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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According to the Wunderground shear forcast the shear isn't going anywhere... How much longer is 94L going to stall?
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94L really shouldn't have a 40% chance to develop. Dry air is moving in from the west. I'm thinking NHC will lower it's chances at the next TWO. To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised to see it drop to 20%.
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Poll

Precentage at the 2PM TWO...

A.20% or under

B. 30%

C. 40%

D. 50%

E. Any red circle type (60% or higher).
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Quoting ElConando:
I hear Gro in turn inspired Drak and Levi not just because of his forecasting skills but as a bonus he can speak French in Russian as well.


I speak German, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Icelandic, Italian, Spanish and Creole but can only order in French. My Russian is terrible, just ask Gorbachev. I just told him to tear down the "hall" not the Wall. Bad translation.
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The shear from the upper trough over the Gulf is going to back off......per Bastardi who is not out in left field



Quoting alfabob:
I think 94L will die out from the 40kt shear, lack of inflow and the other circulations forming to the E and SW. Area near Jamaica looks like it is trying to become the dominant one, I'd give it a 40% chance.
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223. MahFL
The new shear map looks good, except for the shear to the north.

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I hear Gro in turn inspired Drak and Levi not just because of his forecasting skills but as a bonus he can speak French in Russian as well.
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94L down 1006mb. 850mb Vorticity looks a little better also. I say NHC stays at 40% at 2pm, and will raise it to 50% or higher tonight! For now 94L is in the best enviroment it has been in. IMO
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If nothing else, 94L has been a strong mid-level cyclone. :-p

The mid-level vortex is still going strong NE of Jamaica.
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Quoting portcharlotte:
Bastardi

Per Bastardi....the upper trough is backing off and the system will develop moving into the East Gulf...



I believe he is correct about the trof. The steering layers forecast maps indicates the trof off the eastern seaboard should continue to lift out to the NE. The ridge that has been parked over the Southern US will slowly begin to move eastward, allowing 94L to come under the influence of steering from this. This would allow for the system to begin a more northward to NNW track after about 36 to 48 hours give or take.I Don't totally buy the development of the system at this point, but not saying it will not. There is still a window of opportunity.
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Quoting BobinTampa:


nah, I hear he's a big fan of Drak and Levi.




:P
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Quoting reedzone:
It's very smoky here in Palm Coast today, gotta be a fire near.. Hasn't been smoky like this since 2006.


You should see the smoke here in Northern New Mexico from the Arizona wallow fire. We need some of that rain to make it here from the west coast.
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I think it will probably remain at 40%, but has a good chance of being up 50-60%, just my opinion
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212. IKE
I'll go with 30% on the next TWO. COC of 94L is easy to see. No convection over the center.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting Inyo:
This sort of rain is unheard of this time of year in southern and central California. It is probably going to have significant effects on the vegetation of the state... as this is either a 200+ year return interval event, or a sign of climate change.

Most of California is bone-dry in summer, and the plants are adapted to this. If this were to change, a lot of the chaparral would probably succumb to fungus as it does not tolerate summer water well. Then what? The hillsides would start coming down on people, even more so than before.

Or... maybe it's just a one time event.


The native plants may adapt to this fine but the vineyards in Napa and Sonoma are not going to be able to take this much rain without ruining much of the grape crop for the year.
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Quoting Grothar:


He must have read my blog entry.


nah, I hear he's a big fan of Drak and Levi.

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Woah. This thing definitely brings back flashbacks from last year's Alex. That storm was definitely elongated and ugly looking like invest 94L is now.
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Quoting portcharlotte:
Bastardi

Per Bastardi....the upper trough is backing off and the system will develop moving into the East Gulf...



He must have read my blog entry.
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Referring to the california storm... I think I see a eye!! :P
Referring to 94l... seems like the main center is relocating closer to Mexico.. It does have small chance of developing in this shear, but not much.
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Back later. A lot of lightning here now.
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94L has a very broad circulation, and is battling SW windshear over the extreme NW Caribbean... IMO any development, if any at all, will be slow to occur.

Hopefully it will just bring some much needed rain to the Gulf coast region.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
I think the convection that came in from WSW might be the icing on the cake for 94L, that might actually enhance development


I agree. Until that happened the surface low was at risk of dissipating as it repeatedly failed to pull the cloud deck to its East overhead. That cloud deck with the MLC that we were watching last night had a good shot at taking over and forming a new surface low South of Jamaica until the moisture you refer to came up from the SW and covered over the low to our South. A real shot in the arm for it.
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Although the atmosphere is more unstable today than previously seen with 94L, the low level circulation is not as defined and is currently pretty broad. In order for this system to develop it needs to quickly establish a more defined center, before wind shear increases. We should be looking for any pressure falls, which would be a sign of a strengthening system.
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Does anyone has the 12z GFS shear forecast to see if there is any change or is the same as past runs showing the strong shear in the NW Caribbean?
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I think the convection that came in from WSW might be the icing on the cake for 94L, that might actually enhance development
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Quoting NICycloneChaser:


Haha, I guess 'awful' is pretty objective as to what you want...


Very disorganized right now but, it wouldn't take much in the right direction to get this thing going. Significant convection is firing in all quadrants now.

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194. Hugo7
Quoting Hugo7:
If you look at older images of 94L it was a much broader area of circulation, looking at the satelite images now it appears to be smaller than yesterday, and the MLR south of jamaica seems gone for the moment.
I never said it looked like a good healthy system, just improving.
Member Since: June 1, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 64
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:



With all that rain about, it looks perfect to me. Don't care what it becomes as long as there is rain with it.


Haha, I guess 'awful' is pretty objective as to what you want...
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192. Hugo7
Quoting pottery:

Where do you see this happening?
If you look at older images of 94L it was a much broader area of circulation, looking at the satelite images now it appears to be smaller than yesterday, and the MLR south of jamaica seems gone for the moment.
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Bastardi

Per Bastardi....the upper trough is backing off and the system will develop moving into the East Gulf...

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Quoting NICycloneChaser:
Am I the only person who thinks 94L looks awful?



With all that rain about, it looks perfect to me. Don't care what it becomes as long as there is rain with it.
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Quoting pottery:

Yeah, I was surprised to look at it all, this morning early.
Now that it is virtually 2 systems, I dont see either one being able to develop during the next few days.
You, and a lot of others, will get soaked though. It's a huge area....
Enjoy it!


Actually, if you look at the image below you can see several curved bands have developed right over us from the low to our South. The NW Caribbean has historically been the most favourable place in the Caribbean for weak systems to develop, even more so than the West central Caribbean South of Jamaica so the jury is still out on this IMO.

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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Significant change in terms of development today - all sides of the circulation of 94L has convection and is currently building. It looks somewhat like Alex did at invest stage now. Monsoonal low.


Mind you, 94L does not look impressive right now though. Very fragile system.
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Quoting Hugo7:
I think they should give 91E a name. Also looks like 94 maybe trying to get a tighter core finally.

Where do you see this happening?
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185. Hugo7
94L doesn't look great but it finally looks like it is trying to wrap moisture around its core and tightening up the core. 91E already looks like a tropical storm with winds close to 50mph.
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Link
Rainy day downtown, Grand Cayman
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183. 7544
Quoting sammywammybamy:
NEWEST MODEL RUNS:

DYNAMIC:




and east they go like i posted earlier today 94l is starting to look like a big jelly dounut still trying and trying hard
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anyway I am off to an exam give me a sitrep when I come back
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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.