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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1039. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40993
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:


Does that up Floridas chances for landfall? If it is correct of course.....lol
It could.It all depends on if the storm catches the trof or not.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17485
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Ouch...


Did the US just get oven baked?
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1035. Patrap
One can use the Menu for SST's, MSLP and lon/lat and other.

Gulf Of Mexico - False Color RGB Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
1034. icmoore
Quoting icmoore:


It is funny ... believe me I have said things for years about people lucky or silly enough to live this close to the beach that I so love...not trying to complain or whine but this is my first season here after living in a home in NE Fl near Gainesvile with not a chance in heck to flood. I knew that for 25 years so I'm a wee bit off balance until I see how it works. This tiny cottage has been here since 1947 so I'm not too worried.



And luckily we didn't have to pay "extra" 'cause we wouldn't have had it..we were lucky and fell into a foreclosure/short sale on a 727 SF cottage :) After 39 years of marriage and kids we were ready to downsize. We are lucky enough to have found it and to have all our insurance in place.
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Debby if it forms will she be a mean girl or just a rain soaked to the USA what do you think ?
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
IMO that is where the TD or TS will come from. All the moisture coming up from the Caribbean will just be fuel for it.

yeah right with 50kt shear plust it increasing on the circulation I don't think so
plus the upper level anticyclone is in the GOH giving the developing circulation near Honduras lower shear

also convection near us is starting to expand Sward
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
@JFV,

What I think is that what we're seeing is that broad low in the Caribbean is spitting off multiple lows all around. But, I think we will see 96L tagged late tonight or tomorrow @ around 21N 85W


Teddy I would agree with that!
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Ouch...

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
Quoting washingtonian115:
That the ridge is has has been eroded by the trof.


Does that up Floridas chances for landfall? If it is correct of course.....lol
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832 hydrus: I meant that it will surpass our current strangeness. You sound offended by my statement. I hope not.

Sorry for sounding as if I were offended. I just found a hunch/prediction of weird weather ahead as if such weirdness would be new to be funny.
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These models have no idea guys. I can't make heads or tails of this mess I don't see how any model can...Models or suited to model a point in space moving within a Lagrangian framework which means its a point in space moving with the flow. So if the model does not have an initial grid space box or point to latch on to then they are going to be all over the place. Once this system develops a consolidated area of low pressure and its coordinates are tagged i think the models will come into much more of an agreement.
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1026. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40993
1025. Patrap
GOM ESL by LSU GOES-13 Low Cloud Product Loop
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
another naked swirl down in deep south BOC
swirles everywhere storm of swirls


Anyone see a tiny swirl in southern BOC around 94W and 19N?

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Quoting bayoubug:
For what it's worth i'm going with the swirl about to emerge off the Yucatan peninsula....


That area does seem to be in the least amount of shear.

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1022. LargoFl
Quoting Jedkins01:
Alright, so if the recent model trends continue, we might just see one of the most active weather periods in many years for Tampa Bay. We have repeatedly dodged many weather events for a while, but the way things are panning out and the way models are trending, I believe that may come to a crashing end, lol.
....i dunno Jed, if you look closely at the model tracks that say..heading towards florida..all of them, if you look closely, put it in florida above tampa bay, maybe tarpon springs and north, if this happens we here get the tail end of it..hopefully keeping the bad winds away...but of course..things can change in a week
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40993
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
@JFV,

What I think is that what we're seeing is that broad low in the Caribbean is spitting off multiple lows all around. But, I think we will see 96L tagged late tonight or tomorrow @ around 21N 85W
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24484
Quoting bayoubug:
For what it's worth i'm going with the swirl about to emerge off the Yucatan peninsula....

I saw that too.
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1017. Patrap
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
IMO that is where the TD or TS will come from. All the moisture coming up from the Caribbean will just be fuel for it.


If that track Nnw or NW thru time comes to fruition and shear relaxes, that would take it across the Warmest GOM SSTS.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
It won't be declared an invest until they have a dominant low. They can't have co-ordinates of so many circulations therefore they have to wait until and IF they get a dominant circulation.

We already have a dominant circulation. There may be other lows, but they're weaker. I honestly have no idea why this hasn't been designated yet (especially considering it is a threat to the USA). The only thing I can think of is they want it to get a Code Orange on it first.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
For what it's worth i'm going with the swirl about to emerge off the Yucatan peninsula....
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hey guys I can now say for sure we have three (3) distinct low level spins one around 24.4N 84.5W movement W another around 20N 90W movement N and the last one is more like formimg somewhere between Roatan Honduras and Grand Cayman movement off to the N-NNE
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
It won't be declared an invest until they have a dominant low. They can't have co-ordinates of so many circulations therefore they have to wait until and IF they get a dominant circulation.


