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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1424. xcool
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
You're starting fall right?

Winter here now... off to church. back later.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

I have decided to give him one last chance. both on here and on another website we both frequent. if he breaks this last chance. He knows the consequences.
I come here to share info and to gain info. I just want to keep this blog as pleasant as it can be. Disagreements are allowed, but if they get out of hand. then both will be kindly added to my ignore list.
Anyone for Pizza, Just ordering now. To cold to cook a BBQ tonight. maybe tomorrow.
You're starting fall right?
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
1418. EricSFL
Pizza a la Outback?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Walshy:
TomTaylor

You have mail.

got it, and replied
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
sorry, my bad

I have decided to give him one last chance. both on here and on another website we both frequent. if he breaks this last chance. He knows the consequences.
I come here to share info and to gain info. I just want to keep this blog as pleasant as it can be. Disagreements are allowed, but if they get out of hand. then both will be kindly added to my ignore list.
Anyone for Pizza, Just ordering now. To cold to cook a BBQ tonight. maybe tomorrow.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1415. xcool
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

I am not hooked or a fish.
sorry, my bad
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
1413. xcool
hmmm
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1412. EricSFL
A whole lot of something about nothing...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
He's got you hooked. He'll play you different from Tazz because you're a different fish, but you're hooked.

I am not hooked or a fish.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


Add to that, trying to educate users how to deal with trolls.
Ouch, your right! lol
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting eyestalker:

(long read)

IP banning on this site? It's been done...maybe not for quite a while however, but I was IP banned from this website 3 times in 2007 though because of the dynamics changes that readily occurred to my IP address even then none of those entire-site bans ended up lasting more than 4 days as I kept returning to the site to check.

And for those who have never been banned from the website, it's tough. Really tough. You can't even access anything on WU, no maps, temps, nothing, can't even lurk, and whenever you click a link or anything leading to WU it just displays a blank page with one sentence: "Banned- you are banned from this site- Why are you here?" Those were true hardcore IP bans but I don't know if they exist or not. People forget... I was the "JFV" long before "JFV" even existed on this blog (2006-2007, especially 2007, JFV didn't make his name here until 2008) -- except I, being from upper Texas, executed my stunts more sneakily and stealthily. I circumvented 33 bans in 2007 using 32 accounts. I think most of the people who used to think of me as the troll of all trolls have left or in the case of IKE, forgotten about me.

Thankfully I've matured a bit (I think--I'm still only 17). However it pains me to see here that not everyone has matured, and it's not just JFV, it's those who respond to JFV. People need to learn to be thicker-skinned in this world.
Does ADMIN leave you alone now?
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1405. xcool
30% at 2am not bad
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
If you aren't talking weather or having fun you're hooked.


Add to that, trying to educate users how to deal with trolls.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GoldenPanther2011:


yeah, a local met down here, said taht it'll be hanging aroudn int he Carin until late next week. Waht type of an affect migth this have ont he SSts down ehre, coudl it cool them down? Or would the summer sunf rom thsi time of the eyar prevent that?


I don't think this will have a big impact on SSTs since this isn't a strong system we're talking about here. Its not gonna use up much energy from the waters. Given the fact that the forecast for South Florida looks pretty dry through early week, we should continue to see warming waters around the area and in the Bahamas. Local mets are just as clueless as we all are right now.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
1401. Walshy
Has anyone seen StormJunkie around? I think that is his user-name. He is from South Carolina...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomTaylor:
so what?

Just because you still see his posts, doesn't mean you can't ignore his posts
You're hooked too. If you aren't talking weather or having fun you're hooked.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
1399. Walshy
TomTaylor

You have mail.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GoldenPanther2011:


Thanks, I guess that explains why it's two-faced, LOL, =). What about track, the models are displaying a squashed spider in terms of it's future track?


