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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837. Not sure, but I don't think I'm crazy enough for this party. Hasta manana.
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Quoting Stormchaser121:
Is there 2 storms?? One looks to be going to Florida...and the other one looks to hit TX/LA??


I have no idea anymore. But it looks like battling models more than storms. But we shall see. :)
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Quoting Stormchaser121:

Whats your idea?


That the system gets into the northwest gulf and makes landfall in Texas or northern Mexico.
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I just found on wikipedia that the 1932 Cuba hurricane was a category 5, when was that decided? can someone confirm this?
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Gulf Of Mexico - Rainbow Loop

ZOOM is available
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125418
Quoting aspectre:
753 hydrus: This is only a hunch on my part, but we will see some of the strangest weather ever witnessed in the next ten days right here in the good ole U.S of A.

So it's the same ol' same ol', eh? We've been seeing "some of the strangest weather ever witnessed" since the beginning of this year... at least.
I meant that it will surpass our current strangeness. You sound offended by my statement. I hope not.
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822. Individual ensemble members don't usually beat the operational run, but ensemble means do.
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Quoting Levi32:


The fact that it takes so long for the storm to turn around and go back to Florida shows how unstable this forecasting situation is, but I find the intensity most interesting. It almost looks subtropical, with the model intensifying the storm to 992mb underneath the eastern side of an upper low. In fact it looks very sheared throughout the intensification period. The Euro has been known to overdo the intensity of northeastward-moving entities in the Gulf of Mexico and southwest Atlantic.

The GFS shows it only 4 millibars weaker at landfall north of Tampa.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30237
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Quoting Levi32:
12z GFS ensembles, 12z CMC, and 12z UKMET are back to showing support for my NW gulf idea:






Whats your idea?
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I don't know why I haven't asked this already, but what disturbance are we talking about, the one near Cuba or the one in the Bay of Campeche? I am confused.
I think it's the Cuba one but IDK.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Hey Levi, what do you think about the ECMWF 12z in terms of the supposed track/intensity?


The fact that it takes so long for the storm to turn around and go back to Florida shows how unstable this forecasting situation is, but I find the intensity most interesting. It almost looks subtropical, with the model intensifying the storm to 992mb underneath the eastern side of an upper low. In fact it looks very sheared throughout the intensification period. The Euro has been known to overdo the intensity of northeastward-moving entities in the Gulf of Mexico and southwest Atlantic.
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10 footers for Tampa on the 25.?
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Ok. Now I'm really confuzzled. To me it looked like the EURO lost the ridge. But hey what do I know. And subtropical huh???? Lol.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAKE CHARLES LA
218 PM CDT WED JUN 20 2012

.SYNOPSIS...ALTHOUGH A WAVE FROM CARIBBEAN IS MOVING INTO THE
SOUTHEASTERN GULF OF MEXICO, DYNAMIC HIGH PRESSURE COVERING MUCH
OF THE EASTERN U.S. IS BUILDING FROM THE EAST INTO OUR REGION AND
WILL BECOME THE DOMINANT WEATHER INFLUENCE OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.
THIS WILL RESULT IN HIGHER DAYTIME TEMPERATURES DUE TO THE EFFECTS
OF DRIER AIR AND SUBSIDENCE. OVERNIGHT TEMPERATURES WILL FALL BACK
TO NEAR AVERAGE OR SLIGHT BELOW AS WINDS REMAIN OFFSHORE, NEGATING
OUR TYPICAL MARINE INFLUENCE.

&&

.SHORT TERM...WENT SLIGHTLY LOWER THAN GUIDANCE ON TEMPS TNITE AS
DEW POINTS ARE ALREADY FALLING BELOW PREDICTED LEVELS FOR MOST LOCATIONS.
BY FRIDAY THE EURO WHICH HAS BEEN CONSISTENT ON THE EVOLUTION OF
THE BROAD SCALE WAVE BRINGS THE STACKED LOW OVER THE SOUTH CENTRAL
GULF BY FRIDAY. UPPER LEVEL SUBSIDENCE SHOULD BE STRONG ON THE
PEREPHERY WHERE OUR AREA RESIDES SO WENT WITH HIGHER THAN MODEL
GUIDANCE WHICH IS ALSO ABOVE CLIMO FOR FRIDAY...OUR HOTTEST DAY.

&&

.LONG TERM...HIGH PRESSURE BUILDS OUT OF THE SOUTHERN PLAINS OVER
THE WEEKEND HELPING TO PROVIDE A BARRIER TO ANY NORTHWARD MOVEMENT
OF THE GULF LOW. THE EURO RESPECTS THIS FEATURE AND KEEPS THE LOW
WELL SOUTH OF THE OUR COASTAL WATERS, EVENTUALLY TRANSITING THE
LOW TO THE EASTERN GULF. PER LATEST NCEP COORIDINATION, THIS COULD
EVOLVE FURTHER INTO A SUBTROPICAL TYPE LOW AS IT CONTINUES TO HEAD
EAST AWAY FROM OUR AREA.

