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 AllStar17:
This is where I'd tag an invest:


That's the mid level
Member Since: June 17, 2011 Posts: 11 Comments: 6492
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9727
BULLETIN
HURRICANE CHRIS ADVISORY NUMBER 8
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032012
1100 AM AST THU JUN 21 2012

...CHRIS BECOMES THE FIRST HURRICANE OF THE SEASON...


SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...41.1N 43.2W
ABOUT 625 MI...1005 KM SE OF CAPE RACE NEWFOUNDLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH...120 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 45 DEGREES AT 20 MPH...32 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...987 MB...29.15 INCHES
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31993
Quoting stormchaser19:
The Nogaps and GFS, split the system in two near florida, and the CMC develops the system into a problable to a Hur.cat 3 going to TX, and the ECMWF develops the system into a cat.1 or 2 going to the northwest side of florida,

Well, there ain't much time. Austin forecast goes from ~ to inferno in three days, 90 to 104o.

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finally officially a hurricane!
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NHC issuing advisories on Hurricane CHRIS

all it says on the nhc site so far
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HURRICANE CHRIS FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 8
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032012
1500 UTC THU JUN 21 2012

THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

HURRICANE CENTER LOCATED NEAR 41.1N 43.2W AT 21/1500Z
POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 10 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE NORTHEAST OR 45 DEGREES AT 17 KT

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 987 MB
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 65 KT WITH GUSTS TO 80 KT.
64 KT....... 20NE 20SE 0SW 0NW.
50 KT....... 40NE 40SE 40SW 30NW.
34 KT....... 70NE 90SE 60SW 50NW.
12 FT SEAS.. 90NE 180SE 420SW 120NW.
WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT. RADII IN NAUTICAL
MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.

REPEAT...CENTER LOCATED NEAR 41.1N 43.2W AT 21/1500Z
AT 21/1200Z CENTER WAS LOCATED NEAR 40.5N 43.9W

FORECAST VALID 22/0000Z 42.8N 42.7W
MAX WIND 60 KT...GUSTS 75 KT.
50 KT... 40NE 40SE 40SW 40NW.
34 KT... 80NE 100SE 70SW 60NW.

FORECAST VALID 22/1200Z 44.0N 43.6W...POST-TROPICAL
MAX WIND 50 KT...GUSTS 60 KT.
50 KT... 40NE 40SE 40SW 40NW.
34 KT...100NE 100SE 60SW 90NW.

FORECAST VALID 23/0000Z 43.5N 45.3W...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
MAX WIND 45 KT...GUSTS 55 KT.
34 KT...100NE 100SE 60SW 90NW.

FORECAST VALID 23/1200Z 42.5N 45.5W...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
MAX WIND 40 KT...GUSTS 50 KT.
34 KT... 80NE 50SE 60SW 110NW.

FORECAST VALID 24/1200Z...ABSORBED BY ANOTHER EXTRATROPICAL LOW

REQUEST FOR 3 HOURLY SHIP REPORTS WITHIN 300 MILES OF 41.1N 43.2W

NEXT ADVISORY AT 21/2100Z

$$
FORECASTER ROBERTS
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31993
The NHC will forever hate Chris.Lol.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16964
2481. Patrap
2477.


Can we discuss without the Language?

Lotsa children come here to learn about the weather,

Be a adult.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128236
This is where I'd tag an invest:
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2479. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38411
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Lol, the NHC is going to have a very annoyed discussion.


why
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9727
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Lol, the NHC is going to have a very annoyed discussion.


Might be Avila... He's gonna sound pissed.. I think all of the NHC is pissed off right now cause there forecast was wrong.
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Quoting RTSplayer:


It's already happening in some areas, plus the computer models for wave setup and other flood dynamics are just that good.

