Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Morning Tropical Update: Erika Loosing Steam

Good morning again everyone. Wanted to give you all an update on tropical storm Erika based on latest model guidance. The good news is model trends overnight have shifted the track of Erika more westward. This is key as the storm now runs into a very hostile environment in terms of gaining any strength. There are two reasons why this westward track does this. For one, it now is going to travel directly over terrain of the Caribbean which will cut off a lot of its development the warm ocean is providing. Secondly, it is going to run into a lot of upper level wind shear. Just think of this as fast winds that cut off rising air from developing into strong thunderstorms- a key ingredient for any tropical system. 

So lets take a look at the updated NHC track..

You can see a clear shift west from yesterday. Notice the land it is traveling over now. This relates to the latest model spread which is also further west..

Based on the projected paths of those models above, most of them would be taking this directly into upper level wind sheer as seen below by the orange colors to the west of the low center..

The key yesterday was that models were projecting this storm would turn more north and avoid most of this shear. Now it looks to be running literally into a brick wall.

IF this guidance holds, the end result might be nothing more than this..

Nothing to impressive there. Yes it would bring rain early next week to Fl, but not anything to write home about. 

To summarize, this situation still needs to be monitored. You guys can now see the difference one day can make on the evolution of this. I think we will have a better handle on this by tomorrow. IF last nights trends continue then we can close the book on Erika. I am not ready to make that call yet however. 

Stay tuned!


  1. Oh well . . . NHC discussion for 930 AM Saturday: "Surface observations from Cuba, satellite imagery, and reports from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that Erika has degenerated into a trough of low pressure, with the remnants of the center located near the north coast of eastern Cuba . . . The dynamical models suggests that the current strong wind shear could relax by the time the system reaches the Gulf of Mexico, and there is a possibility that Erika could regenerate."

    But even if not . . . there's 99L off of Cape Verde, with >50% chance of tropical storm development; some models have it pointed due west into the "main development region" for the Atlantic.

    Erika was interesting to watch on the radar sequence runs -- it was a real shape-shifter, throwing off vortexes north and south. Was often hard to figure which one was still the center of circulation. But for now, there is no "COC". It never really got all that well organized, never looked anything like those monsters currently out in the Pacific. But it was still a deadly storm that took lives, and the Gulf Coast is still gonna get really wet. Jim G

    1. Hey Jim, missed your note. Erika was interesting. I think by just looking at the upper level maps it looked like it was going to have a tough go from the start. The models however kept initially insisting it was going to survive the shear and strengthen. Lets hope these models do a better job in the winter! I will say however the Euro was the best performing in my opinion.

      This next system Fred looks like it will just curve to the north, but hey at least its something to watch. Whats even cooler are those 3 typhoons out in the pacific. You don't see that too often at the same time.