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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1989. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Chris 2012


Chris 2006


No doubt, this years Chris wins the golden medal!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Geesh!

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Quoting GTcooliebai:
No doubt whatever forms has the potential to form into a hurricane. With the warm SST's and TCHP in the Gulf and lower Upper Level windshear things can get kind of dicey.
yep could get nasty for some on the gulf coast!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1985. Patrap
Gulf of Mexico (Updated every ~10-15 mins)GOES-13 Channel 4 (IR) Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting reedzone:


It just continues to improve on each frame... convection around the eye just got deeper on the latest frame.. This is amazing!

Cute little storm out there all by its lonesome self. This cane season sure has been rather amazing so far. I wonder what other surprises are in store for us.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Remember dont take the gfs like its going to happen...calm down lol
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Quoting STXHurricanes2012:
0z cmc is aiming tx again...near corpus christi full blown hurricane...ukmet towards tx too
No doubt whatever forms has the potential to form into a hurricane. With the warm SST's and TCHP in the Gulf and lower Upper Level windshear things can get kind of dicey.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1981. nigel20
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Thanks Nigel!

No problem!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1980. Gearsts
Quoting StormTracker2K:
This low level circulation is becoming better defined tonight. It just needs deep convection over the center then I think we have Debby in 48 to 72 hours.

We need more than that to get Debby, looks awful needs alot more time to get going i think.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
0z cmc is aiming tx again...near corpus christi full blown hurricane...ukmet towards tx too
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nigel20:
000
ABNT20 KNHC 210533
TWOAT

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 AM EDT THU JUN 21 2012

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

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL
STORM CHRIS...LOCATED ABOUT 635 MILES SOUTHEAST OF CAPE RACE
NEWFOUNDLAND.

A SHARP TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO
CONTINUES TO PRODUCE A LARGE AREA OF CLOUDINESS...SHOWERS...AND
THUNDERSTORMS THAT EXTENDS FROM THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA
NORTHEASTWARD TO THE BAHAMAS. STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS OVER THE
GULF OF MEXICO ARE EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY DIMINISH IN A COUPLE OF
DAYS
...AND SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE IS POSSIBLE BY
THAT TIME AS THE DISTURBANCE MOVES SLOWLY NORTHWESTWARD TOWARD THE
CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30
PERCENT
...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...HEAVY RAINS AND LOCALIZED FLOODING ARE
POSSIBLE ACROSS WESTERN CUBA...SOUTHERN FLORIDA...THE CENTRAL
BAHAMAS...AND THE YUCATAN PENINSULA THROUGH SATURDAY
.

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

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN


Thanks Nigel!
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
1977. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Latest run of the GFS has a 9995 mb. storm right over Tampa Bay in 138 hrs. or Tues. morning.



Once that shear droppes then KABOOM!
Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
1975. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
full basin
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
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.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
This low level circulation is becoming better defined tonight. It just needs deep convection over the center then I think we have Debby in 48 to 72 hours.

Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
1972. nigel20
Quoting Gearsts:
But 2012 Chris almost has an eye, winds are probably 70 to 75.Looks better than 2006 Chris for sure.

Agreed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Link

I dont understand this, the CMC MODEL develop the system in the gulf like if he could be a category 3 or 4 hurricane, i think if the model is wrong, they need to fix it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1970. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
1969. Gearsts
Quoting nigel20:

Tropical Storm Chris in 2006 peaked at 65mph
But 2012 Chris almost has an eye, winds are probably 70 to 75, looks better than 2006 Chris for sure.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
That's it.. Chris is a Hurricane, period!

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1967. nigel20
000
ABNT20 KNHC 210533
TWOAT

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 AM EDT THU JUN 21 2012

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

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON TROPICAL
STORM CHRIS...LOCATED ABOUT 635 MILES SOUTHEAST OF CAPE RACE
NEWFOUNDLAND.