SWEENEY


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Due to man made climate change, we will see record high or maybe low temperatures or maybe somewhere in the middle.

Here is my extremely valuable and highly Uneducated forecast for the next 7 days.

Something somewhere will try to spin up and bring rain some where near Mexico...or Florida or perhaps both.

Then someone will say it's because of MMCC or JFV.

Leave the forecast to the NHC, Doc, Masters, Levi, and any other bloggers that know what they are talking about.

Lighten up people, this is supposed to be fun.


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Good Lord.

Looks like someone left the looney bin door wide open.
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Quoting Articuno:

It's still unknown/to early to tell.


I'll use my darts and a map.
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Gulf of Mexico (Updated every ~10-15 mins)


Latest GOES-13 Low Cloud Product

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125418
Is there 2 storms?? One looks to be going to Florida...and the other one looks to hit TX/LA??
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753 hydrus: This is only a hunch on my part, but we will see some of the strangest weather ever witnessed in the next ten days right here in the good ole U.S of A.

So it's the same ol' same ol', eh? We've been seeing "some of the strangest weather ever witnessed" since the beginning of this year... at least.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
That is a huge plume of deep convection south of western Cuba. Very cold cloud tops...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I don't understand why this hasn't been declared an invest.

I'm on the Florida-train now by the way. Doesn't look like this will head into Texas or Louisiana anymore.


Me either, it certainly is a healthy looking AOI to only have a 20% circle and NOT be an invest.
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Earlier someone asked about the integrity of the dams along the St. Louis River west of Duluth. This article quotes Minnesota Power, owner of the structures, as saying that the dams are doing fine and although water is at very unusually high levels, they are operating within the design capacity:

http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id /234927/group/homepage/

Many times structures such as these are designed to survive up what is called the "probable maximum flood," which, in almost all cases, is more severe than the 1%/100yr event.
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813. TXCWC
WOW, just checked out the afternoon model runs. What a difference a day makes! Tropical Storm maybe even a Gulf Hurricane much more likely - the BIG question is this though - Florida or Texas?? It is tough to go against the EURO AND GFS solution of Florida - BUT GFS ENSEMBLE MEAN casts a bit of doubt on this and especially the CMC Operational. Have to see what CMC and Euro Ensembles say.
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Quoting CajunCrawfishhunter:
realistically does this thing have a shot at Texas or Louisiana?


it could hit from Florida to Texas to Mexico and thats IF it forms
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chris took a hit but is recovering
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Quoting CajunCrawfishhunter:
realistically does this thing have a shot at Texas or Louisiana?

It's still unknown/to early to tell.
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Quoting Levi32:
12z GFS ensembles, 12z CMC, and 12z UKMET are back to showing support for my NW gulf idea:





That seems to show the storm stronger than any other run I have seen.
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Hey Levi, what do you think about the ECMWF 12z in terms of the supposed track/intensity?
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I don't understand why this hasn't been declared an invest.

I'm on the Florida-train now by the way. Doesn't look like this will head into Texas or Louisiana anymore.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30237
realistically does this thing have a shot at Texas or Louisiana?
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12z GFS ensembles, 12z CMC, and 12z UKMET are back to showing support for my NW gulf idea:





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804. Jax82
850MB vorticity has consolidated a bit today and you can see the spin on visible as well.

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Quoting VR46L:


You referred to me as a troll on Monday as I made one comment about Global warming.Which I did not appreciate one little bit.And found it quite upsetting but I suppose on here any non believers in man made climate change are considered trolls.But as far as I am aware it is called weather underground and not climate change underground and would be a place for weather enthusiasts. Used to enjoy being a lurker on this blog ...


Not quite accurate. In fact, I would suggest you reread what I said. The things you were spouting were so nonsensical, so unsubstantiated, so easily correctable at a basic science level that it is an apples and oranges comparison to the current situation. And if you remember correctly, I said there were a number of reasons for this which included you just not know what you were talking about. You seem to have made the choice yourself for which one it was.
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I am somewhat surprised that our AOI has not been declared an invest yet.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


neither did i but we have the GFS, ECMWF, CMC, NAM, so i dont really see it going to TX anymore.


What are all these models missing,that people are still saying it's going to Texas????
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Okay guys lets not discuss the topics of trolls let's discuss the topic of the tropics.
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Pat, that rainbow snapshot is a thing of beauty. Much needed rain the SWFL area hopefully!
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000
FXUS62 KTBW 201757
AFDTBW

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY RUSKIN FL
157 PM EDT WED JUN 20 2012

.SHORT TERM (TONIGHT - FRIDAY)...THE 12Z GFS HAS TRENDED WESTWARD
AND WEAKER WITH THE TROUGH OF LOW PRESSURE THROUGH FRIDAY. IN
FACT...IT LOOKS VERY SIMILAR TO THE 00Z ECMWF RUN. WITH THAT IN
MIND...THE HEAVIEST RAINS SHOULD REMAIN TO OUR WEST OUT OVER THE
GULF.

