Caribbean disturbance slow to develop; 5 EF-5 tornadoes this year confirmed

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:33 PM GMT on June 03, 2011

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The tropical disturbance (Invest 93L) that crossed over Florida on Wednesday, bringing welcome rains of 1 - 3 inches, is now a naked swirl of low clouds over the central Gulf of Mexico. The disturbance is embedded in a large area of dry air associated with an upper level low pressure system, and this dry air is discouraging development. 93L is also moving into a region of moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots, and NHC is giving 93L a 0% chance of developing into a tropical depression before the storm makes landfall in Mexico south of Brownsville on Saturday. There are a few heavy thunderstorms trying to fire up near the center of 93L's fairly well-formed circulation, but I don't think this storm is going to bring more than 1 - 2 inches of rain to the coast on Saturday.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of the Central Caribbean disturbance.

Central Caribbean disturbance 94L
Disorganized heavy thunderstorm activity continues in the region between Central America and Jamaica. Wind shear has fallen to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, and is predicted to continue to fall over the next two days. This should allow the disturbance, dubbed Invest 94L by NHC on Friday afternoon, to increase in organization, though it will take many days for it to approach tropical depression status, since it is so large and poorly organized. The last two runs of the NOGAPS model have developed the disturbance into a tropical depression or storm by early next week, with the system moving northwards into Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and eastern Cuba. The other major models do not show the disturbance developing during the coming week. NHC is giving the disturbance a 10% of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. A surge of moisture accompanying a tropical wave may aid development when the wave arrives in the Western Caribbean on Sunday. Water temperatures in the Central Caribbean are about 1°C above average, 29°C, which is plenty warm enough to support development of a tropical storm. Residents of Jamaica, eastern Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic should anticipate the possibility that heavy rains of 2 - 4 inches may affect them today through Sunday.

Five EF-5 tornadoes confirmed in 2011
The National Weather Service in Oklahoma City announced Wednesday that the violent tornado that hit Binger, El Reno, Peidmont, and Guthrie, Oklahoma on May 24, killing nine people, was an EF-5 with winds greater than 210 mph. The rating was given based on measurements made by a University of Oklahoma portable "Doppler on wheels" radar. The long track, large wedge tornado caused extensive damage, with well built houses cleanly swept from their foundation and trees debarked. This tornado brings the total number of EF-5 tornadoes this year to five, tying 2011 with 1953 for 2nd place for greatest number of these top-end tornadoes in one year. Only 1974 (six) had more. The EF-5 tornadoes of 2011:

1) The April 27, 2011 Neshoba/Kemper/Winston/Noxubee Counties, Mississippi tornado (3 killed, 29 mile path length.)

2) The April 27, 2011 Smithville, Mississippi tornado (22 killed, 15 mile path length.)

3) The April 27, 2011 Hackleburg, Alabama tornado (71 killed, 25 mile path length.)

4) The May 22, 2011 Joplin Missouri tornado (138 killed, 14 mile path length.)

5) The May 24, 2011 Binger-El Reno-Peidmont-Guthrie, Oklahoma tornado. (9 killed, 75 mile path length.)


Figure 2. Aerial view of damage from the May 22, 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado. Image credit: Wikipedia.

A few other remarkable statistics on the tornado season of 2011, compiled from NOAA's official press release and Wikipedia's excellent tornado pages:

- The April 25 - 28 tornado outbreak, with 330 tornadoes, was the largest tornado outbreak of three days or less duration on record. The previous record was 148 tornadoes, set during the April 3 - 4, 1974 Super Outbreak.

- For April 27, 186 tornadoes have been confirmed. This is the largest 1-day tornado total on record, beating the 148 recorded in 24 hours on April 3 - 4, 1974.

- The April 14 - 16 tornado outbreak, with 162 confirmed tornadoes, ranks as the fourth largest tornado outbreak of three days or less duration on record.

