Tropical Storm Chris forms; little change to Cuba disturbance; Duluth floods

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:33 PM GMT on June 20, 2012

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Tropical Storm Chris formed Tuesday evening from a extratropical storm that spent enough time over waters of 24 - 26°C to acquire tropical characteristics. Chris is headed eastwards, out to sea, and will not trouble any land areas. Only twice before, in 1887 and 1959, has the third storm of the season formed earlier than this date. Formation of three tropical storms so early in the year is not necessarily a harbinger of an active season; 1959 was close to average, with 12 named storms, 7 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes (average is 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes.) Unusual levels of early season activity in the Caribbean and between Africa and the Lesser Antilles usually portends a very active hurricane season, but this year's storms have not formed in this region. Alberto, Beryl, and Chris all formed off the U.S. East Coast.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Chris.

Disturbance near Cuba will bring heavy rains to Florida
An area of low pressure and heavy thunderstorms centered just south of Cuba has changed little since Tuesday, and is bringing sporadic heavy rains to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, South Florida, the Southern Bahamas, and Cuba. This disturbance will need to be watched for development as it drifts slowly northwest at about 5 mph and enters the Gulf of Mexico late this week. The disturbance is poorly organized, and has only a modest area of heavy thunderstorms. Wind shear is a moderate to high 15 - 25 knots over the region, and the shear is predicted to remain in the moderate to high range for the next three days along the disturbance's path. Water vapor satellite loops show a region of dry air over the Southern Gulf of Mexico; strong upper-level winds out of the northwest are bringing some of this dry air into the vicinity of the disturbance, which is interfering with development. NHC is giving the disturbance a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday morning. As the disturbance reaches the waters off the southwest coast of Florida this weekend, a strong trough of low pressure pushing off of the U.S. East Coast will be capable of grabbing the storm and accelerating it to the northeast. This is the solution of the GFS model, which takes the storm across Florida on Sunday, and into the waters off the coast of South Carolina by Monday, with the disturbance developing into a tropical or subtropical storm off the coast of South Carolina. None of the other reliable computer models is showing development of the disturbance into a tropical depression. I think it is unlikely that heavy rains from this disturbance will affect Louisiana and Texas, but it will bring heavy rains to Southwest Florida and Cuba over the next five days.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of the tropical disturbance near Cuba.


Figure 3. Rainfall for the 5-day period ending at 8am EDT Monday as predicted by NOAA's Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. Amounts in excess of five inches (orange colors) are predicted for Southwest Florida, with an area of ten inches (yellow colors) just off the coast.

Major flooding in Duluth, Minnesota
A serious flood emergency is occurring in Duluth, Minnesota. A series of "training" thunderstorms that all passed over the same region have dumped 4 - 5 inches of rain over a wide swath of Northern Minnesota overnight and early this morning. Nearly 8 inches of rain fell in the Denfeld area of western Duluth. This is more rain than fell in the city's previous worst flood on record, which occurred August 20, 1972. Major flooding is occurring, and only emergency travel is recommended in the city due to flooded roads. A flash flood warning from the Duluth National Weather Service issued at 7am CDT said this:

We cannot stress what a major threat this is for the city of Duluth
and along the North Shore. Aging infrastructure will also play a
part in the flood threat... especially on the hillside. Highway 61
remains closed in spots with washouts... overflowing streams and
rivers...washed out culverts and washed out roads. Just because you
might be able to travel to a destination now... does not mean you
will make it in one to two hours. This is how fast this situation
may deteriorate as more rainfall moves in from the west. There is
the potential for several more inches of rain today and the utility
system and the saturated ground cannot take much more rain.


According to wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, the all-time 24 hour precipitation record for Duluth is 5.79" on 8/22 - 8/23 1978; 4.14" was recorded on Tuesday at the airport.


Figure 4. Radar-estimated rainfall from the Duluth, Minnesota radar.

Jeff Masters

storm damage June 19 (CythiaSue)
there is another car buried on the other side of the road. This is just some of the storm damage from a 4 am rain and thunderstorm
storm damage June 19

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2039. K8eCane
Quoting JLPR2:


Nah, at least in my opinion all of these models runs are useless until a clear LLC forms. Once one forms and is initialized correctly then lets talk of where this possible storm could be heading.



Thanks JL!
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According to the NHC, this is a 60 mph. Tropical Storm "maybe stronger"

I'm pretty disappointed how they managed this storm which I believe became our first Hurricane of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. If they don't upgrade at 5 a.m. then they need to closely re-evaluate the storm at Post Season (December) and upgrade not only to a Hurricane but an earlier development.

