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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Low Cloud Product- LSU
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
..I see swirl's within swirl's..
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127355
Quoting Patrap:


I was going on memory and God knows it isn't too good,


Dat I can savvy, and relate to.


OK, thanks.
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Quoting kwgirl:
Good night all. see you tomorrow. Keep a watch on the swirl for me.:)
.....will do..gnight
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985. MahFL
26 kt's of shear is not helping in the GOM.
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Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 112 Comments: 31317
another naked swirl down in deep south BOC
swirles everywhere storm of swirls
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
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Good night all. see you tomorrow. Keep a watch on the swirl for me.:)
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Quoting Patrap:
The Summer Solstice arrive's at 6:09pm CDT this evening.


For those who can't do the math here on the east coast... it's 7:09 EDT.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6872
Quoting Dodabear:


??????????????


I was going on memory and God knows it isn't too good,


Dat I can savvy, and relate to.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127355
...CHRIS HEADING TOWARD COOLER WATERS...HAS PROBABLY REACHED ITS PEAK INTENSITY...
5:00 PM AST Wed Jun 20
Location: 38.5°N 49.0°W
Moving: E at 21 mph
Min pressure: 997 mb
Max sustained: 60 mph
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Quoting Patrap:
Gulf Of Mexico - Rainbow Loop

ZOOM is available

Those are some REALLY cold cloud tops south of Cuba.....
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Quoting Patrap:


Dat I ca savvy, and relate to.



??????????????
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Quoting icmoore:



Don't want even a minor cane. I am on about a block from Gulf Blvd elevation 1-3 ft with canals on 3 sides.
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. :)
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Quoting tropicfreak:


Hmph... well I'll be darned.

Quoting allancalderini:
If something develops in there I would be shock but is not impossible either.
As I said earlier this is still 10 days out.A lot of things can change.Just something to keep in mind as we get closer to "prime time".When the season really starts.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16325
The Summer Solstice arrive's at 6:09pm CDT this evening.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127355
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Quoting Patrap:


Mayan..

Definitely


Actually improper placement and compaction of fill dirt is probably the cause, but I blame the Mayans too.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127355
Quoting Patrap:


Mayan..

Definitely
..lol its starting huh
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967. xcool
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Quoting LargoFl:
..................a Sinkhole opened up today in Hudson Florida and took the back of this house with it


Mayan..

Definitely
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127355
Quoting washingtonian115:
Not according to the GFS and Euro.Shows something closed headed for the caribbean that developed from a wave exiting off the coast.This is all speculation at this point in time though.I'm still skeptical.


Hmph... well I'll be darned.

Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6872
.
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2290
Quoting StormHype:


You won't need to worry about a major cane here. It's June, plus shear is going to stay high enough over the next week where it probably won't be more than a TS. The rain is going to be the news from this one.... unless it's all 'fish' rain.



Don't want even a minor cane. I am on about a block from Gulf Blvd elevation 1-3 ft with canals on 3 sides.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Not according to the GFS and Euro.Shows something closed headed for the caribbean that developed from a wave exiting off the coast.This is all speculation at this point in time though.I'm still skeptical.
If something develops in there I would be shock but is not impossible either.
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..................a Sinkhole opened up today in Hudson Florida and took the back of this house with it
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By the way the models show this 240 hours out in "fantasy land" 'round about 10 days from now.This season has already been whacky.It's not unheard of to get storms out their that early.Bertha 08 is a good example.The models have to be consistent though.GFS has been showing it for on and off.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16325
Quoting kwgirl:
Thanks Pat. Real interesting. I was going on memory and God knows it isn't too good, but I thought it could have been the local denizens. LOL


That info came to me just last night. Colbert I believe with Dennis Leary.

I was going on memory and God knows it isn't too good,


Dat I can savvy, and relate to.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127355


these Observation would suggest the only surface circulation is ENE of Roatan, between there and Grand Cayman.
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Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:


We don't look out there this time of the year!

It's still possible to get a storm from the eastern/central Atlantic though...
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**5:00 PM ADVISORY**
(click to enlarge)
Member Since: June 29, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 5300
Hoping for the N wind to keepa da AC in slew at lest.

: )
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 419 Comments: 127355
Quoting nigel20:

What's up, wannabe?


Just chilling watching all the madness on the Blog and in the Tropics.....This is the most exiting June I have seen on the Blog since I joined in 06.......Lol.
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8704


Member Since: August 19, 2005 Posts: 5 Comments: 5020
Wrote up a tropical update. Also, only in the interest of live moderation and the fact I keep on having to refresh multiple times to see new posts without an error, if anyone feels keen on coming over and discussing the tropics with me feel absolutely free.
Watching Chris, Caribbean disturbance - 6/20/12
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Quoting tropicfreak:


It is a bit early to be seeing Cape Verde systems, no?
Not according to the GFS and Euro.Shows something closed headed for the caribbean that developed from a wave exiting off the coast.This is all speculation at this point in time though.I'm still skeptical.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16325
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
My vote right now is for the Yucatan low; but I could change my mind tomorrow morning........

