TSR predicts very active hurricane season; Atlantic May MDR SSTs warmest on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:51 PM GMT on June 10, 2010

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The British private forecasting firm Tropical Storm Risk, Inc. (TSR) has joined the ranks of NOAA and Colorado State University in calling for an exceptionally active 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. The latest TSR forecast issued June 4 calls for 17.7 named storms, 9.5 hurricanes, 4.4 intense hurricanes, and an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) 181% of average. These numbers are much above the 50-year average of 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes, and are an increase from their April forecast of 16.3 named storms, 8.5 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes. The TSR June forecast numbers are the highest they've ever gone for in the eleven years they've been issuing Atlantic hurricane season forecasts. TSR predicts a 85-90% chance that activity will rank in the top 1/3 of years historically, and a 85% chance that U.S. landfalling activity will be above average. TSR rates their skill level as 20-34% higher than a "no-skill" forecast made using climatology, though an independent assessment by the National Hurricane Center (Figure 1) gives them somewhat lower skill numbers.

TSR projects that 5.7 named storms will hit the U.S., with 2.5 of these being hurricanes. The averages from the 1950-2009 climatology are 3.2 named storms and 1.5 hurricanes. They rate their skill at making these June forecasts for U.S. landfalls at 10 - 17% higher than a "no-skill" forecast made using climatology. In the Lesser Antilles Islands of the Caribbean, TSR projects 1.8 named storms, 0.8 of these being hurricanes. Climatology is 1.1 named storms and 0.5 hurricanes.

TSR cites two main factors for their forecast of an exceptionally active season:

1) Their model predicts that sea surface temperatures will be 0.6°C warmer than average in August and September over the Main Development Region (MDR) for Atlantic hurricanes. This is the area between 10°N and 20°N, between the coast of Africa and Central America (20°W - 80°W). It is called the Main Development Region because virtually all African waves originate in this region. These African waves account for 85% of all Atlantic major hurricanes and 60% of all named storms. When SSTs in the MDR are much above average during hurricane season, a very active season typically results (if there is no El Niño event present.)

2) Their model predicts slower than normal trade winds in August and September over the Main Development Region (MDR). Trade winds are forecast to be 1.2 meters per second (about 2.7 mph) slower than average. This would create more spin for developing storms, and allow the oceans to warm up, due to reduced mixing of cold water from the depths and lower evaporational cooling.


Figure 1. Comparison of the percent improvement over climatology for May and August seasonal hurricane forecasts for the Atlantic from NOAA, CSU and tropicalstormrisk.com (TSR) from 1999-2009 (May) and 1998-2009 (August), using the Mean Squared Error. Image credit: Verification of 12 years of NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts, National Hurricane Center.

2010 hurricane season forecasts from CSU and NOAA
NOAA's 2010 Atlantic hurricane season forecast, issued May 27, called for 18.5 named storms, 11 hurricanes, 5 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 210% of normal (using the mid-point of their range of numbers.) The 2010 Atlantic hurricane season forecast from Colorado State University (CSU) issued on June 2 called for 18 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes. So, the consensus forecast from NOAA, CSU, and TSR is 18 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes. The June forecast numbers from all three groups were the highest they've ever gone for in their history of issuing Atlantic hurricane season forecasts.

May SSTs in the tropical Atlantic set a new record
Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) in the Atlantic's Main Development Region for hurricanes had their warmest May on record, according to an analysis of historical SST data from the UK Hadley Center. SST data goes back to 1850, though there is much missing data before 1910 and during WWI and WWII. SSTs in the Main Development Region (10°N to 20°N and 20°W to 80°W) were a remarkable 1.51°C above average during May. This is the fourth straight record warm month, and the warmest anomaly measured for any month. The previous record warmest anomaly for the Atlantic MDR was 1.46°C, set last month. Third place goes to June 2005 and March 2010, with a 1.26°C anomaly. As I explained in detail in a post on record February SSTs in the Atlantic, the Arctic Oscillation (AO) and its close cousin, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), are largely to blame for the record SSTs, though global warming and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) also play a role. However, trade winds over the tropical Atlantic have increased to near-normal speeds over the past week, since the Bermuda-Azores High has strengthened to near-normal pressures. The Bermuda-Azores High and its associated trade winds are forecast to increase to above average strength during mid-June, according to the latest runs of the GFS model. This means that Atlantic SST anomalies have probably peaked for the year, and we can anticipate that the June SST anomaly in the MDR will not be as great as the May anomaly--and may even fall below the June record set in 2005.


Figure 2. The departure of sea surface temperature (SST) from average for June 10, 2010. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

Oil spill update
Light southeast or south winds of 5 - 15 knots will blow today through Tuesday, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. These winds will keep oil near the beaches of Alabama, Mississippi, and the extreme western Florida Panhandle, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. The latest ocean current forecasts from the NOAA HYCOM model are not predicting eastward-moving ocean currents along the Florida Panhandle coast this week, and it is unlikely that surface oil will affect areas of Florida east of Pensacola. Long range surface wind forecasts from the GFS model for the period 8 - 14 days from now show a southeasterly wind regime, which would prevent any further progress of the oil eastwards along the Florida Panhandle, and would tend to bring significant amounts of oil back to the shores of eastern Louisiana next week. If you spot oil, send in your report to http://www.gulfcoastspill.com/, whose mission is to help the Gulf Coast recovery by creating a daily record of the oil spill.


