Little change to 94L; exceptional heat in Texas, record rains in California

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:43 PM GMT on June 06, 2011

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There is not much change to report on the large, wet, and disorganized tropical disturbance (Invest 94L) in the Western Caribbean, between Jamaica and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The disturbance has brought intermittent heavy rains to Jamaica over the past two days, but nearby islands have thus far escaped the deluge. Satellite-estimated rainfall amounts of 1" per hour occurred in ocean regions just east of Jamaica this morning, but the heaviest rains have missed the island so far this morning. Visible satellite loops show no increase in organization of 94L in recent hours, and the storm's low-level spiral bands and upper-level outflow are poorly defined. The storm's center of low pressure is located about 130 miles south of Grand Cayman Island, in a region with no heavy thunderstorm activity. An intense clump of thunderstorms exists on either side of this low, near Jamaica, and just east of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Water vapor satellite loops show the Caribbean has moistened over the past two days, and upper air balloon soundings from the Cayman Islands continue to show much moister air at mid levels of the atmosphere (2% humidity at 500 mb on Saturday, compared to 69% last night.) Wind shear remains in the moderate range, 15 - 20 knots, and is predicted by the SHIPS model to remain below 20 knots through tonight. Water temperatures in the Central Caribbean are about 1°C above average, 28 - 28.5°C, which is 2°C above the threshold needed to support development of a tropical storm.


Figure 1. Rainfall rates of up to 1" per hour (orange colors) were estimated by the F-17 satellite for 94L at 7:03am EDT Jun 6, 2011. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Since 94L is so large and poorly organized, today's mission by the Hurricane Hunters has been cancelled. A new mission is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at 2pm EDT. This morning's 00Z and 06Z model runs were unimpressed with 94L, with most of them showing little or no development. A band of very high wind shear of 30 - 50 knots lies over Cuba and the southern Bahama Islands. The GFS and ECMWF models show 94L pushing slowly northwest at about 5 mph, hitting this shear on Tuesday and Wednesday, preventing any further development. The NOGAPS model predicts that a gap may open up in the shear sufficient for the storm to organize into a tropical depression late this week. Given 94L's current disorganization, I doubt the storm will ever develop. NHC gave 94L a 40% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday, and I believe these odds should be lower, near 20%. Regardless of development, 94L is capable of bringing very heavy rains to Jamaica, Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and Haiti through Wednesday. These rains will probably spread northwards into South Florida and the Bahama Islands by Thursday or Friday.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of 94L.

Exceptional heat in the South
A sizzling June heat wave set record high temperatures across much of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle on Sunday. The high temperature at the Houston, Texas airport hit 105 degrees, the warmest temperature ever recorded in the month of June (old record: 104 degrees on June 24th and June 26th, 2009.) The earliest Houston ever recorded a temperature of 105 degrees prior to Sunday was July 26th, 1954. Records for Houston date back to 1891. There have been only 15 days in which the temperature has reached or exceeded 105 degrees in Houston:

4 - 1909
1 - 1954
2 - 1962
3 - 1980
5 - 2000

So far this month, new maximum temperature records in Houston have been established on four out of the first five days. Galveston and Houston both crushed their previous record high temperature for the day (June 5th) by a remarkable seven degrees. Residents can expect another day of triple-digit heat today, thanks to the upper level ridge of high pressure parked over the state. Houston will likely break the old record of 98°F for the date.


Figure 3. An intense low pressure system moves inland over California as seen in this satellite photo taken June 4, 2011, at 2pm PDT. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

Record rains in California
A large and unusually intense low pressure system moved inland over California over the weekend, bringing large areas of the state rains unheard of in June. According to our weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, rainfall at Mining Ridge on the Big Sur coast totaled 8.31" Sunday, which, if verified, would be California's heaviest 1-day June rainstorm on record. According to the document "Historic Rainstorms in California" Dept. of Water Resources, Aug. 1997, the previous maximum June daily rainfall was 5.83" at Forni Ridge on June 18, 1982. San Francisco had its 2nd greatest June 1-day rainfall, going back to 1850, and both the San Francisco and Oakland airport have now had their rainiest Junes on record. Rainfall at Santa Barbara Airport yesterday totaled 1.24 inches, the wettest June day there on record (previous record: 0.51" on June 5, 2009.) The 1.38"of rain so far this June has made it the wettest June in recorded history at Santa Barbara Airport, going back to 1941.

Jeff Masters

Sunny California? (turnuptheheat)
Normally June should be warm and dry. Many areas have had more rainfall in one day than they usually get in the entire month of June. All due to this system: http://www.wunderground.com/data/images/GOES_CA_STORM.jpg
Sunny California?

