90L heads for North Carolina, drenches Bermuda; oil spill changing little

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:54 PM GMT on May 24, 2010

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An extratropical low pressure system (90L) between the Bahamas and Bermuda is moving north-northwest towards North Carolina and is close to tropical storm strength. Last night's ASCAT pass saw a large area of 35 mph winds to the north and east of the center, and buoy 41048 to northeast of 90L's center was seeing sustained ENE winds of 36 mph, gusting to 43 mph this morning. Bermuda is seeing some heavy weather from this storm, with winds blowing at 35 mph on the west end of the island, and the Bermuda radar showing an area of moderate to heavy rain moving over the island. Seas are running 5 - 10 feet in the outer waters of Bermuda today, and are expected to increase to 10 - 14 feet tonight before diminishing on Tuesday.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of 90L this morning.

Strong upper-levels winds out of the west are creating about 25 knots of wind shear over 90L, but the shear has been gradually decreasing over the past day. Visible satellite loops show that 90L does not have a well-defined surface circulation. The main thunderstorm activity is in a large curved band to the north and northeast of the center. This band is several hundred miles removed from the center, which is characteristic of subtropical storms. I expect that 90L will continue to grow more subtropical in nature today through Wednesday as the shear continues to fall. Sea surface temperatures are near 25°C today and will fall to 23 - 24°C on Tuesday. This is warm enough to support a subtropical storm, but probably not a tropical storm. On Wednesday, 90L will be nearing the warm waters of the Gulf Stream, and SSTs will warm again, to the 24 - 25°C range. This is still pretty cool for a tropical storm, and I expect 90L will never become fully tropical. To understand the difference between a tropical and subtropical storm and why we care, see my subtropical storm tutorial.

The SHIPS model predicts that shear will fall to the medium 10 - 20 knot range by Tuesday. A large amount of dry air to 90L's southwest associated with the upper-level trough of low pressure on top of the storm, as seen on water vapor satellite loops , will hamper transition of 90L to a subtropical or tropical storm. The system will move slowly towards the Southeast U.S. coast over the next two days, making its closest approach to the coast on Wednesday, when most of the models indicate the center will be 200 - 400 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. All of the major models currently predict that 90L will not make landfall, but will move slowly eastward out to sea on Thursday, when a trough of low pressure moving across the Eastern U.S. picks up the storm. There presently isn't much to be concerned with about this storm, as it appears that it will remain offshore and will become, at worst, a 40 - 50 mph subtropical storm. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is giving 90L a medium (30% chance) of developing into a depression or tropical/subtropical storm. Wunderbloggers Weather456 and StormW have more on 90L.

Western Caribbean disturbance
A small region of disturbed weather has developed in the Western Caribbean, off the east coast of Nicaragua. Moisture is expected to increase across in this area in the coming days, and by Saturday, the GFS and NOGAPS models predict that shear will drop low enough to permit the possible development of a strong tropical disturbance or tropical depression. This storm would then move northeastward over eastern Cuba early next week. The other models keep the shear high in the Caribbean all week, and do not show anything developing. Thus, the Western Caribbean bears watching later this week, but the conditions appear marginal for development.

Moderate risk of severe weather today in northern Plains
The Storm Prediction Center has placed western Nebraska and portions of South and North Dakota under their "Moderate" risk for severe weather today. They warn that "a couple of strong and possibly long-track tornadoes appear possible given the forecast scenario." Keep an eye on the activity today with our Severe Weather Page.

