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 1900hurricane:

That's a good name. A very good name. Probably the best in fact.

Your name's Ryan isn't it..? :P
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
1588. trey33
Tarp,
Yep. :)
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Quoting Articuno:

Nah, my real name's Ryan,

That's a good name. A very good name. Probably the best in fact.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
My real name is %6$#$3...got a problem?
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15707
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Is your name actually Articuno?

Nah, my real name's Ryan,
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2179
1583. ncstorm
Quoting TXCWC:
Hummm...while 18Z GFS Operational says Florida...GFS Ensemble Mean says N. Mexico/S. Texas...Florida definitely NOT set in stone

MEAN 156hr


MEAN 168hr


the 18z Individual Ensemble Member is still running but all I see is Panhandle to West Coast Florida so far? I dont see Texas?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
From the HGX WFO with regards to the Cuban Disturbance:


THERE WAS A LOW-LEVEL TROUGH OVER
THE WESTERN CARIBBEAN TODAY THAT IS FORECAST TO PUSH INTO AT LEAST THE EASTERN OR CENTRAL GULF OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. BY THE WEEKEND AND EARLY NEXT WEEK THE MODELS DIFFER...SOME QUITE A BIT...ON HOW STRONG THE RIDGE WILL BUILD OVERHEAD AND ON THE DEVELOPMENT AND MOVEMENT OF THE LOW-LEVEL TROUGH.


Meanwhile, the HGX WFO has nothing rosy to say about the weather next week:


WITH THE BUILDING RIDGE...MUCH WARMER DAYTIME TEMPERATURES WILL DEVELOP. THE GUIDANCE APPEARED TO BE WARMING THE DAYTIME MAXES TOO QUICKLY OVER THE WEEKEND GIVEN THE OVERALL SOIL MOISTURE CONTENT FROM THE RAINFALL OF THE PAST FEW DAYS. HOWEVER...LIKED THE ECMWF STARTING ON MONDAY WITH 100 TO 105 POSSIBLE OVER THE FAR NORTHWESTERN QUARTER OF THE FORECAST AREA.
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Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:
Yes Cody, he said that.


You seem like a very bright (not so bright kid) or should I say Mr. Shower curtain!! You have to come on here and use people's first name such as Rob and Cody's like you no them and I Highly doubt that they would want any thing to do with you. MY NAME IS ROY. Grow up boy and let the people that are not causing trouble explain what may be on our doorstep. I highly doubt it, but you might live in Miami where you want a hurricane to go so bad. If you do, then you seriously need help in the upper round object of air department. I live in Brevard County and went through Charley, Frances, And Jeanne, and don't wish that on anyone other than you. You really need to stop being childish and I no I'm feeding you, you troll!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go ahead and act like you know me now and call me Roy.
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1580. ncstorm
Quoting washingtonian115:
Don't tell me wxgeekva was banned :(.


He's not banned..his blog would say so
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1579. JLPR2
Quoting ProgressivePulse:



Wish it was closer though. There is nothing up closer to that area unfortunately.


Yep, not much to work with, wish there we more obs points in that area.
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Quoting Articuno:

Wow, out of all the time I have been here (not that long) I have not known that.

Is your name actually Articuno?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
Quoting washingtonian115:
Don't tell me wxgeekva was banned :(.

Nope, he's still here.
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2179
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Yes, my name is actually Cody.

Wow, out of all the time I have been here (not that long) I have not known that.
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2179
1575. JLPR2
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Chris's ACE surpasses Beryl's now, for whoever is wondering.


Yeah, noticed that...
Little Chris wants to be remembered.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Chris's ACE now surpasses Beryl's, for whoever is wondering.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
Time to go..........Beaming up.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8269
Irregardless of what system end up where, we need some serious rain in the coastal bend of Texas. We can do without the wind damage but could use whatever rain may come of this gom mess!
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Don't tell me wxgeekva was banned :(.