I'm really not sure. So many different variables out there right now. Until we get a better developed system and a defined motion with this system, its anyone's guess. Could end up anywhere from the open Atlantic to the Yucatan Peninsula really.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
Quoting AussieStorm:

Leave it be, He has told me he will behave.
He's got you hooked. He'll play you different from Tazz because you're a different fish, but you're hooked.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
Quoting TomTaylor:
so what?

Just because you still see his posts, doesn't mean you can't ignore his posts
Correct. If you are walking down the street and some dude says something insulting do you blow him away or hit IPad ignore buttons? No , you just keep walking. Simple. So do it!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sunlinepr:
have a good night/day all, bedtime for me... Think of ways to make the blog more troll proof.... Something like input 2 emails in order to be a member or letting the new member participate for one day to be observed and receive the blog members approval through a poll or voting... or.... any ideas...

The tools are already there we just ALL have to use them. Instead of pointing fingers at the troll or the responder, work the tools and ignore the whole interaction. Someone who has been tagged by a troll has a difficult time disengaging (early on I got sucked in till I figured out the game and a game is all it is to the troll). This means that the entire community is responsible to intervene, not leave the target twisting in the wind. If everyone reading had been voting the exchange would not have lasted very long at all.
Member Since: September 9, 2007 Posts: 36 Comments: 4687
1392. EricSFL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dry air will most likely continue to significantly hamper development this weekend for Invest 94L especially with the location of the surface low further to the west tonight. It may get some help in the way of a tropical wave coming in from the east by late Sunday that could add more moisture to the atmosphere and fight off the dry air.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
Huge wildfire in Ariz. burns cabins

TUCSON — One of the largest wildfires in Arizona history is torching cabins, forcing people to flee in the middle of the night, and sending smoke 200 miles away, as other fires burned in several Western states that did not immediately threaten any buildings.

The Forest Service said about 800 firefighters are battling the blaze, and many are involved in protecting buildings in evacuated communities.

The Forest Service said the Wallow fire has burned 165 square miles (105,600 acres) making it the fourth-largest wildfire in state history.

The Rodeo-Chediski fire burned 469,000 acres in 2002, the Cave Creek complex fire burned 248,000 acres in 2005, and the Willow fire burned 120,000 acres in 2004. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/0 6/04/huge_wildfire_in_ariz_burns_cabins/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:
| the Ignore ueser will not work if you guys keep Quoteing him i can see his commets when you Quote him even no hes on Ignore
so what?

Just because you still see his posts, doesn't mean you can't ignore his posts
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting Orcasystems:


Post the pic in my Blog Aus.. I'm to old for this... going to bed... Tee times in the morning :)

Waiting on them uploading... go to bed mate. will post them soon. and send you a link.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
| the Ignore ueser will not work if you guys keep Quoteing him i can see his commets when you Quote him even no hes on Ignore
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115074
Quoting FrankZapper:
JVF, why are you angry and picking fights with so many people?

Leave it be, He has told me he will behave.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Orcasystems:


Taz...



ok ok am off lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115074
Quoting GoldenPanther2011:
94l is wrapping in and gettings tronegr. although,a ccording tod anile, it's llc appears to be displaced off to the SW of Jamaica.


That would be correct. Surface observations, low level vorticity analysis, and the most recent ASCAT pass all support the position of the low with Invest 94L to the southwest of Jamaica. Check your inbox.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
Quoting Tazmanian:



it will hlep if you dont Quote him lol


Taz...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:



noted


good night all
night Taz
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 19 Comments: 4357
Quoting AussieStorm:

only 2312? i've been on here sometimes till 0400. Go get a spoon full of cement and harden up mate!, lol, just joking.


Post the pic in my Blog Aus.. I'm to old for this... going to bed... Tee times in the morning :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

And keep it that way. or else goodbye.



it will hlep if you dont Quote him lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115074
Quoting TomTaylor:
sorry, but I don't find it very funny watching the blog string off topic for a good hour and 150 or so posts.

In the future I'd appreciate it if you could learn to ignore him right from the beginning



noted


good night all
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115074

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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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