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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1028. IKE
GFS may prove correct again. Time will tell.

93L needs some model support. It's biggest supporter has backed off.
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Guys, there's no point being too taken up with the models runs just yet. Until there is a well defined center which the models can affix to, they will vary. The general consensus so far however, seems to be WNW through the Caribbean. Jamaica and Cayman Isl need to pay closest attention at this point.
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The outflow or divergence aloft is excellent I think when the surface easterlies slow down tonight we will see if we have a ball game.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
I just have a very hard time seeing what will slow down 93L from developing after its get a circulation going, besides land interaction.
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Quoting IKE:
ECMWF=Flip-flops!


It has a whole closet full of flip-flops lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7829
Quoting ssmate:
nofuncaster



lol
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1021. Levi32
Quoting Hurricanes101:
amazing the difference between the 00Z and 12Z runs Levi


Yes...wild swings expected. Heck we have nothing but easterly winds running underneath 93L. Not even a hint of a surface circulation yet. It will get played around with a lot by the ECMWF.
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1020. IKE
ECMWF=Flip-flops!
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Quoting ldude:

not sure, but I think the deforestation in Haiti predates the earthquake.
Uhhhh the deforestation is not natural... they were all cut down. http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20080217/NEWS/802170358
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Wow. The blog sways back and forth with the models.


Doesn't it normally?
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1016. ssmate
Quoting blueyedhrlyridr:
I think everyone should just take a deep breath and relax. Once the low forms then we will have a better understanding on intensity and where it may be heading. We have alot of time to watch and study this storm.
nofuncaster
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amazing the difference between the 00Z and 12Z runs Levi
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7829
with low wind shear and hot sea temper


i bet the mode runs will not play out the weaker mod
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1013. Levi32
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Wow. The blog sways back and forth with the models.


The blog does. I don't. Models are tools not leaders.
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1012. ldude
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?

not sure, but I think the deforestation in Haiti predates the earthquake.
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Quoting Levi32:
The trough will not necessarily recurve 93L as much into the eastern gulf....there is lots of room for track swings here. Now that we have a disturbance to watch we can start figuring out if it will actually develop and how fast it will develop. A stronger system approaching the NW Caribbean will tend to track farther north and east. First we have to get development and without a defined surface center expect wild swings on the ECMWF and every other model. This is natural. For now we are focusing on development first, then track and intensity.
Wow. The blog sways back and forth with the models.
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Quoting Levi32:
ECMWF 216 hours....see how it's weaker and more WNW track. These things aren't set in stone and will swing back and forth. Can't put much stock into any of these runs.



Weaker is good.
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1009. Levi32
The trough will not necessarily recurve 93L as much into the eastern gulf....there is lots of room for track swings here. Now that we have a disturbance to watch we can start figuring out if it will actually develop and how fast it will develop. A stronger system approaching the NW Caribbean will tend to track farther north and east. First we have to get development and without a defined surface center expect wild swings on the ECMWF and every other model. This is natural. For now we are focusing on development first, then track and intensity later.
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You might be right freak the models don't offer much support. But I don't think most of them are even starting off with the current situation.Also I seldom see the Doc over forecast something. I know he said Wed. but he did say possible major concern.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
I think everyone should just take a deep breath and relax. Once the low forms then we will have a better understanding on intensity and where it may be heading. We have alot of time to watch and study this storm.
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1006. Drakoen
Quoting Levi32:
ECMWF 216 hours....see how it's weaker and more WNW track. These things aren't set in stone and will swing back and forth. Can't put much stock into any of these runs.



The result of it being weaker is a more WNW track
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30575
TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
205 PM EDT MON JUN 21 2010

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR NORTH AMERICA...CENTRAL
AMERICA...GULF OF MEXICO...CARIBBEAN SEA...NORTHERN SECTIONS OF
SOUTH AMERICA...AND ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE AFRICAN COAST FROM THE
EQUATOR TO 32N. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS BASED ON SATELLITE
IMAGERY...METEOROLOGICAL ANALYSIS...WEATHER OBSERVATIONS...AND
RADAR.

BASED ON 1200 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY THROUGH
1715 UTC...

...SPECIAL FEATURES...

