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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624. xcool
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
0445 PM EDT FRI 03 JUNE 2011
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 04/1100Z TO 05/1100Z JUNE 2011
TCPOD NUMBER.....11-003 AMENDMENT

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA (CARIBBEAN)..........ADDED:
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 04/2000Z
B. AFXXX 01AAA INVEST
C. 04/1630Z
D. 16.0N 78.0W
E. 04/2000Z TO 04/2315Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT
G. RESOURCES PERMITTING

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK............CHANGED:
BEGIN 12-HRLY FIXES AT 05/1800Z IF SYSTEM DEVELOPS.
3. REMARK: INVEST FOR 03/1800Z CANCELED AT 03/1130Z.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting tropicfreak:


How much do you want to bet on the caribbean rain, 1 million? That's a very tough call on whether it would rain or not, very tough to call.
i'll bet a buck...lol
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TROPICAL ATLANTIC MODELS GFS/NOGAPS/UKMET
Link
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620. xcool
Grothar hmmmm
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting Grothar:
For those lucky few. This is me at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change with a few colleagues. I am in the middle. I shall only post this for a few minutes, so enjoy it while you can.


Nice!

Also, I am enjoying and appreciating the analysis and commentary on 94L going on here.
Very Good, thanks all!
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94L has lost the consistent model support it had the past few days BUT in the last few runs has started to regain some. The NOGAPS, CMC, UKMET all show it going into the Yucatan Channel as a moderate TS. ECMWF and GFS refuse to develop this system. However, last year this happened a lot as a system neared genesis. Some of the bigger name models got jittery and dropped the system but it still developed. The ECMWF and GFS where particularly notorious with this when they dropped a system that they were consistent with right before development.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Question Gro, how can you be in the middle of 4 people? I need more detail Gro, come on.


I knew that was coming LMAO
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Quoting Grothar:
For those lucky few. This is me at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change with a few colleagues. I am in the middle. I shall only post this for a few minutes, so enjoy it while you can.



You should have gotten that Guy a Chair Grothar.

I mean thats no way to treat a PHD.
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Quoting Grothar:
For those lucky few. This is me at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change with a few colleagues. I am in the middle. I shall only post this for a few minutes, so enjoy it while you can.



Question Gro, how can you be in the middle of 4 people? I need more detail Gro, come on.
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:
IMHO....94L looks like it's beginning to get some organization...



Agreed.
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
ok ok so ya didnt like my attempt at the humor of all the current forecasting


How much do you want to bet on the caribbean rain, 1 million? That's a very tough call on whether it would rain or not, very tough to call.
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For those lucky few. This is me at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change with a few colleagues. I am in the middle. I shall only post this for a few minutes, so enjoy it while you can.

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IMHO....94L looks like it's beginning to get some organization...

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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
BOLD PREDICTION! Its going to rain today in the Carribean Sea!!
ok ok so ya didnt like my attempt at the humor of all the current forecasting
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Quoting ncstorm:


the gfs and nogaps have been predicting storms off NC/SC/VA coasts..that area right now is prime picking for home grown storms..


I live in VA, and I would like to see a nice downpour from a remnants or a weak TS. Not like gaston when it stalled over us here in Richmond and dumped a lot of rain, flooded parts of Richmond.
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Quoting tropicfreak:
Current wind shear.



The streamlines of wind are tightly packed. You need to see them relax and stretch out to really get this thing going.
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604. PurpleDrank 10:05 PM GMT on June 03, 2011
What did one raindrop say to the other raindrop?


You're a drip.
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Quoting tropicfreak:


But that should be temporary kman, as shear is dropping in that area.



As long as the high remains small and tight you will get shear in any direction that 94L moves from being directly underneath it.Small weak systems have little in the way of defence from shear. A well established TS would do much better in this environment.
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Current wind shear.

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What did one raindrop say to the other raindrop?

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Quoting kmanislander:


Shear is 20 knots plus very close to that side of the low and probably accounts for the lopsided convection signature at this time.


But that should be temporary kman, as shear is dropping in that area.

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Quoting IKE:

Hey. Here's the 48 hour look....






Shows it meandering to the West with the pressure up 4 mbs ( probably because any motion in that direction brings it back under higher shear ). Notice how the deep convection is all on the East side in that frame ?. A classic shear pattern from an overhead high that is small and imparting shear from winds in the Western flank of the high.
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Quoting tropicfreak:
Wow look, another blob off the east coast, near South Carolina, LOL. That's strange.



the gfs and nogaps have been predicting storms off NC/SC/VA coasts..that area right now is prime picking for home grown storms..
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Another interesting feature i spotted was a blob forming just off the Carolina's coast, the second east coast blob this week. WOW! Looks like it may bring some beneficial rains to SE FL if it continues on its current track.
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599. HCW
94L model runs from the NHC

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Quoting tropicfreak:
94L has definitely solidified in terms of convection in the past few hours or so, though still needs some more convection on the west side of it.


