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Hurricane Season 2006: Chris (Atlantic)
08.07.06
 
Tropical Depression Chris a Memory

On Saturday, Aug 5, Tropical Depression Chris fizzled into a broad area of low pressure, near Cuba. Its remnants continued on a westward track into the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Depression Chris Still Headed West Toward the Gulf

This image was created from the TRMM satellite on August 3, 2006 and shows a weakening tropical storm with few showers and thunderstorms near the storm center. All eyes are on Chris this weekend, as he ambles through the Caribbean on his way into the Gulf of Mexico. As of 3:00 p.m. EDT, on Aug. 4, Chris was a tropical depression. This image was created from data received from the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite on August 3, 2006 at 10:58 a.m. EDT (14:58 UTC) and shows a weakening tropical storm with few showers and thunderstorms near the storm center. Click image to enlarge. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency, JAXA.

Tropical Storm Watches Posted

A tropical storm watch is in effect for long island and the Exumas on the central Bahamas. A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area...generally within 36 hours. A tropical storm watch or warning will likely be required for portions of the north coast of eastern Cuba later on Aug 4.

At 1:00 p.m. EDT, Aug. 4, tropical depression Chris's center was located near latitude 21.4 north, longitude 72.2 west, or about 25 miles south of Providenciales and about 360 miles east of Camaguey, Cuba. The depression is moving toward the west near 12 mph and this general motion is expected to continue for the next 24 hours. This motion should bring the center of Chris through the southeastern Bahamas today.

Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph with higher gusts. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 24 hours. However, any re-intensification could bring Chris back to tropical storm status. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1012 millibars.

Chris is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches across the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos, the southeast Bahamas, Haiti and eastern Cuba with isolated totals of up to 4 inches over the higher terrain through tonight, Aug 4.

Interests elsewhere in Cuba as well as in southern Florida and the Florida keys should monitor the progress of Chris. For updates on Chris' track, please visit the National Hurricane Center website at: www.nhc.noaa.gov

Image Credit: SSAI/NASA GSFC, Hal Pierce
Caption: NASA, Rob Gutro/NOAA/NHC



Chris Weakened to a Tropical Depression

These NASA satellite images show Chris fading fast, with Chris' center North of Puerto Rico. Microwave satellite imagery indicated strongest area of convection (rising air that forms thunderstorms) just off the North shore of Puerto Rico, and no eye wall or eye. Infrared satellite imagery indicates clouds from former eye wall have collapsed, and highest cloud tops bracket Puerto Rico.

At 7:00 a.m. EDT, Aug. 4, the center of Tropical Depression Chris was located near latitude 21.2 north, longitude 71.1 west or about 20 miles south of Grand Turk Island. Chris is moving toward the west near 13 mph. Sustained winds have decreased to near 35 mph with higher gusts. However, Chris can still regain tropical storm status. Minimum central pressure was 1012 millibars.

Chris is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches across the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos, the southeast Bahamas, Haiti and eastern Cuba with isolated totals of up to 6 inches over the higher terrain through Aug. 4.

This is an infrared image of Tropical Storm Chris in the western Atlantic, from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on Aug. 3, 2006. This image is created from microwave radiation emitted by Earth's atmosphere and received by the instrument.


Where are the Highest Clouds in Chris?

Image above left: This is an infrared image of Tropical Storm Chris in the western Atlantic, from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite on Aug. 3, 2006. This AIRS image shows the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of Chris. The infrared signal does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth, revealing warmer temperatures (red). The infrared image indicates clouds from former eye wall have collapsed into the central spot of convection, and highest cloud tops bracket Puerto Rico.

Where is Chris' Heaviest Rainfall?

Image above right:The second image is created from microwave radiation emitted by Earth's atmosphere and received by the instrument. It shows where the heaviest rainfall is taking place (in blue, surrounded by yellow) in the storm. Blue areas outside of Tropical Storm Chris where there are either some clouds or no clouds indicate where the sea surface shines through. The microwave images indicate the strongest area of convection (rising air) is just off the North shore of Puerto Rico, and there is no eye wall or eye.

What Chris Looks Like to the Eye

Tropical Storm Chris captured by the visible light near infrared sensor on the AIRS instrument.


Tropical Storm Chris captured by the visibile light / near-infrared sensor on the AIRS instrument. Click on image to enlarge.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL. Caption Credit: NASA/JPL and NOAA/NHC reports. ( + View larger version on the top image. | + View larger version of the bottom two images.)



Tropical Storm Chris Likely to Weaken to a Depression

At 1:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, Aug. 3, the National Hurricane Center said that the center of Tropical Storm Chris was located near latitude 20.7 north and longitude 67.7 west or about 225 miles east-southeast of Grand Turk Island. Chris is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph and a west to west-northwestward motion is expected over the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds are estimated to be near 40 mph with higher gusts. Chris is expected to weaken to a tropical depression later on Aug. 3. Estimated minimum central pressure is 1012 millibars.

