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

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:33 PM GMT en Junio 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 KoritheMan:
Water vapor imagery indicates that the central United States ridge is holding rather strong, and may even be migrating southward a tad as the upper-level trough currently over the central plains pivots slowly east-northeast around the western flank of the high.

While it may still ultimately recurve, the synoptic scale pattern over the United States appears to me to be a little more progressive and more zonal than what the models have been indicating the last few days.


Can you explain what effect the High holding strong will have on 94L?

Instead of it moving ENE into Haiti and Eastren Cuba..

Do you forsee it making it into westren cuba/ the Gulf and then move NW , N or NE ?

Maybe it could bring some rain to Florida? IKE? me?
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Quoting Twinkster:


huge difference between a late season storm and early season storm.
Not Really besides time of year... The Season Starts with higher shear, and some of the lowest SSTs of the Season, and the patterns are also simlar(Fronts drag far south and pull systems northeast out to sea)
Member Since: Octubre 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
970. xcool
Member Since: Septiembre 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting gulfbreeze:
IKE looks like you are getting some rain. It went south of us into the Gulf!


It's thundering here but not a drop of rain, grrr...

Storms to the west north and east all skirting around pcola.
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Water vapor imagery indicates that the central United States ridge is holding rather strong, and may even be migrating southward a tad as the upper-level trough currently over the central plains pivots slowly east-northeast around the western flank of the high.

While it may still ultimately recurve, the synoptic scale pattern over the United States appears to me to be a little more progressive and more zonal than what the models have been indicating the last few days.
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Quoting Twinkster:


huge difference between a late season storm and early season storm.


Doesn't change the fact that it overcame harsh conditions and that people were down casting it. The late season early season thing is a matter of climatology, weather patterns in a region over a period of thirty years. Weather however is spontaneous, anything can happen when the perfect conditions come around, and every now and again the perfect conditions will come around regardless of the overall pattern. You can't ever rule out an anomalous result when you are forecasting. An RI scenario is something one can never rule out. I mean I have seen storms jump cat2-5 in 3hrs moments before landfall. Expect the unexpected.
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Quoting Bitmap7:
Once again I hope that it doesn't pull a paloma. Drag things out, fighting shear, everyone thought it was going to fail. I remember TWC saying it might not make it past td/week ts status and then seeing it explode on that afternoon.
Just like Julia last year(but far from land) they forecasted a Category 1, or Strong Tropical Storm... It erupted and became 4th Category 4 storm of the season with 135 MPH winds, when it was originally forecasted to become a 75 to 80MPH Cat 1
Member Since: Octubre 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
IKE looks like you are getting some rain. It went south of us into the Gulf!
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964. xcool
JRRP lol
Member Since: Septiembre 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
963. xcool
Member Since: Septiembre 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
962. JRRP
Quoting xcool:
JRRP ?

lol
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Quoting Bitmap7:
Once again I hope that it doesn't pull a paloma. Drag things out, fighting shear, everyone thought it was going to fail. I remember TWC saying it might not make it past td/week ts status and then seeing it explode on that afternoon.


huge difference between a late season storm and early season storm.
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Once again I hope that it doesn't pull a paloma. Drag things out, fighting shear, everyone thought it was going to fail. I remember TWC saying it might not make it past td/week ts status and then seeing it explode on that afternoon.
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Quoting ackee:
agree


What did it show?
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94L (Finally) looks good.
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Still a large system, but appears to finally be consolidating. It did so a bit quicker than I expected.
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Surprisingly windy here in Cayman tonight. About 15mph inland. Was a beautiful day - clear and not too hot, but scattered showers now. Right on the edge of this thing it seems.
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Does anyone know if Jamaica has their radar online?
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Have you guys seen this video yet?!?! its craazy.
Link
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Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI







PS Its swampliliys BD today :)
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94L is very well defined, the TWD should be interesting, we might even see a special update to bring the precentage to 50% but probably not until 12
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951. ackee
Quoting JRRP:
mmmm i think that 94L is doing exactly what NGP showed
agree
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950. xcool
JRRP ?
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949. JRRP
mmmm i think that 94L is doing exactly what NGP showed
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948. xcool



wow
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94L Model Plots 00Z
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Southern flank of the the ridge situated over the southeastern United States continues to push southwards as revealed by water vapor.
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Quoting FrankZapper:
Now you have the right idea. It's going poof.
I think you have been eating the yellow Snow!
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00z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest94
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




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Quoting Patrap:
Half Juicy,,half dry..


