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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Quoting KimSETX:

Yes, I live in the darkest area. We've got 100 year old live oak trees dropping all their leaves. We're up around 100 degrees with winds that have been blowing for months! It's beyond dry here. We really need a tropical system without the destruction!


You need monsoon rains, not monsoon winds.
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it is NOT Stormtop.....

it is JFV....
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Because he likes to cause problems and this helps him feel superior. It is really irritating.


He also wishcastes every storm to hit Florida.
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270. xcool
come on now back tropical weather plz thanks..
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Quoting cchsweatherman:
...
With that being said, even with our pressing drought issues here, it pales in comparison to the dire drought situation continuing across Texas.





Yes, I live in the darkest area. We've got 100 year old live oak trees dropping all their leaves. We're up around 100 degrees with winds that have been blowing for months! It's beyond dry here. We really need a tropical system without the destruction!
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Quoting aquak9:


No! Quit trying to blame everything on StormTop. He was never rude to anyone. Ya'll really have no idea about him.


Sorry, I haven't been on here long enough to know what stormtop did.
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he has 3 current screen names right now.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25762
New data corrected my misconception.
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Quoting tropicfreak:


What is his current screen name? F**** UTaz?
It changes on a daily basis but you can always figure out when it is him by his spelling, Spanish and ^^.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:
I just noticed we have a 30% chance of rain for the afternoon and it is already above 100 degrees.. Has anyone ever seen it rain at or above 100 degrees?

I have several times here in Southeast Texas, although it isn't long before the rain begins and the temperature rapidly drops below 100.
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I did not realize it was JFV... several years ago when he first started posting as JFV I knew I could not be bothered with his nonsense and put him on ignore so I could manage this blog during high volume time.

I cannot keep up with all his troll handles since.

thanks everyone I have got to leave for awhile.. will check back later.

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Quoting NRAamy:
gamma, it's JFV.... he comes up with a new troll name everyday.... it's like playing Whack-a-mole.... why he sends me emails I have no idea....
Because he likes to cause problems and this helps him feel superior. It is really irritating.
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The full story:

BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_al942011.invest
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201106031840
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, AL, L, , , , , 94, 2011, DB, O, 2011060318, 9999999999, , , , , , METWATCH, , AL942011
AL, 94, 2011060218, , BEST, 0, 150N, 803W, 20, 1008, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060300, , BEST, 0, 155N, 792W, 20, 1008, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060306, , BEST, 0, 158N, 783W, 20, 1008, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060312, , BEST, 0, 160N, 777W, 20, 1008, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060318, , BEST, 0, 161N, 773W, 20, 1007, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1009, 125, 90, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
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Quoting tropicfreak:


StormTop?


No! Quit trying to blame everything on StormTop. He was never rude to anyone. Ya'll really have no idea about him.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 163 Comments: 25762
Quoting NRAamy:
gamma, it's JFV.... he comes up with a new troll name everyday.... it's like playing Whack-a-mole.... why he sends me emails I have no idea....


What is his current screen name? F**** UTaz?
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
They really need to find a permanent way to get rid of him. This type of thing is really disgraceful and disrespectful.

They can trace the ip address and ban it
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Quoting tropicfreak:


StormTop?
No, JFV.
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Quoting seflagamma:
Amy, you have reported that troll to admin haven't you???

when I get someone like that I report them, then banned/block them so they cannot keep bothering me.

this one is NUTZ for sure.
You do realize who it is , right ? Banning doesn't seem to do much good.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
They really need to find a permanent way to get rid of him. This type of thing is really disgraceful and disrespectful.


StormTop?
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Quoting seflagamma:


That explains it.. your official drought map puts the most sever where it belongs in Broward and Palm Beach counties in SE Fla.. we have gone longest witout rain..

while mine takes into consideration the moisture in the Everglades when the rains up north trickle down this way.

Thank you very much!


No problem. Good to see ya understand.
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Quoting seflagamma:
Amy, you have reported that troll to admin haven't you???

when I get someone like that I report them, then banned/block them so they cannot keep bothering me.

this one is NUTZ for sure.
lights are on nobody home
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
gamma, it's JFV.... he comes up with a new troll name everyday.... it's like playing Whack-a-mole.... why he sends me emails I have no idea....
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Quoting cchsweatherman:


The maps I posted show the drought levels and situations. Other maps show soil moisture levels.


