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Tropical Storm Chris was the fourth tropical storm of the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season, which formed into a tropical depression on the night of July 31 235 east-southeast of Barbuda. After becoming a tropical depression, Chris moved northwest for a while, peaking as a 65 mph tropical storm as it did so. After heading northwest, Chris headed west and dissipated over eastern areas of Cuba thanks to very strong upper-level wind shear that affected the storm. Initially, Chris was forecast to attain hurricane status, make landfall in Florida, then enter the Gulf of Mexico afterwards. Chris never even made it into the Gulf of Mexico as a tropical storm, but instead as a remnant area of low-pressure. Chris never reintensified into a tropical storm, despite predictions of the possibility of Chris regenerating into a 65 mph tropical storm, due to marginally favorable conditions in the Gulf for development, before making landfall somewhere along the Gulf Coast of the United States.

The damage Chris caused is unknown, though it likely wasn't very much, since it remained a relatively weak system throughout its lifetime. Chris caused no reported fatalities.

Chris on August 2
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Formation July 31, 2006
Dissipation August 5, 2006
Highest winds 65 mph
Lowest pressure 1001 mbar
Deaths None reported
Damages Minimal
Areas affected Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Turks & Caicos Islands, Hispaniola, Bahamas, eastern Cuba

Meteorological History

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On July 27, a tropical wave moved off the coast of Africa. The wave headed westward without developing, due to the presence of dry air. When the wave was east of the Leeward Islands, convection was able to establish itself around a closed surface circulation center, and on the evening of July 31, the system was upgraded to Tropical Depression Three, while located approximately 235 miles east-southeast of Barbuda. Chris was expected to dissipate within about 3 days time, thanks to the influence of strong upper-level wind shear forecasted to affect the system. Chris defied all predictions of dissipation, and became Tropical Storm Chris shortly after becoming a tropical depression, and began to move to the northwest (it would maintain this motion for quite a while before heading west).

Late on August 1, Chris intensified into a tropical storm with 60 mph winds. After intensifying to a 60 mph tropical storm north of the Leeward Islands, Chris continued to strengthen, reaching a peak of 65 mph winds early on August 2. After peaking in strength, Chris was forecast to attain hurricane status, and the official NHC forecast at one point called for a landfall somewhere in the Florida Keys or mainland Florida, then a westward track into the Gulf of Mexico. However, on August 3, Chris began to weaken and lose its symmetrical structure (at one point, Chris had an eye-like feature developing). Chris weakened to a minimal tropical storm as it head west-northwest, then west.

Chris tried to reestablish convection over its center of circulation on August 3, but wind shear weakened Chris to a tropical depression, blowing that newly formed convection away from the circulation center. After weakening to a tropical depression, Chris headed westward towards eastern Cuba, where it dissipated over the country's eastern portion. After dissipating, the remnant area of low-pressure brought occasional gusts to 20 mph to the Florida Keys, then entered into the Gulf of Mexico, where the possibility remained for Chris to regenerate into a 65 mph tropical storm, due to marginally favorable conditions in the Gulf.

Despite this forecast, Chris did not strengthen, since there was very little left of the system by the time it made it into the Gulf of Mexico, and Chris's life ended in the Gulf of Mexico.

Preparations

Islands

After Tropical Depression Three formed, the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and the British Virgin Islands posted Tropical Storm Warnings for their areas. Later on, when the depression strengthened to become Tropical Storm Chris, Tropical Storm Warnings were issued for Saba, Saint-Barthelemy, Saint Martin, and Sint Eustatius.

St. Thomas

In St. Thomas, all jet flights were cancelled in and out of the island. However, small airlines were still allowed in the storm.

Saint Martin

Saint Martin cancelled their ferry service for a short amount of time, and also prompted residents of the island to secure their loose belongings, as well as for the coastal residents to brace themselves for the impact of high surf that Chris would bring. Finally, construction sites were urged to secure all loose equipment, and a Small Craft Advisory was issued for the coastal waters of Saint Martin, because of the high waves Chris would bring.

Puerto Rico

On August 1, officials of Puerto Rico issued a Tropical Storm Warning for Puerto Rico. Residents in Puerto Rico prepared for Chris by stocking up with gas at gas stations, as well as stocking up disaster supplies. Also, approximately 600 evacuated from the islands of Vieques and Culebra.