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Quoting DestinJeff:
I picked June 28th in the "First Named Storm" office pool. If I when, I will get a little extra nothing in my next check.


Been hanging out with Taz, have you?
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Back to work. Later all.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Temps at the Airport here peaked at 93F. My Thermo. read 96F at 2:00 pm.
Average humidity today, 79% (Max was 100%)
Scattered cloud all day.
No rain at all.
Hot, Sweaty one...
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24925
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
Grothar, I have a buddy in Estero,FL who will pay plenty for a minimal TS soaking!
The "local" here in SW FL just said most of the rain will be east of us..ughhh
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94L invest are vary hard invest too get a name storm or TD out of it seems
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Quoting Mrsenseofhumor:
Hope we can stay at 0-0-0 this year.


not enough digits there. Per blog rules, it should go be 0-0-0-0-0-0:

Total Named Storms - Total ShouldaBeen Named Storms (including those that the NHC inexplicably did not name)- Total Hurricanes - Total ShouldaBeen Hurricanes - Total Major Hurricanes - Total ShouldaBeen Major Hurricanes.

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Looks like 94L starting to collapse (and after getting a 50% from NHC earlier).....Interesting observation here....Go to the NOAA's big rainbow loop of the tropical atlantic and what do you see? That area in the E-Pac west of Cental America starting to take on the "comma" signature and rotating in a counter-clockwise fasion.....Now look at 94L in the same loop....It appears to be rotating in a "clock-wise" manner now going in the wrong direction...Nuff Said........... :)
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Quoting Grothar:


Depending on the strength, it should move NW to North. I am still not satisfied with the location of the center. It would appear to be somewhere along the west coast of Florida (at this time) Until we see how strong it becomes, that would change the effect of the upper level steering currents, which at this time do not appear that strong.
Grothar, I have a buddy in Estero,FL who will pay plenty for a minimal TS soaking!
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Quoting Mrsenseofhumor:
Hope we can stay at 0-0-0 this year.


I don't...The earth's climate would be in serious trouble.
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Quoting pottery:

But not very likely to get classified.
NHC would need to see 24hr persistence, especially with this one.


Agree. yesterday was the best time for it to develop, but we know what occured. I already moved ahead to see how things are going to be in the next 3 weeks in the Atlantic, (see post 558) and see if Arlene forms by then.
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On visible, it looks like the clouds are getting thicker around the center. If you haven't learned anything from this system yet, learn now that it shouldn't be counted out until shear is tearing it to shreds. The most up-to-date visible loops can be found at the NASA site.
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you could see it this morning when the visiable showed tighter banding. now it seems as if 94 will be a td tonight or tomorrow i still think as the past 7 days its heading up to the big bend area as a weak cyclone. hopefully it does make the hurricane status. anyone else have a forecast?
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Quoting Levi32:
Water vapor imagery shows the upper trough over the Gulf of Mexico slowly but steadily advancing eastward, pressing dry air in towards 94L. This, along with the shearing aloft, will make it very difficult for the system to develop further and become a tropical depression. Diurnal max tonight may be its last chance to organize sufficiently to be classified.

But not very likely to get classified.
NHC would need to see 24hr persistence, especially with this one.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24925
Quoting DestinJeff:


Saturday and today, both with rain.

Yeah, we bad.


Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010


warming cloud tops, not good for 94L's sake, if it loses convection from DMIN. It's pretty much over for its chances.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Levi, you think that the Atlantic basin will have a better chance to have Arlene by the end of this month, especially if the wet MJO enters the basin by that time as the forecast shows?



Definitely. It would be both more climtologically favored, and the timing would make sense since the MJO just came over the Caribbean, so we can expect it back in 3 weeks or so. The GFS is also hinting at another monsoonal invasion into the western Caribbean or the southern Gulf of Mexico on the long-range ensembles.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Quoting CosmicEvents:
Are you insinuating that our low is high?

heheheh, very good!

Conc. is 2/3 done. Had to explain to one of the guys that 96" is NOT the same as 9'6". "So take that out, and move it to here!"
WHEW, it too hot out there, for us Old People...
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24925
Levi, you think that the Atlantic basin will have a better chance to have Arlene by the end of this month, especially if the wet MJO enters the basin by that time as the forecast shows?

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Quoting PcolaDan:

At my end of town by the airport, a thimble would be too big to measure the rain. :(


I was right on the southernmost potion of the storm, can only imagine what those to the north got. Well, got lucky here today and a nice little show to boot. Got my fingers crossed for all those others who need it as badly or worse!
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Quoting clwstmchasr:
"By Friday, the system likely will help to increase rain chances across Florida into the 20 to 30 percent range."