Chris is expected to produce total rainfall amounts of 1 to 3 inches with isolated totals of up to 5 inches over the higher terrain of Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic. Rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches are possible over the southeast Bahamas, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Northern Haiti through Friday.

TRMM Satellite Looks At Chris' Rainfall

This image was taken at 7:25 pm EDT August 1, 2006, by TRMM, just as Chris was about to pass
northeast of Barbuda.


This image (above) was taken at 23:25 UTC (7:25 pm EDT) August 1, 2006, by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite (TRMM), just as Chris was about to pass northeast of Barbuda. Click on image to enlarge. The image shows the horizontal distribution of rain intensity within Chris. Chris was a rather small storm. The center was still poorly defined in this image, with no evidence of an eye. Banding features (curvature) were also weak to non-existent, signs that the storm was still in the process of organizing. There were, however, areas of moderate rain (bright green to orange areas) near the center of Chris. This rain was associated with areas of moderate convection (rising air), which can help to spin-up the circulation it when it occurs near the storm's core. At the time of this image, Chris had maximum sustained winds around 58 miles per hour.TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency, JAXA. Image Credit: SSAI/NASA GSFC, Hal Pierce Caption: SSAI/NASA GSFC Steve Lang, and text from NOAA/NHC



Tropical Storm Chris Faces an Uncertain Future

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) places Tropical Storm Chris as of 7:00 a.m. EDT on Aug. 3 near latitude 20.5 north and longitude 66.8 west or about 285 miles east-southeast of Grand Turk Island. Chris is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph and a west-northwest to westward motion is expected during the next 24 hours. Chris is barely a tropical storm now, with maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 40 mph. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 24 hours. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1012 millibars.

Chris is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches with isolated totals of 10 inches over the higher elevations of Puerto Rico. Total rainfall of 2 to 4 inches is possible over the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic with possible isolated maximum amounts of 6 inches through Aug. 3.

Chris' Future Uncertain

The NHC forecast summary at 4 a.m. EDT on Aug. 3 noted that Chris is becoming disorganized in a hurry. Satellite images indicated Chris is being weakened by a northwesterly wind shear (winds that blow in opposing ways that can weaken tropical storms). Global computer models that scientists use to look at the atmosphere show that a strong area of high pressure is going to remain stuck to the north of Chris, so Chris will continue to move westward across the southeastern Bahamas, very near the north coast of Cuba and eventually reach the south-central Gulf of Mexico in five days (by Aug. 8). Forecasters are uncertain at this time if Chris will continue to weaken further and even dissipate, or gain strength in the Gulf once it gets there.

CloudSat's Sideways View of Tropical Storm Chris

This combination of  images are from two different satellites, giving a
top down and sideways view of Tropical Storm Chris, spinning in the
Caribbean on Aug. 2. This combination of images are from two different satellites, giving a top-down and sideways view of Tropical Storm Chris, spinning in the Caribbean on Aug. 2.

The top image is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) to give an idea of how the storm looked from the top. This data was processed by NASA's GOES Project at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The bottom images are from NASA's new CloudSat satellite. Click on image to enlarge.

The CloudSat image (bottom) was taken from NASA's CloudSat satellite on Aug. 1 at approximately 1:45 a.m. EDT (5:45 UTC). The right side of the CloudSat image shows less cloud cover, which matches with the top left part of the storm in the GOES image above.

The red and purple areas indicate large amounts of cloud water. The blue areas along the top of the clouds indicates cloud ice, while the wavy blue lines on the bottom center of the image indicate intense rainfall. Notice that the solid line along the bottom of the panel, which is the ground, disappears in these areas of intense precipitation. It is likely that in the area the precipitation rate exceeds 30mm/hr (1.18 inches/hour) based on previous studies.

The National Hurricane Center forecast for Tropical Storm Chris as of 1:00 p.m. EDT on Aug. 2 brings Chris just south of Key West and into the Gulf of Mexico by early Monday, Aug. 7. Chris could become a hurricane late on Wed. Aug. 3 or on Thurs. Aug. 4. Image credit: NASA/JPL/The Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), Colorado State University/NOAA



Tropical Storm Chris Still Heading Toward Key West

TRMM Image of Tropical Storm Chris

The track forecast for Tropical Storm Chris as of 1:00 p.m. EDT projects Chris to track just south of Key West and into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico by early Monday, Aug. 7. Chris could become a hurricane late on Wed. Aug. 3 or on Thurs. Aug. 4, according to the National Hurricane Center.

At 1:00 p.m. EDT Tropical Storm Chris was located near latitude 19.5 north and longitude 64.0 west or about 100 miles northeast of the island of St. Thomas in the Caribbean. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours, and Chris could become a hurricane. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 75 miles mainly northeast of the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1007 millibars.

The Rainfall Inside of Tropical Storm Chris

This image of Tropical Storm Chris was taken at 23:25 UTC (7:25 p.m. EDT) Aug. 1 by the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite. Chris was about to pass to the northeast of Barbuda in the Caribbean. The image shows how strong rain is falling from one end of the storm to the other. Rain rates are observed from two different instruments on TRMM. In the center of Chris, they are from the TRMM Precipitation Radar (PR), and in the outer swath they are from the TRMM Microwave Imager (TMI). The area of rain is fairly compact and shows that Chris is a rather small storm. Chris' center is still poorly defined in this image with no evidence of an eye. Banding features (curvature) are also not well defined at this stage as the circulation is still in the process of getting organized.

