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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1289. BrickellBreeze
11:09 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Remember that 20-25 inches forcasted for central florida?

Key west is in the running


Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
1287. kmanislander
11:07 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting AllStar17:
Very good analysis, kman.


I forgot to mention that shear over the Gulf is much higher than over the Central Yucatan where it is relatively low and has been falling. This would give the Yucatan low an edge over the other area to hold deep convection and develop. They also appear to be converging and one will become dominant in time due to proximity.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
1286. BrickellBreeze
11:07 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Key West Station:

Station SANF1
NDBC
Location: 24.454N 81.877W
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2012 22:00:00 UTC
Winds: SE (140°) at 25.1 kt gusting to 27.0 kt
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.90 in and falling
Air Temperature: 77.0 F

Confirms that a LLC is located to the WNW/NW of Key West.
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
1285. TropicalAnalystwx13
11:06 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32250
1284. wpb
11:05 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
without an invest location the models are not stable. anyone guessing when the nhc will assign a location
Member Since: May 28, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 573
1282. HarryMc
11:05 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Thanks, I believe that the we might get two tropical systems from this.

One as a weak TD in the West Gulf towards Texas/Mexico and a Weak TS into North/Central Florida and up the East Coast off of S and N Carolina


I'm still waiting till Sunday; most likely about noon-ish before deciding on what's happening. Just not enough energy there yet to give those cells a good reading with any of the model guidance.
Member Since: March 30, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 339
1281. VR46L
11:04 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting NavarreMark:
All of the swirls are going to combine into one and become The Rocket Fueled Swirl of Doom.


There is a possibility of two lows developing one for South Texas and another for North Florida...Just putting it out there as there seems to be several swirls and who is to say that two may win out
Member Since: March 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 6927
1280. allancalderini
11:04 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting Stormchaser121:
Hmmm...Florida...or Texas?
50/50 chance
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4400
1279. AllStar17
11:04 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Very good analysis, kman. I'm starting to think the Yucatan area will win out.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
1278. BrickellBreeze
11:03 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
I was mentioning this earlier with a few other bloggers.Interesting indeed.


The A/B High is in a dangerous location for all of the carribean islands, S/CA America, and of course the United States.
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
1277. biloxibob
11:03 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting NavarreMark:
All of the swirls are going to combine into one and become The Rocket Fueled Swirl of Doom.
I agree.it seems like everything is going to coagulate and form something impressive.
Member Since: August 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 138
1276. kmanislander
11:03 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Good afternoon.

A very interesting set up with the trough now. The surface map shows it extending across the Yucatan and into the SE GOM. Two distinct areas of vorticity show up both on visible imagery as well as on the maps. One is on the SW end of the trough over the Yucatan peninsula and the other is further to the NE in the area generally just West of Key West and N of the extreme Western tip of Cuba.

For now, the area just N of Cuba has a stronger 850 and 925 mb vorticity signature but the surface pressure is lower with the feature over the Yucatan and this latter feature seems to be attracting the deep convection over the NW Caribbean.

With all of this in the mix it is anyone's guess as to how this will play out but certainly a very curious situation developing.

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15842
1275. louisianaboy444
11:02 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Its very simple actually...the GFS and EURO are seeing that the eventual center of this storm will be further east thus getting caught in the trough and lifted out...The UKMET and the Canadian and other ensemble members of the GFS see the center forming off further to the west thus getting caught under the ridge. Give me an invest with an actual center and i'll be more inclined to believe those model runs. Period.
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 22 Comments: 1352
1274. LargoFl
11:02 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39052
1273. TropicalAnalystwx13
11:02 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting Skyepony:
Chris is sporting a nice Curved Band.

That's gotta be declared an invest down there soon in the Caribbean. Those blobs are consolidating. Recon is maybe checking out A LOW LEVEL INVEST AT 22/1800Z (day after tomorrow, in the afternoon) NEAR 24.0N 89.0W (middle of the Gulf of Mexico).

AF308 chucked a dropsonde 102 miles (164 km) to the WSW (247°) from Tampa, FL, USA today.

Gentle training here..a beautiful thing. 1.28in so far. Had a little tropical strengthening type~ scarce, scary cloud to ground earlier. It has more swirl absorbing to do yet. One coming over the Yucatan, when it joins up with the surface reflection now off SWFL in the mid of the Gulf of Mexico we may see it named. Not expecting it to get too strong. Still like the Brownsville area, probability pretty dry by then.

ADT numbers would be higher for Chris if the center would be analyzed in the correct location.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32250
1272. washingtonian115
11:00 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting ncstorm:
Africa



I was mentioning this earlier with a few other bloggers.Interesting indeed.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17072
1271. LargoFl
11:00 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting intampa:
finally .... rain in east tampa bay area.
sky is pretty dark over tampa, here only a drop or two so far right now
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39052
1270. SuzK
10:59 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
It seems that all the models are going to be right, and that perhaps something unprecedented may occur. Should that surprise anyone? Not anymore! I can't wait to see how the next 10 days play out, although I'm hoping it doesn't end with a 12" deluge over NE Penn!!
Member Since: October 8, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 98
1269. BrickellBreeze
10:58 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting blsealevel:


Nice
I think your close with that est.


