An early start to hurricane season? And, tornado kills 3 in Missouri

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:38 PM GMT on May 14, 2009

Share this Blog
1
+

The 2009 Atlantic hurricane season may get off to an early start. For the past two days, most of our reliable hurricane forecast models have been predicting the possibility of a subtropical depression forming near Florida or Western Cuba Monday - Thursday next week. An area of disturbed weather associated with a mid- to upper-level trough of low pressure near eastern Cuba and the southeastern Bahama Islands is predicted to slide west-northwest over the next few days. Wind shear over this low, current a prohibitively high 40 knots, is expected to relax to just 10 knots by Monday in the region surrounding Florida. This may allow a disturbance with a surface warm core to develop, according to phase space analyses from Florida State. However, since the upper atmosphere will still be cold, any development of this system will likely be subtropical in nature. If a subtropical storm does form, it may be fairly dry, like Subtropical Storm Andrea of May 2007. This storm ended up fanning fires in Florida, instead of putting them out. Water vapor loops show plenty of dry, continental air in the region, and it will take many days for the atmosphere to moisten enough to support formation of a subtropical depression.


Figure 1. Water vapor image showing moisture from a weak mid- to upper-level low of low pressure over the southeastern Bahama Islands, surrounded by a large area of dry air, and sandwiched between the polar and subtropical jet stream. Image credit: NOAA/SSD.

The GFS and NOGAPS models predict a subtropical depression could form by Tuesday, while the ECMWF shows development later in the week. The latest UKMET model forecast puts development Wednesday or Thursday near Haiti. The area of predicted development is sandwiched in a relatively narrow band of low wind shear between two branches of the jet stream. This is not a typical set-up for formation of a May tropical cyclone. With so much shear and dry air around, I put the probability of a subtropical depression forming next week at about 10%. Any developing system will also have to contend with the arrival Tuesday of a strong upper-level low pressure system that is expected to drop down over the northern Gulf of Mexico. The eventual track of any depression that forms is highly uncertain, and the models support tracks up the U.S. East Coast towards South Carolina, or up the west coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico.

Season's first tropical wave arrives
The season's first tropical wave rolled off the coast of Africa yesterday, and is now located near 10N 20W, a few hundred miles off the coast of Africa, according to total precipitable water loops. Mid-May is a fairly typical time for these waves to begin moving across the Atlantic, though they usually don't start developing into tropical depressions until August. Last year was an exception, when Hurricane Bertha formed from a July tropical wave. Wunderground blogger Weather456 has been tracking the date of the first African wave each year since 2004, and these dates have ranged from May 2 to May 21. With Sea Surface Temperatures near average this year in the tropical Atlantic, an early season major hurricane in the eastern Atlantic like Bertha is unlikely.


Figure 2. The line of severe thunderstorms that spawned the Kirksville, MO tornado.

A wild night in Tornado Alley
Northern Missouri took a hard hit by a powerful tornado last night, when a twister passed through Kirksville, killing three people. The tornado flipped cars and damaged 30 - 40 buildings as it tore through the north end of town. The Storm Prediction Center recorded 23 tornado reports across Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Kansas yesterday.

The Vortex2 field study, the world's largest-ever tornado research project, caught last night's tornado outbreak with its armada of 40 research vehicles and radars. You can read about yesterday's chase on our new featured Vortex2 blog. Our team of University of Michigan students caught some severe thunderstorms, but were forced by darkness to quit before the storms spawned tornadoes.

Portlight/wunderground shirts for sale
The portlight.org disaster relief charity is selling spiffy new shirts sporting the portlight and wunderground logos, to help raise funds for relief operations during the coming hurricane season. I expect that their services will be needed this year, and I encourage you to shell out the $20 to get this fine piece or wunderwear.

I'll have an update on the tropics Friday.
Jeff Masters

V2 Convoy in Canton 2 (Vortex2)
Most of the V2 convoy waited in Canton, OK for initiation.
V2 Convoy in Canton 2

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

Sign In or Register Sign In or Register

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 854 - 804

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21Blog Index

Quoting Drakoen:
GFS 00z:
South Florida landfall to
Southern Mississippi landfall


Then it looks to redevelop it off the east coast and head for maine while developing something else near the yucatan.

I'll believe it when it happens.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
From Dr. Masters's 10 Rules of the Road for his blog. Notice the last three are "No spamming". (Could be a clue that's a no no.) To make it easy for everyone, I enclosed the important phrase.

8. No spamming.
9. No spamming.
10. Seriously, no spamming. Spamming includes but is not limited to, trying to sell products, (((((((trying to solicit traffic for your own blog))))))), trying to solicit traffic for other commercial entities, etc. Do not post links to your own site unless they are directly relevant and even then, use sparingly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GFS 00z:
South Florida landfall to
Southern Mississippi landfall
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31628
Quoting Orcasystems:


Umm I have no idea..I would have to look that term up.. a little to modern for me.


