Fred fading; halfway point of hurricane season reached

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:40 PM GMT on September 10, 2009

Share this Blog
1
+

Hurricane Fred peaked in intensity yesterday afternoon, attaining Category 3 strength with 120 mph winds. It is quite unusual to have such a powerful system so far east in the Atlantic, and Fred is only the third major hurricane to exist east of 35W. Fred is also the strongest hurricane so far south and east in the data record. However, this type of system would have been difficult to document before satellite pictures began in the 1960s.

Fred's glory is past, and the storm is on a downslide now, thanks to moderate wind shear of 15 - 20 knots and dry air eating into the hurricane's southwest side. The shear and the dry air will increase over the next few days, with the shear rising above 40 knots by Monday morning. Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) will also cool to near the 26.5°C threshold needed to sustain a tropical cyclone. The combination of high shear, dry air, and cool SSTs will likely kill Fred by Tuesday.


Figure 1. Hurricane Fred at peak strength, 8:55am EDT UTC 9/9/09. At the time, Fred was a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Elsewhere in the tropics
An upper-level low pressure system has moved over Texas and is expected to spawn a surface low pressure system along the Texas Gulf of Mexico coast on Friday. This low will probably have characteristics of both a tropical and extratropical storm. The surface low is likely to move northeastward and move ashore near the Texas/Louisiana border region on Saturday or Sunday. There will be some high wind shear to the west of the low (shear is currently a high 25 knots), so it is uncertain whether this low will be capable of developing into a tropical cyclone. Regardless, this storm will bring heavy rain capable of causing flooding--and help alleviate the exceptional drought conditions over Southeast Texas.

Early next week, we should be alert for tropical storm development over the waters between the Bahamas and North Carolina, along an old frontal zone. None of the reliable models are forecasting tropical storm development in this area or in the Gulf of Mexico, though.


Figure 2. The climatological halfway point of the Atlantic hurricane season is today, September 10.

Halfway point of hurricane season
September 10 marks the halfway point of the Atlantic hurricane season. Despite a late start (Tropical Storm Ana did not form until August 15, the latest start to a hurricane season since 1992), our number of storms has been near average. An average Atlantic hurricane season has 5 named storms, 3 hurricanes, and 1 intense hurricane by the midpoint of the season. So far this year, we've had 6 named storms, 2 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. A better measure of hurricane activity that takes into account their destructive power is the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index. ACE for an individual storm is computed by squaring the maximum sustained winds of the storm at each 6-hourly advisory, and summing up over the entire lifetime of the storm. As of 5am EDT this morning, the seasonal ACE tally was 37.5. This number should rise to around 40 by the end of the day, thanks to the presence of Hurricane Fred. Over the period 1950 - 2005, the average ACE index for a half-season was 51, so 2009 ranks about 20% below average for the halfway point of the season. But when compared to the hurricane seasons we've been having since the current active hurricane period began in 1995, this year has been quite inactive. Between 1995 and 2008, the average ACE index for the halfway point of the season was 72. Thus, 2009 is about 45% less active than what we've been accustomed to over the past 14 years.

We've been lucky this year that the steering currents have aligned to keep our two major hurricanes, Bill and Fred, out to sea. What will the rest of the season have in store for us? I'll present an analysis on Friday.

Twenty years ago on this date
On September 10, 1989, the strong tropical wave that had moved off the coast of Africa the previous day acquired an organized circulation at the surface and began building a concentrated area of heavy thunderstorms near its center. A new tropical depression, the 12th of the season, was born. Moving westward at 20 mph, the depression brought strong, gusty winds and heavy rain showers to the Cape Verdes Islands as it passed to the south. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center predicted that the steadily organizing tropical depression would strengthen into a tropical storm within the next day or two. The next name on the list of Atlantic tropical storm names for 1989: Hugo.


Figure 3. AVHRR visible satellite image of Tropical Depression Twelve taken on September 10, 1989. Image credit: Google Earth rendition of the NOAA HURSAT data base.

Jeff Masters

Reader Comments

Comments will take a few seconds to appear.

Post Your Comments

Please sign in to post comments.

or Join

Not only will you be able to leave comments on this blog, but you'll also have the ability to upload and share your photos in our Wunder Photos section.