"Hurricane" Chris (Tropical Storm per NHC)


I'm off to bed guys, have a goodnight.
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Levi maybe onto something!
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Any reason why? I notice a difference in the run which almost missed the trough got to see if the trend continues...i still like levi's idea
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2035. JLPR2
Quoting K8eCane:
But why are these model runs any more believable than the runs this past weekend that had it barrelling into Texas??


Nah, at least in my opinion all of these models runs are useless until a clear LLC forms. Once one forms and is initialized correctly then lets talk of where this possible storm could be heading.
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2034. K8eCane
But why are these model runs any more believable than the runs this past weekend that had it barrelling into Texas??
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2033. JLPR2
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Right now I'm on the GFS/ECMWF camp.

The 00z ECMWF was very impressive. Nearly a major hurricane barreling into northern Florida in about a week.


That would send this blog to a place that starts with H and ends with L.

I will be there to yell: abandon ship! xD
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Right now I'm on the GFS/ECMWF camp.

The 00z ECMWF was very impressive. Nearly a major hurricane barreling into northern Florida in about a week.
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Chris has the sattelite look of "Hey! Stop ignoring me NHC! Look what I can do!" seriously, this has persisted for so long that I'm starting to think the NHC really isn't taking things seriously because h's so far out to sea. Shame.
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2030. nigel20
Good night everyone...I'm off to bed!
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2029. JLPR2
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

hmph. Well. Forget this! lol good night.


XD
Night!
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


http://www.americanwx.com/raleighwx/models.html


Thanks... Euro is alittle too slow with this and maybe slight further west than it should be.. but the path seems logical.. instead of bringing this in on Tuesday night... it would probably be on Monday afternoon or night
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More like tallahassee it continues to flip lol notice it barely gets picked up...wouldnt be surpised if it continues
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Quoting JLPR2:
ha! Kept at the same t#


21/0545 UTC 39.3N 45.4W T3.5/3.5 CHRIS -- Atlantic

hmph. Well. Forget this! lol good night.
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2025. emguy
With the evoling low now taking shape in the gulf and the timeframe becoming more realistic in the models...not to mention the overall weather pattern. The GFS and Euro are believable and likely locking in on coming developments. CMC and UKMet are the same story as always, they see something, but their end game is not realistic, especially considering the evolving Texas Heatwave. I buy into the GFS and EURO for their trustworthiness in combination with this overall setup, but not totally ready to buy into 2+ feet of rain. Even if that is not impossible considering the flow off the gulf on the southeast side of this. Two things are certain, with the Texas heat wave shaping up, this disturbance will move slowly in the Central Gulf for days and have some potentially ideal conditions ahead...then it will follow the path of least resistance, which is apparent to be the NE Gulf of Mexico in the general direction of the Florida Big Bend (i.e. north of Tampa). Similar story to last night.
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2024. JLPR2
ha! Kept at the same t#


21/0545 UTC 39.3N 45.4W T3.5/3.5 CHRIS -- Atlantic
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2023. JLPR2
Quoting allancalderini:
question is Chris the northernmost tropical on record or Alberto still holds the record?did he form north than Alberto or not?


Alberto of the 1988 season at 41.5° N

So far Chris hasn't crossed 40N.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

That's probably a Category 2 coming into South Texas...
Ukmet shows a broad low that slowly develops and retrogrades toward south TX.

These models are so wishy washy its unreal!!!
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Quoting JLPR2:


I really doubt they will label it a hurricane even with a T# of 4.5, but a 70mph storm seems very possible.
me too 70mph seem his peak but I think post analysis will reveal that he was a hurricane.
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question is Chris the northernmost tropical on record or Alberto still holds the record?did he form north than Alberto or not?
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2019. JLPR2
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

That said, the NHC will suspect some "Hyping" from the Dvorak and go with 4.0 which still puts it at hurricane status.


I really doubt they will label it a hurricane even with a T# of 4.5, but a 70mph storm seems very possible.
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Quoting scottsvb:


Can I get the link to that Euro site you use, I use to have it but for some reason I'm not able to access it anymore. I probably need a new link.. Thanks


http://www.americanwx.com/raleighwx/models.html
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Quoting allancalderini:
Yeah but I doubt they will upgrade him
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Nearing a cat. 2 hurricane coming ashore north of Tampa at 168hrs.

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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

I believe it will be put at a 65-70 mph at the LEAST.
I believe the Dvorak will probably come out with a 4.5 T# due to the durastic change in appearance on Satellite between 2345 and 545 UTC

That said, the NHC will suspect some "Hyping" from the Dvorak and go with 4.0 which still puts it at hurricane status.
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Quoting JLPR2:
This might be Chris at its peak, waters aren't getting any warmer. And I don't usually say this, but I differ from what the NHC is saying, this definitely strengthened a bit, this is at least a 70mph storm.


