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

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

Share this Blog
8
+

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....

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 3424 - 3374

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75Blog Index

3424. ackee
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Plane takes off in 45Minutes
thanks would not be suprise if they find the centre further EAST
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Looking at this image it really looks like the circulation is right under the heavy convection.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
miami hurricanes09 you could be surprised they cancelled yesterday i would not be surprised if they did it again.........
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Hurricanes101:


scheduled to leave in about 45 minutes
Oops, I made post 3419 thinking they were going to leave like at 2p.m or something, lol.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3420. Bitmap7
I must say what amazes me are the amount of buoys needed in the great lakes and around the small island of puerto rico, while the mid atlantic seems not to need any.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I'd be pretty surprised if the Hurricane Hunters do not go out and investigate 94L should the current level of organization persist.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
For those who either lost the link or its your first season on here this site is very useful to watch recon data. Decodes it and everything. Must need this season given how active its going to be.
Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ackee:
When do u guys think the NHC will send the hurricane hunter in 94L


scheduled to leave in about 45 minutes
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3415. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting aquak9:


King Nut hasn't arrived yet. Sshhhhh...
maybe if we all acted like nuts the real ones would leave
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54623
if its not cancelled in about and hour...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ackee:
When do u guys think the NHC will send the hurricane hunter in 94L


Plane takes off in 45Minutes
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
3412. ackee
When do u guys think the NHC will send the hurricane hunter in 94L
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneDevo:


Yes, should arrive on site at 1:45 EST till 6:00 EST. If I am reading correctly.

So take off time in in 45min, so I am guessing they are preping now for the flight. Anyone got the Google earth KML for recon tracking?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning my weather friends,

Of course this is the first place I have to come this morning to check on our little tropical 94L.

I see it is still trying to get it together.

Happy Sunday to you all and I will be back and forth here today keeping an eye on things!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3406. ackee
I notice the NHC say the system should track NW or N notice the model guidance seem to say NE or ENE this morning also think main Low WILL relocate further East just my veiw
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Link

Very good discussion from Crown Weather this morning.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3402. aquak9
Quoting help4u:
I see the nut jobs have taken over board today.


King Nut hasn't arrived yet. Sshhhhh...
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 169 Comments: 26125
94 looks WONDERFUL!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
reed you have a problem man whats wrong with you...ill leave it at that
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3399. help4u
I see the nut jobs have taken over board today.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:
Lol. So what time is recon taking off... 10:30amEST?


Yes, should arrive on site at 1:45 EST till 6:00 EST. If I am reading correctly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
reed this ia a weather blog not to voice your political views...thank you very much
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3395. aquak9
Thank you again eyewall, I read it. Line A can be changed with other remarks as applicable, if needed, if true center fix is unavailable as per hunter's findings.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 169 Comments: 26125
There is no doubt in my mind when recon gets down there they will repeat not find a closed circulation...the shear is still up and this thing has a ways to go before anything will develop...i said thursday or friday with the shear dropping it would start to fuel up.....its good for recon to check it out its been dumping lots of heavy rain on jamaica..but i dont expect them to find any strong winds or surface circulation as they approach the area...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneDevo:


That would be "ThoughtColate"
Lol. So what time is recon taking off... 10:30amEST?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sammywammybamy:



Thats what happens when you elect extremely conservative republicans (Tea-Party) to Congress...

Eg. Rick Scott


uhhhh He's Governor of Florida.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3389. aquak9
Quoting sammywammybamy:



Thats what happens when you elect extremely conservative republicans (Tea-Party) to Congress...

Eg. Rick Scott

uhhh, yeah, I elected him all by myself.

Those central carib bouys, I don't know, just seems like we used to have quite a few last year in the area, that said "out of service"...now they just don't show up at all. I might be wrong, tho..
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 169 Comments: 26125
3388. emcf30
Quoting 19N81W:
so confusing waking up this morning and seeing that circle of intense thunderstorms east of Jamaica. One would think that is the L and its moving n/ne...then I read the nhc remarks and look at the models and it says the L is moving w/nw....at what point does the convection wrap around that low and what is stopping it? amazingly the Caymans hasnt seen much of anything from this system yet...
thanks in advance and I hope everyone is having a nice weekend!


