Category 2 Ike is larger and more powerful than Katrina

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:36 PM GMT on September 11, 2008

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Hurricane Ike's winds remain at Category 2 strength, but Ike is a freak storm with extreme destructive storm surge potential. Ike's pressure fell rapidly last night to 944 mb, but the hurricane did not respond to the pressure change by increasing its maximum winds in the eyewall. Instead, Ike responded by increasing the velocity of its winds away from the eyewall, over a huge stretch of the Gulf of Mexico. Another very unusual feature of Ike is the fact that the surface winds are much slower than the winds being measured aloft by the Hurricane Hunters. Winds at the surface may only be at Category 1 strength, even though Ike has a central pressure characteristic of a Category 3 or 4 storm. This very unusual structure makes forecasting the future intensity of Ike nearly impossible. The possibilities range from a Category 1 storm at landfall--as predicted by the HWRF model--to a Category 4 storm at landfall, as predicted by the GFDL.

Ike is now larger than Katrina was, both in its radius of tropical storm force winds--275 miles--and in it radius of hurricane force winds--115 miles. For comparison, Katrina's tropical storm and hurricane force winds extended out 230 and 105 miles, respectively. Ike's huge wind field has put an extraordinarily large volume of ocean water in motion. When this swirling column of water hits the shallow waters of the Continental Shelf, it will be be forced up into a large storm surge which will probably rival the massive storm surge of Hurricane Carla of 1961. Carla was a Category 4 hurricane with 145 mph winds at landfall, and drove a 10 foot or higher storm surge to a 180-mile stretch of Texas coast. A maximum storm surge of 22 feet was recorded at Port Lavaca, Texas. Despite the fact that the center of Carla hit over 120 miles southwest of Houston, the hurricane drove a 15-foot storm surge into the bays along the south side of the city. I don't expect Ike will reach Category 4 strength, thus its maximum surge is not likely to reach the extreme values above 20 feet seen in Hurricane Carla. Like Carla, though, Ike will probably inundate a 180-mile stretch of Texas coast from Port O'Connor to just north of Galveston with a 10-15 foot storm surge. This will occur even if Ike is a Category 1 storm at landfall. The latest experimental storm surge forecast From NOAA's SLOSH model (Figure 1) shows a 10% chance that Ike's storm surge will exceed 15-21 feet at Galveston. The Galveston sea wall is 17 feet high, so it may get overtopped.


Figure 1. Experimental storm surge heights for Ike. There is a 10% chance the storm surge from Ike will exceed these values. Data courtesy of NOAA.

The amount of water Ike has put in motion is about 50% greater than what Katrina did, and thus we can expect Ike's storm surge damage will be similar to or greater than Katrina's. The way we can estimate this damage potential is to compute the total energy of Ike's surface winds (kinetic energy). To do this, we must look at how strong the winds are, and factor in the areal coverage of these winds. Thus, we compute the Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE) by squaring the velocity of the wind and summing over all regions of the hurricane with tropical storm force winds or higher. This "Integrated Kinetic Energy" was recently proposed by Dr. Mark Powell of NOAA's Hurricane Research Division as a better measure of the destructive power of a hurricane's storm surge than the usual Category 1-5 Saffir-Simpson scale. For example, Hurricane Katrina hit Mississippi as a strong Category 3 hurricane, yet its storm surge was more characteristic of a Category 5 storm. Dr. Powell came up with a new scale to rate potential storm surge damage based on IKE (not to be confused with Hurricane Ike!) The new scale ranges from 1-6. Katrina and Wilma at their peaks both earned a 5.1 on this scale (Figure 2). At 9:30am EDT this morning, Ike earned a 5.6 on this scale, the highest kinetic energy of any Atlantic storm in the past 40 years.


Figure 2. Comparison of the potential damage from storm surge and waves on a scale of 1 to 6 (left scale, and corresponding to little "x" marks on the plot), as a function of total Integrated Kinetic Energy in Tera-joules (IKE, on the right scale, corresponding to the little squares on the plot). Hurricane Ike at 12:30pm EDT had an IKE of 134, 10% higher than the value of 122 Katrina had at landfall in Mississippi. Ike's amount of wind energy can generate storm surge and wave damage rated at 5.2 on a scale of 1 to 6, worse than Katrina's 5.1 at landfall. Image credit:"Tropical Cyclone Destructive Potential by Integrated Kinetic Energy" by Mark Powell and Timothy Reinhold.

