Erika dumping heavy rain on the Lesser Antilles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:12 PM GMT on September 03, 2009

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Tropical Storm Erika is hanging together despite strong wind shear, and is bringing high winds and much-needed heavy rain to the Lesser Antilles Islands. Winds on the south shore of Dominica Island were sustained at 37 mph this morning, and 8.03" of rain have been measured at the airport over the past two days. Winds and rain at nearby islands have been less, according to our wundermap for the region. The Hurricane Hunters are in the storm now, and have generally encountered top winds of 40 - 45 mph at the surface. They did find one spot of 50 - 65 mph winds, but that was likely due to outflow from a strong thunderstorm, and is not representative of Erika's wind field.


Figure 1. Radar image of Tropical Storm Erika at 9:15am EDT 9/3/09. Image credit: Meteo France.

Erika has improved in organization a bit since last night, but remains weak and disorganized, thanks to about 20 knots of shear at the 200 mb level, as seen on last night's Guadeloupe upper air sounding. Radar animations out of Martinique show plenty of heavy rain moving through the Lesser Antilles, but little organization of the echoes. Satellite imagery shows no low-level spiral bands and little upper-level outflow. Long range radar out of Puerto Rico is beginning to show rain echoes from Erika approaching the island.

The forecast for Erika
The computer models have come into better agreement about the track of Erika, taking the storm west-northwest over Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. This track will take Erika into a band of significantly higher wind shear of 25 - 35 knots, Friday through Saturday. Considering that Erika is barely maintaining itself as a tropical storm with 20 knots of shear, the combined effects of the higher shear and the encounter with the high mountains of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico should be enough to cause Erika to dissipate by Sunday. Erika's remains will still be capable of dumping very heavy rains of 3 - 5 inches over the Dominican Republic and 1 - 3 inches over Haiti and the Southeast Bahamas, due to the slow motion of the storm. By Monday, when the remains of Erika should be over the Bahamas, the storm will have penetrated through the band of high wind shear over the Greater Antilles, and shear may fall low enough for redevelopment of the storm. This is a scenario offered by the NOGAPS model, which then takes Erika northward towards North Carolina. The other models predict quite a bit more shear in the region than the NOGAPS, and any redevelopment of Erika early next week remains an iffy proposition. The GFDL and HWRF models continue to insist that Erika will brush off the high shear this weekend, avoid Hispaniola, and intensify into a Category 2 hurricane five days from now. These models have not been giving enough emphasis to how the current shear is affecting Erika, and are being discounted at this time.

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Elsewhere in the Atlantic
A large, strong tropical wave with plenty of spin emerged from the coast of Africa this morning. The wave is not yet generating much in the way of heavy thunderstorms, but has the potential to gradually develop into a tropical depression by early next week. NHC is giving this wave a low (less than 30% chance) of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday. The GFS model has been consistently developing this wave in its runs over the past few days.

I'll have an update this afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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I dont care for models. They are vague at best, and frequently wrong. Look at last night's models, for instance. Could anyone really draw any conclusion from that mess? One had Erika heading WSW, another W, another WNW, yet another NW, and another nearly due N. A better "model" to use is history. What has happened to the previous 4 named storms this year, and why? This is an El Nino year, which also must be taken into consideration before referencing storms from last year or the year before that appeared to be on similar paths. Of course Erika can still end up in Florida or the GOM, but more than likely, it WONT.

I think I'll go back to lurking and amuse myself with the never-ending Floridacasting. After all, I lack a PhD so I cannot possibly be right, and besides, every storm must hit Florida. (*rolls eyes*)
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Quoting SomeRandomTexan:
News Update--

BP (British Petroleum) has discovered the largest deposit of oil in the GOM since the 80's, over 1/2 billion barrels. This could spell huge implications for gas prices, making them fall in the long term and possibly short term due to speculation.

I know this is a little off topic but since hurricanes and tropical storms typically close these rigs down, it directly effects the petro industry.


