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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INVEST 94L Afternoon Video Analysis
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572. IKE
18Z GFS @ 18 hours....


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

so what do you do job wise
Postal Officer.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8393
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
No, but the NHC is and they say stationary.

so what do you do job wise
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12164
The way things are going, Florida is going to undergo a huge outbreak of fires till most of the thick subtropical forest burns away, then cactus and shrubs will only remain and we will be absorbed into the subtropical desert belt like Northern Mexico.

Seriously, it looks like high pressure will be holding strong now into Mid June, the pattern is very much like what occurs in sub-tropical deserts, strong controlling high pressure which leads to just hot and windy weather continuously...

At the very least, the wet season will need to be above normal to crack this bad of a drought, if we don't get a seriously rain pattern going by July then Florida is in big trouble, its wild life will suffer from excess fire and drought, it already is really bad now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If 94l developes and moves n should it run into that high and be turned back to the wnw just a question..
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Quoting NRAamy:
ok, guys/gals, serious question here:

where can I find a list of commonly used Hurricane Season terms..... I really want to try and learn something this season, but half the stuff you guys talk about goes right over my head...ok, more like 75%..... ok, I don't have a clue.....


Link
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20%
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 904
Quoting bayoubug:
so your the forecaster....
No, but the NHC is and they say stationary.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8393
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
East End, Grand Cayman pressure 1007mb, winds gusting E @27 mph and overcast but not raining right now. Had a couple showers earlier though.


well here in West Bay it 1007.4 & droping ENE-NE @ 13 Gust 15 mph nearly overcast
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12164
562. xcool
30% at 8pm
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting NRAamy:
ok, guys/gals, serious question here:

where can I find a list of commonly used Hurricane Season terms..... I really want to try and learn something this season, but half the stuff you guys talk about goes right over my head...ok, more like 75%..... ok, I don't have a clue.....


COMMONLY USED ABBREVIATIONS
.AOI:area of interest
.C:celsius
.CAT:category
.CDO:central dense overcast
.EWRC:eye wall replacement cycle
.GMT:greenwich mean time
.INV:invest
.IR:infra-red
.ITCZ:intertropical convergence zone
.KTS:knots
.MB:millibars
.MSLP:minimum sea level pressure
.MWS:maximum wind speed
.NHC:National Hurricane Centre
.RMW:radius of maximum winds
.SST:sea surface temperature
.STS:subtropical storm
.SAL:sahara air layer
.TCFA:Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert
.TC:tropical cyclone
.TD:tropical depression
.TS:tropical storm
.UTC:universal time
.VIS:visible sat image
.WV:water vapour sat image
.Z:zulu time
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thank you, Miami!!!!!!

:)
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..as a rule, I never Poll on a Friday




(Festivus for da rest of us)
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557. JLPR2
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Slowly getting there.. 94L.


And with D-min on its way.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8735
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
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Slowly getting there.. 94L.
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ZCZC MIATWOAT ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT FRI JUN 3 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

1. THE SURFACE CIRCULATION ASSOCIATED WITH A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE
CENTERED A COUPLE HUNDRED MILES SOUTH OF JAMAICA HAS BECOME A
LITTLE BETTER DEFINED TODAY. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS APPEAR TO BE
DIMINISHING OVER THE SYSTEM...BUT A LARGE AREA OF DRY AIR IS BEING
DRAWN INTO THE WESTERN SIDE OF THE CIRCULATION. THERE IS A LOW
CHANCE...20 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. HEAVY RAINS COULD STILL CAUSE FLASH
FLOODING AND MUD SLIDES OVER PORTIONS OF HAITI...THE DOMINICAN
REPUBLIC...JAMAICA...AND EXTREME SOUTHEASTERN CUBA OVER THE NEXT
DAY OR TWO AS THE LOW REMAINS NEARLY STATIONARY OVER THE WEST-
CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SEA.

2. A SMALL AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED OVER THE WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO
ABOUT 275 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST BROWNSVILLE TEXAS IS PRODUCING
LIMITED SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS
ARE NOT CONDUCIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT...AND THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...
NEAR 0 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING
THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES GENERALLY NORTHWESTWARD AT ABOUT 10
TO 15 MPH.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BERG
NNNN
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This suggests shear isn't much of a problem:



Link
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Quoting NRAamy:
ok, guys/gals, serious question here:

where can I find a list of commonly used Hurricane Season terms..... I really want to try and learn something this season, but half the stuff you guys talk about goes right over my head...ok, more like 75%..... ok, I don't have a clue.....
1) American Meteorological Society
2) Haby's Hints
3) The Weather Channel
4) NOAA Weather Terms
5) Satellite Meteorology Glossary
6) Tropical Cyclone FAQ

Via CaneFever.