There are, however, areas of moderate rain (bright green to orange areas) near the center of Chris. At the time of this image, Chris was a moderate tropical storm with maximum sustained winds reported at 50 knots (58 mph) by the National Hurricane Center. TRMM is a joint mission between NASA and the Japanese space agency JAXA.

Image Credit: NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce. Caption: Steve Lang, SSAI and Rob Gutro, NASA. (+ View larger version of this image.)



Tropical Storm Chris Heads to Key West and the Gulf of Mexico
AIRS image of Tropical Storm Chris

Above Image: Tropical storm Chris captured by the visible light / near-infrared sensor on the AIRS instrument.

The track forecast for Tropical Storm Chris as of 7:00 a.m. EDT projects Chris to track near Key West and into the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico by early Monday, Aug. 7. Chris could become a hurricane late on Wed. Aug. 3 or on Thurs. Aug. 4, according to the National Hurricane Center.

At 7:00 a.m. EDT Tropical Storm Chris was located near latitude 19.0 north and longitude 63.0 west or about 65 miles north of the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 65 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 75 miles mainly northeast of the center. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1001 millibars.

What Can Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Expect?

Chris is moving toward the west-northwest near 10 mph. On this track, Chris' center will remain north of the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Aug. 2. Some heavy rain bands may affect those areas late on Aug. 3, and early Aug. 4. Chris is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches over the northern Leeward Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and portions of Puerto Rico with isolated maximum amounts of 8 inches possible over higher terrain through Thursday, Aug 4.

NASA's Satellites Eye Chris

Two AIRS images of Tropical Storm Chris showing different spectrums of the storm

When these images were made on July 31, Tropical Storm Chris had just begun to become organized. As can be seen in the visible and infrared images, Chris is compact and beginning to show the classic hurricane structure. Winds are only 30 mph and pressure 1011 millibars. No eye is apparent, but enhanced rainfall in what will become the eye wall is apparent as a blue core in the microwave image.

Top Image: This is an infrared image of Tropical storm Chris from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA's Aqua satellite on July 31, 2006. This AIRS image shows the temperature of the cloud tops or the surface of the Earth in cloud-free regions. The lowest temperatures (in purple) are associated with high, cold cloud tops that make up the top of the hurricane. The infrared signal does not penetrate through clouds. Where there are no clouds the AIRS instrument reads the infrared signal from the surface of the Earth, revealing warmer temperatures (red).

Bottom Image: The second image is created from microwave radiation emitted by Earth's atmosphere and received by the instrument. It shows where the heaviest rainfall is taking place (in blue) in the storm. Blue areas outside of the storm where there are either some clouds or no clouds, indicate where the sea surface shines through.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL. Caption Credit: NASA/JPL and NOAA/NHC reports. (+ View larger version on the top image. | + View larger version of the bottom two images.)



Tropical Storm Chris Forms in the Atlantic Near the Leeward Islands

GOES Image of Tropical Storm Chris

The Atlantic Ocean's hurricane season seemed to get off to a slow start, but the third tropical storm of the season formed east of the Leeward Islands at 10:00 p.m. EDT (11:00 p.m. AST) on July 31 as a tropical depression.

By 7:00 a.m. EDT on Aug. 1, the tropical depression became Tropical Storm Chris, and was packing maximum sustained winds near 40 mph (65 km/hr) with higher gusts. The National Hurricane Center noted that some strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center.

This satellite image of the Atlantic Ocean shows Chris on Tues. Aug. 1, 2006 at 8:00:00 GMT (4:00 a.m. EDT). This image of the Earth was taken by the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES), operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This data was processed by NASA's GOES Project at the Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

The center of Tropical Storm Chris was located near latitude 16.8 north and longitude 59.8 west or about 135 miles (215 km) east of Antigua in the northern Leeward Islands. Chris is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph (15 km/hr) and this general heading is expected to continue over the next 24 hours. On the forecast track Chris is expected to move over or near the northernmost Leeward Islands later tonight (Aug. 1) or early Wednesday (Aug. 2) morning. The estimated minimum central pressure is 1009 millibars.

Where are the Tropical Storm Watches and Warnings?

A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area generally within 36 hours.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for the islands of Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Barthelemy, St. Martin, and St. Maarten. A tropical storm warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area within the next 12 to 24 hours. Rainfall amounts of 3 to 5 inches with isolated higher amounts to near 8 inches are possible over the northern Leeward Islands in association with Chris.

A tropical storm watch is also in effect for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin islands and for the British Virgin Islands.

Image Credit: NASA GOES Project. Caption: Rob Gutro, NASA GSFC from National Hurricane Center reports. (+ View Larger Version of this image with labels. | + View full size image without labels.)

 
 
Rob Gutro
Goddard Space Flight Center