Little change to Erika; Jimena makes landfall as a Category 2 hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:30 PM GMT op 02 september 2009

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Tropical Storm Erika remains weak and disorganized, and the future track and intensity of the storm remain highly uncertain. The center has jumped several times over the past 12 hours, and now lies exposed to view, west of the main area of heavy thunderstorms. Radar animations out of Martinique show little organization of the echoes, and satellite imagery shows no low-level spiral bands or upper-level outflow. Wind shear analyses from the University of Wisconsin diagnose a moderate 10 - 15 knots of shear over Erika, a decrease from yesterday. SSTs are warm, 29°C. The Hurricane Hunters are in the storm now, and have found a slight increase in the surface winds, up to 45 mph. They noted that the surface center was displaced 12 miles north of the center they found at 1500 feet, which is the sign of a disorganized storm undergoing wind shear.

The forecast for Erika
Erika is embedded in a weak steering current pattern, and the storm's current state of disorganization is allowing the center to make random jumps as it reforms near the heaviest thunderstorm activity. This makes for a low-confidence forecast. The future track of the storm will depend upon how strong the storm gets over the next few days. A stronger Erika will extend higher into the atmosphere and be steered more to the northwest by upper-level winds. A weaker Erika will be steered more by the low-level winds, which will keep the storm on a more westerly track. The intensity forecast models did a poor job with Tropical Storm Danny last week, and appear to be repeating that poor performance with Erika. All of the major intensity forecast models predict substantial strengthening of Erika. This seems unlikely to occur, given the storm's current disorganization, and the predicted increase in wind shear along the path of Erika to 20 - 25 knots 3 - 5 days from now. The more southerly than expected track of the storm also brings the possibility that Erika will encounter the high mountains of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. The GFS, GFDL, and Canadian models predict Erika will pass near Puerto Rico on Friday, then move over Hispaniola on Saturday. Erika in its current weak state would probably not survive an encounter with these islands. A wide range of scenarios is still possible for Erika, from outright dissipation (as forecast by the GFS, Canadian, and ECMWF models) to intensification to a Category 3 hurricane (as forecast by the HWRF model). Erika is a long-term threat to the Bahamas and U.S. East Coast if it is still around five days from now. Potential landfall locations range from Florida on Tuesday to North Carolina on Wednesday. The NOGAPS model has Erika potentially missing the U.S. entirely, scooting northwards between North Carolina and Bermuda. My current expectation is that Erika will dissipate on Saturday when it encounters Hispaniola.


Figure 1. Afternoon image of Tropical Storm Erika. The swirl of clouds just west of Guadeloupe island is the center. This center was what I had labeled a "false center" in this morning's post, and has taken over as the main center this afternoon.

Hurricane Jimena hits Baja
Hurricane Jimena made lanndfall on Mexico's Baja Peninsula late this morning near Cabo San Lazaro as a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds. Jimena is the 2nd strongest hurricane to hit Baja's west coast since record keeping began in 1949. The only stronger storm was Hurricane Norbert, which made landfall in 2008 on the central Baja coast with sustained winds of 105 mph. Jimena has now weakened to a Category 1 storm, and will continue to weaken as it hits colder waters and interacts with land. No deaths or major damage have been reported from the storm.


Figure 2. Hurricane Jimena on Tuesday, Sep. 1, 2009, as seen by NASA's MODIS instrument. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

California fire webcams
As I discussed in yesterday morning's post, you can use our wundermap for Los Angeles with the fire layer turned on to see where the fire and smoke are located, and track the temperatures and winds during today's air pollution event. We also have two webcams with views of the fire: Altadena and Tujunga.

I'll have an update Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters

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2937. CaneHunter031472
6:01 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Erika looks like its been blown with a leaf blower.
Member Since: 1 augustus 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 202
2936. TropicalGenesis
2:59 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
The highest sustained winds through the Islands over the past 12 hrs seems to be a around Antigua at 31 MPH. St. Kitts and Nevis reporting up to 21MPH winds. Thus, Erika is weakening.
Member Since: 16 augustus 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 103
2935. sarahjola
2:49 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
mikatnite-
i couldn't have said it better.
stormo-
they are looking pretty good this season. they may not make it but love to watch them try. in louisiana we love the game and the effort as much as the win. should have seen there wonderful welcome home after playoff loss. win or lose we back them up.
Member Since: 10 september 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1294
2934. CaribBoy
2:41 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Still nothing special in St Martin... little wind, mostly cloudy, still no rain and It looks like we won't get much from Erika.. at least not immediatly
Member Since: 6 oktober 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6455
2933. islandblow
2:39 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
So where did the supposed centre of Erika pass? Over Antigua, Guadeloupe....?
Member Since: 14 juli 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 60
2932. hcubed
2:32 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting stormno:
lol sarah i liked them to but come on now the saints are know better then a 500 club...Stormno


