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Azores #96L fails to complete transition into a Sub-Tropical Storm. Elsewhere, weak low pressure in Caribbean may linger into next week.
Days since last H. Landfall - US: Any 41 (Nate) , Major: 59 (Maria) Florida - Any: 69 (Irma) Major: 69 (Irma)
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Ed DunhamAdministrator
Former Meteorologist & CFHC Forum Moderator (Ed Passed Away on May 14, 2017)


Reged: Sun
Posts: 2565
Loc: Melbourne, FL
The Erika Enigma
      #95763 - Thu Aug 27 2015 05:57 PM

At 27/17Z, TS Erika was located at 16.5N 63.5W and at 27/19Z Erika was located at 16.6N 63.6W - pretty much a dead stop, i.e., slow drift to the northwest, however at 27/21Z the center was located at 16.8N 63.8W - still moving to the northwest but the forward speed is increasing. With convection displaced to the southeast, positions were easy to determine based on the exposed, but still well formed, LLCC. As noted elsewhere, convection was firing on the eastern edge of the center but it is now firing over most of the center and the displacement continues to the east and southeast.

Over the past couple of days the forecast models have been of very little help in determining both the future intensity and the forecast track of this sheared tropical cyclone - both the early and the long range models have been all over the place with this system. Some of this erratic model output has surfaced in the NHC forecast which at times has seemed to be just as erratic, but if you live by the model.... To be fair, they have to come up with something every six hours whereas we have no such requirement.

When dealing with the tropics there are times (frequent times actually) when persistence is not only the best solution but often the only realistic solution so before I chastise the NHC too harshly I'll wait awhile and see how this all plays out. When forecasting hurricanes, the hardest thing to do is to have patience - when something is expected to happen but it doesn't, if you force yourself to wait a little longer the event that you expected, i.e., a turn to the northwest or something like that, eventually will. In other words the forecast idea was generally pretty good, but the timing was off.

Where is Erika likely to go - and will Erika survive to do it? Right now there are many options and all of them are realistic based on where the tropical cyclone is and what the environment looks like and how that environment is expected to evolve. Erika could get sheared apart and become an open wave. Erika could hit Puerto Rico and fall apart or survive and just miss Hispaniola. Erika could hit Hispaniola and end the storm track. Which one is the likely solution? Right now I have no firm idea - so I'll be patient for a little while longer. At Erika's current speed I certainly have enough time to do that. Erika still has to deal with a significant amount of windshear but, since the shear is primarily in the upper levels of the atmosphere, the system has been dealing with the shear rather well so far and it will probably continue to do so as long as the LLCC remains intact.
ED


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