If he was banned, it's not for an indefinite period of time.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
There has been quite the flurry of activity in the Atlantic as well as in the rest of the Northern Hemisphere basins, which made me wonder whether Northern Hemisphere and/or global tropical cyclone activity was on the increase. Short answer is Northern Hemisphere is 33% above average YTD, but Southern Hemisphere activity is 30% below average, so global TC activity is actually 9% below average YTD. Hard to tell if the increased TC activity in the NH is a trend or a blip. Read all the gritty details at my blog Meteorological Phenomena
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1568. Patrap
On the other hand, Merida is reporting northeast winds, and Campeche is reporting northerly winds at this time, and was actually reporting westerly winds earlier. Both locations lie along the western coast of the peninsula, and are finely spaced so that these observations bear mention.

Thats a good obs report.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Quoting Articuno:

So your name's actually Cody??

Yes, my name is actually Cody.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
1565. TXCWC
Hummm...while 18Z GFS Operational says Florida...GFS Ensemble Mean says N. Mexico/S. Texas...Florida definitely NOT set in stone

MEAN 156hr


MEAN 168hr
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1564. Patrap
Progreso, Mexico WunderMap®
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
Don't tell me wxgeekva was banned :(.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15707
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I honestly don't know.

So your name's actually Cody??
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2179
1561. Patrap
Progreso, Mexico(Yucatan) wunderpage
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125530
On the other hand, Merida is reporting northeast winds, and Campeche is reporting northerly winds at this time, and was actually reporting westerly winds earlier. Both locations lie along the western coast of the peninsula, and are finely spaced so that these observations bear mention.
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Cool!!
Quoting ProgressivePulse:


Jupiter.
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I got 1.35inch today!!:) in WPB
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Our you in WPB???


Jupiter.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
Quoting KoritheMan:


What would I ever do without you, Cody? :|

I honestly don't know.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
Quoting JLPR2:


I see a SSW wind barb to the SW of the Yucatan Low.



Wish it was closer though. There is nothing up closer to that area unfortunately.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
Quoting KoritheMan:


That's what I think too, but I checked observations from Cancun, and don't see any real evidence of westerly winds yet. It appears that this vortmax is primarily mid-level.


Oh, I agree with you...hence the "trying" in my post. I always appreciate your analysis very much! Thanks!
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5238
1552. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52230
I got 1.35inch today!!:) in WPB
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KoritheMan:
Oh dear. Finding a center in pre-96L is most difficult at this hour. I've tried extensively, but... nothing!


and why it's still pre 96L, lol.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Mid-level center on the NW Yucatan Peninsula and a Low-level center southwest of Florida.

Was that so hard? ;-)


What would I ever do without you, Cody? :|
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Our you in WPB???
Quoting ProgressivePulse:


The LULL has been nice this afternoon. No hot sun, fresh breeze, could do without the humidity but, kinda nice this afternoon. Activity will pick back up tonight however.
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Quoting AllStar17:


Well it would seem one is trying to form on the extreme westernmost part of the Yucatan.


That's what I think too, but I checked observations from Cancun, and don't see any real evidence of westerly winds yet. It appears that this vortmax is primarily mid-level.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
Oh dear. Finding a center in pre-96L is most difficult at this hour. I've tried extensively, but... nothing!

Mid-level center on the NW Yucatan Peninsula and a Low-level center southwest of Florida.

Was that so hard? ;-)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30245
Quoting Stormchaser121:

well...you need to quit criticizing people...

Im not...hes just a person that everyone knows and dont like n wants a big storm to fl
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I was impressed with the large area in the Orange circle...It covered all of us debating between Western Cuba and the Yucatan earlier. It is a very broad area indeed.......So broad that the models will not be able to nail anything down until one well defined COC emerges over the next 24-48 hours. This is a big wait and see the next two days.....I wish we had more bouys out in that immediate region.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8269
Quoting KoritheMan:
Oh dear. Finding a center in pre-96L is most difficult at this hour. I've tried extensively, but... nothing!


Well it would seem one is trying to form on the extreme westernmost part of the Yucatan.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5238
1540. ncstorm
0000 UTC..latest

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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
More Rain moving into S FL


The LULL has been nice this afternoon. No hot sun, fresh breeze, could do without the humidity but, kinda nice this afternoon. Activity will pick back up tonight however.
Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 4863

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About JeffMasters

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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