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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There's another reason Chris was upgraded to a hurricane - the T numbers.
CHRIS 03L T4.0/4.0 21/1145Z Atlantic

And although ADT numbers are low, the raw number is 4.5, corresponding to upper Category 1 strength (I think)
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 8.1.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 21 JUN 2012 Time : 124500 UTC
Lat : 40:44:20 N Lon : 43:21:01 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
3.0 / 987.6mb/ 45.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
3.0 3.4 4.5

Estimated radius of max. wind based on IR : 27 km

Center Temp : 3.1C Cloud Region Temp : -45.9C

Scene Type : EYE

Positioning Method : RING/SPIRAL COMBINATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : 0.5T/hour
Weakening Flag : OFF
Rapid Dissipation Flag : OFF

C/K/Z MSLP Estimate Inputs :
- Average 34 knot radii : 67km
- Environmental MSLP : 1010mb

Satellite Viewing Angle : 57.1 degrees

************************************************* *
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


hi charlie, you never did finish telling us what you saw in africa.
Ah yes let me create a album for you guys and upload it. Anyone know a good image sharing site that can support a large amount of photos without paying? Each image is quite large about 1.2MB.
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2337. 7544
morning all no tag yet but looks like they agreee with the gfs meanwhile the yucatan blob is getting larger is this the mess that will meet the spin to make 96l and head nne tia
Member Since: May 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6618
Quoting RitaEvac:


MAN


LOL, thats funny because i have always envisioned you as a woman because of Rita in you name.

You should have called your RitaEvacMan
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9452
2335. ncstorm
Quoting masonsnana:
I'm so afraid to ask this question but is it possible the east west conflict is maybe 2 separate storms? pls be kind, I'm one of the older ones in here and learning.


The CMC was showing two separate lows in earlier runs along with the Euro..the Euro still shows two lows while the CMC dosent..I personally think we will be looking at two storms..Debby and Ernesto one going west and one going NE
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 13451
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


are you a man or a woman?

and i found the low, the center is almost exactly on the coast with half the circulation on shore.


MAN
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
0_0 I wake up to this lovely news!


hi charlie, you never did finish telling us what you saw in africa.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9452
Quoting Bobbyweather:

We only had one storm in June, and that is Chris.
yea and debby is coming soon :)
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i cannot wait till they update chris to a hurricane yayyy :)
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Quoting RitaEvac:


I found it under that high cloud ribbon strip in central gulf north of Yucatan, loop it fast and you'll see what I'm talkin bout
I found it looking out of my window. There are rain bands coming in from the SE *that aren't supposed to be there*. The monster ridging was supposed to take care of that.
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I'm so afraid to ask this question but is it possible the east west conflict is maybe 2 separate storms? pls be kind, I'm one of the older ones in here and learning.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Hurricane Chris.
0_0 I wake up to this lovely news!
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Quoting windshear1993:
so are in second place behind 1968 in number of june storms?

We only had one storm in June, and that is Chris.
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Quoting windshear1993:
so are in second place behind 1968 in number of june storms?


Well 1968 had three. This year was one.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Yes, the ATCF files have her as a Category 1 hurricane.

We will see it upgraded at 11.


LOL

IMO Beryl will be upgraded to hurricane status in post-season analysis.
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so are in second place behind 1968 in number of june storms?
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Quoting RitaEvac:


I found it under that high cloud ribbon strip in central gulf north of Yucatan, loop it fast and you'll see what I'm talkin bout


are you a man or a woman?

and i found the low, the center is almost exactly on the coast with half the circulation on shore.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9452
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Yes, the ATCF files have her as a Category 1 hurricane.

We will see it upgraded at 11.
You mean him?.
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
why is there no wikipedia article for alberto?


It didn't really affect land. Just about a quarter inch of rain fall and some rescues.
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Quoting ProgressivePulse:
A lot of possible scenarios and even more questions yet to be resolved. Hopefully when we can tag an actual low center things will become more clear. I do find it humorous the east west battle. Almost expect Snoop Dog and Jay Z to come out in support, lol.


why? they are miserable old ancient people...
Plus what do they have to do with an east west battle?
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9452
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
Cant tell exactly wehre the yucatan low is now, but if it is just offshore where i think it is, we could get an invest at 11maybe.


I found it under that high cloud ribbon strip in central gulf north of Yucatan, loop it fast and you'll see what I'm talkin bout
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
Hold on one sec. why is the HPC charts different from the one AtHomeInTX and Hurricane1216 is showing? Now I'm really confused.


I don't know, but I know mine's were prepared by Monarski and the other one was prepared by Gerhardt.
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Back later
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why is there no wikipedia article for alberto?
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9452
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


YES !!!!!!! :)
omg that made my day thanks :)
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A lot of possible scenarios and even more questions yet to be resolved. Hopefully when we can tag an actual low center things will become more clear. I do find it humorous the east west battle. Almost expect Snoop Dog and Jay Z to come out in support, lol.
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Quoting windshear1993:
is chris a hurricane yet???