I agree.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
The closest buoy to the low-level center off the NW tip of Cuba is reporting a pressure of 1011 millibars and falling.


Too lazy to look at it, but does it not look like a diurnal pressure change?
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Quoting Patrap:
Gulf Of Mexico - False Color RGB Loop

That overall in the Eastern GOM is consolidating a nest Low center, 200 miles due west of Key West.
IMO that is where the TD or TS will come from. All the moisture coming up from the Caribbean will just be fuel for it.
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Quoting LargoFl:
..................a Sinkhole opened up today in Hudson Florida and took the back of this house with it


Welcome to Pasco County... Sinkhole County! of world lol:)
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1008. icmoore
Quoting kwgirl:
I love the way everyone pays extra for waterside lots And loves it, until the first 'cane pushes the ocean into your house. I lived on a Salt pond once, upstairs, but I couldn't stand the way everything corroded so fast. So I live a few blocks away now. :)


It is funny ... believe me I have said things for years about people lucky or silly enough to live this close to the beach that I so love...not trying to complain or whine but this is my first season here after living in a home in NE Fl near Gainesvile with not a chance in heck to flood. I knew that for 25 years so I'm a wee bit off balance until I see how it works. This tiny cottage has been here since 1947 so I'm not too worried.
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1007. Patrap
Summer solstice 2012
Monica Henderson


Despite the fact that Baton Rouge has been experiencing summertime temperatures for quite a few weeks, the Summer Solstice is just now upon us. The longest day of the year will begin with a sunrise at 6:03 am on Wednesday, June 20, and end with an 8:09 pm sunset followed by a new moon. Although celebration of this great event traditionally takes place over several days, the official instant of time of the solstice is 6:09 pm cst.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
Quoting aspectre:
781 DavidHOUTX I think I was mistaken for a troll. My comment count reset and the blog was not showing me for a second.. has that happened to anyone else?

Resets often ?always? happen to those who start up their own WUblogs. Once the personal WUblog has been initiated, further personal-blogging won't affect the Post or Comment counts.
Didn't useta be that way, but it's been happening for a while now.


Thank you very much for that information.
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Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:


Where is it, keeper? My head is pinning here. Really though, it's so confusing!

PLEASE declare this an invest already, NHC, =(.
It won't be declared an invest until they have a dominant low. They can't have co-ordinates of so many circulations therefore they have to wait until and IF they get a dominant circulation.
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1004. MahFL
One of these days we will get a system with zero shear from day 1 to dispersion , and won't that be quite a sight ?......one of these days......
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1003. Patrap
Gulf Of Mexico - False Color RGB Loop

That overall in the Eastern GOM is consolidating a nest Low center, 200 miles due west of Key West.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093


Do we believe the GFS or the CMC?
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Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:


Where is it, keeper? My head is pinning here. Really though, it's so confusing!

PLEASE declare this an invest already, NHC, =(.
No kidding!
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Alright, so if the recent model trends continue, we might just see one of the most active weather periods in many years for Tampa Bay. We have repeatedly dodged many weather events for a while, but the way things are panning out and the way models are trending, I believe that may come to a crashing end, lol.
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Swirl in SE Gulf NW of Cuba moving west
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The closest buoy to the low-level center off the NW tip of Cuba is reporting a pressure of 1011 millibars and falling.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
..................hmmm next wens could be interesting IF..this model is right
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 40993
781 DavidHOUTX I think I was mistaken for a troll. My comment count reset and the blog was not showing me for a second.. has that happened to anyone else?

Resets often ?always? happen to those who start up their own WUblogs. Once the personal WUblog has been initiated, further personal-blogging won't reset the Post or Comment counts.
Didn't useta be that way, but it's been happening for a while now.
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
another naked swirl down in deep south BOC
swirles everywhere storm of swirls

Hey Keeper...do you think we'll see development out of this?
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
another naked swirl down in deep south BOC
swirles everywhere storm of swirls


Classic example of shear.
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GOM Mayan 2012 Tropical Swirl-a-palooza ?
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 129093
All these swirls are making me dizzy. Who's got the dramamine?
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Low Cloud Product- LSU
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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.