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

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

Share this Blog
8
+

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....

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 2424 - 2374

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75Blog Index

tropic freak the key word CHANCE...a big word the tropics are quiet i dont see any named storms out there...its going to take time tropic freak..i told you not until thurs or friday...BOB BRECK said and elongated system like the hardly ever develops...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
ATCF on 93L : Landfall at ElGato,Tamaulipas,Mexico

Copy&paste 30.0n78.3w, 29.1n81.2w, 28.5n84.5w, 26.9n87.0w, 25.0n88.8w, 24.0n89.9w, 23.5n91.0w, 23.5n92.0w, 23.5n92.9w, 23.9n93.6w-23.9n94.8w, 23.9n94.8w-24.1n96.2w, 24.1n96.2w-24.4n97.0w, 24.4n97.0w-24.5n97.7w, tam, gpt, cme into the GreatCircleMapper for further info.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2421. emcf30
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Bitmap7:
Could the llc's proximity to Jamaica also be slowing development in the western half of 94l? anyone?


Quite unlikely. Jamaica is too small a land mass to have that kind of effect on a developing tropical system and in any event the low center is well South of the island itself. Hispaniola on the other hand definitely would.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KanKunKid:


I was managing a beachfront property there in Cancun and the owner decided to rent it out, so I had to find some place else to live. I didn't want to go back to the States yet as I was having a good time. So I rented a place in a little village and played guitar and keyboard and sang for the tourists at an ex-pat Cantina (Cantina Habenero, Puerto Morelos) But the tourist season ends in May and so does the music gigs. So I had to come back. all my stuff is there still, I just flew back.
You can google the above or look on Trip Advisor. I was famous. Google Kevin Cantina Habenero.

No music gigs here in FL. Back to fixing machinery. At least I can use my Ham radio here...


Yea, I remember you talking about it last year. Also remember you mentioning having such a good time. The words cerveza and chicas come to mind. :) Glad to hear you weren't run out on a rail! :O

j/k of course
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2417. Levi32
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Levi, do you see another low forming near Puerto Rico, as GFS has been showing? You know what is going on here with the rain that continues to be almost non-stop.


I kind of doubt what the GFS shows there. It is notorious for trying to develop energy to the northeast and feed it into the longwave trough. It panics like that. I wouldn't expect it without good support from other models.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aquak9:


like no one else ever hits a wrong key.

Please guys...


Hi aquak!

Looks like many of the models shift it west, and some bring it over Florida!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Pressure man, look up technically in the dictionary.

Second off, they aren't quiet, we have an invest out there that has the chance to become Arlene. Plus it is currently organizing, so what evidence do you have that backs up your statement of saying that nothing will form in the Caribbean until late June?

Third off, why are you basing your info off Bob Breck?
National news meteorologists aren't exactly the brightest of minds. Plus it's Fox News, so what are you going to get out of that.

Fourth and lastly, please stop mentioning Bob Breck in your comments, your comments are too predictable.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
thanks aquak they all know im right they trying to get back at me anyway they can lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2412. aquak9
Quoting Hurricanes101:


*looks up "reat" in the dictionary*


like no one else ever hits a wrong key.

Please guys...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
typing error tazz you sure make lots of them
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
For the 4th consecutive day, we have hit 100+ degrees here in Hattiesburg. For us to reach 100 degrees that many days in a row this early means there must be a perfect setup. It's currently 102 and with it being 3:23, I think we have reached our high temp for the day. Point of the post is that we are having crazy heat.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2409. aquak9
beell- since you're here - do you see anything breaking the omega block pattern in the near future?

Like, maybe before Christmas? :(
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurricanes101:


*looks up "reat" in the dictionary*



LOL
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114792
2406. aquak9
Quoting pressureman:
tropicfreak do you see arlene out there or a tropical depression...I rest my case


as opposed to a cat 5 developing, suppose maybe the tropics are kinda shhhh...all depends on your point of view.

pressureman....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pressureman:
tropicfreak do you see arlene out there or a tropical depression...I reat my case


*looks up "reat" in the dictionary*
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2403. aquak9
models still look like squish spider

BIG squish spider
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
tropicfreak do you see arlene out there or a tropical depression...I reat my case
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Levi, do you see another low forming near Puerto Rico, as GFS has been showing? You know what is going on here with the rain that continues to be almost non-stop.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2397. beell
What may turn out to be a positive for 94L is the development of upper level shortwave ridging over the western Caribbean as the westerlies swing around the base of the ULL in NE Mexico. Same ULL that has been traveling in tandem with x-93L.

In addition to the anticyclonic flow aloft, this ridge should keep any wind shear at bay and perhaps shield the Caribbean from the very dry air over the Gulf of Mexico. A tough job there-but it should help.