Have fun! LOL.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Stationary.
so your the forecaster....
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550. IKE

Quoting aquak9:
well now there is so what ya going ta say

Quaaaak....quak quak quak...

hahaha ya got me!! :)
LOL!


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Not to poke fun at Dr. Masters, but 27'9" is not "one inch shy" of 28.0'. That would, in fact, be about three inches shy. If they are going by some sort of decimal measurement unknown to me, then he should not have referred to it as "one inch", right? It would be something like "one decifoot", or some such nonsense.

Either way though, that's a whole lot of water cruising through Williston, SD!
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face it, JRRP, you're a wishcaster... accept your lot in life.... that's half the battle...
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So I see a pinh- oh forget it...
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Quoting kmanislander:


That is not good, especially if the high overhead really becomes established.


Guess I'll hold off from topping up the pool tonight :-)
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545. beell
nope but what can I say when the same person calling me a wishcaster was just calling it a fish storm just remeber what yous say is what you are so in other words it takes a person that is the same as the other person to know and say what he is

Quoting aquak9:


you lost me at hello


Here, aqua, work on this one. It's a little easier.

Taal Lake is a freshwater lake in the province of Batangas, on the island of Luzon, Philippines. The lake is situated within a caldera formed by very large eruptions between 500,000 and 100,000 years ago. It is the country's third largest lake (the largest being Laguna de Bay). Volcano Island, the location of Taal Volcano's historical eruptions and responsible for the lake's sulfuric content, lies near the center of the lake. There is a crater lake on Volcano Island, which is in Lake Taal, which is located on Luzon Island. That crater lake is the world's largest lake on an island in a lake on an island, and it in turn contains its own small island, Vulcan Point.

Lake Taal


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stationary no movement
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well now there is so what ya going ta say

Quaaaak....quak quak quak...

hahaha ya got me!! :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JRRP:
if i say 94L is moving NW... i`m wishcasting
if i say 94L is moving NE... i`m Wishcasting
so what is the real movement???
Stationary.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8393
540. xcool
JRRP hey..you not Wishcasting
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
539. IKE
***Better put my boots on. It's gettin deep***
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Patrap:
,,my last Cold Fresca is Flat
:(
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8393
537. JRRP
if i say 94L is moving NW... i`m wishcasting
if i say 94L is moving NE... i`m Wishcasting
so what is the real movement???
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5986
,,my last Cold Fresca is Flat
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East End, Grand Cayman pressure 1007mb, winds gusting E @27 mph and overcast but not raining right now. Had a couple showers earlier though.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8393
ok, guys/gals, serious question here:

where can I find a list of commonly used Hurricane Season terms..... I really want to try and learn something this season, but half the stuff you guys talk about goes right over my head...ok, more like 75%..... ok, I don't have a clue.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aquak9:


you lost me at hello


oohh just forget it anyway wasn't it you that said this the other day

"there is no pond! there is no duck! there is no rain, no swirly clouds, no "pre93L" no NOTHING!!!

I can't believe everyone who has sat on this blog all day long staring at, dissecting and discussing NOTHING!!!

it's NOT GONNA HAPPEN, PEOPLE!!!

AAAAUUURRGGHHH!!!!"


well lets see 93 became 93 but not where we thought ok so if we knew about this before then you would of said ""pre94L" no NOTHING!!!" well now there is so what ya going ta say
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12164
Sorry just lurking and drinking a bud light...in all this heat...
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Quoting NRAamy:
so in other words it takes a person that is the same as the other person to know and say what he is

my brain hurts.....

On a Monday or Tuesday, I might understand that. On a Friday... Sorry WKC... no comprende.
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Fresca works....
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528. IKE
An invest labeling started all this....welcome to the 2011 ATL hurricane season....


Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting NRAamy:
don't forget a drink, IKE.... maybe a can of YouHoo?

:)
Gotta be Fresca :)
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8393
Lower-level convergence is developing over 94L's circulation (convergence responds to the lowering of pressures) in the 21z CIMSS graphical update, divergence just about the same. Anticyclone moved slightly towards the north.

CIMSS Lower Convergence, Upper Divergence, Upper-Level Winds (21z)
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don't forget a drink, IKE.... maybe a can of YouHoo?

:)
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so in other words it takes a person that is the same as the other person to know and say what he is

my brain hurts.....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

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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.