This is from Baynews9. Rain chances all the way up to 30% from the system. That is lower than a normal summer afternoon.


But greater than the 20% chance they gave us the day 93L came through.
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Quoting sailfish01:
Levi, you still do the U-tube tropical updates? Loved those last year.


Yes I do. You can find them on my blog usually daily, or at my Youtube channel.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Quoting alfabob:

Those do not disprove that a surface circulation is trying to form to the NE. Kingston / Norman Manley, Jamaica (E to ESE) is only 8kts and Montego Bay / Sangster, Jamaica is showing calm or winds in different directions.


Uh... yes it does.

If a low-pressure center is off to the NE, winds should be from the NW (in the N.Hemisphere).
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Quoting kmanislander:


I agree. Take a look at the loop in my post 539


Indeed, not a great presentation there. The convective pattern needs to start acquiring a structure soon, or 94L will likely remain an invest.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
549. afj3
Quoting Levi32:
Water vapor imagery shows the upper trough over the Gulf of Mexico slowly but steadily advancing eastward, pressing dry air in towards 94L. This, along with the shearing aloft, will make it very difficult for the system to develop further and become a tropical depression. Diurnal max tonight may be its last chance to organize sufficiently to be classified.

Good point...
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Quoting 69Viking:


It sucks how localized the afternoon thunderstorms can be. We had one hit Eglin AFB and Niceville and slide to the West completely missing the FWB area. I wish the mess in the Caribbean would just drift straight North without strengthening and cover the enter state of Florida in a 2 day soaking rain event!


If we could get back to the regular afternoon shower pattern, I would be okay with it. Eventually we all get wet then. But I think today might just be an anomaly. Not giving up hope though. More are popping up in the area.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Levi, you still do the U-tube tropical updates? Loved those last year.
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Quoting 2xRitaEvacuee:
Hi Levi!

Good to see you again, I look forward to your blogs and insights this season. :)


Hi 2xRita. Thanks.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Quoting PcolaDan:

At my end of town by the airport, a thimble would be too big to measure the rain. :(


More to build... hopefully, PcDan...:)
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Quoting Levi32:
Water vapor imagery shows the upper trough over the Gulf of Mexico slowly but steadily advancing eastward, pressing dry air in towards 94L. This, along with the shearing aloft, will make it very difficult for the system to develop further and become a tropical depression. Diurnal max tonight may be its last chance to organize sufficiently to be classified.


I agree. Take a look at the loop in my post 539
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
Quoting PcolaDan:

At my end of town by the airport, a thimble would be too big to measure the rain. :(


It sucks how localized the afternoon thunderstorms can be. We had one hit Eglin AFB and Niceville and slide to the West completely missing the FWB area. I wish the mess in the Caribbean would just drift straight North without strengthening and cover the enter state of Florida in a 2 day soaking rain event!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Water vapor imagery shows the upper trough over the Gulf of Mexico slowly but steadily advancing eastward, pressing dry air in towards 94L. This, along with the shearing aloft, will make it very difficult for the system to develop further and become a tropical depression. Diurnal max tonight may be its last chance to organize sufficiently to be classified.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Hi Levi!

Good to see you again, I look forward to your blogs and insights this season. :)
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The Dvorak loop shows a system with the convection opening up rather than tightening up. This type of presentation has been seen before when a low is on the way to becoming an open wave.

I am not saying that is what will happen but the loop is not at all impressive.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
Quoting druseljic:
Wow, I saw the radar bringing a thunderstorm into Pcola and was wishing it would cool things off a bit. I not only got my wish, Mother Nature was tossing ice down as well. Most were a little smaller than a dime but at least one is about the size of a quarter.

Most rain we've had in a while, too!

At my end of town by the airport, a thimble would be too big to measure the rain. :(
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Checking in for lunch. It doesn't look like 94L's center is moving very much at all in the last few hours, and is nearly stationary. There is an illusion of a northeast drift due to the southwesterly shear over the system.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26701
Quoting sammywammybamy:




No rain in Central or South Florida.... yet.


I'm telling you...since the South Florida radar has been blank since around October, they shut it off to save some taxpayer dollars. If you look closely at the radar screen, I believe it says 10/25/2010.
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Quoting pottery:
I've been to Jamaica a couple of times.
94L should have known better than to go anywhere near the place.
You can see from the last 10 days of loops from around there, that the system in Inhaling, Holding, and Exhaling continuously.
That's what's wrong with it....
No WAY it gets organised!
Are you insinuating that our low is high?
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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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