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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1674. pottery
Quoting 19N81W:
The models have no idea they range from 270 to 090....anyone got any insight? looks like the GFS is a bit confused but I am guessing that is because it isnt a depression yet. Pottery I dont know where you live in cayman but you must be one of the few getting any consistent rain! We got a bit last night but based on the line that went through I was expecting way more.

I'm in Trinidad, LOL!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24883
Quoting IKE:
***cough-cough***

Dry-air getting into 94L.....will recon still go? Not sure if they will....I can see the center now near 16N and 78W....




Not sure if they will, it's rather easy to see where then center is and it's current organizational state. The convective mass is a lot closer but, still displaced a good distance. I wouldn't go personally, save the funds.
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1671. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
1670. pottery
Quoting Orcasystems:


BeachFoxx asked for a TS/TD.. said it was to dry. It was not easy getting 94L to shift its tracks.

Hmmm!
A man that is easily Persuaded by Pretty Girls often causes general mayhem....

(this is probably an ancient Chinese saying...)
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24883
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
HPC Preliminary Extended Forecast Discussion

Hope their forecast is accurate, we need the rain.

Excerpt:

A PERSISTENT SLOW MOVING TROPICAL DISTURBANCE WILL BRING RAIN
OCASSIOANLY HEAVY TO PORTIONS OF CUBA AND POSSIBLY NWD AFFECTING
THE BAHAMAS AND SOUTH FLORIDA LATER NEXT WEEK. SEE NHC
DISCUSSSIONS.


Please let it be. I am officially a wishcaster for 94L. Good chance for this to be rather weak with respect to the winds so bring it on.
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1668. IKE
***cough-cough***

Dry-air getting into 94L.....will recon still go? Not sure if they will....I can see the center now near 16N and 78W....


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
1667. 19N81W
The models have no idea they range from 270 to 090....anyone got any insight? looks like the GFS is a bit confused but I am guessing that is because it isnt a depression yet. Pottery I dont know where you live in cayman but you must be one of the few getting any consistent rain! We got a bit last night but based on the line that went through I was expecting way more.
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Forecast for Jamaica from Met Service

June 04, 2011 at 5:00 a.m.

LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST

SIGNIFICANT FEATURES… Broad Trough across the central Caribbean, including Jamaica. Additionally, there is a stationary area of Low Pressure over the southwestern Caribbean.

Comment
The area of Low pressure is expected to persists until Monday.


24-HOUR FORECAST
This Morning/ Afternoon/ Tonight … Expect Periods of showers and thunderstorms across sections of the island.



3-DAY FORECAST (after tomorrow)
Sun-Tue… Mostly cloudy with periods of showers and thunderstorms across most areas.


Regionally… There is a persistent Area of Low Pressure over the southwestern Caribbean that continues to produce showers and thunderstorms.A new Tropical Wave will enter the eastern Caribbean on Saturday.


nch
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
its just moving in as i type just had a big roll of thunder and the rain just starting


As long as you get power back before the game.. thats all that matters today.
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1664. pottery
Morning, Kman.
Kudos. You saw it coming...
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24883
1663. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Orcasystems:


Your gonna get wet KOG.
its just moving in as i type just had a big roll of thunder and the rain just starting
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
Quoting pottery:

This is BAD Stuff...
Your friend and neighbour just walked in.
Hello, Orca. Please dont interfere with our weather any more. Thanks.


BeachFoxx asked for a TS/TD.. said it was to dry. It was not easy getting 94L to shift its tracks.
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Good morning all

From yesterday morning I have been posting that for 94L to really start developing the anticyclone overhead needed to "relax" and spread out as it was tightly packed and creating shear anywhere slightly removed from right underneath the high itself. This was impeding 94L

If you look at the map now, the high has spread out over the entire Caribbean and on the West extends all the way into the Gulf of Honduras. This is allowing 94L to crank up finally. The shear tendency map also reflects a significantly wider swath of falling shear for the first time in about 5 days.



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1659. pottery
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

This is BAD Stuff...
Your friend and neighbour just walked in.
Hello, Orca. Please dont interfere with our weather any more. Thanks.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24883
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Your gonna get wet KOG.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
iam outside with the weather enhancing machine as we speak


You must have it aimed west per the HPC Preliminary.
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Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI





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1654. pottery
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
iam outside with the weather enhancing machine as we speak

Uh Oh!!
Keep you hand on the Throttle, just in case...
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24883
1653. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
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1650. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting pottery:

:):))

That blob of stuff over the Eastern Great Lakes, does it get to be the next 93L ???
iam outside with the weather enhancing machine as we speak
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56059
1649. pottery
Quoting sailingallover:

SAL SAVED us last year in the islands... the waters were hot early but the dust just killed the convection wave after wave.. this year NADA so far..
in March I was hopeful for a quiet season.. now with the persistant trough in the Western Atlatic/Caribbean and the SST going up more quickly have to say the Early season will probably be bad..
Late season maybe not..

Yeah. Plus the shear did a good job too, keeping those waves from building.
Maybe we will see some more shear, but I would expect that once the Sahel region stays relatively moist, there will be lower pressures there and Westerly shear will be less over the Trop Atl..
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24883
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Big feed of water vapor from SA today for 94L... Here comes more rain.... 2 new waves in...
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Quoting pottery:

I agree with that!
The very low SAL levels are going to make for some interesting T-Waves, sooner than we would normally expect them I think.
Fun times ahead?
Hope not!