Major oil threat continues for the coast of Louisiana
Light winds are expected to prevail across the northern Gulf of Mexico all week, resulting in continued oiling threats to the Louisiana shoreline from the mouth of the Mississippi River westward 150 miles, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA. There is no longer a flow of oil moving southwards towards the Loop Current, and the oil that did move southwards last week was mostly entrained into a counter-clockwise rotating eddy attached to the northern boundary of the Loop Current. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery over the weekend showed that most of this oil has dispersed, and very little of this oil is now visible from space (Figure 2.) Imagery from NASA's MODIS instrument and from NOAA aircraft did not show any oil in the Loop Current headed towards the Florida Keys over the weekend, so that is good news. NOAA comments that there may be some "scattered tar balls" in the Loop Current headed towards the Florida Keys. I expect these scattered tar balls have completed the full loop of the Loop Current and are now headed east towards the Keys, and will pass the Dry Tortugas and Key West sometime Wednesday - Saturday. My guess is that the oil and its accompanying plume of toxic dispersants will be too thin and scattered to cause significant problems in the Keys.


Figure 2. Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) image of the oil spill taken at 11:41am EDT Saturday May 22, 2010, by the European Envisat-1 satellite. Only scattered patches of oil are evident in the counter-clockwise rotating eddy on the northern boundary of the Loop Current. A small amount of oil appears to be in the Loop Current, and is moving southward. Image credit: Center for Southeastern Tropical Advanced Remote Sensing, University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. SAR images have a resolution of 8 - 50 meters, and can be taken through clouds and precipitation.

Future threats to the Keys
Mostly offshore winds are expected this week over the northern Gulf of Mexico, thanks to the approach of the 90L storm along the Southeast U.S. coast. It is uncertain if these winds will be strong enough to push oil southward into the Loop Current, though at least one ocean trajectory model does show this occurring. As I discussed in my post Wednesday, the Loop Current is very unstable right now, and is ready to cut off into a giant clockwise-rotating eddy, an event that occurs every 6 - 11 months. At least one ocean model (the Global HYCOM model from the HYCOM consortium) is predicting that such an eddy will form this week. In the event a Loop Current Eddy does break off, it would create a rotating ring of water 250 miles in diameter to the south of the oil spill. Oil moving southwards would tend to enter the giant eddy and circulate around it, not threatening any land areas. Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecast Service has a nice discussion on the possibility of the Loop Current cutting off into a Loop Current Eddy. Keep in mind, though, that during the first month that a Loop Current Eddy forms, it exchanges a considerable amount of water with the Loop Current. Thus we can expect that a portion of any oil moving southwards into a Loop Current Eddy will find its way into the Loop Current and move past the Florida Keys.

Oil spill resources
My post Wednesday with answers to some of the common questions I get about the spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
NOAA trajectory forecasts
Deepwater Horizon Unified Command web site
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Surface current forecasts from NOAA's HYCOM model
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

I'll be back with a new post Tuesday morning.

Jeff Masters

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134. IKE
Convection has waned on 90L...

Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


The graphic that you post is not at the same as the CPC number as the graphic shows lower readings.


The ones I post are based on AMSR and AVHRR.

Every estimate you get will likely vary depending on what source you use. I like StormVista better because it updates more often than the CPC. Also I think that the CPC's estimates are weekly averages.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Have you seen any papers related to Windsat and tropical cyclones? I would like to know how accurate it is with windspeed and direction, since it is a passive instrument.


Scroll down to Geophysical Retrievals
Link
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The three naked swirls (90L) are clearly visible on the RGB image...


27.1N & 70.8W
28.3N & 70.7W
27.1N & 69.0W
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130. DEKRE
Quoting Patrap:


Well you aint been looking.

Browse all Gulf of Mexico oil spill galleries (31 results) RSS
View all galleries


Actually, I haven't in particular, especially since the emulsion is quite a bit worse in many aspects.
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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


Have you seen any papers related to Windsat and tropical cyclones? I would like to know how accurate it is with windspeed and direction, since it is a passive instrument.


I'm searching google scholar right now
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Quoting Jedkins01:
I hate when people talk about nations as a whole being wicked, evil, disgusting, etc.

There are people like that in every country, but to blame an entire nation of people for what some do, is arrogant, stupid, and ignorant.


