Caribbean disturbance slow to develop; 5 EF-5 tornadoes this year confirmed

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:33 PM GMT on June 03, 2011

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The tropical disturbance (Invest 93L) that crossed over Florida on Wednesday, bringing welcome rains of 1 - 3 inches, is now a naked swirl of low clouds over the central Gulf of Mexico. The disturbance is embedded in a large area of dry air associated with an upper level low pressure system, and this dry air is discouraging development. 93L is also moving into a region of moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots, and NHC is giving 93L a 0% chance of developing into a tropical depression before the storm makes landfall in Mexico south of Brownsville on Saturday. There are a few heavy thunderstorms trying to fire up near the center of 93L's fairly well-formed circulation, but I don't think this storm is going to bring more than 1 - 2 inches of rain to the coast on Saturday.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of the Central Caribbean disturbance.

Central Caribbean disturbance 94L
Disorganized heavy thunderstorm activity continues in the region between Central America and Jamaica. Wind shear has fallen to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, and is predicted to continue to fall over the next two days. This should allow the disturbance, dubbed Invest 94L by NHC on Friday afternoon, to increase in organization, though it will take many days for it to approach tropical depression status, since it is so large and poorly organized. The last two runs of the NOGAPS model have developed the disturbance into a tropical depression or storm by early next week, with the system moving northwards into Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and eastern Cuba. The other major models do not show the disturbance developing during the coming week. NHC is giving the disturbance a 10% of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. A surge of moisture accompanying a tropical wave may aid development when the wave arrives in the Western Caribbean on Sunday. 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. Residents of Jamaica, eastern Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic should anticipate the possibility that heavy rains of 2 - 4 inches may affect them today through Sunday.

Five EF-5 tornadoes confirmed in 2011
The National Weather Service in Oklahoma City announced Wednesday that the violent tornado that hit Binger, El Reno, Peidmont, and Guthrie, Oklahoma on May 24, killing nine people, was an EF-5 with winds greater than 210 mph. The rating was given based on measurements made by a University of Oklahoma portable "Doppler on wheels" radar. The long track, large wedge tornado caused extensive damage, with well built houses cleanly swept from their foundation and trees debarked. This tornado brings the total number of EF-5 tornadoes this year to five, tying 2011 with 1953 for 2nd place for greatest number of these top-end tornadoes in one year. Only 1974 (six) had more. The EF-5 tornadoes of 2011:

1) The April 27, 2011 Neshoba/Kemper/Winston/Noxubee Counties, Mississippi tornado (3 killed, 29 mile path length.)

2) The April 27, 2011 Smithville, Mississippi tornado (22 killed, 15 mile path length.)

3) The April 27, 2011 Hackleburg, Alabama tornado (71 killed, 25 mile path length.)

4) The May 22, 2011 Joplin Missouri tornado (138 killed, 14 mile path length.)

5) The May 24, 2011 Binger-El Reno-Peidmont-Guthrie, Oklahoma tornado. (9 killed, 75 mile path length.)


Figure 2. Aerial view of damage from the May 22, 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado. Image credit: Wikipedia.

A few other remarkable statistics on the tornado season of 2011, compiled from NOAA's official press release and Wikipedia's excellent tornado pages:

- The April 25 - 28 tornado outbreak, with 330 tornadoes, was the largest tornado outbreak of three days or less duration on record. The previous record was 148 tornadoes, set during the April 3 - 4, 1974 Super Outbreak.

- For April 27, 186 tornadoes have been confirmed. This is the largest 1-day tornado total on record, beating the 148 recorded in 24 hours on April 3 - 4, 1974.

- The April 14 - 16 tornado outbreak, with 162 confirmed tornadoes, ranks as the fourth largest tornado outbreak of three days or less duration on record.

- The May 21 - 26 tornado outbreak, with 158 confirmed tornadoes, ranks as the 5th largest 6-day or shorter tornado outbreak on record. A May 2003 6-day outbreak had 289 tornadoes, and a May 2004 6-day outbreak had 229 tornadoes. The year 2011 now has three of the top five tornado outbreaks on record.

- April confirmed tornado total was 683, making it the busiest tornado month on record. The previous record was 542 tornadoes, set in May 2003. The previous April record was 267 tornadoes, which occurred in April 1974. The 30-year average for April tornadoes is 135.

