Ana and TD 3 take aim at the Lesser Antilles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:17 PM GMT on August 15, 2009

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Tropical Storm Ana was born this morning, when the remnants of Tropical Depression Two made a comeback and organized into the first tropical storm of the 2009 Atlantic hurricane season. Ana is the latest first named storm of the season since Hurricane Andrew got its name on August 17, 1992. The two storms have some similarities, as Andrew formed in the same part of the ocean, and also struggled in its early days with high wind shear and dry air. Let's hope the similarities end there.

Ana is struggling this afternoon. After an modest burst of heavy thunderstorm activity prompted NHC to upgrade Ana to a tropical storm early this morning, Ana has run into strong upper-level winds from the west that are creating high wind shear. This shear was not forecast, and it is not clear how long it will last. The shear has acted to drive dry air into the core of Ana, destroying almost all of Ana's heavy thunderstorms. The low-level center of the storm is now exposed to view, something that often foreshadows the death of a storm. It is possible the shear will destroy Ana, and several models (the GFS and ECMWF) forecast this may be the case. However, the shear forecast calls for shear to drop into the low range, 5 - 10 knots, tonight through Tuesday. If the shear does drop as forecast, Ana should be able to moisten the atmosphere around it sufficiently to protest itself from the dry Saharan air that surrounds it (Figure 1). SSTs are 27°C today, and will increase to 28°C by Sunday. By the time Ana moves into the Bahamas, total ocean heat content rises steeply (Figure 2), and rapid intensification of Ana is possible, if the shear and dry air haven't disrupted the storm. The intensity forecast models, for the most part, predict a steady intensification of Ana to the threshold of hurricane strength five days from now. The HWRF model is on the strong side, predicting a Category 2 hurricane. The GFDL predicts a weak tropical storm five days from now, but that is because the model has Ana passing over the rugged terrain of Hispaniola, something the other models do not predict. In summary, the intensity forecast for Ana has higher than usual uncertainty, and I give equal chances that the storm will be a hurricane--or non-existent--four days from now.


Figure 1. Water vapor image from this morning showing the large area of dry, Saharan air surrounding Ana, and lying to the north of Tropical Depression Three. Image credit: NOAA/SSD

Tropical Depression Three forms, could be Bill later today
QuikSCAT data from this morning and satellite loops revealed that the tropical wave (90L) in the middle Atlantic has finally developed a well developed surface circulation and can be classified as Tropical Depression Three. Recent satellite imagery suggests that TD 3 may already be Tropical Storm Bill. Water vapor imagery (Figure 1) shows that TD 3's center consolidated a few hundred miles south of the dry air of the Saharan Air Layer (SAL). Thus, the storm should not be affected by dry air and dust as much as Ana has been. Ana may also act to moisten the atmosphere in front of TD 3, helping protect the storm from the SAL as it edges farther north over the the three days.



Figure 2. Heat content of the ocean, in kJ per square cm. Oceanic heat content steadily increases for Ana and TD 3 as they approach the Lesser Antilles Islands. Oceanic heat content levels of 90 kJ per square cm are frequently associated with rapid intensification of hurricanes. Image credit: University of Miami.

Wind shear is moderate, 15 knots, but is forecast to fall to 10 - 15 knots on days 2 - 5. Sea Surface Temperatures are about 27.5°C, and will remain in the 27.5 - 28°C range the next five days. The combination of low wind shear and sufficiently warm SSTs should allow TD 3 to intensify steadily, and I expect the storm will be at hurricane strength by Wednesday, when it will be near the northern Lesser Antilles Islands. Most of our reliable intensity models strengthen TD 3 into a hurricane by Wednesday. Oceanic heat content (Figure 2) increases sharply just before the islands, so TD 3 could be intensifying rapidly as it moves through or just north of the Lesser Antilles on Thursday. TD 3 consolidated farther south than expected, so the track models calling for a more northerly path were probably incorrect. In particular, the ECMWF model, which had TD 3 turning sharply northwestward and missing the Lesser Antilles Islands, was probably much too far to the north in this morning's 00Z run. TD 3 will probably pass very close to the northern Lesser Antilles islands on Wednesday and Thursday.

I'll have an update Sunday.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting wxfempilot:
Sorry guys - I'm still new to the link process - this is a streaming cam, so the pic may be different from what I saw - Chesapeake Resort in Islamorada -it was dark and blowing hard a moment ago - the Keys cams are a good indicator that it looks like something that'll blow over - for now. But in the GOM? No Opal, obviously, but a good rainmaker.