A SHARP TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO
CONTINUES TO PRODUCE A LARGE AREA OF CLOUDINESS...SHOWERS...AND
THUNDERSTORMS THAT EXTENDS FROM THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA
NORTHEASTWARD TO THE BAHAMAS. STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS OVER THE
GULF OF MEXICO ARE EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY DIMINISH IN A COUPLE OF
DAYS
...AND SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE IS POSSIBLE BY
THAT TIME AS THE DISTURBANCE MOVES SLOWLY NORTHWESTWARD TOWARD THE
CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30
PERCENT
...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
REGARDLESS OF DEVELOPMENT...HEAVY RAINS AND LOCALIZED FLOODING ARE
POSSIBLE ACROSS WESTERN CUBA...SOUTHERN FLORIDA...THE CENTRAL
BAHAMAS...AND THE YUCATAN PENINSULA THROUGH SATURDAY
.

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

$$
FORECASTER KIMBERLAIN
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1966. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
1965. nigel20
Quoting JLPR2:
Am I loosing my mind or Chris looks... stronger.


Cmon, the thing is waaaay up there, this year is nuts.

Yeah, Chris is definitely looking stronger...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1963. JLPR2
Am I loosing my mind or Chris looks... stronger.


Cmon, the thing is waaaay up there, this year is nuts.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1962. nigel20
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

Tropical Storm Chris in 2006 peaked at 65mph
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1961. emguy
Quoting ProgressivePulse:
West Palm Beach (The Acreage)F, Palm Beach Gardens, FL North at 0 mph

Thoroughbred Lakes, Lake Worth, FL South at 1.6 mph

RiverWalk, West Palm Beach, FL West at 1.6 mph

West Palm Beach FL , West Palm Beach, FL East at 1 mph

Definitely have a surface low off the Palm Beach County coast tonight.


There does appear to be shifting winds over Palm Beach County. Maybe a small area of low pressure within the larger trough, of just some shifting winds in the area. Overall, the dominant low in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico is becoming much better defined by the the hour and this is taking shape as the area to look at...At about 25N, 86W. This will be the primary low on this one. It is very sharp, although broad, and conditions are still not totally favorable. Getting some assemblance of banding storms on NE side, but still very diffuse as far as thunderstorm activity goes. Either way. It looks like this is the area to start looking at folks. It is definately the dominant and established Low now. Shortwave Link shows this well
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Chris may have become a marginal hurricane since roughly just after the 5PM advisory, and the increased convection only bolsters the now strong argument for a real-time upgrade.

ADT appears to have been handling Chris very poorly all along, very frequently initializing the center too far to the left (and removed from his eye). The past 24 hours of CIMSS ADT should therefore be thrown out in any fair analysis.

My own subjective use of the Dvorak technique has been assigning CIs of between 3.5 and 4.5 over the past six hours; net/net, call it 4.0, 75MPH.

Another source for Dvorak estimates, the Digital Dvorak from RAMMB CIRA, has been consistently at around 4.0, and higher, going for about twelve hours now. (Link). These estimates are likely more accurate than what has been coming out of CIMSS' OADT.






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1959. nigel20
Quoting AllStar17:
Have a great night, those who are still around here.

Same to you AllStar!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1958. Gearsts
Quoting reedzone:
Guys, I believe Chris is just about reached Hurricane status. the ring of convection is just about around the eye, getting a tad deeper. Also the structure is less ragged then it was a few hours ago. This is the best Chris has ever looked in it's lifetime. An amazing storm. Has a very decent chance for a Post Season upgrade to Hurricane if they don't upgrade it at 5 a.m.

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
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Have a great night, those who are still around here.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5300
1956. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Very interesting day today. Tomorrow will be another one to read and lurk through. Night all, sleep tight.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
West Palm Beach (The Acreage)F, Palm Beach Gardens, FL North at 0 mph

Thoroughbred Lakes, Lake Worth, FL South at 1.6 mph

RiverWalk, West Palm Beach, FL West at 1.6 mph

West Palm Beach FL , West Palm Beach, FL East at 1 mph

Definitely have a surface low off the Palm Beach County coast tonight.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5039


In regards to SouthDadeFish's comment -

Some Epsilon advisory quotes:
"...EPSILON STRENGTHENS AGAINST ALL ODDS..."

"...TENACIOUS EPSILON REFUSES TO WEAKEN...BUT FORECAST TO DO SO..."

