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: 924 - 874

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 tropicfreak:


But no it hasn't dissipated. That is not an opinion.
Going to water the garden. Can we all agree to sharing a diversity of opinions?
Member Since: May 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
Quoting FrankZapper:
Now you have the right idea. It's going poof.


I can't tell if your being sarcastic or not.

However, I would suggest before you make claims like 'its going poof' to back it up with some facts, charts, ect so that we can discuss your claims. Otherwise, you just stir controversy.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
920. JLPR2
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Cant wait for the First Person to call this Season a Bust...

Two days in and we already have a person who thinks the season will be a Bust


Well of course it is a bust, we should be by the E storm already. :P
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Levi, what do you make of the HWRF making it a lower than 990 mb hurricane? I say no trust about that.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14777
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Cant wait for the First Person to call this Season a Bust...

Two days in and we already have a person who thinks the season will be a Bust


What has this blog come to sammy?

*shakes head*
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
915. j2008
Quoting ackee:
I just have a funny feeling the 94L will devlop a lot quicker than most person think guees we see

Im getting that feeling too. Whatever it does I just hope it decides to move on out of the Haiti area quickly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FrankZapper:
The point I was making is that in my opinion 94L isn't going to amount to a hill of beans. We all have our opinion, right?


But no it hasn't dissipated. That is not an opinion.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
LAT (DEG N) 16.3 16.6 16.8 16.9 16.9 16.9 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.6 18.0 18.6
LONG(DEG W) 77.8 77.9 78.0 78.3 78.5 79.5 80.4 81.1 81.5 81.7 81.9 82.2 82.5

Near the Caymans on the end.

Hopefully just rain and gusty winds. Not too strong.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BahaHurican:
Can't dissipate if it hasn't formed yet.
The point I was making is that in my opinion 94L isn't going to amount to a hill of beans. We all have our opinion, right?
Member Since: May 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
Westward shift on the BAM suite:

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


See #839. It will probably reverse its current motion and curve back to the northwest slowly over the next few days.
it may even try a wsw retro grade or a circle dance as i call it
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
908. ackee
I just have a funny feeling the 94L will devlop a lot quicker than most person think guees we see
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Dont know if it has been posted, but here's the preliminary on the Springfield tornado.

000
NOUS41 KBOX 031612
PNSBOX
CTZ002>004-MAZ002>024-026-NHZ011-012-015-RIZ001>0 08-041800-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA
1215 PM EDT FRI JUN 3 2011

...SOME PRELIMINARY TORNADO SURVEY INFORMATION...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON MASSACHUSETTS IS STILL IN
THE PROCESS OF CONDUCTING A STORM SURVEY. HOWEVER AT THIS TIME WE
ARE ABLE TO CONFIRM SOME INFORMATION REGARDING THE TORNADO THAT
PASSED FROM WESTFIELD THROUGH SPRINGFIELD AND EASTWARD TO MONSON AND
BEYOND.

SOME OF THE HARDEST HIT AREAS WILL BE CLASSIFIED WITH A RATING OF
EF-3 OR HIGHER ON THE ENHANCED FUJITA DAMAGE CLASSIFICATION SCALE.

WE ARE HOPING TO BE ABLE TO PROVIDE MORE COMPLETE INFORMATION ON
PATH LENGTH...PATH WIDTH...TIMING...AND EF SCALE RANKINGS...LATE
THIS EVENING.

$$
FIELD
Member Since: October 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1267
I was also thinking that storms like 94L are often worse for Haiti than a fast-moving higher category one, due to the flash flooding risks from the unremitting rain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
As I said movement will be to the NW-WNW



Important to note the BAMM changing to a very slow west drift path.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting BahaHurican:
Can't dissipate if it hasn't formed yet.


Logic holds very little weight to some lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
903. xcool
03/2345 UTC 16.3N 77.9W T1.0/1.0 94L -- Atlantic
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
As I said movement will be to the NW-WNW

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting tropicfreak:


Poof!
Now you have the right idea. It's going poof.
Member Since: May 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
First satellite estimates:

03/2345 UTC 16.3N 77.9W T1.0/1.0 94L -- Atlantic

Link


TAFB is at 1.5

AL 94 201106032345 10 DVTS CI 1580N 7790W TAFB 1515 ///// N-S TROUGH WITH MULTIPLE CYCLONIC SWIRLS ALONG TROUG
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
899. xcool
AL, 94, 2011060400, , BEST, 0, 163N, 778W, 25, 1007, DB
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Can't dissipate if it hasn't formed yet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
897. xcool



00z
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting IKE:
LAT (DEG N) 16.3 16.6 16.8 16.9 16.9 16.9 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.6 18.0 18.6
LONG(DEG W) 77.8 77.9 78.0 78.3 78.5 79.5 80.4 81.1 81.5 81.7 81.9 82.2 82.5

Near the Caymans on the end.



BAMM track


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FrankZapper:
It's dissipated right now!


Poof!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AllStar17:


Boy, I sure hope it dssipates! And what evidence do you have for that?
It's dissipated right now!
Member Since: May 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
First satellite estimates:

03/2345 UTC 16.3N 77.9W T1.0/1.0 94L -- Atlantic

Link
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
looks like 93 will get squash lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ryuujin:


So west for a while and then back east out to sea?