Display: 0, 50, 100, 200 Sort: Newest First - Order Posted

Viewing: 1813 - 1763

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39Blog Index

Morning everyone.

Yea Tim, it is, and it all began to go down about this time of the morning.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning! The weather here in Michigan is just beautiful!! Summer finally arrived.
GO BLUE!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting reedzone:
Honestly, the GFS may not be too far off with bringing the remnants of Fred to the USA. If the models are right, the "monster troughs" will come to a halt for a while and building ridges may take place next week, which steers storms west. So the area that just came off Africa, that one has a chance to be affected more by a ridge then a trough.


While I agree with that scenario IF ridging were to take over, ridging has been forecast to take over for some time now and, as we have witnessed time and time again, trough's rule the stage.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Morning all.......This will always be a day to remember!
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 178 Comments: 20443
Honestly, the GFS may not be too far off with bringing the remnants of Fred to the USA. If the models are right, the "monster troughs" will come to a halt for a while and building ridges may take place next week, which steers storms west. So the area that just came off Africa, that one has a chance to be affected more by a ridge then a trough.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting yonzabam:


If the trough is moving north as it's predicted to do, the A/B high would expand and Fred would come under it's steering influence.

The jet stream, which has been responsible for the trough, has moved up north.


I am curious to see what the steering will be down the line if it were to maintain TS storm status and not degenerate into a remnant low. Fred's already a record breaker and I tend to pay a little more attention to those types.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Patrap im thinking were going to get alot of rain if its already raining at 6:58 A.M
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TheCaneWhisperer:



I have to say that would be quite remarkable.

Morning All.


If the trough is moving north as it's predicted to do, the A/B high would expand and Fred would come under it's steering influence.

The jet stream, which has been responsible for the trough, has moved up north.
Member Since: July 20, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2926
1803. IKE
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1802. IKE
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 AM EDT FRI SEP 11 2009

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON HURRICANE
FRED...LOCATED ABOUT 745 MILES WEST OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS.

A NON-TROPICAL AREA OF LOW PRESSURE CENTERED JUST OFF THE DELAWARE
COAST IS PRODUCING HEAVY RAIN...GUSTY WINDS...AND MINOR COASTAL
FLOODING ALONG PORTIONS OF THE MID-ATLANTIC COAST. DEVELOPMENT
INTO A TROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE IS NOT EXPECTED DUE TO
UNFAVORABLE UPPER-LEVEL WINDS. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...LESS THAN 30
PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL CYCLONE
DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION...PLEASE
REFER TO PRODUCTS ISSUED BY LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICES
IN THE REGION AND HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL
WEATHER SERVICE...UNDER AWIPS HEADER NFDHSFAT1 AND WMO HEADER
FZNT01 KWBC.

DISORGANIZED SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE WESTERN GULF OF
MEXICO ARE PRIMARILY ASSOCIATED WITH A MID TO UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH.
UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE NOT FAVORABLE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THIS SYSTEM
AS IT REMAINS NEARLY STATIONARY DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...LESS THAN 30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. REGARDLESS OF
DEVELOPMENT...LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL IS POSSIBLE ALONG THE GULF
COAST FROM NORTHEASTERN MEXICO TO LOUISIANA OVER THE NEXT DAY OR
TWO.

A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE ASSOCIATED WITH A TROPICAL WAVE HAS
MOVED OFF THE WEST COAST OF AFRICA...AND IS MOVING WESTWARD AT 15
MPH. THIS SYSTEM SHOWS SOME SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION AND HAS THE
POTENTIAL FOR SOME DEVELOPMENT DURING THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.
THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...LESS THAN 30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER AVILA

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
And quite likely if there is anything left and finds some decent conditions.



Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting IKE:
6Z GFS......takes Fred on a cruise...



I have to say that would be quite remarkable.

Morning All.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It may soon be illegal for the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue non-severe weather forecasts under the provisions of the National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005, Senate Bill S.786, introduced April 14 by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa



Thats not exactly doing away with NWS. Just limiting its scope.


