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 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
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7726
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


Taken as intended.

One of the joys of this blog is getting to watch some fine minds at work. The ability to link divergent concepts is considered one of the tests of creativity.


Indeed, as I have always postulated...the ability to combine apparently divergent threads by the sometimes unseen similarities is a sign of creativity...or insanity, whether natural or self induced...
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1576. cg2916
Quoting CaribbeanIslandStorm:

No one is watching the wave that's developing off the African coast.


It's not an imminent threat to develop.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
You won't see them intensify that low until 93L is classified.


Exactly
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No one is watching the wave that's developing off the African coast.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Yeah, I don't think it was banding.
You rarely see real banding with tropical depressions, let alone with invests.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
*yawns* 93l is not looking so good right now. No LLC yet. Waning vorticity. Waning convection..off to take my son to football practice.
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1569. Patrap
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Pat, take a look at today's vis sat. loop of 93 and tell me if you think that banding feature is actual banding from a strengthening low, or if it was it just storms collapsing and expanding outwards? Thanks


Hard to say..itsa large overall Circ seems..and those tend to take awhile to spin Up a true center.

Plus,the Central and Western Carribean are the climo favored areas for the Basin right now,historically.

So as the overall envelope slides wnw thru time..the Depression will form and after that we will have to watch carefully as to Track and intensity as the TCHP ahead is there.
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Quoting Floodman:


Thank you, Shen...coming from you, that's high praise indeed!


Taken as intended.

One of the joys of this blog is getting to watch some fine minds at work. The ability to link divergent concepts is considered one of the tests of creativity.
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Quoting Ivanhater:
Notice the ridge retreating a bit as the trough breaks it down on the HPC map. So far the HPC has a weak low so it wont matter but if we see stronger development, keep your eyes peeled.
You won't see them intensify that low until 93L is classified.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
It obviously isn't banding.
Yeah, I don't think it was banding.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Pat, take a look at today's vis sat. loop of 93 and tell me if you think that banding feature is actual banding from a strengthening low, or if it was it just storms collapsing and expanding outwards? Thanks
It obviously isn't banding.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Notice the ridge retreating a bit as the trough breaks it down on the HPC map. So far the HPC has a weak low so it wont matter but if we see stronger development, keep your eyes peeled.
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Quoting pottery:

Oh, I thought you all were looking at the Vort east of Trini...sorry.


now that makes sense..lol...how you doing today pottery?...
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1516
1560. IKE
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting truecajun:


thanks for the update. i'm sure they were going nuts yesterday with the 950mb into New Orleans.


I sure hope so.
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Quoting Patrap:
93L RGB Still

Pat, take a look at today's vis sat. loop of 93 and tell me if you think that banding feature is actual banding from a strengthening low, or if it was it just storms collapsing and expanding outwards? Thanks
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Quoting F4PHANTOM:
Your missing the point, no model has a handle on the potential system. One run of ECMWF had system at Tex/La and next frame had it at Fla. Without an actual system to track the models are just guessing.
I understand that models don't have a handle on the current situation and they won't until it develops a COC. If you read more of my posts you will notice that I tell people not to take the models seriously.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
Quoting Patrap:
93L RGB Still


Definitely some banding features forming there.
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Quoting hydrus:
You are living proof that they keep growing it stronger and stronger.....And i dont mean the oats or the kuzu,or whatever they call it..:)


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.
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1552. IKE
HPC day 6...




HPC day 7...

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1551. Patrap
All the info is on the Wunderground tropical page..

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Can some one please post the early model runs for 93L...I'd appreciate it.
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Quoting hydrus:
You are living proof that they keep growing it stronger and stronger.....And i dont mean the oats or the kuzu,or whatever they call it..:)


I will have you know that I am currently on room air
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Quoting cg2916:




That vorticity isn't over 93L 3 hours back.


thank you for responding...lol...i was too lazy to post the image and say, what are you talking about?...lol...def increasing.
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1516
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LGEM, IVCN, and SHIPS take 93L to near-category 4 strength, scary thing is it's June.

18z early-cycle runs on 93L.



18z early-cycle intensity runs on 93L.


I can't see them?
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1545. pottery
Out for a while....

(I heard that sigh of relief, from here!)
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


You're as whacked as Pat only you run to verbal links. Must be too many Dead concerts. LoL


Thank you, Shen...coming from you, that's high praise indeed!
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1543. Patrap
93L RGB Still

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I live in South East Texas. Tx/La border
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1540. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
INV/93/L
MARK
13.1N/67.6W
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1539. Michfan
Its going to take time for this system to wind up and tighten. Models won't have a good grasp on it until then. Just sit back and wait a day or two and well know alot more about where it should be headed.
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Quoting txsweetpea:



Where at along the texas coast?


Where do you live? LOL
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Quoting Ivanhater:


Look at the upper air data from the recent Euro and GFS runs. That is what you need to look at now, not the surface track as that is pretty much crap right now. If we have a strong well stacked system it is becoming more likely for a trough to break down the ridge and pull 93L up. If it is weaker, it will not be influenced as much by the trough. Pay attention to the upper air data in the Euro and GFS, because if the Euro develops a stronger system on the surface analysis, it will feel the trough.
Thanks.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
5:00 pm EDT National Hurricane Center Advisories: GRAPHICS UPDATE


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Quoting txsweetpea:



Where at along the texas coast?
Southern Texas, but don't take it seriously right now, we are still very long ways out.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21193
1533. cg2916
Quoting CaribbeanIslandStorm:

Puerto Rico?


Probably the wave behind 93L, models have been hinting on that.
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1532. pottery
Quoting cg2916:




That vorticity isn't over 93L 3 hours back.

Oh, I thought you all were looking at the Vort east of Trini...sorry.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Me too, I'm looking at the ECMWF for track as not too many models have initialized on 93L yet.


Look at the upper air data from the recent Euro and GFS runs. That is what you need to look at now, not the surface track as that is pretty much crap right now. If we have a strong well stacked system it is becoming more likely for a trough to break down the ridge and pull 93L up. If it is weaker, it will not be influenced as much by the trough. Pay attention to the upper air data in the Euro and GFS, because if the Euro develops a stronger system on the surface analysis, it will feel the trough.
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1529. cg2916
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LGEM, IVCN, and SHIPS take 93L to near-category 4 strength, scary thing is it's June.

18z early-cycle runs on 93L.



18z early-cycle intensity runs on 93L.



Oh, heck no!
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Puerto Rico?
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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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