That just means their record is better than yours...
Member Since: 18 mei 2007 Posts: 289 Comments: 1639
2931. serialteg
2:31 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting islandblow:
Well "tropical storm" Erika passed over us here on Dominica last night. She was more like an intense tropical wave: no wind but lots of thunder, lightening and rain. The rivers are roaring down but no flooding, and just a few washouts and landslides, which is normal for this mountainous isle. One cruise ship, Advenure of the Seas, Norwegian Caribbean Cruise Lines, could not call at Antigua and so came to try berthing here for the day, but the swell was too high to tie up along side and so it sailed off for "a day at sea". Everyone is officiallly off work today and schools are closed. Thats the sum total of our Erika disruption.


You're also way at the south end of her.
Member Since: 22 augustus 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
2930. serialteg
2:30 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting StMaartenGal:
Looking out from our beach towards Anguilla channel, little wind and partial sunshine with some blue patches. The sea is calm and looking normal again. Where is Erica?. Maybe we will get it later or not at all?. We do need some rain though.


You're way at the top of Erika.

Member Since: 22 augustus 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
2929. serialteg
2:27 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting MahFL:
The shear map has changed ! The 40 spot has gone and Erika is not even in 20 kts shear yet.

Shear


Still surrounded by high shear, as she's been for a while now.

Member Since: 22 augustus 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
2928. StMaartenGal
2:26 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Looking out from our beach towards Anguilla channel, little wind and partial sunshine with some blue patches. The sea is calm and looking normal again. Where is Erica?. Maybe we will get it later or not at all?. We do need some rain though.
2927. islandblow
2:22 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Well "tropical storm" Erika passed over us here on Dominica last night. She was more like an intense tropical wave: no wind but lots of thunder, lightening and rain. The rivers are roaring down but no flooding, and just a few washouts and landslides, which is normal for this mountainous isle. One cruise ship, Advenure of the Seas, Norwegian Caribbean Cruise Lines, could not call at Antigua and so came to try berthing here for the day, but the swell was too high to tie up along side and so it sailed off for "a day at sea". Everyone is officiallly off work today and schools are closed. Thats the sum total of our Erika disruption.
Member Since: 14 juli 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 60
2926. MahFL
2:20 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
The shear map has changed ! The 40 spot has gone and Erika is not even in 20 kts shear yet.

Shear
Member Since: 9 juni 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3847
2925. serialteg
2:20 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Aah ... how many times do I have to see this track pop up ...

At least I buy it now that it's close.
Member Since: 22 augustus 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
2924. mikatnight
2:17 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
NEW BLOG!
Member Since: 18 oktober 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
2923. mikatnight
2:16 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting Bordonaro:

Bjork may have made the quote, but I believe TS Erika is singing that song to the lyrics from the "They're Coming To Take You" song!! Erica is an amazing system, it has pulled almost every trick in the book, except making loops or going backwards against the prevailing winds! Before long, she may try that!LOL!!


They're coming to take me away, ha-haaa.
They're coming to take me away, ho-ho, hee-hee, ha-haaa.
To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time and I'll be happy
to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and they're coming
to take me away, ha-haaa!!!
To the happy home, with trees and flowers and chirping birds and basket
weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes and they're
coming to take me away, ha-haa!!!
To the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time...


Wrong song, right?
Member Since: 18 oktober 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
2922. AllBoardedUp
2:15 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting serialteg:


You show up on mine. Although I believe Storm has me on ignore... :(
Thanks. I wasn't sure after all the trouble yesterday with the McAfee problems. Everthing seems fine with my computer this morning.
Member Since: 25 juli 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 626
2921. keys33070
2:14 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting AllBoardedUp:
Are my post showing up? Or am I'm on everyone's ignore list?


This is the first one I have noticed....
2919. tbrett
2:13 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting JadeInAntigua:


Don't think it's "what" he's reporting as much as "how" he's reporting it. Stating opinions (not just facts) as absolutes and laughing at others who may see things differently can be considered by others to be obnoxious. So can all caps and overuse of !!!!.

Good morning Jade
How is Antigua making out, hope not to many troubles caused by this storm.
Member Since: 20 juli 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 107
2918. serialteg
2:13 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting AllBoardedUp:
Are my post showing up? Or am I'm on everyone's ignore list?


You show up on mine. Although I believe Storm has me on ignore... :(
Member Since: 22 augustus 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
2917. Chicklit
2:13 PM GMT op 03 september 2009

Umm...yellow is for scarey?
Member Since: 11 juli 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11423
2916. serialteg
2:12 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting Chicklit:
Loop
Anyone hear from Weather456 this morning?
He's on St. Kitts.