Sorry but no matter how intelligent you think you may be, the world is too big to grasp for your finite mind. The whole nation of Jamaica cannot be blamed for a group of people that live there, just as no other nation should.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.


Tell that to the people on here that are always knocking the USA!!!!
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National Hurricane Preparedness Week

May 23rd through May 29th.

History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster. Hurricane Preparedness Week during 2010 will be held May 23rd through May 29th.

The goal of this Hurricane Preparedness Web site is to inform the public about the hurricane hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to take ACTION. This information can be used to save lives at work, home, while on the road, or on the water.
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Have to run now. Will check in later.
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we have had lots of heavy rain on the east coast of the island of dominica in the lesser antilities over the past 72 hours resulting in a landslides one of which has just buried 3 three people.
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Quoting DEKRE:


I haven't seen any black floating. It's black coming out, of course.


Well you aint been looking.

Browse all Gulf of Mexico oil spill galleries (31 results) RSS
View all galleries
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


and eventually into the NW Caribbean

your are quite right kmanislander are you ready for this season it looks bad for us


It looks bad this year I agree but we did okay in 2005. It all depends on whether one of the systems have our address or not !.
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Quoting Weather456:
What we also have to considered is the inconsistency of models with development in the SW Caribbean. They have not been consistent. The main reason why I would watch the area would not be because of the models but rather the actually conditions.


Exactly! Low pressure is usually always there and it appears Shear will become better and improve also.
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Link
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morning everyone
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119. DEKRE
Quoting wadedanielsmith:
39:

You try looking at the videos?

That isn't emulsion when it's black as can be.

Emulsion is that sick creamy orange/red color.

Black is pure oil.

They got videos of boats in inland marshes going through plumes and slicks of black. In some cases, the only water in the videos that isn't black is the muddy upwelling caused by the boat passing through it, which broke up the slick...


I haven't seen any black floating. It's black coming out, of course.
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Quoting Drakoen:


The GFS shows the subequatorial ridge lifting northward leading to the subtropical jet streams to advect northward. Things could get interesting if we get some positive vorticity advection from the EPAC into the Caribbean. Right now I don't feel the models have a good grasp on everything.


Agreed. The GFS has been a little suspect so far. It got 90L right but missed entirely in the feature it was developing in the SW Caribbean. The Canadian was also calling for action in the SW caribbean but backed off there and went for the Gulf of Honduras. It has since eased off that area as well which the GFS is picking up on.

The GFS may do better this time with 90L getting out of the way depending on remaining conditions aloft.

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BP to commit up to $500M to research Gulf spill


by Greg Bluestein / The Associated Press

wwltv.com

Posted on May 24, 2010 at 11:07 AM

COVINGTON, La. -- BP PLC says it will spend up to $500 million to research the effects of the growing Gulf of Mexico oil spill on the marine and shoreline environment.

The company, which leased the rig and is responsible for the cleanup, said Monday that the 10-year research program will study the effects of the oil. It also will study chemical dispersants used to break up oil on the seabed and along the shore.

The program also aims to study the impact of the dispersant on the oil and ways to improve technology to detect oil and clean up the ooze.

BP chief executive Tony Hayward says the research into the month-long spill "will be a key part of the process of restoration, and for improving the industry response capability for the future."

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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Quoting Drakoen:
This morning's Windsat pass Storm Centered:



Have you seen any papers related to Windsat and tropical cyclones? I would like to know how accurate it is with windspeed and direction, since it is a passive instrument.
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I also think the models have been too slow with 90L. 90L is already located at 30N based on Windsat and cimss vorticity products. Models didn't have the system at that location until tomorrow.
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Quoting Drakoen:
GFS 12z shows an intense EPAC cyclone


and eventually into the NW Caribbean
Quoting kmanislander:
Good day

Looks like the GFS is calling for an interesting weekend this week in the Caymans





your are quite right kmanislander are you ready for this season it looks bad for us
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What we also have to considered is the inconsistency of models with development in the SW Caribbean. They have not been consistent. The main reason why I would watch the area would not be because of the models but rather the actually conditions.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting TampaSpin:


Gotta say i don't know gangs....my 45 is what some need to avoid.....Just saying!
I gotta say this is a discussion that will go nowhere. We all have gangs in our countries including Cayman and pointing fingers at one country or another will serve no purpose. The innocent will always end up suffering for the guilty.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Gallery Deepwater Horizon Response Photography
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I hate when people talk about nations as a whole being wicked, evil, disgusting, etc.

