8/1/06 FCST: T.S. Chris

The third named storm of this season has formed about 160 miles east of Antigua. Estimated winds are at 40 mph, central minimum pressure 1009 mb, movement to the west/northwest at 10 mph. Current track has Chris passing over the Leeward Islands in the overnight hours tonight and tracking a couple hundred miles north of Puerto Rico and Haiti/Hispaniola Thursday into Friday morning, then tracking over the southern Bahama islands and reaching Andros Island by the early morning hours on Sunday. Based on the current forecast track, one can extrapolate that Chris's eventual destination looks to be the southeastern coast of Florida in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area in the late Sunday/early Monday timeframe. That might be something to watch if Chris would strenghten significantly. ;) The models are duking it out amongst themselves right now, with the majority of them insisting that Chris will be dissipated by 5 days due to northerly shear tearing it apart out while others (namely the SHIPS) keep it around a 50 kt tropical storm due to shear uncertainties as it moves west/northwestward. The NHC has noted that Chris could potentially move into a low shear, high SST environment between two upper lows in the next couple days which could be very favorable for strenghtening. An Air Force Recon plane is flying out to investigate Chris at 1800 UTC to get a better idea of the storm's structure/location/strength, so we should have a much more clear picture of Chris's true nature at that time.
YEa, the weather forecasters are realy talkin it up hear in central fl. I am currious as to how the upper low will impact this. From what the NHC is saying, it looks like most of the models are uncertain at this time to forecast 3-5 days out. None the less, it looks like we will be feeling at least some of the effects. The lastest intermediate advisory has this thing realy firing up (jumping to 60mph since the 5pm advisory) the latest sat is looking good, though it is a small system....Jim, all, whats your take on this?
Rather interesting now that the official forecast has Chris reaching hurricane status by 04/1800Z. Although its a five day forecast, on the current track it could enter the GOM by Sunday evening. Of course this forcast could drastically change by tomorrow.

really nice outflow evident on IR at 0115Z

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NHC/TPC mentions this in the 01/2100Z discussion and that the divergence aloft could strengthen Chris.
The global models are having a tough time with the future of tropical storm Chris mainly because of the small size of the system. As the storm intensifies to a hurricane today and becomes more established we should see some better consenses with the guidance.
My thinking right now is a general WNW heading to near or over south Florida then on to the central Texas coast next week. Watch for the gas prices to go way up next week as the panic starts with a Gulf storm coming in.
Of course all of my non-weather- friends have been asking about this since the last few 5 day graphic have it coming in the Gulf. Everyone along the GC needs to watch it because about the only way for a TC to get out of the GOM is to hit land. A TX landfall sounds about right given the ridging can hold. If not then the already hurricane ravages north GOM Coast needs to be on the watch.

Good point Jim on the global models not being able to resolve the storm very well since right now it's so small.

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On satellite, it appears that the shear has relaxed somewhat and that outflow is existent in all quads. This should allow for Chris to make it to hurricane status rather easily later today. I haven't read the latest discussion so not too caught up on everything yet.
Chris has continued to become much better organized since first developing, when the thoughts were for rapid dissipation.

The current forecast has Chris entering an environment that is becoming increasingly more favorable as time moves on, and becoming a Cat 1 Hurricane today before crossing between Florida and Cuba. <-- basic synopsis of forecast and discussion for you, Blake.

For those who don't have it, the link to forecast models for tropical storm purposes is included above. I hope it comes in handy when the models start becoming more receptive to T.S. (and soon to be hurricane) Chris.

Most of the forecast model solutions, while not picking out Chris too well, show that the ridge is going to hold up well through the forecast period. Without a whole lot of low-pressure events to generate the kind of shear needed to kill this thing, it could be assumed for the most part that this thing is going to have a nice go of things in the Gulf. This is particularly troubling for residents anywhere along the Gulf because any disturbance that may form that pushes it into a more northerly path (like Katrina or Rita) allows Chris to become a major threat.

Given the wind speed probabilities becoming more and more favorable for a Cat 2 or Cat 3 event in the 48 to 72 hour time-frame, I'm starting to become worried that when it does enter the Gulf that it will have the potential to become a major hurricane and have its path dead-centered on places that don't need a big hurricane coming in. Not to spoil anyones' chase prospects or to sound like a broken record, but we don't need another major storm causing problems in the Gulf. Just the threat of a hurricane entering the gulf will make oil prices go nuts, and having gas prices soar will not be healthy for hurricane or storm chasing.

