Tropical Storm Emily remains weak with roadblocks ahead

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:14 PM GMT on August 02, 2011

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Tropical Storm Emily took a moment to pause this morning, with no forward motion to speak of in the 11am EDT advisory from the National Hurricane Center, who say Emily might have been reorganizing. Emily eventually picked up some speed, and was moving west at 12 mph with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph in the 2pm EDT advisory. Satellite loops suggest that the storm has improved since yesterday, with strong thunderstorm activity surrounding the center of circulation accompanied by moderately strong outflow at higher levels. Recent satellite estimates of circulation show some consolidation at low levels (850mb), but weak circulation at higher levels (500mb). Despite the organized presentation on satellite, Hurricane Hunters found a generally disorganized storm this morning, with multiple potential centers. The lowest pressure that the Hunters found was 1007mb. Wind shear remains strong to the north of the storm, and this feature extends west across Puerto Rico and Hispaniola. Dry air, which has been lingering to the north of the system for the past few days, has begun to wrap around the northwest side of the storm. This, along with high wind shear along its potential track, could delay or prevent further intensification over the life of the storm. Another Hurricane Hunter mission is on its way to Emily now.


Figure 1. Visible satellite of Tropical Storm Emily at 1pm EDT.

Forecast for Tropical Storm Emily
The official forecast for Emily is a track toward the west-northwest over the next day and a half, after which it will make a turn to the northwest, and by Saturday, to the north. Although the National Hurricane Center has been shifting the forecast track to the east over the past few advisories, the U.S. coastline is still within the cone of uncertainty, and if we know something about this storm, it's that the forecast is uncertain. The CMC continues to be the western boundary of the model track forecasts, bringing Emily over Cuba and into the far eastern Gulf of Mexico. Today, on the eastern boundary of potential tracks fall the HWRF and the GFDL, which forecast Emily to cross over Hispaniola on a north-northwest trajectory, skirting the eastern edge of the Bahamas, and turning northeast before ever making connection with the U.S. coast. The Hurricane Center's official track follows the model consensus, and is the most likely track. Today, Emily is not forecast to strengthen into a hurricane within the next five days by the National Hurricane Center nor most of the models. Consensus seems to be that the storm will max out at a moderate to strong tropical cyclone, but this is assuming the storm can survive the wrath of Hispaniola.

Surviving Hispaniola

Hispaniola is somewhat notorious for being a major disruptor to tropical cyclones that dare cross over it. Since 1950, around two dozen tropical cyclones have crossed Hispaniola near where the National Hurricane Center is forecasting that Emily will pass over. A handful of these cyclones were of similar intensity with a track that was similar to Emily's forecast by various models, and although some went on to intensify (the warm Gulf of Mexico waters can be quite healing) many were fatally disrupted by the second largest island in the Caribbean.


Figure 2. Tropical cyclones that have crossed Hispaniola since 1950 (plotted using the NOAA Historical Hurricane Tracker).

Fay of 2008 developed in the Mona Passage on August 15th as a tropical storm. After a rough track westward over the length of Hispaniola, Fay emerged back into open water with little to no organized circulation, but managed to survive, and skirted the southern coast of Cuba for the next couple of days before turning north toward Florida. Many remember 2008's Fay as the storm that intensified and developed an eye-like feature over Florida after making landfall.

Cindy of 1993 was not as lucky in a battle with Hispaniola. Cindy developed as a tropical depression just east of the Lesser Antilles, and over the course of two days, tracked west-northwest through the Caribbean toward Hispaniola, strengthening into a tropical storm and reaching peak intensity just before landfall. Almost immediately upon landfall in the Dominican Republic, Tropical Storm Cindy deteriorated and the National Hurricane Center stopped issuing advisories on the system.

Emily of 1987 developed well east of the Lesser Antilles in late September and tracked northwest into the Caribbean, where it underwent a period of rapid intensification and was upgraded to a hurricane and then a major hurricane (category 3) just before landfall in the Dominican Republic. As the hurricane approached Hispaniola, it began deteriorating, and within 12 hours of landfall, Emily had weakened to a tropical storm and never regained its strength. Emily then took a turn to the northeast and tracked into the open Atlantic. Hurricane Katie of 1955 had a similar fate.

Angela

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puerto rico going to get nailed tonight with heavy rain
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stormpetrol: You said: "Emily pulling NW moving N of forcast points!"
I agree with you
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Quoting Twinkster:


anything is possible we will find out when recon gets there but what you see is common with strengthening systems




Thanks Twinkster. I am a long time lurker just trying to learn and understanding these fancinating yet destructive storms.