Link


seems like people are NOT in the beach area :D
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663. eddye
will some people please join me in tropics talk
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Quoting Drakoen:
NHC is thinking another tropical low could form in the EATL


thelmores is thinking another tropical low could form in the EATL.....

Hey ya'll look at that! Me and the NHC agree! LOL
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ok, by this (below) it sounds like it should be going more southerly (more west) but by this it shows more northerly. hmmmmmmmm, which is right....

TD 3 could be intensifying rapidly as it moves through or just north of the Lesser Antilles on Thursday. TD 3 consolidated farther south than expected, so the track models calling for a more northerly path were probably incorrect. In particular, the ECMWF model, which had TD 3 turning sharply northwestward and missing the Lesser Antilles Islands, was probably much too far to the north in this morning's 00Z run. TD 3 will probably pass very close to the northern Lesser Antilles islands on Wednesday and Thursday.
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660. IKE
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION FOR THE FLORIDA KEYS
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE KEY WEST FL
203 PM EDT SAT AUG 15 2009

.DISCUSSION...
.CURRENTLY...
THE NORTHERN EXTENT OF A WESTWARD MOVING TROPICAL WAVE IS TRAVERSING
THE KEYS AND COASTAL WATERS. THE AXIS OF THE WAVE APPEARS TO BE
MOVING THROUGH THE LOWER KEYS AND THE FLORIDA STRAITS SOUTH OF THE
LOWER KEYS...WITH A BROAD CIRCULATION FROM AROUND 850 TO 700MB STILL
NOTICEABLE ON KEY WEST RADAR IN THE GENERAL VICINITY OF THE LOWER
KEYS. A SHEAR ZONE ALONG THE AXIS HAS BEEN EVIDENT ON KBYX RADAR
THROUGH THE MORNING...WITH NEAR SURFACE SOUTHWESTERLY WINDS OPPOSING
SOUTHEASTERLY WINDS. LOOKING AT BOTH THE KBYX AND KAMX RADARS...A
NORTHEASTWARD PROPAGATING WIND MAXIMUM FROM AROUND 2KFT TO 5KFT
SEEMS TO BE MOVING ALONG THE SHEAR LINE...WHICH MAY HAVE HELPED
INITIATE SOME OF THE STRONGER CELLS. THIS SHEAR ZONE HAS FORCED
SEVERAL VERY STRONG CELLS FROM 15 TO 40 MILES SOUTH OF THE LOWER
KEYS...INCLUDING AT LEAST THREE RELATIVELY DEEP MESOCYCLONES...
BASICALLY IN THE SAME GENERAL AREA...ONE OF WHICH TRIGGERED A MESO
ALERT. THE MESOS WERE FAIRLY SHORT LIVED...LASTING LESS THAT ONE HALF
HOUR. ALL OF THESE MESOCYCLONES WERE PRODUCING IMPRESSIVE
UPDRAFTS...WITH TOPS EXCEEDING 55KFT ABOVE THEM. THE SHEAR ZONE HAS
BEEN ALMOST STATIONARY FOR THE PAST SEVERAL HOURS...THUS THE
STRONGEST CELLS HAVE THANKFULLY REMAINED SOUTH OF THE LOWER KEYS.
EVEN WITH THE WORST SOUTH OF THE KEYS...AREAS ALONG THE LOWER KEYS
HAVE EXPERIENCED HEAVY RAIN WITHIN A RELATIVELY SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.
A SPOTTER ON CUDJOE KEY CALLED IN WITH 2 INCHES OF RAIN SINCE THE
BEGINNING OF THE EVENT EARLIER THIS MORNING. AN OFF DUTY NWS EMPLOYEE
ON BIG COPPITT KEY REPORTED ABOUT AN INCH OF STANDING WATER ON THE
LOWEST FLOOR OF HIS HOUSE...THE ACCUMULATION OF WATER POSSIBLY AIDED
BY 30MPH WINDS WHICH ACCOMPANIED THE HEAVER STORMS THAT TRAVERSED THE
LOWER KEYS.