That explains it.. your official drought map puts the most severe where it belongs in Broward and Palm Beach counties in SE Fla.. we have gone longest without rain..

while mine takes into consideration the moisture in the Everglades when the rains up north trickle down this way.

Thank you very much!
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
They really need to find a permanent way to get rid of him. This type of thing is really disgraceful and disrespectful.


It sure is. I'm relatively new and don't know how everything works but I thought perhaps allowing only paid members participate in the blog would be helpful. Might deter one if they need to pay $10/day per handle.
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AL, 94, 2011060318, , BEST, 0, 160N, 780W, 20, 0, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
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Amy, you have reported that troll to admin haven't you???

when I get someone like that I report them, then banned/block them so they cannot keep bothering me.

this one is NUTZ for sure.
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Shear is definitely lowering in and around 94L.

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Quoting seflagamma:



YES, those are South East Florida Counties..


But any further south and it's northern Cuba...

=)
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Quoting NRAamy:
From: F***YouTaz Favorites Blocked
To: NRAamy
Date: 2011-06-03 18:33:54 (6:33 PM GMT) NEW MESSAGE
Subject: Oye!

Yes, you retarded, anyhow, here are the 5 counties that make up the South Florida area: They are as follows: Palm Beach County, Broward County, Miami-Dade County, Collier County, and Martin County. Now, STFU, alright, Amy? Geeze, happy now?

Make it a great day, unibrow. =).
They really need to find a permanent way to get rid of him. This type of thing is really disgraceful and disrespectful.
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k
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Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
thanks, gamma....

:)
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Quoting Patrap:
How is Pre-95L faring today ?

;-)

A butterfly in eastern Kenya flapped his wings this morning, creating the small amount of turbulence that will become part of an updraft that will provide energy to help grow a small cumulus cloud that will drift westward and be drawn into a cluster of similar clouds that over time grow into a cumulonimbus that forms the basis for a nascent tropical wave that moves off the African coast next week that makes its way across the Atlantic and provides the impetus to fire off some sustained convection that creates a low pressure area beneath that begins ever-so-slightly spinning in response to the mild but insistent tug of the Coriolis force that eventually catches the attention of meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center who determine it's robust enough to deserve to be designated 95L.
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94L has finally arrived!
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Quoting seflagamma:
#217 your drought map for Florida is different from the one I've been using for years..

which one is right??


The maps I posted show the drought levels and situations. Other maps show soil moisture levels.
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#235 That is cool, thanks!
Those are the boarders they use in my Florida Gardening Magazine.
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Fleet Weather Center Norfolk Tropical Feed
No Active Tropical Warnings in the Atlantic, Caribbean, or Gulf of Mexico
By Maritime.CDO@navy.mil (FWC-N CDO) from Fleet Weather Center Norfolk Virginia. Published on Fri, Jun 03, 2011.

As of Fri, 03 Jun 2011 19:31:01 GMT
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Florida sections:

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Quoting cchsweatherman:
This is the latest drought monitor data for Florida. Getting worse and worse in SE Florida and for Lake Okeechobee.




LOL , says it all .
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#217 your drought map for Florida is different from the one I've been using for years..

which one is right??
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Depends..

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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:



Ahh man, you know it. I used to appreciate grilling out in the evening after a cooling rain. I've been getting blasted by sun and sweating my arse off for months.


It's been brutal , but isn't anything compared to what those folks that have been dealing with the tornadoes and floods . I guess I can't complain too bad .

Quoting seflagamma:


You must live in my area in SE Florida...
we are burning up...

now the entire state is burning up..

we need rain...


Boca / Delray seems like death valley lately . I'll bet I'll hear the vegetation chorus in relief when it gets a good soaking .

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230. PTXer
Quoting Patrap:
How is Pre-95L faring today ?

We gonna start with the "pre" stuff again? :)
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Quoting NRAamy:
thanks, Gramps, that helps me ever so much....

is West Palm Beach considered South Florida?

Ft. Lauderdale?




YES, those are South East Florida Counties..

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2011 Storms
All Active Year


Atlantic
94L.INVEST
93L.INVEST

East Pacific

Central Pacific

West Pacific
92W.INVEST

Indian Ocean
98A.INVEST

Southern Hemisphere
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting Floodman:


Watch it whippersnapper...I'll sick Amy on you and you DON'T want that to happen...LOL


I believe you right. Truce?!
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NAVY has 2 GREEN BALL Atlantic
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As a matter of fact, convection is already filling in.
Link
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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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