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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Quoting Tribucanes:
Well LostTomorrows if smug is how you roll then that's not cool.


Whoa, whoa, I didn't mean that in the least, I'm just glad there are people agreeing with me, and was citing that line "Even if Chris is a little stronger" as the reasoning behind it. To me that just seems a tad unprofessional from Berg.

Sorry if I'd offended you. I really didn't mean to.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

So nice, you gotta post it twice!!! :P

I didn't mean too! lol.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31913
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Pat,this is the TAFB 00z Surface Analysis that has that 1009 mb low.



Looked to me like it was trying to fire convection,but shear too high
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Convection continues to strengthen and wrap around the center.


So nice, you gotta post it twice!!! :P
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Convection continues to strengthen and wrap around the center.



OK...OK....WE GET IT! LOL. Just giving you a hard time about the double post.
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.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31913
Convection continues to strengthen and wrap around the center.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31913
Here's the first photo of Earth as seen from the North Pole.

High Res
Good Night.
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1881. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
<
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53583
my bad
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Quoting MTWX:


Think SPC is a little off their game!! Link

That section getting ready to pound Kansas City looks pretty mean!

No offense to the SPC guys, they're the best we have by far when it comes to severe weather, but this year has been kinda rough on them.
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Surprise Surprise

000
FXUS62 KMFL 210227
AFDMFL

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
1027 PM EDT WED JUN 20 2012

.UPDATE...THE MOST ORGANIZED PRECIPITATION HAS REMAINED OVER BOTH
THE LOCAL ATLANTIC AND GULF WATERS FOR MUCH OF THIS EVENING, AND
THIS TREND MAY PERSIST AT LEAST FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF HOURS.
THERE ARE SOME INDICATIONS THAT A BROAD SURFACE LOW MAY BE TRYING
TO FORM OFF THE PALM BEACH/BROWARD COAST.
AS THIS FEATURE MOVES
NORTHWEST AND SPEED CONVERGENCE INCREASES ALONG THE COAST,
SHOWERS MAY BECOME A BIT MORE NUMEROUS ALONG AND NEAR THE EAST
COAST LATER TONIGHT (ALTHOUGH RECENT RADAR DATA SHOWS THE SHOWER
ACTIVITY WEAKENING AS IT NEARS THE COAST). SOMEWHAT ILL-DEFINED
RAIN BANDS HAVE ALSO FORMED SOUTH AND WEST OF THE LOCAL AREA AND
ACROSS THE ADJACENT GULF WATERS. WHILE SOME OF THIS PRECIPITATION
MAY ULTIMATELY IMPACT MAINLAND MONROE AND COLLIER COUNTIES, THE
MAJORITY OF THE HEAVIEST RAINFALL SHOULD LARGELY REMAIN JUST
OFFSHORE. ALSO, AS THE TROUGH OVER THE EASTERN GULF MOVES
NORTHWEST AND THE RIDGE WELL TO THE NORTH WEAKENS, LOW LEVEL
WINDS AND MASS CONVERGENCE COULD ACTUALLY WEAKEN A BIT OVERNIGHT.
BUT, GIVEN THE CONSIDERABLE MOISTURE IN PLACE (WITH PRECIPITABLE
WATERS NEAR 2.3 INCHES), AT LEAST SCATTERED SHOWERS AND EVEN A
FEW THUNDERSTORMS WILL REMAIN POSSIBLE OVERNIGHT. GIVEN THE
OVERALL REGIME AND SYNOPTIC FEATURES IN PLACE, WE WOULD NOT BE
SURPRISED TO SEE SHOWER DEVELOPMENT INCREASE MORE MARKEDLY ALONG
THE EAST COAST AFTER ABOUT 06Z, BUT THIS REMAINS RATHER
UNCERTAIN.

&&
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5296
Pat,this is the TAFB 00z Surface Analysis that has that 1009 mb low.

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Quoting Tribucanes:
Even if Chris is a little stronger...........sounds like he's not at all confident in his assessment either. If criteria make Chris 65 dare I say 70 what's the harm in correctly updating Chris? I could see if he bumped it to hurricane status Berg could catch some flack, but come on doesn't he know that we here have a celebration when a fishy like this puts in hard work to get that last ten mph of umph. Hasn't Chris earned it.


Yeah, that is why I had said what I said in my previous comment.
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Even if Chris is a little stronger...........sounds like he's not at all confident in his assessment either. If criteria make Chris 65 dare I say 70 what's the harm in correctly updating Chris? I could see if he bumped it to hurricane status Berg could catch some flack, but come on doesn't he know that we here have a celebration when a fishy like this puts in hard work to get that last ten mph of umph. Hasn't Chris earned it.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:

Looks like it traps an unorganized mess beneath the ridge.



levi32 has been on that for some time.
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1873. MTWX
Quoting sunlinepr:


Think SPC is a little off their game!! Link

That section getting ready to pound Kansas City looks pretty mean!
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Quoting Patrap:


..."It's just a jump, to the Left"..


no no no...That's the Levi leap of faith right there....
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:

Quoting jeffs713:

I always play nice. Except when someone on the internet is WRONG.


---------

“Everything you read on the internet is true.” – Abraham Lincoln

I read once on the internet that I am currently a millionaire. I'm still waiting for my bank account to catch up.
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Out for now.

Some of the information in that blog may be outdated, but my general philosophy remains the same.
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I honestly think that the decision to keep Chris at 60 mph/50 kt is because he's too far out for most analysts to "care", as they are now trying to make sense of this much more imminently threatening mess in and around the Gulf.

