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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1978. centex
11:21 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
Don't be too fooled by visible, the early evening contrast can be deceiving.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3260
1977. marmark
11:21 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
Quoting cg2916:


It rapidly intensifying.
jer...
Member Since: February 1, 2004 Posts: 2 Comments: 243
1975. Patrap
11:21 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
Viz



WV



RGB to (Night IR)


Rainbow
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128664
1974. cg2916
11:19 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
Quoting GatorWX:


I have, and yes it does have a decent amount of vorticity, but it's embedded in the itcz, so in the very short term, 93 is the one to watch, and despite what the models say and yes, convection has waned a bit, I think its presentation on satellite has improved dramatically since this morning. I suspect the next cimss vorticity map will have a bit more yellows and oranges. After 36 hrs, I think the next wave will have a much better chance and it could have a shot. The second wave is kind of close to 93 and SA to develop right away. We will see! Right now, they are both rather similar in appearance and development, but like I stated above, 93 has a lot more going for it in the near term.


93L just hit DMIN.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
1973. Hurricanes101
11:19 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
Quoting all4hurricanes:
the point was to test your knowledge not to get it right I guess that's why my last question was so hard all the cheaters went silent


or we just stopped caring lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7818
1972. GatorWX
11:19 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
I'm really interested in the banding 93 is presenting. Could develop a closed surface low very soon..imo. Is looking good despite the relative lack of deep convection near what you could call the center.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3422
1971. xcool
11:19 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
oh snap
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1970. Chicklit
11:19 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
Quoting tropicaltank:
What would be the first sign of rapid intensfication?
finding the low level center and wrapping (counter clockwise)... thanks guys, by the way, for answering my question! now i can leave for a while...
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11351
1968. all4hurricanes
11:18 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
the point was to test your knowledge not to get it right I guess that's why my last question was so hard all the cheaters went silent
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2373
1967. FMTXWMAN
11:18 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/tpw2/natl/main.html

Pretty interesting graphic, shows some circulation, just do not know how they extrapolate it into the animation.
Member Since: May 1, 2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 70
1966. cg2916
11:18 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
Quoting tropicaltank:
What would be the first sign of rapid intensfication?


It rapidly intensifying.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
1965. Patrap
11:17 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
93L Early Cycle Intensity Model

18Z
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128664
1964. GatorWX
11:17 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
Quoting Chicklit:
I wish someone would address the wave at 55-60 and tell us what effect this and 93L will have on each other. Typically, the stronger one will take over. Looks like the eastern wave has a surface low but not much else and 93L is just the opposite!


I have, and yes it does have a decent amount of vorticity, but it's embedded in the itcz, so in the very short term, 93 is the one to watch, and despite what the models say and yes, convection has waned a bit, I think its presentation on satellite has improved dramatically since this morning. I suspect the next cimss vorticity map will have a bit more yellows and oranges. After 36 hrs, I think the next wave will have a much better chance and it could have a shot. The second wave is kind of close to 93 and SA to develop right away. We will see! Right now, they are both rather similar in appearance and development, but like I stated above, 93 has a lot more going for it in the near term.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3422
1963. Chicklit
11:17 PM GMT on June 21, 2010


thanks!
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11351
1961. cg2916
11:16 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
The 1869 Saxby Gale:

On October 4, a hurricane was first observed east of South Carolina. It moved rapidly northeastward, hitting Cape Cod on the 5th and Maine later that day. It turned northeastward, dissipating over northern New Brunswick that night. The storm caused widespread damage, as well as 37 deaths.

The storm is known as the Saxby Gale because of a prediction by Stephen Martin Saxby on December 25, 1868. However, he gave no mention of the location of the storm. Another person, Frederick Allison, gave detail of where and when it was going to hit. Nonetheless, when the storm happened, more remembered Saxby's prediction.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
1960. tropicaltank
11:16 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
Quoting Chicklit:
bingo.
the problem with the entire scenario is everything is in place for rapid intensification which models cannot handle.
What would be the first sign of rapid intensfication?
Member Since: June 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 242
1959. centex
11:16 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
It's got alot of potential but needs more time, maybe couple more days.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 3260
1958. cg2916
11:15 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
Quoting Claudette1234:


93L ASCAT uhmm could be dangerous


Looks like an LLC is trying to form, but not there yet. You can see a donut of wind, but half of it is going the wrong way.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
1956. LoneStarWeather
11:14 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
Quoting Patrap:


He was a Good Man for sure..and very modest as well

The truly good ones always are.
Member Since: September 8, 2001 Posts: 0 Comments: 436
1954. Levi32
11:13 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
Out to play tennis. Back later.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
1953. cg2916
11:13 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
Quoting amd:


I think the wave behind 93L is the bigger threat. It has a much stronger circulation at 850mb compared to 93L, and has more time for the shear to completely lessen in the Caribbean.



