CFHC Talkback For News Story #58:
Newest Talkback: 01:48 PM 08-19 EDT

Tropical Storm Chris Forms
10:47 AM EDT - 18 August 2000

3PM Update:

The system east of Chris has finally gotten its act together and probably will be TD#7 tonight or early tomorrow. The NE Caribbean will want to watch this one very very closely.

Original Update
East of the lesser Antilles Islands we now have Chris.

No watches or warnings yet, but there may be later. It's important to note that the official forecast track takes it safely north of the Caribbean islands.

The feeling is that it will skirt the islands to the north, and keep on its west northwest motion. We will have to watch this one into next week for sure. The earlier article talks more about it. My current feeling is that it will turn north, but my thoughts don't always agree with that. This case I see enough counter-evidence to suggest that it may wind up near the Florida coast somewhere next week. However, since a real solid position and movement hasn't been found yet (Recon hasn't been there yet) its all speculation. Therefore it should remain under close watch by everyone until it makes its move.

Keep watch until it is NORTH of your latitude. We will have plenty of time to do that here in the US.

Alberto is back to Hurricane strength, again.

Comments or Questions? Use the comment button by the story Headline. has reports from folks in the Caribbean islands themselves and is worth checking out when storms approach the Caribbean.
Nice Satellite Image of Atlantic (IR Colorized)

Satellite images at: [N.A. visible] (visible -- Daytime Only) [N.A. infrared] (infrared), and [N.A. water vapor] (water vapor)--Nasa source.

Some Forecast models: (NGM, AVN, MRF, ECMWF, ETA)
DoD weather models (NOGAPS, AVN, MRF)

- [mac]

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Displaying Talkbacks #1 - #24 (of 24 total)

Future of the system (#1)
Posted by:
Mike C. ( Location: Orlando, FL (Currently)
Posted On 02:03PM 18-Aug-2000 with id (RPWNSPNWTNRPU*)

I think it is too early to start making landfall predictions for the southeast coast. At this moment we don't even have recon reports. And the models are not so good that far out. I feel it's important to alert folks about the possibilities and describe the models, but to actually name areas on the coast is way too premature and prone to being wrong. I will take the conservative side on any questionable activity.

Right now a few models suggest activity along the SE coast. But it is TOO SOON to say with any confidence where it could hit if at all. I don't like getting people's guards up when there is no need. Save the energy for when the doubt is less.

Folks in the southeast should be watching this system, and should have already done preperations for hurricane season a long time ago. If the storm threatens you will know about it.

5 pm advisory (#2)
Posted by:
alan Location: orlando
Posted On 04:10PM 18-Aug-2000 with id (RPVNRQUNRRQNRUR*)

It's really quiet in here today with Chris looming.
Any guesses on the 5 pm announcement. I'm going to say that they will say the movement is more to the Northwest than what they thought. The recon flight that showed only 20 kts is puzzling.

I was wrong (#3)
Posted by:
alan Location: orlando
Posted On 04:55PM 18-Aug-2000 with id (RPVNRQUNRRQNRUR*)

I guess that shows me how my meterology expertise lies.

Chris + Local Media = Florida (#4)
Posted by:
John C. ( Location: Cocoa, FL
Posted On 05:30PM 18-Aug-2000 with id (RTNRWNRRTNSR*)

One local media TV station out of Central FLorida Say's Chris may get real close to Florida! May is the key word. Upper level ridge keeping Chris in a westward motion! We will see. If that is the case, will it be a hurricane? What Cat? Let's hear some of your comments?

Chris appears to Be heading into same Shear (#5)
Posted by:
Mary Location: LAkeland
Posted On 05:42PM 18-Aug-2000 with id (QRNWWNQVRNQTY*)

I have already said on another site that I don't think Chris will get beyond a weak tropical system even if it is a disorganized Cat 1 hurricane. The upper level winds are unpreditable from one forecast period to the next and if everyone will notice, Alberto keeps strengthening everytime he gets further over cooler waters and warmer upperlevel winds. Go figure.

