Saturday, June 23, 2012

GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Bank Run in Argentina - Nervous Savers Withdrew 522 Million Dollars in the Last Week!

Foreign-currency deposits fell to 10.52 billion on June 15, the central bank said in a report Friday. Those deposits are overwhelmingly US dollars, which Argentines view as a safe haven amid times of economic uncertainty. 


Argentines still view the dollar as a store of wealth and a transaction medium.
The loss of dollar deposits still isn't a serious threat to banks, as they represent less than 10% of their total deposit base.  However, the dwindling stock of dollar deposits likely will make export financing more expensive. The outflows also have dented the central bank's international reserves.  As of June 15, more than 5.5 billion in foreign-currency deposits had left the banking system since President Cristina Fernandez imposed exchange controls on Oct. 31, 2011, to limit capital flight that was draining reserves.  Severe restrictions on dollar purchases by businesses and individuals scared Argentines who remember the forced conversion of their dollar savings into pesos during a deep economic crisis in 2002. 

Argentines still view the dollar as a store of wealth and a transaction medium because of their country's long history of high inflation and runaway government spending that frequently ended in currency devaluations.  The dollar continues to be legal tender in Argentina and is used overwhelmingly in most real-estate transactions. Nearly all used-home sales in major cities are paid for in dollars.  The deposit outflows are also a sign that savers expect annual inflation that has been running at about 25% for several years to eventually force the government to weaken the peso at a faster rate than it has been willing to do until now.  The peso weakened to close at ARS4.5110 to the dollar on the regulated MAE foreign-exchange wholesale market Friday, bringing its year-to-date loss to 8.9%. But when adjusted for inflation, the peso has actually gained ground versus the greenback.  Peso-denominated deposits were little changed at ARS489.2 billion (108.4 billion dollars) on June 15, the central bank said. - Merco Press.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 6.5 Magnitude Quake Strikes Near the East Coast of Kamchatka, Russia!

A magnitude 6.5 earthquake has struck near the east coast of Kamchatka, Russia on Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 03:15:05 UTC, local time.

The tremor was located at 57.436°N, 163.418°E with a depth of 51 km (31.7 miles). The epicentre was 284 km (176 miles) south (189°) from Il'pyrskiy, Russia; 296 km (184 miles) northwest (329°) from Nikol'skoye, Komandorskiye Ostrova, Russia; 577 km (358 miles) northeast (30°) from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, Russia; and 2990 km (1858 miles) northeast (29°) from Tokyo, Japan.  According to NOAA's National Weather Service, no tsunami watch, warning or advisory is in effect.


According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Kamchatka is one of the most active seismic region in Russia. Three earthquakes, which occurred off the coast of Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia in 1737, 1923 and 1952, were megathrust earthquakes and caused tsunamis. They occurred where the Pacific Plate subducts under the Okhotsk Plate at the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench. The depth of the trench at the point of the earthquakes is 7,000–7,500 meters. Northern Kamchatka lies at the western end of the Bering fault, between the Pacific Plate and North American Plate, or the Bering plate. There are many more earthquakes and tsunamis originating from Kamchatka, of which the most recent was the 1997 Kamchatka earthquake and tsunami originating near the Kronotsky Peninsula.

Click HERE for additional Details, Summary, Maps and Scientific & Technical information from the USGS.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: Very High Number of Dead, Dying Seabirds Washing up on East Florida Beaches - Authorities Declare it a "Major Event"?!

Researchers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have received reports of more than 150 dead or distressed greater shearwaters, gull-like birds, along Florida's east coast this week. After examining some of the birds, researchers believe these deaths are related to stress from the species' long, trans-Atlantic migration.  Greater shearwaters migrate from their primary breeding grounds in Tristan da Cunha, a group of islands off the southwest coast of Africa, across the Atlantic to Canada, according to the Peterson Field Guide for Eastern Birds.

File Photo.
"This long migration, coupled with storms and high winds, can take its toll on some immature and older shearwaters, sapping their strength and making it difficult to feed," said Dan Wolf, an FWC research biologist, in a news release. "Upon examination of some of the dead greater shearwaters this week, we found the birds were young and emaciated, consistent with normal migration mortality."  Because greater shearwaters live most of their lives on the open sea, the deaths are only seen alongshore when winds are blowing inshore, the FWC stated.  Local wildlife rehabilitation centers have received dozens of dying great shearwater birds in the past two weeks.  Since June 16, the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center in Palm City has received about 20 birds and none have survived, said the center's executive director Dan Martinelli.  "They're literally on death's door. They are emaciated," said Martinelli who added most of the recovered birds are juveniles and older adults — usually the weakest of the flock. "It's a major event. I think we can characterize it as a mass die-off."  According to Smithsonian Marine Station fellow Sea McKeon, who holds a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Florida, sometimes Mother Nature isn't the most nurturing force. 

"We've had tremendous rain and wind blowing over the ocean," said McKeon, who added the inability to hunt stemming from exhaustion might be causing the birds' demise. "The wind has pushed them onto our beaches. Once they're on land, they are completely helpless."  The seabirds have dark plumage, a dark cap and a wing span of 3 feet. The shearwater is one of only a few bird species to migrate from breeding grounds in the Southern Hemisphere to the Northern Hemisphere, the normal pattern being the other way around. The seabirds feed on small fish pushed to the ocean surface by tuna and dolphin during their annual summer migration along the Gulf Stream to Canada, McKeon said.  On Thursday morning, McKeon found four dead shearwater birds on North Hutchinson Island in Fort Pierce. He estimates hundreds have been washing up on beaches from Cape Canaveral to Miami. Animal experts at Creature Safe Place in Fort Pierce reported in the past two weeks they received about 10 shearwaters clinging to life. Executive director Winnie Burns said despite attempts to hydrate the birds, none survived.  "This is not a common occurrence," Burns said. "We usually get two a year."  Martinelli plans to ship 10 of the dead birds early next week to FWC in Gainesville for testing.  "This is a sad event, but it is probably a natural event," said Martinelli.  FWC states that migration-related deaths of greater shearwaters occur every year around this time, though the number varies. In 2007, researchers received reports of about 1,000 dead shearwaters during the migratory season. - The Palm Beach Post.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Disturbance Continues Along the Sumatra - Strong 6.6 Magnitude Quake Jolts Aceh Province, Indonesia!

An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 jolted Aceh province in northern tip of Sumatra island on Saturday, the Meteorology and Geophysics Agency reported here.The USGS reported the quake was at 5.9 magnitude.

The quake struck at 11:34 a.m. Jakarta tme (0434 GMT) Saturday. The epicenter was at 24 km northwest Kota Subulus Alam of Aceh province with a depth of 103 km under the earth, an official of the agency told Xinhua by phone.
The intensity of the quake was felt at 4 MMI (Modified Mercally Intensity) in Blang Pidie and Sibolga and 2 MMI in Sibolga and 3 MMI in Banda Aceh, he said.

"No reports of damage or casualty are received so far, as the center of the quake was deep," the official said
Indonesia sits on a vulnerable quake-prone zone called "the Pacific Ring of Fire". - Xinhaunet.

Click HERE for additional Details, Summary, Maps and Scientific & Technical information from the USGS.

THE SYRIAN CRISIS: Escalation in the Middle East Conflict - Syria Shoots Down Turkish Warplane! UPDATE: Plane Shoot-down Triggers Emergency Military Talks in Turkey! UPDATE: Turkey Vows "Necessary and Decisive Action" Against Syria!

Syria shot down a Turkish warplane on Friday, Lebanon’s al Manar television reported, risking a new crisis between Middle Eastern neighbours already at bitter odds over a 16-month-old revolt against Syrian President Bashar al Assad.  “Syrian security sources confirmed to a Manar correspondent in Damascus that Syrian defence forces shot down the Turkish fighter jet,” the Hezbollah-owned channel said.

The two middle eastern neighbours are at bitter odds over the revolt against Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE
Turkey, which had drawn close to Syria before the uprising against Assad, became one of the Syrian leader’s fiercest critics when he responded violently to pro-democracy protests inspired by popular upheavals elsewhere in the Arab world.  Ankara has previously floated the possibility of setting up some kind of safe haven or humanitarian corridor inside Syria, which would entail military intervention, but has said it would undertake no such action without UN Security Council approval.  Turkey said it had lost contact with one of its military aircraft off its southeastern coast, and a television station said it had crashed in Syrian territorial waters.  CNN Turk television said Turkey was in contact with the Syrian authorities to get permission to conduct a search for the airmen, although there was no immediate official confirmation.  Turkey’s military said a search and rescue operation was under way. It lost radar and radio contact with the plane after it left Erhac airport in the eastern province of Malatya. 

Two crew were aboard the F-4 jet, Turkish state news agency Anatolia said, citing Malatya governor Ulvi Saran.  Hurriyet daily newspaper reported that the plane had gone down in international waters and that the two airmen had been found alive and well by Turkish forces.  Still, violence in Syria raged on unabated.  Rebels killed at least 25 members of a mainly Alawi pro-Assad militia and troops killed 10 anti-Assad protesters in the northern city of Aleppo, opposition activists said.  The violence, which followed a day of bloodshed across Syria in which 125 deaths were reported, is further evidence of a slide towards sectarian-tinged civil war in a country where majority Sunnis are spearheading an anti-Assad revolt.  Russia, one of Assad’s strongest backers abroad, said the Syrian authorities were ready to withdraw troops from cities, a main plank of envoy Kofi Annan’s never-implemented peace plan, “simultaneously” with rebels.  Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with his Syrian counterpart that he had urged Syria to “do a lot more” to implement Annan’s UN-backed proposals, but that foreign countries must also press rebels to stop the violence.  Hundreds of people have been killed in Syria since the UN-Arab League mediator announced his six-point plan on April 12 and there was no let-up in the violence on Friday. - Tribune.
WATCH: Turkish fighter jet shot down over Syria - 2 pilots' status unknown.


UPDATE: Plane Shoot-down Triggers Emergency Military Talks in Turkey!

The Turkish army have announced it lost contact with a military plane near Syria, triggering an emergency meeting with Turkey's top military, intelligence and government officials.
Turkey's military command said in a brief statement that it lost radar and radio contact with one of its aircraft on the Mediterranean in the southwest of the Hatay province bordering Syria.  The plane took off from Malatya airbase in the southeast at 0730 GMT and lost communication with the base at 0858 GMT, the online statement said.  The incident prompted an emergency security meeting led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was expected to return from Brazil later in the day, said Anatolia news agency.  The meeting will also include the heads of the military and intelligence, as well as interior, foreign and defence ministers, it added.  Malatya governor Ulvi Saran told the Anatolia news agency that the aircraft was a F-4 fighter jet with two pilots onboard, without elaborating further.  "We have no information right now about the fate of the plane. We are following the developments," he said... US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has defended the Obama administration's decision not to arm the Syrian opposition. He said the country risked being pushed into an all-out civil war if efforts to secure a smooth political transition fail. - RTE.
UPDATE: Turkey Vows "Necessary and Decisive Action" Against Syria!

Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Saturday his country would take "necessary" action against Syria for the downing of a Turkish military jet, but suggested that the aircraft may have unintentionally violated the Syrian airspace. 

Syria said Friday its forces had shot down a Turkish military plane that entered its air space. The plane, an unarmed F-4, went down in the Mediterranean Sea about 8 miles (13 kilometers) away from the Syrian town of Latakia, Turkey said.  The incident further escalated tensions between Syria and NATO-member Turkey. The two neighbors used to be allies before the Syrian revolt began in March 2011 but Turkey has become one of the strongest critics of the Syrian regime's brutal response to the country's uprising and is playing host to civilian and military Syrian opposition groups.  Gul said that Turkey was still trying to establish the exact circumstances of the incident but said it was "routine" for jets flying in high-speeds to violate other countries' air spaces for short periods of time.  "These incidents are routine," Gul said. "They are incidents that are not ill-intentioned and happen because of the speeds (of the jets). Was that the case, or did (the incident) occur in our own air space, these facts will emerge," he said. "No one should have any doubt that whatever (action) is necessary will be taken."  Gul did not elaborate on what those steps would be. But Turkey said after a border shooting incident – which killed two people inside a Turkish refugee camp in April – that it would call on its NATO allies to intervene should it feel that its security was being threatened. - Huffington Post.
WATCH: Jet Escalation - 'Turkey probing Syrian anti-air defense'.


