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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997mb out 132 hours, probably a 60mph TS.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24576
Quoting StormTracker2K:


Of coarse unrealistic right. I believe you said this yesterday.



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.
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Getting real close to Tampa now. Time to man those shields for real!

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Reminds me of Cindy.
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Looks like the curse of Chris continues yet again...
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Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:


Adrian.....my man; how the HECK are ya?

It looks as if our state's peninsula may be dealing with a possible TS in a few days from now.


Iam ok just reading over some the wild things that get posted on masters blog before heading to work. Concering a TC not to sure about that conditions in the gulf aren't really to ideal for significant development. Plenty of rain though for a while possibly into the weekend.
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Quoting hurricane23:


This is no hurricane! Weak sprun out depression or weak TS at most on the GFS


He did say "could"..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225
1002mb is hardly a 'hurricane',

Try 45mph TS.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24576
Quoting hurricane23:


This is no hurricane! Weak sprun out depression or weak TS at most on the GFS


Of coarse unrealistic right. I believe you said this yesterday.

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Once again typical gfs split...i aint buying that solution to fl too! This is going more west!
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You guys are something else really.
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takes it west a little and then back south

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225
Morning. Interesting to see that Chris did not "crash" after separation and seems to be doing just fine on its own power. Even healthy!

Also, as an aside, what's up with the front page record cold temps in S. Carolina? -34 F? Did someone go get ice-cream in the evening and forgot the sensor in the deep freezer for the night? http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KGYH/ 2012/06/20/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state =NA&req_statename=NA
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Quoting 10Speed:


In my firefox on my desktop box all I have to do is right click the image and I can copy the image location to the clipboard or wherever. I assume IE, chrome, etc. have a similar function. As for handhelds, tablets, portables, etc., I have no idea but I suspect they have some sort of way to acquire image information.


Ah...thanks for that tip. That worked.
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Quoting hurricane23:


This is no hurricane! Weak sprun out depression or weak TS at most on the GFS


Still weak and very broad. Probably a minimal TS, as you said.
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Hey Folks...Back for lunch from the morning grind at work. Sheer and dry air will play a big part (per CIMSS and Dr. M) on how much the Cuba mess will develop over the next few days before coming into Florida.

However, I would start to keep a close eye on the hi-res visible loops for signs of better organization over the next 48 hours and visible evidence of the sheer. The extreme Western tip of Cuba and the Yucatan Channel is a "death-trap" right now with sheer of 40-50 knots and nothing is going to spin up, except for the copious rain, in the short-term under those daunting conditions.

Link
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
This could be a hurricane coming into the West coast of FL on this run. Yikes!




This is no hurricane! Weak sprun out depression or weak TS at most on the GFS
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Link
My Blog for today
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Quoting Levi32:
What we need is this to be tagged an invest so we can get model runs going off of fixed coordinates.
,not sure why its not yet,i'd bet its tagged in the next hour,keep i eye on the navy site

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This could be a hurricane coming into the West coast of FL on this run. Yikes!


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Look like the GFS may just try to put a hurricane at Florida's doorstep this weekend..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225
still a splitting low gives way to the eastern storm, but very close to shore this run

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
Very strong TS here on the 12Z GFS west of FL.

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Quoting LargoFl:


Hey Largo, could you please provide a link to the graphic in post #103. Thanks.

Sorry...accidental duplicate post on my part.
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Quoting ncstorm:
12z GFS running




Typical... I'm not even going to personally look at the model forecasting until this situation is way out of the way...
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..Michael?

LMAO.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24576
Quoting SotuhFloridian2012:


Ha, it really has.

Quoting JrWeathermanFL:

At 9:50AM, when the tropical update on TWC comes on, it said that the storm was organizing. I said, "Pfft".
Typical..