A two tone Invest tonight on the ShortWave IR



BF asked for a TS/TD.. looks like the models may be listening to her on 94L
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Half Juicy,,half dry..


A two tone Invest tonight on the ShortWave IR

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94L is drfting N and slightly west for now its kinda sandwiched between 2 highs and not much weakness, just my obs, could be wrong
Member Since: Abril 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 8134
940. xcool

It should be interesting week
Member Since: Septiembre 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Gotta run. Ya'll have fun. If I'm back in time I'll take a look in in time for the next TWD....

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937. srada
there was a run that I posted of 94L where it was hitting the east side of Florida earlier this week by the GFS..hence becoming a east coast storm..its anyone storm right now..if it materializes..
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Not sure. Some of us only have talking points.

YMMV, of course.

Uh, no need to wait, sammy; that happened yesterday...

But, SERIOUSLY....

I'm still in wait and see mode re 94L. It'll be interesting to see what happens when that Twave finishes passing through the area.... dunno if we'll get even a named storm from this, but sure beats quibbling about when pple joined the blog.... lol



94L is still in wait and see mode lol
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94L could very well reach TD/TS status by late tomorrow, finally getting some rain at my location in Grand cayman
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Recon. tomorrow should be interesting.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
This is the 00z TVCN ,that NHC runs unofficially.

AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 0, 163N, 778W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 12, 169N, 777W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 24, 172N, 769W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 36, 176N, 773W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 48, 177N, 777W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 60, 176N, 776W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 72, 178N, 770W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 84, 183N, 763W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 96, 193N, 752W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,


Looks like they're thinking early recurve.
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932. xcool


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Quoting IKE:



Looking really nice, even with the dry air in the west.
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Quoting FrankZapper:
The point I was making is that in my opinion 94L isn't going to amount to a hill of beans. We all have our opinion, right?
Not sure. Some of us only have talking points.

YMMV, of course.

Quoting sammywammybamy:


Cant wait for the First Person to call this Season a Bust...

Two days in and we already have a person who thinks the season will be a Bust
Uh, no need to wait, sammy; that happened yesterday...

But, SERIOUSLY....

I'm still in wait and see mode re 94L. It'll be interesting to see what happens when that Twave finishes passing through the area.... dunno if we'll get even a named storm from this, but sure beats quibbling about when pple joined the blog.... lol

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This is the 00z TVCN ,that NHC runs unofficially.

AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 0, 163N, 778W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 12, 169N, 777W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 24, 172N, 769W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 36, 176N, 773W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 48, 177N, 777W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 60, 176N, 776W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 72, 178N, 770W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 84, 183N, 763W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 94, 2011060400, 03, TVCN, 96, 193N, 752W, 0, 0, , 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
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Quoting AllStar17:


Boy, I sure hope it dssipates! And what evidence do you have for that?


So you want the D4 drought to continue in south Florida? JK, I know what you meant.


I doubt conditions would let this become anymore than a nice rainmaker for FL though, probably strong TS at most. As the latest SHIPS text shows, shear and relative humidity both become more unfavorable near the end of the run where it is near the Caymans.
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So ships is going with a 55 to 60 MPH storm
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925. IKE

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Quoting homewoodweather589:

this track would be a welcome sign for floridians in dire need of rain. a nice tropical storm or depression will knock off some of the deficits.


It wont knock off some deficits... it will cut into them..

We are -20.50 Inches on the Year in my City...

-24.50 Inches in West Palm Beach Florida.
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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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