SOLAR WATCH: Large Prominence Eruption Off the Northwest Limb of the Sun!


According to Space Weather, the departure of active sunspot AR1504 has left the Earth-facing side of the sun quiet and nearly blank. A small sunspot is emerging near the centre of the sun. However, NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured a large prominence eruption off the northwest limb this morning, June 23, 2012. The coronal mass ejection (CME) does not look to be Earth-directed, so no geomagnetic storms are expected.

WATCH: Prominence Eruption.


Of note, with no significant active regions facing Earth, NOAA forecasters estimate a mere 1% chance of strong M- or X-class solar flares. Solar activity should remain low for at least the next 24 hours. However a solar wind flowing from a northern coronal hole could brush against Earth's magnetic field on June 28-29.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Shallow 4.2 Magnitude Quake Rattles Residents Along the Nevada-California Border - 5 Aftershocks In One Hour and a Half!

The epicenter of the earthquake was due east of Truckee just east of the Nevada - California state line.  People from all over the Reno-Sparks metro area and Carson City are telling News 4 that they felt the earthquake.

The quake struck at 8:51pm. There was a 1.4 magnitude aftershock about five minutes after the initial earthquake; 20 minutes later there was a 1.8 aftershock.  With-in an hour and a half there were five aftershocks. 

The largest aftershocks were two 1.9 magnitudes.  Nearly two hours after the 4.2, a 2.0 aftershock shook the area.  That 2.0 aftershock was downgraded from its original 2.1 reading.


At 12:13am another aftershock registered at 2.4 magnitude according to the USGS.

At 1:00pm, about eight hours before the large earthquake, there was a magnitude 2.0 quake in the same area. - KRNV.
Click HERE for additional Details, Summary, Maps and Scientific & Technical information from the USGS.

WATCH: 4.2 Earthquake near Incline Village.

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: Most Violently Weird Attack in Palmetto, Florida - Man With Super-Human Strength Gets Naked and Bites Off Chunk of Another Man's Arm?!

When Jeffrey Blake woke up in his Palmetto home Thursday morning, he had no idea the bizarre scuffle with his son-in-law the night before would thrust him into worldwide headlines about another "zombie" attack.  "It didn't occur to me, to tell you the truth," Blake said.  The 48-year old was attacked and was bitten on the arm by the man who had stripped naked. 

When the Manatee County Sheriff's Office described the bite as a "chunk of meat" out of Blake's arm, the story quickly appeared throughout the internet.  In reality, Blake ended up with a bruised bicep with a minor puncture wound.  Still, the incident has similarities to the world-famous assault in Miami in which a man chewed off the face of a homeless man along a busy highway.  Blake described 25-year old Charles Baker as "wild," throwing furniture and tearing off his clothes.  "I don't know what was in his body but whatever it was, it was mighty powerful," Blake said.  Baker came to Blake's house on the 100 block of 25th Street West in Palmetto to visit his three children.  Baker's two sons, 8 and 4, and his daughter, 6, are in Blake's custody while their mother is in jail.  But the routine visit turned violent, according to sheriff's deputies.  Soon after Baker was allowed inside the home at 10:15 p.m., he went on a drug-induced rampage, according to investigators.  Deputies said they found traces of marijuana and opiates in his bloodstream.    What likely helped spawn the "zombie" comparisons, however, was the fact that the naked Baker was biting his victim, and seemed to be immune to the stun guns of sheriff's deputies. 