Bahamas

When August 2 came, the government of the Bahamas issued a Hurricane Watch for the Turks & Caicos Islands, the Ragged Islands, the Acklins and Crooked Islands, as well as Inagua and Mayaguana. Residents in the watch area were urged to put their hurricane preparedness plans into action, and stock up on disaster supplies. Owners in Staniel Cay secured their boats in preparation of a potential Hurricane Chris.

Gulf Coast

Since Chris's projected path took it into the Gulf of Mexico, prices for crude oil rose on the New York Mercantile Exchange in branch offices in London. Also, the prices for nautral gas rose a lot in New York Mercantile Exchange electronic trading on August 2. In the Gulf of Mexico, locations from the Florida Panhandle westward prepared for the threat of a potential major hurricane, nearly a year after Hurricane Katrina made its landfall in Louisiana and Mississippi. In New Orleans, mayor Ray Nagin prepared to possibly evacuate New Orleans if Chris entered the Gulf of Mexico as a hurricane. This evacuation plan included moving all residents out of New Orleans as a worst-case scenario, for the simple fact that the mayor did not want a repeat of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, which struck nearly a year prior.

Hospitals in the Florida Keys were placed on standby evacuation orders by Florida Emergency Management. Florida Emergency Management had requested 10 mobile recovery centers. In Mississippi, officials identified the need of 110 people to help in the evacuation orders that could've been issued, just in case Chris made landfall in Mississippi. In Louisiana and Texas, the storm was being monitored closely. However, no preparation ever took place for the storm. Overall, Chris likely raised great fears of a repeat of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Thankfully, Chris never even made it to hurricane strength, thus defying all predictions of a potential major hurricane along the Gulf Coast.

Impact

St. Thomas

St. Thomas received over 3 inches of rain from Chris. Other than that, nothing noteworthy to say about Chris's impacts here.

Anguilla

Anguilla reported light rain, as well as a peak wind gust of 21 mph as Chris passed by the island.

St. Martin

Chris had little impact here.

St. John

Nearly 3 inches of rain fell here thanks to Chris. The peak wind gust on the island was 23 mph as Chris passed by. Also, there were reports of lightning near Chris's center of circulation, which is unusual in a tropical cyclone.

Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, Chris's impacts were minimal. San Juan, the capital of the country, reported little to no wind and rain from Chris. In Culebra, wind gusts of 30 mph were recorded, as well as over 1.3 inches of rain in the area. Finally, in Fajardo, a peak rainfall amount of 3.09 inches was reported. Thanks to Chris's heavy rains, the Fajardo River overflowed its banks, and temporarily shut down a highway in the northeastern part of Puerto Rico.

Hispaniola

In Hispaniola, Chris caused rainfall amounts of up to 2 inches on the island.

Turks & Caicos Islands

The impact from Chris was not too different from what was felt in Hispaniola from the storm.

Bahamas

In the Bahamas, the impact was the same as it was in the Turks & Caicos Islands, as well as Hispaniola.

Cuba

In Cuba, the same effects were felt thanks to the effects of Chris. Keep in mind that even though the four locations listed above felt basically the same effects from Chris, some mountainous areas received up to 4 inches of rain from Chris, causing localized flooding.

Dominican Republic

In the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo experienced significant flooding as a result of Chris's passage through the area. Las Americas reported 5.01" of rain thanks to Chris. The heavy rainfall and flooding left several residents temporarily homeless, since they had to abandon their homes because of the flood waters getting inside of them. Also, the flooding from Chris caused landslides, as well as left many roads near the capital city impassable. In the northeastern portion of the Dominican Republic, flooding rains covered up the rice fields. Finally, the National Office of Meteorology issued Flood Warnings for residents living in low-lying areas, as well as those who lived near the rivers in the southeastern and northeastern portion of the Dominican Republic.

Lack of Retirement

Due to the lack of any major effects from Chris, the name was not retired in the Spring of 2007 by the World Meteorological Organization, thus it is on the list for names to be used in the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season.

See Also

2006 Atlantic hurricane season

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tropical_Storm_Chris_%282006%29

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