New Caribbean disturbance 93L a major concern; flooding in Asia kills over 200

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:50 PM GMT on June 21, 2010

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A concentrated region of intense thunderstorms associated with a tropical wave has developed in the central Caribbean, a few hundred miles south of Puerto Rico. This disturbance was designated Invest 93L by NHC this morning, and has the best chance to become Tropical Storm Alex of any system we've seen so far this year. The disturbance is located near Buoy 42059, and this buoy has been reporting winds of 5 - 15 knots this morning. So far, pressures are not falling. Water vapor satellite loops show that 93L is embedded in a large region of moist air. Some dry continental air from North America is over the western Caribbean, but this dry air is too far away to interfere with development today and Tuesday. Wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots. The high wind shear associated with the strong winds of the subtropical jet stream are over the northern Caribbean, too far north to interfere with development. Sea Surface Temperatures are plenty warm, a record 29 - 30°C. The Madden-Julian oscillation currently favors upward motion over the Caribbean, which will act to increase the chances of tropical storm formation this week. The Madden-Julian oscillation is a pattern of enhanced rainfall that travels along the Equator from west to east. The pattern has a wet phase with large-scale rising air and enhanced thunderstorm activity, followed by a dry phase with large-scale sinking air and suppressed thunderstorm activity. Each cycle lasts approximately 30 - 60 days. When the Madden-Julian oscillation is in its wet phase over a hurricane-prone region, the chances for tropical storm activity are greatly increased. The only negative for 93L would seem to be the lack of spin; the University of Wisconsin 850 mb relative vorticity analysis is showing only meager amounts of spin at 850 mb (roughly 5,000 feet in altitude.)


Figure 1. Morning visible satellite image of the central Caribbean disturbance 93L.

Forecast for 93L
NHC is giving 93L a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday morning, which is a reasonable forecast. With wind shear expected to drop to low values less than 10 knots over the central and western Caribbean this week (Figure 2), I don't see any major impediments to the storm becoming a tropical depression by Friday. The ECMWF model is the most aggressive in developing this system, taking it into the Gulf of Mexico as a hurricane next week. The NOGAPS model keeps the storm weak and farther south, predicting that 93L will bring heavy rains to northern Honduras as a tropical disturbance or tropical depression on Friday and Saturday. The GFS model does not develop 93L. Expect 93L to bring flooding rains of 3 - 6 inches to Jamaica, eastern Cuba, and extreme southwestern Haiti on Wednesday. These rains will spread to the Cayman Islands and central Cuba by Thursday.


Figure 2. Predicted wind shear for Friday, June 25, as forecast by this morning's 2am EDT run of the GFS model. Shear is given in meters per second; multiply by about two to convert to knots. Low wind shear values less than 6 m/s (12 knots) are predicted for much of the Western Caribbean this week.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The tropical wave (92L) that brought heavy rains of 2 - 5 inches to Puerto Rico on Saturday has weakened and is no longer a threat to bring flooding rains to the Caribbean.

Floods in China and Burma kill over 200
The deadliest and most destructive weather-related disaster on the planet so far this year is occurring in southern China and northern Burma, where a week of heavy rains has caused flooding that has claimed over 200 lives. The death toll stands at 175 in China and 63 in Burma, with more than 100 people still missing in China. Damage so far in China has been estimated at $4.3 billion.


Figure 3. Tree branches hung on a bridge at Taining County, southeast China's Fujian Province, June 19, 2010. Taining recorded 225 mm (9 inches) of rain in six hours on Friday. Image credit: Xinhua/Jiang Kehong.

Montana tornado rips roof off entertainment complex
A EF-2 tornado with winds of at least 100 mph ripped the roof of an entertainment complex in Billings, Montana on Sunday, causing up to $15 million in damage. No injuries were reported. It was the strongest tornado to hit the Billings area since 1958.


Figure 4. Video of the Billings tornado shows an impressive debris cloud (and a few expletives not deleted!) The clear slot on the right of the tornado is likely associated with the parent thunderstorm's rear flank downdraft.

Wind and ocean current forecast for the BP oil disaster
Southeast to east winds less than 10 knots will blow in the northern Gulf of Mexico today through Friday, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. The resulting weak ocean currents should cause little motion of the oil slick, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. The long range outlook is uncertain, as the tropical wave over the central Caribbean could enter the Gulf of Mexico early next week and develop into a tropical storm.

Resources for the BP oil disaster
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
NOAA's interactive mapping tool allows one to overlay wind and ocean current forecasts, oil locations, etc.
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

Jeff Masters

Billings, MT tornado (StormTeam)
Photo taken from approx. 5-6 miles east. Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8429C0-LSlo
Billings, MT tornado

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3078. pottery
Quoting Drakoen:


Yes

I did not know that.
Impressed.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting taco2me61:
OMG I remember that too.... LMAO

Taco :o)

Haha, as do I! I doesn't seem like that long ago either. I can't believe that I've been on the blogs for four years now!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WPBHurricane05:
Oh my, thelmores is back making faces in the clouds. Flashbacks.....