Blake said he was able to forcibly hold Baker to the floor while he waited for law enforcement to arrive.  Two deputies fired stun guns at Baker, but he ripped off the wires and tried to get back up.  But deputies didn't let up.  "All I heard was 'Hit him again' with the taser," Blake said.  "Hit him again.  Completely hit him again.  Five, six, seven times they hit him," he said.  Blake was amazed a person could resist so much electricity.  Baker was eventually handcuffed and arrested.  He was charged with aggravated battery and taken to the Manatee County Jail.    The attack happened as two of Baker's children were awake and watching.  The two youngest kids were in the hallway and happened to witness the entire fight.  "Taking clothes off in front of your six year old child?"  Blake asked Baker during the tussle.  "I feel bad for him.  I don't know what he's going through," Blake said.  The great-grandmother of the three kids was also appalled.  Lynda Brooks said she thought Baker might have been upset over the recent suicide of his father, but that didn't excuse his behavior.  "I don't like what he did at all," Brooks said.  Blake said he plans to make sure his grandchildren are kept away from their father, but he hopes Baker gets some kind of mental help.    "It's something I never want to see again, that's for sure."  - ABC Action News.
WATCH: Latest 'zombie' eating attack in Manatee County.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Dozens Of People Feel Quake In Western North Carolina - South Carolina is Now the Most Seismically Active State, East of the Mississippi River!

A small earthquake shook up a dozen residents Tuesday in Western North Carolina.  The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 2.0 magnitude quake was centered about seven miles northeast of Franklin in Macon County.  It happened around 10:45 p.m. 

No damaged was caused by the earthquake. Dozens of people in both Franklin and Sylva told officials they felt it. The Carolinas will experience between 2 and 5 earthquakes each year. The quakes are usually minor to moderate and no one even notices the ground moving. “Most of the earthquakes we have around here are actually from the reservoirs in the area," said USC Upstate Geology Professor Briget Doyle. Research has found that South Carolina is the most seismically active state, east of the Mississippi River and every county has the potential for earthquakes. The last significant earthquake in the Upstate was in 2010, according to Doug Bryson, director of Spartanburg County Office of Emergency Management.

“It was a 2.5 on the Richter scale and was located southeast of the City of Spartanburg. It felt like a large truck or train going by and everything vibrated,” Bryson said. The quake didn't cause any damage, but Bryson says his office is always prepared for the worst. The best way to protect yourself during an earthquake is to immediately get under a sturdy table or desk and hold on to it. Bryson says do not get under a doorway as you’re more likely to get hurt. If you’re outside, move away from any buildings, power lines and trees. Once in the open, get low and stay there until the shaking stops. The largest earthquake to date in South Carolina was a magnitude 7 and took place in Charleston in 1886. Doyle says, a quake that size usually occurs once every 500 years, based on historical information. While no one can predict earthquakes, Doyle recommends to be ready at all times, because it’s not a question of if an earthquake will happen. but when and how big
. - WSPA.
WATCH: Earthquake in Western North Carolina.


GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: The Euro Zone Crisis - Starving Greeks Queue For Food in Their Thousands as Debt-Wracked Country Finally Forms Coalition Government!

Starving Greeks queued around the block for free food handouts yesterday as the country's politicians managed to end a crippling stalemate to form a coalition government.  Young children as well as the elderly waited in line in Athens to collect the parcels of fruit and vegetables donated by farmers from Crete to help ease the devastating austerity faced by many Greeks.   But as hungry people collected food, a few miles away a new conservative-led alliance was formed, vowing to renegotiate the country's strict European bailout in a bid to breath economic life back into the debt-stricken country. 

Hundreds of poverty-stricken Greeks are queuing for free vegetable handouts as politicians
finally agree to form a coalition government.
Conservative Antonis Samaras was sworn in as prime minister and head of a three-party coalition that will uphold the country's international bailout commitments.  The move ends a protracted political crisis that had cast grave doubt over the country's future in Europe's joint currency and threatened to plunge Europe deeper into a financial crisis with global repercussions.  Samaras, an American-educated 61-year-old economist, was sworn in three days after his party won the second national elections in six weeks but without enough votes to form a government on its own.  His New Democracy party will join forces with the socialist PASOK party, which came in third place, and the smaller Democratic Left led by Fotis Kouvelis...  All three parties broadly back Greece's pledges to bailout creditors for further austerity and reforms, although they have pledged to renegotiate some of the terms for the rescue loans.  New Democracy and PASOK are also looking for an extension of at least two years in the deadlines for implementing fresh cutbacks worth a total 14.5billion euro ($18.42 billion). 

Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis went a bit further today, saying that Greece should eventually ‘disengage’ from the austerity commitments and ‘lift those measures that have literally bled society.’  Greece has been dependent on the loans from other Eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund since May 2010. In return, it has imposed deep spending cuts, slashed salaries and pensions, and repeatedly hiked taxes.  The measures have left the country struggling through a fifth year of recession, with unemployment spiraling to above 22 percent and tens of thousands of businesses shutting down.  The face of the crippling poverty gripping the country was plain to see as hundreds of poverty-stricken Greeks queued in a central Athens park for free vegetables. Cretan farmers handed out some 2,700 10-kilo packages of produce, in cooperation with the capital's municipal authorities.   Among the people lining up was Panayiota Sidera, 31, from Athens. She said she has been unemployed for two-and-a-half years and her husband is also out of a job. The couple is living on a (euro) 250 monthly disability pension and rent from an apartment they own, and has a (euro) 540-a-month loan installment to pay.  ‘That's my predicament,’ she said, adding that the food handout ‘is helping people, and I'm grateful.’ ‘The government should have been doing this years ago,’ she said.
- Daily Mail.

EXTREME WEATHER: Fires Danger at "All-Time High" Across Colorado - Most Expensive in State History; 68,200 Acres Burned; 189 Homes Destroyed; as Officials Brace For More!

All of Colorado isn't burning, but there's enough flame and enough potential to have authorities deeply worried as the drought-parched state braces for another week of searing temperatures, high wind and low humidities. Numerous Colorado communities, towns and counties have issued fire bans, and last week Gov. John Hickenlooper imposed statewide restrictions, including barring private use of fireworks.

A helicopter flew through the Cache La Poudre Canyon as flames scored the forest south of the river. The High Park fire
made a run to the north Thursday afternoon, June 14, 2012. Flames crossed over the Poudre River causing a mandatory
evacuation for residents of the Glacier View area. Karl Gehring/The Denver Post
Thursday,  the U.S. Forest Service amped up fire restrictions on its public lands along the Front Range, as well as the Pawnee National Grasslands in Weld County, effective Friday. "We have a major fire burning on our forest," said Glenn Casamassa, supervisor of the , supervisor of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grasslands. "Protecting people and homes is our main priority. Since fire danger is at an all-time high, doing what we can to prevent additional ignitions is imperative."  Casamassa referred to the High Park fire in Larimer County, the most expensive in state history, already has burned 68,200 acres and at least 189 homes.

The fire, which was started by lighting on June 9, is 55 percent contained, but authorities have said the area from Poudre Canyon to Horsetooth Reservoir could smolder for weeks to come. Almost 2,000 firefighters are battling the High Park fire.  Almost 500 are battling the Springer fire near Lake George, which was 30 percent contained at 1,145 acres Thursday. The Little Sand fire in the San Juan National Forest northwest of Pagosa Springs, has consumed 13,180 acres since it began with lightning in remote terrain on May 13. The fire is 30 percent contained Thursday. The Sunrise Mine fire near the Colorado-Utah border, has burned 5,742 acres of remote terrain about four miles north of Paradox. Earlier this week, the fire burned 2,000 acres. The fire started Tuesday afternoon and was put out by Wednesday afternoon, according to the Craig Daily Record.  - The Denver Post.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Strange Case of the "Zombie" Tropical Storm Chris - Never Before Since Record-Keeping Began in 1851 Has a System Formed That Far North in the Atlantic This Early!

Chris was labeled as a "zombie" tropical storm for the same reason that the system broke a tropical weather record. Chris acquired the description "zombie" after AccuWeather.com Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller stated, "the storm is alive, but it should not be."