TROPICAL WAVE EXTENDS FROM PUERTO RICO NEAR 19N66W TO 08N67W
MOVING W 10 KT. THE WAVE COINCIDES WITH A BROAD AREA OF DEEP
LAYER MOISTURE EVIDENT IN TOTAL PRECIPITABLE WATER IMAGERY
ACROSS THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN SEA BETWEEN 64W-74W. BROAD CYCLONIC
FLOW IS LOCATED IN THE VICINITY OF THE WAVE INDICATED BY
SATELLITE IMAGERY AND AN EARLIER ASCAT PASS AROUND 21/1438 UTC.
NUMEROUS MODERATE AND SCATTERED STRONG CONVECTION IS FROM
10N-18N BETWEEN 64W-70W.

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1004. Drakoen
Bipolar models...
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30575
Sorry double post. Satellite appearance is really improving. Very impressive.
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Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:
I don't think it's 60,000 gallons per tree. If you had 10 trees per acre, which is pretty thin for a forest, that would be 600,000 gallons per acre. Or 80,000 cubic feet of rain per acre. Which is about 19 inches.

19 inches will cause big flooding, forest cover or not. Thick forests did not stop the Arkansas flood disaster. And the rainfall was less.

However it is a good point. The earthquake and its aftermath will make flooding even worse in Haiti, from whatever comes by.


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?
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1001. Levi32
ECMWF 216 hours....see how it's weaker and more WNW track. These things aren't set in stone and will swing back and forth. Can't put much stock into any of these runs.

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Quoting Hurricanes101:
AL, 93, 2010062118, , BEST, 0, 135N, 678W, 25, 1010, DB
Where do you get that info from?
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Quoting watchingnva:
looking at the current vis/rgb loops...please tell me im not already seeing low level rotation trying to get going around 14/67....and are we really having venting starting to take place on the north and east sides. this is retarded...there was nothing there last night at all...its amazing how conditions change so quickly...wow.
Felix and Gustav were also quite fond of the spot 93L is in... Just saying.
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quite a bit weaker Levi

now watch the ECMWF really freak people out and drop development completely on the 00Z run lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7829
i say the mode runs are no good
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Quoting CaneWarning:


Landline? LOL I've never had landline.


Had two land lines until 2008 now with the opening of Dad's garage office its gone up to 6.
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Actually, it looks to me like it's spinning off all kinds of little vortices.
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994. xcool
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Quoting CaneWarning:


The guys should be thrown in jail. They endanger the lives of everyone who might have eaten their "brown" shrimp.


i felt it was they were desperately trying to sneak and make a living.
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....
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7829
ECMWF 168...not wanting to recurve as much and weaker.

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The model runs pretty much stink...
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


Investcaster lol



LOL
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Every frame on satellite looks better going to red at 8pm my bet.
I can GUARANTEE you that won't happen. And there won't be any crow involved. They may up it a little bit, but not to red. These model runs that are coming out now will help determine how far they raise the probability.
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Look at the area around 14.25N, 68.75W

I see a vortex.
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Quoting tropicfreak:


Looking healthier and healthier by the minute, I can almost spot an "eye"


did you really just say that....thats a no no...lol...we are looking at an invest...you are possibly seeing a "LLC" LOL...
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Quoting Grothar:
You all happy now. I got NOAA to change 92L to 93L on their site.




They tend to respect the elderly more.....LMAO
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Quoting animalrsq:


"Old-fashioned" phone. The kind you plug into the jack but doesn't take electricity like those with answering machines. You may have no cell service and no power, but still have landline service.


Landline? LOL I've never had landline.
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Quoting winter123:

95 and 96L are looking good as well


Investcaster lol
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7829
Every frame on satellite looks better going to red at 8pm my bet.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3113
Quoting RobbieLSU:
Hey everyone. Reporting from Panama City Beach, FL. Water is absolutely gorgeous. It's nice and warm too, like bath water. But not a speck of oil where we're at. Not even any June grass or any seaweed in the water. Pristine!


you must work for the TDC haha
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Quoting Tazmanian:



95 and 96L???
It was a joke
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Quoting winter123:

95 and 96L are looking good as well



95 and 96L???
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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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