- The May 21 - 26 tornado outbreak, with 158 confirmed tornadoes, ranks as the 5th largest 6-day or shorter tornado outbreak on record. A May 2003 6-day outbreak had 289 tornadoes, and a May 2004 6-day outbreak had 229 tornadoes. The year 2011 now has three of the top five tornado outbreaks on record.

- April confirmed tornado total was 683, making it the busiest tornado month on record. The previous record was 542 tornadoes, set in May 2003. The previous April record was 267 tornadoes, which occurred in April 1974. The 30-year average for April tornadoes is 135.

- If the three deaths in Massachusetts from Wednesday's tornadoes are confirmed, this year's tornado death toll will be 522, beating 1953 as the deadliest tornado year since modern tornado records began. That year, 519 people died, and three heavily populated cities received direct hits by violent tornadoes. Waco, Texas (114 killed), Flint, Michigan (115 killed), and Worcester, Massachusetts (90 killed) all were hit by violent F-4 or F-5 tornadoes. A similar bad tornado year occurred in 1936, when violent tornadoes hit Tupelo Mississippi (216 killed), and Gainesville, Georgia (203 killed.) During that time period, the tornado death rate per million people was 60 - 70 times as great as in the year 2000 (Figure 4), implying that this year's tornadoes would have killed many thousands of people had we not had our modern tornado modern warning system.

- The May 22, 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado killed 138 people and injured 1150, making it the deadliest U.S. tornado since 1947, and 8th deadliest in history. The $1 - $3 billion estimate of insured damage makes it the most expensive tornado in history.

- Damage from the April 25 - 28 super tornado outbreak was estimated at $3.5 - $6 billion, making it the most expensive tornado outbreak of all-time.

- The tornado that hit Springfield, Massachusetts on June 1 was at least an EF-3 with 136 - 165 mph winds. It was only the 9th EF-3 or stronger tornado to hit Massachusetts since 1950, and the third deadliest, with three deaths.

- The year 2011 now ranks in 3rd place behind 1974 and 1965 for highest number of strong to violent EF-3, EF-4, and EF-5 tornadoes (Figure 3.)


Figure 3. Number of strong to violent EF-3, EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes from 1950 to 2011. The year 2011 now ranks in 3rd place behind 1974 and 1965. There is not a decades-long increasing trend in the numbers of these most dangerous of tornadoes. Image credit: NOAA/National Climatic Data Center (updated using stats for 2008 - 2011 from Wikipedia.)


Figure 4. Death rate per million people per year in U.S., 1875-2000. Thin line with dots is raw rate, curved thick line is death rate, filtered by 3-point median and 5-point running mean filter, and straight solid lines are least squares fit to filtered death rate for 1875-1925 and 1925-2000. Dashed lines are estimates of 10th and 90th percentile death rates from 1925-2000. The death rate fell from 8 per million to .12 per million between 1940 and 2000. Image credit: A Brief History of Deaths from Tornadoes in the United States, Harold Brooks and Charles Doswell III.

Joplin tornado the 7th U.S. billion-dollar weather disaster of 2011
The Joplin tornado is the 7th U.S. weather disaster of 2011 costing more than a billion dollars. With a major flooding disaster coming on the Missouri River, and hurricane season still to come, 2011 has an excellent chance of beating 2008's record of nine billion-dollar weather disasters. The billion dollar weather disasters of 2011 so far:

1) 2011 Groundhog Day's blizzard ($1- $4 billion)
2) April 3 -5 Southeast U.S. severe weather outbreak ($2 billion)
3) April 8 - 11 severe weather outbreak ($2.25 billion)
4) April 25 - 28 super tornado outbreak ($3.5 - $6 billion)
5) Mississippi River flood of 2011 ($9 billion)
6) Texas drought ($1.2 billion)
7) Joplin tornado ($1 - $3 billion)


Figure 5. River flood outlook for the U.S. Image credit: NOAA.

