New Caribbean disturbance 93L a major concern; flooding in Asia kills over 200

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:50 PM GMT on June 21, 2010

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A concentrated region of intense thunderstorms associated with a tropical wave has developed in the central Caribbean, a few hundred miles south of Puerto Rico. This disturbance was designated Invest 93L by NHC this morning, and has the best chance to become Tropical Storm Alex of any system we've seen so far this year. The disturbance is located near Buoy 42059, and this buoy has been reporting winds of 5 - 15 knots this morning. So far, pressures are not falling. Water vapor satellite loops show that 93L is embedded in a large region of moist air. Some dry continental air from North America is over the western Caribbean, but this dry air is too far away to interfere with development today and Tuesday. Wind shear is a low 5 - 10 knots. The high wind shear associated with the strong winds of the subtropical jet stream are over the northern Caribbean, too far north to interfere with development. Sea Surface Temperatures are plenty warm, a record 29 - 30°C. The Madden-Julian oscillation currently favors upward motion over the Caribbean, which will act to increase the chances of tropical storm formation this week. The Madden-Julian oscillation is a pattern of enhanced rainfall that travels along the Equator from west to east. The pattern has a wet phase with large-scale rising air and enhanced thunderstorm activity, followed by a dry phase with large-scale sinking air and suppressed thunderstorm activity. Each cycle lasts approximately 30 - 60 days. When the Madden-Julian oscillation is in its wet phase over a hurricane-prone region, the chances for tropical storm activity are greatly increased. The only negative for 93L would seem to be the lack of spin; the University of Wisconsin 850 mb relative vorticity analysis is showing only meager amounts of spin at 850 mb (roughly 5,000 feet in altitude.)


Figure 1. Morning visible satellite image of the central Caribbean disturbance 93L.

Forecast for 93L
NHC is giving 93L a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday morning, which is a reasonable forecast. With wind shear expected to drop to low values less than 10 knots over the central and western Caribbean this week (Figure 2), I don't see any major impediments to the storm becoming a tropical depression by Friday. The ECMWF model is the most aggressive in developing this system, taking it into the Gulf of Mexico as a hurricane next week. The NOGAPS model keeps the storm weak and farther south, predicting that 93L will bring heavy rains to northern Honduras as a tropical disturbance or tropical depression on Friday and Saturday. The GFS model does not develop 93L. Expect 93L to bring flooding rains of 3 - 6 inches to Jamaica, eastern Cuba, and extreme southwestern Haiti on Wednesday. These rains will spread to the Cayman Islands and central Cuba by Thursday.


Figure 2. Predicted wind shear for Friday, June 25, as forecast by this morning's 2am EDT run of the GFS model. Shear is given in meters per second; multiply by about two to convert to knots. Low wind shear values less than 6 m/s (12 knots) are predicted for much of the Western Caribbean this week.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The tropical wave (92L) that brought heavy rains of 2 - 5 inches to Puerto Rico on Saturday has weakened and is no longer a threat to bring flooding rains to the Caribbean.

Floods in China and Burma kill over 200
The deadliest and most destructive weather-related disaster on the planet so far this year is occurring in southern China and northern Burma, where a week of heavy rains has caused flooding that has claimed over 200 lives. The death toll stands at 175 in China and 63 in Burma, with more than 100 people still missing in China. Damage so far in China has been estimated at $4.3 billion.


Figure 3. Tree branches hung on a bridge at Taining County, southeast China's Fujian Province, June 19, 2010. Taining recorded 225 mm (9 inches) of rain in six hours on Friday. Image credit: Xinhua/Jiang Kehong.

Montana tornado rips roof off entertainment complex
A EF-2 tornado with winds of at least 100 mph ripped the roof of an entertainment complex in Billings, Montana on Sunday, causing up to $15 million in damage. No injuries were reported. It was the strongest tornado to hit the Billings area since 1958.


Figure 4. Video of the Billings tornado shows an impressive debris cloud (and a few expletives not deleted!) The clear slot on the right of the tornado is likely associated with the parent thunderstorm's rear flank downdraft.

Wind and ocean current forecast for the BP oil disaster
Southeast to east winds less than 10 knots will blow in the northern Gulf of Mexico today through Friday, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. The resulting weak ocean currents should cause little motion of the oil slick, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. The long range outlook is uncertain, as the tropical wave over the central Caribbean could enter the Gulf of Mexico early next week and develop into a tropical storm.

Resources for the BP oil disaster
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
NOAA's interactive mapping tool allows one to overlay wind and ocean current forecasts, oil locations, etc.
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

Jeff Masters

Billings, MT tornado (StormTeam)
Photo taken from approx. 5-6 miles east. Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8429C0-LSlo
Billings, MT tornado

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Quoting weatherwatcher12:

1. If it is not classified you cannot call it 94L
and
2.The NHC doesn't seem to agree.
Don't quote him. He has but a clue of what is going on.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Please stop it. It is foolish and annoying.



its true lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
Now remind you I just got home, so you may have seen this question already.

Is this a leftover low from 92 and also what is the forecasted track for this system?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:
the GFS is being a doomcater
Please stop it. It is foolish and annoying.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting scottsvb:
93L probably wont develop but the unclassified 94L near 11.8N and 58.8W has at least a 40% chance. 93L might get absorbed into this feature later Tuesday night into Weds. Maybe by Weds we might have something south of Puerto Rico-Dominican Republic heading WNW towards Jamaica-Cuba-Haiti for the end of the week.