This satellite image of Chris, courtesy of NOAA, was captured Thursday morning.
Chris organized into a tropical storm Tuesday afternoon over water that is far from warm enough for development and at a latitude that is typically unheard of in June. The storm further strengthened into the Atlantic Basin's first hurricane of the season early Thursday with a pronounced eye showing up in satellite images. Later Thursday, "zombie" Chris was downgraded, once again becoming a tropical storm. Chris first took shape at a latitude of 39.3 degrees north, the same latitude that southern New Jersey sits. Never before since record-keeping began in 1851 has a tropical storm formed that far north in the Atlantic this early in hurricane season, according to the National Hurricane Center. Tropical Storm Bret recently held that record after developing due east of northern North Carolina in late June 1981.

When Chris took shape, it also marked the third earliest formation of the third tropical storm in the Atlantic Basin. Only during the years of 1887 and 1959 has such development occurred earlier. Tropical storms have developed north of a latitude of 40.0 degrees, but not until August or later when the northern Atlantic waters were warmer. It would be less surprising for a subtropical storm to take shape in the far northern Atlantic in June since subtropical storms only possess partial tropical characteristics. Later today, the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center expects Chris to lose its tropical characteristic as it merges with another non-tropical storm system. - Accu Weather.

STORM ALERT: Gulf of Mexico and American East Coast on Alert For Tropical Storm Debby!

AccuWeather.com meteorologists continue to monitor low pressure near the Yucatan which is expected to become "Debby" this weekend. According to Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski, "There is a slight chance this feature could become a tropical depression as early as tonight. However, we feel this system will become better organized this weekend and should become Tropical Storm Debby later Saturday or on Sunday." Interestingly enough, there has never been a fourth named storm in June. Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski has more information in this story. Debby, once an organized tropical entity, will take a northward jog this weekend into the central Gulf of Mexico, where it will have ample opportunity to strengthen.

The system could spin up just about anywhere in the mass of clouds over the Caribbean and southern Gulf of Mexico.
The waters over the Gulf of Mexico are warm enough to sustain a tropical system. Along with that, the winds in the upper parts of the atmosphere or what meteorologists call "wind shear" are relatively light. Kottlowski also stated that "The combination of low shear and warm water will support strengthening of this storm into a depression then a tropical storm this weekend. If the storm can avoid shear, it will probably become a hurricane early next week."  As the system is organizing this weekend, tropical moisture will stream northward into the eastern Gulf and parts of the Florida Peninsula.  Torrential rains could fall from Naples and Fort Myers through Tampa and Orlando this weekend while creating rough surf and poor beach weather for many.  The heavy rains could then expand northward into Jacksonville, Pensacola and Gainesville on Sunday as the storm continues to develop and drift through the Gulf. Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski states that "The movement of this developing storm will be highly influenced by the strengthening of a large upper-level high pressure area now over the southwest United States and a large dip in the jet stream that extends into the Gulf of Mexico." 

The interaction of Debby with one of these features will ultimately determine which direction it tracks early next week.  Should Debby become picked up by the aforementioned dip in the jet stream, it would track into northern Florida. However, if it misses that connection, it's possible that the system will stall out off the Florida coast for a while.  Another scenario is that Debby misses the dip in the jet stream and gets shoved back westward toward Texas as a large area of high pressure builds over the Plains states. The flow around that ridge could send Debby southwestward toward the coast of Texas or even far northern Mexico.  The bottom line is that until this system develops into an organized tropical entity, confidence on the exact track remains on the low side. Still, we are certain about a few things.  1) There will be development of an organized tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico this weekend.  2) It will drift slowly northward over the weekend, bringing a plume of heavy rains into parts of Florida.  3) Conditions are favorable for further strengthening and it is possible that this system will become Tropical Storm Debby by later Saturday or Sunday.  Residents along the Gulf Coast and throughout the Southeast part of the country are urged to keep an eye on this developing tropical system.  Regardless of which way the feature heads, rough surf and dangerous rip tides will develop over the weekend along much of this region.  Stay tuned to AccuWeather.com as we continue to track the potential for our next named storm. The AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center has more information on the tropics. - Accu Weather.
WATCH: Tracking Debby.