The next U.S. billion-dollar weather disaster: a Missouri River flood?
A great 100-year flood has arrived along the Missouri River and its tributaries from Montana to Nebraska. Record spring rains, combined with snow melt from record or near-record winter and spring snows, brought the Missouri River at Williston, North Dakota to 27.9' yesterday, just an inch short of the highest crest on record (28.0' on 4/01/1912.) Tributaries to the Missouri, such as the Souris River in North Dakota and the North Platte River in Nebraska, are already flooding at all-time record heights. With warm summer temperatures and additional rainfall expected over much of the area during the coming week, snow melt and rain runoff will swell area rivers even further, creating a damaging 100-year flood. Wunderground weather historian Christopher C. Burt has the details in his latest post, and I will be writing more on this latest epic flood next week.

I'll have a new post on Monday, or earlier if the Caribbean disturbance shows significant development.

Jeff Masters

Joplin Tornado Damage (thebige)
Joplin Tornado Damage
And Bigger.... (weatherfanatic2010)
Here it is turning into a monster.
And Bigger....

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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
If you look at the bottom of the image it says times are in GMT which is the same as UTC or the same as the difference in time between us and the UK. They are 5 hours later than us so if it was at 2:05 GMT on 4/6/11 it would be the same as 10:05 EST on 3/6/11.

I think you mean 5hrs earlier. I am 14hrs ahead of Miami/EST. It's 21:56 here and 07:56 in Miami/EST.
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1523. Grothar



Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26825
Link

TWD from Crown Weather.
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1521. IKE

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
This buoy is a little too far south, but it has steady pressure and winds for at least 12 hours or so.

Station 42065
NDBC
Location: 14.927N 75.064W
Conditions as of:
Sat, 04 Jun 2011 10:50:00 UTC
Winds: S (170°) at 13.6 kt gusting to 17.5 kt
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.82 in
Air Temperature: 80.1 F
Dew Point: 76.1 F

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looks like 94L is getting a booster shot from the south

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Drier air still affecting 94L

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000
NOUS42 KNHC 032045 AMD
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
0445 PM EDT FRI 03 JUNE 2011
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 04/1100Z TO 05/1100Z JUNE 2011
TCPOD NUMBER.....11-003 AMENDMENT

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA (CARIBBEAN)..........ADDED:
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 04/2000Z
B. AFXXX 01AAA INVEST
C. 04/1630Z
D. 16.0N 78.0W
E. 04/2000Z TO 04/2315Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT
G. RESOURCES PERMITTING

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK............CHANGED:
BEGIN 12-HRLY FIXES AT 05/1800Z IF SYSTEM DEVELOPS.
3. REMARK: INVEST FOR 03/1800Z CANCELED AT 03/1130Z.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
SEF


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1515. aquak9
Man, I'm sure gonna miss quikscat this year.

G'morning Ike, Nea.

So we got hunters going into 94L today? I bet they're gonna find one main, maybe 1 or 2 more competing areas of circulation. Will be surprised if the find a defined closed, it's just too monsoonal.

But conditions are not too bad, all things considered, it may just surprise us all.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


ooooh nnnnooowww I remeber yes you're correct sorry


repeat of what I said above
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

remeber that the actual time stamp is in purple at the bottom and the date is the 4th not the 3rd
If you look at the bottom of the image it says times are in GMT which is the same as UTC or the same as the difference in time between us and the UK. They are 5 hours later than us so if it was at 2:05 GMT on 4/6/11 it would be the same as 10:05 EST on 3/6/11.
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Looking chipper in dawn's first light:

94L
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1511. IKE

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Another hot! day in Florida.
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1509. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT SAT JUN 4 2011

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE...CENTERED ABOUT 100 MILES SOUTH OF
JAMAICA...CONTINUES TO PRODUCE AN AREA OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS
OVER THE WEST-CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SEA. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE
EXPECTED TO BE CONDUCIVE FOR SOME DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM OVER
THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS...AND THERE IS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30
PERCENT...
OF TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
HEAVY RAINS COULD CAUSE FLASH FLOODING AND MUD SLIDES OVER PORTIONS
OF HAITI... THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC...JAMAICA...AND EXTREME
SOUTHEASTERN CUBA OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS THE LOW REMAINS
NEARLY STATIONARY.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER BERG