Just my two cents until this storm becomes better understood by the models. I will probably take a more 'wait and see approach' until then.
I agree the models aren't going to resolve the small storm very well, especially in the current sheared environment. If Chris can hold together as predicted by the TPC then he will encounter less shear and higher TC Heat Potential in the Florida Straights and the Gulf which could allow for rapid intensification. Most of the models have a potential weakness in the upper ridge in about a 144 hrs which could tug Chris closer to LA and get the media going crazy. I think we are all aware of the economic ramifications should this storm become a deamon in the Gulf. I figure $80/bbl oil if he balloons into a major Gulf storm. Any significant refinery shutdown may send gas prices spiralling to the $3.50-$4.00 range. No use getting carried away just yet though as Chris is still just a 50 kt storm several days away from becoming any imminant threat.

Edit: Wow, the convection quickly removed itself from the low level circulation center overnight which can clearly be seen on an IR loop. Perhaps the system will reenergize in a few days over warmer water. The GFS 120-hr upper wind field doesn't look like it would support a large sprawling storm in the Gulf which should calm the oil speculators for now.

For those who like to snub AccuWeather, this was posted on their site last night: "The center of Chris is sliding north of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center meteorologists expect Chris to become a hurricane sometime within the next 24 hours, and it will continue to intensify into the weekend."
It looks like an upper area of dryair/wind is influencing the storm.. It has a long journey ahead of itself for the next 3-5 days..
At this point, it now looks as though the threat to the U.S. from Chris is pretty much over. The storm has turned to the west overnight and has now resumed a west/northwesterly course. Winds have also decreased to 40 mph, and it's looking considerably less organized than it was last night. The cause of Chris's degeneration was very dry low to mid level air and shear generated from an upper level cyclone to his north that undercut the circulation, which is now devoid of convection within seventy five miles of the center. He will likely weaken to a depression, but the NHC doesn't dissipate him quite yet, mentioning in the forecast discussion that the conditions that weakend Chris could relax and allow him to restrengthen in a day or two... if he can hang on that long. In the long run, if Chris dies, it would probably be better for all of us, as if he would have turned into a Cat 3 + intensity major hurricane in the GoM, which with the high SST's and low shear environment he more than likely would have, we would probably have been looking at $4.00 gasoline as those greedy oil bastards will use any excuse they can get to line their pockets with the hard earned money of the working class. Starting in two weeks school will start again and me, my mom and my sister will be making a 50 mile roundtrip a day to school/work. If gas went up that high, we would really be hurting financially. Those rich sons of b****es don't care about how deep into debt they force the lower middle class and the working poor to go into, just so long as they can live their high taste Cadillac-and-caviar lifestyle. :angry:
So unless Chris somehow manages to cling to life as a depression and survive until the shear relaxs and he moves into a dramatically more favorable environment when he enters the Straits of Florida in about 24 to 48 hours, I think that this is the last time we'll be hearing of him. If he does, however, the NHC track takes skims him across the northern coast of Cuba and then by Tuesday morning has him dead in the center of the GoM at 25N, 90W. If he survives and makes it into the GoM with it's aforementioned high SST/low shear environment, Chris could become a very serious threat to the Texas coast anywhere between Corpus Christi and Houston.
I wouldn’t blow off Chris just yet…The archived discussion on Td 10 this time last year was strangely familiar. I know that things are different meteorologically now put point being is to now totally discount a system that is so far south and still has some potential….However, the upper low out ahead of it will be a force to be reckoned with.
...Those rich sons of b****es don't care about how deep into debt they force the lower middle class and the working poor to go into, just so long as they can live their high taste Cadillac-and-caviar lifestyle. :angry:

This is a forecast thread so let's please keep the editorializing to a minimum. I will challenge anybody who wants to argue about overpriced oil and gas in W&C or elsewhere.

Meanwhile, Chris is lacking convection this evening and doesn't appear to be a significant threat to US interests at this time.
Justin Turcotte said:
This is a forecast thread so let's please keep the editorializing to a minimum. I will challenge anybody who wants to argue about overpriced oil and gas in W&C or elsewhere.[/b]
Sorry about that little rant. I should have kept that bit out of this thread. I apologize. It's just frustrating, that's all. I think everyone here at ST can relate to my feelings.
Anyhoo, Chris is seemingly dead on the table, his guts torn out and flung away by the vicious doctors Opposing Flow and Dry Air, reduced to a mere shell of his former circulation, and unless his innards redevlop and he is nursed back to existence over the Florida Straits by that devil with the white dress Favorable Environment, we'll have to call the TOD and bury him in that tropical cyclone cemetery known as the NHC archives, where he'll be just another faceless white circulation on a satellite photograph among countless other storms that did not realize their full power and destructive potential. He's not dead yet, but he has a very faint pulse, just barely maintaining T.S. intensity. His fate is now in the hands of the storm gods. :mellow: