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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Anybody else noticing a slight spin in the NE Gulf? Guess it's just early season fever.
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Well we got 3-4 days before we know if it will sink or swim. Get you popcorn ready I'm not talking about just for watching the wave.
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1176. Levi32
Rotation is becoming more apparent with the tropical wave along 57W east of Trinidad. Don't forget to keep an eye on this. Visible Loop

Back later.

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theres a new flare of convection starting to flare up where I believe there could be a LLC trying to develop...

When I seen 93L earlier today, I had a ugt feeling when I saw Gustav in his invest stage... uugghhhh... this could be a LONG hurricane season!!!
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Quoting MississippiWx:


I hate these systems that take 2-3 days to organize just into a TD! They wear and tear on my brain. LOL.

Despite its improvement in the cloud pattern, it still doesn't look like it's in a big hurry to organize from top to bottom.


Take a look at the visible satellite loop. How this system looks now, compared to at 8am this morning is very different. Convection has become far more concentrated and organized in just a few hours.
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What is this?
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Quoting twhcracker:


well its like i have pre altzenheimer or something. i catch all the important stuff but miss the details. You could see in the aerial tho, how the hills were just bald. i guess the earthquake made vegetation and trees just tumble down?


Haiti has been de-forested for the better part of 75 years; low vegetation yes, but trees? Not so much
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1166. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
INV/93/L
MARK
13.1N/67.3W
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


You should given him a chance to delete his post before reporting him immediately. its not like this wasnt his first timeing doing that.


Agreed. Taz you need to lighten up buddy espeially during active parts of the storm season or you wont last too long either
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Also look at the latest shear map, that anticyclone is elongated and squeezed

there are 30-40 knots of shear over the coast of South America; I wonder if that would inhibit 93L in any sort of way

also very little 850mb vorticity, this is not organizing as fast as some believe, it is going to take time
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
Convection is deepening and is starting to consolidate quite nicely, Looks like a circulation is beginning to develop. You can point out slight rotation towards the south of the convection. I'm sorry guys, however I must say this is the type of disturbance that gives me the creeps and usually when I have the sick feeling in my stomach I got now i'm on to something. The TCHP (Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential) levels scare me the most...
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Colder tops going up on the north and east of the "core". Easy to see on AVN/JSL until we can get TRMM or CloudSat in there. Still doesn't appear to be any sort of discernible circulation. One should begin appearing as stronger convection encourages vorticity, something this storm doesn't have much of atm.

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1159. Drakoen
There are no hot towers in 93L
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 29714
Quoting StormW:


Well, yes and no...how do you know that these haven't reached their full height yet? And their not caused by friction:

These towers are called "hot" because they rise high due to the large amount of latent heat released as water vapor condenses into liquid and freezes into ice.[1]

In 2007, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has hypothesized that the wind shear between the eye and the eyewall could enhance updraft and be a purely dynamic generator of convection.[3]

And since it's a strengthening system, I tend to prefer hot towers.
Ah ok. I thought the terms referred to the same thing, but in different cases. Thanks.
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I dont see 93L becoming a TD any earlier than Wednesday when recon gets there, and maybe not even then
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7233
Quoting Tazmanian:




give 92L a rest its gone and that no back up that is 93L

I'll say what I please and I will give you the courtesy of doing the same.
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1154. fire635
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
Western side is void of convection.



Give it time... within the next 24 hours I think he'll start wrapping some convection around a LLC
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Dr. Masters seems pretty concerned about this, and so does Storm W. I don't care what the models say right now - until this thing actually develops we can't know anything. The heat content in the waters that this system is moving into is scary! Especially this early in the season.

Anyone notice how warm the waters are near the oil spill? Usually a hurricene/TS weakens the closer it moves to shore - but not this season. Any system moving towards the North central Gulf coast will cause major problems - and it doesn't even have to be a major hurricane to do so. Very concerning.

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I said in the Northwest Carribean not where the storm is now
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1150. Ossqss
I did not know if it had been brought up, but JB upped his forecast today. Urrgh!

http://www.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/33013/bastardi_ups_hurricane_season.asp
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I created this myself, learning is fun, when used with weather..