Shear is 20 knots plus very close to that side of the low and probably accounts for the lopsided convection signature at this time.
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597. IKE

Quoting kmanislander:


Hi there

The pressure here is 1008.7 and falling with winds out of the N to NNE at 15 MPH. These numbers show that
both the wind and pressure fields are expanding as the low center is about 250 miles to the ESE of us.It could get quite interesting if the high holds overhead.
Hey. Here's the 48 hour look....




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Quoting tropicfreak:


Wow, don't think that will happen though.
no well check for your self here is link
TROPICAL ATLANTIC MODELS GFS/NOGAPS/UKMET
Link

select tropical atlantic then select gfs then select warfighter then select Surface (10 meter) Wind Barbs, Streamlines, Isotachs [kts] then hit animate see for yourself

if u get a warning about cert invalid its ok its a navy model site
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595. xcool
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
94L has definitely solidified in terms of convection in the past few hours or so, though still needs some more convection on the west side of it.
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Quoting IKE:
18Z GFS @ 18 hours....




Hi there

The pressure here is 1008.7 and falling with winds out of the N to NNE at 15 MPH. These numbers show that
both the wind and pressure fields are expanding as the low center is about 250 miles to the ESE of us.It could get quite interesting if the high holds overhead.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
94L is pegged to remain somewhat stationary wax and wane convection may drift from time time towards nne then retro grade back ssw remain in sw carb where eventually after about 144 hrs or so it should diminish and a more normal seasonal flow from east to the west will establish itself on the navy war fighter model it shows most if not all the precip will move ne ward out over the antilles and out into the atlantic and only the naked swirl will be left behind
thanx sir
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bbeeell...there's a lake in the bucket hezakiah hezakiah - there's a lake in the bucket hezakiah a lake
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
94L is pegged to remain somewhat stationary wax and wane convection may drift from time time towards nne then retro grade back ssw remain in sw carb where eventually after about 144 hrs or so it should diminish and a more normal seasonal flow from east to the west will establish itself on the navy war fighter model it shows most if not all the precip will move ne ward out over the antilles and out into the atlantic and only the naked swirl will be left behind


Wow, don't think that will happen though.
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I'm in retail sitting on my tail lurking and reading and learning so i know when to haul-tail ya'll have a good day bud calling me now..
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Wow look, another blob off the east coast, near South Carolina, LOL. That's strange.

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BOLD PREDICTION! Its going to rain today in the Carribean Sea!!
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Quoting bayoubug:
If 94l developes and moves n should it run into that high and be turned back to the wnw just a question..
94L is pegged to remain somewhat stationary wax and wane convection may drift from time time towards nne then retro grade back ssw remain in sw carb where eventually after about 144 hrs or so it should diminish and a more normal seasonal flow from east to the west will establish itself on the navy war fighter model it shows most if not all the precip will move ne ward out over the antilles and out into the atlantic and only the naked swirl will be left behind
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Quoting hurricaneben:
Poll on Invest 93L's odds for the next TWO:

a)under 20%
b)20%
c)30%
d)40%
e)50%
f)60+%

Poll on when Invest 93L becomes TS Arlene:

a)Tonight
b)Tomorrow
c)Sunday
d)Monday
e)Tuesday or later
f)Never


You all are talking about 93L? The one in the GOM? That will not develop. As for 94L a strong possibility of it becoming a TD over the next week or so.
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582. xcool



Gette betterrrr organizedddddd
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
post 578



-1000
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


You sure you want your Canadian buddy to add this to his got ya's?


Now you know how we felt a few days ago here in Richmond VA. Now the temps here are in the upper 70s, beautiful, couldn't ask for a better way to end the work week after a stretch of very hot and humid weather this week. Heat indexes peaked at 105 on Wednesday.
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Quoting spathy:


I guess I will have to change jobs then.
Hummmm?
Tumbleweed rustler?


you just might, soon Florida will be known more for tumble weeds and cactus rather than swamps and wet lands if things keep going the way they are.
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What's worse than raining buckets?




















Hailing taxis!
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Postal Officer.


ok cool
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Storm Relative 16km Microwave-Based Total Precipitable Water Imagery

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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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