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: 1174 - 1124

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

Quoting aquak9:
aussie!! you got banned?? musta been the video with the MTV commercial playing at the beginning. That was a simple mistake! geeez...guess I'll hafta post Recoon till I get banned too.

93L is gone from NHC, and a few feathers are growing on 94L.

Yeah little old me got banned. I guess the blog and admins didn't like me bringing in more info to the blog.
I guess it's ok to swear but not ok to bring more info onto the blog.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1173. Grothar
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
only made it to the east coast a few times. i worked for a retail paint company MAB Paints, one of the owners lived on the intrcoastal and we got to go out on his 50' bertram a few times.


It is nice on the east coast. I grew up mostly in Europe, but my mother's family moved here in 1923. It sure has changed a lot. They lived in Tampa, Miami, and Lauderdale.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1172. aquak9
aussie!! you got banned?? musta been the video with the MTV commercial playing at the beginning. That was a simple mistake! geeez...guess I'll hafta post Recoon till I get banned too.

93L is gone from NHC, and a few feathers are growing on 94L.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
A magnitude5.3earthquake has struck
25miles(~40kilometres) at 190.9degrees(S) from FukushimaDaiichi
18miles(~29kilometres) at 194.2degrees(SSW) from FukushimaDaini

The lone red dot represents centralTokyo
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1170. centex
Quoting AussieStorm:
Hello all. Back after my 24hr ban. no skin off my nose. was busy working and sleeping so I didn't miss much.
Any Idea why we still have 93L on the navy weather site? Are they worried it might blow up in the BOC or they just like keeping an eye on a almost naked swirl. Also noticed we finally have 94L. Has taken it a looong time to get going, finally we might get a track-able system out of it now.
They quick to add but slow to remove.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1169. aquak9
grothar- if all I had to do, was make people laugh, and cook them food? I would truly be a very happy person. Thank you my friend.

cosmic- a few feathers does not a duck make. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
ridge gonna catch it, throw this baby into the gulf somewhere, after that its landlocked, someone might be getting that rain
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
94L gonna be heading for Yucatan, stay tuned
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hello all. Back after my 1st ever 24hr ban. no skin off my nose. was busy working and sleeping so I didn't miss much. Oh and sorry if I wanted to bring more infromation to this blog.
Any Idea why we still have 93L on the navy weather site? Are they worried it might blow up in the BOC or they just like keeping an eye on a almost naked swirl. Also noticed we finally have 94L. Has taken it a looong time to get going, finally we might get a track-able system out of it now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1165. Grothar
Quoting aquak9:
Grothar- thank you. I really appreciate that. Ya'll all look like a bunch of classy happy people. I knew you had to be handsome after seeing your sons, and I bet you are still just as handsome today.

Your sense of humor is charming, and I know you're really not almost 100 years old. ("almost" being the operative word in that sentence) :)

Thank you for being our friend here.


Same here, aqua. You all have given me more laughs than you shall ever know and more joy than I deserve. You all have a good one. They are putting me away for the night. LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aquak9:
Hi Cosmic!

I gotta enjoy saying hi while I can, cause soon it's gonna be a bannable offense.
Nah, after midnight(it's close enough) all bets are off. As long as there's no ducks!!!
.
Hi Aqua.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
only made it to the east coast a few times. i worked for a retail paint company MAB Paints, one of the owners lived on the intrcoastal and we got to go out on his 50' bertram a few times.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1162. aquak9
Quoting Grothar:


Yes, but I have a painting of myself in the closet that looks just awful.


you should organize the closet then if it's that bad.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1161. aquak9
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
what do you folks think the split would be if the question was do you prefer landfalling hurricanes or fish track hurricanes? i wish no harm to anyone with regards to hurricanes, but they are going to go where they go.


Used to be I'd say, landfalling, but they cause so much damage and heartache. So then I'd say, fish storm, but goodness we all need the rain so badly now. I'm pretty torn this year.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1160. Grothar
Quoting CosmicEvents:
Groth....either you've got a bad case of Dick Clark syndrome or you're not as old as dirt. Heck, I'm older. That's not an old Polaroid or daguerrotype is it?


Yes, but I have a painting of myself in the closet that looks just awful.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1159. Grothar
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
ya we are an alright bunch i guess


That we are KEEPER.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1158. jazzie
Whoa Grother, I've been here for years and just joined last year. I've enjoyed your humor and saw your expertise but that Dr. in front of your name has impressed me beyond any words of description.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1157. aquak9
Hi Cosmic!

I gotta enjoy saying hi while I can, cause soon it's gonna be a bannable offense.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
what do you folks think the split would be if the question was do you prefer landfalling hurricanes or fish track hurricanes? i wish no harm to anyone with regards to hurricanes, but they are going to go where they go.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1155. Grothar
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
where do you live Grothar?


Fort Lauderdale on the first Island in the Intracoastal.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1154. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Grothar:


We could be doing worse things I suppose. I don't get on here much anymore. But, I actually miss the bloggers when I am not on. I know some bloggers get annoyed that we get off-subject at times and they are right. However, it is just nice to come to a place where "everyone knows your name" Like a remote "Cheers".
ya we are an allright bunch i guess
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1153. centex
This is almost stationary.