No, but JadeFromAntigua is filling us in. Stronger 30mph winds had been felt on the wee hours of the morning with rain. The stronger east side of the storm is soon passing thru the easternmost Islands so forecasts are claiming winds to pick up soon.
Member Since: 22 augustus 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
2915. keys33070
2:12 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting JadeInAntigua:


No argument.. was just stating why I believed some may claim he can be obnoxious. I agree about people's opinions making this blog interesting I just think sometimes that can be done without the inclusion of name calling and similar disrespectful behaviour. If people are afraid to comment for fear of being mocked I think the wide array of opinions that we value as part of this blog may stop. JMHO As for Erika - still dropping lots of rain on us - winds still pretty calm.


Point taken. I agree. Without the various opinions posted on here, it would be pretty bland!!
2914. AllBoardedUp
2:12 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Are my post showing up? Or am I'm on everyone's ignore list?
Member Since: 25 juli 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 626
2913. justalurker
2:11 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting Chicklit:
Loop
Anyone hear from Weather456 this morning?
He's on St. Kitts.


Yeah, hes fine had a little breeze, the time i spoke with him, but was expecting rain soon
Member Since: 18 augustus 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
2912. mikatnight
2:11 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting sarahjola:
hey stormo lay off my boys! they might not be the best but always exciting to watch.
black and gold & purple and gold forever.
i do love my saints, but comment not to be taken seriously. just wanted to put that out there before people start calling me a saintscaster. lol!


Black and gold and purple and orange and teal and dust and mud and blood...ahhhh, I love football...
Member Since: 18 oktober 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
2911. serialteg
2:10 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting rhomanov:
Good morning! It has started to rain in San Juan, PR. Any Erika's updates?


Member Since: 22 augustus 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
2910. Chicklit
2:10 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Loop
Anyone hear from Weather456 this morning?
He's on St. Kitts.
Member Since: 11 juli 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11423
2909. justalurker
2:10 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting OSUWXGUY:


Hi Surfside...thanks for the question!

Quite honestly...it's hard to know exactly what the shear will be like in the next 48 hours.

The overall pattern shows strong westerlies just north of the islands and generally just north of Erika's probable path. Looking at the NAM model from this morning, there is a chance that shear may be somewhat favorable for a bit of reorganization over the next 24 hours. However, given the closeness of Erika to very high shear - this is a very low confidence forecast.


hey OSU,

Learning here too did the shear relax a little in the last 6 hours 40kts to 30kts..

Member Since: 18 augustus 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
2908. Bordonaro
2:10 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
A very pertinent lyric at this time:

Nature is ancient
But surprises us all
Nature is ancient
But surprises us all

Don't try to predict it,
Then you'd offend it,
It's MEANT to surprise

-Bjork

Bjork may have made the quote, but I believe TS Erika is singing that song to the lyrics from the "They're Coming To Take You" song!! Erica is an amazing system, it has pulled almost every trick in the book, except making loops or going backwards against the prevailing winds! Before long, she may try that!LOL!!
Member Since: 25 augustus 2009 Posts: 20 Comments: 6785
2906. rhomanov
2:09 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Good morning! It has started to rain in San Juan, PR. Any Erika's updates?
2905. JadeInAntigua
2:08 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting keys33070:

I don't want to get in the middle of an argument, but Ikes info is pretty accurate. And as far as him stating his opinion -- well so do a lot of us, it keeps the blog fun. I have to say he ( along with a few others) is why I love this blog. If he seems rude at times, I could be wrong, but I do not believe it is intentful, but playful, most of the time.


No argument.. was just stating why I believed some may claim he can be obnoxious. I agree about people's opinions making this blog interesting I just think sometimes that can be done without the inclusion of name calling and similar disrespectful behaviour. If people are afraid to comment for fear of being mocked I think the wide array of opinions that we value as part of this blog may stop. JMHO As for Erika - still dropping lots of rain on us - winds still pretty calm.
Member Since: 1 september 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 129
2904. TheCaneWhisperer
2:08 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting AWeatherLover:
NHC will hold Erika as a TS for the next 12 hours according to their 11:00 update. TS warnings will go up for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. TD in 24 hours.


Looking at all the available data and satellites, that's a good call.
2903. scott1968
2:08 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting serialteg:


storm! you don't watch much football, do you!

saints looked good in preseason... and so did my pack. I just hope they keep it up


The Saints will have to score 30 plus points a game to win this year. With their "o" they just might do that but I doubt it.
2902. sarahjola
2:07 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
hey stormo lay off my boys! they might not be the best but always exciting to watch.
black and gold & purple and gold forever.
i do love my saints, but comment not to be taken seriously. just wanted to put that out there before people start calling me a saintscaster. lol!
Member Since: 10 september 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1294
2901. mikatnight
2:07 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Then there's this from Free (a long time ago)

[Dear Erika]

"Fire and water
must have made you there daughter
you've got what it takes
to make a poor man's heart break
"
Member Since: 18 oktober 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 3052
2900. lurkn4yrs
2:07 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting serialteg:


Hey lurkn!