Disorganized, though.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
1951. all4hurricanes
11:13 PM GMT on June 21, 2010
You're all right but it went by another name
5 points for the other name
50 for the explanation
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2373
Quoting btwntx08:
ok all these hurricane tracks are easy cause everyone its finding the answer just by looking at properties


Owned...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


93L ASCAT uhmm could be dangerous
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1947. Grothar
Quoting all4hurricanes:
You're all so good I hope you're not cheating

this one's tricky


New England Hurricane 1869
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1946. ryang
LOL...

All the people posting past hurricane pics have to upload them to imageshack/photobucket or people can just left click and see the name of the hurricane
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1945. cg2916
Quoting all4hurricanes:
You're all so good I hope you're not cheating

this one's tricky


1869 New England Hurricane?
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
Quoting TampaSpin:
For those saying its not better organized i will strongly disagree......LOOK at the 850mb Vorticity now.......nothing there earlier today



Improved Divergence...so its exhaling really good with the Anti-cyclone overhead



Convergence will be coming....WATCH




am with you
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115241
Quoting Drakoen:


Where's it gonna hit?!?!?!?



shhhh.............don't let them hear you say that!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurricanes101:


ok to be fair, based on what?

93L hasn't really done much at this time to warrant an upgrade in the percentages

Lost most of the convection and yes I am aware part of it is diurnal minimum, but this system is going to take time to organize, be patient


Exactly! Great point there.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1941. amd
Quoting Chicklit:
I wish someone would address the wave at 55-60 and tell us what effect this and 93L will have on each other. Typically, the stronger one will take over. Looks like the eastern wave has a surface low but not much else and 93L is just the opposite!


I think the wave behind 93L is the bigger threat. It has a much stronger circulation at 850mb compared to 93L, and has more time for the shear to completely lessen in the Caribbean.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1940. Levi32
There is almost no wind at all west of 70W in the Caribbean. The trades are non-existent. Why? Because pressures are lower than normal over the eastern Caribbean and higher than normal over Columbia, resulting in a weakening of the Columbian Heat Low. The monsoon trough is also farther north than normal over the Caribbean instead of over Panama, which is a dead-zone for winds.





As a result, the active ITCZ with embedded tropical waves is just roaring into the eastern Caribbean and then suddenly has no place to go. Did anyone notice how little 93L has moved today? Almost no westward progress at all. This is resulting in a massive buildup of heat as air just piles up and piles up, and there's more on the way. This development will be a slow process when you have this much heat that has to get bundled. That's why the ECMWF doesn't show development for another 3-4 days. There is always the chance that the heat energy gets spread out and never consolidates, but if we get it bundled together, development will be highly likely.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26654
1939. cg2916
Quoting Chicklit:
Even the anticyclone is shifting east.




It doesn't matter, shear won't be a problem for this.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
You're all so good I hope you're not cheating

this one's tricky
Member Since: March 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2373
1937. Drakoen
Quoting Chicklit:
Even the anticyclone is shifting east.




There is evidence based on satellite imagery and MIMIC-TPW that the vorticity may be advecting westward as a result of the inflow from 93L.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30563
1936. Patrap
Quoting portcharlotte:
Nice Pat

I had the honor to work with John Hope at NHC in the seventies for one year. I was a tech with the satellite division (NESS). We supplied the ATS3 satellite photos to the Hurcn Forecasters...At lunch, he often shared some of his cookies with me. I real nice man!



He was a Good Man for sure..and very modest as well
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128664
1934. cg2916
Quoting TampaSpin:
For those saying its not better organized i will strongly disagree......LOOK at the 850mb Vorticity now.......nothing there earlier today



Improved Divergence...so its exhaling really good with the Anti-cyclone overhead



Convergence will be coming....WATCH



Yes, that's true. It's not visible, but it's getting better. We're talking about convective organization, which, judging by that, shouldn't be terribly far away.
Member Since: December 21, 2007 Posts: 13 Comments: 3046
Quoting btwntx08:
ok all these hurricane tracks are easy cause everyone its finding the answer just by looking at properties


Haha exactly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Even the anticyclone is shifting east.


Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11351
1930. Grothar
Quoting all4hurricanes:
Ok try this


Don't think it had a name but I bet it was 1915 in Galveston
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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.