All this energy is also going into the waves in the Gulf of Mexico, and the offshore oil rigs can expect to receive a terrific battering. At 8:50am CDT, waves at the Buoy 42001 180nm south of Louisiana were 28 feet and growing. NOAA's Wavewatch III model is predicting wave heights up to 13 meters from Ike on Friday. For comparison, Hurricane Ivan of 2004 generated 27 meter high waves in the Gulf of Mexico. Surf heights of 15 feet have been reported at beaches along the Florida Panhandle, and tides are also running extremely high. Tides are 2-4 feet above normal along the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the west coast of Florida, and one foot above normal in Galveston. The water level will continue to rise as Ike approaches Texas, and NOAA's experimental storm surge forecast (Figure 1) is calling for a 10% chance that the storm tide from Ike will reach 24-27 feet on the south and east sides of Houston.

What should Texas residents do?
We must assume Ike will intensify to a Category 3 hurricane by landfall, which would likely do $20-$30 billion in damage. The chances of hundreds of people being killed in this storm is high if people do not heed evacuation orders to leave low-lying areas threatened by high storm surges. Ike's storm surge is going to be affect a huge area and be tremendously destructive.

I recommend Texas residents consult NHC's wind probability product to determine their odds of getting hurricane force winds.

For storm surge evacuation zone information, consult the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

For storm surge heights, consult our Storm surge risk for the Texas coast page.

Links to follow
Tide gauges along the Gulf Coast

Mid Gulf Buoy 180 nm South of Southwest Pass, LA (42001)

I'll have much more in this afternoon's blog, including a look at the rest of the tropics. We've got a new area of disturbed weather to watch, Invest 91L.

Jeff Masters

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1483. EagleAg06
9:11 PM GMT on September 12, 2008
Still nothing much happening right now in the Kingwood area, had a small shower about 30 minutes ago, first of the day. Winds are still weak. I'll update later.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 11
1482. F1or1d1an
9:59 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Just back from some chores...

I see they adjusted the TFPs again. Pat,StormW,Kman,etc. - you think they're going to adjust them again before the next update at 2300?
1481. 5thgenTexan
9:29 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Afternoon all - just an update from my sister and family in Mandeville, LA - Brother-in-law just called from the causeway over Lake Ponchartrain and he's getting splashed by waves! Water up very high and very high winds. Back to lurking (hoping for a little rain to ease our drought here in Austin, TX) Prayers to all in Ike's way...
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7
1480. myway
9:26 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting PensacolaNewbie:



Don't be so quick to judge. There's nothing he can do at the hospital, and maybe he's on the blog at work. You don't have all teh facts. He said he's sorry, leave it at that.

I do not care what he says on the blog. I just think family comes first.
Member Since: May 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 450
1479. SaymoBEEL
9:25 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting NolaLevees:
in the last 3 hours Ike moved .6 degrees west and .2 degrees north...that is classic wnw by definition. During those same 3 hours, i saw multiple posts on here about how Ike is moving North. Apparently people are looking at satellite images improperly. Ike has moved wnw. Wobbles don't count. Ike is now due south of New orleans. I would expect the worst effects of Ike will start to diminish here in the next few hours


Wobbles only count if don't wobble back to their original position. Or, if the eye wobbles onto you like Ivan did to Orange Beach.
1478. PensacolaNewbie
9:23 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting myway:


You should be @ the hospital, not on a blog. ope all works out.



Don't be so quick to judge. There's nothing he can do at the hospital, and maybe he's on the blog at work. You don't have all teh facts. He said he's sorry, leave it at that.
1477. reasonmclucus
9:22 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting Rysh:
I can't quote for some reason, but yes the Tropical Forcast Points are WAY off the current track, this is why I have been predicting a SW Louisisna landfall.

Nobody seems interested in my forcast though.


I'm afraid you might be right. Mississippi and Alabama may be safe, but I don't think anyone on the Louisiana coast is.

I'm not sure if hurricane forecasters really appreciate the geography of the area. Louisiana sticks out into the Gulf which means it wouldn't take much of a shift for Ike to hit Louisiana. Watching the video of Ike in relation to the Gulf, if I were living in New Orleans I would out of town by this evening. Ike could easily be another Rita and turn to the north before it reaches Galveston.

Member Since: May 27, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 47
1476. gscott42
9:20 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
sinking air on the far east of Ike has brought sun at last to Fort Myers . . . temp around 90
Member Since: June 5, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1
1475. ljk
9:20 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
think we are about to start getting a nice increase in intensity
Member Since: July 20, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 5
1474. AtmosphericWrath
9:17 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting kmanislander:
Well I am out for now. Will wait for a couple of hrs to see what the track is looking like.

