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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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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3027. 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.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
3026. Grothar
Quoting atmoaggie:

Oh, that was the bonus round guy I couldn't quite remember...wasn't one of the 6 I mentioned the first time.


YO!
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Quoting MechEngMet:
BSME here with 18 hrs toward MSME. Pvt Pilot and FAA A&P. 20+ yrs in the Engineering profession. Not a degreed Met but we all took the same physics, chemistry and calculus.

Been into the tropics since I was a child. Betsey put a foot of water in the house when I was only a year old (that dates me). My parents hung the crib from the ceiling. Spent most of my life in 70126, 70122, and post Katrina 70002. Been through most of the south LA storms. I lurk mostly, but learn much here. I appreciate all the info and education available here.

Thank you all

Well, hey there from 70433.
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Quoting futuremet:


Indeed.

i second that
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Quoting reedzone:
I'm not a MET. I almost never wanted to become one after a certain MET pulled his crap on the other website (flhurricane). He showed me how snobby and selfish *some* METS can be, and I didn't want to be like that. I'm a caring person, I predict what I can. I can be right on the nail, or wayy off. You live and learn as life goes on. No one is smarter or less smarter as the average person, we are all the same. When I become a MET over the next few years, I will never be snobby, always think I'm right, ignore people who I disagree with, and call people noobs. I will respect everyones opinions.


That was a pretty tacky comment...
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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?
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Quoting Chucktown:
Don't forget me Atmo - BS in Meteorology from Millersville - doing the TV thang here in Charleston

Dang, sorry, Chuck! How could I ...
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Ummm, then more than what you agree to do qualify. Haboobs has a BS (I think) from PSU.
secret old guy is supremely qualified and experienced (I think). txag91met has a BS (I think). I have a BS (I think) and AMS membership (I think).
(a collection of not so vocal mets, it seems)

But, really, this is moot. A number of posters in here have picked up so much from each other and through self-directed study that they can rival, and in some cases, exceed, the knowledge and understanding of an average met with a BS...yourself belongs on the short list of exceedingly knowledgeable not-yet-degreed mets.


Indeed.
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3018. Drakoen
Quoting Grothar:


And what is your opinion of the WMO? Don't they count? LOL


Yes they do.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30614
3017. xcool
lol rob
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Don't forget me Atmo - BS in Meteorology from Millersville - doing the TV thang here in Charleston
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3015. Grothar
Quoting Drakoen:


Lol sorry. I don't consider having a degree in environmental science being a meteorologist.

I consider someone a meteorologist who has their bachelors degree or higher in Meteorology. I do respect the AMS/NWA certifications though.


And what is your opinion of the WMO? Don't they count? LOL
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Quoting btwntx08:
tonights gonna be a good night lol so with that im hungry bb in a while lol

yah i know hows life dude, as we wait for d-max
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3013. Drakoen
Quoting SouthALWX:

I concur. The term is strict because the coursework is rigorous. Calculus, Calculus based Physics, and then the MET core. It's hard and those that do it deserve the differentiation and title.


You are absolutely correct.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30614
tonights gonna be a good night lol so with that im hungry bb in a while lol
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Quoting thelmores:
I have a degree from Redneck art school...... does that count? :D

lol this made me laugh
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I spy 3 more trouble makers, one for sure

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3009. Drakoen
Quoting atmoaggie:

Ummm, then more than what you agree to qualify. Haboobs has a BS (I think) from PSU.
secret old guy is supremely qualified and experienced (I think). txag91met has a BS (I think). I have a BS (I think) and AMS membership (I think).
(a collection of not so vocal mets, it seems)

But, really, this is moot. A number of posters in here have picked up so much from each other and through self-directed study that they can rival, and in some cases, exceed, the knowledge and understanding of an average met with a BS...yourself belongs on the short list of exceedingly knowledgeable not-yet-degreed mets.


I am not sure about Haboobs or txag91met personally.
I knew your were on that list though... lol
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30614
Quoting Drakoen:
Atmo why didn't you put yourself on the list?

Oh, that was the bonus round guy I couldn't quite remember...wasn't one of the 6 I mentioned the first time.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thelmores (post #2978)- WU wouldn't be the same without you. As always - love the graphics.

RobertM320 - you nailed it with post # 2957. Like the old saying - "you live, you learn".

If everybody was perfect we would all be stupid. You only get smarter by making mistakes and learning from them.
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Quoting Levi32:
Evening, all.


Hey Levi.
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I have a degree from Redneck art school...... does that count? :D
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'm not a MET. I almost never wanted to become one after a certain MET pulled his crap on the other website (flhurricane). He showed me how snobby and selfish *some* METS can be, and I didn't want to be like that. I'm a caring person, I predict what I can. I can be right on the nail, or wayy off. You live and learn as life goes on. No one is smarter or less smarter as the average person, we are all the same. When I become a MET over the next few years, I will never be snobby, always think I'm right, ignore people who I disagree with, and call people noobs. I will respect everyones opinions.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
StormW, i understand what an Anti-cyclone does to help in development...but, what are the outlining factors that an Anti above LOW PRESSURE does exactly!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20448
Good morning from across the Pond; sun is just coming up here in the UK.