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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The NHC's forecast cone released in the first advisory (7:30p.m EDT) is below and is overlaid with Emily's location as of the 5p.m EDT advisory released about 75 minutes ago:


hmm please can you do that with the one in the morn and the one at 11am thanks

Quoting CybrTeddy:
Emily still having problems with its core.


and because of that I expect will very slowly get stronger and move further and further west
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Emily pulling NW moving N of forcast points!
i thought the same but its th convection blowing up over the northern part of the circulation, the center is a tad south of there
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1050. HarryMc
Quoting weatherjr:
Almost everyone (if not all) people in the blog like hurricanes. They wish the cyclones pass over their/her houses. I am not the exception. I lije them, but I am realist. I observe weather since my childhood. I enjoy the bad weather so much. It alleviates my everyday depressions.


OK. I happen to dread hurricanes. I have to respond to and meet with and help people who survive them. A thunderstorm is one thing... a major hurricane or tornado is something else. Maybe don't wish it on yourself....
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Quoting stormpetrol:
Emily pulling NW moving N of forcast points!

Looks to be moving due west to me. with maybe a tad to the north but not by much
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Quoting Gearsts:
Yea interesting, is the center in the middle of the convection ball?



yes
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115352
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Seflhurricane, Recon already back in St croix
someone wrote on here they were going to take off at around 7Pm today and around 2 am tonight
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1046. Gearsts
Quoting stormpetrol:
Emily pulling NW moving N of forcast points!
Yea interesting, is the center in the middle of the convection ball?
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Quoting cat5hurricane:

She's further west; however, the doesn't indicate or mean that she will travel further west for the next 96 hours. And I know you weren't implying that either.

The steering mechanism will be much more in place that will eventually kick her out a few hundred miles east of the FL peninsula. Just me thinking though.
She is more south than the track not west. Actully she is behind the track westward.
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Quoting Tazmanian:



why are you posting a map that is 1 day old?


if you read the whole post, you will know.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Almost everyone (if not all) people in the blog like hurricanes. They wish the cyclones pass over their/her houses. I am not the exception. I lije them, but I am realist. I observe weather since my childhood. I enjoy the bad weather so much. It alleviates my everyday depressions.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1041. HarryMc
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The NHC's forecast cone released in the first advisory (7:30p.m EDT) is below and is overlaid with Emily's location as of the 5p.m EDT advisory released about 75 minutes ago:



??? All I get is the 5PM advisory, not quite like that graphic.
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Emily pulling NW moving N of forcast points!
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Quoting tiggeriffic:


ok...now i am completely confused...if Emily is SOUTH of where they predicted, then why did they shift the track to the right?
they go by the models and other factors
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Quoting Tazmanian:



why are you posting a map that is 1 day old?



to show that emily's position is within cone
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Seflhurricane, Recon already back in St croix
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting cloudburst2011:
emily is really looking shabby never got her act together the dry air and shear continue to disrupt systems that come off the african coast...this is not going to be a good year for the cv season as ong as the sal is present...
What are you talking about she looks great! She is not doing that good inside though.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
1st time i seen this for the E PAC


000
ABPZ20 KNHC 022059
TWOEP

SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM PDT TUE AUG 2 2011

SPECIAL OUTLOOK TO UPDATE DISCUSSION OF THE SYSTEM LOCATED SOUTH OF
PUERTO ANGEL MEXICO.

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON HURRICANE
EUGENE...LOCATED ABOUT 535 MILES SOUTHWEST OF MANZANILLO MEXICO.

UPDATED...SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATES THAT THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE
LOCATED ABOUT 130 MILES SOUTH OF PUERTO ANGEL MEXICO HAS BECOME
BETTER ORGANIZED OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS. CONDITIONS APPEAR
FAVORABLE FOR CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM...AND A TROPICAL
DEPRESSION COULD FORM TONIGHT OR WEDNESDAY. THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH
CHANCE...70 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AT 5 TO 10 MPH








97E this got bump too 70%



Lets see if this becomes the 6th hurricane in a row for the eastern pacific, will be quite the unprecedented event there.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The NHC's forecast cone released in the first advisory (7:30p.m EDT) is below and is overlaid with Emily's location as of the 5p.m EDT advisory released about 75 minutes ago:


She's further west; however, the doesn't indicate or mean that she will travel further west for the next 96 hours. And I know you weren't implying that either.