Wait...thelmores is not the one with that avatar last year of that black guy's face on a rainbow image of a storm system?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3074. Patrap
Mmm. Mmm.
Memories, light the corners of my mind
Misty watercolor memories of the way we were.
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
smiles we give to one another
for the way we were.
Can it be that it was all so simple then
or has time rewritten every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
tell me would we? Could we?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129424
Quoting pottery:

I dont think so.

Oh, yes, it really is.
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3072. Skyepony (Mod)
I'm so grateful to those like RyanFSU that are doing the research, spending their work day at it.

Who's the one that makes us the cool red sat maps at LSU? Comes in once in a blue moon & says here's a link to the new toys I made you..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I want to be a MET, but I'm also trying to pursue a career in music. I write and compose music for the fun of it. I am very passionate in both subjects.
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YAWN



can we get back 93L Plz
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115437
3069. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


I'm pretty sure Atmo Sciences doesn't involve nearly as much weather forecasting as an actual Meteorology degree...which is the thing that makes me sad that I'm getting stuck with it.


That is true.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30706
Quoting Houstonia:


Not that I can tell... oh well! :-)

What question?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3067. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:


I was thinking the same thing. I wish he would post here more often.


I do too. Would be amazing to actually correspond with him. I'd like to know more about his ideas that this Atlantic hurricane season will be near-average.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26698
For anyone interested...

http://moe.met.fsu.edu/tcgengifs/

CMC, GFDL, GFS, HWRF, NOGAPS, etc.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting thelmores:


I try to liven things up a bit, just don't tell me I am wrong! LOL

Glad to see all the old timers, and a nice batch of newcomers as well.

Lots of great memories in this blog......like this one!

Seagulls

Ahhhh..... the good ole days! LOL
OMG I remember that too.... LMAO

Taco :o)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3064. pottery
Quoting Levi32:
So RyanFSU is actually Ryan Maue PhD?

I dont think so.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ElConando:


Very nice, as long as you aren't a WEATHER STUDENT ;)


Haha good one
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


I'm pretty sure Atmo Sciences doesn't involve nearly as much weather prediction as an actual Meteorology degree...which is the thing that makes me sad that I'm getting stuck with it.

If the label effectively describes the program, yeah, more theory, less application of it. Some of the application, well, you're here, right?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


I'm pretty sure Atmo Sciences doesn't involve nearly as much weather prediction as an actual Meteorology degree...which is the thing that makes me sad that I'm getting stuck with it.

Well here at A&M, it fulfills all of the criteria to obtain a job at the NWS, so I don't really see much of a difference. That just might be at my University though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3060. Levi32
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Get a scohlorship levie.Maybe some schools outside of alaska will except you.


You'd be amazed how small a scholarship is now compared to the full tuition....it's pitiful. I tried already to get into Penn State this year and failed to get enough scholarships.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26698
3059. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:


Wow....what a treat and a compliment to have him on here. He's highly respected.


I was thinking the same thing. I wish he would post here more often.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30706
Quoting louisianaboy444:
I'm a Met student...junior classification getting a degree in Atmospheric Science


Very nice, as long as you aren't a WEATHER STUDENT ;)
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Quoting Levi32:
All this talk of METs....would a degree in Atmospheric Sciences count? Because that's what I'm going to get stuck with if I'm forced to stay here in Alaska, which I likely will.
Get a scohlorship levie.Maybe some schools outside of alaska will except you.
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3055. Levi32
Quoting Drakoen:


Yes


Wow....what a treat and a compliment to have him on here. He's highly respected.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26698
Quoting Drakoen:



Yes it will most definitely. I think that's what Atmo has from Texas AMU... If I remember corrrectly :)

That's what most of the schools have moved to...at least those that aren't interested in providing only a short degree plan mixed with journalism.
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img src="http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/eumet/eatl/ir4-l.jpg" alt="" /
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3052. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:
So RyanFSU is actually Ryan Maue PhD?


Yes
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30706
3051. Levi32
Quoting 1900hurricane:

Which is the same thing I'm going for right now! Thanks and Gig' Em.


I'm pretty sure Atmo Sciences doesn't involve nearly as much weather forecasting as an actual Meteorology degree...which is the thing that makes me sad that I'm getting stuck with it.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26698
Quoting reedzone:


Well it's the truth unfortunately. I've runned into very snobby METS on here as well. They call people like MiamiHurricanes09, who is only 13 and very bright for his age, a wishcaster for just showing his opinion on a potential storm. Tampaspin has been attacked on here to, it's like if we differ on opinions, we are wishcasting noobs. This is a weather forum and we are free to express our opinions. I know I make some bad calls on some storms, but I am right with others. It's all in the matter of the pattern.