The bill primarily benefits those private weather companies with large staffs of forecasters that can make forecasts for the entire country, such as AccuWeather and the Weather Channel. Legislation like this has been pushed for many years by the Commercial Weather Services Association, led by AccuWeather, a company based in Pennsylvania. CWSA and AccuWeather managed to get almost identical bill introduced in the House in 1999.

Certainly Accuweather is on-board with this. JB doesnt run Accuweather tho. That being said. I see what you mean. I'm not sure I owe you an apology, I see where ya commin from. Thanx for pointing this out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1798. tramp96
Quoting P451:


The wind here in NJ has been fairly consistent since yesterday evening. It ramped up during the over night - we had some gusts pushing 50 for certain with some heavy rain squalls. Right now I'm awaiting that arm of precip to move north - and as of now we're gusting to around 40 at times.

We will see what I get as the core moves closer.

It's cold outside right now though it does not resemble the feel we get when a decaying TS moves up over us. That might change when that arc of precip moves north of me.

Usually with an advancing TS, even a decaying one like say Hannah last summer, it gets very warm and sticky out.

It's not like that at the moment and hasn't been through the event up until now.


Any power outages?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting RidingTheStormOut:
Good morning friends. Could one of you nice folks tell me what the white line represents on the Ensemble Models? Thanks in adavance and thanks for all the great info you all provide. Bob


The GFS forecast.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11210
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
News to me. I read his column most everyday. What bill? It would be a matter of public record. I'll post a public apology to you if you can point me in the right direction.


I'm waiting.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning friends. Could one of you nice folks tell me what the white line represents on the Ensemble Models? Thanks in adavance and thanks for all the great info you all provide. Bob
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
NWS does not have well defined criteria for subtropical systems.

TROPICAL CYCLONE PRODUCTS


2.1 Subtropical Cyclone Public Advisories (TCP). NHC will issue subtropical cyclone advisories. However, due to the lack of well-defined criteria for distinguishing subtropical from non-tropical lows, marginally-subtropical systems may be handled as non-tropical gale or storm centers in High Seas forecast products.
Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 11210
Quoting tornadofan:
Post 1781 - here's the link to what you posted.

What I find amazing is that I only see 10 comments on that blog. LOL.


Got to remember that is when the blogs first got started here.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1788. IKE
Quoting tornadofan:
Post 1781 - here's the link to what you posted.

What I find amazing is that I only see 10 comments on that blog. LOL.


Ten comments...lol.

There's been 10 on here in the last 15 minutes. I don't recognize any of those SN's. What happened to 99% of the bloggers from back then? And that was the summer of Katrina.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Post 1781 - here's the link to what you posted.

What I find amazing is that I only see 10 comments on that blog. LOL.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1785. WxLogic
Quoting StormW:


JB may be right in a sense. The satellite overlay shows a stationary front near it, so if it is still under the influence of the front, then it's not purley tropical.

However, it appears to be warm core. One way to tell if it's more tropical is, the winds will be strongest as you get closer to the center. One take I have on this is, it may not have any influence from the front, as the front was depicted in the overlay as stationary. So, if the front is not moving, and the system is, it may be free of the front.

Another way we can tell is, if this weakens as it moves inland, we know it's more of a tropical feature. Baroclinic systems comin from the ocean do not weaken per se oncethey move inland as a tropical system would.

With this having been over the Gulfstream, it could very well have been very close, or even made the transition just before coming ashore.


Hehe... this brings back memories from last year's extratropical/subtropical debate on the Mid ATL system.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting violetprofusion:
I'm a newbie, and I don't know a lot about cyclogenesis and non-tropical systems and whatnot, but I just had to say - this is my first exposure to Joe Bastardi, and even I can tell that he's, um, prone to histrionics.

I'm looking out my window in New Jersey at this HORRIBLE TROPICAL CYCLONE that is HORRIBLE, OH NO! and it's...raining. Some breeze. Ooh, how awful. Ooh, I'm terrified, Bastardi. Shaking in my boots.

Since you are a newbie you should refrain from making comments about someone else atleast until you have been on long enough to get a real idea of whats going on.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
News to me. I read his column most everyday. What bill? It would be a matter of public record. I'll post a public apology to you if you can point me in the right direction.


Here you go. I stand ready for your apology.


