:

The 00Z CMC model is not complete yet....but Erika goes thru the Florida straits and then hits Tampa.......LOL...YOU Can't make this stuff up....LOL

At least it's quit doing what it did in 2013. Every weekend, without fail, there was a storm headed toward me in SE AL. I think it was nine total. Of course, not one hit, and I really needed the rain too, the rat. :-)
1160. MahFL
Quoting 1039. MisterPerfect:



ok, so what exactly are we talking? what do you see?


Convection near the center firing.
Quoting 1158. sar2401:

It's not exactly night and day, but it's close. North of Puerto Rico you have the second largest and largest landmasses in the Caribbean - Hispaniola and Cuba. Except for two passes, there's no escape for a storm to the south. The shear is generally less and the SAL and dry air tend have subsided.

South of PR, there's only Jamaica and other small islands like the Caymans until you hit Central America. The westerly trade winds usually howl in the summer, the SAL is much worse the further south you go and, in El Nino years, the instability tends to be low while the shear tends to be high. We've seen all of that this year. A ride south into the Caribbean "Zone of Death" will usually kill a storm. It's been happening much further east than usual this year.


The ZONE OF DEATH was Dr. Steve Lyons idea. If a Storm has not entered the Caribbean sea as a storm it will likely never become a storm.
1162. MahFL
Now that looks like a much more healthy Tropical Storm :

1163. FOREX
Quoting 1162. MahFL:

Now that looks like a much more healthy Tropical Storm :


Is that enough to warrant the picture of quint from jaws???????????????
Good evening or morning all, depending on location. Few hours ago left to a deflated Erika, seems to be holding her own ok though with that nice blob of convection. Still appears the convection is displaced to the south of the CoC. I also notice that I am now in the 5-day "Cone of Doom". NHC places odds of 17% chance of 34kt and 3% chance of 50kt out to 120hrs. Got my eye on her, as with any TC that pops up in the basin. Be an interesting next 5-6 days in these parts.
1165. sar2401
Quoting 1120. Dakster:



The ones that hype it, a storm never comes. The ones that downplay I worry about.

Unfortunately, the one thing that is true - for those of us in Florida we have to wait and watch. I hope the dropsonde data helps out the current model runs.



Yep - and the generators are good for about one storm without having any issues too.
Hey Dak. I've had a couple of the HF 2.5 Kw cheapies I got on a coupon deal for $299.99. Although the hour meter optimistically goes up to 999 hours, they are good for about 150 hours before something fails that's expensive enough it's cheaper to buy a new one. The engines are usually pretty good, and salvageable for a backup.

So you're back on the job? I thought you going to get to retire.
Hot tower.

1167. sar2401
Quoting 1162. MahFL:

Now that looks like a much more healthy Tropical Storm :


There's convection firing in one area of the storm displaced well south of the center. Until that convection can grow toward and start to surround the center, calling it a healthy storm is little premature.
warmer waters and a cooler atmosphere helping erikca tonight
Quoting 1162. MahFL:

Now that looks like a much more healthy Tropical Storm :




Convection is still displaced from the center. She needs to wrap it around, and so far she hasn't been able to.

Quoting 884. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Erika is probably the trickiest storm of the year. You know it's bad when the chances of this becoming an open wave and dying over the Greater Antilles are very close to the chances of this becoming a major hurricane and impacting Florida.
This weak and disorganized system is not going to become anything for Florida to be concerned about. The idea of it becoming a major hurricane is simply not possible. The reasons are glaring at you.
1172. MahFL
Quoting 1167. sar2401:

There's convection firing in one area of the storm displaced well south of the center. Until that convection can grow toward and start to surround the center, calling it a healthy storm is little premature.


It's near the center, 16N 54W.

Position of Erika at noon on Saturday according to the latest NAM Model.
Looking at the wind map, the coc is very close to the surface, and barely closed at that. Being this low, could it sneak under most of the shear? Thanks

Quoting 1157. TampaSpin:



Exactly....you can't depend on models beyond 48hrs. These models will move west, south and north over the next 48hrs. Its just wait and see. I would say this tho, by Thursday morning we will have an idea what we might or might have to deal with.
The HWRF is running and it keeps Erika off of land and develops her very healthy......GEESH!
HWRF has a Cat 2 and deepening in 105hr:

So rough estimate... LLC near 16.1N 54.8W? If so, convection is quite a bit closer than it was earlier this evening. Earlier it looked to be displaced by about .5 degrees from the center, now about .2 degrees or so south of it. Not expecting a lot obviously tonight as she still has some dry mid levels to contend with and NW/NNW shear. But over 28-29C waters. Also looks like she is beginning to slow down just a notch, maybe about 16 mph.
Quoting 1171. yesterway:

This weak and disorganized system is not going to become anything for Florida to be concerned about. The idea of it becoming a major hurricane is simply not possible. The reasons are glaring at you.