Yes, the ATCF files have her as a Category 1 hurricane.

We will see it upgraded at 11.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23012
Quoting windshear1993:
is chris a hurricane yet???


According to CIMSS and the ATCF files, yes. Its just not time for the NHC to issue an advisory yet.
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Quoting windshear1993:
is chris a hurricane yet???


YES !!!!!!! :)
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9452
Hold on one sec. why is the HPC charts different from the one AtHomeInTX and Hurricane1216 is showing? Now I'm really confused.
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Quoting Asrock:



But we don't have to keep up with 2005 for this to be a season to remember. It takes but one storm to come ashore as some massive beast and the season will never be forgoten. So here's hoping for a whole bunch of small storms, to keep the blog interesting, but let them be rain makers for all of us who need the rain, and nothing more.


how about we get 40 storms , which are cat5s with 200mph winds slamming through the fish adn then falling apart to moderate ts rainmakers just before shore :)
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9452
is chris a hurricane yet???
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Hurricane Chris.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23012
Quoting weatherh98:


Well floridians are like yelling Florida the texans are callin cat 2 Debby hitting them and its pretty flip flop for the rest of the gulf coast. Levi picked Texas solution because he doesn't think the trough can dig in deep enough
Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Citing feedback issues on the GFS and Euro this is the official word from HPC anyway. Hope it helps. :)

YDAYS NHC/HPC COORDINATED
TRACK WHICH BRINGS WEAK LOW PRESSURE FROM THE ERN GULF ACROSS FL
AND INTO THE ATLC TO BE ABSORBED INTO A FRONTAL ZONE IS MAINTAINED
FOR THIS EARLY PRELIM FCST.
.,,sorry I didn't say it sooner,,pain meds kicked in..lol..thanks alot..will keep checking the blog for future updats..
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2304. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
history in the making

highest lat first hurricane in the atlantic i have ever recorded and i've been watching the tropics for 33 years this being my 33rd year

one for the books for sure just based off of position
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2303. emguy
Quoting Hurricane1216:
This is what the NWS has:










I like their logic...
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Good morning.

I only have time for a couple of quick posts.

Satellite imagery indicates that the GOM low is consolidating just immediately N of the tip of the Yucatan as suggested by me in a couple of posts early yesterday evening. Very deep convection is building close to this on the East side and shear values are low in this area now. I expect this to be declared an invest either later today or sometime this evening.

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2301. Asrock
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
If they went back and changed old wind values for chris, ACE will go up even more.

In 7 days, the 2005 season starts on a run 2012 will have a very hard time keeping up with.

If we can get a modoki el nino, we could stay potentially somewhat active, but i dont see us keeping up with 2005.



But we don't have to keep up with 2005 for this to be a season to remember. It takes but one storm to come ashore as some massive beast and the season will never be forgoten. So here's hoping for a whole bunch of small storms, to keep the blog interesting, but let them be rain makers for all of us who need the rain, and nothing more.
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Woah levi is up...morning all
Member Since: June 4, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 767
Cant tell exactly wehre the yucatan low is now, but if it is just offshore where i think it is, we could get an invest at 11maybe.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9452
Quoting redwagon:

Been interesting to watch the 10day fcst interpret a NW GOM as pretty much stalling, rain for a week, then drop it like a hot potato three days ago. But who am I going to believe, my own lyin' eyes on what's happening now S of the border or some intransigent 10day forecast?


Lots going on in the GOM, moisture, clouds, and rain into S TX, models weren't calling for this, so already they are on the chopping block. And a massive heat ridge that's gonna cook TX, we'll see.
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Link

Latest Crown Weather Discussion link. They think, at this time, the system is TX bound. . . but subject to change.
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2296. Levi32
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


still over there in the w gulf?

Oh, well, maybe after the split we can get both storms and we will all be happy :)

Are you going to do a tropical tidbit for today, or do you have a lot of work?


I'll have a video out within an hour or so.
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This is what the NWS has:








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Quoting Autistic2:
Did the NHC upgrade Chriss?

Yep...so i would wait until after 11 am edt
Member Since: June 4, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 767
Quoting Levi32:


I like their logic.


still over there in the w gulf?

Oh, well, maybe after the split we can get both storms and we will all be happy :)

Are you going to do a tropical tidbit for today, or do you have a lot of work?
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9452
Quoting washingtonian115:
Alberto was a moderate tropical storm..60mph.


only to the ship.
I still refuse to believe that
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9452
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23012
Quoting Levi32:


I like their logic.


I thought you might. :)
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2289. jpsb
A little home grown storm in the GoM? Guess I need to start paying attention. Hopefully West/Central Texas will get some badly needed rain. Typically these early GoM storms are mostly rain events and fairly small in size. Lets hope that pattern continues. I am still repairing Ike damage so no hurricanes please, and thank you.
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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.