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 HurrAndrew:


Wouldn't it be seven years? 2005 had two.

Arlene (June 8) and Bret (June 28th).


Haha, you're right. Bret was so diminutive and brief that I usually forget about it.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
People are already making jokes about Debby saying she's going to drop little Debbie snakes instead of rain.

I dont like debby snakes
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Quoting KoritheMan:

No, because I'm here to keep you in line. ;)


Your here to keep sane lol..
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:

Vince unexpectedly became a hurricane..so can Chris!

That last dot is about over my house and the last time we had any of them hurricane antics over here the weather vane got blown of the church steeple, so since then we have to rely on a frayed towel blowing from a disused TV ariel to let us know the wind direction.
Last time we got one of them hurricane remnant things we also had a tornado, which blew some of the vanes off one of our windmills.
General opinion, is keep dem things away from us. Please!
Whats the score with the Arctic ice as of more or less now?
Member Since: January 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2079
There is no clear cut definition of an invest, but whenever this system gains a circulation of some kind it will be tagged as 96L.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24021
People are already making jokes about Debby saying she's going to drop little Debbie snakes instead of rain.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
It would seem that the Yucatan low is attracting more convection...and in turn would become the dominant low...especially now that it is emerging off the Yucatan coast. It would make sense in my eyes to tag that area as 96L.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
Quoting CybrTeddy:
30% it is then


Invest 96L anytime now.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14259
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Quoting STXHurricanes2012:

I dont know man...Greg pointed out the big high pressure moving over TX and LA blocking it out.
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1379. LargoFl

Offshore Waters Forecast (Gulf of Mexico)


000
FZNT24 KNHC 202107
OFFNT4

OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
507 PM EDT WED JUN 20 2012

OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO

SEAS GIVEN AS SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT...WHICH IS THE AVERAGE
HEIGHT OF THE HIGHEST 1/3 OF THE WAVES. INDIVIDUAL WAVES MAY BE
MORE THAN TWICE THE SIGNIFICANT WAVE HEIGHT.

GMZ001-210830-
SYNOPSIS FOR THE GULF OF MEXICO
507 PM EDT WED JUN 20 2012

.SYNOPSIS...A TROUGH EXTENDS FROM FORT MYERS FLORIDA SW TO INLAND
THE NORTHERN YUCATAN PENINSULA. LOW PRES IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP
OVER OR NEAR THE YUCATAN PENINSULA ALONG THE TROUGH AND MOVE
INTO THE S CENTRAL GULF THU...THEN POSSIBLY DRIFT NW TO THE
NW GULF SUN AND MON WITH THE TROUGH EXTENDING ACROSS THE NE
GULF.

$$
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38500
30% it is then
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24021
Quoting KoritheMan:

No, because I'm here to keep you in line. ;)
Hey K-man.What's your thoughts?.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
Quoting yqt1001:


Vince:



Chris:



Similarities are there.


it still has time...
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Their are just lows all over the place with this thing.I think their waiting to see which one becomes the dominant one and then tag it an invest so that we can have a better understanding.


If you notice on the surface map the NHC has not concluded that there is a sufficiently defined surface low anywhere along the trough axis to place that designation on a map. The entire trough itself is a low pressure feature with more than one area of rotation within the very broad envelope of the trough.

Until there is better definition at some point at the surface this will remain a trough with a chance of evolving into an invest.

See map below

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Quoting KoritheMan:
I wonder if we'll close off June with two storms? If so, that would be the first time in 26 years.



the last time we had two name storm in june was 2005


Link
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1372. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38500
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:

Vince unexpectedly became a hurricane..so can Chris!
First time I have ever seen something track into Europe.
Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3842
Quoting KoritheMan:
I wonder if we'll close off June with two storms? If so, that would be the first time in 26 years.


Wouldn't it be seven years? 2005 had two.

Arlene (June 8) and Bret (June 28th).
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1369. Skyepony (Mod)
CitikatzSouthFL~ See what you mean about the similarities with 2004. Even the pattern in the WPAC is similar to that year. One big difference is the early start. Wunder if the TCHP will be hot off FL like that year.

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Quoting louisianaboy444:


Although I want a storm you know I would never wishcast a storm anywhere
No, because I'm here to keep you in line. ;)
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1367. ncstorm
Once this is tag as an invest and a center defined by the NHC, then the blog will declare they tag the wrong location..watch, it never fails..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15288
1366. yqt1001
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:

Vince unexpectedly became a hurricane..so can Chris!


Vince:



Chris:



Similarities are there.
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1286
I wonder if we'll close off June with two storms? If so, that would be the first time in 26 years.
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Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:


My man, look at June climo tracks, they speak for themselves.

There's NOTHING unusual to be had when it comes to that! Junes storms are ALWAYS Florida bound!