Poof.
It made a good run though :P peaked out at 50% it's first life, and then peaked out even higher at 80%, but just couldn't pull through to become TD 4E.
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12z GFS running



Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16225
Quoting JrWeathermanFL:

Unless its Epsilion's son....

lol very true...
I don't think it out of the question, but timing is most certainly not on it's side... About 8 hours of further strengthening, and then we got ourselves a dead Chris.
96L should be interesting though :P
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
95E is has died...

At 9:50AM, when the tropical update on TWC comes on, it said that the storm was organizing. I said, "Pfft".
Typical..
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95E has died...
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Chris will likely peak out at 60-65 mph, it will probably not make it past this intensity due to a large drop off in water temperature, which would not be able to sustain a Hurricane...

Unless its Epsilion's son....
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LOL!! The Weather Events section on the WU homepage shows Greenville,South Carolina sent an all time low for this day of -34 degrees!!!
I live there several years and the lowest I ever experienced there was 7 degrees...
(Forgive me for picking on you WU :) )
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Quoting sluggosteve:


Hey Largo, could you please provide a link to the graphic in post #103. Thanks.


In my firefox on my desktop box all I have to do is right click the image and I can copy the image location to the clipboard or wherever. I assume IE, chrome, etc. have a similar function. As for handhelds, tablets, portables, etc., I have no idea but I suspect they have some sort of way to acquire image information.
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Jupiter inlet
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Quoting BahaHurican:
30 second look in... it's still sullen and sultry here... overcast, and what little breeze there is is very warm and moist.

Wow... our forecast of early and often for this season is verifying... I think we will end up with at least an average season even if the forecasted el nino does kick in.... and the later it does, the more likely we are to see 15 NS... which is what I was thinking pre-season.




i want very strong el nino, for the first time i can remember, i didnt even see a snow flurry last winter.

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9760
Quoting AllStar17:
There does appear to be some rotation to the north of Cuba and to the west of Florida in the SW Gulf.
begining.of.a.td
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Chris will likely peak out at 60-65 mph, it will probably not make it past this intensity due to a large drop off in water temperature, which would not be able to sustain a Hurricane...
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194. xcool
Invest soon get ready
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30 second look in... it's still sullen and sultry here... overcast, and what little breeze there is is very warm and moist.

Wow... our forecast of early and often for this season is verifying... I think we will end up with at least an average season even if the forecasted el nino does kick in.... and the later it does, the more likely we are to see 15 NS... which is what I was thinking pre-season.

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There does appear to be some rotation to the north of Cuba and to the west of Florida in the SW Gulf.
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Why don't the wind barbs on the West Atlantic satellite map agree with the notion of a Ridge of High Pressure over East-Central Mexico?

Is the graphic that old or what?
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Spin starting to become more evident in Sat imagery. I've circled the region where I would expect further consolidation of a SFC low as time progresses... Here's the link since the image won't show.
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From the Houston-Galveston forecast discussion:

THE CITY OF HOUSTON IS OFF TO IT`S WARMEST START IN RECORDED WEATHER HISTORY. THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE THROUGH JUNE 15TH IS CURRENTLY 69.6 DEGREES. THE SECOND WARMEST YEAR ON RECORD (THROUGH JUNE 15TH) WAS BACK IN 1911 WITH AN AVERAGE TEMPERATURE OF 69.1 DEGREES. ALL FOUR FIRST ORDER CLIMATE SITES ARE OFF TO THEIR WARMEST STARTS IN RECORDED WEATHER HISTORY [...] HOUSTON HOBBY AND COLLEGE STATION HAVE YET TO RECORD A HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD THIS YEAR.THE CITY OF HOUSTON HAS ONLY RECORDED ONE HIGH TEMPERATURE RECORD IN ALL OF 2012 (JANUARY 20TH) WHICH MAKES THE WARM START TO THE YEAR EVEN MORE IMPRESSIVE.

And here I was thinking it had been kind of cool here lately! I think that's just from what I remember of last year this time as the ridge got cranked up.
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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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