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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Quoting atmoaggie:

??? You're telling a met with 19 years experience a rule of thumb "you should learn"?!? Wow, I see we are friendly in here tonight.


I don't think some people realize how many people on here that are experienced that just lurk and wait for their time to speak as do I.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2677. Patrap
Floater - JSL Color Infrared Loop
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2674. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
no surprise a TCFA is now issued for 95E..
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Quoting StormW:


I won't know anything, until it develops and starts to move.


Does anybody have a magic 8 ball? LOL
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
2672. Patrap
Oil Vey..?
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2671. xcool


better
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Forget what I said before

but satellite imagery can in fact suggest things not shown on maps, and they are more real-time than any map is

I have seen several on here say that before, but whatever guess Im wrong
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7818
Quoting btwntx08:

not the right choice dude hes just 13 shouldve given him a chance


I don't care how old he his......He needs to make sure when he challenges someones post he knows what he is talking about....thats all...AGE MAKES NO DIFFERENCE ON THIS BLOG!
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Quoting StormW:


I won't know anything, until it develops and starts to move.

That is probably the best statement I have read all night. I totally agree. need another 24-48 hours to see if we get some surface circulation and if it really gathers itself. The models are junk right now because they are just guessing.
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The problem with a lot of disturbances in the Eastern Carribean is that a lot of dry air is sucked in from South America. Once 93L can distance itself from S.A. then we should see steady development.
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2665. Patrap
..Itsa Crude, Crude Summer..
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Quoting centex:
Two more days. Very disorganized tonight.


Don't want to come off like I'm bashing you, but the experts at the NHC disagree..."THIS DISTURBANCE
CONTINUES TO SHOW SIGNS OF INCREASED ORGANIZATION"
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
I can't wait to see a depression, for this blog will go insane. I didn't think so but the Doc might have to restructure the blog as someone said the other night. It will be a shame but like everything else time changes all things, sorry conservatives. Maybe we will have a blog during storm situations were only those that can back up there post with plausible explanations can post I realize that excludes me put drivel is drivel.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Quoting atmoaggie:

??? You're telling a met with 19 years experience a rule of thumb "you should learn"?!? Wow, I see we are friendly in here tonight.

Yea man that is funny. I think he ignored me too. Guess he doesnt want to learn haha. Oh well. Its too bad.
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2660. Grothar
Quoting atmoaggie:

??? You're telling a met with 19 years experience a rule of thumb "you should learn"?!? Wow, I see we are friendly in here tonight.


Guess, he didn't know what you do! Picked on the wrong one tonight. Yeah, friendly crowd tonight.
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Satellite imagery is a tool but not the best tool. A good tutorial on this is Dolly in 2008. 50 mph winds, a vigorous mid level circulation on satellite but no closed low.

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2656. xcool


very good Convergence
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting StormW:
Ok...after looking at some very confusing steering layers forecast maps...here is my thinking...at this moment only:

The only way I see these tracks, is if 93L becomes a Major Hurricane



IF it is weaker, or much weaker, I would look for this, going with the middle of the channel:

img src="Photobucket" alt="" />

Good Evening Storm the only problem I have with both of them is, they come into the GOM and will bring higher Tides and more Waves to the North Gulf Coast. Although a smaller storm would bring smaller waves but they still come ashore with Oil..... So could you try to send this out to the Atlantic for the fishies..... I would like that for real....

Thanks Taco :o)
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2654. centex
Two more days. Very disorganized tonight.
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Pottery I'm assuming you're talking about on the NE edge of the system, but I don't think thats affecting anything, maybe just enhancing outflow.
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Quoting btwntx08:

not the right choice dude hes just 13 shouldve given him a chance

I dont block anyone just for that reason but there has to come a time when some folks relax when someone disagrees with them. Not cool getting lectured by a 13 17 or 18 year old telling someone has is a met for 10 plus years what a rule of thumb is when a met can probably out forecast them any day.
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The NHC doesn't have any area of low pressure along with this system at this time, however they did mention that it was attempting to form a surface circulation.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
2648. pottery
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Funny how when Drak said it nobody said anything, but when I said, oh ignore him. I've had enough of this blog, I'm out.