Chris (#6)
Posted by: Joe
Posted On 05:52PM 18-Aug-2000 with id (RQVNSNQXRNVW*)

It doesn't seem to have got any better organized
since this morning.It looks like its barely a Tropical Storm.I think it could become a Hurricane
within 3 days or so.What do you think?

Chris (#7)
Posted by:
Richard Byett ( Location: Gloucester, England, UK
Posted On 06:07PM 18-Aug-2000 with id (RQRNQSYNSSNRQX*)

well meteorology is an uncertain science, and the areas relating to Tropical Cyclones is complex to say the least. We have seen that many times this season already, and i think Chris will be the same as the other systems, unpredictable! Who would have thought Alberto would make Hurricane intensity 3 times, who thought it would become a strong Cat 3 storm. What about that halfpenny sized TD#4, or the extremely disorganised Tropical Storm Beryl. All have surprised us!
Chris, i feel, will struggle to maintain TS intensity for the next 24 hours. However i do think he will then become better organised and intensify after that time. I know NHC say he should track north of the Leeward Islands, but i think we may see him pass very cloose to the islands, maybe even over them. This is because i think the system will remain more south than previously expected. It would not surprise me to see NHC issue TS Watches and/or Warnings early tomoro. I have issued an 'Extended Watch' from my site for all the islands from Antigua north and east to Puerto Rico as i expect some of these islands to experience TS conditions from Chris.
As for the more long term forecast Mike is right in what he said. We can not name a specific area, especially this early! But i feel that Chris may come close to the SE US, so everyone needs to watch him.
And what bout the wave and low midway between the Lesser Antilles, and Africa? Becomnming better organised and maybe TD#7 within a day or two. Need to watch this closely too!

Chris (#8)
Posted by: Bill
Posted On 06:25PM 18-Aug-2000 with id (RPTNQQPNRQTNYT*)

I'll say this, if Chris doesn't fire up soon it will be downgraded to a td or even a wave. It looks as if somehow Alberto may be contributing to the shear. I note also that Chris is teleconnected to the forming td behind him, may also be holding the system back.

NHC says outflow is improving, but yo need inflow to, and that seesm to be Chris's problem.



skeptical at this point that Chris will survice...if it survives tonight, it may make a comeback.

Comment on Chris Speculation (#9)
Posted by: JJ
Posted On 06:36PM 18-Aug-2000 with id (RPUNQXXNQYUNSV*)

I agree with Mike C.--it's too early to be talking about a threat to the U.S., and hype about a possible threat is not constructive.

I'm not big on commenting on the possible track of a storm that's way out there like Chris, but I think it will track slightly to the right of the NHC forecast, at least in the next 12-36 hours. That has been its tendency so far, and the southwesterly shear might be enough to move it a little north of the NHC forecast.

If Chris survives shear...LOOKOUT!!! (#10)
Posted by:
Perry Williams (http://N/A) Location: Douglasville, Georgia
Posted On 07:28PM 18-Aug-2000 with id (RPYNRTPNRRPNRQQ*)

At the present time--7:15 PM EST Friday evening--TS Chris (actually a TD--23 kt FTL LVL winds)--isn't looking too well--and there is a REAL possibility that he will not survive the southwesterly shear--attempting to tear him apart---BUT, If he does survive--the next 24-36 hours, LOOKOUT!!
Basic tropical meteorology teaches that anytime a tropical storm or hurricane turns under a ridge--over tropical waters--that intensification is likely. All computer models used by the NHC indicate a ridge of high pressure building west to the north of Chris in 48 hours--and beyond--into the early and middle of next week--EVERYONE in Southern Florida remembers what happened when Hurricane Andrew fought through the shear that nearly destroyed him--turned west underneath a building ridge of high pressure--and the rest is history!!!

Chris... (#11)
Posted by: Rick Shade Location: Mobile
Posted On 09:24PM 18-Aug-2000 with id (QURNQVSNQYWNRPS*)

First...I appreciate this forum...I hope it can continue..This has become my favorite site...anyway...interesting last comment...about how Andrew fought through the ridge and intensified quickly..and headed due west..and the same could happen to Chris...