BFN


See you later, Kman. Look forward later to your analysis, insight, and thoughts.
Member Since: September 6, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 34
1473. nola70119
9:17 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting NolaLevees:
in the last 3 hours Ike moved .6 degrees west and .2 degrees north...that is classic wnw by definition. During those same 3 hours, i saw multiple posts on here about how Ike is moving North. Apparently people are looking at satellite images improperly. Ike has moved wnw. Wobbles don't count. Ike is now due south of New orleans. I would expect the worst effects of Ike will start to diminish here in the next few hours


Really? Thats astounding considering the forecast....
Member Since: June 16, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1565
1472. iluvjess
9:16 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Wind destroys structures.

Water destroys lives.

Seek higher ground.
1471. eyetoothtom
9:16 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting SellieBaby:
I think to limit confusion with our blogger pal Ike, we should start refering to the hurricane Ike as Big McLargeHuge.

Just trying to give some smiles. Bless everyone in the storm's path.

Include indianrivguy with this comment. Both have been here giving good info for a week, since path Iguana. It was Ike and Ike, Jr...now Ike Big McLarge.
Pretty soon we're just going to be blogging among ourselves, those who are not in harm's way. Probably now...those boarding up, packing up, moving out...ain't blogging here. But if one is that can get out of harm's way...keep the message going.
1470. weatherbrat
9:15 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting DestinJeff:
kman... a few here, myself included, have been on this idea of ike heading more north than expected since yesterday....

i agree with you, and follow your logic
I'm one of those few. TX/LA or W LA landfall.
1469. DMyersNormanOK
9:15 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting SETXgirl:


Thanks a heap. I wouldn't wish Ike on anyone. Beaumont is so hurricane weary that only about 50% evacuated. We have a large percentage of refineries here as well. Please don't wish this storm on us!


My great-aunt is in Port Arthur, and last night was considering whether to evacuate or not (I presume she has; she is careful about such matters).

Of course I also have a great-aunt in Houston....
Member Since: August 29, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 86
1468. nola70119
9:15 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
The NHC had this close on Monday at 11am with a TX/LA landfall.....and then they knee-jerked with the HWRF at the 5pm and went all the way south with the track, and some models even said Brownsville.

They have been moving up towards GFDL ever since--obviously they can't say, well this one has gotten away from us, but clearly it has.

Its going a North, somewhere between Beaumont and Lafayette, IMO.
Member Since: June 16, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1565
1467. NolaLevees
9:13 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
in the last 3 hours Ike moved .6 degrees west and .2 degrees north...that is classic wnw by definition. During those same 3 hours, i saw multiple posts on here about how Ike is moving North. Apparently people are looking at satellite images improperly. Ike has moved wnw. Wobbles don't count. Ike is now due south of New orleans. I would expect the worst effects of Ike will start to diminish here in the next few hours
1466. KarenRei
9:11 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting FSUCOOPman:


Or we could go with the PickensPlan...Alot of wind energy to be generated here! :-P


The wind part of the Pickens Plan is just fine, but the natural gas part really doesn't make sense... or even work. Wind increases the need for peaking power, which usually comes from natural gas, so you're *increasing* natural gas demand with windpower, not decreasing it. You're decreasing the need for coal and nuclear.

Also note that if by "a lot of wind energy to be generated here", you meant hurricanes, well, high winds are actually a *problem* for turbines.

Anyways, back to Ike!
Member Since: September 7, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 940
1465. BlxMS
9:10 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting calcalla5678:
over the course of yesterday, i became concerned (given that i live in the city that started mardi gras) that it might be heading towards a biloxi landfall. this morning, i was relieved that it had finally started pulling west, and now i see it turning more north again, and the way i figure it, if this goes in east of lake charlie, we get 12 hours of squalls, so i want an opinion, how likely is this to go in around lake charles or points east?


I think we're pretty safe here in Biloxi, as I think are you in Mobile. That is where Mardi Gras started, you know?

www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mardi_Gras
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 130
1464. katywatcher
9:09 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
If this storm ends up going into LA (which is currently out of the "cone") and is reduced to a CAT 1 prior to landfall as some here are suggesting, we have SERIOUS flaws in our forecasting. The storm is less than 36 hours from landfall. Surely the NHC is pretty darn sure where this thing is going. It would be horrible for those to the east who have not been given notice to have a storm knocking on their door. Given the 4:00 update, there really is little change to the track.
1463. atmoaggie
9:09 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting BlxMS:


That is sick....This windfield really makes Katrina look loke a baby, doesn't it?


