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 SFLWeatherman:
wow


WOW indeed...South Florida is in for it's share of wet weather for a few days...be careful out there..
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Sounds like the Caribbean system is giving lots of mixed signals with conditions marginal enough to make it very difficult to predict. The rain predictions from this disturbance makes it likely to intensify over Gulf waters; probably enough to at least get an orange cone by Friday if not sooner. Some quality Gulf blob action to ponder over if nothing else in the coming days. Models predicting any more action any time soon in the Caribbean? One more question, any chance this forms off the west coast of Florida? Thanks in advance, while this may not be NOAA, I come here to find out what's happening because this is generally where you will hear it first for when and where a disturbance may form. NOAA is a great informational source, but far more bland than the commentary and great information here.
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Morning, all. Thank you, Doc. You're up and busy early today!
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Thanks Dr. Masters,
IMO the shear may be high,and no model consenses to go by,
but to me as a layman, thats a boiling pot down there in the Carribean.Been watching and paying attention to the blog...and I'm not trying to be an alarmist but have seen situations like this blow up and catch even the NHC off guard.I do give them credit as they are the best at what they do.
On another note..that flooding for Duluth looks very serious indeed.
Been alot of flooding in the US this year so far.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Reposting from previous blog. Recon for Friday afternoon.

NOUS42 KNHC 201245
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
0845 AM EDT WED JUN 20 2012
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 21/1100Z TO 22/1100Z JUN 2012
TCPOD NUMBER.....12-033

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: A LOW LEVEL INVEST
AT 22/1800Z NEAR 24.0N 89.0W




Hmmm Interesting the by then it should by developing if not already a system. I think they schedule due to the fact its close to land and it conditions will be favorable. I was surprise they gave it a 20% and its not organizing much.
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Chris & the forecast cone
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 89 Comments: 2655
Quoting 1900hurricane:
The thing that makes flooding so dangerous in Duluth, even only eight inches, is that the entire area is very hilly. That floodwater is going to be going somewhere, and fast.

still better than the 3+ feet of snow and constant gales whipping up from a fierce Superior.. but Hwy 61 along the shore is certainly a mess per news reports. i can vouch for the 'aging infrastructure'!
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Quoting washingtonian115:
The Doc isn't to enthusiastic about development of this system.


He said shear wont lighten up till the next 48 to 72 hours. I dont think thats the case that ULL is moving north the shear is moving west and an upper ridge will take over in the next 24 to 36 hours.
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Quoting StormTracker2K:
Guys my last post wasn't to bash Levi. It was actually brought up yesterday that Crownweather was stealing blog post from respected blog memebers I.E Levi32. I think when I typed it out it came out the wrong way. I suspected this by Crownweather in the past after view Levi32's post and then reading Crownweathers.



I think that is awful that crownweather is doing this. That they would have to steal another persons blog post to make there self sound good. I don't never go to that site anyway, well I will for sure never go there.

sheri
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Thanks for the update, Dr. Wish we could get some of the Duluth T-storms here in Memphis, its dry as a bone.
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So according to this run, it's going right into high pressure

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Reposting from previous blog. Recon for Friday afternoon.

NOUS42 KNHC 201245
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
0845 AM EDT WED JUN 20 2012
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 21/1100Z TO 22/1100Z JUN 2012
TCPOD NUMBER.....12-033

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY: A LOW LEVEL INVEST
AT 22/1800Z NEAR 24.0N 89.0W


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I can only imagine what this creek in Duluth looks like right now.

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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39648
Wouldn't want to be canoeing/camping in the Boundary Waters either, not as much as Duluth, but still quite a bit. Thunderstorms and tents are never fun.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
The Doc isn't to enthusiastic about development of this system.


He wasn't about pre-Beryl either...
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Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 39648
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Quoting SFLWeatherman:
wow


Things is getting serious fast.
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Chris intensity:
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9732
The Doc isn't to enthusiastic about development of this system.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17149
Thanks for the update.
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wow
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16. 7544
so its going into the gulf then turn ne at what lat any ideas tia thanks doc now go on vaction so this could form lol
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Wouldn't mind having an invest declared in the Caribbean, curious to see what the models want to do with this system.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24246
Stay safe in Duluth, folks!
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Thx Dr. Masters.

Is the CMC not reliable enough?

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.

REPOST FROM PREVIOUS BLOG









I do not believe the low off the e coast in the second image is tropical or subtropical, but you never know it could be another chris


and is the EMCWF not reliable:


Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9732
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The thing that makes flooding so dangerous in Duluth, even only eight inches, is that the entire area is very hilly. That floodwater is going to be going somewhere, and fast.

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Thanks DRM. Hope everyone is safe in Minnesota.
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This is interesting:
Chris is comma-shaped, and so is the NHC forecast cone.

NHC forecast cone
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 89 Comments: 2655


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Guys my last post wasn't to bash Levi. It was actually brought up yesterday that Crownweather was stealing blog post from respected blog memebers I.E Levi32. I think when I typed it out it came out the wrong way. I suspected this by Crownweather in the past after view Levi32's post and then reading Crownweathers.
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Rio+20: Prince Charles sends warning to Earth summit

The Prince of Wales warned of the potentially 'catastrophic' consequences of inaction on climate change

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/18 /rio-20-prince-charles-earth-summit
Member Since: October 4, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1765
Thank you Doc.Interesting times in the tropics indeed.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17149
Good morning! Thanks Doc.
Just logged into a new blog, perfect timing!
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thanks doc
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Thanks Doc!
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Thx
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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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