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 MiamiHurricanes09:
Yes but unless it is a "STRONG" hurricane it won't feel it. I have yet to see proof (that is believable) of a strong hurricane while it's still in the Caribbean.


low shear, insane TCHP, model support, high SST's

everything points to this becoming a strong hurricane while still in Caribbean. The SHIPS brings it to 114 MPH hurricane in 120 hours when it will still be in Caribbean. Chances are 93L will become the first hurricane of the 2010 hurricane season and eventually the first major hurricane.

Lookig at models my opinion is that it will be strong enough to feel weakness of trough and unfortunately be more of a threat to the central and eastern GOM rather than Texas
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yes I agree on that, but it won't be strong enough.


I wouldn't be so sure on it's intensity at this point. It's very possible as this moves into the central Caribbean we could be looking at a tropical storm. If that happens, we could see it spin up into a hurricane very quickly in the NW Caribbean. We'll see...again, just one possible scenario.
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Quoting txsweetpea:
I live in South East Texas. Tx/La border


I'm sorry, it appears that you took me far more seriously than I intended...this early, this thing could go anywhere...there are slightly better possibilities, based on what we THINK may be the conditions at 3, or 4 or even 5 days out.

While the early models pointed in the general direction of the TX/MX border, this track is most likely to move eastward over the next few days as the high currently centered over the TX coast (and inland) gradually lifts out...that is, of course, if this thing doesn't actually dissipate over that time frame; not likely, but always a possibility.

If you look at the last few model runs they're kind of all over the place as they generally are this early in the life cycle of one of these features. As with most of these things, patience eventually yields the information we need, as hard as that is to come by sometimes; therein lies the rub here: the good and great ones, Drak, stormw, levi32, the doc himself, are generally very patient and the less adept (none of whom I shall name; crazy I may be, but foolish rarely) are much more adamant that "it's going here" or "it's going there!"
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Quoting Drakoen:


Very much so. Upper level anticyclonic flow has been established atop 93L.
I just saw that on the latest shear graphs.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Tropical wave SE of the Antilles looks interesting. Probably nothing, but interesting nonetheless. Has decent vorticity at 850mb.
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1621. Patrap
93L taking a lil breath with the anti over it establishing.

All GREEN in the checklist for organization thru the next 24-36 downstream.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129795
Quoting extreme236:


If conditions are really going to be as favorable as forecasted, there could be some RI in the NW Caribbean. Just one possible scenario.
Yes I agree on that, but it won't be strong enough.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Ok guys lets stop asking where its going first of all it not a storm yet not even td it sounds kinda crazy asking where its going and it hasnt even formed yet it kinda makes me think the ones that keeps asking wants it to come to them LOL
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1617. pottery
Quoting RecordSeason:
It's the uncertainty principle. If you look at it you change it.

I tried that. No change......
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Actually, it is banding. You don't have to have a "classified" system to have banding features. A surface low pressure is present and it does have bands extending outward from it.
There isn't any banding there. Thunderstorm activity is waning thus thunderstorms are collapsing which shows that outflow in the upper levels, that outflow might be what you are mistaking with banding.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1614. Drakoen
Quoting ElConando:


Is it in the process?


Very much so. Upper level anticyclonic flow has been established atop 93L.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30815
Good evening to everyone! Does anybody have the link to the ships model page. Thanks!
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1612. leo305
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yes but unless it is a "STRONG" hurricane it won't feel it. I have yet to see proof (that is believable) of a strong hurricane while it's still in the Caribbean.


if it develops a tight circulation at the surface, it can ramp up real quick, remember as it moves W/WNW there wont be shear to stop this, and the moisture/Water temperature is hot enough to fuel a CAT5 hurricane..
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yes but unless it is a "STRONG" hurricane it won't feel it. I have yet to see proof (that is believable) of a strong hurricane while it's still in the Caribbean.


If conditions are really going to be as favorable as forecasted, there could be some RI in the NW Caribbean. Just one possible scenario.
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1606. fire635
Quoting muddertracker:
*yawns* 93l is not looking so good right now. No LLC yet. Waning vorticity. Waning convection..off to take my son to football practice.


DMAX is coming...im thinking we'll see some increased organization overnight
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1605. leo305
Quoting F4PHANTOM:
All a matter of timing. Correct?


not just that, but the strength of this thing will matter more so in my opinion..
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YAY I WAS POST 1600
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
Quoting leo305:


which is why those touting "TEXAS" need to look at the upper level steering currents and not just the surface steering currents.. because a strong HURRICANE will feel whats up there
Yes but unless it is a "STRONG" hurricane it won't feel it. I have yet to see proof (that is believable) of a strong hurricane while it's still in the Caribbean.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting Drakoen:
Upper level trough needs to pull out of the Caribbean some more so 93L can get some better symmetry.


Is it in the process?
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lol i this cant help it lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
1599. leo305
http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/east/catl/ft-l.jpg

12N
59W
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1597. xcool


Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting muddertracker:
*yawns* 93l is not looking so good right now. No LLC yet. Waning vorticity. Waning convection..off to take my son to football practice.



downcaster ??? lol
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115454
1594. xcool
hmm
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1593. Drakoen
Upper level trough needs to pull out of the Caribbean some more so 93L can get some better symmetry.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30815
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
You rarely see real banding with tropical depressions, let alone with invests.


Actually, it is banding. You don't have to have a "classified" system to have banding features. A surface low pressure is present and it does have bands extending outward from it.
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1590. leo305
Quoting Ivanhater:


Notice the trough breaking down the ridge on the 12z GFS, if you have a stronger system, it is going to feel it



which is why those touting "TEXAS" need to look at the upper level steering currents and not just the surface steering currents.. because a strong HURRICANE will feel whats up there
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I hear John Philip Sousa tapping his baton.
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Quoting F4PHANTOM:
Thanks, because some people don't read every thing. Just what they want too and mistake comments for doomsday. Keep up the good work.
Yeah that's happened with me too, lol. Thanks.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
The 12z surface map, along with the gfs, cmc and gfdl seem to have the high retreating eastward over the next several day. Not sure it will be strong enough to prevent 93 (should it develop) from entering the central or even eastern gulf. imo
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1584. leo305
Quoting F4PHANTOM:
? Isn't a H supposed to be building in from west to east at 7days. Won't that have an effect?


it will affect steering, if its a weak low it will start moving NW instead of W/WNW, but if the thing becomes a hurricane before then.. it may turn north way before
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Quoting F4PHANTOM:
? Isn't a H supposed to be building in from west to east at 7days. Won't that have an effect?


Notice the trough breaking down the ridge on the 12z GFS, if you have a stronger system, it is going to feel it

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Quoting katadman:


Ouch! How long's this guy known you, Flood? Obviously not long. Otherwise, he'd know that you keep your mental faculties honed to a razor-sharp edge at all times.


Excuse me, I had to clean my monitor after that spit take...you are, of course, correct!
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Quoting Baltimorebirds:
Now I think some people are over exagerating about having a t.d tonight.Just wait folks you'll get your storm soon.Just ask jfv.
Definitely no T.D tonight. Still needs a lot more improving before we have classification.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
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Quoting muddertracker:
*yawns* 93l is not looking so good right now. No LLC yet. Waning vorticity. Waning convection..off to take my son to football practice.


I will call you Impatient Ian lol
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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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