Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Tropical Storm Colin hits Florida

Tropical Storm Colin Becomes Earliest “C” Storm in Atlantic History



By: Bob Henson


6 June, 2016

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Depression 3 to Tropical Storm Colin in a special update at 5:30 PM EDT Sunday, June 5--making some history along the way. Never before have we been tracking the Atlantic’s third named storm of a calendar year this early in the year. As noted in a weather.com article, there have been two other “C” storms as early as June since current naming practices began in the 1950s: Hurricane Chris (which began as a named subtropical storm on June 18, 2012) and Tropical Storm Candy (June 23, 1968). Going all the way back to 1851, the previous earliest appearance of the season’s third storm was June 12, 1887, although some early-season storms were undoubtedly missed during the pre-satellite era.
As of 8 PM EDT Sunday, Tropical Storm Colin was located in the south central Gulf of Mexico at 23.4°N, 87.8°W, or about 460 miles southwest of Tampa, Florida. Colin is a minimal tropical storm, with top sustained winds of just 40 mph, and only modest further strengthening is expected before Colin approaches the northwest Gulf Coast of the Florida peninsula on Monday evening. The well-defined southwesterly flow steering Colin will take it into the Atlantic and on a track paralleling the southeast U.S. coast on Tuesday, where models suggest it will maintain or regain tropical storm strength, especially southeast of North Carolina. 

Update: At 11:00 PM EDT Sunday, NHC placed the southeast U.S. coast from Sebastian Inlet, FL, to Altamaha Sound, GA, under a tropical storm warning, with a tropical storm watch extending northward from the warning area to the South Santee River, SC. A tropical storm warning remains in effect on the Florida Gulf Coast from Indian Pass to Englewood.
As shown in Figure 1, the steering flow will keep Colin moving northeast rather than curving north or northwest toward the U.S. East Coast. The storm’s heaviest rains will likely remain just off the Southeast coast, although residents along the immediate coast should

NOAA’s National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Depression 3 to Tropical Storm Colin in a special update at 5:30 PM EDT Sunday, June 5--making some history along the way. Never before have we been tracking the Atlantic’s third named storm of a calendar year this early in the year. As noted in a weather.com article, there have been two other “C” storms as early as June since current naming practices began in the 1950s: Hurricane Chris (which began as a named subtropical storm on June 18, 2012) and Tropical Storm Candy (June 23, 1968). Going all the way back to 1851, the previous earliest appearance of the season’s third storm was June 12, 1887, although some early-season storms were undoubtedly missed during the pre-satellite era.

As of 
8 PM EDT Sunday, Tropical Storm Colin was located in the south central Gulf of Mexico at 23.4°N, 87.8°W, or about 460 miles southwest of Tampa, Florida. Colin is a minimal tropical storm, with top sustained winds of just 40 mph, and only modest further strengthening is expected before Colin approaches the northwest Gulf Coast of the Florida peninsula on Monday evening. The well-defined southwesterly flow steering Colin will take it into the Atlantic and on a track paralleling the southeast U.S. coast on Tuesday, where models suggest it will maintain or regain tropical storm strength, especially southeast of North Carolina. Update: At 11:00 PM EDT SundayFigure 1. WU depiction of official forecast track of Tropical Storm Colin as of 8 PM EDT Sunday, June 6, 2016.


Figure 2. This enhanced infrared satellite image of Tropical Storm Colin from 8:37 PM EDT Sunday, June 6, 2016, shows convection blossoming (red and yellow colors) south of Colin’s center of circulation. Image credit:CSU/CIRA/RAMMB.


Colin has a quite elongated, asymmetric structure, with most of its showers and thunderstorms (convection) on its east flank, although very strong convection was beginning to bubble on Colin’s south side on Sunday evening (see Figure 2 above) as the circulation moves away from the Yucatan Peninsula. The nighttime burst in convection common to tropical storms will give Colin an opportunity to strengthen overnight over very warm waters of around 28°C (82-83°F). On Monday, wind shear will increase along Colin’s track toward the Florida coast (see Figure 4 below), which will limit the storm’s ability to strengthen further. The shear will also tend to favor a continuation of Colin’s asymmetric structure.

Figure 3. A plethora of watches, warnings, and advisories covered the central Florida peninsula and nearby waters on Sunday evening, June 5, 2016. Image credit: NWS.


Despite its modest strength, Colin may pack a noteworthy punch across Florida over the next day or so. Intense thunderstorms can be expected to race northward across the peninsula from Sunday night through Monday. Some of these may spawn tornadoes, as the vertical wind shear that limits Colin’s growth as a tropical system will also favor the development of rotating updrafts within thunderstorms. At high tide early Monday afternoon, a storm surge of 1 to 3 feet (perhaps higher in some areas) could affect the immediate coastline from Indian Pass south to Tampa Bay, with 1 to 2 feet possible south of Tampa Bay to Florida Bay. Very heavy rains are also on tap for much of the peninsula, with amounts easily topping 6” to 8” in localized areas.

We’ll have a full update on Colin by midday Monday. We are also keeping our eye on two areas of potential tropical development in the Northeast Pacific, although the odds are slim that either one will develop over the next two to three days.

Bob Henson

Figure 4. As it moves northward toward the west coast of Florida, Tropical Storm Colin will encounter increasing vertical wind shear (shown here in knots; multiply by 1.15 for mph). This wind shear will limit Colin’s ability to strengthen before it strikes the Florida coast. Image credit: University of Wisconsin/SSEC






A state of emergency has been declared by Florida Governor Rick Scott as enormous Tropical Storm Colin threatens the area with high winds and a large amount of rainfall.

Scott postponed a trip to New York to meet with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, so that he could monitor the weather situation from the state capital.

Colin had already been blowing near 50 mph on Monday morning, and the strength may grow through Tuesday. It has also brought enough rain to warrant authorities distributing sandbags to combat flooding.

"If last night was a 'no storm' — and the water was almost up to the hump in my yard — I'm worried," Ronald P. Milligan, 74, told the AP as he motioned to indicate that water was now at approximately knee level. He explained that he has lived in the area since the 1970’s and has never prepared for a storm so early.

The storm is expected to make landfall in Florida around mid-afternoon on Monday before making its way into Georgia and the coast of South Carolina before heading out over the Atlantic Ocean.

Many school districts opted to close school early to allow people time to prepare.

The level two activation at the State Emergency Operations Center will help state and local emergency management officials work together to ensure our state is ready to respond to any impacts of this weather event,” Scott said.


The state also has 6,000 members of the National Guard on standby, in case of emergency

No comments:

Post a Comment