One weather site indicated that if Chris stayed would not be influence as much by the trough...and would pass through it on a most westerly course....this may indeed be another part of the to whether it will affect us or not. I remember too, that as storms go...Andrew was not paricularly large...and neither is this one....the wave behind Chris is twice the size.. this will be an interesting season....already is!

Comparison to Andrew (#12)
Posted by: JJ
Posted On 09:58PM 18-Aug-2000 with id (RPUNQXXNQYUNSS*)

Intensification may be likely south of a ridge, but if other synoptic conditions are not equal to the task, it means little. Even when they are, there's no guarantee that a storm will run away with it like Andrew. I'll believe this is a potential rehash of Andrew when I see it.

Observations and Reflections (#13)
Posted by:
Ed Dunham Location: Melbourne, FL
Posted On 11:43PM 18-Aug-2000 with id (VSNQVRNRRVNQVW*)

Meteorology is a fun science - you constantly make forecasts - and hopefully learn why they don't always verify. But operational meteorology always starts with observations, so here goes:
A few hours ago, Alberto came to a dead stop; primarily because of a blocking high pressure ridge to its north, but more basically because of a lack of steering currents. I guess thats a simple observation, i.e., when the wind is calm, the anemometer doesn't move either. But now you have to ask: Why are there no steering currents? Well, the western Atlantic trough which had been providing those currents has indeed weakened and pull out to the north, so the currents have ceased. The mid-latitude portion of the trough is quite weak, while the southern portion of it is getting flattened out a bit. But notice whats been coming off the east coast from south of Nova Scotia to Mobile, Alabama. This front should re-energize the western Atlantic long-wave trough enough to keep Chris (and Alberto) out of harms way. The 00Z models were initialized with Chris as a TD at 17N 56W, but at 00Z Chris was already at 18N and 56.8W (my analysis). Chris should reintensify, probably up to a Cat I Hurricane, but I'd be quite surprised if it got as close as 500 miles offshore the U.S. mainland. Bermuda is probably the only point of land that needs to monitor the progress of Chris rather closely, and the northern Caribbean Islands should keep a wary eye on it until it passes by to their northeast.

The wave near 10N 42W at 00Z is almost too far south, but it continues to maintain good structure. This will probably become the system to watch. With a far more southern latitude, it will slip under and not be influenced too much (if at all) by the rather persistent Atlantic troughs. A west northwest track seems likely for a few days, as does the eventual name 'Debby". I'm not worried about it yet (I never worry about something thats 2000 miles away) but this certainly could become a troublemaker for the islands by late Monday or Tuesday.

Now for the 'Reflections' part: JJ is right - this is not an 'Andrew' type of year. In 92, a strong persistent Bermuda High dominated the western Atlantic. It reintensified at the wrong time and changed Andrew to a westward track. This year the western Atlantic has been dominated by a firmly entrenched long-wave trough - at least it has so far - and I'm grateful for that. I love to watch the gathering power of a strong hurricane, but I'd rather that they all be like Alberto and I'll use the satellite for my watching. Try to make a good forecast, but also try to understand WHY you made it - in other words use good meteorology, not hopes or hype.
Guess that's enough of my soapbox for tonight.

We Shall See (#14)
Posted by:
OrlandoDude Location: O-Town
Posted On 12:04AM 19-Aug-2000 with id (RQVNWXNRRVNWV*)

It appears everyone has their forecasts, and it will be interesting to see what verifies. I just read Gary Gray's Forecast and Ed's posting and both, though different, appear to be fairly reasonable, though I will withhold any speculation at this point, as that is all it would be.

As a side note I am glad someone spoke up about comparing two storms as though one storm will follow the same track as historical ones. The atmosphere and the conditions around a storm are dynamic and the variations even more so. If forecasting were that easy, the models would always be correct, and predictions would always be accurate. We know that is not the case, not even from the best in the business.