The broad low will be pushing water in that direction for quite some time, regardless of intensity.


nah, i still think you meant a foot of rain
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9727
Derived from (NHC) ATCF data for HurricaneChris for 21June12pmGMT:
39.4n45.7w has been re-evaluated&altered
39.4n45.6w-40.5n43.9w are now the most recent positions
38.6n47.5w's MaximumSustainedWinds & MinimumPressure have been re-evaluated&altered
from 50knots(58mph)93km/h & 995millibars to 55knots(63mph)102km/h & 994millibars
39.4n45.6w's MaxSusWinds & MinimumPressure have been re-evaluated&altered
from 50knots(58mph)93km/h & 995millibars to 60knots(69mph)111km/h & 990millibars

Its vector* had changed from ENEast at 19.4mph(31.2km/h) to NEast at 19.7mph(31.7km/h)
MaxSusWinds had increased from 60knots(69mph)111km/h to 65knots(75mph)120km/h
And MinimumPressure had decreased from 990millibars to 987millibars

For those who like to visually track H.Chris's path...
CVU is Corvo,Azores :: SMA is SantaMaria,Azores :: SNN is Shannon,Ireland :: LRT is Ploemeur,France

The Westernmost dot on the kinked line is where Invest95L became TropicalStormChris.
The Easternmost dot on the kinked line is Chris's final position as a TropicalStorm
The next dot NWest on the connected line-segment is where TS.Chris became HurricaneChris, and its most recent position.

The longest line-segment is a straightline-projection through H.Chris's 2 most recent positions to the coastline.
The SMA-dumbbell is the endpoint of the 20June6pmGMT straightline projection to a point due south of SantaMaria's southernmost shore connected to its nearest airport
The CVU-dot is the endpoint of the 21June12amGMT straightline projection to a point due south of Corvo's southernmost shore connected to its nearest airport
The LRT-blob is the endpoint* of the 21June6amGMT straightline*projection connected to its nearest airport
On 21June12pmGMT, H.Chris was headed toward passage over SpanishPoint in ~3days18hours from now

Copy&paste yyt, cvu-39.65n31.114w, sma-36.44n25.0178w, kef, snn, lrt-47.51n3.153w, 39.5n58.0w- 38.9n56.7w- 38.3n54.7w- 38.1n52.3w- 38.2n50.2w- 38.6n47.5w- 39.4n45.6w, 39.4n45.6w-40.5n43.9w, 39.4n45.6w-52.849n9.449w into the GreatCircleMapper for more information
The previous mapping for comparison.

21June6amGMT's vector has been corrected for the 21June12pmGMT re-evaluation&alteration
To maintain historicity with the previous mapping, the straightline projection that led to the lrt-47.51n3.153w blob has not.
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2474. Patrap
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128236
Lol, the NHC is going to have a very annoyed discussion.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31993
Quoting stormpetrol:


West wind right in the Yucatan Channel.


That is exactly where the NHC needs to tag this thing.
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How that AOI is only a 30%er right now is a little puzzling. It's a huge area of deep, sustained convection that sure seems like an invest to me. It would at least be nice to have an invest to initiate the model runs from...
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2470. Patrap

AL032012 - Hurricane CHRIS

Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery

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West wind right in the Yucatan Channel.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


a foot of water.......... ?
how do they know that already? :)


It's already happening in some areas, plus the computer models for wave setup and other flood dynamics are just that good.

The broad low will be pushing water in that direction for quite some time, regardless of intensity.
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2466. Patrap
I don't ever get overly concerned if the NHC declares any Fish Spinner a Storm/Hurricane as the storm dosen't blog nor does it magically Up-tick from some ATCF file.

The meat is in the GOM, and the focus.
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Quoting turtlehurricane:
This pulled an Epsilon on the NHC/every other forecaster. Amazing this can happen over 25 �C water. As I've been harping on I think the answer lies in the coupling of Chris' outflow with a mid-latitude jetstream. I wrote more about it on my blog Meteorological Phenomena


It's actually over cooler waters than that. Nearly 20C!
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31993
Quoting Grothar:
A lot of yellow showing. Very cold cloud tops. It is beginning to get a little rounder,too.






I'm wondering if the convection is too far offset from the axis, and it tries to develop a new surface low, or whether it somehow blows up and speeds up enough to catch up with the axis and develop that way?

