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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3474. Bitmap7
POSS T.C.F.A.
xx/INV/94L
MARK
16.79N/77.23W
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
I bet recon is canceled. Convection is close to 100 miles from the center.

I could be wrong about recon though.
Doubt it's cancelled IKE. Too good a training run for a first season possible TD.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3472. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Grothar:


I don't mind if something gets repeated, just in case we miss some good information.

I don't mind if something gets repeated, just in case we miss some good information.
somebody give him a kick the needle is stuck again
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54473
First time I have seen the Navy put out this graphic (others may have seen it before)


Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11215
3470. Bitmap7
Quoting pressureman:
well cyber teddy i would not be surprised if that happen they are going down there for nothing right now there is no closed circulation pressures are not falling...so dont be surprised..


Its no longer a broad area of low presure so if we want to see pressure changes we would have to be getting information from kingston Jamaica.
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Pottery -- what happened to your concrete?
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3468. IKE
Invest 94


Wind: 30 MPH —
Location: 16.2 79.3W —
Movement: W





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3467. Grothar
Quoting zoomiami:
my my -- people are a little testy this morning --

in defense of people who post things from 2 hours ago -- when i'm on my phone following the blog -- I really can't go back 300 comments -- so its nice to see something that I may have missed.

Morning Aquak -- everyone started bright and early this morning.



I don't mind if something gets repeated, just in case we miss some good information.

I don't mind if something gets repeated, just in case we miss some good information.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3466. emcf30
Quoting sammywammybamy:


This is where i think the Center of Circulation is :


Thats the way I see it also
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3465. pottery
BAH!
This season is a Bust, man!
Just look at that Radar image posted recently. Rainsqualls???
It's June 5th, and NOTHING??
What are we going to do for the rest of the season?
I hate busted seasons...

(just thought I would get that in, before someone else does... )
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3464. aquak9
hi zoo- I think we all had some coffee issues this morning

gonna be sweet to follow recon data today.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 168 Comments: 26075
3463. IKE
I bet recon is canceled. Convection is close to 100 miles from the center.

I could be wrong about recon though.
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well cyber teddy i would not be surprised if that happen they are going down there for nothing right now there is no closed circulation pressures are not falling...so dont be surprised..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3460. Bitmap7
Quoting CybrTeddy:
I'll be darned. 06z GFS develops energy associated with 94L into a system while taking it out to sea. This scenario is starting to appear more likely as models have been hinting at this happening. What's more, GFS has it at 1005 mb in 90 hours so its not very far away.

CMC develops 94L and takes it to a close shave by SE Florida (rain!!!!!) in the same time frame.

ECMWF is still storm less in Seattle while the NOGAPS follows in suite with the GFS.

Defiantly more model support this am for some sort of development this week.


The soup for the perfect system is coming together now so its being reflected in the models. Wait till 11:30 and see what else the gfs does. This is an oddly favorable atmosphere for the beginning of June.
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my my -- people are a little testy this morning --

in defense of people who post things from 2 hours ago -- when i'm on my phone following the blog -- I really can't go back 300 comments -- so its nice to see something that I may have missed.

Morning Aquak -- everyone started bright and early this morning.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sammywammybamy:
Ascat Missed it...


Not surprising.

Quoting pressureman:
gearsts thats my opinion from looking at the sats pics...i guess we have a different way of looking at the sat pics ...i see no closed circulation at this time...only saying what i see ...maybe by tuesday or wed things could change...IMO they are going down there for nothing..

We will soon find out if they do find anything or not. Then let the discussion start.
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Recon leaves in less than 30 minutes. There has not been anything on the NHC site to indicate that the flight has been cancelled.
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I'll be darned. 06z GFS develops energy associated with 94L into a system while taking it out to sea. This scenario is starting to appear more likely as models have been hinting at this happening. What's more, GFS has it at 1005 mb in 90 hours so its not very far away.

CMC develops 94L and takes it to a close shave by SE Florida (rain!!!!!) in the same time frame.