Thanks, I believe that the we might get two tropical systems from this.

One as a weak TD in the West Gulf towards Texas/Mexico and a Weak TS into North/Central Florida and up the East Coast off of S and N Carolina
Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
1268. Skyepony (Mod)
10:55 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Chris is sporting a nice Curved Band.

That's gotta be declared an invest down there soon in the Caribbean. Those blobs are consolidating. Recon is maybe checking out A LOW LEVEL INVEST AT 22/1800Z (day after tomorrow, in the afternoon) NEAR 24.0N 89.0W (middle of the Gulf of Mexico).

AF308 chucked a dropsonde 102 miles (164 km) to the WSW (247°) from Tampa, FL, USA today.

Gentle training here..a beautiful thing. 1.28in so far. Had a little tropical strengthening type~ scarce, scary cloud to ground earlier. It has more swirl absorbing to do yet. One coming over the Yucatan, when it joins up with the surface reflection now off SWFL in the mid of the Gulf of Mexico we may see it named. Not expecting it to get too strong. Still like the Brownsville area, probability pretty dry by then.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 172 Comments: 38112
1267. Saltydogbwi1
10:54 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
looks to me like the possibility of a third low about to come off of mexico 20N 90W

Link
Member Since: October 21, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 379
1265. HurricaneHunterJoe
10:53 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting ncstorm:
18z GFS 87 hours


12Z


Heading for Florida still??
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5234
1263. MahFL
10:52 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
llc is adding wv to the atmosphere now.

Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 3539
1262. yqt1001
10:52 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Ophelia peaked a lot farther south near Bermuda.


Wasn't farther south, just farther west.
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1286
1261. LostTomorrows
10:51 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Aww, this iteration of Chris is stronger than the Chris from '06. It's kind of funny, and kind of sad at the same time.
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 601
1260. intampa
10:51 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
finally .... rain in east tampa bay area.
Member Since: July 6, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 119
1258. TropicalAnalystwx13
10:51 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting yqt1001:
Not bad for 37N in June!



This was in the area where Ophelia peaked at last October though, has some form of magic....

Ophelia peaked a lot farther south near Bermuda.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32250
1257. yqt1001
10:50 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Not bad for 37N in June!



This was in the area where Ophelia peaked at last October though, has some form of magic....
Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1286
1256. ncstorm
10:49 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Africa



Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15660
1255. blsealevel
10:48 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting BrickellBreeze:
Seems like Texas will get the LLC in the Gulf of Mexico ,and Florida/Alabama will get the mess Cuba/Keys.



Nice
I think your close with that est.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
1254. Tazmanian
10:48 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:


I know. But he doesn't listen, bro. Not mattering how many time people on here call him out because of it.

It's always slowing down my post updates, sigh, =(.

How you've been, Taz?

How was your camping trip?




it was good
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115248
1253. Stormchaser121
10:47 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting BrickellBreeze:
Seems like Texas will get the LLC in the Gulf of Mexico ,and Florida/Alabama will get the mess Cuba/Keys.


However i believe it will move more north
Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1148
1252. AllStar17
10:46 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Quoting BrickellBreeze:
Seems like Texas will get the LLC in the Gulf of Mexico ,and Florida/Alabama will get the mess Cuba/Keys.



There also appears to be some sort of low over the Yucatan that will emerge later tonight.
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5313
1251. Stormchaser121
10:45 PM GMT on June 20, 2012
Hmmm...Florida...or Texas?
Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1148
Seems like Texas will get the LLC in the Gulf of Mexico ,and Florida/Alabama will get the mess Cuba/Keys.

Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
Quoting midnite02:
JMO, half say texas and the other say Florida. I'm going to say it will go up the Mississippi River and hit St. Louis.


im saying Nova Scotia lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
Chris could become a hurricane
A. No way
B. Think he's got a shot
C. 100% yes
B
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4400
1247. LargoFl
...well so far so good,i dont see how, unless something tropical sits over us for a day or two, that we will see here..15-20 inches of rain..but then, things have not firmed up yet down there..we'll wait and see what happens
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39052
Quoting ncstorm:
I take that back..

Two storms heading for NE
really? oh please Debby and Ernesto before the month is out its almost impossible to happen , and if it happen and the low that is forecast to appear and develop near the cape verde develop into Florence I would be shock. this model is in fantasy land it needs to come into reality.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 4400
JMO, half say texas and the other say Florida. I'm going to say it will go up the Mississippi River and hit St. Louis.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1243. nigel20
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
Chris could become a hurricane
A. No way
B. Think he's got a shot
C. 100% yes

B
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
Chris could become a hurricane
A. No way
B. Think he's got a shot
C. 100% yes


B: i think hes got a shot
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
Chris could become a hurricane
A. No way
B. Think he's got a shot
C. 100% yes
Your choices are kinda limited so I am going with B. Lol 2 really narrow 1 super broad choice.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MahFL:
Cooling cloudtops, now some bright green....


Could this be the beginning?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:
Hi Taz.

I know what you mean, man.

This is his second time posting that video today. he just doesn't give up.



what he needs too do is go too image or


POST IT WHATS CALL IN A LINK IF HE CANT DO IT RIGHT
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115248

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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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