National Weather Service forecasts to be banned?

Posted by: JeffMasters,
It may soon be illegal for the National Weather Service (NWS) to issue non-severe weather forecasts under the provisions of the National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005, Senate Bill S.786, introduced April 14 by Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.

The bill's key provision (Section 2b) states that the National Weather Service cannot provide "a product or service...that is or could be provided by the private sector", with the exception of severe weather forecasts and warnings needed to protect life and property. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez is given sole authority on how to interpret what NWS products and services should be restricted. In his comments upon introduction of the bill, Senator Santorum said the bill would boost the private weather industry by reducing unfair competition from the NWS and generate cost savings to the government, remarking, "The beauty of a highly competent private sector is that services that are not inherently involved in public safety and security can be carried out with little or no expenditure of taxpayer dollars."

Why The Weather Underground opposes the National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005

Poorer Forecasts.
It is unclear from the bill's language whether the NWS would be allowed to continue making its routine public and marine forecasts. This decision would be made by the Secretary of Commerce. I believe the expertise of the NWS forecasters is unmatched anywhere in the world, and throwing away their forecasts would be a shameful waste. Although the private weather industry can and does provide routine public and marine forecasts, the quality of these forecasts is sometimes poor and would likely worsen if the NWS ceased issuing forecasts. When I participated in forecasting contests both as a student and an instructor, I discovered that while it was difficult--but not impossible--to beat the NWS forecast, it was nearly impossible to beat the "consensus" forecast--that is, the average of everyone's forecast. Private weather industry forecasters do their own forecasting, but will usually check their forecast against what the NWS says before sending it out. If the NWS forecast differs considerably, there will frequently be an adjustment made towards the NWS forecast, resulting in a better "consensus" forecast. So, with the proposed legislation, not only would we lose the best forecasts available, but the forecasts from the private weather companies would also worsen. Many sectors of our economy depend upon good forecasts, and passage of the bill might result in a loss of millions of dollars to the economy.

Elimination of routine NWS forecasts would result in little cost savings to the government. The 24-hour staffing at NWS offices required to make severe weather forecasts would not change significantly, and these forecasters would need to be working all the time making forecasts in order to fulfill their duty to make severe weather forecasts. If the NWS has to keep their forecasting staff in place, why not continue to let them make their excellent forecasts? Ed Johnson, the weather service's director of strategic planning and policy remarked, "If someone claims that our core mission is just warning the public of hazardous conditions, that's really impossible unless we forecast the weather all the time. You don't just plug in your clock when you want to know what time it is."

Not all private industry would benefit. The Weather Underground, Inc. relies heavily on NWS forecasts and products that would likely be eliminated. Without these products, our company would likely be forced to significantly downsize. Other private weather companies are in the same situation, and smaller TV and radio stations that rely on free NWS forecasts would also suffer. And K-12 schools that rely on the ad-free weather.gov web site would be forced to eliminate some weather education offerings.

The bill primarily benefits those private weather companies with large staffs of forecasters that can make forecasts for the entire country, such as AccuWeather and the Weather Channel. Legislation like this has been pushed for many years by the Commercial Weather Services Association, led by AccuWeather, a company based in Pennsylvania. CWSA and AccuWeather managed to get almost identical bill introduced in the House in 1999.

Too much power is given to the Secretary of Commerce. The decisions on which NWS services and products unfairly compete with private industry are given to one person, the Secretary of Commerce. Leaving one politically-appointed person in charge of this decision-making is unwise. A more fair solution would be to form a committee to make the decisions.

How to oppose The National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005. The National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005 is currently before the Senate Commerce Committee, and will have to make it out of there before the full Senate votes on it. The time to kill this bill is now! If you're interested, you can sign a petition opposing the National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005, or write your Senator if he or she is on the Senate Commerce Committee:

http://commerce.senate.gov/about/membership.html
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Its not uncommon for a northeaster to have warm-core characteristics. They are more popular than you think, hence the warm front. The difference is, do they fit the entire definition of a subtropical cyclone.

subtropical cyclones have warm core also but they have no fronts.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
The East Coast Storm looks very subtropicalish.. but looks are deceiving. Still a non-tropical low.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
News to me. I read his column most everyday. What bill? It would be a matter of public record. I'll post a public apology to you if you can point me in the right direction.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Did a quick google search. I found at least one other "nor'easter" that had a warm core. Looks like it could have been debated then too though...

