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 Hurricanes101:


again it is failing because it doesnt show development?

Remember it beat the ECMWF head to head with 90L and it did very well with 92L

Either way, just because a forecast model doesnt develop something, does not mean it is wrong or out to lunch or crazy

True, but it does seem kind of odd to not see the GFS developing 93L. But like you said, that isn't reason to not post the model.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


Eucalyptus is a good idea. I hadn't thought of that.

My main reason for kudzu is that whenever tree plantings have been attempted in Haiti in recent years, inevitably they get chopped down for firewood. There's no effective ranger or police presence to keep tree plantings safe.

However, I'm not sure that kudzu would grow in Haiti, given that it grows all over the place here, would it do well in a tropical climate? Don't know.


crepe mrtyle would be good.
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Ok I think we have some on here that are so desperate for something to track they are making incorrect statements about things

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1773. DDR
This weak low thats approach the windwards will create havoc tomorrow.
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Quoting Drakoen:


No it hasn't. It has had false alarms
When you think about it the ECMWF hasn't done fantastic either. It did well on 92L and 91L but took 90L to a hurricane.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Quoting DestinJeff:


I think the GFS has it on Ignore.


BP took over the GFS, actually. They are making it downplay development in the Gulf. I figured it out. The EURO told them to F off.
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1770. Grothar
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Hi Grothar...My Mom says I can't blog with you anymore after keeping me up so late this morning :)


That's why you had to go to summer school. If you had paid more attention in school, this wouldn't have happened. By the way your spelling has improved greatly.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25421
1768. IKE
Quoting Drakoen:


No it hasn't. It has had false alarms


I'm talking about with the invests only. I should have made that clear.

Yes...it's had ghost storms. It had one a few days ago heading for Louisiana.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting btwntx08:
no more posting the gfs cause its failing badly it will likely be defeated by the ecmwf


again it is failing because it doesnt show development?

Remember it beat the ECMWF head to head with 90L and it did very well with 92L

Either way, just because a forecast model doesnt develop something, does not mean it is wrong or out to lunch or crazy

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I think still at Code Orange at 8:00.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11002
1765. DDR
I've had close to 5 inches in the past 3 days and now this?ground is saturated here(Trinidad).
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Quoting hydrus:
nothing known to mankind can infiltrate the curtain....


Hold it. The curtain must have the proper images. Where did you find them. The number 7 is powerful indeed but without the fish the curtain is powerless.
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Quoting btwntx08:

gfs fail still


What is your basis behind it being a failure? You need something to back up your claim. I'm in the belief that something SHOULD form from all of this mess, but it's not really impressing me too much right now.
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well see red for sure by 8pm


may be the nhc no some in that we dont
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114765
1759. 7544
Quoting leo305:


which is why those touting "TEXAS" need to look at the upper level steering currents and not just the surface steering currents.. because a strong HURRICANE will feel whats up there
make sense

ok thanks so this why all the exp moe models have it aiminmg at so fla now it makes more sense they been showing this for sevveral runs now thanks again for explaining
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6694
1758. Drakoen
Quoting IKE:


It's been correct all season.


No it hasn't. It has had false alarms
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29928
Quoting Tazmanian:
new poll


what % will 93L be in at 8pm


A the same


B 40%

C 60%

D 80%


and the winners get a raw crow


A
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1753. IKE
Quoting xcool:
GFS UPDATE>< ASP JULY 27 NEED HURRY UP


It's been correct all season.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
guys the hell with the mode runs righ now whats this sit back and watch
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1750. xcool
GFS UPDATE>< ASP JULY 27 NEED HURRY UP
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Quoting IKE:


There's something that's just not clicking in the Atlantic so far in 2010...maybe it's simply climatology?



shhhhhhhhh dont say that or it may wake up
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114765
Quoting Tazmanian:
new poll


what % will 93L be in at 8pm


A the same


B 40%

C 60%

D 80%


and the winners get a raw crow
I'm going to go out on limb and say the same or less
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1745. IKE
120 hr. GFS 18Z....lol...where is it?

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting IKE:


The trend today is...less encouraging for development of 93L.


Indeed. It's going to take longer for this system to develop than most on this blog would like. Hell, I'm one of them. It needs to either make up its mind or die. I hate the systems that take forever. They test the sanity of this blog.
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1743. xcool
b here.
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Hi Grothar...My Mom says I can't blog with you anymore after keeping me up so late this morning :)
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1740. IKE
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It looks like when a system is designated they kill it, lol.


There's something that's just not clicking in the Atlantic so far in 2010...maybe it's simply climatology?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
new poll


what % will 93L be in at 8pm


A the same


B 40%

C 60%

D 80%


and the winners get a raw crow
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114765
Quoting Tazmanian:
i think will have better mode runs when 93L be comes a TD
Model runs will greatly improve if and when 93L develops a surface circulation, that way they have something to initialize.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
1735. Grothar
Quoting DestinJeff:


Groth, what do you think?


There is no indication of a strong low level yet. There seems to be some twisting, but the Navy Site, doesn't show many high clouds yet. As for the waves over Africa, I think it is early in the season to see such strong waves. Don't recall seeing that often. Even back in the 1800's we didn't get much wind in ours sails crossing over here. Seriously, it looks like the environment through the entire basin is unusual.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25421
Quoting IKE:


The trend today is...less encouraging for development of 93L.
It looks like when a system is designated they kill it, lol.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21091
Guess I am reading it wrong...

000
NOUS42 KNHC 211400
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1000 AM EDT MON 21 JUNE 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 22/1100Z TO 23/1100Z JUNE 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-021

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: POSSIBLE LOW LEVEL
INVEST NEAR 16.ON 77.0W AT 23/1800Z.

I thought 1. meant today and 2. the next day. I learn something every day!
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i think will have better mode runs when 93L be comes a TD
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114765
1729. xcool


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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.