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 nrtiwlnvragn:
18Z 93L GFDL




What???
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
2027. GatorWX
Quoting caribbeantracker01:
actually take for instance a system just forming into a depression then almost immediately becomming tropical storm xxxx then withinhours you have major hurricane xxx an example of this was hurricane feix and wilma.(2007 and 2005) respectively


Keep an eye on pressures. It's quite hard to predict when the systems are in there beginning stages. This system for example, has a lot going for it, especially after 24 hrs. I think it will encounter some 15 kt shear before that point in time. When a system like this has very warm water, strong vorticity, little to no shear, an anticyclone, open water, and no other systems close to it, they can develop pretty rapidly. I don't think all the parameters are there for this one to, but take Humberto for example, it came together in a very short time. Actually, it came together almost scary fast!!
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2026. xcool
about time gfld
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15603
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
18Z 93L GFDL




develops it now
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
18Z 93L GFDL


Oh man, didn't think it was going to be so strong especially since it has no circulation to initialize on.
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2023. Grothar
Quoting all4hurricanes:
You're all so good I hope you're not cheating

this one's tricky


Saxby Gale
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
2022. centex
Quoting GatorWX:


That's what I've been saying. I really like the banding features. You can also see that there is more s and w of PR. I don't think this thing is going to take long to get going once a low forms.
correct, but geneses is the million dollar question.
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2021. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125569
18Z 93L GFDL


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I know all the cheaters anyway anyone who said the new England hurricane of 1869. Anyone who had done legitimate research would have know the storm by Saxby's Gale. Besides I'm not doing anymore picture trivia I think they're too easy even without cheating
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2338
Quoting sflawavedude:
Is 93l going to hit florida or no?

Impossible to tell.
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The Ocean Heat Content product below certainly shows a lot more energy available East of Tobago,
compared to where 93L is now located. It also reinforces Kman's emphasis on what happens at 75 West.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2016. cg2916
Quoting StormW:


Chicklit,
I just looked at the 18Z GFS shear forecast update...it has picked up on that shift, but brings it back west and progressing through the Caribbean after 12-24 hours. This is the 3rd straight run the GFS shear forecast shows the upper ridge building.


So, will it hit shear?
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3026
2015. GatorWX
Quoting miamiamiga:
Has anyone looked at PR radar lately? If you want to see what happens when an invest starts organizing, check it out.


That's what I've been saying. I really like the banding features. You can also see that there is more s and w of PR. I don't think this thing is going to take long to get going once a low forms.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
and the blog is going nuts
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114050
Quoting CaneWarning:


I also see it. I believe it went from an Invest to a Cat 5 in the past few minutes. Wow.



yup
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114050
Quoting JDSmith:
Omg, Taz. I see it too! Rapid intensification has occurred.


I also see it. I believe it went from an Invest to a Cat 5 in the past few minutes. Wow.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting GatorWX:


A tropical depression or storm forming.
actually take for instance a system just forming into a depression then almost immediately becomming tropical storm xxxx then withinhours you have major hurricane xxx an example of this was hurricane feix and wilma.(2007 and 2005) respectively
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cg2916:
Try tinypic, then people can't cheat.

I don't know how. Thanks for being the only true competitor here.
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2338
Quoting Patrap:
93L Floater - RGB Color Infrared Loop

Be sure to check the SST and MSLP Box
What are you seeing?
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Has anyone looked at PR radar lately? If you want to see what happens when an invest starts organizing, check it out.
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Is 93l going to hit florida or no?
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2003. JDSmith
Omg, Taz. I see it too! Rapid intensification has occurred.
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Quoting Drakoen:


Not march logger?



yup
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114050
My thoughts on 93L:

next update - will remain the same (medium - 30%)

red circle sometime tomorrow or tomorrow night

Could jump straight to TS Alex status by Thurs or Friday in the Western Caribbean.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:
Taz you are on the fast track to many peoples' ignore lists if you keep posting that way



lol



cant i have a little fun lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114050
1998. Drakoen
Quoting Tazmanian:
i now see a pine hole eye with 93L


Not march logger?
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Taz you are on the fast track to many peoples' ignore lists if you keep posting that way
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
Quoting BahaHurican:
While we're admiring our 30% in the ATL, the EPac is practically frothing.... lol





i see a downgrade comeing for 95E
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114050
1994. centex
Quoting tropicaltank:
I believe we will break the John Hope rule,regarding cyclogenesis in the Carib.
I don't think that applies after SA.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
While we're admiring our 30% in the ATL, the EPac is practically frothing.... lol

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i now see a pine hole eye with 93L
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114050
Quoting CaneWarning:
Wow, look at the intensity models. Some show a major hurricane, and some RIP it. LOL



yup lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114050
93L is rapidly intensifying.
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114050
1988. Patrap
93L Floater - RGB Color Infrared Loop

Be sure to check the SST and MSLP Box
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125569
Wow, look at the intensity models. Some show a major hurricane, and some RIP it. LOL
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1986. GatorWX
Quoting tropicaltank:
What would be the first sign of rapid intensfication?


A tropical depression or storm forming.
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1985. cg2916
Try tinypic, then people can't cheat.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3026
Pretty good shape for DMIN.
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1983. Patrap
93L Early Cycle Guidance 18Z
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125569
1982. GatorWX
Quoting WinterAnalystwx13:


Wind Shear is low across the whole Caribbean.


Not completely, shear is between 15-25kts between Haiti and the Yucatan, N of 15n. You can see the clouds ahead of 93 and on its w side being sheared just a bit. Is lessening though. 93 is the one to watch in the short term, imo.
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1961 you said more than I knew but you gave no mention to how Saxby made his prediction it is a crucial part of the tale
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2338
I believe we will break the John Hope rule,regarding cyclogenesis in the Carib.
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Quoting all4hurricanes:
You're all right but it went by another name
5 points for the other name
50 for the explanation

the september gale..ding ding
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1978. centex
Don't be too fooled by visible, the early evening contrast can be deceiving.
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.