The NHC with RECON and some of the best equipment around are having difficulty locating the center of Chris, thus, I would have difficulty pinpointing the center of circulation and thus be unable to guess where this thing is heading.. I will leave it up to the experts.. I pay them to do it for me...

In the meantime I think the different theories people are comming up with are fun to read and who knows.. maybe one of them may verify..

I never said Andrew II!!! (#15)
Posted by:
Perry Williams (http://N/A) Location: Douglasville, Georgia
Posted On 12:43AM 19-Aug-2000 with id (RPYNRTPNRPPNXX*)

In reading comments posted after my posting earlier this evening--it appears that a several of you misunderstood my comments regarding TD Chris and any similarity to Hurricane Andrew--Andrew was ONLY used as an example--of what can happen if and when a tropical storm or hurricane turns west or left under a high pressure ridge. True, Andrew was an unusual event--few tropical systems ever recover from a shearing like Andrew underwent--and the fact he came back to near Category 5 status--in four days--is rare indeed!
I stated that IF Chris--now a only a tropical depression--fought through the shear--AND came into a more favorable enviroment--I'll repeat it--LOOKOUT!!
If this system turns UNDER the ridge--a question that cannot be answered at this time--with certainty--by anyone-- and moves west or WNW toward Southern Florida--that it will likely strengthen--possibly SIGNIFICANTLY--that possibility cannot ever be ruled out--when SST's are 29-30 C--or more!
A 110-115 KT hurricane--like Betsy or Frederic is certainly out of the question--and as for the "wishcasting" comments J.J.--I am NOT a meteorologist--I am an avid hurricane enthusiast--and have done research--and studied EVERYTHING regarding Atlantic hurricanes for 26 years (since I was 12)--that I could get my hands on--I collect my data and make my forecast--sometimes I'm right--and sometimes not--I say what I feel will happen--or could happen--just like TPC--the Weather Channel etc.--and everyone else on this site.
In a few days--we'll know in a few days how I--and everyone else did--and if I miss--I gave it my best shot!

My Apologies J.J.!! (#16)
Posted by:
Perry Williams (http://N/A) Location: Douglasville, Georgia
Posted On 12:53AM 19-Aug-2000 with id (RPYNRTPNRPPNXX*)

J.J.--in my haste--I inadvertainly pointed my finger at you as the one critical of my statements earlier this evening--when in fact it was Ed who made the remarks I brought into question-- about my "wishcasts"-- or hopes and hype--I am terribly sorry about the mixup.
Sincerest Apologies.,
Perry Williams

TD Chris (#17)
Posted by:
Richard Byett ( Location: Gloucester, England, UK
Posted On 04:44AM 19-Aug-2000 with id (RQRNQSYNQXVNUT*)

Well although Chris has been downgraded i expect he will again reach Tropical Storm strength sometime today. The latest available IR imagery indicates good strong convection further north than previously. Perhaps he is reorganising, but it could just be caused by shear. I still expect a northwesterly track with this system, and agree intensification may be rapid when conditions become more favourable. I also notice that the Water Vapour imagery no longer shows Chris to be pulling in the dry air to his south east, which may have contributed to his weakening. And those in the Bahamas, and SE US still should watch this system closely. However, becoming of more interest is the strong wave behind Chris. This has slowly become better organised over the passed few days, and as it is so far south may be more of a threat to the Lesser Antilles in a few days. However it is far too early to say.
We will just have to watch both systems closely.

whazzup this morning? (#18)
Posted by: Rick Shade Location: Mobile
Posted On 07:53AM 19-Aug-2000 with id (RPUNQXXNQYVNSY*)

good day ya'll...woke up and had to look at the visible images, and the latest comments....well, I am on the wave train that says the systems will stay south...I don't have a clue what Chris will do...but we will see. seems to north for me...unless the track takes a more wwnw....

as for the next one....Debbie? She will form today...and affect Florida...this one is south enough to do some damage...unless, of course..she is pulled north too quickly. They tend to go rather straight at the next day or so should give us a barometer. '

will be interesting to watch comes the wave train...more later, we're sure of that. Anyone have any idea of long range forecasts the rest of the year..using what has happened so far as a guide.

have a good weekend....
the Mobilian novice....

