Hi everybody, I'm Rob Carver filling in for Dr. Jeff Masters again
this afternoon. Well, TD Chris fell short of regaining tropical storm
status this afternoon, according to the 500PM EDT update from NHC. In
a nutshell, Chris's circulation is rather broad and weak, but it's
still a closed circulation (meaning that the low-level winds form a
loop around the center). It's still not the most impressive storm
from the satellite's perspective as this animation
shows, but there are still thunderstorms associated with this storm.
Two upper-level lows continue to bracket Chris,
making reorganization and redevelopment a tricky prospect before it
starts to graze the northern coast of Cuba.
However, once Chris clears Cuba and makes it into the Gulf of Mexico,
intensification is a real prospect with the warm sea-surface
temperatures, and the 12Z GFS is predicting the wind shear
associated with the western upper-level low will decrease over the
next few days. NHC is forecasting this as well, predicting Chris will
regain tropical storm status 4 days from now. However, this is all
contingent upon Chris maintaining a closed circulation as it passes
through the Florida Straits. In any event, the majority of the models
and the official forecast have Chris moving steadily WNW into the Gulf
of Mexico after passing Cuba. Needless to say, if you live in
southern FL, the Keys, or Cuba, you should keep an eye on this storm.