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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673. IKE
BREAKING NEWS!

It's thundering outside and I've already picked up .01 inches of rain!!!




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Nothing impressive yet. I give it another 12 hours before anything interesting happens. Although I have heard that line before.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting cchsweatherman:


Technically, he is correct in stating the tropics are quiet since we do not have an official classified tropical system. Sure we have an invest area, but that does not guarantee development as has been proven time and time again. Some computer models do support his claims as well.

Even though I do believe in development eventually happening just given the meteorology and climatology of the situation we currently have, it doesn't mean that I will just nullify his opinion since he's entitled to it.

If you don't like his opinions, then just ignore him and move on. Its just that simple.


True, but the Bob Breck part was a little unnecessary.
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658. pottery

Wise words from the Temple
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XX/INV/94L
MARK
16.34N/77.45W

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53839
Quoting tropicfreak:


He has repeated the same thing over and over, "Tropics are quiet, Mr Bob Breck of the Fox News team is the man.


Technically, he is correct in stating the tropics are quiet since we do not have an official classified tropical system. Sure we have an invest area, but that does not guarantee development as has been proven time and time again. Some computer models do support his claims as well.

Even though I do believe in development eventually happening just given the meteorology and climatology of the situation we currently have, it doesn't mean that I will just nullify his opinion since he's entitled to it.

If you don't like his opinions, then just ignore him and move on. Its just that simple.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
Quoting Grothar:
For those lucky few. This is me at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change with a few colleagues. I am in the middle. I shall only post this for a few minutes, so enjoy it while you can.





Grothar, dropping in for some minutes after midnight, I'm one of those lucky, lucky fews. And I know'ya. Happy evening four you; I have to go to bed now because of a conference about regionally church history early tomorrow (grrr, no fresh air the whole Saturday).
Anyway, tomorrow in the evening there's is the chance of some thunderstorms in Germay, and I'm looking forward to track them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting xcool:
kmanislander like ECMWF,model hmmm ?


Haven't looked at it actually.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15826
Quoting kmanislander:


GFS at 18 hours



GFS at 54 hours



Motion to the West



That's a big change from 12Z
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Well, you don't look half as bad as what people say around here. You should run for President?

I asked you not to repeat that....

:):))
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
663. xcool
kmanislander like ECMWF,model hmmm ?
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15672
Quoting cchsweatherman:


He's got every right to stay on the blogs. He has not violated any rules and, as far as I'm aware, has actually been rather civil as well. All opinions are welcome as long as they play by the rules.


He has repeated the same thing over and over, "Tropics are quiet, Mr Bob Breck of the Fox News team is the man.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:
This WV loop shows the ridge building across S Fla and the Bahamas big time and headed to the South. Only way from where 94L is now is West IMO


The ridge seems to be building due to continuing development of low pressure over the Caribbean and the NW Atlantic trough pushing further south, squeezing the ridge.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Certainly a possibility for it to go NE however, ridges have dominated the south thus far. Until proven otherwise, I gotta stick with the stronger ridge and weaker trough, it hasn't rained substantially for months.


GFS at 18 hours



GFS at 54 hours



Motion to the West
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15826
Quoting Grothar:


Boy this is a tough crowd. I forgot about Frau Dr. Grundlein, one tough lady.


Well, you don't look half as bad as what people say around here. You should run for President?
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
I find it AMAZING how many people fall into the Troll Trap, everytime it's set.
Ignore and move on guys, it's so simple.
Instead of cluttering the blog with crap.
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657. xcool
tropicfreak -anytime ;)
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15672
Quoting CybrTeddy:
94L has lost the consistent model support it had the past few days BUT in the last few runs has started to regain some. The NOGAPS, CMC, UKMET all show it going into the Yucatan Channel as a moderate TS. ECMWF and GFS refuse to develop this system. However, last year this happened a lot as a system neared genesis. Some of the bigger name models got jittery and dropped the system but it still developed. The ECMWF and GFS where particularly notorious with this when they dropped a system that they were consistent with right before development.


Moderate TS in the Yucatan Channel about to enter the GOM?

Not good.
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Quoting tropicfreak:


PLEASE LEAVE!!!!!


He's got every right to stay on the blogs. He has not violated any rules and, as far as I'm aware, has actually been rather civil as well. All opinions are welcome as long as they play by the rules.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
Quoting CybrTeddy:
94L has lost the consistent model support it had the past few days BUT in the last few runs has started to regain some. The NOGAPS, CMC, UKMET all show it going into the Yucatan Channel as a moderate TS. ECMWF and GFS refuse to develop this system. However, last year this happened a lot as a system neared genesis. Some of the bigger name models got jittery and dropped the system but it still developed. The ECMWF and GFS where particularly notorious with this when they dropped a system that they were consistent with right before development.