TD Chris (#19)
Posted by:
Colleen Location: Lakeland, Florida
Posted On 08:45AM 19-Aug-2000 with id (RPUNQXXNQYXNRX*)

Well here goes...woke up, looked at satellite loops and although there is definitely convection there, it is impossible to guess where the ciruclation is...looking at the WV images, the dry air that was hampering Chris looks to be gone, and by looking at the IR loops, it appears that there is a long west to east line of storms right across the GA/FL Border, which could be the ridge/trough whatever you want to call it. It also appears that Chris is moving in a more westerly direction than w/nw for the time being. Even NHC said their track is to the left of the model runs this morning. I do believe that Chris will strenghten again in the next 6-12 hours, and we will know more when Recon comes back in this morning. Well, we may also have TD#7 knocking at our respective door also. So many questions, so little time.....Colleen

TD #7? (#20)
Posted by:
Rita (
Posted On 09:22AM 19-Aug-2000 with id (QWRNQVWNVXNQUY*)

I have been reading your posts for the past two years, I think this is a great site. But I have a question for all of you. I have been looking at the different models for what the NHC calls a Tropical Wave, but the models show it as a Tropical Depression. Why does the NHC wait forever to call a system, or call systems that really have no chance? I find it kind of frustrating.
Thanks all,

Past Plots (#21)
Posted by:
Ed Dunham Location: Melbourne, FL
Posted On 09:31AM 19-Aug-2000 with id (VSNQVRNRRVNRY*)

As noted by the Orlando Dude, NHC has had some degree of difficulty in finding centerpoints on tropical cyclones this year. This year the last two named storms have developed a small Central Dense Overcast (CDO) while in the formative stages but that doesn't always happen every year. Anyway, Chris has actually been behaving rather nicely and here are my satellite estimates of center coordinates and wind speed (knots) for the past 24 hours:

18/12Z 16.4 55.0 40
18/15Z 16.8 55.4 40
18/18Z 17.2 55.8 35
18/21Z 17.6 56.3 35
19/00Z 18.0 56.8 30
19/03Z 18.4 57.4 30
19/06Z 18.8 58.0 30
19/09Z 19.2 58.6 35
19/12Z 19.6 59.2 35


Chris (#22)
Posted by: Joe
Posted On 10:47AM 19-Aug-2000 with id (RQVNSNQXRNQPU*)

I think we will have Tropical Storm chris back by
Today.I have to adgree with Colleen it doe appears
to be moving out of the dry air.You can see that
well on the Water Vapor.Also TD#7 Is likely right
behind.This will likely be classified later today.

Former Chris (#23)
Posted by:
Mary Location: LAkeland
Posted On 01:34PM 19-Aug-2000 with id (QRNWWNQVRNQP*)

As I said on another site, I think Chris will continue to play hide and seek till Debby catches up to him. She will be the mother of all storms 2000.

Re: TD 7? (#24)
Posted by: JJ
Posted On 01:48PM 19-Aug-2000 with id (RPUNQXXNQYUNUV*)

The low east of the Islands probably is a tropical depression. There is a caveat, though--there is no lower limit for TD strength. You could probably call any convective tropical low a TD, and not be technically wrong. In the early to mid 70's, the NHC literally tracked dozens of "depressions" every year. However, the NHC stiffened its definition of TDs later on. So the tropical low east of the Islands may be a TD, but it's probably not organized enough to warrant warnings.

Also, keep in mind that the NHC has millions of people depending on its information. They probably won't warn on a TD unless:

1.) It presents an immediate threat to a land mass.

2.) It has a very good chance of reaching TS strength in a day or so.

3.) Or both.

A friend of mine says that the NHC has become very strict in the last few years about what they will and won't warn on. With millions of people depending on them, they can't afford to be overzealous in warning on these things.

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