SAL SAVED us last year in the islands... the waters were hot early but the dust just killed the convection wave after wave.. this year NADA so far..
in March I was hopeful for a quiet season.. now with the persistant trough in the Western Atlatic/Caribbean and the SST going up more quickly have to say the Early season will probably be bad..
Late season maybe not..
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1644. pottery
Quoting sailingallover:

Of course. I fixed it in like 10 seconds after I posted!!! damn fast!! This place is HARSH!! :)

:):))

That blob of stuff over the Eastern Great Lakes, does it get to be the next 93L ???
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24883
HPC Preliminary Extended Forecast Discussion

Hope their forecast is accurate, we need the rain.

Excerpt:

A PERSISTENT SLOW MOVING TROPICAL DISTURBANCE WILL BRING RAIN
OCASSIOANLY HEAVY TO PORTIONS OF CUBA AND POSSIBLY NWD AFFECTING
THE BAHAMAS AND SOUTH FLORIDA LATER NEXT WEEK. SEE NHC
DISCUSSSIONS.
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Quoting pottery:

You mean 94L right?

Of course. I fixed it in like 10 seconds after I posted!!! damn fast!! This place is HARSH!! :)
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1641. Bitmap7
Its raining in georgetown now.
Member Since: May 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 429
Quoting aquak9:
re: fukushima

Call me a pessimist, but I'm doubting the mid-summer deadline..

did they say what YEAR, though?

Oh, you're right. Silly me. My bad... :-\
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1639. pottery
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
pottery, what you have been saying about the lack of sal in the Atlantic. That ontinues to be the case today. Is amazing how little sal is right now as June and July are the months that are with the most sal events.


I agree with that!
The very low SAL levels are going to make for some interesting T-Waves, sooner than we would normally expect them I think.
Fun times ahead?
Hope not!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24883
1638. pottery
Quoting sailingallover:
As far as the Models,
GFS has a strong Low developing over and North of the Virgin Islands Monday-Tuesday.
Due to the fact the track of 93L will most likely be NE if it develops due to the Low Level through going NE from it and the upper level jet dipping down over the Bahamas( per the LBAR model) it may be that that Low is a continuation of a developed 93. So don't rule out development because GFS does not have a good definition of this one.
Also this morning the energy is really consolidating quickly at about 15-16N 75W. Itps going to get a shot from energy from the east and it's pulling South America moisture and instability ( FARC/ELF REBELS) in from the south along with Chaves Hot Air...
I'd give it a much high chance of development..the only thing I can see to stop it is the TW may disrupt th energy consolidation going on now. If it will survive a trip of the haiti and the DR is to be seen.

You mean 94L right?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24883
pottery, what you have been saying about the lack of sal in the Atlantic. That continues to be the case today. Is amazing how little sal is right now as June and July are the months that are with the most sal events.

Link
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Good morning my weather geek/nerd friends!

I see we are still watching 94L and it is a very interesting little system.

Everyone is so desperate for rain, well except for PR and DR, we want it to develope and bring rain to some of us at least!

I am at work so will be popping in and out as I can.

Happy Saturday everyone!!!
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As far as the Models,
GFS has a strong Low developing over and North of the Virgin Islands Monday-Tuesday.
Due to the fact the track of 94L will most likely be NE if it develops due to the Low Level through going NE from it and the upper level jet dipping down over the Bahamas( per the LBAR model) it may be that that Low is a continuation of a developed 94. So don't rule out development because GFS does not have a good definition of this one.
Also this morning the energy is really consolidating quickly at about 15-16N 75W. Itps going to get a shot from energy from the east and it's pulling South America moisture and instability ( FARC/ELF REBELS) in from the south along with Chaves Hot Air...
I'd give it a much high chance of development..the only thing I can see to stop it is the TW may disrupt th energy consolidation going on now. If it will survive a trip of the haiti and the DR is to be seen.
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1634. pottery
Quoting seflagamma:


Congratulations!!! so happy you finally got some rain.. now send it northward to Texas and Florida!


LOL, see post 1617...
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24883
Quoting pottery:
OH!! This is SO SWEET!
For the first time in 23 years, my Cisterns are overflowing in the first week of June!
If this is the result of AGW, bring it ON, man!


Congratulations!!! so happy you finally got some rain.. now send it northward to Texas and Florida!

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Quoting Grothar:


Hey, storm. Could you please let GeoffWPB post these Intellicast images. After all it is the only pleasure the poor guy has left. And besides, he animates them for us.
No problem. I will let him have his fun. :)
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Quoting AussieStorm:

If you read back, you will find your wrong. CybrTeddy and Hurrykane both stated there was a TCFA. Until there is a image posted with a with a backward C and a big red circle. There is no TCFA. 93L also had a TCFA id.


Ah, that page is a list of invests and there's a link to the TCFA if there is one. Makes sense. My bad.
Member Since: August 10, 2010 Posts: 2 Comments: 1971
Quoting SouthDadeFish:


This isn't a TCFA?
No. Think of this as a "watch" and a TCFA as a "warning"
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This isn't a TCFA?
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1627. aquak9
hahaha- fair enough, Aussie
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Quoting aquak9:
re: fukushima

Call me a pessimist, but I'm doubting the mid-summer deadline..

did they say what YEAR, though?

I think i heard Mid-Summer 3011
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15977
1625. aquak9
re: fukushima

Call me a pessimist, but I'm doubting the mid-summer deadline..

did they say what YEAR, though?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I was wrong - there is no TCFA for 94L I read the page wrong.

no worries mate! no harm done. I just like to keep the info on here truthful.

News Alert.... Volcano 60km north of Mexico City has blown it's top.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15977

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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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