12z RAOB from Curacao...

Member Since: January 14, 2007 Posts: 17 Comments: 4140
I think what ever was left of 92l has been messing with the west side of 93l that is why I think wait until tonight.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3109
TOTALLY different setup than Katrina. Models are not useless now. GEEZ
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Quoting IKE:




lol the wave be hide 93L has red in it
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Quoting Levi32:


They are, but it usually starts at the mid-levels and that's what we're seeing. Surface winds may start to turn later, but I expect gradual, not rapid, organization of the system over the next couple days.


I hate these systems that take 2-3 days to organize just into a TD! They wear and tear on my brain. LOL.

Despite its improvement in the cloud pattern, it still doesn't look like it's in a big hurry to organize from top to bottom.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10156
Quoting 7544:
93l could be a fla strom imo he models will go more east lloks like 93l is starting to inch n ne at this hour


Maybe the Fla Keys but no further North than that.
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Quoting StormGoddess:
Looks like this is the deal at the moment, imo.
Photobucket




give 92L a rest its gone and that no back up that is 93L
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Quoting blueyedhrlyridr:
Looks like it has about 25knt shear in the Northwest Carribean. This shear should relax some before 93 gets there. that is where I feel we will have T.S. status. Depending on where it crosses the yukatan will depend on how fast it gets its act together
Really? on the 1500 utc shear map it looks like 80% of the storm is in an area of <10 kt shear.
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1139. IKE
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Quoting PalmBeachWeatherBoy:
I think this might be a panhandle threat, DONT HIT THE PANIC BUTTON, im a nobody, just a wild GUESS

the panhandle likes storms whose name starts with a vowel...agnes 1972...erin 1995...ivan 2004...opal 1995...just saying
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Quoting superweatherman:



AND HERE WE GO!




in joy the 24hr banned


During active periods of hurricane season, these rules will be strictly enforced. Violations will be met with a minimum 24 hour ban



see you in 24hrs






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Quoting TexasGulf:


One of the most handy things is a small propane camping stove. You can either buy new or get an old used one on Craigslist. That's perfect for cooking meals for a small family.

If you've got a generator, remember to get a small window air conditioner. It can be used and doesn't have to look good, just be sure it works. If you lose electricity for several days, you can pick one room in your house that you can isolate for air conditioning.

If you live in a neighborhood and have your own yard... Tiki torches and fuel is a great thing to have. Neighborhoods can get really dark at night with no electricity. After Rita, I had 4 tiki's in the yard at night. A tiki torch in front yard and one in back provides some light, lets people know you're home and keeps the looters away. They can't see if you're sitting in the window watching or not, or if you're armed or not. They won't want to find out.

Lastly... take pictures of your home before the storm comes. Digital pictures will have the date & time on them. Take pictures of the exterior on all 4 sides, then take pictures of each room in the house. It doesn't take as long as you'd think. That will help enoromously when dealing with some insurance adjusters.

After the storm, it is typical not to be able to call out using your cell phone. Sometimes they shut down non-emergency calls. Remember... even if you can't call out, you can often send text messages to let people know you're OK.

If you choose to evacuate, bring a road map of your county that shows all the side streets. In case you need to get back in, national guard normally only blocks off the main roads and highways. You can sneak in past them, even if turned away at first, by taking the small residential side streets. Once you're in the county, they aren't authorized to kick you back out... even if they saw you sneak by on the side streets. The road map may also save you 1-2 hours during evacuation if you take roads other than the highways for as long as possible.


I would also add getting an old style phone that plugs into the wall. After Charlie in Punta Gorda this was the only phone in the house that worked. After 3 days of silence I heard the phone ringing in my daughters bed room. All other rooms had wireless phones and ran on electricity. You can get one of these phones for between 5 and 10 bucks.
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We go through this every year guys. Models were weak worth Katrina at first then then u all know what happened. Models r useless as of now
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Is south florida going to be hit by any storms by tihs time next week? :)
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Quoting StormW:
Not good...hot towers



Hot towers mean no so strong? Right, so you mean it's a good thing. Or am I once again totally off base.
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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.