Good luck wish-casting this one up to LA, dude!


Although I want a storm you know I would never wishcast a storm anywhere. I am getting a degree to be a forecaster so I take it very seriously...It is just seldom that you see troughs strong enough to do that in June and you know that also Janiel. I never said It would not happen. If after this is tagged an invest and the models pick up on a solid Center of circulation the models do not change, then I will believe it and tell you happy adventure..
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Quoting kmanislander:


You hit the nail on the head. No invest until a much better defined surface low can be identified.
Their are just lows all over the place with this thing.I think their waiting to see which one becomes the dominant one and then tag it an invest so that we can have a better understanding.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
So that would mean that the evolution of the trough and ridge is a much larger catalyst to the track of this disturbance, rather than where the dominant circulation decides to consolidate?


Both actually as the circulations we are seeing are embedded in the trough axis, one on each end.
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Nothing like playing in the floodwaters. As we've learned from every other major flood event in this country, this is the kind of ignorance that kills. Even if it doesnt kill you, the chance of infections is quite elevated.

http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/iron-ran ge/Summer-Storm-Socks-the-Northland-159659895.html
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3193
i dont no why the nhc this tag them both make one 96L and make the other 97L and see wish one wins it out
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Quoting PlazaRed:

Picture Please!


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I wonder where they will tag the invest...assuming they do tag it, that is.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313

Vince unexpectedly became a hurricane..so can Chris!
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Janiel, I'm having a hard time getting the chat to pull up.
It's working for me.This dude is cool.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:


awesome eye

Picture Please!
Member Since: January 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2079
Quoting kmanislander:


The Yucatan low is fairly stationary near 19 N and 92 W while the GOM low pressure seems to be on a slow heading between WNW and NW near 24 N and 85 W. The timing of the high that is forecast to build from the East will determine if whatever develops makes it either across Florida or WNW into Texas or Northern Mexico.
So that would mean that the evolution of the trough and ridge is a much larger catalyst to the track of this disturbance, rather than where the dominant circulation decides to consolidate?
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Code orange?.Mmmmm.I wonder when the NHC deems this an invest where would they pin point the center?


You hit the nail on the head. No invest until a much better defined surface low can be identified.
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Code orange?.Mmmmm.I wonder when the NHC deems this an invest where would they pin point the center?
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16971
Quoting ScottLincoln:
Some updates on the rare flood event still unfolding across the Duluth, MN, area:St. Louis River west of Duluth appears to be about to crest at over 16.0ft, and is currently a few inches above its previous record of 15.8ft set back in 1950.

Cloquet River at Burnett does not appear to have reported for some time, so it is difficult to determine if it has crested and how much water it may be sending to the St. Louis River.


Information from NWS Duluth LSRs is indicating that water from Thomson Reservoir, a lake along the St. Louis River, is now beginning to flood the town of Carlton, MN.

Further up the St. Louis River in Floodwood, evacuations are also under way for a few blocks near the river.

The St. Louis River continues to slowly climb as it nears it's record crest about 0.5ft higher than the previous record.
Member Since: September 28, 2002 Posts: 5 Comments: 3193
1348. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38500
A SHARP TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO
IS PRODUCING A LARGE AREA OF CLOUDINESS...SHOWERS...AND
THUNDERSTORMS THAT EXTEND FROM THE NORTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA
ACROSS CUBA TO THE BAHAMAS AND FLORIDA. STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS
OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO ARE EXPECTED TO GRADUALLY DIMINISH...AND
SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT IS POSSIBLE AS THE DISTURBANCE MOVES SLOWLY
NORTHWESTWARD TOWARD THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO OVER THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. HEAVY RAINS
AND LOCALIZED FLOODING ARE POSSIBLE ACROSS WESTERN CUBA...SOUTHERN
FLORIDA...THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS...AND THE YUCATAN PENINSULA THROUGH
FRIDAY.


30%
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2413
Janiel, I'm having a hard time getting the chat to pull up.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32042
1345. ncstorm
rain area is expanding

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15288
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I'm assuming that if the circulation near the Yucatan peninsula were to become dominant, then the likelihood of a Florida path would be far less plausible as a more southerly-located system would not constitute towards that much of a poleward track that would allow for troughiness to pick it up.


The Yucatan low is fairly stationary near 19 N and 92 W while the GOM low pressure seems to be on a slow heading between WNW and NW near 24 N and 85 W. The timing of the high that is forecast to build from the East will determine if whatever develops makes it either across Florida or WNW into Texas or Northern Mexico.
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ok it is really time for them too make this 96L now
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if wind shear gets too low then we will relly need too watch this when it enter the gulf
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Quoting LargoFl:


What does that blob of blue and white over E. Central FL indicate on that map?
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Code Orange :D

Who's ready for an invest?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32042

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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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