Hi!
Member Since: 15 augustus 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 90
2899. AWeatherLover
2:06 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
NHC will hold Erika as a TS for the next 12 hours according to their 11:00 update. TS warnings will go up for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. TD in 24 hours.
Member Since: 2 november 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 431
2898. serialteg
2:05 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting lurkn4yrs:
Hi everyone. So what have I missed since earlier this morning.. Besides the usual annoyance..


Hey lurkn!
Member Since: 22 augustus 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
2897. OSUWXGUY
2:07 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting surfsidesindy:


I'm trying my best to make sense of the sheer maps, and to my untrained eye, it looks like if the sheer deviates just a tad, and Erika hangs on and gets past it (HUGE IFs, I know!), she would have clear sailing through 144 hrs?


Hi Surfside...thanks for the question!

Quite honestly...it's hard to know exactly what the shear will be like in the next 48 hours.

The overall pattern shows strong westerlies just north of the islands and generally just north of Erika's probable path. Looking at the NAM model from this morning, there is a chance that shear may be somewhat favorable for a bit of reorganization over the next 24 hours. However, given the closeness of Erika to very high shear - this is a very low confidence forecast.
2896. TheCaneWhisperer
2:05 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
03/1145 UTC 17.5N 62.8W T1.5/1.5 ERIKA -- Atlantic
2895. Chicklit
2:04 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Good morning, Erika.

Glad to see the Leewards getting much needed rain and not a whole lot of wind. You can get too much of a good thing, though!
Member Since: 11 juli 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11423
2893. serialteg
2:03 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
A very pertinent lyric at this time:

Nature is ancient
But surprises us all
Nature is ancient
But surprises us all

Don't try to predict it,
Then you'd offend it,
It's MEANT to surprise

-Bjork


nice nice nice!
Member Since: 22 augustus 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
2892. TampaSpin
2:03 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting Orcasystems:


You have to admit.. some make you laugh.. some make you beat your head against your keyboard.. but its also enlightening and refreshing at times. Everyone starts as a newbie sometime. I would be afraid to go and look at some of my questions from the first year.
Quoting Orcasystems:


Its easier to help people learn if you don't beat them over the head with a stick and make fun of them... go figure..it worked with me.



Nice Spin there Orca......Beat them up first then say its easier to help......BEST POST OF THE DAY!
Member Since: 2 september 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
2891. AllBoardedUp
2:03 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting hurricanehanna:

eat dirt
Quoting serialteg:


:)

I'm used to it... I ask a lot in a Precalculus II class I'm taking, and people laugh at me like I'm an idiot. What they don't know is that I passed the 1st part with a B+, mostly by asking my "dumb questions" and not being afraid to fail.

This other dude yesterday started laughing at me because I said in Chemistry class that chlorine used in Clorox, and yes, Clorox itself in a small proportion, is used to kill bateria in tanks with no water circulation. People actually laughed with him.

:)

I guess when he finds himself on the bad end of a 'cane depending on a stale reserve of water...
What is the quote from Ghandi? "First they laugh at you, then they ignore you, then they fight you, then you win", something along those lines.
Member Since: 25 juli 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 626
2890. serialteg
2:03 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting stormno:
lol erica has about as much of a chance as the SAINTS going to the superbowl...Stormno


storm! you don't watch much football, do you!

saints looked good in preseason... and so did my pack. I just hope they keep it up
Member Since: 22 augustus 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 1988
2889. FLWeatherFreak91
2:04 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
A very pertinent lyric at this time:

Nature is ancient
But surprises us all
Nature is ancient
But surprises us all

Don't try to predict it,
Then you'd offend it,
It's MEANT to surprise

-Bjork
Member Since: 1 december 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3634
2888. keys33070
2:02 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Quoting JadeInAntigua:


Don't think it's "what" he's reporting as much as "how" he's reporting it. Stating opinions (not just facts) as absolutes and laughing at others who may see things differently can be considered by others to be obnoxious. So can all caps and overuse of !!!!.


I don't want to get in the middle of an argument, but Ikes info is pretty accurate. And as far as him stating his opinion -- well so do a lot of us, it keeps the blog fun. I have to say he ( along with a few others) is why I love this blog. If he seems rude at times, I could be wrong, but I do not believe it is intentful, but playful, most of the time.
2887. lurkn4yrs
2:01 PM GMT op 03 september 2009
Hi everyone. So what have I missed since earlier this morning.. Besides the usual annoyance..
Member Since: 15 augustus 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 90

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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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