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 BenBIogger:


The warm pattern across the Gulf Coast might continue through the summer and even half of fall. JMO
Quoting StormW:


Hrad to say at that long of a range...but that ridge has been near your area now since before the beginning of June, and the pattern (shows up on steering) keeps reloading the same way (since mid May)


Thanks guys. Thats what I was afraid of, time to move up north!
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Quoting alaina1085:


Your young so let me give ya a tid bit of advice that I wish I had learned at 13. The world is cruel, some ppl are cruel, you have to have a tough thick skin to make it these days! So in the words of our beloved Aaliyah... "Dust yourself off and try again!"
How you think Donald Trump did it ;)
Lol. Didn't mean for last night to sound like a soap opera it was just between TampaSpin and me. Thanks, btw.
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3675. 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.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Thanks, lol.


Your young so let me give ya a tid bit of advice that I wish I had learned at 13. The world is cruel, some ppl are cruel, you have to have a tough thick skin to make it these days! So in the words of our beloved Aaliyah... "Dust yourself off and try again!"
How you think Donald Trump did it ;)
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Quoting alaina1085:
Off topic of 93L, we have been having some extreme heat here in SELA. Is this supposed to continue through the summer? If its already 98 with a heat index of 110 what is August and Sept gonna look like?
We cant even enjoy summer here its so hot. Pools feel like hot tubs, its rediculous. Its sad when your 3 year old begs to go inside because its too hot.
We go from an extreme winter, to an extreme summer! Thanks el nino, la nina!


The warm pattern across the Gulf Coast might continue through the summer and even half of fall. JMO
Member Since: March 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1421
Quoting StormW:


Look, quit beatin' yourself up. I don't know exactly what happened last night, but I'm alive, kman is alive, the world is still here, etc. So...must not be a big deal.
Yes, StormW. Lol, it was an odd night last night, but like Kman said, it's all forgotten and we I have no problems anymore, if I do I'll just take it to e-mail.
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3670. 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??
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Quoting kmanislander:


Welcome back. Last night is forgotten, don't worry about it. Taking a break from time to time is good for the eyes though LOL
Thanks, lol.
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Off topic of 93L, we have been having some extreme heat here in SELA. Is this supposed to continue through the summer? If its already 98 with a heat index of 110 what is August and Sept gonna look like?
We cant even enjoy summer here its so hot. Pools feel like hot tubs, its rediculous. Its sad when your 3 year old begs to go inside because its too hot.
We go from an extreme winter, to an extreme summer! Thanks el nino, la nina!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cg2916:


Is that why 93L is looking so ragged?
Not really, but close. Could of had a bad diurnal minimum, looks like it's due to not having a well-defined circulation. There is an anticyclone aloft so it should be improving steadily at the surface and with convection.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
FUBAR



AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI


There are at least 4 models taking it to the Oil Rig area, with three of them as a Cat 1 or 2
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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).


Welcome back. Last night is forgotten, don't worry about it. Taking a break from time to time is good for the eyes though LOL
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3661. MahFL
93L is a normal invest, they often take several days to form into a TD, be patient.
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3660. cg2916
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).


Is that why 93L is looking so ragged?
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This blog is quirky at times. Just corrected a post and it duplicated the incorrect one LOL
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Quoting MahFL:
The shear across Haiti is only 20 to 30. The coc is way south east of Haiti. There shear is only 5 to 15 at the most.


3648. cg2916 7:52 AM EDT on June 22, 2010

Thank you both.........That looks correct.
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3657. cg2916
Quoting DestinJeff:


is that the action the as-of-now smoking crack CMC is picking up and throwing thru the keys and into the GOM?


Don't forget the one in the northern CATL.
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Quoting kmanislander:
This time yesterday morning it had a more cohesive structure and was in the process of developing a banding type cloud formation. Today the cloud deck is all over the place.