There are people like that in every country, but to blame an entire nation of people for what some do, is arrogant, stupid, and ignorant.


Sorry but no matter how intelligent you think you may be, the world is too big to grasp for your finite mind. The whole nation of Jamaica cannot be blamed for a group of people that live there, just as no other nation should.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.
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Quoting atmoaggie:

Hehe, my stepdad played golf in 6 hours of light snow in Wyoming on Sat.


Orca.......Now thats a Vacation spot for ya.....LOL.....i know how you love the snow.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Could be. The frame I posted shows 90L exiting into the N Atl which is what needs to happen in order to allow for shear to start relaxing across the NW Caribbean. In that respect the timing looks about right.


The GFS shows the subequatorial ridge lifting northward leading to the subtropical jet streams to advect northward. Things could get interesting if we get some positive vorticity advection from the EPAC into the Caribbean. Right now I don't feel the models have a good grasp on everything.
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This morning's Windsat pass Storm Centered:

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Quoting IKE:


Maybe that winds up being Alex. Odds seem to be increasing a little.


Could be. The frame I posted shows 90L exiting into the N Atl which is what needs to happen in order to allow for shear to start relaxing across the NW Caribbean. In that respect the timing looks about right.
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*UPDATE* Secretary Salazar and Secretary Napolitano to Lead Bipartisan Senate Delegation to Louisiana to Inspect the Ongoing Response to the BP Oil Spill

Key contact numbers

* Report oiled shoreline or request volunteer information: (866) 448-5816
* Submit alternative response technology, services or products: (281) 366-5511
* Submit your vessel for the Vessel of Opportunity Program: (281) 366-5511
* Submit a claim for damages: (800) 440-0858
* Report oiled wildlife: (866) 557-1401



Deepwater Horizon Incident
Joint Information Center




Contact:
Kendra Barkoff (DOI), (202) 208-6416
Clark Stevens (DHS), (202) 282-8010

WASHINGTON, D.C. — At the direction of the President, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will visit Louisiana on Monday to inspect the ongoing response to the BP oil spill, accompanied by a bipartisan Senate delegation.

Secretary Salazar, Secretary Napolitano and the Senate delegation will conduct a flyover of the affected areas; discuss the latest response efforts in Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast with federal officials leading the effort as well as BP representatives; and meet with Governor Bobby Jindal and local community and industry leaders.

The Senate delegation accompanying Secretary Salazar and Secretary Napolitano will include: Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Senator David Vitter (R-LA).

Who: Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano
Governor Bobby Jindal
Senator Dick Durbin, Assistant Majority Leader (D-IL)
Senator Jeff Bingaman, Chairman, Senate Energy Committee (D-NM)
Senator Lisa Murkowski, Ranking Member, Senate Energy Committee (R-AK)
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Senator David Vitter (R-LA)

What: Media Availability

When: 11:15 a.m. CDT, Monday, May 24, 2010


Where: Greater Lafourche Port Commission
16829 East Main Street
Galliano, LA 70354

*** NOTE, parking is next door at Customs and Border Protection Station, 16819 East Main Street

Media: The media availability is open to all credentialed news media.

*** MEDIA MUST BE ON-SITE AND CLEARED THROUGH SECURITY BY 10:50AM CDT
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Quoting Weather456:


Actually I was just discussing it. I know gangs and they will support their members at any cost and its no surprise it happened in Jamaica. It was avoidable though.