- If the three deaths in Massachusetts from Wednesday's tornadoes are confirmed, this year's tornado death toll will be 522, beating 1953 as the deadliest tornado year since modern tornado records began. That year, 519 people died, and three heavily populated cities received direct hits by violent tornadoes. Waco, Texas (114 killed), Flint, Michigan (115 killed), and Worcester, Massachusetts (90 killed) all were hit by violent F-4 or F-5 tornadoes. A similar bad tornado year occurred in 1936, when violent tornadoes hit Tupelo Mississippi (216 killed), and Gainesville, Georgia (203 killed.) During that time period, the tornado death rate per million people was 60 - 70 times as great as in the year 2000 (Figure 4), implying that this year's tornadoes would have killed many thousands of people had we not had our modern tornado modern warning system.

- The May 22, 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado killed 138 people and injured 1150, making it the deadliest U.S. tornado since 1947, and 8th deadliest in history. The $1 - $3 billion estimate of insured damage makes it the most expensive tornado in history.

- Damage from the April 25 - 28 super tornado outbreak was estimated at $3.5 - $6 billion, making it the most expensive tornado outbreak of all-time.

- The tornado that hit Springfield, Massachusetts on June 1 was at least an EF-3 with 136 - 165 mph winds. It was only the 9th EF-3 or stronger tornado to hit Massachusetts since 1950, and the third deadliest, with three deaths.

- The year 2011 now ranks in 3rd place behind 1974 and 1965 for highest number of strong to violent EF-3, EF-4, and EF-5 tornadoes (Figure 3.)


Figure 3. Number of strong to violent EF-3, EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes from 1950 to 2011. The year 2011 now ranks in 3rd place behind 1974 and 1965. There is not a decades-long increasing trend in the numbers of these most dangerous of tornadoes. Image credit: NOAA/National Climatic Data Center (updated using stats for 2008 - 2011 from Wikipedia.)


Figure 4. Death rate per million people per year in U.S., 1875-2000. Thin line with dots is raw rate, curved thick line is death rate, filtered by 3-point median and 5-point running mean filter, and straight solid lines are least squares fit to filtered death rate for 1875-1925 and 1925-2000. Dashed lines are estimates of 10th and 90th percentile death rates from 1925-2000. The death rate fell from 8 per million to .12 per million between 1940 and 2000. Image credit: A Brief History of Deaths from Tornadoes in the United States, Harold Brooks and Charles Doswell III.

Joplin tornado the 7th U.S. billion-dollar weather disaster of 2011
The Joplin tornado is the 7th U.S. weather disaster of 2011 costing more than a billion dollars. With a major flooding disaster coming on the Missouri River, and hurricane season still to come, 2011 has an excellent chance of beating 2008's record of nine billion-dollar weather disasters. The billion dollar weather disasters of 2011 so far:

1) 2011 Groundhog Day's blizzard ($1- $4 billion)
2) April 3 -5 Southeast U.S. severe weather outbreak ($2 billion)
3) April 8 - 11 severe weather outbreak ($2.25 billion)
4) April 25 - 28 super tornado outbreak ($3.5 - $6 billion)
5) Mississippi River flood of 2011 ($9 billion)
6) Texas drought ($1.2 billion)
7) Joplin tornado ($1 - $3 billion)


Figure 5. River flood outlook for the U.S. Image credit: NOAA.

The next U.S. billion-dollar weather disaster: a Missouri River flood?
A great 100-year flood has arrived along the Missouri River and its tributaries from Montana to Nebraska. Record spring rains, combined with snow melt from record or near-record winter and spring snows, brought the Missouri River at Williston, North Dakota to 27.9' yesterday, just an inch short of the highest crest on record (28.0' on 4/01/1912.) Tributaries to the Missouri, such as the Souris River in North Dakota and the North Platte River in Nebraska, are already flooding at all-time record heights. With warm summer temperatures and additional rainfall expected over much of the area during the coming week, snow melt and rain runoff will swell area rivers even further, creating a damaging 100-year flood. Wunderground weather historian Christopher C. Burt has the details in his latest post, and I will be writing more on this latest epic flood next week.

I'll have a new post on Monday, or earlier if the Caribbean disturbance shows significant development.

Jeff Masters

Joplin Tornado Damage (thebige)
Joplin Tornado Damage
And Bigger.... (weatherfanatic2010)
Here it is turning into a monster.
And Bigger....

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were cooking now in SE TX, I'm seeing huge crapemyrtles dying now, turning brown. Things are gonna spiral outta control now and fast.
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94L has much to over come, Bottomline...
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting TomTaylor:
Why are all my comments hidden??

