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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3528. xcool
KoritheMan thanks
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3527. xcool
btwntx08 alot more.
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Quoting xcool:
need more convergence.

there is some but yea it needs more lol
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For anyone confused as to what the commonly cited "mb" levels actually mean, here's a useful link.
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3524. xcool
need more convergence.
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also means just above the surface
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Quoting KoritheMan:
It appears to me, based on shortwave infrared satellite animations that 93L might be forming its center further to the north, underneath that deep convection south Hispaniola.

0600 UTC 850 mb vorticity data from CIMSS also supports this:


yep
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3521. xcool
KoritheMan/opps lol
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Quoting xcool:



850mb 10,000ft


850 mb is 5,000 feet.
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3519. xcool



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Quoting KoritheMan:
It appears to me, based on shortwave infrared satellite animations that 93L might be forming its center further to the north, underneath that deep convection south of eastern Hispaniola.

yea no wonder that convection look so wierd
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3517. xcool
KoritheMan .i was Just Look At That .
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saw it at 240 hr and it dies in the mtns of mexico striaght to my west
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It appears to me, based on shortwave infrared satellite animations that 93L might be forming its center further to the north, underneath that deep convection south Hispaniola.

0600 UTC 850 mb vorticity data from CIMSS also supports this:

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MARINE WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
310 AM EDT TUE JUN 22 2010

MARINE WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR GULF OF MEXICO...CARIBBEAN SEA AND
TROPICAL N ATLC FROM 07N TO 22N BETWEEN 55W AND 65W...AND
SOUTHWEST NORTH ATLC S OF 31N W OF 55W

GULF OF MEXICO...
HIGH PRES RIDGE ALONG 29N PREVAILS ACROSS WESTERN GULF THROUGH
SAT WITH LIGHT TO MODERATE E TO SE BREEZE. TROPICAL WAVE...NOW
OVER W CARIBBEAN HAS BROUGHT AN INCREASE IN WIND AND SEAS IN THE
STRAITS OF FLORIDA AND WILL SPREAD W OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN
GULF...WEAKENING WED. THE EXTREME SE PART OF THE BASIN MAY BE
AFFECTED BY STRENGTHENING TROPICAL WAVE OVER NW CARIBBEAN NEAR
THE YUCATAN PENINSULA FRI.

CARIBBEAN SEA AND TROPICAL N ATLC...
A TROPICAL WAVE OVER THE W CARIBBEAN WILL REACH THE YUCATAN
PENINSULA TODAY WITH AN INCREASE IN WINDS AND SEAS. SECOND
VIGOROUS TROPICAL WAVE NOW ALONG 71W S OF HISPANIOLA WILL BRING
AN INCREASE IN WINDS AND SEAS TO THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN. THERE IS
A 50 PERCENT CHANCE THAT THIS WAVE MAY PRODUCE A TROPICAL
CYCLONE WITHIN THE NEXT 48 HOURS. A THIRD TROPICAL WAVE HAS
MOVED INTO THE TROPICAL N ATLC WATERS ACCOMPANIED BY STRONG
WINDS AND HIGHER SEAS MAINLY S OF 18N.

SW N ATLC...
ATLC RIDGE WILL PREVAIL ALONG 30/31N THROUGH THE FORECAST PERIOD
KEEPING MODERATE TO FRESH E TO SE FLOW THROUGH ENTIRE BASIN.
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3513. xcool


at 500m
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Quoting btwntx08:
it said the lower tx coast is better than the upper tx coast lol also said lets get those beach goers out of the beach and take cover lol


Lol.
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3511. xcool
lolol
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it said the lower tx coast is better than the upper tx coast lol also said lets get those beach goers out of the beach and take cover lol
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3509. xcool


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3508. xcool
hmm
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


Lol. It doesn't like our (upper tx coast)hospitality.

that is some track right lol looks like going to galveston first then says wait i dont feel like making landfall there so it said i'll go to the other end of the tx coast lol
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3506. xcool
KoritheMan .need alot
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Quoting xcool:




Still has a lot of work to do on its south side, and even some along the western side as well.
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3504. xcool


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Quoting btwntx08:
actually its a weak ts that it look to be heading to galveston at 196 hr then 24 hrs later at 216 hr it strenghens and goes back towards me crazy huh


Lol. It doesn't like our (upper tx coast)hospitality.
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3502. xcool
btwntx08 ? why
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lol levi didnt see it
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3500. xcool
crazy shi go happen
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Quoting F4PHANTOM:
ECMWF shows the systems on the W coast of Fla. at 144 hr, then around N.O. at 168hr. then stretched from N.O. to Mex. at 192hr. Don't think it will play out like that. Model is all over the place.


It does look like it rolls the energy around the gulf but at end it settles on Brownsville
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actually its a weak ts that it look to be heading to galveston at 196 hr then 28 hrs later at 216 hr it strenghens and goes back towards me crazy huh
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3497. xcool
LMAO rob
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holy crap look out me lol at hr 216

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3495. xcool
YEAH HIT NOLA GO TO TX OH SNAP
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3494. JLPR2
Quoting btwntx08:
OMG look at hr 216 on holy s*** look out me


yep, right at your doorstep

Hey guys, how's everything tonight? XD
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Quoting btwntx08:
whoa wait a minute here is the other view of it still shows a 1002 mb low or maybe a weak ts


Gunnin' for ya again BT. :)
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OMG look at hr 216 on holy s*** look out me
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3491. xcool



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Quoting F4PHANTOM:
ECMWF shows the systems on the W coast of Fla. at 144 hr, then around N.O. at 168hr. then stretched from N.O. to Mex. at 192hr. Don't think it will play out like that. Model is all over the place.


Try Again...
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I had to fight my way onto any site. Kept getting virus warnings for every weather site I use. Weird. So forgive me if these things have been posted already. What I noticed about the CMC they're seeing a huge trough over the U.S. So apparently is the GFS. I don't know what happened to the monster ridge thats supposed to build back over the gulf and keep storm moving west. Also CMC sped up landfall by about 2 days. However at 216-240 hrs shows 2 other storms.



It is definitely still completely up in the air about landfall and strength.
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whoa wait a minute here is the other view of it still shows a 1002 mb low or maybe a weak ts
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3487. xcool
TAKE ALL MODEL I have to throw it out the window.BEEP
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Quoting btwntx08:
shoot ecmwf went off this time lol
ECMWF shows the systems on the W coast of Fla. at 144 hr, then around N.O. at 168hr. then stretched from N.O. to Mex. at 192hr. Don't think it will play out like that. Model is all over the place.
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3485. xcool
NA
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did anything change after hr 192 on it
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3483. xcool
homelesswanderer .yep
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Quoting xcool:
Levi32 i dnot know why. .thanks


Hey XCOOL. When using that ECMWF model from that site sometimes I have to refresh the pages or it shows the last run. Gotta wait longer but that should fix it. :)
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Quoting Levi32:


Exactly why mine was the current one and his was not...


Yup, must be time for bed. Sorry 'bout that.
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3480. xcool
btwntx08 lol
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shoot ecmwf went off this time lol
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Quoting WatchingThisOne:


Actually, both of those are June 27, 00Z ... the one xcool posted was 144 hr ... the one you posted 120 hr.


My bad, getting tired and taking Vicodan for pain. You are correct that current run puts a lot less low into the Gulf. Apologies.
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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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