"...HURRICANE EPSILON REFUSES TO WEAKEN...FUTURE INTENSITY
UNCERTAIN..."

"...TENACIOUS EPSILON STILL A HURRICANE..."

"...EPSILON WEAKENING RAPIDLY...THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY...
...IT IS ABOUT TIME..."

************************************
From discussions:
"I HAVE RUN OUT OF THINGS TO SAY...AND THIS ONE WILL BE SHORT."

"THE END IS IN SIGHT. IT REALLY REALLY IS. BUT IN THE MEANTIME...
EPSILON CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN HURRICANE STATUS. "

"THE END IS IN SIGHT...YES...BUT NOT QUITE YET. I THOUGHT I WAS GOING
TO FIND A WEAKENING SYSTEM AND INSTEAD I FOUND THAT EPSILON IS
STILL A HURRICANE."
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5300
1952. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
in post 1943 if you look closly more so over pacific side going towards the pole
not sure if iam seeing things but the global cirulation looks alter and in a big way
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting CybrTeddy:
If the next round of SAB/TAFB come in showing 4.0/4.0, Chris will probably be upgraded to a hurricane and that is only if the satellite presentation maintains.


It just continues to improve on each frame... convection around the eye just got deeper on the latest frame.. This is amazing!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
In regards to SouthDadeFish's comment -

Some Epsilon advisory quotes:
"...EPSILON STRENGTHENS AGAINST ALL ODDS..."

"...TENACIOUS EPSILON REFUSES TO WEAKEN...BUT FORECAST TO DO SO..."

"...HURRICANE EPSILON REFUSES TO WEAKEN...FUTURE INTENSITY
UNCERTAIN..."

"...TENACIOUS EPSILON STILL A HURRICANE..."

"...EPSILON WEAKENING RAPIDLY...THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY...
...IT IS ABOUT TIME..."

************************************
From discussions:
"I HAVE RUN OUT OF THINGS TO SAY...AND THIS ONE WILL BE SHORT."

"THE END IS IN SIGHT. IT REALLY REALLY IS. BUT IN THE MEANTIME...
EPSILON CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN HURRICANE STATUS. "

"THE END IS IN SIGHT...YES...BUT NOT QUITE YET. I THOUGHT I WAS GOING
TO FIND A WEAKENING SYSTEM AND INSTEAD I FOUND THAT EPSILON IS
STILL A HURRICANE."
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5300
If the next round of SAB/TAFB come in showing 4.0/4.0, Chris will probably be upgraded to a hurricane and that is only if the satellite presentation maintains.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
Quoting Jedkins01:
Here is your low pressure center, obvious:





I think your map just updated showing a different picture, "NO LOW FOR YOU" move along. :-)
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5039
Guys, I believe Chris is just about reached Hurricane status. the ring of convection is just about around the eye, getting a tad deeper. Also the structure is less ragged then it was a few hours ago. This is the best Chris has ever looked in it's lifetime. An amazing storm. Has a very decent chance for a Post Season upgrade to Hurricane if they don't upgrade it at 5 a.m.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I think the case for Chris being a hurricane can be made. Satellite presentation only continues to improve:



Reminds me of Epsilon in 2005. Keeps strengthening unexpectedly.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1945. nigel20
Quoting tropicfreak:
At this point.... I'm not going to look at the models when this disturbance hasn't even been tagged an invest yet... let alone named. Models do better when a system is better organized, especially after it forms. Until then I'm just watching the WAS (wait and see) model.

Agreed.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
At this point.... I'm not going to look at the models when this disturbance hasn't even been tagged an invest yet... let alone named. Models do better when a system is better organized, especially after it forms. Until then I'm just watching the WAS (wait and see) model.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1943. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)


AS OF MIDNIGHT 1 HOUR OLD
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
No hurricane better luck next time. I would have thought they would at least put Chris up to 70 MPH.


They may review this in post-season analysis. Cindy was originally a 60 mph storm and they upgraded it to 70 in post season so you never know.
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1940. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 169 Comments: 53296
Here is your low pressure center, obvious:



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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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