AL, 94, 2011060400, , BEST, 0, 163N, 778W, 25, 1007
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Groth....either you've got a bad case of Dick Clark syndrome or you're not as old as dirt. Heck, I'm older. That's not an old Polaroid or daguerrotype is it?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Professor Thomas McInerny, Dr. Grothar von Habsburg, Dr. Eric Theissen, Frau Doktor Hindlein.


where do you live Grothar?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


Hey, you don't look like you're 100. We've been duped.


that would be a...yep...!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Gotta run, 'night all.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1148. aquak9
Grothar- thank you. I really appreciate that. Ya'll all look like a bunch of classy happy people. I knew you had to be handsome after seeing your sons, and I bet you are still just as handsome today.

Your sense of humor is charming, and I know you're really not almost 100 years old. ("almost" being the operative word in that sentence) :)

Thank you for being our friend here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
Professor Thomas McInerny, Dr. Grothar von Habsburg, Dr. Eric Theissen, Frau Doktor Hindlein.




Hey, you don't look like you're 100. We've been duped.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
i live in sooo cal, san diego area now. spent several years in florida, naples to be exact, never got my full blown cane while i was there. got a buddy in estero, near ft myers, i'll be flying in if we got a storm with a good reliable track, he insisted, he had a blast when charlies went by afew years ago he told me 80kt winds howlllllllllllllllllllllll......lol


One's wishcasting is another's dread. Once you've sustained major property damage and/or loss of life, priorities change.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1145. Grothar
.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
man o man we gotta get rid of all that wind to the north
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1143. centex
I'm thinking with our limited ability at night that the low is west of near east convection because of shear. Why NHC has it further west. So looks like sliding east but not.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1142. Bitmap7
Mr. Anticyclone needs to be more open with himself.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Goodnight PRweather and Allstar..:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1140. Grothar
Quoting aquak9:
Gro- I could not see the pic, I was at work, internet there wouldn't show it. I really wanted to see the pic- I wanted to see the corn stalk. Wwere there really ocelots playing in it's foliage?


OK, give me one minute.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
i live in sooo cal, san diego area now. spent several years in florida, naples to be exact, never got my full blown cane while i was there. got a buddy in estero, near ft myers, i'll be flying in if we got a storm with a good reliable track, he insisted, he had a blast when charlies went by afew years ago he told me 80kt winds howlllllllllllllllllllllll......lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1138. Grothar
Quoting EYEStoSEA:


I think my husband thinks I'm loosing my mind....with all these images and links, but just cant help myself....love it ! So glad you are finally getting some rain.....and hopeful for all the others who need it.


We could be doing worse things I suppose. I don't get on here much anymore. But, I actually miss the bloggers when I am not on. I know some bloggers get annoyed that we get off-subject at times and they are right. However, it is just nice to come to a place where "everyone knows your name" Like a remote "Cheers".
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Have a great night, everyone!
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
1136. aquak9
Gro- I could not see the pic, I was at work, internet there wouldn't show it. I really wanted to see the pic- I wanted to see the corn stalk. Wwere there really ocelots playing in it's foliage?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


I was just going to send you this link. That is too funny. Thought you would enjoy it.


Link
i got a &#@%load of links over the years,but i have been on this blog since last year. i had some problems posting some links, but have it all fixed due to all the nice folks in here helping. appreciate all the input guys and gals
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good night guys state safe
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1133. Grothar
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
busy busy busy



REALLLY busy:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting EYEStoSEA:


Hey, HHJoe.....Grothar and DAM are the ones who taught me to post links and images....nice, thoughtful guys, they are...:)....they may regret it now,though ..lol...
yes, they been real nice :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:


Like we don't have enough! How you doing there EYES. Heard it has really been hot up your way. Pretty nice here. Finally getting a little bit of rain.


I think my husband thinks I'm loosing my mind....with all these images and links, but just cant help myself....love it ! So glad you are finally getting some rain.....and hopeful for all the others who need it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1130. Grothar
Quoting aquak9:
Hi Grothar! heh heh heh


I miss that sardonic little laugh. I removed my pictures after all the abuse that was heaped upon me today. LOL I had to, after I got some WU mail asking me if it were true that I was really near 100 years old.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1129. j2008
Lets see how much work she does tonight, then we might be able to pin down a cyclone status.
Member Since: December 19, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 224
1128. Grothar
Quoting EYEStoSEA:


Hey, HHJoe.....Grothar and DAM are the ones who taught me to post links and images....nice, thoughtful guys, they are...:)....they may regret it now,though ..lol...


Here is the link I wanted to send you before, EYES. I think you might enjoy it. You can create your own maps and everything. Play around with it for a while. Some good tracking on it.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
busy busy busy
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1126. aquak9
Hi Grothar! heh heh heh
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Blog update on 94L.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1124. Grothar
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
i like the dark green and yellow lines


I was just going to send you this link. That is too funny. Thought you would enjoy it.


Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1174 - 1124

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
73 °F
Mostly Cloudy