What've I missed? Seen that NHC has moved 93L up to 50%, assuming that the convection is sorting itself out? How's the wave behind it looking as well?
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3000 posts! omg
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Quoting Grothar:
Can't wait to see the blog next week. Tonight was just a practice run.



This is the area I was noticing as well :)
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Quoting Drakoen:


Lol sorry. I don't consider having a degree in environmental science being a meteorologist.

I consider someone a meteorologist who has their bachelors degree or higher in Meteorology. I do respect the AMS/NWA certifications though.

Ummm, then more than what you agree to do qualify. Haboobs has a BS (I think) from PSU.
secret old guy is supremely qualified and experienced (I think). txag91met has a BS (I think). I have a BS (I think) and AMS membership (I think).
(a collection of not so vocal mets, it seems)

But, really, this is moot. A number of posters in here have picked up so much from each other and through self-directed study that they can rival, and in some cases, exceed, the knowledge and understanding of an average met with a BS...yourself belongs on the short list of exceedingly knowledgeable not-yet-degreed mets.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2998. xcool
hey lev
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting Drakoen:



LOL. This brings back memories.


I am like Santa...... I have been watching, making a list, and you ALL are getting coal! LOL
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2996. Levi32
Evening, all.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
SAL will keep those monster waves coming off Africa in check until they get further W. It has dug in pretty far S out there for the time being.
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Quoting Drakoen:


Lol sorry. I don't consider having a degree in environmental science being a meteorologist.

I consider someone a meteorologist who has their bachelors degree or higher in Meteorology. I do respect the AMS/NWA certifications though.

I concur. The term is strict because the coursework is rigorous. Calculus, Calculus based Physics, and then the MET core. It's hard and those that do it deserve the differentiation and title.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Go ahead Ace, stir them up. ;->

lol that one wave though looks pretty vicous
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2992. Grothar
Quoting Drakoen:


Lol sorry. I don't consider having a degree in environmental science being a meteorologist.

I consider someone a meteorologist who has their bachelors degree or higher in Meteorology. I do respect the AMS/NWA certifications though.


You better!
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2991. xcool
lmao..
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
2990. pottery
Quoting taco2me61:
Pottery we all know you have a "BS" thats for sure....

Taco :o)

heheheheh
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2989. Drakoen
Quoting thelmores:


You knew it was only a matter of time! LOL



LOL. This brings back memories.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30614
Oh my, thelmores is back making faces in the clouds. Flashbacks.....
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2987. Grothar
Quoting Acemmett90:

insanity in the making also maybe 94L or 95L considering the 52 east wave, also let makie a bet to how many handles JFV MAKES this season


Go ahead Ace, stir them up. ;->
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Quoting pottery:


Portents are very bad. Comes from building a StormShield around my Calabash tree with the wrong design of ShowerCurtain (I used the "my little pony" ones insted of the approved fish design)

Canucks sound particularly painfull.. havent had that in years....


Your on a roll tonight :)
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Quoting StormW:


One thing you have to remember...200mb anticyclone is supposed to shift west soon.


But the upper-levels wouldn't have any effect on the probability of moisture getting entrained into 93L, right?
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Quoting Grothar:


Didn't know the Amish could use computers?
tks u 2 taco! of course Grothar...but only if we sneak to the liberry!
NITE 4 real!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BSME here with 18 hrs toward MSME. Pvt Pilot and FAA A&P. 20+ yrs in the Engineering profession. Not a degreed Met but we all took the same physics, chemistry and calculus.

Been into the tropics since I was a child. Betsey put a foot of water in the house when I was only a year old (that dates me). My parents hung the crib from the ceiling. Spent most of my life in 70126, 70122, and post Katrina 70002. Been through most of the south LA storms. I lurk mostly, but learn much here. I appreciate all the info and education available here.

Thank you all
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2982. Drakoen
Atmo why didn't you put yourself on the list?
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30614
2981. pottery
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


yep...

Quick check ur portents....
Quoting Orcasystems:


I have the Canucks? does that count?


Portents are very bad. Comes from building a StormShield around my Calabash tree with the wrong design of ShowerCurtain (I used the "my little pony" ones insted of the approved fish design)

Canucks sound particularly painfull.. havent had that in years....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Can't wait to see the blog next week. Tonight was just a practice run.


insanity in the making also maybe 94L or 95L considering the 52 east wave, also let makie a bet to how many handles JFV MAKES this season
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2979. Drakoen
Quoting Orcasystems:


456 is a real Met.. working as a Met.
Your definition of a Met obviously has a BS in it also.


Lol sorry. I don't consider having a degree in environmental science being a meteorologist.

I consider someone a meteorologist who has their bachelors degree or higher in Meteorology. I do respect the AMS/NWA certifications though.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30614


You knew it was only a matter of time! LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.