Let's not go quite that far. Really are close in size of TS wind coverage, but Katrina was stronger in the middle.

Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1462. txalwaysprepared
9:09 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Is the Rita bend starting?
Member Since: August 18, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1642
1461. aubiesgirl
9:09 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
I had planned on going out to okaloosa island to take pictures today but after seeing some video posted on cnn I think I will choose not to especially since i have small children..Has anyone been out there to see the island and what are the bays and bayous looking like?
1460. SellieBaby
9:07 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Er, I can't modify my comment so here's a better link.

Pensacola News Journal
1459. Rysh
9:07 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Link

Can already see Ike in the long range loop out of New Orleans.
1458. kmanislander
9:06 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Well I am out for now. Will wait for a couple of hrs to see what the track is looking like.

BFN
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
1457. SETXgirl
9:06 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting RitaEvac:
Kman hopefully your right and it goes to Beaumont and stays east of Galveston, if it does I have no respect for the NHC, they suck and no longer believe anything from here on out.


Thanks a heap. I wouldn't wish Ike on anyone. Beaumont is so hurricane weary that only about 50% evacuated. We have a large percentage of refineries here as well. Please don't wish this storm on us!
1456. StormJunkie
9:06 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
lo, got to run, there is a heavy beating on my door and a bunch of black vans out front.... ¿~)

Seriously, the dry air has really kept Ike's wind speeds in check, but the size and amount of water he is moving around is unprecedented. Very dangerous situation. Top that off with the chance for intensification between now and landfall...

See y'all in a little while (I hope)...

Quick Links-Forecast models, imagery, marine data, wind data, preparedness info, and more.
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 26 Comments: 16874
1455. CJ5
9:06 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting GulfScotsman:



stick to what you know...

which is very little despite your credentials


lol
Member Since: July 4, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1755
1454. FSUCOOPman
9:04 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting leftovers:
Right now we need divine intervention or alot of foam put down on the water to save our oil.


Or we could go with the PickensPlan...Alot of wind energy to be generated here! :-P
Member Since: August 29, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 376
1453. thegoldenstrand
9:04 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Link

This buoy has Ike just northeast of it
Member Since: August 16, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 111
1452. BlxMS
9:03 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Omg that is a huge windfield.


That is sick....This windfield really makes Katrina look loke a baby, doesn't it?
Member Since: August 28, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 130
1451. heightsmaniac
9:03 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting whipster:


Making up BS stories is not helpful.


Link

Link
1450. SellieBaby
9:03 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting gulfbeachgal:
Thank you SellieBaby - appreciate the info!


Anytime. I just got my info from here (they're surprisingly current given their past history in such situations):

Pensacola News Journal
1449. FLWeatherFreak91
9:03 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting tropicallydepressed:
Ike doesn't look all that bad actually. 100mph is no big deal. Don't do anything stupid and you'll be fine.
But surge of 25' is bad. No doubt about that.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3634
1448. cchsweatherman
9:02 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Just got home from classes. Really tired now, but relieved that I have started out with all A's in my classes.

Anyways, onto far more important things. Just praying that people on the Texas Gulf Coast have taken the mandatory evacuation orders seriously and have followed those orders. This looks like it could become a very devastating event, especially in regards to storm surge that could reach historic levels. Even sitting here in South Florida, Ike looks very ominous and intimidating. Please stay safe those that are in the path of this monster and head the evacuation orders. Want to send my best wishes to them.

Also, I have begun to share the Lambdi Fund link and information with numerous people at Broward College. Thank you for providing the link the other day Dr. Masters. Its startling to hear that nearly 95% did not even know the devastation that has occured in Haiti and how much they really need help and relief now. Just after one day, I have had 28 people make donations to the Lambdi Find and I have done so as well.

But, despite all this disaster and all this devastation, human resolve and strength has endured and shined bright during these dark times. That is what amazes me about the human race. Despite the human body being so fragile, the human spirit remains stronger than any material on earth; it cannot be shattered, it cannot be broken, it cannot die.
Member Since: April 14, 2007 Posts: 8 Comments: 5169
1447. calcalla5678
9:02 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
over the course of yesterday, i became concerned (given that i live in the city that started mardi gras) that it might be heading towards a biloxi landfall. this morning, i was relieved that it had finally started pulling west, and now i see it turning more north again, and the way i figure it, if this goes in east of lake charlie, we get 12 hours of squalls, so i want an opinion, how likely is this to go in around lake charles or points east?
1446. WatchingInHouston
9:02 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
There's a difference between gasoline futures and gasoline spot/cash prices... GC gasoline spot prices were around $4.50 today.
1445. KarenRei
9:02 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
950.9mb
Member Since: September 7, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 940
1444. IvansEx
9:02 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Been away all day. So sad about this bad Ike.