One thing to point out with that is that a good chunk (not sure how much of it) of the estimated reserves are in "oil equivalent"... which is natural gas. I'm interested to see the breakdown between the natural gas and crude oil once they get a few more test wells dropped into there.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5880
Quoting tbrett:

Rains like we are getting today are what makes the Islands green and beautiful, let it rain. The only problem I have with it, is I live in an area that is prone to flash flooding, the valley gets lahars from the volcano when ever we get to much rain. I live high enough my property is not in danger but it tends to smell pretty bad at times. Oh well, I guess I will just have to stay home today, darn. LOL


This area has had flash flooding in the past as well - the roads were like rivers. Not fun huh? I'm pretty broken up about having to stay home doing nothing today as well. ;)
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Quoting AllBoardedUp:
Yeah, plus what will change in the next 3 days?


People seem to forget that the shear called for is a forecast, every bit as much as the track and intensity of the storm is...
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting jeffs713:

Let this be a reminder to everyone that hurricanes don't just impact CONUS. There are lots of other damaging hurricanes out there.

Thankfully, George and his family is ok.
Quoting EarthMuffin:
Sorry its not going to Florida. I know thats what everyone has wanted...Florida and GOM. Dont shoot the messanger.
It probably will not effect Florida E.M...but trust me on this,,Never say never with these systems.Ask any of the experts on this blog,it can and has happened.I have seen it before.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21173
Quoting NWWNCAVL:


Its alsot the deepest well on the planet...35K feet down...Thats deep, even through 4 mile of water...


Yes, it is pretty amazing, BP will continue to drill several more wells to measure the size of the reserve.

We need a calm period for the GOM, so they can undergo their quest.
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Quoting TriniGirl26:

I think all the islands suffer from the same problem...flooding...but i wont lie to you i think Trinidad could do with some of that rain u guys are getting this heat is killing :)


Yeah, flooding was our biggest issue after Omar brushed us. These rains aren't as heavy just yet but appear they may be over us longer than he was so not sure what the outcome may be.
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Quoting SomeRandomTexan:
News Update--

BP (British Petroleum) has discovered the largest deposit of oil in the GOM since the 80's, over 1/2 billion barrels. This could spell huge implications for gas prices, making them fall in the long term and possibly short term due to speculation.

I know this is a little off topic but since hurricanes and tropical storms typically close these rigs down, it directly effects the petro industry.
Speculation can also drive the price up. It will all depend on what BP does with the oil. Drill aggressively, store it, etc. They can determine the price by controlling the supply.
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It doesn't take much to bring flooding to Haiti and a TD/open wave is more than capable of that.
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hmm no downgrade at 11 am. this storm is forever going to amaze us all.
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"Wow that was harsh. Wahts your issue this morning?"

Just another example. Best not to feed into the childish behaviour of others.
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Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #5
TROPICAL DEPRESSION
21:00 PM JST September 3 2009
=========================================

SUBJECT: Tropical Depression In Sea East Of The Philippines

At 12:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression (994 hPa) located at 16.9N 127.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts of 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving west-southwest slowly

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T1.5

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 18.9N 130.8E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
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Quoting JadeInAntigua:


Good to hear the power's staying up. It is nice to have the rain cool things down a bit. I love stormy days like this and from the radar it doesn't appear it will be letting up anytime soon.

Rains like we are getting today are what makes the Islands green and beautiful, let it rain. The only problem I have with it, is I live in an area that is prone to flash flooding, the valley gets lahars from the volcano when ever we get to much rain. I live high enough my property is not in danger but it tends to smell pretty bad at times. Oh well, I guess I will just have to stay home today, darn. LOL
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Quoting justalurker:
i still see erika as a threat, due to the current track erika should be moving over DR/Haiti next couple of days..unfortunately that is bad news for Haiti especially, with there current 3rd world country poverty, some lives might be lost due to heavy rains..so you see doesnt need to have 300mph winds to cause damage or loss of lives, i wouldnt call this a dead storm yet.
It looks to me like the "supposed" COC is still pushing west. IMO
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Quoting SomeRandomTexan:
News Update--

BP (British Petroleum) has discovered the largest deposit of oil in the GOM since the 80's, over 1/2 billion barrels. This could spell huge implications for gas prices, making them fall in the long term and possibly short term due to speculation.

I know this is a little off topic but since hurricanes and tropical storms typically close these rigs down, it directly effects the petro industry.