ECMWF is still storm less in Seattle while the NOGAPS follows in suite with the GFS.

Defiantly more model support this am for some sort of development this week.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
POSS T.C.F.A.
xx/INV/94L
MARK
16.79N/77.23W

that sound more like it KOTG
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3454. emcf30
The area of circulation is West of the convection mass south of Jamaica. Zoom, Rock, and play the image and you will also see a slight WSW movement also. JMO
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3453. Bitmap7
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
POSS T.C.F.A.
xx/INV/94L
MARK
16.79N/77.23W


Thats underneath the southwest corner of the convection.

EDIT:
or western corner of the convection. Still under the convection though.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
morning, we're not there yet...



LinkWVLoop

You do see less energy leaking out to the east though. Does anyone know current pressure?
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3451. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
POSS T.C.F.A.
xx/INV/94L
MARK
16.79N/77.23W
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54473
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11282
Quoting Gearsts:
Why are you trying to downcast everything everybody here says? Why not wait for recon and see what they find?


Just ignore him, its just stormtop. That's all I gotta say on that matter.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
Ascat Missed it...

That's from early last night. Should have another in a few hours and hopefully it will catch it.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8393
3446. aquak9
gearst- forgive me- I'm gonna agree w/pressure, I don't think they will find a true closed low, either. Might be enough for us to argue over, but I don't think NHC/hunter data's gonna verify a TRUE FULLY CLOSED LOW CENTER.

A'course, time will tell, and I'll be the first to admit when I am wrong.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 168 Comments: 26075
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Glad to get some good data in the models. Hopefully that will pull in the spread a bit.
I agree. The spread amongst the dynamic/statistical models is from Haiti to Belize, and global models continue to change their minds as far as track and intensity on a run-to-tun basis.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
gearsts thats my opinion from looking at the sats pics...i guess we have a different way of looking at the sat pics ...i see no closed circulation at this time...only saying what i see ...maybe by tuesday or wed things could change...IMO they are going down there for nothing..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
42056 Yucatan Basin No recent reports.
42057 Western Caribbean No recent reports.
42058 Central Caribbean No recent reports.
LCIY2 Little Cayman No recent reports.

This is weird.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8393
3441. Gearsts
Quoting pressureman:
aquak9 what they will find is lots of rain with no closed circulation...thats a given..
Why are you trying to downcast everything everybody here says? Why not wait for recon and see what they find?
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Quoting emcf30:

Link

Thanks
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Finally put a portrait up...
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3437. aquak9
Lyrics from NIN- I think it fits 94L perfectly:

I can feel their eyes are watching
In case I lose myself again
Sometimes I think I'm happy here
Sometimes, yet I still pretend
I can't remember how this got started
But I can tell you exactly how it will end

Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 168 Comments: 26075
3436. Gearsts
I see the center just west of the big blob of convection.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
forward


Thanks?
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aquak9 what they will find is lots of rain with no closed circulation...thats a given..
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
forward
LOL
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3432. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting galvestonhurricane:
Does anyone know where this thing is going?
forward
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54473
Quoting ackee:
thanks would not be suprise if they find the centre further EAST


Maybe. I still see it at 17N 79.2W as listed on the SSD floater, click the fronts tab.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
3430. aquak9
Quoting pressureman:
miami hurricanes09 you could be surprised they cancelled yesterday i would not be surprised if they did it again.........


they'll probably go this morning but they may cancel this evening, depending on what they find.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 168 Comments: 26075
galveston right now its going no where...we are going to have to wait at least until tuesday before we know the real deal on this...
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3428. emcf30
Quoting AussieStorm:

So take off time in in 45min, so I am guessing they are preping now for the flight. Anyone got the Google earth KML for recon tracking?

Link
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Does anyone know where this thing is going?
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Oops, I made post 3419 thinking they were going to leave like at 2p.m or something, lol.


Glad to get some good data in the models. Hopefully that will pull in the spread a bit.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
3424. ackee
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Plane takes off in 45Minutes
thanks would not be suprise if they find the centre further EAST
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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.