An early start to hurricane season?

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:12 PM GMT on May 31, 2011

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The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins on Wednesday, June 1, but the Caribbean is already showing signs of the change of seasons. Moisture and heavy thunderstorm activity have increased in the region between Central America and Jamaica in recent days, and rainfall amounts of 1 - 2 inches have been common over the past three days over Cuba, Hispaniola, and much of Central America. The subtropical jet stream has been bringing high wind shear of 30 - 50 knots over the Caribbean the past week, but this shear has fallen to 20 - 40 knots this morning, and is predicted to fall below 20 knots by Thursday. All of the computer models predict that an area of low pressure will form in the region between Jamaica and Honduras by Thursday. This low will have the potential to develop into a tropical depression late this week. There is some dry air over the Western Caribbean near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula that may retard the process, but a surge of moisture accompanying a tropical wave currently passing through the Lesser Antilles may counteract this, when the wave arrives in the Western Caribbean on Thursday. Water temperatures in the Central Caribbean are about 1°C above average, 29°C, which is plenty warm enough to support development of a tropical storm. Some recent runs of the NOGPAS model have predicted development of a tropical depression by late this week, potentially affecting Jamaica and Eastern Cuba. The other models have not been as gung-ho, but have been showing the potential for a strong tropical disturbance with very heavy rains forming late this week. In any case, residents of Jamaica, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua should anticipate the possibility that heavy rains of 2 - 4 inches may affect them Thursday through Saturday this week.


Figure 1. Total precipitable water (a measure of how much rain would fall if we condensed all the water vapor present) for May 31, 2011 at 7am EDT. Plentiful water vapor in the SW Caribbean would create about 2 inches of rain (50 mm, orange colors) if it were all condensed out. Image credit: University of Wisconsin CIMSS.

Receipt did not travel 525 miles from Joplin tornado
The May 22 EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri did not set a new record for longest transport of debris by a tornado. According to MSNBC, a couple living in Royal Center, Indiana, in North Central Indiana, 525 miles from Joplin, found a receipt from the Joplin Tire store three days after the tornado hit Joplin. However, a press release from Purdue University clarified that the receipt did not arrive via the tornado, but had been left behind by a relative that had visited Joplin before the tornado. The longest distance recorded for debris from a storm was a cancelled check that traveled 210 miles after the 1915 tornado in Great Bend, Kansas.

The death toll from the May 22, 2011 tornado in Joplin, Missouri is 139, although there is still considerable uncertainty about this number. The Joplin tornado is the 8th deadliest in U.S. history, and the most deadly since the 1947 Woodward, Oklahoma twister that killed 181 people. The tornado season of 2011 now has approximately 520 deaths, which would make it the deadliest tornado season since 1936, according to statistics compiled by NOAA. In the 1936 tornado season 552 people died, mostly because of violent tornadoes that hit Tupelo Mississippi (216 killed), and Gainesville, Georgia (203 killed.)


Figure 2. Satellite image taken at 23:45 UTC (7:45pm EDT) May 22, 2011, showing the line of tornadic thunderstorms that spawned the Joplin tornado. Image credit: NOAA Visualization Laboratory.

Jeff Masters

Joplin, MO (Portlight)
Joplin, MO

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2199. naviguesser
5:03 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
It's offical - Hurricane Season:
1. XTRP has it right...
2. Is that a pin-hole eye?
Member Since: September 15, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 71
2198. sunlinepr
3:47 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9814
2197. HurricaneDevo
2:15 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Raining cats and dogs here in Orlando now.
Member Since: April 19, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 171
2196. JRRP
1:55 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
{
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5783
2195. Abacosurf
1:51 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=4 1009

WNW on the buoy east of Cape Canaveral. Definite rotation.
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 360
2194. reedzone
1:50 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Henry Margusity:
"System coming into the central Florida coast around Noon has winds over 35 kts and heavy thunderstorms. It may be like a depression or weak tropical storm when it comes in this afternoon."
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7387
2193. blsealevel
1:44 PM GMT on June 01, 2011


Link
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2192. aspectre
1:40 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
NEW BLOG
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
2191. kwgirl
1:38 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Drink your worries away.
No, that is called courage, liquid courage. I know, I have had to have a dose of it once in a while.
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
2190. HCW
1:37 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Member Since: August 10, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1408
2189. AtHomeInTX
1:36 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting kwgirl:
Good morning everyone. Thanks for the chuckles. I always like to start off the day with a laugh. I sure am glad that rain is headed for mid Florida. We had our first frog strangler here in Key West yesterday. It was wonderful to smell the rain on the wind. Per the local paper, it had rained .25 inches in March(if I remember correctly) and 1.25 inches in Jan. So we are a bit behind in rainfall. I am wishcasting 93L to linger enough over central Florida to give everyone a good soaking and then on to Texas where they need it most. Of course, with the wishcasting comes the hopecasting that is is nothing more than a good soaking when it hits Texas.


Good morning kwgirl. Thanks for the wish/hopecasting. :)
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 117
2188. belizeit
1:35 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
New Blog
Member Since: January 10, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 920
2187. kimoskee
1:33 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting BobinTampa:
I forgot my umbrella at home today so I just painted my entire body with Thompson's Water Seal.

It better rain now or I'm going to feel ridiculous.



