The tropics have really been heating up lately with the formation of our third named storm so far in the season and we're still in June.
We're talking about Tropical Storm Chris, packing winds of 60 MPH. It's not a threat to land and should stay out to sea without significant effects anywhere on land in the next couple of days. It could lose tropical characteristics as early as tomorrow afternoon, so we don't have to worry about Chris much or at all as it harmlessly shoots out to sea and out of our concerns. Now, let me say that as Chris formed yesterday, it broke a record--the earliest forming 'C' storm in the Atlantic Basin since they started naming storms in the first place. Even Cindy of 2005 had a later start (Jul.3) but does that mean we will see total activity near/above 2005? Certainly not, but it does give us quite a boost up the name list, and breaks records.
Minnesota Rampaged By Floods
Speaking of records, parts of Minnesota saw incredible rainfall amounts with some areas picking up over a foot of rainfall in 24 hours--yesterday into this morning, which contributed to large scale flooding--the absolute worst seen in the state since 1972. Roads were washed out, countless water rescues, but luckily no one had died...other than several animals who escaped a local zoo near Duluth (a city hard hit by the floods). Last night, the NWS issued multiple flash flood warnings, flash flood emergencies and a rather stern "Civil Emergency Message" strongly urging against travel in the local area.
Last but definitely not least, we are monitoring an area of interest that is bringing enhanced heavy rainfall and minor flooding (no Minnesota-type floods here, fortunately) to South Florida and is now headed NW into the Gulf Of Mexico and we might actually see this develop quite at a decent pace in the next few days. A TD forming in the Gulf Of Mexico soon? Not very unlikely. The NHC gives this a medium chance of TC formation by Friday evening (30%). Regardless, there could be wet times ahead for much of the Northern Gulf Coast where uncertainty is high with this system. For now, just an area of interest, but one that could be watched for a formidable soaker to US Gulf Coast residents.