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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Quoting Gearsts:
StormW:One thing we do have to continue to watch is, Two tropical waves are forecast to enter the Caribbean this week, and the shear forecast calls for upper level winds to return to conducive levels 5-7 days in the forecast period from 06Z.

That person is no longer on this blog.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting ackee:
I honestly think that 94L will stay as an invest it will continue to be a rain maker fot the central carrib until it dissipate just my veiw.


It won't dissipate, if we knew that was going to happen, then most of us wouldn't be here ackee.
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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
It's funny how some people have nothing better to do with their lives than to come on a blog and have no other purpose than to dilute the helpful information with nonsense. Go fly a kite or something.

In other news, until mid-level dry air gets filtered out, this thing will stay at a medium chance. Still not forecast to go anywhere soon. Don't hold your breath over this.

Ok i wont.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Seems like most of the models bring it on a due N or NNW heading, with the exception of the HWRF. The gulf would definitely fit with climatology, but our weather patterns lately are not exactly what I would call normal for this time of year. Guess time will tell. Model consensus is probably the best way to go at this point tho.


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2170. Gearsts
StormW:One thing we do have to continue to watch is, Two tropical waves are forecast to enter the Caribbean this week, and the shear forecast calls for upper level winds to return to conducive levels 5-7 days in the forecast period from 06Z.
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Quoting scott39:
One thing I did notice at the 2pm though! The orange circle is tighter than the 8am circle.
Been sucking up Pottery's rum.
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Quoting IKE:
This blog is back in hurricane season mode.

Admin!


Ike,my list of ignores grows and grows!
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Thanks, can I have a link to the page where it will be made available at the FSU site?



Link
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10883
2166. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting IKE:
This blog is back in hurricane season mode.

Admin!
iam working on it give me a minute will ya
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2165. ackee
I honestly think that 94L will stay as an invest it will continue to be a rain maker fot the central carrib until it dissipate just my veiw.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Not from that site. It should be out on the FSU site soon.


Thanks, can I have a link to the page where it will be made available at the FSU site?
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2161. IKE
This blog is back in hurricane season mode.

Admin!
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Good afternoon everyone.It is a scorcher day in North Mobile Ala.Temp 100* and heat index is 103*.And to think this is just June.I hate to see what July and August is gonna bring to us all.Wish we could get some good tropical rain nothing major just a good rain maker.
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Quoting JFVStalker:


COJOYO, intensificate, =(.


Models aren't any good until it has gained TD status, or very close to TD status. Why don't we just do some watchcasting.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

I guess i shall answer my own question. Yellow 30% would mean a weakening/struggling system. Orange 30% would mean a strengthening system.
Quoting AussieStorm:

I guess i shall answer my own question. Yellow 30% would mean a weakening/struggling system. Orange 30% would mean a strengthening system.
yes, but is so broad :(
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Quoting IKE:
72 hour 12Z ECMWF....1007 mb's...




Is the same as GFS in terms of having another low near Puerto Rico.
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Meanwhile, a tropical wave has just emerged off Africa.

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Quoting SouthDadeFish:
It's funny how some people have nothing better to do with their lives than to come on a blog and have no other purpose than to dilute the helpful information with nonsense. Go fly a kite or something.

I like this comment.
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2150. Mikla
I believe it is way to early to predict where this will go... more importantly how much it will develop. If it does not get help with moisture it may just end up being a rain maker. I think as the moisture comes in from the East, it will improve the convergence and help with formation... but this is 12 to 24 hours away... until then 30% chance at best.
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2149. IKE
Up to 1009mb's @ 96 hours.....


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Seems like the monsoon trough to the SW of circulation is surging moisture up to NW, which may slowly filter out the dry air.

Link
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Quoting IKE:
72 hour 12Z ECMWF....1007 mb's...



Thanks for pointing that out the red numbers was blocking the 7, man do these models change from runs to runs!
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


+ 1,000,000,000,000,000,000

Hey you didn't make a 94L Facebook page yet :(
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2144. IKE
72 hour 12Z ECMWF....1007 mb's...


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
2143. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


How to make friends and influence people.
don't waste the time friend its empty space nothing but empty space
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It's funny how some people have nothing better to do with their lives than to come on a blog and have no other purpose than to dilute the helpful information with nonsense. Go fly a kite or something.

In other news, until mid-level dry air gets filtered out, this thing will stay at a medium chance. Still not forecast to go anywhere soon. Don't hold your breath over this.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
the dry air problem I think could be fixed by Sunday sunrise when we hit D-Max we will have the build up of convection that will kick out dry air out of the area then the convection builds and get orginised and maybe by sunday night/monday morn possibly TD #1


I agree, Sunday late afternoon into early evening is when that tropical wave moving in from the east is supposed to aide 94L in development.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:


Java doesn't work on my computer anymore for some reason. Do you have a link to a frame by frame model run of the GFDL?


Not from that site. It should be out on the FSU site soon.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10883
Quoting farhaonhebrew:
I put this symbols in my coment...and not posted good...the coment is : -30% = 29.4 Yellow 30% = +29.4% Orange

I guess i shall answer my own question. Yellow 30% would mean a weakening/struggling system. Orange 30% would mean a strengthening system.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting JFVStalker:



Are you not aware that, that stupid ass model always has a northward bias? of which, levi always points out. A track like that is unheard of, this time of the year. It'll head into the GOM. heck, even KMan is expecting this to happen, and also, Larry Cosgrove is as well, an actual met, I'll have you know, jsut saying.


How to make friends and influence people.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10883
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
12Z GFDL weak system to the Yucatan channel.


Java doesn't work on my computer anymore for some reason. Do you have a link to a frame by frame model run of the GFDL?
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Quoting TxHurricanedude11:

I'm from TX he's from s FLA...and besides I haven't been on for so long,I've been lurking alot

I guess you decided to join up so you could comment. Welcome
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
2128. Skyepony (Mod)
Jed mentioned the mid level dry air. I thought it was more an explanation inhibiting by some mid level dry air, lack if convergence as opposed to what some were saying earlier quoting TWC or something..that it was sucking in Dry air on the west side that was severely disrupting/ killing the whole thing.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Orange 30% and up.. not down. 29.4% would be Yellow.
I put this symbols () in my coment...and not posted good...the coment is : -30% = 29.4 Yellow 30% = 29.4% Orange
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12Z GFDL weak system to the Yucatan channel.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 10883
2124. scott39
Quoting IKE:

Realistic-caster.
Reality...Now there is a good concept!
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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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