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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here come $4.00 too $5.00 gas if it gos too the gulf
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114716
Broad area of 850 vort has developed in response to todays former convective episode.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stillwaiting:
I'm guessing convection should begin to increase NOW and exploding around midnight EST,TD possible in the next 15hrs...


If 93L learned anything from its older brother 92L, then thats quite possible.
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
gfdl in 120 hours.very interesting
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HWRF kills it still, and that is probably my favorite model.
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AL, 93, 2010062200, , BEST, 0, 149N, 700W, 25, 1010, WV,
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
93L is just going through DMIN. I like the NHC call this evening, fair and to the point that a TD is likely to form within the next few days. I said this earlier, and I'll say this again. I am NOT wishcasting this, but if ANY system (93L) gets into the GOM and wind shear is low, expect a Hurricane. This is why I wasn't surprised with the last 2 EURO runs. I understand fully why it blew up the storm. We'll see what happens with 93L in a few days, give it time guys, don't rush it. It will take it's time to form.
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Good evening folks. Long time lurker here in SW Louisiana. I do love this blog, very informative. I keep a close eye on the tropics through hurricane season. I am in law enforcement, and find this blog to be a wealth of information, and has been so helpful when needed esp in preparation for my family and my profession. I just wanted to say thanks to all for taking the time to put this valuable info together for those of us that need it.
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I'm guessing convection should begin to increase NOW and exploding around midnight EST,TD possible in the next 15hrs...
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2216. 7544
im still calling for a more shift to the east next . the first runs never pan out they always shift so waiting to seee if this comes into play on the next run stay tuned
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6690
Quoting stillwaiting:
I still think 93L will be a TD in the next 15hrs,93L blog


YOU MAY BE RIGHT! But, NHC only gives it a 50/50 chance in the next 48hrs.....i don't think i like this new percentage breakout they are using....I may be wrong.
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2214. IKE
Quoting MrstormX:
Im scared now!


***Salts popcorn and fills up glass of iced Coca-cola***
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
In the weather segment of our local news here in Cayman, nothing was mentioned about 93L except a "large tropical wave." This is typical. Little is mentioned until something is almost right on top of us, like Ivan. And the government wonders why Caymanians are so quick to turn to outside media/bodies before looking to our own for info on hurricanes. Go figure.
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Lacking some convergence:
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18z HWRF
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@cq... what they are referring to is an upper level ridge, which will aid to keep shear low to non-existant over the Carib. This upper level anticyclone is expected to move w/nw with the "Invest"
Member Since: March 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1147
2209. Patrap
93L 18Z Guidance
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Quoting Drakoen:


21.2 88W. Shear is 2 knots but the problem is the OHC which is 14 compared to 116 (max) in the Caribbean. That's probably why the intensity is toned down.


It would go over the very tip it appears.
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2207. Drakoen
The previous BAMM track took the system through a prolonged area of very high TCHP which the SHIPS intensity responsed to accordingly.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29886
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Ah...didnt see that.

Makes sense.
Over the Yucatan.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Good evening! Anyone have an idea of where 93l is or will be going? Any and all opinions appreciated!
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2204. GetReal
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Whoa.... gone to 50%! Mind u, we did get to that point w/ 92L, so we shall see whether 93L is another of the pop-fizz variety....

I gotta go. I'd much rather be blogging, but...

L8R!!!


92L got to 60% :P
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7367
Look at how much shear the SHIPS analyzed:

TIME (HR) 0 6 12 18 24 36 48 60 72 84 96 108 120

SHEAR (KT) 19 15 9 3 9 12 13 13 7 7 3 10 2
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Quoting Grothar:


Sorry, but there were 3 cat 5 never to make landfall. I gave a hint of the first in post 1243. Hurricane Dog 1950, Easy in 1951 and Cleo in 1958. True, the first were not official names. but they were named.


Dog, Easy and Cleo...Sounds like my love life :)
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10972
Im scared now!
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4436
2199. IKE
Quoting HaboobsRsweet:
The SHIPS model is a mess. I dont trust it at all. If it says 100kts it probably means 10 kts. I do believe we have a good shot for development here but you all are killing me with the models. Just the other day you lived and died by them. Today the models outside of one or two are killing this thing off and you give them no chance. I really think many just want a storm regardless of the forecast. So when the models have a storm you believe them and when it kills it off you dont...