.SHORT TERM...
THIS EVENING...AS STATED ABOVE...THE WORST OF THE CONVECTION HAS
REMAINED OFFSHORE. HOWEVER...THAT MAY NOT BE THE CASE THROUGH THE
REMAINDER OF THE PASSAGE OF THE TROPICAL WAVE...AND IT IS WITHIN
POSSIBLE...BUT NOT PROBABLE...THAT THE LOWER KEYS GET CLIPPED BY ONE
OF THESE STRONGER CELLS. THE POSITIVE NEWS IS THAT THE WAVE HAS BEEN
WELL BEHAVED...VERY SLOWLY MOVING TOWARDS THE WEST AT NEAR 10 KNOTS.
IF THIS REMAINS THE CASE THE AXIS OF THE WAVE SHOULD BE WEST OF THE
LOWER KEYS BY AROUND 22Z...AND WITH IT THE STRONGER CELLS ALONG THE
SHEAR ZONE. THE PRECIPITATION AND CLOUD SHIELD ASSOCIATED WITH THE
WAVE CURRENTLY EXTEND EASTWARD AS FAR AS KEY LARGO AND POINTS
SOUTH...SO SHOWERS AND OCCASIONAL THUNDERSTORMS WILL PERSIST UNTIL
AROUND 06Z UNTIL EVERYTHING CLEARS THE KEYS.

.MARINE...
STRONG STORMS WILL PERSIST OVER THE FLORIDA KEYS COASTAL WATERS
THROUGH THIS EVENING...WITH CONDITIONS SLOWLY IMPROVING AFTER
MIDNIGHT. IT WOULD NOT BE ADVISABLE TO VENTURE OUT UNTIL THE TROPICAL
WAVE HAS PASSED THROUGH THE AREA AND THE SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM
ACTIVITY HAS CEASED. TOMORROW...EXPECT MAINLY EAST WINDS NEAR 15
KNOTS AND GUSTY.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Jade check out my post I responded to you with my thoughts.
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658. CJ5
Quoting Relix:
Seems like PR will be spared. Ana is moving North a lot.


You cannot call PR spared at this point, that is misinformation and there has been no considerable movement N by Ana in the last 5 hours.
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Quoting JadeInAntigua:


Have I read it? Yes... However I was asking for an update. Thanks for the helpful reply though.


The blog was uploaded like, an hour ago? Somethin like that... Pretty much a good update, considering these things are days from land
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I'm in West Miami and the rain is just POURING. Now lightning.
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TD#3 is really coming together now, probably "Bill" at 5pm , if not 11pm the latest, that is one large circulation. I have a feeling that is going to be one significant hurricane.
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Sorry guys - I'm still new to the link process - this is a streaming cam, so the pic may be different from what I saw - Chesapeake Resort in Islamorada -it was dark and blowing hard a moment ago - the Keys cams are a good indicator that it looks like something that'll blow over - for now. But in the GOM? No Opal, obviously, but a good rainmaker.

Link
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Quoting Drakoen:


I don't even know you. Anybody that considers anyone in this blog above their family members needs help.


Truth.
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How's it Kman. I agree with you concerning Ana. I say she breaks up through the islands or just north of them. Also TD3 will find a ridge weakness and escape to open water.

Thoughts
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Link
go close up of visible on Ana.
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Quoting lakeEFX:
Most people on here are smarter than me when it comes to the tropics, and I know that Dr. Masters is WAY, WAY, smarter than me. But one thing I DO know is that Hurricane Andrew was NOT named on August 17, 2009. (check the blog). LOL! I'm sure it was a typo- seeings how everyone's caught up in the excitement of finally having our first named storm.


There are typo's on his blog, but i believe you can find some backing for the dating here.
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FL keys AOI looking better organized. Pressures are still high, but they've begun to fall and the bouy data showing W winds at the surface.
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I'm just making look out my front door observations cause I live in the Keys and have had this same thing happen before. Don't mean to be a blogopotamus, just thought that some people might like to have some first hand observations. The other acctual storms are days away from here. this is something that is alot closer to where I am. maybe in a few days if these other ones come this way I'll have some better stuff to tell everyone
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Oh geez. I go away to play FARKLE and come back to a tropical storm! Michfan I don't like the look of your yellow crayon.
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Quoting serialteg:


Jade,

Have you read Dr. Master's blog, which is the very purpose of this page, right at the top of this rabbit hole?

It was updated just a short while ago, and while we here banter around, he does have a Ph.D. probably in a field related to Meteorology...

