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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mostly a lurker here.. But I have to say something.. even thinking about believing a models intensity forecast, prior to the storms formation, is ridiculous..
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If Chris becomes a hurricane it will remind me of Shary of 2010.
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

It wouldn't surprise me to see him upgraded to 60mph-65mph by 5PM.

He's moving at a very fast clip.

No kidding. Looks like he found the gas pedal. I haven't seen any hard data to support it, but based on structure, 60mph wouldn't shock me.
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I wonder how having Low pressure in the Southern GOM affects the development and path.
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Quoting JrWeathermanFL:
Link
My Blog for today


Thanks for the blog update JrWeathermanFL..
Nice,short and to the point :)
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Quoting gator23:

As a Cuban, I am sad to call him a Cuban, as a human I sad for him and as a person I wonder does he have a job?


He works at my weather office in Doral.

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Quoting ncstorm:


Jeff, is it your mission on this blog to contradict everything..how am I being bias if the models have been wrong so far this season on every storm we have..and you guys always end up wrong calling out cold core or non tropical..just sit back and wait which is what I am going to do..I have yet to see anyone say from your group of naysayers they were wrong..


Yes. (please be sure your sarcasm-meter is powered on for the previous statement)

Actually, I freely admit I was wrong with Beryl. I didn't see her getting as strong as she did. I also said yesterday before the NHC named Chris that he had a decent chance at forming (this was several hours before it was official). I'm not trying to be contradictory, as I have agreed with what quite a few people have said. Where I have issue is when people look only at one model, and hold it as gospel. Last season, it was the ECMWF. This year, it looks like the GFS is the lucky one.

I am sitting back and waiting... actually, trying to encourage that. Saying a storm is for sure "cold core" or "fully tropical" on a model that you specifically say has not been accurate seems kinda silly. If the model has been so accurate, why post it so much?
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


All you have to do is just whip up a new email address and you could circumnavigate it. That's what he has been doing.


If that is all needed, then there is no such IP banning in the blog... which makes the blog very vulnerable... No wonder why there are billions of emails in existence....
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Quoting jeffs713:

No kidding. If he wasn't so far north, I'd call him a strong TS / weak cat 1 based solely upon satellite presentation.

It wouldn't surprise me to see him upgraded to 60mph-65mph by 5PM.

He's moving at a very fast clip.
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5725
Quoting ncstorm:


985mb


That looks pretty rough!
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Quoting ncstorm:


985mb


could be an extratropical mess
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Quoting jeffs713:

Or he has just WAY too much free time, and has an inferiority complex where he demands constant attention from people who enjoy weather.


All you have to do is just whip up a new email address and you could circumnavigate it. That's what he has been doing.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24579
Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:


Keeper, do you believe this will be a threater to South Florida, ^_^.


No, my compadre
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


That's one heck of a nasty extra-tropical low moving into New England, that could cause problems if it where to verify.


I know right..I will say whether its extratropical or tropical..the effects will still be the same..lots of wind and rain..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225
Quoting jeffs713:

Or he has just WAY too much free time, and has an inferiority complex where he demands constant attention from people who enjoy weather.

As a Cuban, I am sad to call him a Cuban, as a human I sad for him and as a person I wonder does he have a job?
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2182
321. 7544
interesting could we reach 4 name storms before june ends
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Ain't the UKMET something?

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Quoting jeffs713:

What makes you think that? It is merging with the trough (you can tell by the isobars and also the vort getting stretched out). On the 162hr map, you can see the low isn't even attached to the area of greatest vorticity.

I see bias.


Jeff, is it your mission on this blog to contradict everything..how am I being bias if the models have been wrong so far this season on every storm we had..and you guys always end up wrong calling out cold core or non tropical..just sit back and wait which is what I am going to do..I have yet to see anyone say from your group of naysayers they were wrong..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225
Quoting tropicfreak:


He came on here last night as a different handle. How the heck does he keep circumventing his ban??


Either:

WU does not checks IP so you can come back and create another handle

Or he is blogging from another computer, an internet cafe or other place with a different IP

Or he's using one of those programs that hide and cover your real IP, available in the Internet....
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Quoting ncstorm:


985mb


That's one heck of a nasty extra-tropical low moving into New England, that could cause problems if it where to verify.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24579
Quoting CybrTeddy:


This is 100% extra-tropical by the time it leaves Florida, don't just use the 850mb vort as it can be misleading in that regard.



Gotcha!
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Quoting Gorty:


Is this seriously gonna be a threat to New England?


985mb
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

That is one nice-looking weak Tropical Storm.

No kidding. If he wasn't so far north, I'd call him a strong TS / weak cat 1 based solely upon satellite presentation.
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9 mins old
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.....................how is the wind down there in these thunderstorms?
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Complicated situation in the GOM and Caribbean right now.

Link 8 a.m. Tropical Weather Discussion
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Quoting Gorty:


Is this seriously gonna be a threat to New England?


If you man Tom Brady's age then yes. If you mean the storm then no/too early to tell.
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2182
Quoting Gorty:


Is this seriously gonna be a threat to New England?

doubt it.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Tropical Storm Chris.

That is one nice-looking weak Tropical Storm.
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5725
Quoting ncstorm:


the models have been wrong all season on warm core..cold core..tropical and non tropical..
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Doesn't appear that way to me. It's still tropical even as the trough scoopes this up.

What makes you think that? It is merging with the trough (you can tell by the isobars and also the vort getting stretched out). On the 162hr map, you can see the low isn't even attached to the area of greatest vorticity.

I see bias.
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Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:
Teddy, could we see a trough that deep and powerful as the GFS has advertised in this run? for late-June standards!

I mean sure why not. Its summer the trough may hit the gym to bulk up and get more powerful.
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2182
i think in the last gfs the ridge and the trough get deadlocked trying to pull debby away, and then the trough wins.

so far the women are the dangerous ones this year ;)
So ernesto will be a fish storm
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301. Gorty
Quoting ncstorm:
988mb..


Is this seriously gonna be a threat to New England?
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.............................good to see Texas still getting rain showers
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Tropical Storm Chris.
looks to have a chance at min. hurricane status maybe
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Doesn't the Euro overdo the troughs or is it the GFS?
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Quoting Gorty:


Isnt a cat 1 close to 980 mb?


Cat one could be 990, 991, 992, 993, 994 also. There is really no defined point of pressure for storms.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:


Doesn't appear that way to me. It's still tropical even as the trough scoopes this up.


This is 100% extra-tropical by the time it leaves Florida, don't just use the 850mb vort as it can be misleading in that regard.

Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24579
As mentioned by many, this is a complex one to figure even for the models and conditions seem to change every few hours (Mother Nature figuring out which way to go).

The Gulf has been vacillating between dry and wet now since yesterday or even this morning; Dr. M's Blog entry at 9:30 noted the dry air in the Gulf on the WV loops, and now a few hours later, the moisture is starting to fill in again.


Link

It's going to boil to what happens to the sheer levels between now and 72-120 hours out in terms of the span between a sheered depression/rain event on up to TS as it comes ashore in Florida later in the week
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9413
Shear is decreasing in the Caribbean but increasing in the GOM so IMO anyhow this heads towards the west coast of Florida there is not much chance for anything to develop. Shear is way too high.
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988mb..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Extra-tropical.


Doesn't appear that way to me. It's still tropical even as the trough scoopes this up.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Extra-tropical.


the models have been wrong all season on warm core..cold core..tropical and non tropical..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225

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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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