ROFDWL!!!!! Thank you for making my tummy hurt from laughing so hard. Now to clean the coffee off the laptop screen!!! :-D
Member Since: August 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 672
2186. kwgirl
1:32 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Good morning everyone. Thanks for the chuckles. I always like to start off the day with a laugh. I sure am glad that rain is headed for mid Florida. We had our first frog strangler here in Key West yesterday. It was wonderful to smell the rain on the wind. Per the local paper, it had rained .25 inches in March(if I remember correctly) and 1.25 inches in Jan. So we are a bit behind in rainfall. I am wishcasting 93L to linger enough over central Florida to give everyone a good soaking and then on to Texas where they need it most. Of course, with the wishcasting comes the hopecasting that is is nothing more than a good soaking when it hits Texas.
Member Since: March 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1532
2185. blsealevel
1:30 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting Grothar:
They better hunker down.




I saw a Pin Hole Eye :)
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
2184. Bayside
1:30 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting AtHomeInTX:


The latest models have it doing just that. Some rain would be nice. Don't know about development.

Link


Well, I think the XTRP has it right
Member Since: September 4, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 66
2182. MrstormX
1:30 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
2180. RukusBoondocks
1:28 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
wow looks like fl will get rain today~~~!!! look at theat thing how odd is that ?? a little ball fire
Member Since: February 13, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 294
2179. geepy86
1:27 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
It's getting cloudy here. I can't take anymore, where's the booze!
Found it : )
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1701
2178. NICycloneChaser
1:26 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting RukusBoondocks:
cant believe the carribean blob didnt even get a yellow circle jees


It won't be a cyclone for at least 48 hours, no rush.
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1971
2177. AtHomeInTX
1:26 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting RitaEvac:
Hopefully 93L will swing well SW and get into central gulf, bring me rain on upper TX coast


The latest models have it doing just that. Some rain would be nice. Don't know about development.

Link
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 117
2176. Skyepony (Mod)
1:25 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting Grothar:
They better hunker down.




Hunker-down?.. I'm charging camera batteries..


Here's a video I ran across of a mare & foal that survived one of those huge tornado.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
2175. 7544
1:25 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
morning all looks like 93l is speeding heading to daytona any chance it just might stall ?
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6810
2174. RukusBoondocks
1:24 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
cant believe the carribean blob didnt even get a yellow circle jees
Member Since: February 13, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 294
2173. RitaEvac
1:21 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Some mid level spinning east of Nicaragua
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2171. Grothar
1:19 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26110
2170. NICycloneChaser
1:19 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting jeffs713:
Those toys never worked for me... they either sank, or made a bunch of goo in the water.


Probably similar to 93L then.
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1971
2169. jeffs713
1:18 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting DestinJeff:
O.M.G.

when this thing passes into the GOM west of Tampa, look out. It will be like one of those little toys you put into water and it gets larrrrger. GOM SSTs are like JET FUEL!

Daytona, Orlando, Tampa ... STAY SAFE!
Those toys never worked for me... they either sank, or made a bunch of goo in the water.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5880
2168. jeffs713
1:17 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting BobinTampa:
I forgot my umbrella at home today so I just painted my entire body with Thompson's Water Seal.

It better rain now or I'm going to feel ridiculous.


I'd think that you would feel ridiculous regardless of the rain.

That said, please let us know how it works out with any sweat trying to get through the Thompson's water seal...
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5880
2165. RitaEvac
1:16 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Hopefully 93L will swing well SW and get into central gulf, bring me rain on upper TX coast
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
2164. ricderr
1:15 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Where's STORMTOP when we need him? this could hit new orleans as a cat 5
Member Since: June 27, 2006 Posts: 673 Comments: 21628
2163. BobinTampa
1:15 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
I forgot my umbrella at home today so I just painted my entire body with Thompson's Water Seal.

It better rain now or I'm going to feel ridiculous.

Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 532
2161. jeffs713
1:14 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Best Buy? I thought it was Publix.

And in all fairness, there are several individuals that I suspect will be the one to break that particular seal.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5880
2160. JBirdFireMedic
1:14 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Well....welcome back for another year of peek-a-boo.

Let the games with mother nature begin.
Member Since: August 10, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 247
2159. Grothar
1:13 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
They better hunker down.


Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26110
2158. HCW
1:13 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
What are the chances that we get some recon action on this system ?
Member Since: August 10, 2002 Posts: 0 Comments: 1408
2157. KeysieLife
1:13 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting DestinJeff:


here, here! The high spirits help just as much as physical preparation. (in addition to physical prep)

So do the distilled ones!

Come on rain, yeah spirits!
Member Since: September 10, 2010 Posts: 3 Comments: 409
2155. aspectre
1:12 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
After 5 position alterations to smooth the curve, and 2 Invest status alterations...
92L . . Low
What are the criteria that changes an Invest's status from a Disturbance to a Low?
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
2154. NICycloneChaser
1:12 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Looks like a run of the CMC.
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1971
2153. fatlady99
1:12 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting sammywammybamy:


I especially like the happy face.... although I don't know as I would have put it over Macon.... :)
Member Since: September 4, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 410
2152. MrstormX
1:11 PM GMT on June 01, 2011
Quoting DestinJeff:


93L is an adolescent, it very well may be.


lol
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
2150. IKE
1:10 PM GMT on June 01, 2011

Quoting jeffs713:
Anyone want to bet that at least one person on this blog will claim that 93L should have been named? I'm predicting it will happen by 2pm EST.
+1 or +100!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858

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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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