Christmas 1994

Deemed a hybrid storm, the cyclone rapidly intensified in warm waters of up to 80 °F (27 °C) from the Gulf Stream combined with a cold air mass over the United States.[4] The system continued to rapidly intensify while moving within the Gulf Stream; it developed central convection, an unusual trait for an extratropical cyclone, and at one point it exhibited an eye.[2] Despite these indications of tropical characteristics, forecaster Jack Beven later stated, "There was no front associated with it and it had a warm core, but the radius of maximum winds was more than 150 nautical miles [175 mi, 280 km], so under the standard NHC criteria it didn’t qualify as a tropical storm."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1774. IKE
Quoting Dakster:
GGGOOOOOOOODDDDDD MORNING WeatherUnderground.

Happy Friday to all that today is really their Friday. (In otherwords, you don't have to work on the weekend).

It's a raining here in South Florida. We may not need a TS to get flodded out if this keeps up! I see nothing else has changed since last night. Still little yellow circles and Fred is a little weaker and still in the same spot.


Rain over the SE USA isn't going away anytime soon. The GOM is loaded with convection.

I thought it was a downward MJO?
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
One clear argument is that the feature is tied to a frontal boundary but other data looks subtropical. Its not extratropical or tropical so most likely its hybrid, without enough organization and/or characteristics to be named.

Name or not, its affecting weather
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1772. IKE
Maybe the NHC designates the system in post-season analysis...or maybe they designate it in a few minutes.

I don't really understand the way they've handled this one since it started. But, they've stuck to it being non-tropical and conditions remain unfavorable.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
StormW. You got an opinion on this one?

Is it a TC or is JB losing the bubble here?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
He wants to do away with NWS and let inaccuweather be in charge of forecasting and issuing warnings and watches. LMAO


Thats the lie.


NOT! He was with the senator from PA that introduced a bill to do away with the NWS and let a commercial firm take over. He even made reference to that is one of his blog entries that you posted. You need to check your facts before you call someone out.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



Thats one of the dumbest statements ever posted here. Also an outright lie. Unreal.


Joe has been criticizing the NWS for as long as I could remember. One of the arguments is the provision of free weather information. They have disagreed with the NHC naming especially with another non tropical low in late June 2006 and had different ideas about Katrina.

As for taking over the NWS job, I dont know becuz its a pretty extensive job for the organization and I dont think they are that large.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1768. Dakster
GGGOOOOOOOODDDDDD MORNING WeatherUnderground.

Happy Friday to all that today is really their Friday. (In otherwords, you don't have to work on the weekend).

It's a raining here in South Florida. We may not need a TS to get flodded out if this keeps up! I see nothing else has changed since last night. Still little yellow circles and Fred is a little weaker and still in the same spot.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10399
He wants to do away with NWS and let inaccuweather be in charge of forecasting and issuing warnings and watches. LMAO


Thats the lie.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1766. IKE
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



So if its not flattening everything, its not a TC? Pretty lame rebuttal. I'm not saying JB is right. But he makes a good argument that the system is warm-core.


I just checked buoys up there and there are gusts in the 40+ mph range.

I looked at Atlantic City, NJ weather. Gusts to 33 mph. Severe thunderstorm warning out....

"UNTIL 815 AM EDT

* AT 644 AM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR DEPICTED A
COMPLEX OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE WARNED AREA. THESE STORMS
HAVE A HISTORY OF PRODUCING WIND DAMAGE. ALL ARE CAPABLE OF
PRODUCING DAMAGING WINDS IN EXCESS OF 60 MPH.".....


Tornado Watch...flood advisory...coastal flood advisory....


I'm sure when P451 gets on here he may have much to add.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
Quoting PensacolaDoug:



Thats one of the dumbest statements ever posted here. Also an outright lie. Unreal.

What about that is a lie?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Objectivity is good thing. SOme posters here don't have it.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:

Viewing: 1813 - 1763

Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39Blog Index

Top of Page

About

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