Photobucket

ATL Wide WV Loop
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2396. Bitmap7
Could the llc's proximity to Jamaica also be slowing development in the western half of 94l? anyone?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2395. emcf30
Good afternoon all,
I see the models are once again starting to flip, moving further to the West. They must be picking up on a trof Off the East Coast that is extending Southward could weaken somewhat which could allow for the ridge o to pickup 94L, and slowly begin to move it to the NW. If this trof does not weaken it should pickup 94L in which a solid NE movement should occur. Just
my opinion. If we would to get a system to organize I think the models would be in more agreement. There should be a window of opportunity for this thing to develop.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Pressureman, technically the tropics aren't quiet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pressureman:
I have been saying this since thursday it takes time to develop 94L ...the shear and the combination of dry air and the pressures not falling will take quite a bit a time...Im sticking to my time on thursday or friday...BOB BRECK advised me these elongated systems in the caribbean most of the me never develop...We have nothing to worry about until the last week of june something could form in the caribbean....The tropics are very quiet for now...


I agree with most of this but the part of "The End of June".... I'm thinking more on the line of the Full Moon, which is 15th to the 25th for our 1st storm....

Just my thinking right now anyway:o)

Taco :o)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2391. Levi32
Quoting AllStar17:


Well it was said in the beginning stages of this disturbance that it would take many days to develop.


Indeed, which is why it must be watched closely. However, with every model now keeping it as weak or weaker than it is now, one must start hunting for a reason why. I think the lack of a focused convergent pattern in the Caribbean is the main reason, along with a bit more dry air than wanted, but we shall see. It could still pull a surprise. It has a whole lot of time left to try.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:


To keep the happy days please stop posting that smiley face.


Agreed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JFVStalker:
Oh, happy days have certainly returned back to the blog, now that Taz and I have reconciled our once lost friendship on here. I am so euphoric, right now, ^_^. LIFE IS GOOD, =).


To keep the happy days please stop posting that smiley face.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting xcool:
tropical weather




oh there will be a lot of time for that
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114792
Quoting KanKunKid:
Hi Everybody!

Glad to see some familiar names here...

Well, I'm back in the good ol' US of A again, South West Florida! I had to leave Mexico behind (for awhile). It's good to touch the brown, brown grass of home...

Something I was wondering, although it would seem apparent if there was a direct connection between the two..If there was a correlation between the weather events of late, lots of rain up north and flooding and the massive tornado outbreaks and the upcoming tropical storm season?

Maybe even a "trickle down" effect somehow.

I bet Levi even thought about it? Mused?

(Don't worry, I will be writing less and reading more this year. Being banned was not as fun as the brochure indicated..even if it was all in the name of humor. Some just don't get it, but I sure did. But not any more.)


Hmmm My curiosity is peaked! ;>)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JFVStalker:
Oh, happy days have certainly returned back to the blog, now that Taz and I have reconciled our once lost friendship on here. I am so euphoric, right now, ^_^. LIFE IS GOOD, =).



yup


this make sure you dont say any thing that will changs my mine ok
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114792
2385. xcool
tropical weather
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I think 94L's COC may relocate closer to the convection tonight
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting OneDrop:

Snnok are hammering anything right now. Don't worry about 94L and relax on the sand and get a tight line.

I would if I was in South Florida right now but up here in the North Gulf Coast we are catching Kings..... Now as for me I'm on call this weekend and hate it because I know that there is a "Big Red" with my name all over it at Gulf Shores....

Taco :o)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:




i no LOL i give up



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I have been saying this since thursday it takes time to develop 94L ...the shear and the combination of dry air and the pressures not falling will take quite a bit a time...Im sticking to my time on thursday or friday...BOB BRECK advised me these elongated systems in the caribbean most of the me never develop...We have nothing to worry about until the last week of june something could form in the caribbean....The tropics are very quiet for now...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JFVStalker:


Thank you so much, Taz, this means the absolute world to me, THANK YOU, =).




your welcome
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114792
am this going too give him other shot but this is the last one
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114792
2375. OneDrop
Quoting taco2me61:


You will have "Lots Of Fun There"
Waters are warm and Beautiful.... You might have the Normal afternoon Thunder storms but that will be it... Enjoy your self with the Family, and Catch some "Fish"....

Taco :o)

Snnok are hammering anything right now. Don't worry about 94L and relax on the sand and get a tight line.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Until someone reports pressures beginning a falling trend below 1007mb, I probably won't get too excited. This system has been very status quo for many days now. That pressure has been rock steady.


All agreed. These monsoonal lows will drive you crazy waiting for development to happen. The two things it has going for it is a fairly vigorous ( but broad ) circulation that is producing fresh NE winds even where I am and lots of warm water to feed the system once it gets cranking.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 2424 - 2374

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy
62 °F
Mostly Cloudy