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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1774. Skyepony (Mod)
Morning all. As for 94L~ Still going with my thoughts the other day for now, bad news for Hispaniola. Continued rain for them, Jamaica, probably SE Cuba & possible more for PR. There's still alot of wait & see but if I had to choose I'd go with the HWRF this morning. It might linger long enough, get around there & go for Cuba & FL or Bahamas. Hard to say since it should stay fairly stationary for the next few days.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37829
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


You mean Windsat? The Ascat pass is from 0230 last night (east coast time 10:30 pm).


Yea, I ment Windsat. Lol.
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Quoting kmanislander:


The new wave will bring some much needed moisture to the system and aid development. I just looked at Windsat and the low is 75% closed already. It remains open on the North side of the circulation but it would not take much for this to close off by tonight's pass.



That would be wonderful!!!
We will be watching in and out as I can.

another day another new troll with today as their "birthday"..

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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA (CARIBBEAN)..........ADDED:
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 04/2000Z
B. AFXXX 01AAA INVEST
C. 04/1630Z
D. 16.0N 78.0W
E. 04/2000Z TO 04/2315Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT
G. RESOURCES PERMITTING

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK............CHANGED:
BEGIN 12-HRLY FIXES AT 05/1800Z IF SYSTEM DEVELOPS.
3. REMARK: INVEST FOR 03/1800Z CANCELED AT 03/1130Z.

Still go for recon according to NHC, the remark about the invest being cancelled is 93L. Take off should be relatively in about an hour and arrival at 4.


That's great. Thanks. From that flight, we should be able to find out more about this system and be given a better perspective on how it's doing (atmosphere-wise).
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
ASCAT makes me think that the tighter COC of 94L is at approx 16.3N 77.5W.


You mean Windsat? The Ascat pass is from 0230 last night (east coast time 10:30 pm).
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Quoting Hurricanes12:



Is the HH plane still heading out today even if the storm is being hindered from development? I know you mentioned earlier that it was heading out regardless of the conditions affecting the system.


I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA (CARIBBEAN)..........ADDED:
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 04/2000Z
B. AFXXX 01AAA INVEST
C. 04/1630Z
D. 16.0N 78.0W
E. 04/2000Z TO 04/2315Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT
G. RESOURCES PERMITTING

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK............CHANGED:
BEGIN 12-HRLY FIXES AT 05/1800Z IF SYSTEM DEVELOPS.
3. REMARK: INVEST FOR 03/1800Z CANCELED AT 03/1130Z.

Still go for recon according to NHC, the remark about the invest being cancelled is 93L. Take off should be relatively in about an hour and arrival at 4.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
ASCAT makes me think that the tighter COC of 94L is at approx 16.3N 77.5W.


Yes, bingo.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I was wondering that as well. On satellite it appears to me that there are two circulations present, one broad one located south of western Jamaica, and a tighter one located south of eastern Jamaica (at the edge of the latest convective flare-up). I could be wrong though...


The eastern one may be mid level. GOES East is in Rapid Scan (8 images per hour). Speed up this GHCC Loop using "Faster".
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Pretty cool tops.
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12Z map

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Quoting CybrTeddy:
ASCAT makes me think that the tighter COC of 94L is at approx 16.3N 77.5W.



Is the HH plane still heading out today even if the storm is being hindered from development? I know you mentioned earlier that it was heading out regardless of the conditions affecting the system, but can you confirm?
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Quoting 1992Andrew:


Interesting. I was not sure if the COC located south of eastern Jamaica (at the edge of the latest convective flare-up) is tighter than the COC south of western Jamaica. I think the COC south of western Jamaica has been identified by the NHC as the center. Perhaps they will switch over to other COC (if it is indeed a new COC) when it becomes dominant.
I agree, WindSAT supports a circulation south of eastern Jamaica, but on satellite, I'm seeing not only the low-pressure area where WindSAT spotted it, but also a broad one south of western Jamaica.
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ASCAT makes me think that the tighter COC of 94L is at approx 16.3N 77.5W.
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1755. wpb
hmrf has a stronger system moving ne.
gfdl has a weak system moving wnw.
what champ has it correct ?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I was wondering that as well. On satellite it appears to me that there are two circulations present, one broad one located south of western Jamaica, and a tighter one located south of eastern Jamaica (at the edge of the latest convective flare-up). I could be wrong though...


Interesting. I was not sure if the COC located south of eastern Jamaica (at the edge of the latest convective flare-up) is tighter than the COC south of western Jamaica. I think the COC south of western Jamaica has been identified by the NHC as the center. Perhaps they will switch over to other COC (if it is indeed a new COC) when it becomes dominant.
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Quoting JRRP:
That would support what I'm seeing. A stronger more consolidated low-pressure area located right at the edge of the convective flare-up, and a weak broad low-pressure area to the west.
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Quoting Tazmanian:




jfv?

Mate. If you keep going on like a goose you'll get a ban. Cool it mate. Forget about him.
If you don't people will put flag and ignore you and not him.

