Talking the Tropics: T.D. #3 becomes tropical storm Chris northeast of Jacksonville

July 8, 2018 — The "Buresh Bottom Line": Always be prepared!.....First Alert Hurricane Survival Guide... City of Jacksonville Preparedness Guide... Georgia Hurricane Guide.

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* Virtually NO impacts from tropical storm "Chris" (maybe some dry air on its backside by Tue./Wed.)

* what's left of fast weakening Beryl moving through the Caribbean may then turn northward later this week but simply as a tropical wave.  Depending on the system's location, some heavy rain COULD affect parts of Fl. & the Bahamas later next week.  I do NOT expect Beryl to be a big problem for the local area or any of the U.S.  Indications right now are that the remnant wave will be east of Fl. which - if accurate - would put the local area on the drier side of the wave.


Tropical depression #3 has been upgraded to tropical storm "Chris" based on hurricane hunter aircraft data early Sunday.  Chris is expected to meander east of the Carolina's & several hundred miles northeast of Jacksonville for several days while slowly organizing & intensifying. Forecast models have been at odds within their own model runs & vs. each other as to exactly how Chris will move.  It appears Chris will move little or even drift west &/or southwest before being picked up by an upper level trough mid to late week which will support a southward moving cold front.  Chris should then "attach" itself to the front & accelerate to the northeast over the Western Atlantic.

But the timing of the turn & acceleration to the northeast is up in the air & - even more disconcerting - just how far Chris will back up - move south & west - is uncertain.  So all areas on the east coast from the Carolina's to New England need to keep an eye on Chris & the latest forecasts.  Given the close proximity of the warm gulf stream + some help in a few days with upper level ventilation courtesy the approaching upper level trough, Chris is forecast to eventually become a hurricane & may - for a time - make it quite close to the U.S. east coast.  Don't be surprised if subsequent forecasts show a system closer to the coast than is currently shown.

For Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga.... it looks like Chris stays far enough northeast to not have any direct significant impacts though some dry air may get funneled into the local area down the backside of the tropical cyclone.

Chris spaghetti model plots:

Note the frontal boundary north of Chris in satellite imagery below.  This front is stationary which will allow Chris to "sit & spin" ... waiting on the next upper level trough & surface cold front in 3-4 days....


"Beryl" has finally started to feel the effects of shear & nearby dry air.  The avg. first date for an Atlantic hurricane is Aug. 10th & Beryl is the farthest south & east hurricane to develop over the Atlantic Basin at such an early date.  Only two other hurricanes have formed over the tropical Atlantic so early in the season - both were "Bertha" - in 1996 & 2008.

A product of the modern satellite era - & especially the new & improved GOES-East.... born from one of the first bona-fide African tropical waves of the season,  Beryl's tiny circulation is being impacted by mid & upper level shear remains very strong over the Caribbean extending several hundred miles to the east of the Caribbean.  That's good news for the Lesser Antilles as Beryl nears the Windward Islands then moves into the Caribbean early in the week while weakening.  Squalls, some gusty winds & heavy rain will affect the islands through Monday but Beryl remains a small storm so impacts will not be felt from the poorly organized center.

There will be no significant impacts on Jacksonville/NE Fl./SE Ga. but some heavy rain could occur as far north & west as Puerto Rico & Hispaniola early to mid week.  What's left of the weakening system - likely a tropical wave - could be east of Florida by late in the week but any impacts looks to be minimal, especially for NE Fl./SE Ga. while some heavy rain & gusty breezes affect parts of the Bahamas.

Spaghetti plots for "Beryl".... some models dissipate the system over the Caribbean which why there are fewer lines (models) in the longer term.....

Mid & upper level wind shear (enemy of tropical cyclones) analysis (CIMMS). The red lines indicate strong shear...... note how strong the shear is over & east of the Caribbean which should help shred Beryl in the long term....

A couple of additional strong tropical waves will be moving west off Africa though development seems unlikely at this time....


Water vapor imagery below shows a lot of dry in front (west) of & north of Beryl.....


The name Beryl, by the way, does have a history in Jacksonville.  Recall that tropical cyclone names are repeated every 6 years (unless retired).  In 2012, strong tropical storm Beryl made landfall in Duval Co. - at Jacksonville Beach - early Memorial Day, May 28th & shut down Jazz Fest a day early.

The storm produced heavy rain, gusty winds & isolated tornadoes.  Image below from NASA/TRMM, Hal Pierce:

Tropical storm Beryl over the Central Atlantic, tropical storm Chris east of the Carolina's....

Gulf of Mexico:

Water vapor imagery:


July tropical cyclone genesis areas since 1851 courtesy Dr. Phil Klotzbach.... Chris is in a "sweet spot" of sorts while Beryl was a bit of an enigma....

Deep oceanic heat content is slowly increasing.....

Sea surface temp. anomalies are below avg. across much of the middle of the Atlantic with unseasonably cool temps. off the coast of Africa....

SE U.S. surface map:

Surface analysis centered on the tropical Atlantic:

Surface analysis of the Gulf:


Meanwhile.... the W. Pacific... typhoon (W. Hemisphere so hurricanes are referred to as typhoons) "Maria" became a super typhoon again but is expected to begin a weakening trend the next several days.  The typhoon is forecast to pass south of Okinawa while staying far to the south of the main islands of Japan.... then into the coast of China roughly 300 miles south of Shanghai - as a strong tropical storm or Cat. 1 typhoon - about the middle of the week.  While strengthening, Maria did damage to Guam & at least 4 people have been killed.  Keep in mind that the list of seasonal names for various basins throughout the world are different.  You might recall that "Maria" was retired from the Atlantic Basin list of names after the powerful hit last year by hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico.

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