And why do I only have 6 comments??? Did I break the rules somehow?


Not sure.Have you set your filter to "show all" ?.Did you hit the "hide" button by mistake ?. Can't think of anything else unless there is a glitch. Perhaps you should email Admin@WU. Actually I just noticed that you wouldn't have a "hide" button for your own entries.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15904
Sure, why not? Just go ahead and begin your life to the SW of us and just keep going that way.
GRRRRRRRR

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Why are all my comments hidden??

And why do I only have 6 comments??? Did I break the rules somehow?
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2618. Bitmap7
Quoting fmhurricane2009:
Hi,
I am noticing that convection is dying off,I would assume it's from D-Min but that's not why I am making the post.

There is a significant area of strong convective cold tops with temps of -50 to -60 degrees celcius temperatures about 400 miles SE of 94L over Extreme Northern Venezuela, moving NW at about 20. It continues to produce colder tops as it emerges over the water. Is this the tropical wave that will moisten up the environment starting tommorow?

Thanks in Advance


Was just observing that myself. There are also two new high cloud tops popping up in the eastern corner of 94l's convection. Its on the visible and ir images.
Member Since: May 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 429
Quoting fmhurricane2009:
Hi,
I am noticing that convection is dying off,I would assume it's from D-Min but that's not why I am making the post.

There is a significant area of strong convective cold tops with temps of -50 to -60 degrees celcius temperatures about 400 miles SE of 94L over Extreme Northern Venezuela, moving NW at about 20. It continues to produce colder tops as it emerges over the water. Is this the tropical wave that will moisten up the environment starting tommorow?

Thanks in Advance


Dmin, dry air and shear, the three culprits for how 94L looks at the moment.

Here is the surface map. The closest Twave is about to enter the Caribbean.

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15904
Quoting Bitmap7:
dmin might see 94l's convection wane.


Pressures are highest and there is quite a bit of adversity still affecting 94L. The two don't play very well together. Tomorrow will be another day and I figure we'll step up another rung on the organization ladder. IMO, Monday would be the earliest that depression talk would be on the table.
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2012 should finish us off, don't worry
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Quoting Bitmap7:
dmin might see 94l's convection wane.


It's almost Dmin now.In another hour or so.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15904
good evening to all!!! all looks quiet for now, but i have a feeling this year will be really active
Member Since: July 21, 2010 Posts: 60 Comments: 1011
Steering

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15904
Quoting Seflhurricane:
WE NEED RAIN REALLY BAD, i have never seen southeast florida this dry in years we need a good soaking tropical storm to soak us down.


There have been droughts before. It's this extremely dry rainy season that has me concerned and wondering if it may be permanent. We'll see what happens this year as Mother Nature always seems to seek out the problem areas. Back to back dry rainy seasons will do quite a number on the quality of life here.
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2610. Bitmap7
dmin might see 94l's convection wane.
Member Since: May 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 429
Hi,
I am noticing that convection is dying off,I would assume it's from D-Min but that's not why I am making the post.

There is a significant area of strong convective cold tops with temps of -50 to -60 degrees celcius temperatures about 400 miles SE of 94L over Extreme Northern Venezuela, moving NW at about 20. It continues to produce colder tops as it emerges over the water. Is this the tropical wave that will moisten up the environment starting tommorow?

Thanks in Advance
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
High pressure expanding and relaxing very nicely but the 20 and 30 knot shear levels are very close to the N right near Jamaica. In fact shear has been increasing near Jamaica recently. 94L can't seem to catch a break between dry air and shear. If it's not one it's the other or both



Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15904
Florida's in a serious rain deficit, thanks to the rainy season not starting. We need a ''stimulus'' here stat.
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2606. Gearsts
Quoting IKE:
18Z GFS @ 54 hours....


More rain for PR!
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
SEFL is really going to start feeling the burn if we go through June without rain. 30 year average rainfall for June is 8.20". Deficits will pile up fast.
WE NEED RAIN REALLY BAD, i have never seen southeast florida this dry in years we need a good soaking tropical storm to soak us down.
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SEFL is really going to start feeling the burn if we go through June without rain. 30 year average rainfall for June is 8.20". Deficits will pile up fast.
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2603. txjac
Ike, send that rain straight down I 10 to Houston
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2602. IKE
18Z GFS @ 54 hours....


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2601. j2008
Quoting IKE:


It's headed right toward me. I can smell it in the air.

99.0 outside.

Come on rain!

Ship some of that rain out here in AZ right now at my house its 104.6 with 5% humidity, I havn't seen rain in 3 months!! Enjoy your rain.....
Member Since: December 19, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 224
2600. xcool



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Quoting seflagamma:


Ike I hope you get some of that rain, any rain falling anywhere in Florida would feel good!



For SEFL

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SUNDAY THROUGH FRIDAY

ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE MIDDLE TO END OF NEXT WEEK,
MAINLY ACROSS INTERIOR AND WESTERN PORTIONS OF SOUTH FLORIDA.


GRRRRRRR......
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Quoting IKE:


It's headed right toward me. I can smell it in the air.

99.0 outside.

Come on rain!


Ike I hope you get some of that rain, any rain falling anywhere in Florida would feel good!
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2597. IKE

Quoting PcolaDan:


Get the buckets out to catch some of it. If it makes it there, gonna go through in a hurry.
lol.
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Quoting IKE:
Here it comes...woohoo! No way this misses me....


Well, you should get even more development when the storms meet that well-formed seabreeze :) lucky
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2595. JLPR2
Quoting cchsweatherman:


No surface observations currently support a reforming low anywhere under the convection to the east of the current low.


But maybe 94L is planning on doing it. XD

I guess that's its biggest chance right now.
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Quoting IKE:


It's headed right toward me. I can smell it in the air.

99.0 outside.

Come on rain!


Get the buckets out to catch some of it. If it makes it there, gonna go through in a hurry.
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2593. xcool
IKE ;ouch 99.
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Evening All. Status quo I see, have a good evening.


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2591. HCW
.....
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2590. HCW
103F Mobile,AL.. breaks all time June Record
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91E has a chance, Ships forecasting a cat. 2, but ships always has a problem forecasting EPAC strength. seems to do that everytime an EPAC invest is tagged. Once that phase of the SHIPS is done, then its a do or die for EPAC forecast of the Invest. Be interesting, but it needs to become more defined, getting a stronger low, and fire convection up, in order for it to stand a chance.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
2588. IKE

Quoting HCW:
Ike are you ready ? I can not rule out an Isolated severe storm with these



It's headed right toward me. I can smell it in the air.

99.0 outside.

Come on rain!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting dapperdan:
O.T. Massive eruption in Chile, Puyehue volcano.
Could this be true?

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1015019 9320827800


Yes, see some info here - Link
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2586. Gearsts
Chile’s Puyehue volcano explodes, unleashing massive ash cloud

Posted on June 4, 2011 by The Extinction Protocol




June 4, 2011 – CHILE – A huge plume of smoke and ash from Puyehue volcano that is visible from Entre Lagos. The neighbors of that community have spotted the onset of eruptive activity conducted by the Sernageomin. The government issued an emergency Red Alert for the area surrounding the volcano. 600 people have been evacuated so far. -Soy Chile (text translated from Spanish)

LAGO RANCO, CHILE (BNO NEWS) — Authorities on Saturday ordered the emergency evacuation of more than 3,000 people after a volcano erupted in southeastern Chile, officials said. Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter said during a news conference that about 3,500 people would be evacuated after the Puyehue volcano in Ranco Province started to erupt. Initially, Chilean authorities ordered the evacuation of around 700 people. Pictures from nearby towns showed large clouds of volcanic ash rising from the volcano, which last erupted in 1960. A Red Alert in the region has been declared.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
O.T. Massive eruption in Chile, Puyehue volcano.
Could this be true?

http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1015019 9320827800
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Quoting IKE:
Here it comes...woohoo! No way this misses me....




I know your going to go stand in it
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2583. HCW
Ike are you ready ? I can not rule out an Isolated severe storm with these


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Quoting IKE:
Here it comes...woohoo! No way this misses me....




Lucky you IKE. Dying for rain down here in Broward County. We're now under Exceptional Drought conditions and Lake Okeechobee is now at 9.96 feet.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
2581. xcool
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.

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Quoting AllStar17:


Where did you get that radar?


Got it from Bob :) no just kidding here you go

Link
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2577. HCW
Quoting AllStar17:


Where did you get that radar?


WWLTV
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2576. IKE
Here it comes...woohoo! No way this misses me....


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NHC just dropped the 93L floater. RIP, little buddy.

I see many of the kids are on again shooting spitballs ta each other. Must be the season... ;-)
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Quoting Hurrykane:


Levi, where is that graphic located?

Right here
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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.