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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Ike,

In my opinion there is just about no way the gulf coast is gonna slide by without a hurricane this year. And having said that it might be better to get it overwith early when sst's arent as high as they will be later on in the summer.... just sayin!
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Quoting StormW:


I kinda figured that! Just paying a compliment.

You and me both...ya got ta keep da cake away from me.


Thanks. Yea I just enjoy everything right now because I know in the future the metabolism will slow eventually.

(Pokes 93L, Get moving!)
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3725. IKE
Quoting DestinJeff:


would have been nice for that one to dump the central GOM idea along with some of the others.


Most all models put 93L in the GOM...from the BOC to the northern gulf coast. May just be a rain event.

Stay tuned!

$$$
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Link

The way of 93L???
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To me, very easy to see the COC this morning. It is partially exposed at about 16.6 72.6 ish
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3721. pottery
Quoting Jeff9641:


I've noticed the COC or what appears to be one trying to form keeps reforming N. Also appears to be strong Low Level shear out of the SE which is why we never had a SW Caribbean storm so far.

This is what I am questioning.
Can the shear-maps be wrong??
When I look at the loops, I see something that makes me think that the system is being stressed from winds.
Having said that (and accepting that I am lacking in experience here), I find it strange that the area all over the East Carib and extending into the Atl east of Trinidad has lost so much moisture overnight.
Supposed to build during DMax.........not shrink??
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3720. IKE
Here's a 144 hour shear loop from the GFS, but it's based off of where 93L goes...Link
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Quoting StormW:


She doesn't look fat!

LOL, im not, its just a figure of speech! I can eat like I am!
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Quoting pottery:
Interesting comments on 93L
Kman and Storm...I wondered last night when I looked at the IR Loops, and said that the north and east sides of the system looked to be blowing away. Looked like shear.
I was corrected and told this was actually venting and was beneficial to the system.

What is/was the effect of what was happening there??


Hi there,

Sorry I didn't reply but the internet on the computer I was on went out so I am on a different one now that is hard wired. Sometimes the wrieless coverage in the house goes bonkers.

I saw the explanation from Storm and mine is less technical. In simple terms, I think the problems plaguing 93L have more to do with climatology than anything else. It is in an area , and has been for the last 24 hours, that just does not allow TDs to develop save in the most exceptional circumstances.

The behaviour of 93L is therefore in keeping with what one would expect to see, not the other way around.

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ok ok, i say... RED by 2:00 PM central.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


No big rain in sight either unless 93L pays you a visit but if it does most of LA will be on the weaker western side.

Yea and that wouldnt end up amounting to much... maybe a 2mph gust of wind ;p
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Now I understand the CMC on crack statement. LOL

Two storms in the N. GOM?
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Quoting twhcracker:
is it red yet or still orange?

Orange, down to 40%
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3709. IKE
6Z HWRF
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93L looks a little better
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is it red yet or still orange?
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3704. IKE
93L is in a bad spot for Hispaniola....for rain.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


Like a fat kid loves cake!LOL

Mmmm cake!!!!

Thanks for the map Ben!! Looks like im not in the drought. Im just under the yellow in Ascension parish. Could have fooled me tho... its so freakin hott.
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if i can get someone to awnser lol seems my post are not visible? if the conditions are going to be so favorable in the gulf why do al the models other than the crazy cmc, maintain a weak or weakenig system in the gulf? also i asked this once before with the favorable conditions we have now and nothing imenent to develop is there something else going on we are missing ike you mentioned this yesterday. also ike you have been spot on so far this year with your observations and you like me do not claim to be a pro lol
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
True. Looking at 850 millibar vorticity there looks to be two strong areas of vorticity, Fujiwhara? But they seem to be combining. (Yes I'm back, but won't post as much as before, didn't mean to cause a fuss on the blog last night).


Hey 09, I've been lurking here for three years now, and I dont usually say too much, if anything. But I felt compelled to tell you not to worry too much about people getting snippy with you on this forum. Clearly you have an interest, talent and drive when it comes to meteorology, and I think you should stick with it, study your sciences hard and never give up on your goals. My son began pursuing his career as a lihting designer at 13, and at 15, he's already light years beyond most adults in his chosen field, and has worked with a number of famous musicians. He has job offers right and left, and I know I don't have to worry about him making his way in this world doing what makes him happier than anything else.
And you should pursue your goals just as relentlessly.
So don't give up, and don't let people hurt your feelings. Just keep moving forward, and good luck.
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The only rain we get are just those normal summer afternoon pop up showers. But the sun is still out and it lasts a whole 10 minutes. Its just enough to make your grass grow even faster so you have to get out there twice a week in the extremem heat and cut it! Sounds like mother nature is playin games to me :)

Ike, have yall been having any extreme heat there?
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3694. IKE
A week from today, all hell started breaking lose in 2005....up to the E storm by July 11th...just 19 days from now. Fortunately this years comparison to 2005, hasn't materialized yet.



