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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Guess the hurricane.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1875. Drakoen
Quoting DestinJeff:
My analysis of some analog situations has revealed there is a HIGH (near 100%) chance that there will be 15 separate posts of the TWO, or at least the % chance of TC development.

disagreement with the % chance on the TWO will be substantial.


lol
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30556
i think this is what the nhc will say


000
ABNT20 KNHC 211748
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT MON JUN 21 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

#5
A LARGE AREA OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN
SEA IS ASSOCIATED WITH A STRONG TROPICAL WAVE THAT IS MOVING
WESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH. ALTHOUGH THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF A
SURFACE CIRCULATION...THIS SYSTEM IS SHOWING SOME SIGNS OF
ORGANIZATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS APPEAR CONDUCIVE FOR
GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THIS WAVE
COULD PRODUCE LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND GUSTY WINDS OVER PORTIONS
OF NORTHERN VENEZUELA...THE NETHERLANDS ANTILLES...PUERTO
RICO...THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC...AND HAITI OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO.
THERE IS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115247
1873. Patrap


Hurricane Lili was the deadliest and costliest hurricane of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season for the United States. Lili was the twelfth named storm, fourth hurricane, and second major hurricane of the 2002 Atlantic hurricane season. The storm developed from a tropical disturbance in the open Atlantic on September 21. It continued westward, affecting the Lesser Antilles as a tropical storm, then entered the Caribbean Sea. As it moved west, the storm dissipated while being affected by wind shear south of Cuba, and regenerated when the vertical wind shear weakened. It turned to the northwest and strengthened up to category 2 strength on October 1. Lili made two landfalls in western Cuba later that day, and then entered the Gulf of Mexico. The hurricane rapidly strengthened on October 2, reaching Category 4 strength that afternoon. It weakened rapidly thereafter, and hit Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane on October 3. It moved inland and dissipated on October 6.

Lili caused extensive damage through the Caribbean, particularly to crops and poorly built homes.Mudslides were common on the more mountainous islands, particularly Haiti and Jamaica. In the United States, the storm cut off the production of oil within the Gulf of Mexico, and caused severe damage in parts of Louisiana. Lili was also responsible for severe damage to the barrier islands and marshes in the southern portion of the state. Total damage amounted to $882 million (2002 USD; $1.15 billion 2007 USD), and the storm killed 15 people during its existence.

Hurricane Lili at peak intensity


Formed September 21, 2002
Dissipated October 4, 2002
Highest
winds
145 mph (230 km/h) (1-minute sustained)
Lowest pressure 938 mbar (hPa; 27.7 inHg)
Fatalities 13 direct, 2 indirect
Damage $882 million (2002 USD)
$1.07 billion (2010 USD)
Areas
affected Windward Islands, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, Louisiana
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128617
Quoting DestinJeff:
My analysis of some analog situations has revealed there is a HIGH (near 100%) chance that there will be 15 separate posts of the TWO, or at least the % chance of TC development.

disagreement with the % chance on the TWO will be substantial.
I will disagree with the chance on the TWO if the percentage increases.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1871. Drakoen
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Drak...do you have any doubts that 93L will become our first depression?


I do have some. Even though environmental conditions are conducive, the model support for this system is coming primarily from the ECMWF and SHIPS. I would have liked to see the GFS jump on board to be certain this will be a depression. In addition, this system lacks a surface circulation which makes it even more difficult to determine what exactly will happen.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30556
Quoting GatorWX:


I agree, I don't see much evidence of a surface low either. There is a very nil amount of vorticity at 850. This system will probably take at least 36 hrs to get going, but I have a feeling once it does, it's not going to put on a show given the conditions it has.


That is the key, explosive development or nothing at all. It ALL depends on when and if this thing gets down to the surface. It may not happen until this thing is about to go over the Yucatan in which case the excellent environment wouldn't matter.
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1869. xcool
lickitysplit .thanks.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:

Yeah

Im going to take a break until later tonight when things calm down a bit.
Nearly 2000 comments in 6 hours over an invest, oh what a season we got ahead of us...
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1865. GatorWX
Shear looks to be increasing a bit for the short term as well, only < 15kts, but enough to perhaps hamper development for a day.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3347
1864. Patrap
Quoting Drakoen:


Very impatient. Tropical cyclone development is a process and some don't and have yet to realize that.



Hhhhmmm,yes its tru.

These things take time to mature.

93L is just now gaining some mo..

Beware the slow developer with a lot of TCHP ahead and no real impediments.

A case study may be the Isidore and Lili Systems from 2002
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128617
Quoting btwntx08:

yep d-max


dude, there is no low at the surface, its not a bo bo. and its not very organized.
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Quoting Drakoen:


Very impatient. Tropical cyclone development is a process and some don't and have yet to realize that.