The steering mechanism will be much more in place that will eventually kick her out a few hundred miles east of the FL peninsula. Just me thinking though.
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Quoting bocahurricane:


anything is possible we will find out when recon gets there but what you see is common with strengthening systems
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The NHC's forecast cone released in the first advisory (7:30p.m EDT) is below and is overlaid with Emily's location as of the 5p.m EDT advisory released about 75 minutes ago:



ok...now i am completely confused...if Emily is SOUTH of where they predicted, then why did they shift the track to the right?
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1029. beell
Trough

click for loop
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The NHC's forecast cone released in the first advisory (7:30p.m EDT) is below and is overlaid with Emily's location as of the 5p.m EDT advisory released about 75 minutes ago:




why are you posting a map that is 1 day old?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115352
Emily still having problems with its core.
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Quoting Twinkster:


nope just expansion of convection. Surprised all this convection with such a dry atmosphere around it

but according to the NHC the center keeps relocating itself so it is possible isn't it?
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1024. BrandiQ
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The NHC's forecast cone released in the first advisory (7:30p.m EDT) is below and is overlaid with Emily's location as of the 5p.m EDT advisory released about 75 minutes ago:



But they have moved the cone east... since they one atleast...
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emily is really looking shabby never got her act together the dry air and shear continue to disrupt systems that come off the african coast...this is not going to be a good year for the cv season as ong as the sal is present...
Member Since: June 24, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 896
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
The NHC's forecast cone released in the first advisory (7:30p.m EDT) is below and is overlaid with Emily's location as of the 5p.m EDT advisory released about 75 minutes ago:



Despite that, the NHC track has shifted right, kinda funny isn't it?
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Quoting BrandiQ:


What time should it get to Emily. I get out of work at 8PM and was hoping to be able to Google Earth it tonight...
suppose to be around 7Pm
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1st time i seen this for the E PAC


000
ABPZ20 KNHC 022059
TWOEP

SPECIAL TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM PDT TUE AUG 2 2011

SPECIAL OUTLOOK TO UPDATE DISCUSSION OF THE SYSTEM LOCATED SOUTH OF
PUERTO ANGEL MEXICO.

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON HURRICANE
EUGENE...LOCATED ABOUT 535 MILES SOUTHWEST OF MANZANILLO MEXICO.

UPDATED...SATELLITE IMAGERY INDICATES THAT THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE
LOCATED ABOUT 130 MILES SOUTH OF PUERTO ANGEL MEXICO HAS BECOME
BETTER ORGANIZED OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS. CONDITIONS APPEAR
FAVORABLE FOR CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM...AND A TROPICAL
DEPRESSION COULD FORM TONIGHT OR WEDNESDAY. THIS SYSTEM HAS A HIGH
CHANCE...70 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES WESTWARD AT 5 TO 10 MPH








97E this got bump too 70%
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115352
1019. pau143
thank you all
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Many people from the blog are not posting now because they are frustrated with the last forecast that put the storm out to sea (do not reach their coastal areas)
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The NHC's forecast cone released in the first advisory (7:30p.m EDT) is below and is overlaid with Emily's location as of the 5p.m EDT advisory released about 75 minutes ago:

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Emily strenghtening according to sat estimates:
CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.5 / 995.4mb/ 55.0kt

so NHC would go conservative and say 60 mph or so with 1002 ro 1003.

Though recon will confirm, Later

Really, 995, isnt that more in line with a borderline hurricane like a 70 mph tropical storm, not 55-60 mph.
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1015. HarryMc
Quoting pau143:
newbie here! can any one tell me what model has the highest accuracy. thanks


Depends on the storm, the day of the week, how the stars are aligned, and which one agrees with what you want. Actually, GFS is free and very good, SHIPS is good, NAM is good... in other words, they are all pretty good and just agree to disagree. Human interpretation of all is still needed.
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Quoting pau143:
newbie here! can any one tell me what model has the highest accuracy. thanks

Can never go wrong with the good old GFS.
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Emily could be another Hortense for Puerto Rico (not very sure but consider that)
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Quoting leelee75k:
tornado in broward, simply crazy!! I'm literally two intersections south of McNab and University!! Very rare occurrence today.


tornadoes are not rare in Broward county, just thought I'd let you know. They don't occur all the time, but they aren't rare.
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1011. jonelu
Quoting Walshy:
TAMARAC, Fla. (CBS4)
sheesh! Thats not very common in my neck of the woods.
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1010. BrandiQ
Quoting Seflhurricane:
Recon should be leaving soon


What time should it get to Emily. I get out of work at 8PM and was hoping to be able to Google Earth it tonight...
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1009. pau143
newbie here! can any one tell me what model has the highest accuracy. thanks
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If in effect Emily is gaining strength then trouble for Puerto Rico
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Quoting DestinJeff:


Actual facts are useless here. You are wise to leave them behind in favor of wild conjecture.


you just made that up!
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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.