To some on here that is true.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
I still think 93L will be a TD in the next 15hrs,93L blog
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you guys see this GFDL Link
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Whoa.... gone to 50%! Mind u, we did get to that point w/ 92L, so we shall see whether 93L is another of the pop-fizz variety....

I gotta go. I'd much rather be blogging, but...

L8R!!!
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Quoting 7544:
taz get 2 cookies and if 94l forms tonight he gets 5 lol



ok
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114716
2193. Drakoen
Quoting clwstmchasr:


Where?


21.2 88W. Shear is 2 knots but the problem is the OHC which is 14 compared to 116 (max) in the Caribbean. That's probably why the intensity is toned down.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29886
2192. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Previous run had it up to 100 knots.
models will flip till reflection is establish at the surface 2 to 3 more runs and we will get a better picture
steady as she goes keep 3 hourly watches till dev.for next 12 to 16 hrs
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From 00z Ships

Prob of RI for 25 kt RI threshold= 46% is 3.6 times the sample mean(12.6%)
Prob of RI for 30 kt RI threshold= 27% is 3.3 times the sample mean( 8.1%)
Prob of RI for 35 kt RI threshold= 1% is 0.3 times the sample mean( 4.8%)
Prob of RI for 40 kt RI threshold= 1% is 0.3 times the sample mean( 3.4%)
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2190. Patrap
2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve

2315 UTC



2km Storm Relative IR Imagery with BD Enhancement Curve

The same infrared imagery shown in the earth relative framework is displayed in a storm relative framework, with a 2km resolution and enhanced with the "BD Curve" which is useful for directly inferring intensity via the Dvorak Enhanced IR (EIR) technique. Scaling is provided by two lightly hatched circles around the center. The two circles have radii of 1 and 2 degrees latitude, respectively.
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Quoting Drakoen:


Look at where they have it at the end of the run


Ah...didnt see that.

Makes sense.
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Quoting TampaSpin:


I said earlier that it should have been 50%! As i said earlier today...can't tell me in 48hrs that this won't be at least a TD in 48hrs .....so now they are saying in 48hrs there is a 50/50 chance.......heck i think the chances are even higher than that now....in 48hrs there is little doubt in my mind we will have our first TD and maybe our 1st named storm within the next 48hrs.


Another good call Tim. You all should visit Tim's WU blog when the site goes down like it did a while ago. Nice back up.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10972
2187. IKE
Quoting Drakoen:


Look at where they have it at the end of the run


Coming off of the north Yucatan.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
The SHIPS model is a mess. I dont trust it at all. If it says 100kts it probably means 10 kts. I do believe we have a good shot for development here but you all are killing me with the models. Just the other day you lived and died by them. Today the models outside of one or two are killing this thing off and you give them no chance. I really think many just want a storm regardless of the forecast. So when the models have a storm you believe them and when it kills it off you dont...
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2185. Grothar
Quoting all4hurricanes:
sorry I dissapeared cleo 58 was right
Chances are good for 93L I hope it becomes Alex before I go to camp


Sorry, but there were 3 cat 5 never to make landfall. I gave a hint of the first in post 1243. Hurricane Dog 1950, Easy in 1951 and Cleo in 1958. True, the first were not official names. but they were named.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25345
2184. cg2916
Storm said that the GFS for the past 3 runs has been showing a strengthening in the subtropical ridge. What does this mean for 93L?

No one will answer me!
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2183. Patrap
14.5 N

68.5 W by my eye only



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2181. Drakoen
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
The 00z SHIPS wasnt as aggressive as the past 3 runs.



Look at where they have it at the end of the run
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29886
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
The 00z SHIPS wasnt as aggressive as the past 3 runs.

Finally coming down to Earth. Usually the first couple runs of the SHIPS is off.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
2178. 7544
taz get 2 cookies and if 94l forms tonight he gets 5 lol
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6690

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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.