Well, this one's a tricky critter...



Hmmm....naw...
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Quoting alaina1085:

Its all good, I was eating my popcorn :)


Ike, I believe you started a trend here.
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Quoting Jeff9641:


Drought conditions are building through much of LA as well so rain would be a good thing right now. Drought feeds extreme heat so hopefully substantial rain will fall soon.

Bring on the rain!!

Quoting StormW:


And you didn't share any with me?


Im a fat kid Storm! We dont share food! LOL ;)
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3690. pottery
Quoting StormW:


Well, this one's a tricky critter...I saw last night at least 3 different vorticies (typical of a developing system). The upper level anticyclone however, even though the winds are like 20 kts to the north, shouldn't have a negative effect, as being under the anticyclone, the winds are spreading out from the center, vice coming from the west in a shearing (zonal) pattern.

OK Thanks.
Need to make a bigger effort to understand those mechanics....
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3689. IKE
Quoting aquak9:
MH09- good to have ya back. Kinda hard to play in adult swim at times. Being adults, we got WAY MORE worries than one at your age...and life didn't really come with an instruction manual.

Chin up, never give up. Your folks are doing something right. :)


After all....it's the weather...there's nothing you can do about it.

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3686. WxLogic
Quoting IKE:
...SPECIAL FEATURES...

A VIGOROUS TROPICAL WAVE IS MOVING THROUGH THE ERN CARIBBEAN
EXTENDING FROM 21N70W ACROSS CENTRAL DOMINICAN REPUBLIC ALONG
15N72W TO OVER LAKE MARACAIBO NEAR 10N71W MOVING WNW 10 KT. WAVE
IS EMBEDDED WITHIN A LARGE AREA OF DEEP LAYERED MOISTURE AS
INDICATED ON THE TOTAL PRECIPITABLE WATER IMAGERY. BROAD LOW TO
MID LEVEL CYCLONIC CURVATURE IS CENTERED ALONG THE WAVE AXIS.
UPPER-LEVEL WINDS APPEAR TO BE CONDUCIVE FOR GRADUAL DEVELOPMENT
AND A TROPICAL DEPRESSION COULD FORM DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF
DAYS. REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND
GUSTY WINDS ARE POSSIBLE OVER PORTIONS OF PUERTO RICO...THE
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC...HAITI...AND JAMAICA DURING THE NEXT DAY OR
TWO. THERE IS A MEDIUM CHANCE OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. CLUSTERS OF SCATTERED MODERATE
AND ISOLATED STRONG CONVECTION ARE WITHIN 75 NM OF THE WAVE S OF
15N TO INLAND OVER SOUTH AMERICA AND FROM 15N TO 18N BETWEEN 67W
AND 72W.


Indeed... my thinking was the same. I also received some info from family in Dominican Republic that due to the heavy rains one of the major rivers has risen to dangerous levels due to all the rain that had been falling for the last couple days.

Definitely not a good situation for Haiti either.

Thankfully the system has been keeping itself south enough to not be an even worst nuisance.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Lol. Didn't mean for last night to sound like a soap opera it was just between TampaSpin and me. Thanks, btw.

Its all good, I was eating my popcorn :)
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Well thank you for your support and I will continue to follow 93L for development, off to do stuff, be back around 4:30 PM.
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Quoting StormW:


Well, right now, I don't know if it's going to help or hinder it...but the way things look, it looks like a good chance of that getting entrained into 93L.


93L is half way across the Caribbean and I don't think that vort will catch it. One scenario is that a new low spins up from that feature in the position where 93L is today in about 48 hours. We could see a new and entirely seperate threat develop from that very potent 850 mb feature.
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3682. aquak9
MH09- good to have ya back. Kinda hard to play in adult swim at times. Being adults, we got WAY MORE worries than one at your age...and life didn't really come with an instruction manual.

Chin up, never give up. Your folks are doing something right. :)
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3681. IKE
If I were a betting man, which I'm not, I would say this will still be unclassified Thursday morning.

I see the ridge finally breaking down early next week in the SE USA, so if 93L gets it the GOM/GOO, it's moisture might simply get drawn north into the coast.

The 6-10 day precip outlook calls for above normal precip along the northern gulf coast...

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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.