OK, I looked it up.. I sure hope not :(

OK, time for me to crash.. have fun :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Accuweather is forcasting a well-below average hurricane season this year. They believe that the Carribbean will be "cutoff from storms." That really worries me that it might actually become active! Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CatastrophicDL:
Orca, is a SNAG the same thing as a metrosexual? Maybe I'm too old but I don't know the meanings of these terms. :o)


Umm I have no idea..I would have to look that term up.. a little to modern for me.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting vortfix:







Uhh...I don't post a personal website like you continually do.

Quoting vortfix:







Uhh...I don't post a personal website like you continually do.



Not the blog.. I mean his XtremeHurricanes.com website
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GFS 00z track:
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31628
Orca, is a SNAG the same thing as a metrosexual? Maybe I'm too old but I don't know the meanings of these terms. :o)
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
VORT how ya doing friend go easy man i got to have a blog to go to in the am i may not be able to used the docs for 24 hrs or so after tomorrow morning
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 58233
guys
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
where dos it take it??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
00z GFS showing a stronger system on this run.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 31628
Quoting vortfix:



You sound like you are looking for a model reader.

There's a huge difference between a reader and someone who knows weather.

And no...I don't want any part of your site.
I just know how to interpret what will happen.



I am just wondering how many more times he plugs his site before someone in admin notices?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CatastrophicDL:
Okay everyone needs to stop! This kind of drama makes me crave carbs! I get the munchies while I am being thus entertained!

Beach are you still online? Sorry I just caught your post - Does S&I stand for sneaky and impish?

When exactly is this convection over Cuba supposed to move? Maybe if it would move there would be other things to discuss


Sheesh
S&I = Sweet and Innocent
SNAG = Sensitive New Age Guy

Both describe me to a "T" :)
No one could possibly disagree with that?

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Okay everyone needs to stop! This kind of drama makes me crave carbs! I get the munchies while I am being thus entertained!

Beach are you still online? Sorry I just caught your post - Does S&I stand for sneaky and impish?

When exactly is this convection over Cuba supposed to move? Maybe if it would move there would be other things to discuss
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
iam gone see ya all tomorrow in the am
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 58233
wow!!!!,DID ANYONE SEE the Swirling precip east of tampa????,don't think I've ever seen that before!!!Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Blog Refresh
Mirror Site


Daily Area of Interest

Daily Area of Interest #2

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WeatherStudent:


you need to go kumbaya, god bless you blogger, your inmaturaity clearly blinds you


Just stick to weather. Its easier that way. bypass all the other stuff. There are plenty of good posts about weather to make the blog enjoyable.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:


SH/TS :) I think they mean showers and t-storms maybe?


I think so. Either that or someone had the morning SH/TS.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
StormW did his first Update today.....

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:
there sould be one Admin on thie blog at all times

They would run out of admins pretty quick. They would either run away screaming, start laughing maniacally, or commit seppuku.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5908
Quoting CaneWarning:


SH/TS :)


That's it!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The currently in-progress 00Z GFS run begins to develop a surface low in the Florida Straits come early Monday AM (78 hours out) from the mid/upper level disturbance currently over Eastern Cuba. Will be interested to see how the GFS handles the POTENTIAL system during the run.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
there sould be one Admin on thie blog at all times
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
i take no prisoners if you assume i would be passive you have assumed wrong
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 188 Comments: 58233
Quoting HurricaneKing:


What happened this morning?


SH/TS :) I think they mean showers and t-storms maybe?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting melwerle:
798. Ok - on that note, i have to go to sleep...that almost came close to this morning's typo in a weather statement...quite a few of us did a double take.

Night - sweet dreams!@


What happened this morning?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I am supposed to go running at 6 AM. Why am I still awake??? I refuse to let a possible future STD keep me up at night! I'll see you all in the morning.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
oh care it could be a 882mb storm at last it would give some one too talk about then the bickering that gos on this blog
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:


It is an STD so I'm not sure why anyone would get mad! Doesn't NOAA even use that in their advisories?


I think so. I honestly don't remember who it was. Probably some troll.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneKing:


Cough might want to rephrase that. cough.


LOL I just got that...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CycloneOz:
I propose that instead of using June 1st as an arbitrary way to declare that hurricane season is upon us...

...that we use this blog and it's entries as a way to determine that hurricane season has arrived.

From this day forward, 1000 entries into Dr. Masters' blog in a space of less than 12 hours will mean the official start of hurricane season.

We almost made it today, folks. But hey, there's always the next blog! :)


Oz all we need is a few more fights......LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I think cracking 1500 entries in a week should count. We did that a couple of weeks ago.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5908
798. Ok - on that note, i have to go to sleep...that almost came close to this morning's typo in a weather statement...quite a few of us did a double take.

Night - sweet dreams!@
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneKing:


I know what it is. I was just joking with you. A couple years ago someone actually got mad at me for calling a subtropical depression an STD.


It is an STD so I'm not sure why anyone would get mad! Doesn't NOAA even use that in their advisories?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:


STD = Sub Tropical Depression


I know what it is. I was just joking with you. A couple years ago someone actually got mad at me for calling a subtropical depression an STD.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 854 - 804

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Scattered Clouds
74 °F
Scattered Clouds

JeffMasters's Recent Photos

Carrot Nose in Danger
Deep Snow in Brookline, MA
Sunset at Fort DeSoto
New Years Day Sunset in Death Valley