Thanks Cyber!
Always appreciate your interpretations and forecast theories.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CybrTeddy:
94L has lost the consistent model support it had the past few days BUT in the last few runs has started to regain some. The NOGAPS, CMC, UKMET all show it going into the Yucatan Channel as a moderate TS. ECMWF and GFS refuse to develop this system. However, last year this happened a lot as a system neared genesis. Some of the bigger name models got jittery and dropped the system but it still developed. The ECMWF and GFS where particularly notorious with this when they dropped a system that they were consistent with right before development.


True I remember that very well.
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Quoting xcool:
tropicfreak yes sir


Thanks.
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Quoting kmanislander:


You and Dangerfield. No respect LMAO


Yeah, but at least he made money getting insulted. LOL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:
This WV loop shows the ridge building across S Fla and the Bahamas big time and headed to the South. Only way from where 94L is now is West IMO


Certainly a possibility for it to go NE however, ridges have dominated the south thus far. Until proven otherwise, I gotta stick with the stronger ridge and weaker trough, it hasn't rained substantially for months.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting spathy:


Thanks Pott.
You are the best.
I wasnt sure because corn plants live a very long time.

Not as long as some people....
A corn plant that old would be 140' high and have Leopards living in its foliage.
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648. JRRP
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Quoting spathy:


Thanks Pott.
You are the best.
I wasnt sure because corn plants live a very long time.


Boy, you try and bring a little life to the blog and this is what you get. LOL
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Quoting pressureman:
As it stands right now if 94L develops and thats a very big if with all the strong shear down there it will take at least 8-10 days until it has the opportunity..For the next 10 days the tropics will not be very active and i agree 100% with the man who knows ...He is MR BOB BRECK of the fox news team...
self proclaimed know it all that has his head that far up his own ass cannot tell the difference thats who you are talking about you yourself may be the same
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53839
Quoting xcool:
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.


So we will have the first deployment of Hurricane Hunters for the 2011 Atlantic Hurricane season tomorrow at 12:30PM EST then arriving to the system around 4:00PM EST.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
Quoting Grothar:


Boy this is a tough crowd. I forgot about Frau Dr. Grundlein, one tough lady.


You and Dangerfield. No respect LMAO
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15826
642. xcool
tropicfreak yes sir
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15672
Quoting Grothar:


Boy this is a tough crowd. I forgot about Frau Dr. Grundlein, one tough lady.

Is that why you're hugging the guys?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pressureman:
As it stands right now if 94L develops and thats a very big if with all the strong shear down there it will take at least 8-10 days until it has the opportunity..For the next 10 days the tropics will not be very active and i agree 100% with the man who knows ...He is MR BOB BRECK of the fox news team...


PLEASE LEAVE!!!!!
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:


Well, looks like your being the diplomat, as always.....ya handsome dude...:)


And charming......don't forget charming. LOL
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Question Gro, how can you be in the middle of 4 people? I need more detail Gro, come on.


Boy this is a tough crowd. I forgot about Frau Dr. Grundlein, one tough lady.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I can't see it- I wanna see the corn plant please, don't care about Gro

hio spathy
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looks to me if 94L makes any movement to the north or east its going fishing, it needs to come west and take its time building strength before it makes it move
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This WV loop shows the ridge building across S Fla and the Bahamas big time and headed to the South. Only way from where 94L is now is West IMO
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15826
Quoting xcool:
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.

thing may go quicker than we thought
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting spathy:


Grothar.
The one in the middle?
Are you two people or a corn plant?
i would say one in white shirt and tie no jacket
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 171 Comments: 53839
As it stands right now if 94L develops and thats a very big if with all the strong shear down there it will take at least 8-10 days until it has the opportunity..For the next 10 days the tropics will not be very active and i agree 100% with the man who knows ...He is MR BOB BRECK of the fox news team...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
630. JLPR2
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Question Gro, how can you be in the middle of 4 people? I need more detail Gro, come on.


The Twilight Zone music...
XD
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Quoting spathy:


Grothar.
The one in the middle?
Are you two people or a corn plant?

heheheheh.
Grothar is the one who cant find his Jacket..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting xcool:
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.


So they will fly into 94L?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kmanislander:


I knew that was coming LMAO


HaHaHa, I don't pick much and that happened to be the first post I looked at, I had to, lol. He called me a twit last time I tried to poke fun so, I figured what the H***.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Grothar.
The one in the middle?
Are you two people or a corn plant?


I vote for corn plant.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Grothar:
For those lucky few. This is me at the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change with a few colleagues. I am in the middle. I shall only post this for a few minutes, so enjoy it while you can.





Well, looks like your being the diplomat, as always.....ya handsome dude...:)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
624. xcool
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.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15672

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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.