I believe it will be put at a 65-70 mph at the LEAST.
I believe the Dvorak will probably come out with a 4.5 T# due to the durastic change in appearance on Satellite between 2345 and 545 UTC
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2012. JLPR2
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Dvorak:
20/2345 UTC 38.6N 47.5W T3.5/3.5 CHRIS


The 0545 UTC one should be posted soon, lets see if it increases or stays the same.
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Dvorak:
20/2345 UTC 38.6N 47.5W T3.5/3.5 CHRIS

It was 3.5 Way before it even looked like it does now.
That T# was as of when it was diminishing right before the nice blow up of convection and organization of Eye wall.
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2010. JLPR2
This might be Chris at its peak, waters aren't getting any warmer. And I don't usually say this, but I differ from what the NHC is saying, this definitely strengthened a bit, this is at least a 70mph storm.

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Dvorak:
20/2345 UTC 38.6N 47.5W T3.5/3.5 CHRIS
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
Cat. 1 hurricane at 120hrs 0Z Euro.



Can I get the link to that Euro site you use, I use to have it but for some reason I'm not able to access it anymore. I probably need a new link.. Thanks
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
Cat. 1 hurricane at 120hrs 0Z Euro.



So what's the general path for this storm?

Is it going this way or is it going that way?
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The NHC shouldn't be trusting the ADT AT ALL...
Initailized it as a 40 knt TS... ugh
Where's the Dvorak when you need it?
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Cat. 1 hurricane at 120hrs 0Z Euro.

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Quoting Bobbyweather:
NHC still thinks 50 kt.

AL, 03, 2012062106, , BEST, 0, 394N, 457W, 50, 995, TS,

Oh wow. I'm about to lose it. Anyway... we Shall see, we're waiting on latest T#'s
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96hrs 0Z Euro. Basically same 12Z Euro.

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NHC still thinks 50 kt.

AL, 03, 2012062106, , BEST, 0, 394N, 457W, 50, 995, TS,
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That's probably a Category 2 coming into South Texas...
Ukmet shows a broad low that slowly develops and retrogrades toward south TX.
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2000. zillaTX
Quoting STXHurricanes2012:
yep could get nasty for some on the gulf coast!


not for Texas still it seems...likely FL!
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Quoting allancalderini:
Knowing the NHC they will want to keep it conservative and leave him at 65 or 70 at most.

If the evidence is there, its there... If chris begins to deteriorate before the NHC issues Advisory #7. They will only put it up slightly, or keep it at the same intensity. Must PERSIST for just two more hours! CAN HE DO IT? i have no clue...
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Chris is in a sst under 22 grade celcius, are you kidding me? will not be a hurricane, i dont know why the NHC, named this tropical storm, for me chris is a sub-tropical storm
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
If the NHC doesn't upgrade chris....
I'm Going to need to yell at wxnerdVA to get up, to post NHC. Y U NO UGRADE?!
Chris is definately a 75 Mph hurricane.
Debby should form(if its going to out of 96L) Within the next 5 days... Should see it slowly materialize, tomorrow and into Friday.
Yeah but I they will upgrade him
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0Z Euro same as 12Z run so far.

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If the NHC doesn't upgrade chris....
I'm Going to need to yell at wxnerdVA to get up, to post NHC. Y U NO UGRADE?!
Chris is definately a 75 Mph hurricane.
Debby should form(if its going to out of 96L) Within the next 5 days... Should see it slowly materialize, tomorrow and into Friday.
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Quoting reedzone:


It just continues to improve on each frame... convection around the eye just got deeper on the latest frame.. This is amazing!
Knowing the NHC they will want to keep it conservative and leave him at 65 or 70 at most.
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Wow, Chris has blown my mind. Im convinced... It's a Hurricane. Cmon Chris! Maintain for 2 more hours little buddy! You got this!
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Latest run of the GFS has a 995 mb. storm right over Tampa Bay in 138 hrs. or Tues. morning. Since the GFS usually initializes pressures a little higher than the actual output of the storm it's not out of the realm of possibility that we could be looking at 985 mb. Cat. 1 or 2 Hurricanes.



I will be the first to admit i was wrong but I just don't see this happening...track or intensity this thing is a mess right now...the GFS has gone officially nuts
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Quoting Gearsts:
Is this Chris the strongest Chris ever? Chris had a reputation of been weak in past seasons. Chris is showing the other past Chris what he's made off! lol

In chris of 2006,is an example of what the wind shear can do,the wind naked her
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Quoting reedzone:
Chris 2012


Chris 2006


No doubt, this years Chris wins the golden medal!
Chris in 1994 was a hurricane and this 2012 is likely a hurricane to me.
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1989. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 56141

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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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