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Visible coming in
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Thank you. Wunderkidcayman, this has been talked about over and often on here. The time stamp on the bottom is in UTC which you need to take off 5 hours for EST or 4 hours for EDT which results in 11:05 EDT or 10:05 EST.


ooooh nnnnooowww I remeber yes you're correct sorry
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

remeber that the actual time stamp is in purple at the bottom and the date is the 4th not the 3rd
The 4th in UTC but still the 3rd EDT.
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Quoting emcf30:


I believe you are correct. It was about 8 hours ago

That is correct.

Morning, morning crew. Hiya, aqua...
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13597
Quoting wunderkidcayman:


nope this morn

remeber that the actual time stamp is in purple at the bottom and the date is the 4th not the 3rd
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Quoting emcf30:


I believe you are correct. It was about 8 hours ago
Thank you. Wunderkidcayman, this has been talked about over and often on here. The time stamp on the bottom is in UTC which you need to take off 5 hours for EST or 4 hours for EDT which results in 11:05 EDT or 10:05 EST.
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1502. aquak9
Good Morning WU-Bloggers.

Thanks for the updates on 94L, but really this is gonna take 4-6 days a'fore it gets going. IF it does.

Feathers, no quacking.
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Quoting IKE:

6Z on GFDL and HWRF?


I was looking on this site. It said the last run was 00z last night. Maybe I read it wrong. Is a possibility. :) They said they run them at 0645z too. So I assumed they missed a run. Link
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not too sure I thing its about an hour or 2
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Quoting emcf30:


The low is sitting just West of the blowup of convection this morning

From what i see on IR WV Dvorak loops the COC has moved to now about 75miles directly south of Lyssons Jamaica (W76.21 N16.47) to be exact.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15961
1498. emcf30
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I doubt it since if I am correct that was from around 11:00 EDT last night. Please correct me if I am wrong.


I believe you are correct. It was about 8 hours ago
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I doubt it since if I am correct that was from around 11:00 EDT last night. Please correct me if I am wrong.


nope this morn
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1496. emcf30
Quoting wunderkidcayman:


ok when you said posting of the pass. do you mean them posting it or we posting it?

Them
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Quoting emcf30:

Do you by any chance know how old a ASCAT image is from when they time stamp it?
I doubt it since if I am correct that was from around 11:00 EDT last night. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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Quoting emcf30:
Or I should have said is how much delay from the actual ASCAT pass and posting of the pass


ok when you said posting of the pass. do you mean them posting it or we posting it?
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1493. Seastep
Quoting emcf30:
Or I should have said is how much delay from the actual ASCAT pass and posting of the pass


About 2hrs.
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NEWS RELEASE -Met Service of Jamaica

The Meteorological Service has extended the Flash Flood Watch for low-lying and flood-prone areas of all parishes until 5:00 a.m. tomorrow.

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH means that flash flooding is possible and residents are advised to take precautionary measures, keep informed by listening to further releases from the Meteorological Service and be ready for quick action if flooding is observed or if a Warning is issued.

The area of Low Pressure over the Caribbean Sea, south of Jamaica has remained almost stationary overnight. Satellite imagery and RADAR reports indicate that most of the showers remained offshore during the course of the night.However,the forecast is for periods of showers and thunderstorms, which could be heavy at times, may affect most parishes today and continuing into early next week.

Fishers and other marine interests are advised to exercise caution, as strong winds and rough sea conditions are expected in the vicinity of showers and thunderstorms.