Speaking in absolutes is a dangerous thing.
Heading NNW.
GFDL is out the window on the 0z run..

HWRF is best out to 72hrs on intensity but after 72hrs has a general feedback issue.

GFS seems plausable crashing into Dom Rep...but it might end up brushing the north coastline

Ukmet is similar to the HWRF out to 96hrs.

Overall...it's best to not go by any model right now after 72hrs. See how much it gets organized if at all..and see how close it gets to PR and DR will determine this in the next 2-3 days
That looks just east of FL?

Quoting 1177. unknowncomic:


Quoting 1178. ecflweatherfan:

So rough estimate... LLC near 16.1N 54.8W? If so, convection is quite a bit closer than it was earlier this evening. Earlier it looked to be displaced by about .5 degrees from the center, now about .2 degrees or so south of it. Not expecting a lot obviously tonight as she still has some dry mid levels to contend with and NW/NNW shear. But over 28-29C waters. Also looks like she is beginning to slow down just a notch, maybe about 16 mph.

Quick update on Erika. She has a nice ball of intense convection firing off closer to her LLC and forward motion is finally slowing down a bit this and the fact that waters are about to increase from 27C to 28-29C this should help her in the next 36 hours.

That convective burst looks indicative of an increase in SSTs.
Quoting 1171. yesterway:

This weak and disorganized system is not going to become anything for Florida to be concerned about. The idea of it becoming a major hurricane is simply not possible. The reasons are glaring at you.


Never say never, my friend. Seen one too many of these things go from nothing to something big quick. Do I think it will, personally? No. Looking at the models and the obstacles ahead of her. That said, there are no guarantees when it comes to Mother Nature. She is fickle and does whatever she wants, whenever she wants. She doesn't play by the rules, nor does she read computer models. I do think the GFDL is out to lunch on a Cat 4 though IMO...
The GFDL and the HWFR have finished and WOW....both have a major hurricane and the GFDL have CAT 5 growing at 150.8kts....OUCH!
Quoting 1171. yesterway:

This weak and disorganized system is not going to become anything for Florida to be concerned about. The idea of it becoming a major hurricane is simply not possible. The reasons are glaring at you.


Let's just make note of this one and repost it next week, see how that prediction goes.
1187. TXCWC
Link New Blog Post concerning Erika up for your viewing pleasure. Link
Quoting 1185. TampaSpin:

The GFDL and the HWFR have finished and WOW....both have a major hurricane and the GFDL have CAT 5 growing at 150.8kts....OUCH!


Like I mentioned... GFDL out to lunch. But ouch indeed!
1190. 7544
Quoting 1185. TampaSpin:

The GFDL and the HWFR have finished and WOW....both have a major hurricane and the GFDL have CAT 5 growing at 150.8kts....OUCH!



will king euro match them if so run for the hills lol
2am out... 16.0N 55.2W... 40mph... 1006mb... W 18 mph. Due west of 11pm position.
Quoting 1185. TampaSpin:

The GFDL and the HWFR have finished and WOW....both have a major hurricane and the GFDL have CAT 5 growing at 150.8kts....OUCH!


Throw out the GFDL ... it has Erika just south of the blob

HWRF is only decent up to 72hrs
1193. Drakoen
Quoting 1188. TropicalAnalystwx13:




Been a while since we've seen that.
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
In 72 hours the Euro is looking much different from previous runs

Link


Well this will really HURT if true....here is the 2am updates from the HURRICANE MODELS
SUMMARY OF 800 PM AST...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...15.8N 53.6W
ABOUT 545 MI...875 KM E OF ANTIGUA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...40 MPH...65 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 280 DEGREES AT 20 MPH...31 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1006 MB...29.71 INCHES...

-A BIT STRANGE IN TERMS OF THE LOCATION FOR THE SYSTEM BACK THEN AT 8P.M. (East of Antigua)? -SINCE THE LATITUDINAL CO-ORDINATES BACK THEN CLEARLY PUT ERIKA EAST OF DOMINICA OR AT THE VERY LEAST EAST OF GUADELOUPE. Perhaps by now the exposed centre OF Erika would be nearing the Latitude of Antigua and Barbuda.
The Forecasters have definitely been busy...So maybe some Fatigue-an unavoidable side effect must be setting in at this stage...

Blessings to All!
1198. WxLogic
Good Morning... Erika looking much better during this mornings DMAX which was definitely enhanced by the slower forward motion.