Most models have been showing it move just south or maybe hitting south florida.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Based on the floater Levi shared with us, it's very obvious that it's sucking in some dry air on the west side of the system. Otherwise, it looks really healthy....convection towards the center developing and the cloud patterns indicate that it is breathing very well.

Kinda funny that we use human terms to describe tropical cyclones. We give them names, they feed, they breath, they get stronger, and they can poop on people's parades. Okay, perhaps I went too far, but you get what I'm saying!

Happy 2011 everyone!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FrankZapper:
Probably D


Boy, I sure hope it dssipates! And what evidence do you have for that?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ryuujin:


So west for a while and then back east out to sea?


Possibly, especially if it grows stronger, but if it sits under the ridge long enough a window may open into the Gulf of Mexico in 5-7 days.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ackee:
what will become of 94L ?

A TD
B TS
C Open wave
D Dssipate
Probably D
Member Since: May 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
Quoting Levi32:


Hey Joanie :)


I ALWAYS look forward to your updates Levi ! Job well done!!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


Thank you. I appreciate it.

94L looks more organized, but still broad and weighted to the eastern side. As upper ridging spreads northwest over the next 3 days I expect it will continue to gradually organize. I don't see any reason not to expect this to have a good shot at becoming a tropical depression eventually. The lack of model support is glaring, but it has happened before, and the model consensus is far from always right. The meteorology suggests this is a threat to slowly develop, and that is mainly what my opinion will be based on.
Even the "disappeared" former model support was suggesting this was a slow burner.... wasn't it like 120 hours or something like that before we were seeing something organized start to move NW or NE?

If it stays this lopsided all the way out of the basin, FL "wishcasters" need to hope it goes over W Cuba and into the GoM for them to get any rain...

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
883. IKE
LAT (DEG N) 16.3 16.6 16.8 16.9 16.9 16.9 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.6 18.0 18.6
LONG(DEG W) 77.8 77.9 78.0 78.3 78.5 79.5 80.4 81.1 81.5 81.7 81.9 82.2 82.5

Near the Caymans on the end.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:




Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Levi32:


The GFS shows that as well. A slow drift west or northwest is likely once the low gets caught south of the ridge.


So west for a while and then back east out to sea?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting stormpetrol:


True about the lack of water Cosmic, i don't blame Ike one bit for wanting rain, we want it here in the Cayman also!
.48" in the past 1/2 hour in East End. Hallelujah !
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Latest SHIPS is out:

* ATLANTIC SHIPS INTENSITY FORECAST *
* GOES AVAILABLE, OHC AVAILABLE *
* INVEST AL942011 06/04/11 00 UTC *

TIME (HR) 0 6 12 18 24 36 48 60 72 84 96 108 120
V (KT) NO LAND 25 28 31 33 36 39 43 49 52 50 47 42 37
V (KT) LAND 25 28 31 33 36 39 43 49 52 50 47 42 37
V (KT) LGE mod 25 27 29 31 32 34 36 40 46 50 53 52 49

SHEAR (KT) 12 15 12 11 15 12 10 7 14 15 23 23 33
SHEAR ADJ (KT) 0 -1 -2 -3 0 -4 -5 -3 -4 -1 -2 3 2
SHEAR DIR 192 212 223 229 231 215 186 208 212 248 238 249 245
SST (C) 28.1 28.2 28.2 28.2 28.2 28.2 28.3 28.3 28.3 28.3 28.3 28.2 28.2
POT. INT. (KT) 134 136 136 136 136 137 138 137 136 136 137 136 136
ADJ. POT. INT. 121 123 122 122 123 126 125 123 122 121 122 122 122
200 MB T (C) -52.5 -52.9 -53.1 -52.5 -52.3 -53.0 -52.3 -53.1 -52.2 -52.8 -52.2 -52.7 -52.3
TH_E DEV (C) 6 6 6 7 7 6 8 7 9 8 9 9 9
700-500 MB RH 78 75 71 71 72 66 67 68 66 62 63 63 63
GFS VTEX (KT) 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 8 8 7 6 6 6
850 MB ENV VOR 94 98 89 94 104 90 104 109 103 88 69 51 45
200 MB DIV 75 49 36 46 46 20 75 61 76 31 24 15 19
700-850 TADV 0 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 0
LAND (KM) 165 140 115 120 131 192 259 320 304 301 316 324 359
LAT (DEG N) 16.3 16.6 16.8 16.9 16.9 16.9 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 17.6 18.0 18.6
LONG(DEG W) 77.8 77.9 78.0 78.3 78.5 79.5 80.4 81.1 81.5 81.7 81.9 82.2 82.5
STM SPEED (KT) 2 3 2 2 3 5 4 2 2 1 2 3 3
HEAT CONTENT 70 71 65 70 77 77 52 72 69 68 69 70 73

Link
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
FINALLY a floater. After all this time. Holy cow.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I've Noticed That 94L's Upper level outflow has been keeping it very well ventilated, That Anticyclone over it has really been handy for aiding development for 94L, this will be great because the next tropical wave comes in on sunday and that will aid it further.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:


yep. blob central..ripe for development..








Can't believe no one else but us has noticed that feature.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:












Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 924 - 874

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
16 °F
Mostly Cloudy