Yeah

Im going to take a break until later tonight when things calm down a bit.
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RE: 1851

Cool map!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Drakoen:


Very impatient. Tropical cyclone development is a process and some don't and have yet to realize that.


Conditions are favorable all the way through the Caribbean. I would find it hard to believe that something organized didn't develop in a day or two.
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oh 93L will be come are 1st TD or i will eat crow
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115247
Quoting Drakoen:


Very impatient. Tropical cyclone development is a process and some don't and have yet to realize that.
Same thing with the models. Just because a model does not show development isn't reason not to post it.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
93L less organized now than it was a few hours ago. And behind it, the wave between 55 & 60W has been increasing vorticity all day and it looks like, based on its current location, it will stay over water.
Since the models appear to be dropping 93L, could one conclude that the next wave will find a more receptive environment, particularly with all that moisture ahead of it? By the way, that wave reminds me of Felix's infamous track.
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I actually cant remember the last time I saw rain....
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Rotation near Treasure Island...
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Drak...do you have any doubts that 93L will become our first depression?
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11256
1852. GatorWX
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Why? I see no proof of a low at the surface.


I agree, I don't see much evidence of a surface low either. There is a very nil amount of vorticity at 850. This system will probably take at least 36 hrs to get going, but I have a feeling once it does, it's going to put on a show given the conditions it has.
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3347
1851. xcool


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Buoy 42059 near the center of 93L:

Wind Direction (WDIR): ESE ( 120 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 13.6 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 17.5 kts
5-day plot - Wave Height Wave Height (WVHT): 4.9 ft
5-day plot - Dominant Wave Period Dominant Wave Period (DPD): 8 sec
5-day plot - Average Period Average Period (APD): 4.6 sec
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.89 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): +0.00 in ( Steady )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 81.3 °F
5-day plot - Water Temperature Water Temperature (WTMP): 84.9 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 75.6 °F
5-day plot - Heat Index Heat Index (HEAT): 87.8 °F
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
if am loooking at this right it looks like the spin is about 15N

Link
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115247
Quoting flwestcoastcane:
Finally, some rain and thunderstorms in Saint Petersburg:)
been parched here!


Get ready, it brought 70 mph winds to Tampa.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1847. xcool
mmmm soso good candy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Yeah, that's the diurnal TJ Max or something, rright?


At your age, I think it is just diuretics. :)
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11256
1845. Drakoen
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Its amazing how impatient some are lol


Very impatient. Tropical cyclone development is a process and some don't and have yet to realize that.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30556
Quoting CaneWarning:
The lightning here is crazy. Almost 1,000 strikes in 15 minutes.


Pretty dark and raining here in St Pete too
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7804
Finally, some rain and thunderstorms in Saint Petersburg:)
been parched here!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DestinJeff:


these invests need to figure out that bloggers operate at the "speed of live" ... we're like judges during the auditions of American Idol, they get 90 seconds to impress us or we RIP them.


That was one of the best & most correct sayings I've heard on here!
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Quoting MississippiWx:


I realize what the 18z chart says, but I'd find it hard to believe a surface low isn't present. It's weak, but satellite imagery suggests that it is there. Even still, not a whole lot of activity occurring at the surface.
I was about to say that looking at satellite there looks to be a low but I won't make any calls until I see a ASCAT/WindSAT pass. But as you said, not much at the surface.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
The lightning here is crazy. Almost 1,000 strikes in 15 minutes.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
1838. pottery
Quoting CybrTeddy:
-looks at watch, sees people saying its disorganized, doesn't have a chance, chances are decreasing for development-

Will we ever learn? This morning it was 'TD by tomorrow'..

I guess we'll never get the whole 'Durinal effects' across.

"Durinal" is good..............lol
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24372
1837. hydrus
Quoting Grothar:


There be whales! (Who said that?)
Scottie (James Doohan).
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Some of James Doohan's ashes were sent into space.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11256
1834. GatorWX
Quoting btwntx08:

a bo bo by the nhc


a bo bo??
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3347
1832. xcool
?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Not so sure that there is a surface low.


I realize what the 18z chart says, but I'd find it hard to believe a surface low isn't present. It's weak, but satellite imagery suggests that it is there. Even still, not a whole lot of activity occurring at the surface.
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1830. Grothar
Quoting btwntx08:

actually its getting organized with the conv right now expect convection tonight


Yeah, that's the diurnal TJ Max or something, rright?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26401
unchanged at 2000.

Though I still think that when and if a surface low develops we will see explosive development. Depression to major hurricane in 48 hours. Or nothing at all both are equally likely right now.
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I think Scotty.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11256

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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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