That may be the crucial difference between the Canadian and the Euro split. An SE side re-organization may favor a re-curve, while an organization centered on the existing axis would favor a west track.
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This pulled an Epsilon on the NHC/every other forecaster. Amazing this can happen over 25 C water. As I've been harping on I think the answer lies in the coupling of Chris' outflow with a mid-latitude jetstream. I wrote more about it on my blog Meteorological Phenomena

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2462. Patrap
F5,F5,F5,F5...
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128236
It sure doesn't feel like June to me. And Mother Nature is not done yet. pre-96L is looking more scary this morning and Chris gives us a reason why we shouldn't disregard this hurricane season. I think most people on here would agree that the possibility of a bad hurricane striking the US is definitely not out of the question....Thank God we have this blog! I learn so much on here than any other source! Thanks guys!
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Quoting Levi32:
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Thursday, June 21st, with Video

Oh, you finally mentioned Chris? lol.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31993
looks like don wants revenge but this time he got his sister..debby!!
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Low Chance of this happening but could you imagine the war that would go on in here if the NHC upped the MPH to 70 and said Even though Chris may be stronger than depicted, it has likely reached it's peak intensity. If that happened, the blog would immediately Fast forward 6 months to December 21, 2012 ---END---
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Quoting Minnemike:
well now i'm curious.. this is getting spurious
;)


Steve Spurious is a great coach
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2456. wxmod
3200 mile wide view of Russia fires. MODIS
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...waitingfortheadvisory...
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2454. Levi32
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Thursday, June 21st, with Video
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26647
well now i'm curious.. this is getting spurious
;)
is he.. will he ever have been??
i love future past tense!
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12z Nam at 33 hours. Per this model, we are 12-20 hours from having a closed off low in the Gulf

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Quoting Grothar:


blob is now just east of the center, cant wait for shear do go down more, already there is a weak anticyclone over the yucatan, if i remember correctly
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2450. jpsb
Quoting Grothar:
A lot of yellow showing. Very cold cloud tops. It is beginning to get a little rounder,too.



Damn, that blob is getting pretty big. Not good.
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Tropical Tidbit for Thursday, June 21st, 2012Link
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2448. Patrap
Gulf Of Mexico - Rainbow Loop


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128236
000
FXUS62 KMFL 211412 AAB
AFDMFL

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
ISSUED 658 AM EDT THU JUN 21 2012

FROM THE WEEKEND ONWARD...MODELS ARE STILL HAVING TROUBLE THE
TRACK AND INTENSITY OF THE LOW AS IT EVOLVES. THE GFS CONTINUES TO
SLOWLY PUSH THE LOW TO THE NORTHEAST BRINGING IT ACROSS THE
FLORIDA PENINSULA LATE SUNDAY WITH A SECONDARY LOW LAGGING BEHIND
INTO THE BEGINNING OF NEXT WEEK KEEPING CENTRAL AND SOUTH FLORIDA
INUNDATED WITH DEEP MOISTURE.

THE ECMWF ALSO TRACKS THE LOW TO THE NORTHEAST BUT DEPICTS A
CONSOLIDATION OF THE LOW ACROSS THE NORTHEASTERN GULF AND IS A
MUCH SLOWER SOLUTION DEEPENING IT TO 568 DAM LOW BEFORE MAKING
LANDFALL AROUND THE CEDAR KEY AREA NEXT THURSDAY MORNING. TOOK
MORE OF A CONSENSUS FOR NOW AWAITING BETTER LONG TERM MODEL
AGREEMENT. EITHER WAY...A GENERALLY WET PATTERN SHOULD CONTINUE
ACROSS THE AREA THROUGH THE WEEKEND AND INTO MIDWEEK NEXT WEEK.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Chris is the farthest north forming hurricane, Vince was declared a Category 1 at 34.2N 18.6W, Chris was declared at 405N, 439W, 6 degrees higher north.

Pretty Remarkable especially considering it is JUNE!
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Quoting RTSplayer:


Louisiana actually has a coastal flood watch issued already, with about a foot of flooding forecast..


a foot of water.......... ?
how do they know that already? :)
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Chris wasnt a hurricane last night until this upcoming advisory!
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It doing good!!
Quoting Grothar:
A lot of yellow showing. Very cold cloud tops. It is beginning to get a little rounder,too.



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2442. Patrap
Maybe try the NHC page before posting.
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2441. Grothar
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Good day to everyone-

Does anyone else see the trend for storms in the Gulf to start N/NE and trend more to the S/SE of the Gulf Coast as they make landfall earlier in the season?

That may be a vast generalization, or maybe due to cyclical High Pressure more prevalent, just asking.
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Quoting ChaseyChasinStorms:


Wait so Chris was a hurricane last night though right and has now been down graded to a TS???


According to Wunderground storm track, it was never a hurricane..

Link
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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.