Post 2432:

I am truly sorry to hear that.......
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Quoting Grothar:


Could that be because the Southern periphery is so close to a land mass? Would that prevent it?


No, it just hasn't developed defined circulation yet. If the land had extremely dry air, it could disrupt the circulation.
Member Since: July 19, 2008 Posts: 43 Comments: 4051
Miami,

Don't worry about those people!!! I'm sstill amazed that you are only 13 and you know so much!
Member Since: September 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 672
Quoting Hurricanes101:


a rule of thumb you should learn, satellite imagery is always a better product to use than pretty much any other map out there

??? You're telling a met with 19 years experience a rule of thumb "you should learn"?!? Wow, I see we are friendly in here tonight.
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


Kman,

when I saw this Ocean Heat Content product today, I thought of you and 75W.

CRS




Hi there CRS

Yes, 75W. History does not lie. It will not happen where 93L is now. 70W is the threshold for any action to begin. 75W is the soonest you tend to get the classification.

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2642. Patrap
Portlights Mission Statement is to Serve the Disabled,the Underserved in times of Disaster.

First and foremost.

Our Mission criteria isnt met with the Spill Directly,but if and when a Storm Strikes ,..our Response Plans are ready and were up to the challenge as always with Help from the wunderground community and many others.

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Funny how when Drak said it nobody said anything, but when I said, oh ignore him. I've had enough of this blog, I'm out.

Post 2432:

I didnt see his and while at this stage it looks nice but it does not have a true low pressure structure that is all. It needs to get its act together which is why the models are all over the place. It will soon enough. Dont get worked up because people disagree. Thought you use this to learn. I just agreed with the vorticity comment because it was a true statement.
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2640. Grothar
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
It's good to remember that a storm getting named in the central Caribbean is very rare. Storms have attained great strength going through the central Caribbean, but do not often form there. I think 93L will be a tease through Wednesday, and then develop later.


I don't ever recall seeing one form in the Eastern Caribbean either. And I go waaaaaaaay back.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


a rule of thumb you should learn, satellite imagery is always a better product to use than pretty much any other map out there


Are you kidding me........LMAO...NICE!
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Quoting StormW:
Ok...after looking at some very confusing steering layers forecast maps...here is my thinking...at this moment only:

The only way I see these tracks, is if 93L becomes a Major Hurricane



IF it is weaker, or much weaker, I would look for this, going with the middle of the channel:

img src="Photobucket" alt="" />



So what do you think will happen? Will it become a major in your opinion? Also, what are the chances of it being pushed to the NE?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
2636. pottery
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
I beg to differ.... Link

OK, but check the Loops and check upper level winds overlaid .
The clouds are streaming away with the UL winds.
I am prepared to be wrong here, but would appreciate you checking...
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I love how most of you tend to bash other just because you don't agree with them. are you guys biased?
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Hi, y'all.
Quoting pottery:

Water temp. 25c ??? Strange....

Ship's water temp is usually measured in part of the drivetrain (condenser, water cooling?)...and the water measured could be from, what? up to 10 meters down?

Not sure exactly how it is done, but I do know that the ship reports are almost never reflective of surface temps. (And the SST from a satellite is only representative of the top-most few millimeters. Called "skin temp" among many of us so as to be clear)
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
The oil spill is not that kind of disaster that portlight has worked on before. People are not homeless, displaced. It's not like portlight has the equipment or expertise to suck up oil off the ocean.


Agreed. Plus, I think most people have the "let BP pay for it" mentality.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting kmanislander:


Wait and watch. Nothing else to do for now. Maybe at 75W, who knows.


Kman,

when I saw this Ocean Heat Content product today, I thought of you and 75W.

CRS


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2629. JRRP
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

He is right...you do not have a structure with NVA...you require PVA at 500mb. The structure is poor at the moment since there is no surface circulation. Doesnt mean it wont form but at the moment it is not structurally sound.
Funny how when Drak said it nobody said anything, but when I said, oh ignore him. I've had enough of this blog, I'm out.

Post 2432:
Quoting Drakoen:
Convection is bare but the structure is excellent:


Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194

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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.