While the NHC did not specifically say it is less organized today I think the deterioration in satellite appearance coupled with the fact that no well defined low has developed some 24 hours later implicitly suggests a less well organized system warranting a downgrade.
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).
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3654. cg2916
Storm, what happened to 93L?
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3653. MahFL
The shear across Haiti is only 20 to 30. The coc is way south east of Haiti. There shear is only 5 to 15 at the most.
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.
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Quoting cg2916:
Morning all!

What happened to 93L? It's looking worse than last night.

It's stubborn!
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3649. pottery
'Morning.
Big changes in 7 hours since I last looked at 93 and the wave east of here.
Neither area looks threatening at the moment.
Surprising to me, both of them.
I thought we were getting torrential rain here today, and it's the prettiest morning I have seen in a long time.

Ah!! The Weather...
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3648. cg2916
Quoting weathermanwannabe:


The sheer across Haiti, moving from west to east, in the 30-40 knot range if I am reading the chart correctly?....... :)


The most it's facing is 20 knots at the very northernmost clouds.
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Quoting StormW:
Morning kman!


Good morning. So you think a third area of vorticity is going to help 93L ?. Interesting thing is that the vort from the SE is moving at a much faster clip than 93L. I don't know how the two will go about matching up like that.
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FUBAR



AOI

AOI

AOI

AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
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3644. cg2916
Morning all!

What happened to 93L? It's looking worse than last night.
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Quoting kmanislander:
This time yesterday morning it had a more cohesive structure and was in the process of developing a banding type cloud formation. Today the cloud deck is all over the place.

While the NHC did not specifically say it is less organized today I think the deterioration in satellite appearance coupled with the fact that no well defined low has developed some 24 hours later implicitly suggests a less well organized system warranting a downgrade.


Yea, that sounds about right with what the ASCAT showed. We need an organized LLC for anything to get going. Also to note, remember the John Hope rule? 'If it doesn't develop in the Eastern Caribbean, it wont do so until it gets to the western' I believe 93L is following that rule. I've actually rarely seen a tropical cyclone break it.
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Quoting StormW:


What shear?


The sheer across Haiti, moving from west to east, in the 30-40 knot range if I am reading the chart correctly?....... :)
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Quoting StormW:
It's fixing to get interesting. Remember that area just east of the Antilles folks were ranting about...well guess what's sneaking up on 93L?

IR2


Uh oh. Not the dreaded Vulcan mind meld ?.
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3639. MahFL
One thing is for sure, there is not much shear over the coc.....which is bad news.....
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Good Morning!

How is our over-hyped convergence line doing this morning?
Member Since: March 19, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1421
Quoting alaina1085:


I am already losing sleep over this thing! LOL. I must have woke up 3 times wanting to check the blog. Is there a tropical weather rehab? ;)


Haha me too! I woke up at 2 am to check the TWO.. its an obsession! If there is a rehab, sign me up LOL.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Strange, the NHC didn't state why they bumped it down to 40%. They didn't say it has 'changed little in organization' or 'less organized.'
This time yesterday morning it had a more cohesive structure and was in the process of developing a banding type cloud formation. Today the cloud deck is all over the place.

While the NHC did not specifically say it is less organized today I think the deterioration in satellite appearance coupled with the fact that no well defined low has developed some 24 hours later implicitly suggests a less well organized system warranting a downgrade.
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IKE it is expected to drop down due to the loss of convection but once that gains some and the low level spin can get more pronounced then we will get 60% and higher
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
I have a feeling 93L's going to be like pre-Dolly and pre-Fay. Drive us all insane.


I am already losing sleep over this thing! LOL. I must have woke up 3 times wanting to check the blog. Is there a tropical weather rehab? ;)
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In the short term, there are actually two major impediments IMHO to formation....Close proximity to land, and, the bands of high sheer across the northen quadrant of the area of interest......A general west to south-west movement might be the best chance for it given the current sheer profiles.....It's rather "boxed in" at the moment.
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I have a feeling 93L's going to be like pre-Dolly and pre-Fay. Drive us all insane.
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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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