Just realized our beach here in Pensacola is experiencing flooding (started at 8am with high tide).

Anyone interested in a video of the mess on P'cola Beach (our barrier island) can go to this link.

Also on that link (ireport.com) I saw this picture and loved the title"
"If it happens, it happens."
1443. jatkin02
9:02 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting myway:


You need to look @ the wholesale gas price. Oil went down, wholesale gas (already refined) went up. You can have as much oil as you want, if your can not refine it, it is worthless.


And even if you can refine it, it's worthless if you can't ship it. In the Carolinas (western NC and upstate SC) we are experiencing a sharp spike in gasoline prices and spot gasoline shortages due to a major pipleline shutdown between the Gulf and upstate South Carolina. Prophylactic shutdown due to Ike.

JA
1442. tropicallydepressed
9:02 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Ike doesn't look all that bad actually. 100mph is no big deal. Don't do anything stupid and you'll be fine.
Member Since: August 11, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 137
1440. chrisrw
9:01 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting leftovers:
anyone can read this blog dont give away intelligence secrets


If he can SEE what's going on, how is it secret??
1439. LFMman
9:01 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting StormJunkie:


Dyno Gel


Can't have a Cat 3+ go into Oil Country, can we?

1438. yonzabam
9:01 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
100 mph is a nice round number, but it does seem a tad unlikely that a storm would consistently be at that value for two whole days (Just my two cents).
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2969
1437. atmoaggie
9:01 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting TexasGulf:
The East Houston refineries, which are the largest in the USA, are very, very vulnerable to storm surges of 12-foot +.

ExxonMobil in Baytown is huge, but it should fair better than some others.

Shell refinery in Deer Park, Tx is on the water at the South side of the ship channel. A 12-foot surge would be enough to cause several feet of water from the ship channel to flow into the plant to a 2'-3' depth. The first 12"-18" means very little. Even though the ground is flat, Pumps and electrical equipment are generally on raised pedestals 12" to 18" above grade. Water above 24" is a huge issue. If your MCC buildings, pump motors, electrical switchgear, etc... become partially submerged, then all of that has to be checked, parts replaced and computer controls rewired. It could shut a plant down for 6-months to a year easily.

BP in Texas City is just as vulnerable, but only if the levees fail. If the levees hold, BP will be fine.

What will really mess up the industry is that the tanking, pumping stations and shipping facilities are normally vulnerable to storm surge. Many are in low-lying coastal areas for access to shipping and barges. If the tanking and pumping operations go off-line... shut down the refineries.

If anyone thinks equipment grows on trees... think again. It can take 6-months to buy and get delivery of a 900hp electric motor. It can take a year to replace your switch gear cabinets or replace computerized process control equipment. Basically... if East and South Houston floods badly, don't expect the refineries just to pop back into production.


And, one more thing. My pop, an employee, said yesterday that large sections of ExxonMobil in Baton Rouge is STILL down and will be for up to a week more. I wonder how much more of the industry is not operating/operating far below capacity still in Gustav's wake.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1436. FLWeatherFreak91
9:00 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Omg that is a huge windfield.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3634
1435. kmanislander
9:00 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Quoting RitaEvac:
Kman hopefully your right and it goes to Beaumont and stays east of Galveston, if it does I have no respect for the NHC, they suck and no longer believe anything from here on out.


At this point it does not matter who is right or wrong. This hurricane is going to inflict a lot of damage and misery over a very wide swath of the gulf coast.

I just don't see the current track holding given what I see setting up in the upper levels and the slow forward speed. Ike keeps pushing E of the TFPs and that has been the pattern since he left the N coast of Cuba
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
1434. gulfbeachgal
9:00 PM GMT on September 11, 2008
Thank you SellieBaby - appreciate the info!
Member Since: August 28, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 25
1433. icyD
8:59 PM GMT on September 11, 2008


This could become a tragedy if people trying to evacuate cannot buy gas!

The wave water surge rise could be frightening (Moses?)for the people of the whole coast, Galveston, Houston...recurrent dreams.
(that's why i am reading here while living on the other side of the planet.

thanks for this blog and comments, explaining so well all the interactions.


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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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