Cheers :)


Have I read it? Yes... However I was asking for an update. Thanks for the helpful reply though.
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Wind Direction (WDIR): SW ( 230 deg true )
5-day plot - Wind Speed Wind Speed (WSPD): 19 kts
5-day plot - Wind Gust Wind Gust (GST): 21 kts
5-day plot - Atmospheric Pressure Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 30.04 in
5-day plot - Pressure Tendency Pressure Tendency (PTDY): -0.02 in ( Falling )
5-day plot - Air Temperature Air Temperature (ATMP): 75.4 °F
5-day plot - Dew Point Dew Point (DEWP): 69.1 °F
5-day plot - Tide (above MLLW) Tide (above MLLW) (TIDE): 0.85 ft
5-day plot - Wind Speed, Wind Gust and Atmospheric Pressure Combined plot of Wind Speed, Gust, and Air Pressure
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Latest 850mb vort map from CIMSS.

Link
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Just a quick stop in for now. I see that Anna is still fighting shear and dry air. This morning I said it might be downgraded if it continues like this so we will have to see what transpires at 5 or 11 .
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Ana's center continues to remain exposed
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There is something to this system by the keys. Look for the convection to grow alot bigger. If that happens, then we may have a depression forming.
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Quoting 996tt:


After Katrina, we had nothing but a foundation on coast in Biloxi.


Before Katrina did you really expect a hurricane would do that? How have you changed since then?
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Hate this time of year-holding my breath for 5 or 6 more weeks..then its pretty much breathe easy-at least on the northern gulf
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Quoting JadeInAntigua:
Hi everyone.. can someone please give me a quick synopsis on how TD3 and Ana are looking right now? I've scanned the comments and see mostly stuff on a blob near the GOM. Thanks! :)


Jade,

Have you read Dr. Master's blog, which is the very purpose of this page, right at the top of this rabbit hole?

It was updated just a short while ago, and while we here banter around, he does have a Ph.D. probably in a field related to Meteorology...

Cheers :)
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Quoting wxfempilot:
Just multi-tasking - Tiger and the FL blob. Took in a streaming webcam of what's happening around Islamorada - take a look:

http://www.chesapeake-resort.com/webcam.html


Not a pretty beach day here either.
http://piercam.net/
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635. 996tt
Quoting Nolehead:
i'm sorry guys but that blobby thingamagig is really blowing up big time....i know the pressure isn't right for it but dang....


I saw a lot of surf board heading toward beach today when I went to the gym here in Gulf Breeze, but cams show nothing still.
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Most people on here are smarter than me when it comes to the tropics, and I know that Dr. Masters is WAY, WAY, smarter than me. But one thing I DO know is that Hurricane Andrew was NOT named on August 17, 2009. (check the blog). LOL! I'm sure it was a typo- seeings how everyone's caught up in the excitement of finally having our first named storm.
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Quoting JadeInAntigua:
Hi everyone.. can someone please give me a quick synopsis on how TD3 and Ana are looking right now? I've scanned the comments and see mostly stuff on a blob near the GOM. Thanks! :)
My novice opionion.

Keys Blob will skirt the west coast of Florida as a rain maker, Ana will break up through the Islands and Td#3 will find a weakness in the impending ridge and make a break towards the weakness quicker then an Oceanic White Tip on a shipwreck.
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632. jipmg
Quoting floridafisherman:

548. jpsb 6:17 PM GMT on August 15, 2009
Quoting BiloxiGirl:
In my humble opinion, even if the GOM blob did develop, it couldn't get that strong before hitting somewhere. Am I wrong?
You are mostly right, however there have been GoM hurricanes that though small in size grew very powerful, I think Carla was one. If they meander slowly around in the Gulf they can grow into pwerful storms. Ususally not, but there are exceptions.
-----
dont forget about humberto, which went from a tropical despression to a hurricane in about a days time. ppl went to sleep with a weak TS and awoke to a 85-90 mph hurricane. that was one storm which i felt the NHC's conservatism really effected ppl badly. alot of unprepared people could have been hurt in that storm from lack of warning. on a side note, humberto does own the record for fastest tropical development, so the situation was unprecedented. either way, there are at times the NHC is a bit conservative and tend to underestimate storms and their potential.


more like 12 hours..
Very heavy!!!!!!!! rain and wind here in Miami Dade County,it seems that something is trying to develop to our south and east,the thunderstorm activity is growning & expanding quickly in the satellite representation of the Gulf of Mexico.
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Do the 12z models take into account the southward shift in the COC for TD3? If so I am a little surprised as they have all shifted to the north. Can we expect a southward shift on the 18Z runs?
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629. Relix
Seems like PR will be spared. Ana is moving North a lot.
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Quoting PcolaDan:


There are a lot of people who come here for info and have no clue what they are seeing. So they see something in the satellite loops and get concerned. They maybe have been through hurricanes and the thought just makes them nervous. Not necessarily wishcasters, maybe worrier better term. Most saying the Keys area is nothing, yet NHC put yellow on it. Even they are surprised and change their minds sometimes. My personal take is that it will be just a rain event, but that's just me. Hoping it heads towards Ike though, the clouds are pretty in the evenings looking his way. :)
Finally, someone who understands the apprehension some of us have.
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It looks to me like ANA's LLC has almost completely outrun all the convection being produced right now. We will have to see what the overnight hours bring for her..
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thanks but my computer is having a tough time loading java at the moment always freezes up and I dont have enough time to fix it, about to go to work.
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548. jpsb 6:17 PM GMT on August 15, 2009
Quoting BiloxiGirl:
In my humble opinion, even if the GOM blob did develop, it couldn't get that strong before hitting somewhere. Am I wrong?
You are mostly right, however there have been GoM hurricanes that though small in size grew very powerful, I think Carla was one. If they meander slowly around in the Gulf they can grow into pwerful storms. Ususally not, but there are exceptions.
-----
dont forget about humberto, which went from a tropical despression to a hurricane in about a days time. ppl went to sleep with a weak TS and awoke to a 85-90 mph hurricane. that was one storm which i felt the NHC's conservatism really effected ppl badly. alot of unprepared people could have been hurt in that storm from lack of warning. on a side note, humberto does own the record for fastest tropical development, so the situation was unprecedented. either way, there are at times the NHC is a bit conservative and tend to underestimate storms and their potential.
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Quoting Skyepony:
On ANA Best models by far start with OCF last few runs aiming for a Frances/Jeanne area landfall on FL, NOGAPS, Clip & CLP5 distant chasers but doing well, GFDL, mm5 LGEM & HWRF follow, farther back BAM, LBAR. While CMC is at the back of the pack.


Thanks for the info. Interesting to know model accuracy.
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623. jipmg
Quoting Nolehead:
i'm sorry guys but that blobby thingamagig is really blowing up big time....i know the pressure isn't right for it but dang....


its dropping slowly based on the boui reports..
Hi everyone.. can someone please give me a quick synopsis on how TD3 and Ana are looking right now? I've scanned the comments and see mostly stuff on a blob near the GOM. Thanks! :)
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621. 996tt
Quoting Patrap:


After Katrina,and for 19 days,13 of them with no juice,and without a doubt,with all we were busy with,..having 5 gals a fuel a night a gen and a window A/c like we did was the only slice of comfort we had.

A good 600 bucks and one can have that as a Priority must have item on yer prep list.


After Katrina, we had nothing but a foundation on coast in Biloxi.
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620. jipmg
Quoting scCane:
Link

The thunderstorms of the ne side of Ana are blowing up looks like its trying to get over the center. Also looks like Ana may be moving a little north of west.


here is a better one for tracking

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t1/loop-vis.html
Quoting Funkadelic:


I know right! It is so annoying, hearing a bunch of garbage all day long when we have ACTUAL systems out there to track. I gues people in the GOM want to be hit? I dont understand their mental state to be honest.

The NHC may not ALWAYS be correct,but they arent stupid and if they were concerned about something this close to land, then you would hear about it.


There are a lot of people who come here for info and have no clue what they are seeing. So they see something in the satellite loops and get concerned. They maybe have been through hurricanes and the thought just makes them nervous. Not necessarily wishcasters, maybe worrier better term. Most saying the Keys area is nothing, yet NHC put yellow on it. Even they are surprised and change their minds sometimes. My personal take is that it will be just a rain event, but that's just me. Hoping it heads towards Ike though, the clouds are pretty in the evenings looking his way. :)
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Yup,..seems to be mid-August in the GOM,..Ike.


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i'm sorry guys but that blobby thingamagig is really blowing up big time....i know the pressure isn't right for it but dang....
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616. jipmg
mhm ANA is moving north of the NHC forecast based on its movement on satellite..
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Is that correct that we have another low invest at 35 & 10? that is REALLY close to TD3 or is that TD3 and they are just duplicating? I found this on the front page of WU. Please let me know. Thanks!
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About JeffMasters

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