What's up, wannabe?
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No need for head swelling...

Quoting Patrap:



Obviously you havent read the TOS nor Community Standards.

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946. MahFL
There is our naked girl.....

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My vote right now is for the Yucatan low; but I could change my mind tomorrow morning........
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 8704
Quoting washingtonian115:
And after this mess in the caribbean/Gulf is gone the fun doesn't end their.Look to Africa for our next area of interest.Oh this should be fun...


It is a bit early to be seeing Cape Verde systems, no?
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6872
18z NAM at 48hrs

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297
WTNT43 KNHC 202033
TCDAT3

TROPICAL STORM CHRIS DISCUSSION NUMBER 5
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL032012
500 PM AST WED JUN 20 2012

ALTHOUGH ONLY A FEW BANDING FEATURES ARE SEEN IN INFRARED SATELLITE
PICTURES...VISIBLE IMAGERY SHOWS SEVERAL BANDS OF SHOWERS ROTATING
AROUND THE CENTER. IN FACT...A RECENT SSMI MICROWAVE IMAGE
REVEALED A RING OF CONVECTION THAT WRAPPED A LITTLE MORE THAN
HALFWAY AROUND THE CENTER. AN ASCAT PASS THAT ARRIVED SHORTLY
AFTER THE RELEASE OF THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY HAD A COUPLE 40-KT WIND
VECTORS OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN QUADRANT. GIVEN THE LOW BIAS OF THAT
INSTRUMENT AND THE IMPROVED STRUCTURE IN MICROWAVE IMAGERY SINCE
THAT TIME...THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS INCREASED TO 50 KT.

IT IS DOUBTFUL THAT CHRIS WILL STRENGTHEN ANY FURTHER AS A TROPICAL
CYCLONE SINCE IT WILL BE MOVING OVER COLDER WATER WITHIN 12 HOURS.
THE GLOBAL MODELS CONTINUE TO PREDICT THAT THE CYCLONE WILL
MAINTAIN ITS INTENSITY OR PERHAPS STRENGTHEN A LITTLE AS A
BAROCLINIC SYSTEM ON THURSDAY. AFTER 36 HOURS...GRADUAL WEAKENING
IS EXPECTED...AND THE SYSTEM IS LIKELY TO MERGE WITH A LARGER
EXTRATROPICAL LOW IN ABOUT 3 DAYS.

CHRIS IS MOVING EASTWARD OR 085 DEGREES AT 18 KT. THE CYCLONE SHOULD
TURN NORTHEASTWARD...THEN NORTHWARD AS AN UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH TO ITS
NORTHWEST CUTS OFF. THE POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE IS FORECAST TO
ROTATE CYCLONICALLY AROUND THE UPPER-LOW BEFORE THE MERGER TAKES
PLACE.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 20/2100Z 38.5N 49.0W 50 KT 60 MPH
12H 21/0600Z 39.4N 45.8W 50 KT 60 MPH
24H 21/1800Z 41.7N 42.9W 50 KT 60 MPH...POST-TROPICAL
36H 22/0600Z 44.3N 42.7W 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
48H 22/1800Z 44.2N 44.0W 40 KT 45 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
72H 23/1800Z 42.5N 43.5W 30 KT 35 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
96H 24/1800Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER BROWN

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And after this mess in the caribbean/Gulf is gone the fun doesn't end their.Look to Africa for our next area of interest.Oh this should be fun...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16325
Quoting tropicfreak:


Just as I suspected. Think it may have been a little stronger between 11 and 5. This could be reviewable in the post-season analysis.

Agreed.
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Quoting icmoore:
Hey Largo or any people from Pinellis County while I was looking online because some showed the "possible" 10 ft waves in Tampa I found this link with lots of interesting things including this.
Maximum Threat: The worst case scenario for Pinellas County is a Category 5 Hurricane heading northeast at less than 15 miles per hour that makes landfall at high tide near New Port Richey. A 24 foot storm surge would inundate almost half of the County while the winds would destroy hundreds if not thousands of homes and cause damage to thousands more.
There are a lot of interesting facts about evacuation, etc. I don't want a storm or to be evacuated because as someone said earlier it disrupts your whole life....

Link


You won't need to worry about a major cane here. It's June, plus shear is going to stay high enough over the next week where it probably won't be more than a TS. The rain is going to be the news from this one.... unless it's all 'fish' rain.
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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.