Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tropical Storm Erika (2009)

Storm Active: September 1-3

On August 26, a tropical wave moving off of Africa became associated with a broad area of low pressure south of the Cape Verde Islands, producing shower and thunderstorm activity. However, the cloud cover and organization diminished over the next few days as the system moved west. By August 31, though, the low had regenerated into an organized ball of convection. The system was organized enough to be a tropical storm and had tropical storm force winds, but i still wasn't classified. This was because it lacked a center of circulation. The low was an elongated oval, widest north to south, and a center could have formed anywhere along the oval. During the afternoon of September 1, a center began to for, evident on visible imagery as a point just east of the cloud cover associated with with the system. Therefore, like the previous storm Danny, the system skipped tropical depression status and was upgraded directly to Tropical Storm Erika, with 50 mph winds and a pressure of 1007 millibars. Later that night, the pressure dropped to 1004 millibars and the winds increased to 60 mph, but Erika took a southerly turn and weakened the next morning. By mid-morning, Erika began to interact with the northern Leeward islands of the Caribbean Sea, causing wind and rain. Later on September 2, Erika entered the Caribbean, still maintaining minimal tropical storm winds of 40 mph. Erika struggled westward, its center well west of the convection, similar to Tropical Storm Danny's appearance several days earlier. Erika meandered through the Caribbean for another day, before weakening to a tropical depression south of Puerto Rico on September 3. Overnight, Erika weakened into a remnant low. The next day, the low dissipated. Damage was minimal and no fatalities resulted from Erika.

Erika near peak intensity. Even then, Erika was very disorganized.

Track of Erika.

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