1. If it is not classified you cannot call it 94L
and
2.The NHC doesn't seem to agree.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
2073. Drakoen
Quoting Patrap:


The NNW Solution from there I dont favor atall


The whole GOM should be watching this but generally the stronger this system becomes the more it will want to go into the central or eastern GOM vs. the Western GOM.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30615
the GFS is being a doomcater
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
Quoting Ivanhater:
GFDL gets its upper air data from GFS which is why you see the turn north as the system gains strength. Interesting week shaping up...
Agreed.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
if 93L heads to the gulf like the models suggest this is going to be catastrophic for the gulf coast Oil would end up all over louisiana and through florida/ keys it would need to be real west of the spill to not have a significant effect on florida
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3029
2069. Grothar
Quoting caneswatch:
CaneWarning - I was thinking that too.


Caneswatch, I haven't seen you on here since last year. Decided to come back? Things are getting interesting in the tropics.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26894
]
Quoting Ivanhater:
GFDL gets its upper air data from GFS which is why you see the turn north as the system gains strength. Interesting week shaping up...


Now the question is, will we see a turn to the northeast?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
93L probably wont develop but the unclassified 94L near 11.8N and 58.8W has at least a 40% chance. 93L might get absorbed into this feature later Tuesday night into Weds. Maybe by Weds we might have something south of Puerto Rico-Dominican Republic heading WNW towards Jamaica-Cuba-Haiti for the end of the week.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
GFDL gets its upper air data from GFS which is why you see the turn north as the system gains strength. Interesting week shaping up...
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Quoting all4hurricanes:
Ok what is the only named category five that never made a landfall? Sorry no url to steal an answer from this time


I think it was Cleo in 1958
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
2063. cg2916
Miami or Storm, Storm said the GFS is showing a ridge forming for the last 3 runs. What does this mean for 93L?
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Quoting Drakoen:
126 24.3 86.7 351./ 4.3


Heading north at 351 degrees at the end of the run
Not good. That would take it right through the spill.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2061. pottery
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
The Ocean Heat Content product below certainly shows a lot more energy available East of Tobago,
compared to where 93L is now located. It also reinforces Kman's emphasis on what happens at 75 West.


Good point....
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Quoting scottsvb:


You dont think people can see a map?


You would be surprised.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11432
10%


of folks here are hitting F5 on the NHC/TWO page
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
the mode runs are wishcasters
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
2057. Patrap
Quoting Drakoen:
126 24.3 86.7 351./ 4.3


Heading north at 351 degrees at the end of the run


The NNW Solution from there I dont favor atall
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Ok what is the only named category five that never made a landfall? Sorry no url to steal an answer from this time
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
based on all the info people have posted looks like we may be close to red on the two
Member Since: July 14, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 3029
2054. Drakoen
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Whoops! Missed that bit, either way it still has pressure at 1008 millibars.


Insignificant
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30615
2053. Drakoen
126 24.3 86.7 351./ 4.3


Heading north at 351 degrees at the end of the run
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30615
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Looks like a turn towards the north if you ask me.


Look at the steering for that time frame. I wouldn't be shocked to seem a more pronounced run later in the time period. I don't like the looks of that.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
2051. Patrap
Floater - RGB Color Infrared Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
CaneWarning - I was thinking that too.
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Quoting Drakoen:
GFDL 18z develops 93L and puts him in the central GOM


You dont think people can see a map?
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Quoting Drakoen:


Those are winds at 35m not the surface
Whoops! Missed that bit, either way it still has pressure at 1008 millibars.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2047. Drakoen
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Initialized poorly if you ask me, it shows 93L with 35 knot winds and a 1008 millibar pressure.



Those are winds at 35m not the surface
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30615
Quoting CaneWarning:


Slowing can sometimes mean a change of direction is about to take place...
Looks like a turn towards the north if you ask me.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
2045. GatorWX
Quoting Drakoen:
GFDL 18z develops 93L and puts him in the central GOM


Notice the n turn at 126 hr, last frame?
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3785
Quoting caneswatch:


It slows on the last couple of frames. Hmm.......


Slowing can sometimes mean a change of direction is about to take place...
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
18Z 93L GFDL




I don't like that at all...
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


-0.5 is La Nina.




thats today by the way
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
2039. Patrap
Operational Model Displays for the
North Atlantic and East Pacific Basins
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
18Z 93L GFDL




It slows on the last couple of frames. Hmm.......
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This is quite a change for the GFDL isn't it?
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
*REPOST*
5:00 pm EDT National Hurricane Center Advisories: GRAPHICS UPDATE


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Quoting Tazmanian:
Niño 4 0.0ºC Niño 3.4 -0.5ºCNiño 3 -0.6ºCNiño1+2 -0.7ºC


-0.5 is La Nina.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Niño 4 0.0ºC
Niño 3.4 -0.5ºC

Niño 3 -0.6ºC
Niño1+2 -0.7ºC
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Oh man, didn't think it was going to be so strong especially since it has no circulation to initialize on.


50 knot Tropical Storm at the end of the run:

HOUR:126.0 LONG: -86.71 LAT: 24.33 MIN PRESS (hPa): 993.75 MAX SURF WIND (KNOTS): 49.88
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Initialized poorly if you ask me, it shows 93L with 35 knot winds and a 1008 millibar pressure.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
ECMWF, NOGAPS, and GFDL develops 93L.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Niño 4 0.0ºC Niño 3.4 -0.5ºCNiño 3 -0.6ºCNiño1+2 -0.7ºC
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115362
2029. Drakoen
GFDL 18z develops 93L and puts him in the central GOM
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30615
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
18Z 93L GFDL




What???
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667

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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.