11:30AM Aug 29th from the hurricanecity.com headquarters in Delray Beach,Florida we were anxiously awaiting Erika what first was supposed to be a hurricane impact then lowered to tropical storm now just some rain,so what happened? On my blog from the 26th I discussed the ramifications of Erika tangling with the Greater Antilles along with wind shear could do her in and that is exactly what happened. The models were all over the place with the usual darling ECMWF flopping back and forth between offshore mid atlantic as a strong hurricane to a weak tropical storm coming into South Florida.The global models such as the GFS,CMC,NAVGEM,UKMET were pretty much way off with the exception of the GFS american model which was still off but had more runs than not where it dissipated Erika or kept her very weak.The GFS on 5 day error was roughly 175 miles off whereas the Canadian CMC off by nearly 500 miles @ 5 days. Even the TVCN consensus model which does include the ECMWF data was off by a whopping 260 miles av 5 day error ,intensity wise a range from 20 to 30kts off was common with most reliable models. The National Hurricane Center did a decent job with the exception of continuing to expect a N.W turn which did not happen on several forecast’s and they held steady on a track north of Puerto Rico understandably going with model consensus which none showed a track south of Puerto Rico. If you look at the original NHC advisory with 5 day cone they basically nailed it which is why they preach to look at the whole cone not the just the line down the center. Look where Erika dissipated just S.E of Andros Island compared to the track below and they were not far off even on the timing.. The sad part of Erika’s legacy is the damage inflicted on the island of Dominica with massive flooding and 20 dead at last report where they were never in the cone or issued warnings perhaps a lesson that your location can be affected even outside the cone. All of the islands and cities in the hurricanecity database from this wind swath will indicate a brush or a hit from tropical storm Erika but none of them were in my top 20 to be impacted in 2015. If Erika makes a comeback perhaps some of my cities in Florida could be hit including #1 area Naples to Pt Charlotte but then again we have a long way to go this hurricane season,always be prepared.
As of Wednesday evening the 26th Tropical Storm Erika is moving generally west into a wall of upper level wind shear of 20 to 30kts. So will Erika survive at all much less affect the United States? with all the media hype on the U.S potential you would think this was a done deal but not so fast. The mountains of Hispaniola can disrupt the low level inflow into tropical systems and a system does not need to pass directly over the Dominican Republic to come unraveled. Back in 2000 I remember vividly Hurricane Debby moving through the Northern Leeward Islands just like Erika with a cone of error pointing at South Florida. The darling model at that time GFDL had a potential cat 4 moving into South Florida as per the NHC discussion at that time. NHC discussion on Debby from 5AM Aug 23rd. What ended up happening is Debby moved just north of Hispaniola the NHC discussion from 11AM noted
LEVEL CIRCULATION HAS LIKELY BEEN DISRUPTED BY THE DOWNSLOPE FLOW
OFF THE MOUNTAINS OF HISPANIOLA.
within 24 hrs she would be dead,is the outcome for Erika the same? While I simply will not speculate on any U.S impacts all bets are off unless she survives Hispaniola and if she survives the Bahamas would be next. My #16 pick Great Inagua Bahamas would be in her direct path as a tropical storm if she is further N.E Little San Salvador #15 and potentially after this Great Abaco island #14 for the rest of my picks this year visit Jim’s city predictions so lets see if she survives and then we will talk potential U.S for next week.