Its alsot the deepest well on the planet...35K feet down...Thats deep, even through 4 mile of water...
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Quoting Funkadelic:


I meant to say just in case LOL, my iPhone corrects words automatically and turns them into something tottely different. It's a good program but sometimes it changes the word too much. Oh well back to lurking throughout the day..
Yeah sure,..blame the Iphone Funk..Its the Iphones FaLt.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21173
000
WTNT41 KNHC 031437
TCDAT1
TROPICAL STORM ERIKA DISCUSSION NUMBER 8
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL062009
1100 AM AST THU SEP 03 2009

DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT SHOW THAT
ERIKA HAS MOVED VERY SLOWLY OVER THE PAST FEW HOURS...AND THAT THE
CENTER IS SOMEWHAT ELONGATED. THE AIRCRAFT ALSO REPORTED THAT THE
CENTRAL PRESSURE HAS COME UP A LITTLE...TO 1010 MB. THERE WERE A
FEW UN-FLAGGED SFMR READINGS OF WINDS NEAR TROPICAL-STORM FORCE IN
THE CONVECTION WELL EAST OF THE CENTER...SO THE INTENSITY IS HELD
AT 35 KT FOR THIS ADVISORY. THE 1200 UTC RADIOSONDE DATA STILL SHOW
WESTERLY AND SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW AT THE 250 MB LEVEL WEST OF
ERIKA...AND THE SAN JUAN RAOB SHOWS A RELATIVELY DRY MID- AND
UPPER-TROPOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENT AHEAD OF THE CYCLONE. ALL OF THIS
EVIDENCE...PLUS THE POTENTIAL FOR LAND INTERACTION...SUGGESTS THAT
ERIKA SHOULD SLOWLY WEAKEN THROUGH THE PERIOD. DESPITE THIS...
ALMOST ALL OF THE INTENSITY GUIDANCE KEEPS ERIKA AS AT LEAST A
TROPICAL STORM THROUGH THE FORECAST PERIOD. THE OFFICIAL FORECAST
IS SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY...HOLDING ERIKA AS A TROPICAL
STORM THROUGH 12 HOURS AND SLOWLY WEAKENING THE CYCLONE TO A
REMNANT LOW BY DAY 3.

AIRCRAFT DATA AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS...INCLUDING DATA FROM NOAA
BUOY 42060...SUGGESTED THAT THE CENTER OF ERIKA WAS LOCATED BETWEEN
THE ISLAND OF ST. KITTS AND THE BUOY. HOWEVER...THESE DATA ALSO
SUGGEST THAT THE CENTER IS STILL NOT TERRIBLY WELL DEFINED. ERIKA
IS MOVING SLOWLY WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AROUND THE SOUTHERN PERIPHERY
OF THE ATLANTIC SUBTROPICAL RIDGE...AND THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE
IS A RATHER UNCERTAIN 300/07. THE GLOBAL MODEL GUIDANCE SUGGESTS
THAT THE RIDGE WILL BUILD WESTWARD NORTH OF ERIKA...WHICH SHOULD
RESULT IN A SLIGHT INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED IN NEXT DAY OR TWO.
THE OFFICIAL FORECAST HAS BEEN SHIFTED SLIGHTLY TO THE RIGHT...OR
NORTHWARD...TO ACCOUNT FOR THE INITIAL POSITION AND A SLIGHT SHIFT
IN THE MODEL CONSENSUS.

WHILE IT IS LIKELY THAT ANY TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS ARE OCCURRING
IN ISOLATED AREAS WELL EAST OF THE CENTER...THE NEW FORECAST TRACK
IS CLOSE ENOUGH TO THE VIRGIN ISLANDS AND PUERTO RICO IN THE NEXT
12 TO 24 HOURS TO REQUIRE THE ISSUANCE OF A TROPICAL STORM WARNING
FOR THOSE ISLANDS AT THIS TIME.

EVEN IF ERIKA LOSES ITS TROPICAL CYCLONE STATUS LATER IN THE
FORECAST PERIOD...IT COULD MAINTAIN VIGOROUS DEEP CONVECTION WHICH
WOULD PRODUCE VERY HEAVY RAINS ALONG ITS TRACK.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 03/1500Z 16.9N 63.5W 35 KT
12HR VT 04/0000Z 17.5N 64.5W 35 KT
24HR VT 04/1200Z 18.4N 66.1W 30 KT...INLAND
36HR VT 05/0000Z 19.2N 67.5W 30 KT
48HR VT 05/1200Z 20.0N 68.8W 30 KT
72HR VT 06/1200Z 21.5N 71.0W 25 KT...REMNANT LOW
96HR VT 07/1200Z 23.0N 73.5W 20 KT...REMNANT LOW
120HR VT 08/1200Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN
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Quoting MahFL:
Where does the Doc get 35 kts of shear from ?