THE INITIAL SURGE OF MOISTURE IS LIFTING SLOWLY NORTHWARD THROUGH
SOUTH FLORIDA AND INTO CENTRAL FLORIDA AT THIS TIME. WE HAVE
INCREASED RAIN CHANCES THROUGH THE REST OF THE DAY TO ACCOUNT FOR
THE LATEST RADAR TRENDS. AFTER THIS BATCH GOES BY...WE COULD SEE
RAIN TAPERING OFF FOR A WHILE...ESPECIALLY AFTER MIDNIGHT
TONIGHT. I THINK THERE WILL BE A SOLID AREA OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE EASTERN GULF ON THURSDAY...WITH DECREASING
RAIN CHANCES AS YOU HEAD FROM WEST TO EAST ACROSS OUR REGION. IF
WE SEE ANY SUNSHINE THURSDAY AFTERNOON...THE INTERIOR WILL SEE
SHOWERS AND STORMS POPPING UP FROM THE DAYTIME HEATING...SO EVEN
THERE WE MUST MAINTAIN AT LEAST A 50 PERCENT CHANCE OF SHOWERS AND
STORMS DURING THE AFTERNOON.

THE TROUGH SHOULD BE WELL INTO THE GULF THURSDAY NIGHT WHICH SHOULD
AGAIN KEEP HIGHEST RAIN CHANCES OFFSHORE WITH LOWER CHANCES TO THE
EAST. MOST MODELS ARE FORECASTING THIS TROUGH TO CONSOLIDATE INTO AN
AREA OF LOW PRESSURE NORTH OF THE YUCATAN BETWEEN THURSDAY NIGHT AND
FRIDAY...BUT THERE ARE DIFFERENCES IN POSITION AND INTENSITY WHICH
WILL HAVE A BIG IMPACT ON HOW MUCH RAIN WE SEE THROUGH FRIDAY. FOR
NOW...MY CONFIDENCE IS NOT HIGH ENOUGH TO GO WITH ANY MORE THAN 50
PERCENT RAIN CHANCES ON FRIDAY. THE BEST RAIN CHANCES SHOULD BE
OVER THE SOUTHERN HALF OF OUR AREA AND MOSTLY DURING THE
AFTERNOON.

AMPLE CLOUD COVER DURING THIS PERIOD SHOULD KEEP OUR TEMPERATURES A
FEW DEGREES BELOW NORMAL EACH DAY.

.LONG TERM (PREVIOUS DISCUSSION FRIDAY NIGHT-WEDNESDAY)...
NOT MUCH CHANGE TO THE ONGOING LONG TERM FORECAST. THE PERIOD STILL
BEGINS WITH A SURFACE LOW NORTH OF THE YUCATAN PENINSULA WITH
SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE OVER THE WESTERN ATLANTIC. THERE ARE STILL
SOME ONGOING DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MODEL SOLUTIONS AS FAR AS THE
EVOLUTION OF THE LOW AND THEREFORE HOW MUCH RAIN THE FORECAST AREA
WILL GET THROUGH EARLY NEXT WEEK. THE GFS IS GENERALLY THE WETTER
SOLUTION THROUGH MONDAY AS IT SHOWS THE LOW MOVING OFF THE NORTHEAST
COAST OF FLORIDA AND OUT TO SEA. THE ECMWF KEEPS MUCH OF THE RAIN
OFFSHORE UNTIL LATE SUNDAY AS THE LOW MOVES CLOSER TO THE WEST COAST
OF FLORIDA. THIS SOLUTION KEEPS US FAIRLY WET THROUGH TUESDAY WITH
THE LOW RIGHT OVER THE STATE. CONTINUED TO USE A BLEND FOR THE
FORECAST FOR NOW...BUT THERE SEEMS TO BE A GOOD CHANCE FOR SOME RAIN
ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK. DEPENDING ON RAINFALL
AND CLOUD COVER...TEMPERATURES WILL RUN A FEW DEGREES COOLER IN THE
AFTERNOON.

&&
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Quoting 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?

I still see you, and no it hasn't happened to me, that's weird. And of course I know your not a troll.
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793. JLPR2
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Just sit back and watch WU blog drama; and the occasional JFV picture.


I'm doing exactly that.
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Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:


He got Katrina right & he gives his forecasts from a toilet-seat hut.


Coming from JFV...shower curtain guy...LOL

Are you prepared for the inevitable Cat 5 Janster?
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125418
Quoting AtHomeInTX:
The highlighted part just for you Georgia. ;)

FINAL...
THE AVAILABLE 12Z GUIDANCE GAVE NO COMPELLING REASON TO MAKE MAJOR
CHANGES TO THE MORNING FORECAST. HOWEVER...SOME ADJUSTMENTS WERE
MADE IN THE GULF/SOUTHEASTERN U.S. TO REFLECT THE MEDIUM RANGE
COORDINATION CALL WITH THE HURRICANE CENTER. A GREAT AMOUNT OF
MODEL SPREAD STILL EXIST WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN AREA OF LOW
PRESSURE IN THE GULF OF MEXICO...SO THIS REMAINS A LOW CONFIDENCE
FORECAST.






whoa!!! huge adjustment..look out tampa!!!
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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.