The Area of Low Pressure currently has a medium chance of developing into a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours, and the Meteorological Service will continue to monitor the progress of this system.



nch
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1491. Gearsts
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1951
1490. emcf30
Or I should have said is how much delay from the actual ASCAT pass and posting of the pass
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1489. pottery
Good Morning all.
94L is a real Teaser!
It's been sitting there, slowly slowly waiting on-- what?
In the meantime I would expect that the SST's under all of that cloud to have dropped off a couple degrees in the last week, which is a good thing.
A big flare-up in the last hour away from the center, but we should see lots of those as the area is so unstable and condusive to flare-ups all over the place.

In the meantime, a Tropical Wave is close to me at 11n 61w and it's raining hard for the last hour.
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1488. IKE

Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Wonder why they didnt run the 6z models on the last night?
6Z on GFDL and HWRF?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting emcf30:

Do you by any chance know how old a ASCAT image is from when they time stamp it?


I do its on the bottom of the image in purple
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Quoting Gearsts:
Where i see the center now.


Should be close to the convection. I haven't looked yet, but I would almost bet if you looped the IR2 Channel on the floater, it may show that.
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1485. emcf30
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

now remeber that ASCAT pass was in the very very early hours of this morning

Do you by any chance know how old a ASCAT image is from when they time stamp it?
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1484. Gearsts
Quoting Hurrykane:


Getting banding features.
Where i see the center now.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1951
Quoting Gearsts:
What i see:


Getting banding features.
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1482. Gearsts
Quoting wunderkidcayman:

now remeber that ASCAT pass was in the very very early hours of this morning
What i see:
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1951
Weird that blow up south of Jamaica? looks to have spun up from something but its not 94l?
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Cyber, will recon find a TD when they go this afternoon?


I doubt it.
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Quoting emcf30:


The low is sitting just West of the blowup of convection this morning

now remeber that ASCAT pass was in the very very early hours of this morning
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1478. emcf30
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Cybr, will recon find a TD when they go this afternoon?
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1476. emcf30
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SYNOPSIS...A 1008 MB LOW NEAR 16N78W WITH A TROUGH SW TO
NORTHERN PANAMA WILL REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY THROUGH EARLY NEXT
WEEK WITH A POTENTIAL TO BECOME A TROPICAL CYCLONE. A TROPICAL
WAVE S OF 16N ALONG 57W/58W IS MOVING W 10 TO 15 KT. THE WAVE
WILL ENTER THE FAR E CARIBBEAN TONIGHT AND INTO EARLY SUN BEFORE
LIFTING NE AS A TROUGH MON THROUGH WED.


$$

I guess thats what I was seeing in the models.
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1474. emcf30

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Caribbean Sea Offshore Waters Forecast

000
FZNT23 KNHC 040857 CCA
OFFNT3

OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE SW AND TROPICAL N ATLANTIC AND
CARIBBEAN SEA...CORRECTED
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
530 AM EDT SAT JUN 04 2011

OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE TROPICAL N ATLC FROM 07N TO 22N
BETWEEN 55W AND 65W...THE SW N ATLANTIC S OF 31N W OF 65W
INCLUDING BAHAMAS...AND THE CARIBBEAN SEA.

SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT...WHICH IS THE AVERAGE
HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE
MORE THAN TWICE THE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT.

AMZ089-041530-
SYNOPSIS FOR CARIBBEAN SEA AND TROPICAL N ATLC FROM 07N TO 22N
BETWEEN 55W AND 65W...CORRECTED
530 AM EDT SAT JUN 04 2011

ADDED MENTION OF POSSIBLE TROPICAL CYCLONE

.SYNOPSIS...A 1008 MB LOW NEAR 16N78W WITH A TROUGH SW TO
NORTHERN PANAMA WILL REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY THROUGH EARLY NEXT
WEEK WITH A POTENTIAL TO BECOME A TROPICAL CYCLONE. A TROPICAL
WAVE S OF 16N ALONG 57W/58W IS MOVING W 10 TO 15 KT. THE WAVE
WILL ENTER THE FAR E CARIBBEAN TONIGHT AND INTO EARLY SUN BEFORE
LIFTING NE AS A TROUGH MON THROUGH WED.

$$
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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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