Wednesday, August 2, 2006


National Hurricane Center beginning to acknowledge in their discussions that official track guidance, denoted below by "OFCL" (last line on the key), is leaning towards a shift to the north and away from interaction with major landmasses such as Puerto Rico, Hispanola or Cuba. It appears the first piece of land Chris will affect in a major way, other than the Bahamas, is south Florida. If he does a Katrina and loop-de-loops somehow under Florida and through the straits, then we will be looking at Rita-redux. The combination of low shear, a strong high ridge dominating Eastern North America into the Atlantic, and warm SST's along with high heat potential in the central Gulf means we could be staring down the barrel of a Category 3 or greater by Tuesday or Wednesday, on it's way to a 5 before landfall along the western Gulf Coast.

Chris models 1

Model guidance has shifted most projected paths north, avoiding the islands. Click on the image to view my source and other tropical cyclone model maps.

Chris 2

To look at this 5-day projection and not see the potential of a major hurricane by Monday, you'd have to be over in Egypt.... that is in "denial." The storm will be entering a very favorable environment late in the forecast period (from 96 to 120 hours), so that's why I expect to see NHC's official intensity increase to borderline Cat 3 for the Tuesday timeframe.

Chris 3

Those of you who remember Andrew in 1992 recall that it was a nondescript tropical storm, which was forecast initially to dissipate or remain weak as it approached Florida. Then, whamo! In just 30 hours, Andrew screamed up to Category 5 and remained a devastastingly strong storm all the way to the Florida coast. Chris certainly looks healthy enough with good outflow in all quadrants and a solid central dense overcast indicated by the consistent "orange ball" associated with strengthening systems. Click on the image above for a current loop.

Chris SST 1

I haven't pinpointed where the infamous "Loop current" is yet, but nevertheless with SSTs at 29 C and above from one end of the Gulf to another, this storm has plenty of time and energy to soak up before it makes landfall. I think this is going to be a rough ride for the Louisiana and Texas coasts, not to mention the Gulf oil rigs and gas refineries trying to get back on their feet from last year. Given the potential of this storm to interrupt the petroleum industry, I think I'll go fill up my 5 gallon gas cans today. Once this thing reaches hurricane strength and it goes on the radar screen of energy traders, you'll see a jump in gas prices over the next week, especially when you consider the triple whammy of oil companies having to shut down operations early to remove personnel, then tankers being diverted to other ports, and lastly the current 12% of shut in production left over from last year. 11:30 midday trading, oil was topping $76 a barrel, too late... traders already see the danger ahead.

GOM rig map 1

A map of offshore mobile and onshore fixed oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, from It'd be a cryin' shame if Chris sliced through the area that was not as affected by either of last year's megastorms.

The next post later this afternoon following the 5PM NHC update.


Julee said...

I take full responsibility for this one. Four days ago I ACTUALLY said to someone,"WOW! It's the end of July and not ONE word yet about hurricanes!"

Sorry that is always takes something DIRE to get you back online Mr. Foot, but thank you for coming out of mothballs to keep us informed.

Anonymous said...

RAY- Thanx Mr Foot, good to talk to u again! Yea my gut tells me this thing will be off to the races once it develops a well defined eye, prolly at around 95-100mph, from there on would expect a rapid metamorphis into a monster ("minimal" cat 4) right over the keys or just south. Prolly a weaker but still border line major event on the Texas coast along about mid week. I'll prolly chime in again after the 11pm advisory, peace: )

E.H. Boston said...

Welcome back Mr. Foot...

What a time for the I-95 corridor today. Heat of around 100 from GA to MA/NH.

T.S. Chris looks like its going to go over the Keys. I have a very important question. What do you think about this.

My friends that live in Miami invited us down for the early fall. Cheap airfare. We can either go the first week of September and with this we are taking their boat down to the Keys for a couple of days and relaxing.

Or wait until mid October to book and we won't go to the Keys. (Key West)

In early September will there be Keys to go to?

What do you think of the chances of a Long Island Express this summer/fall?

P.S...Boston's first flakes are only about 2 1/2 months away. Usually mid October. (Oct. 20-25)

Last year Oct. 29 and we got 1-2" of snow.

That will make us forget of the 99 degree high temperature of today with the peak heat index at 110.

WEYTYN said...

Hello Mr Foot wow what a start to your 2006 season.
I will be reporting in from time to time/

terpguy said...

I said my "hello" last night, but it disappeared with the new post.

So... we go again!


Anonymous said...

RAY- Looks like a more southerly track MAY result in a much weaker system than I previously anticipated (land interaction), but we shall see. Mr. Foot, what is the early word on next winter for s New England?

E.H. Boston said...

August 3, 2006

T.S. Chris is almost completely destroyed by strong northeast winds sheering it apart. It no longer has any convection even close to its center. Winds this morning are down to 40mph and Chris probably only has another 12-24 hours left. Then it will slam into the mountains of Cuba and totally be pulled apart. Good news for the lower 48.

This heat is almost all over for us up here in Boston. One last day in the 90's. Tomorrow, after PM severe storms tonight, will be drier and in the low 80's.

Amazing video I saw this morning on TWC. South Africa SNOW!! Some places in South Africa have seen snow that they haven't seen in over 25 years. There has already been 4 deaths due to this cold and snow spell in South Africa. This is said to be one of their harshest winters in many, many years.

What do you make of this Mr. Foot? Is it just the world balancing itself. Amazing heat in the U.S. and Europe. Snowy down there.

Stay cool all you down in the Mid Atlantic with highs back into the 100's.

Foot's Forecast said...

Yes it looks like Chris is taking a break, and energy traders and commuters alike breathing a sigh of relief, the only relief around in this inferno of a heat wave.

I would not count it out totally. While I can see this storm weakening to a depression for a while, I can also see it taking off once in the Gulf. I'm not a disaster monger so I don't want that to happen, but the timing of this is such that if Chris were to re-emerge in the Gulf and then rapidly intensify, the Gulf states would have much less time to prepare. Let's hope Chris fizzles so I can sleep more ;-)

Anonymous said...

RAY- Unfortunatley, at least a few more days of yawning in the weather department, but while Chris fizziling is a very good thing for S Florida and the greater antillies it may ultimatley be a bad thing for the gulf coast. Chris has a decent shot(50-50) at regeneration in the gulf and if this occurs the timing of his life cycle may be more conducive for the gulf coast being dealt a major blow. He may be peaking in intensity just before a landfall ie Hurricanes Charley and Camille, as opposed to peaking in the middle of the gulf such as Opal, Lilly, Rita, Katrina, Allen and many others. In conclusion this may look like a great deal, but buyer beware because in the end it may just mean less time for Chris to unleash his peak fury on the fish before mercifuly taking a breather prior to landfall!