HURRICANE CHRIS DISCUSSION NUMBER   8
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL       AL032012
1100 AM AST THU JUN 21 2012

CHRIS HAS MAINTAINED ITS EYE FEATURE THIS MORNING...AND IN FACT THE
SATELLITE SIGNATURE HAS IMPROVED.  A 1111Z SSMIS OVERPASS ALSO
INDICATED A SOLID CLOSED RING ON THE 37 GHZ COLOR COMPOSITE IMAGE. 
THE EYE TEMPERATURE HAS WARMED AND THE COLD INNER CORE CLOUD TOPS
ARE -60C TO -70C...RESULTING IN A DVORAK SATELLITE DATA-T ESTIMATES
OF 4.5 AND CONSTRAINED FINAL T-NUMBERS OF 4.0 FROM BOTH TAFB AND
SAB.  IN ADDITION...NOW THAT THE CIMSS ADT HAS OBJECTIVELY
IDENTIFIED AN EYE SCENE TYPE...THE LAST FEW RAW T-NUMBERS WERE ALSO
4.4 TO 4.5.  BASED ON THESE DATA AND CONSIDERING THE RELATIVELY
COOL SSTS...THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS RAISED TO 65 KT...MAKING CHRIS
THE FIRST HURRICANE OF THE SEASON.  GRADUAL WEAKENING IS STILL
EXPECTED THROUGH THE FORECAST PERIOD AS THE SYSTEM MOVES NORTHWARD
OVER COOLER WATER AND INTO A MORE STABLE AIR MASS.

THE CYCLONE HAS BEGUN ITS EXPECTED TURN TOWARD THE NORTHEAST...AT AN
ESTIMATED 050/17.  DURING THE NEXT 24 HOURS...CHRIS IS EXPECTED TO
LOSE ITS TROPICAL CYCLONE CHARACTERISTICS AS THE CYCLONE TURNS
CYCLONICALLY...NORTHWARD AND NORTHWESTWARD AROUND A LARGER MID- TO
UPPER-LEVEL BAROCLINIC SYSTEM.  AFTERWARD...CHRIS SHOULD ULTIMATELY
TURN TOWARD THE SOUTH AND BECOME ABSORBED WITHIN THE AFOREMENTIONED
MID-LATITUDE LOW IN 48 HOURS.
...DISCUSSION...

GULF OF MEXICO...
AN UPPER RIDGE EXTENDS FROM AN UPPER HIGH OVER THE YUCATAN 
CHANNEL NW TO THE LOUISIANA/TEXAS COAST COVERING ALL BUT THE FAR 
NE GULF. DIFFLUENCE ALOFT TO THE W OF THE UPPER RIDGE IS 
GENERATING SCATTERED SHOWERS/ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS W OF 92W TO 
INLAND OVER MEXICO AND TEXAS. AN UPPER LOW IS INLAND OVER S 
ALABAMA EXTENDING AN UPPER TROUGH TO OVER THE FAR NE GULF. THE 
ACTIVITY OVER THE E GULF IS DESCRIBED IN THE SPECIAL FEATURES 
SECTION ABOVE. THE SURFACE TROUGH WILL MOVE INTO THE CENTRAL 
GULF AS A NEW LOW PRESSURE IS EXPECTED TO FORM OVER YUCATAN 
TODAY AND MOVE INTO THE S CENTRAL GULF THROUGH SAT POSSIBLY AS A 
TROPICAL CYCLONE. THE LOW IS THEN EXPECTED TO TRACK NE TO THE E 
GULF SUN AND MON.

CARIBBEAN SEA...
BROAD UPPER RIDGE COVERS THE CARIBBEAN ANCHORED BY AN UPPER HIGH 
OVER THE YUCATAN CHANNEL NEAR 22N86W WITH A RIDGE AXIS EXTENDING 
E TO 21N63W GIVING THE CARIBBEAN NE FLOW ALOFT. THE ACTIVITY IN 
THE NW CARIBBEAN IS DESCRIBED IN THE SPECIAL FEATURES ABOVE. 
THUNDERSTORMS THAT DEVELOPED OVER COLOMBIA CONTINUE TO MOVE INTO 
THE S CARIBBEAN S OF 10N E OF 79W. THIS LEAVING THE REMAINDER OF 
THE CARIBBEAN UNDER MOSTLY CLEAR SKIES THIS MORNING. A TROPICAL 
WAVE IN THE ATLC WILL MOVE INTO THE E CARIBBEAN SAT AND THE 
CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SUN. IT WILL REMAIN MOSTLY ALOFT...BUT BRING A 
SLIGHT INCREASE IN SHOWERS. THE ATLC RIDGE EXTENDS N OF THE AREA 
WILL MAINTAIN MODERATE TO FRESH TRADES ACROSS THE CARIBBEAN WITH 
OCCASIONALLY HIGHER WINDS ALONG THE N COAST OF SOUTH AMERICA.