I think this is most likely due to the upper level anticyclone over the system is south of the actual center of circulation, which would explain the convective activity being displaced to the East of the circulation center. If the anticyclone become centered over the low, then we should see convection start to wrap around. JMO
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

I make a great combination of Tea and hot chocolate. Not sure what to call it.


That would be "ThoughtColate"
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aquak9:
thank you, eyewall.

That is the fix/invest time, they should have done a center fix for that hour.


so that is the time they expect the hunter to have found a "center"?


From Chapter 5 National Hurricane Operations Plan

5.6. Reconnaissance Effectiveness Criteria.
5.6.1. General. Specified reconnaissance times are established to allow sufficient time
for the forecaster to analyze the data before issuing an advisory. Every effort should be made to
obtain data at scheduled times. The following criteria will be used to assess reconnaissance
mission effectiveness:
5.6.1.1. Tropical Cyclone Fix Mission.
 ON-TIME. The fix is made no earlier than 1 hour before nor later
than ½ hour after scheduled fix time.
 EARLY. The fix is made from 1 hour before scheduled fix time to
one-half of the time interval to the preceding scheduled fix, not to
exceed 3 hours.
 LATE. The fix is made within the interval from ½ hour after
scheduled fix time to one-half of the time interval to the succeeding
scheduled fix, not to exceed 3 hours.
 MISSED. Data are not obtained within the parameters specified for
on-time, early, or late.
[NOTE: Appropriate credit will be given when the aircraft arrives in the requested area but is
5-23
unable to locate a center due to storm dissipation, the absence of a fixable center, or rapid
movement. Credit will also be given for radar fixes if penetration is not possible due to
geographic or other flight restrictions.]


The NHOP is an excellent resource.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneDevo:
Can you send some of that coffee our way?

I make a great combination of Tea and hot chocolate. Not sure what to call it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Quoting kimoskee:
Wow, it's Sunday morning and there seems to be grumpy people who should have stayed in bed. I'm outta here.
Hope you ALL have a wonderful day. Smile! It will make you feel better!


Sorry, I'm not trying to be grumpy, those long outlooks just take up a lot of space on the blog :P

Have a nice day yourself.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sammywammybamy:



Thats what happens when you elect extremely conservative republicans (Tea-Party) to Congress...

Eg. Rick Scott


Rick Scott took away the Jamaican funding?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3381. aquak9
chocolate covered coffee beans?

ecmf's gonna be wired for action today.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 169 Comments: 26125
3380. Grothar
Quoting kimoskee:
I can attest to the constant rain from yesterday. Heavy downpour to drizzle and inbetween.

It's raining now and I'm having my freshly ground blue mountain jamaican coffee.

I think we'll have to turn on the sub-pump a little later if it keeps up.

I haven't heard of any flooding issues yet but it's still early.

Have a good day.


Some heartless people on this morning. LOL Poor emcf!
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26546
Wow, it's Sunday morning and there seems to be grumpy people who should have stayed in bed. I'm outta here.
Hope you ALL have a wonderful day. Smile! It will make you feel better!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3377. pottery
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
I am glad that MLB & MIA have joined in the wishcasting of 94L. It really helps to have the pro's on your side.

LOLOL Nice post!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24452
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
I am glad that MLB & MIA have joined in the wishcasting of 94L. It really helps to have the pro's on your side.


Major League Baseball and Miami International Airport?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3375. aquak9
Quoting HurricaneDevo:
There just seems to be a dearth of reporting stations south of Jamaica, no buoys, etc.


42065, and 42068, that's about it. Seems like there were more a few years back, maybe Dean and Felix took them out.

Gotta love budget cutbacks.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 169 Comments: 26125
3374. emcf30
Quoting Neapolitan:

I have done away with all the intermediate steps and now just chew raw Arabica beans. No fuss, no muss.


Nea your brilliant, That comment reminded me I have some chocolate covered coffee beans I bought last week at Old Town in my workshop fridge. That will do the trick
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 3424 - 3374

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75Blog Index

Top of Page

About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

Local Weather

Overcast
14 °C
Overcast