Tropical Storm Chris forms
The third named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season is here this morning, forming from the invest previously dubbed Invest 95L. Tropical Storm Chris is located out in the open Atlantic far to the northeast of Bermuda, but it is an interesting tropical cyclone to track nonetheless. Visible satellite imagery reveals a well-defined system with several bands of showers wrapping into the center. An eye feature is even visible. As of the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center, maximum sustained winds were up to 50 mph with a minimum barometric pressure of 1000 millibars. This was based off Dvorak intensity estimates from TAFB and UW/CIMSS.
Figure 1. Morning visible satellite imagery of Tropical Storm Chris.
The forecast for Chris
Chris has roughly 12 to 18 hours to strengthen before it begins to encounter unfavorable conditions. After that, the tropical cyclone should begin to interact with a frontal boundary and transitioning into an extratropical cyclone in addition to passing over significantly cooler waters. However, a majority of the global models show the system remaining steady in intensity as an extratropical cyclone. The official NHC forecast shows Chris peaking in 12 hours as a 60 mph tropical storm before completely transitioning by 36 hours out; I agree with this forecast. Afterwards, there were indications that the extratropical center of Chris would be absorbed into a larger extratropical low; it now appears that Chris will be the dominant low and remain a separate entity. Regardless, the system is no threat to any landmasses.
INIT 20/1500Z 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 21/0000Z 50 KT 60 MPH
24H 21/1200Z 45 KT 50 MPH
36H 22/0000Z 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
48H 22/1200Z 45 KT 50 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
72H 23/1200Z 40 KT 45 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
96H 24/1200Z 40 KT 45 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP