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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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
Link
Chris
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It's a rainmaker alright.


Link WV Loop
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Quoting ncstorm:
993mb


Just south of you now on this run. You guys may need to watch this as well.
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Quoting ncstorm:
993mb


Extra-tropical.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24580
Tropical Storm Chris.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24580
Quoting 7544:


ccould be alittle further south on the next few runs but in only 4 days be a hurricane ?
every day the gfs puts out something different,its been telling us for weeks florida was in trouble..poof, we had a dry spell,dont get worried UNTIL something forms in REAL life..then prepare if your not prepared for a storm already, models can change even within hours
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993mb
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225
279. Gorty
Quoting DavidHOUTX:


Cat 1 right there into Tampa


Isnt a cat 1 close to 980 mb?
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So GFS has a strong tropical storm hitting the west coast of Florida.... will be interesting to see what it does once it reemerges into the Atlantic over the gulf stream.
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277. 7544
Quoting RussianWinter:
So how much rain in the next week or so are we getting in South FL?



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Getting interesting in the Gulf... models hinting more than the experts right now.
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Those totals all way over doing it lol take as a grain of salt
Member Since: June 4, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 767
Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:


Oh, cut me some slack! It was unnoticed topographical error as I was typing it up!

Want me to prize you for noticing it?
typographical. Have a great day and enjoy the rain when it reaches you.
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272. xcool
I'm not putting much faith GFS model until we get an invest
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
GFS precip accum thru Monday. GEESH!!!



Alrighty now that will be quite enough of that LOL!! As I always say just say NO to floods :) Hope that doesn't end up being right.
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270. 7544
Quoting StormTracker2K:
995mb to 996mb as it exit FL.



looks like all of fla espeacily from tampa south will get alot of action from this on this run more rain in store and more wind
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
995mb to 996mb as it exit FL.



Cat 1 right there into Tampa
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nam depicts 1008 mb low south of LA off shore north central gulf coast in 54 hrs

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Quoting gator23:


No thanks, he said it wouldnt even be near Florida.


Thanks as the models aren't all over the place either. Euro and GFS are eerily similar now.

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I tell ya, that's an incredibly strong trough for June.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24580
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Good morning JFV. When you make a new handle which is against the rules of the blog you should at least try to spell the word SOUTH correctly.


He came on here last night as a different handle. How the heck does he keep circumventing his ban??
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So how much rain in the next week or so are we getting in South FL?
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Quoting HouGalv08:
See Levi32 blog. Like he says, until we get an invest or a Low feed into the computers, the models are going to be all over the place.


No thanks, he said it wouldnt even be near Florida.
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Quoting hurricane23:
Here ya go 1000mb cat5 hits tampa.



Wait what?
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995mb to 996mb as it exit FL.

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Lol calm down 2k this may not happen in that side of the gom.
Member Since: June 4, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 767
See Levi32 blog. Like he says, until we get an invest or a Low feed into the computers, the models are going to be all over the place.
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GFS wants to make the system extra-tropical as soon as it leaves Florida.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24580
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Nah, only if they're smaller systems. This appears to be an average size TS, so the pressure and wind ratio is much closer.


I disagree as typically these storms end up stronger. The fact that the GFS and Euro are really developing a TS cyclone is really worrisome especially with 84 degree SST's off the west coast of FL a ridge aloft. This could spell trouble!
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254. 7544
ok maybe now the nhc will tag this 96l after these model run s and only 4 days away
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What makes these type of storms dangerous is the relatively short time to prepare if intesification does occur.

Also, does anyone happen to have the newest sheer maps handy. @ work and don't have access to those items At the moment.

Thanks!
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looks like a inverted surface trough trying to possibly close a surface low about 100miles west of KW!
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Category 1 hurricane

Pressures-980–994 mba
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225
Here ya go 1000mb cat5 hits tampa.

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GFS precip accum thru Monday. GEESH!!!

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Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:


Indeed, Mr. Guilet!
Good morning JFV. When you make a new handle which is against the rules of the blog you should at least try to spell the word SOUTH correctly.
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Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:


That shear is dropping rapidly, my man!


I don't know about how rapidly; the tendancy is decreasing but not enough, at present, to allow any substantial development in the short-term.

Link
Member Since: August 8, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9413
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Thank you! These models tend to under estimate the strength some.



Nah, only if they're smaller systems. This appears to be an average size TS, so the pressure and wind ratio is much closer.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24580
244. xcool
thank jfv SotuhFloridian2012
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Quoting MississippiWx:


You have to look at the pressure being shown on the maps. Some of the maps you are showing are pretty dramatic with the isobars. I'd be more worried about what's happening at the surface, not at 500mb.


+1
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Quoting ncstorm:


He did say "could"..


Thank you! These models tend to under estimate the strength some.

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240. 7544
Quoting ncstorm:
Look like the GFS may just try to put a hurricane at Florida's doorstep this weekend..


ccould be alittle further south on the next few runs but in only 4 days be a hurricane ?
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997mb out 132 hours, probably a 60mph TS.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24580

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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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