I don't think going conservative was the right decision... definitely not when alll signs have been pointing to a stronger system. It reminds me of Cindy last year, actually; she was so far north and did develop a fairly distinct eye as well. She was upgraded from a 50 kt to a 60 kt upon post-analysis. Rest assured, Chris will be upgraded as well.
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1868. Patrap
The Low in the Seastern GOM is analysed at 1009mb

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127847
Quoting washingaway:
If the 00z NAM pans out, a lot of my local mets. will be eating crow.

Looks like it traps an unorganized mess beneath the ridge.

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Quoting jeffs713:

I always play nice. Except when someone on the internet is WRONG.


---------

“Everything you read on the internet is true.” – Abraham Lincoln
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Link
This is the ECMWF model, at 144 hour , i think this is why the NHC is taking his time with this system,when the system enter in the gulf, will stay there many days because the strong anticyclone in the atlantic,the people from tampa and the west side of florida need to pay attention, i think this system will could be a strong tropical storm or cat1 hurricane
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Notice on that NAM that the model initiates the Low by the Yucatan peninsula. I agree with strength though. This models shows it at around 1008 mb just south of Louisiana. Thats a TD/Weak TS at best
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1863. Patrap
AL032012 - Tropical Storm CHRIS

02:45 UTC Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127847
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
It's northern eyewall doesn't look half bad.

Strongest convection of any system all year.
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1861. Patrap
..I'm so confused now, thanx.

; )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127847
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I really don't agree with Berg's decision to keep Chris at 60 mph.
From what I read its a more "Even though Chris may be stronger we won't upgrade because he won't stay that way long enough for me." EVEN IF CHRIS IS
A LITTLE STRONGER...THE CYCLONE IS NOW MOVING OVER SEA SURFACE
TEMPERATURES LESS THAN 22C...AND THE MARINE BOUNDARY LAYER COULD BE
TOO STABLE TO ALLOW STRONGER WINDS TO BE MIXED TO THE OCEAN
SURFACE.
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It's northern eyewall doesn't look half bad.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31913
Quoting Levi32:


My point is that I don't think he is a fully tropical cyclone, just a well-organized hybrid.
they give him a name there nothing we all can do anyways like I say I agree with the NHC to give him the name but not in keeping him at 60mph.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I really don't agree with Berg's decision to keep Chris at 60 mph.

I agree with you disagreeing. I disagree with Berg's decision of disagreeing with us.
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
No hurricane?
*sigh* oh well
Caleb is out. Peace :)


yeah... maybe next time... kinda reminds me of last season waiting on a hurricane was agonizing!
-Troy out
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I really don't agree with Berg's decision to keep Chris at 60 mph.
me neither even 65mph seems reasonable
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1854. Patrap
Quoting washingaway:
If the 00z NAM pans out, a lot of my local mets. will be eating crow.


..."It's just a jump, to the Left"..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127847
Quoting Levi32:


My point is that I don't think he is a fully tropical cyclone, just a well-organized hybrid.

Just out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on Epsilon from 2005? Are they along the same lines as your current ones with Chris?
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1852. Patrap
The WV shows how a well sealed System on the move can keep the shear and dry air away from His/her core.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127847
I really don't agree with Berg's decision to keep Chris at 60 mph.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31913
If the 00z NAM pans out, a lot of my local mets. will be eating crow.
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No hurricane?
*sigh* oh well
Caleb is out. Peace :)
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This is the ECMWF model, at 144 hour , i think this is why the NHC is taking his time with this system,when the system enter in the gulf, will stay there many days because the strong anticyclone in the atlantic,the people from tampa and the west side of florida need to pay attention, i think this system will could be a strong tropical storm or cat1 hurricane
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Quoting Patrap:
Yah that north convection is wrapping around the center quite nicely. Chris is going to look quite nice in a hour.
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CHRIS HAS HAD WHAT COULD BE CONSIDERED AN EYE FOR THE PAST SEVERAL
HOURS. HOWEVER...SUBJECTIVE AND OBJECTIVE SATELLITE INTENSITY
ESTIMATES DO NOT SUPPORT ANY SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN STRENGTH. THE
MAXIMUM WINDS ARE THEREFORE BEING KEPT AT 50 KT. EVEN IF CHRIS IS
A LITTLE STRONGER...THE CYCLONE IS NOW MOVING OVER SEA SURFACE
TEMPERATURES LESS THAN 22C...AND THE MARINE BOUNDARY LAYER COULD BE
TOO STABLE TO ALLOW STRONGER WINDS TO BE MIXED TO THE OCEAN
SURFACE.
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1845. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 127847
nice blog this evening
im going to keep an eye on this through the lids for the night later folks
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Chris still at 60 mph.

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM CHRIS ADVISORY NUMBER 6
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032012
1100 PM AST WED JUN 20 2012

...CHRIS BEGINS TO TURN EAST-NORTHEASTWARD...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...38.9N 46.4W
ABOUT 635 MI...1025 KM SE OF CAPE RACE NEWFOUNDLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...ENE OR 75 DEGREES AT 22 MPH...35 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...994 MB...29.35 INCHES
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No hurricane better luck next time. I would have thought they would at least put Chris up to 70 MPH.
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Quoting Dragod66:


kinda like 1991 perfect storm?... that hit me a few months after I was born :)


although that one may have been a bit different now looking at it... i still don't fully understand what happened with that one
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Chris remains at 50 kt...
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31913
The definition sometimes between tropical and sub-tropical are so tedious and fickle that it's very hard to tell the difference.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23916

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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.