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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2478. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting futuremet:
93L needs a more vigorous surface circulation. The anticyclone over it and anomalously warm sea surface temperatures should aid convection during diurnal maximum. I expect to see a more defined surface circulation tomorrow.
I agree. Many things in favor.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting 10Speed:
I'm believing my eyes. As long as the shear keeps it up, 93 and nothing behind it is going to penetrate into the western Carib or GOM.

LOL Are you from The Weather Channel?

There is no shear in the WCARB.
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2474. centex
Quoting futuremet:
93L needs a more vigorous surface circulation. The anticyclone over it and anomalously warm sea surface temperatures should aid convection during diurnal maximum. I expect to see a more defined surface circulation tomorrow.
right, ciculation is little mentioned but most important factor.
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I have been tracking tropical cyclones only since 2005. Have any of you seen SSTs this warm in the Atlantic?

FSU COAPS: SST Records Since 1980
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2471. 10Speed
I'm believing my eyes. As long as the shear keeps it up, 93 and nothing behind it is going to penetrate into the western Carib or GOM.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
June 21, 2010



There is a tiny area in orange on the map. South of Haiti.
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2468. hydrus
Quoting skepticall2:


Talk to him everyday he doesn't come on here anymore for obvious reasons.
lol
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Quoting Drakoen:
Convection is bare but the structure is excellent:



DMax should help get convection going overnight. It will be interesting in the morning.
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Quoting clwstmchasr:


A lot of elements are in place for a significant hurricane if this were to develop. The one element against it is climatology. I haven't looked it up but I'm guessing there has been very few major canes in June.


Well the very few there have been, have been in the exact area (Alex) will be heading...

With 30c water temps an low shear whats stopping a major hurricane? Normally climatically speaking it would be cooler water temps and high shear. So basically we are looking at a scenario that more closely resembles August or September in a "normal" season.
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93L needs a more vigorous surface circulation. The anticyclone over it and anomalously warm sea surface temperatures should aid convection during diurnal maximum. I expect to see a more defined surface circulation tomorrow.
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New SST anomaly chart today.... Ouch...

Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2343
29c is better:
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2459. ALlisa
Hey guys and gals. Been a lurker for several years now and just want to say thanks for all of your input. Special kudos to Storm, Taz, Patrap, Tampaspin, drakoen, weather456 and i am sure i have missed more but you guys (could be gals) rock and do a great job! I am in Mobile and a little concerned with the hurricane forecast this year! Will be on this blog often. Thanks again, very much appreciated :-)...at least most are!
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Quoting skepticall2:


Talk to him everyday he doesn't come on here anymore for obvious reasons.
Why? Please e-mail me.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
June 21, 2010

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2456. Skyepony (Mod)
For 93L I'm thinking Tropical Storm, cat 1 at most. Conditions aren't as good as they appear & the real show is behind it at ~58W. Check the 850 vort map. 58W is further along in surface spin & an anticyclone is building over it, not 93L. 93L is just enjoying diffluence aloft being on the west edge of it. Also the air will cool over 58W first, giving it the advantage each night as they compete for water vapor.
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Quoting watchingnva:


and we really wont have that great of a shot of rain unless a weakening complex coming from the ohio valley makes it over the mountains...

realistically, the next decent chance for rain isn't till the end of the month 28th-1st....we will see, also...we aren't forecast to get under 90 as a high till possibly the 29th-30th...lol

summer is definitely here...


as schools out, here comes the heat.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Its not right.
Oh oh, I get what you were saying.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Brother just ventured into the GOM near Ocala today....water temp on the boat was a blistering 91.7deg he told me just a few minutes ago....OUCH!
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Quoting pottery:

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


Could be a combination of north winds and upwelling.


Or a could be a badly calibrated digital thermometer...
Member Since: September 22, 2005 Posts: 18 Comments: 2343
Quoting tropicfreak:


yep and guess what, the heat shows no sign of letting up in the next 7 days, with a 20-30% chance of a pop-up t'storm.


and we really wont have that great of a shot of rain unless a weakening complex coming from the ohio valley makes it over the mountains...

realistically, the next decent chance for rain isn't till the end of the month 28th-1st....we will see, also...we aren't forecast to get under 90 as a high till possibly the 29th-30th...lol

summer is definitely here...
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Its not right.
It's actually 77˚F.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting CaneWarning:


That's not a very nice thing to say.


I hadn't heard either. Not all of us are on here 24/7. I assume the worst?
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2447. pottery
Quoting RecordSeason:
I dont buy the water temp of 25C...

That's like half way to the arctic...

It cant be right.
Where is that ship??
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24795
Quoting CaneWarning:


That's not a very nice thing to say.
Why ? Maybe everyone does not know what is going I since I don't know either.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Convection is bare but the structure is excellent:



its going through DMin.
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Quoting pottery:

25C is about 78F.
That is cooler than I thought . What's up with that?
????


Its not right.
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Quoting F4PHANTOM:
And only a TS at the end of the run. ???

On this run, yes. However, NWS Houston/Galveston put out a very good statement earlier:

AS FOR EXTENDED GUIDANCE...THERE
IS STILL A LOT OF UNCERTAINTY REGARDING THE POSSIBLE TROPICAL SYS-
TEM/SOMETHING FOR NEXT WEEK. MODELS IN FAIRLY GOOD AGREEMENT WITH
ITS TRACK AS IT NEARS THE YUCATAN...BUT THEN THINGS GET SHAKY FOR
ITS EVENTUAL MOTION WITHIN THE GULF. IT WOULD SEEM THAT THE PROGS
ARE HAVING A HARD TIME RESOLVING THE STRENGTH OF THE HIGH THAT IS
SUPPOSED TO BE OVER THE SRN STATES. LATEST ECMWF TRACK HAS CRP IN
ITS SIGHTS BUT THIS SHOULD/IS LIKELY TO CHANGE AS THE DAYS GO ON.
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2440. Grothar
Quoting TampaSpin:
Amazing how you hit the -minus sign or hide how much you reduce the size of the blog!...LOL


Just hit "Show Best" and everyone disappears. Try it.
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Quoting Drakoen:
Convection is bare but the structure is excellent:

Agreed.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Drakoen:
Convection is bare but the structure is excellent:



yeah ur right

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2437. pottery
Quoting weathersp:


North Winds...

25C is about 78F.
That is cooler than I thought . What's up with that?
????
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24795
Quoting Jeff9641:
Anybody know how alex1991 is doing?


That's not a very nice thing to say.
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*New

Comments a minute (averaged)

8:00 PM EDT - 9:00 PM EDT: 4.35 comments posted a minute.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2432. Drakoen
Convection is bare but the structure is excellent:

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Amazing how you hit the -minus sign or hide how much you reduce the size of the blog!...LOL
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Quoting Acemmett90:

thats slow


sheesh, LEGIT!!!!
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2428. Grothar
Quoting Jeff9641:


Have you heard anything about alex1991hurricane? I wonder if he is getting better:(


Hope you are joking?
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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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