I'm only 15... Thanks for clearing that up.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Houstonia:


Not that I can tell... oh well! :-)
ok here you go.... Any storm at a cat2 or above they close all rigs in the GOM thats in the path of a storm....

Taco :o)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3048. Grothar
Quoting Houstonia:

I met Stephen Stills and Graham Nash in an elevator once. Does that count? :-)



Only if Crosby and Young were with them. Did you talk to them?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting thelmores:


I try to liven things up a bit, just don't tell me I am wrong! LOL

Glad to see all the old timers, and a nice batch of newcomers as well.

Lots of great memories in this blog......like this one!

Seagulls

Ahhhh..... the good ole days! LOL

me too i like the clam beofre the storm where all the old timers talk than a storm comes and we have to deal with all the newbies and trolls
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm a Met student...junior classification getting a degree in Atmospheric Science
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3045. Skyepony (Mod)
I've got to agree with MechEngMet.. We all lived through the same Calculus, Chemistry & Physics & that says alot. I'm amazed the difference of the technology from the mid 1990s..wow~ tracking birds on radar, just evolved beyond DOS compared to the tools & knowledge of today. What I've learned here & there since is a wealth more than had I took the last few classes & become a degreed Met.
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3044. Levi32
So RyanFSU is actually Ryan Maue PhD?
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26698
I'm in Northern Illinois in my basement with tornado sirens going off. Any reports of tornadoes in this area.
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Quoting txtornado:
i got a serious question. i see on some of the models, 200mb, 500mb, 850mb and i realize now that these are heights. is there a table available that will convert these for me? i just recently learned that these are heights. anyone?

Well, there is a standard atmosphere height...but beware that there are no hard and fast rules about height vs. altitude.

Go here, second table, mid way down the page. N/m2 divide by 100 = millibars.
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/standard-atmosphere-d_604.html
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What about GulfScotsman, he come around anymore?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting taco2me61:
Just wondering did you ever get your answer you were asking about 300 pages ago????

Taco :o)


Not that I can tell... oh well! :-)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:



LOL yes it will most definitely. I think that's what Atmo has from Texas AMU... If I remember corrrectly :)

Which is the same thing I'm going for right now! Thanks and Gig' Em.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting galvestonhurricane:


That was a pretty tacky comment...


Well it's the truth unfortunately. I've runned into very snobby METS on here as well. They call people like MiamiHurricanes09, who is only 13 and very bright for his age, a wishcaster for just showing his opinion on a potential storm. Tampaspin has been attacked on here to, it's like if we differ on opinions, we are wishcasting noobs. This is a weather forum and we are free to express our opinions. I know I make some bad calls on some storms, but I am right with others. It's all in the matter of the pattern.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Houstonia:

I met Stephen Stills and Graham Nash in an elevator once. Does that count? :-)

Just wondering did you ever get your answer you were asking about 300 pages ago????

Taco :o)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3035. Grothar
Quoting thelmores:
I have a degree from Redneck art school...... does that count? :D


As long as you have paintings of Elvis on black velvet, you're OK in my book. Funny post.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
What's Ryan's handle here?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3033. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:
All this talk of METs....would a degree in Atmospheric Sciences count? Because that's what I'm going to get stuck with if I'm forced to stay here in Alaska, which I likely will.



Yes it will most definitely. I think that's what Atmo has from Texas AMU... If I remember corrrectly :)
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30706
Quoting Acemmett90:

lol this made me laugh


I try to liven things up a bit, just don't tell me I am wrong! LOL

Glad to see all the old timers, and a nice batch of newcomers as well.

Lots of great memories in this blog......like this one!

Seagulls

Ahhhh..... the good ole days! LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StormW:


Sorry Korie...it was just in reference to what Skye had posted about the upper level anticyclone favoring the area east of the Antilles...the shear forecast maps have been consistent now in 4 runs of it moving back to the west and following 93L.


Correct. That's all the more reason to expect 93L to remain dominant, though I still see some moisture ultimately getting entrained into 93L, assisting in development.
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Quoting thelmores:


You knew it was only a matter of time! LOL

OMG help us! Oh wait, that's not a real map. Bustin out LOL!
Member Since: June 10, 2010 Posts: 6 Comments: 589

I met Stephen Stills and Graham Nash in an elevator once. Does that count? :-)

Quoting connie1976:
I wonder how many people here are actually mets.. I could say that I am....but it doesn't mean that I am....lol...
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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.

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