Link


Its at the 200mb level.
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Quoting WindyCitizen:
Damage report from Jimena on GeorgefromLosCabos' blog via "condesa":

"There has been extensive and severe widespread damage in many towns and villages north of Los Cabos, both along the coast and inland. Power outages that will last for at least 6 days- hospitals will get generators first. Water supply is out in many areas in the municipality (think county) of Comondu, which includes Cd. Constitucion,Loreto,Mulege,San Carlos,San Rosalito,... in some places 75% of homes have been damaged. Roofs are off supermarkets,stores, schools. Main highway flooded and damaged in many sections, impassable except for very large, high trucks. San Carlos sardine packing industry destroyed, fishing boats, some large, totally destroyed. Nearly 6,000 people in shelters, due to lack of power,water,food,housing damage.
Rains have been torrential, reaching over 15 inches in 12 hours in San Rosalito as of early evening Wednsday.
George and his family are fine, he sends his thanks to all of you for your support and best wishes."


Let this be a reminder to everyone that hurricanes don't just impact CONUS. There are lots of other damaging hurricanes out there.

Thankfully, George and his family is ok.
Member Since: August 3, 2008 Posts: 16 Comments: 5880
looks like the trough along east conus is still
caught between the B-AZ high and continental
high pressure over the central us...still a good deflector in place for GOMEX.
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Quoting JadeInAntigua:


Well the cisterns can always use filling but we've had a decent amount of rain this season. I think most are happy to see the rain - just a little concerned about the potential flooding it could bring.


I think all the islands suffer from the same problem...flooding...but i wont lie to you i think Trinidad could do with some of that rain u guys are getting this heat is killing :)
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The way I see it, the computer models are exaggerating their intensity forecast. They should wait until Erika gets past Hispaniola to forecast any strengthening. With track, though, they are forecasting many different scenarios, all possible depending on Erika's intensity.

My deeper analysis of this:

Tropical Storm Jimena/Tropical Storm Erika
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i still see erika as a threat, due to the current track erika should be moving over DR/Haiti next couple of days..unfortunately that is bad news for Haiti especially, with there current 3rd world country poverty, some lives might be lost due to heavy rains..so you see doesnt need to have 300mph winds to cause damage or loss of lives, i wouldnt call this a dead storm yet.
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
Quoting Deran:


These kinds of posts are extremely obnoxious!! Anyhow can make some wild guess and if they happen come true, claim they knew all along. It's pathetic.

My advice would be to stop getting all sensitive when people don't just believe everything you say. You're an amateur. Move on...


Sorry ment to add this quote on my last post. She stated her opinion, what's wrong with that? I think you need to calm down, and quit being so obnoxious yourself!!!
News Update--

BP (British Petroleum) has discovered the largest deposit of oil in the GOM since the 80's, over 1/2 billion barrels. This could spell huge implications for gas prices, making them fall in the long term and possibly short term due to speculation.

I know this is a little off topic but since hurricanes and tropical storms typically close these rigs down, it directly effects the petro industry.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Wow that was harsh. Wahts your issue this morning?
TROPICAL STORM CENTER LOCATED NEAR 16.9N 63.5W AT 03/1500Z
POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 60 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST OR 300 DEGREES AT 7 KT

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 1010 MB
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 35 KT WITH GUSTS TO 45 KT.
34 KT.......150NE 150SE 0SW 0NW.
12 FT SEAS..180NE 150SE 0SW 0NW.
WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT. RADII IN NAUTICAL
MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.
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Well all I know is she still has a good area of - 60 to -70 cloudtops, even maybe some -80 spots.
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Quoting EarthMuffin:
So. Erika is likely to dissipate, and has a slight probability of regenerating and then affecting...North Carolina.

I said this 3 days ago and was told I had no idea what I was talking about. Everyone insisted upon Florida, then its westward tracking made everyone want to put it into the GOM.

You cant predict a hurricane or TS will affect X or Y just because it has been moving in a specific direction for a few hours. Hurricanes and tropical storms frequently shift direction, based on any number of causative factors.