Gotta say i don't know gangs....my 45 is what some need to avoid.....Just saying!
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Stop that!!!
I had to look out the window quick... I tee off in 90 minutes.

BTW, where be here??

Hehe, my stepdad played golf in 6 hours of light snow in Wyoming on Sat.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:


Nino 3.4

Not El Nino 3.4 lol


The graphic that you post is not at the same as the CPC number as the graphic shows lower readings.
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101. IKE
Quoting kmanislander:
Good day

Looks like the GFS is calling for an interesting weekend this week in the Caymans





Maybe that winds up being Alex. Odds seem to be increasing a little.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting txjac:
Pat ...is that black pipe that is coming down in to the oil flow spraying the disperstants?


Negative,,thats the 4 inch recovery Line thats trying to pull the flow,some of it up to the Recovery tanker,,..but they having problems again.
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Good day

Looks like the GFS is calling for an interesting weekend this week in the Caymans



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This Windsat pass indicates a sharp open trough associated with 90L:

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Quoting Rainwalker:
We are not destroyer, as some on here have claimed, we are a strong and very capable people. The same strength that drives our people to be the best at any number of good things in the world is however the same that some expliot for evil.
It was not me who said that and I know Jamaicans are a very proud, strong and ambitious people as a whole but the gangs and criminals give the country a bad name. As I said, my son-in-law is a Jamaican and he doesn't want to go there now either. It all goes back to politics as I am sure you know. We have many great Jamaicans here who have done a lot for the Cayman Islands but you know the good always suffer for the bad.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Pat ...is that black pipe that is coming down in to the oil flow spraying the disperstants?
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Good morning guys good blog today doc and I expect this to change like this:

#1 the area that has the blues/90L will move northwestward and the purple areas over
#2 Central America and E.Pac will move east into the SW Caribbean
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


El Nino 3.4 is at -0.2 per CPC today.

Link


the ONI index takes into consideration all nino regions on a seasonal basis.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
We are not destroyer, as some on here have claimed, we are a strong and very capable people. The same strength that drives our people to be the best at any number of good things in the world is however the same that some expliot for evil.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


El Nino 3.4 is at -0.2 per CPC today.

Link


Nino 3.4

Not El Nino 3.4 lol
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Quoting Patrap:
GOES 13 SST Animation of the Loop Current
April 26 - May 24 2010
Quicktime Movie

The Loop current has shed the Northern Eddy.



What animation? I see a still image.
Member Since: July 29, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 1802
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Windsat storm centered image



Looks like 3 centers of 90L...
i think thats a 25% chance of this system becoming a storm
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Quoting Weather456:
I would keep an eye on the SW Caribbean or the adjacent areas of the EPAC over the next 3 days as conditions are expected to be conducive. Tropical cyclone formation probabilities have already begun to increase in the vicinity.

90L may reach close enough to the east coast to 1) take advantage of the Gulf stream and 2) deliver some good rainfall.



I said the same Yesterday of the SW Caribbean as it seems to be rippening for something to start popping in a couple of days.....
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87. IKE
Looking at the 12Z GFS, 90L has about 2 days and then starts to weaken. I don't see a recon scheduled, still. Clocks ticking on 90L.

Watch out eastern Pacific and central America according to the 12Z GFS.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37860
Quoting Hurricanes101:


Do you feel at this time that 90L will become a named storm?


If 90L is going to become a named storm, here would be the best chance.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
Quoting Weather456:


Except it won't be defined as a La Nina until the ONI goes below -0.5. The ONI is calculated on a seasonal basis of three months.


El Nino 3.4 is at -0.2 per CPC today.

Link
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Quoting Orcasystems:


Stop that!!!
I had to look out the window quick... I tee off in 90 minutes.

BTW, where be here??

Orca, I'm crushed... you don't remember. Salt Lake City, UT area. I posted some pictures.
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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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