Parramatta Sydney Australia
Now
54.3°F falling
Updated at 00:50 EST
Heading for a low of 47°F
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
Quoting Grothar:


Please stay on topic and keep your cups to yourself. It is a quiet Saturday morning with an interesting feature to discuss, so let's keep the conversation light, please. So, Canes, what do you think of Global Warming?


Uhhhh, i'll change that to 94L.

Slllllooooowwwwwppppooookkkkkkeeeee.
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Quoting 1992Andrew:


Do you not see that there are two COC ? The WINDSCAT and also the RGB indicates there are two of them. Recent WINDSCAT pass missed the COC fixed by the NHC. It did show what could be a second COC.


I just saw the ASCAT pass right after I clicked 'post' and was about to make a mention of it :).

It appears 94L might be in the process of a COC relocation, if so that will help development.
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Quoting Grothar:


Please stay on topic and keep your cups to yourself. It is a quiet Saturday morning with an interesting feature to discuss, so let's keep the conversation light, please. So, Canes, what do you think of Global Warming?


ARRGHHHH!!!!!
Your really pushing that.. respect your elders bubble
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MOrning all looks like there is some rain in the forcast for Cuba in the upcoming days.

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1745. JRRP
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Quoting 1992Andrew:
I think I see two competing LLC's. WINDSCAT posted in # 1687 shows the LLC just east of the blow up of clouds. You can also see that LCC on RGB. The other LCC is out of range of the WINDSCAT, as it is to the west and south. The LLC as shown on the WINDSCAT pass may become dominant.
I was wondering that as well. On satellite it appears to me that there are two circulations present, one broad one located south of western Jamaica, and a tighter one located south of eastern Jamaica (at the edge of the latest convective flare-up). I could be wrong though...
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Quoting 1992Andrew:
I think I see two competing LLC's. WINDSCAT posted in # 1687 shows the LLC just east of the blow up of clouds. You can also see that LCC on RGB. The other LCC is out of range of the WINDSCAT, as it is to the west and south. The LLC as shown on the WINDSCAT pass may become dominant.


nope sorry there is just one one big one west of the blow up of clouds near 16.1N 77.7W
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Quoting caneswatch:


Haha that was a lucky goal Wednesday. But, if they both play the same way, this is going to be a great series.


Lets see if you still think like that after tonight :)

BTW, summer has finally arrived up here.. almost to hot to work outside... I love it :)
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1741. Grothar
Quoting caneswatch:


Haha that was a lucky goal Wednesday. But, if they both play the same way, this is going to be a great series.


Please stay on topic and keep your cups to yourself. It is a quiet Saturday morning with an interesting feature to discuss, so let's keep the conversation light, please. So, Canes, what do you think of Global Warming?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Visible loop indicates there is cyclonic turning S of Jamaica, well away from where the building -80C cloudtops are. This indicates to me that 94L is being hampered by mid-level shear of 20 knots and dry air also in the mid-levels intruding into the system. If you want to see quicker development, you'll want to look for convection to start building closer to the COC, or a COC relocation.


Do you not see that there are two COC ? The WINDSCAT and also the RGB indicates there are two of them. Recent WINDSCAT pass missed the COC fixed by the NHC. It did show what could be a second COC.
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Meanwhile.. ex-93L had a blow up of convection right before its approaching landfall. Development is not expected due to proximity to land.
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Quoting Orcasystems:


I could change it.. the Series is almost over.. Boston stands about as much chance as a snowball in Macon GA right now... But I will keep it up until Vancouver raises the Cup :)


Haha that was a lucky goal Wednesday. But, if they both play the same way, this is going to be a great series.
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Visible loop indicates there is cyclonic turning S of Jamaica, well away from where the building -80C cloudtops are. This indicates to me that 94L is being hampered by mid-level shear of 20 knots and dry air also in the mid-levels intruding into the system. If you want to see quicker development, you'll want to look for convection to start building closer to the COC, or a COC relocation.
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I think I see two competing LLC's. WINDSCAT posted in # 1687 shows the LLC just east of the blow up of clouds. You can also see that LCC on RGB. The other LCC is out of range of the WINDSCAT, as it is to the west and south. The LLC as shown on the WINDSCAT pass may become dominant.
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Quoting caneswatch:


I'm afraid i'll have to do the same also. It's just getting to the "i'm way too tired of seeing this" point.

BTW, why haven't you changed your avatar yet LOL?


I could change it.. the Series is almost over.. Boston stands about as much chance as a snowball in Macon GA right now... But I will keep it up until Vancouver raises the Cup :)
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Taz.. the rest of us are not idiots.. we see it also. You are turning into a laughing stock by always harping on it... and... its getting to the point where people are putting you on ignore.

The next time you talk about it.. your going on ignore over here also.


I'm afraid i'll have to do the same also. It's just getting to the "i'm way too tired of seeing this" point.

BTW, why haven't you changed your avatar yet LOL?
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Can i get a link for the BAMM model
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Out for now
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Quoting Cazador2011:


LOL, sorry about that, It's still early here, =(.


Early in Florida ?
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Quoting Tazmanian:
its him i can tell the way he talks


Taz, ignore and move on please....
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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.