These kinds of posts are extremely obnoxious!! Anyhow can make some wild guess and if they happen come true, claim they knew all along. It's pathetic.

My advice would be to stop getting all sensitive when people don't just believe everything you say. You're an amateur. Move on...
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Quoting Floodman:


Earthmuffin, the fact that you called it three days ago doesn't make your call from three days ago any more valid, three days ago than those that called for intensification and a possible entry into the GOM...you were calling at as you saw it at that time and you were (it would appear) right. Not defending anyone here, just saying that the opposing opinions were just as right as yours framed in the context of three days ago...okay, did that make sense? LOL
Yeah, plus what will change in the next 3 days?
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Has it moved down to 16N? If so than forecast still very questionable.
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Damage report from Jimena on GeorgefromLosCabos' blog via "condesa":

"There has been extensive and severe widespread damage in many towns and villages north of Los Cabos, both along the coast and inland. Power outages that will last for at least 6 days- hospitals will get generators first. Water supply is out in many areas in the municipality (think county) of Comondu, which includes Cd. Constitucion,Loreto,Mulege,San Carlos,San Rosalito,... in some places 75% of homes have been damaged. Roofs are off supermarkets,stores, schools. Main highway flooded and damaged in many sections, impassable except for very large, high trucks. San Carlos sardine packing industry destroyed, fishing boats, some large, totally destroyed. Nearly 6,000 people in shelters, due to lack of power,water,food,housing damage.
Rains have been torrential, reaching over 15 inches in 12 hours in San Rosalito as of early evening Wednsday.
George and his family are fine, he sends his thanks to all of you for your support and best wishes."

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Quoting keys33070:
Question-- where can I find the The GFDL and HWRF models? My husband told me last night I was crazy, that none of the models showed this turning into a cat 2or 3 storm.


Listen to your husband. We are always right! lol
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Sorry its not going to Florida. I know thats what everyone has wanted...Florida and GOM. Dont shoot the messanger.
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Thanks Dr. Masters. Has anyone else had problems refreshing the blog or am I the only one that has to close and open a new brwoser?
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Quoting EarthMuffin:
So. Erika is likely to dissipate, and has a slight probability of regenerating and then affecting...North Carolina.

I said this 3 days ago and was told I had no idea what I was talking about. Everyone insisted upon Florida, then its westward tracking made everyone want to put it into the GOM.

You cant predict a hurricane or TS will affect X or Y just because it has been moving in a specific direction for a few hours. Hurricanes and tropical storms frequently shift direction, based on any number of causative factors.


Earthmuffin, the fact that you called it three days ago doesn't make your call from three days ago any more valid, three days ago than those that called for intensification and a possible entry into the GOM...you were calling at as you saw it at that time and you were (it would appear) right. Not defending anyone here, just saying that the opposing opinions were just as right as yours framed in the context of three days ago...okay, did that make sense? LOL
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
I swear some of you guys live in a dream world, lol.
still gonna be fl. 5% chance a frances and 80% chance of a fay like storm. either way lots of rain next week for fl. there is no way it hits nc haha thats funny.
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Quoting LBAR:


Rain is good, right? Are y'all still in a drought down there? A friend of mine...with whom I've lost contact...said it was bone dry down there the last few years.

Be safe!


Well the cisterns can always use filling but we've had a decent amount of rain this season. I think most are happy to see the rain - just a little concerned about the potential flooding it could bring.
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tim your wrong ths hear like 10 to 15 and i give this a 50 percent chane of a hurricane
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Quoting MahFL:
Where does the Doc get 35 kts of shear from ?



Link


You need to go back and read yesterday morning's blog. Those shear maps have been basically worthless with Erika. They measure average shear over a large slice of the atomsphere, and miss the small scale shear that has been stunting the system for days.
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Quoting MahFL:
Where does the Doc get 35 kts of shear from ?



Link
i guess taking medium of prior 40 to new 30..btw, asked that question 20 min ago..LOL
Member Since: August 18, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 157
Erika will not survive into the Bahamas. Whatever low-level circulation that exists now will be ripped up by Hispaniola and the shear will not allow further development of any low-level circulation. Erika's one and done as Danny was. Watch Fred to develop tomorrow or Saturday. First Cape Verde hurricane of the season.
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earth it looking like this will miss the islands and head towards fl
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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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