Figure 3. The oil spill as imaged on June 9, 2010, by NOAA's Terra satellite. The spill appears highly reflective in the sunglint portion of the image.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
NOAA's fact sheet on Hurricanes and the Oil 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
Oil trajectory forecasts from NOAA
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

I'll have a new post on Friday. The tropical Atlantic is quiet right now, with no models predicting tropical cyclone development over the next seven days.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting smarterthanyou:
her adventure was
corporately sponsored
and likely carried
s & R insurance

I feel like I should
be reading a haiku when
I read all your posts
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Baltimorebirds:
My forecast is 16,8,4.Who agress??.I don't think we'll go no higher than that.
I beg to differ. With current and forecasted conditions I think we can see upto 23 named storms, but this, in my opinion, seems unlikely. My numbers are as follows:

Tropical Depressions: 23
Tropical Storms: 20
Hurricanes: 11
Major Hurricanes: 6
Category 5 Hurricanes: 2

Although my numbers seem rather high there are many factors supporting it. All I can say at the moment is, is that we are in for a possible hyperactive season. By the way, a hyperactive season is considered to have an ACE of 155%, current forecasts all exceed that number. I believe NOAA went with 185%-255% or something like that, I find that to be scary if you ask me.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


Well there went that. LoL


You spoke a few moments too soon!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:



Dang i got lucky again as the blob near Panama is going pooof.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
Quoting hurricanejunky:


And you always do...

Excellent! Couldn't have said it better myself, Junky.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


Actually yes we will if they use the military facilities at Diego Garcia.

And Australia will send us a bill for their search and rescue costs. Chile and Argentina bill us for search and rescue costs when rich yachters get in trouble south of Cape Horn.


Pretty dumb and ignorant, smarterthanyou.


Well there went that. LoL
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
American, French and Australian Search and Rescue authorities are all involved, so there is a partial cost to the US taxpayer.

Her blog is stating that her automatic water-activated EPIRB has not yet activated so they are hopefull that the boat is still upright and not under water and that she is still not in the water either. Let's hope for a happy outcome to this.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
her adventure was
corporately sponsored
and likely carried
s & R insurance
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting smarterthanyou:


anyone can
say anything



And you always do...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Jeff9641:
Meghan Mccain

Enter your email address:
Enter the recipients' email addresses, separated by commas:
Message:
Your email has been sent.Thanks for recommending The Daily Beast!
X Close
Charles Dharapak / AP Photo The president may say he’s “furious” about the spill, but he sure doesn’t show it—and he’s managed to hang out with Paul McCartney and Kelly Clarkson in the meantime. Would the media have let Bush off so easy?
I want, just for a second, to pretend that there is a Republican president in office right now. It doesn’t matter which Republican—George W. Bush, my father, Mitt Romney. Any Republican.

As we push Day 50 of this oil spill, I find myself questioning why it has taken so long for the mainstream media, aside from James Carville and Chris Matthews, to start putting extreme pressure on the president. I wonder whether the media, or the American public, for that matter, would be reacting to this oil disaster differently if a Republican were in office right now.

What I need right now is more intense leadership from my president. And I need more emotion.

Why are we still giving President Obama and his administration a break? How would the media feel if President Bush were hosting his second “music party” at the White House? Hanging out with the likes of Paul McCartney and Kelly Clarkson and singing “Hey Jude” while oil continues to destroy the Gulf Coast?

And Nero fiddles as Rome burns...
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Quoting BradentonBrew:


Forgive me if I'm wrong, but didn't a few posters ago mention that this convection and circulation is omnipresent, called the "Columbia Low"? If not, could somebody explain the "Columbia Low" a little better?
The Columbian low is a permanant area of low pressure over Columbia commonly called the "Columbian heat low". Many on here seem to think that the area over the SW Caribbean and the Columbian low are alike, but this is not true. The Columbian low is a closed surface low, this area in the SW Caribbean has strong winds, but has a broad area of low pressure, enhanced by the TUTT. Warm SSTs and low wind shear should allow for development, it's one of those wait and see kind of things.

SW Caribbean AOI

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
Quoting SevereHurricane:


Don't you love trolls, Tampa?


You know it......i really hate to call anyone a Troll as i guess you and i was one once tho....LOL
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


Actually yes we will if they use the military facilities at Diego Garcia.

And Australia will send us a bill for their search and rescue costs. Chile and Argentina bill us for search and rescue costs when rich yachters get in trouble south of Cape Horn.


Pretty dumb and ignorant, smarterthanyou.


anyone can
say anything

Got any proof?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:

Actually, a search and rescue mission that may cost millions of dollars is being launched now. And it will cost millions, if they don't find her (or her boat wreckage) quickly. And who is paying for this search and rescue effort? The US taxpayers is who. And that makes it our business.



Quoting smarterthanyou:


the US taxpayer
is hardly paying
for a search in the
southern Indian Ocean


Do we typically present bills to people for rescues at sea? I'm asking, as I have no experience in matters of this nature...I had thought not...
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Classic La Nina Developing
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Quoting smarterthanyou:


the US taxpayer
is hardly paying
for a search in the
southern Indian Ocean


You've got a point there. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
475. BLnSF
Dr. Masters:
Please advise me on how to share funding opportunities from the Department of Homeland Security that may be of interest to Weatherunderground users.

Thanks,
BL in Santa Fe, NM
(No, I'm not with DHS)

Department of Homeland Security

97.029 Flood Mitigation Assistance Program
http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=lfBGMP0FvtGsllw1XLfcPjv96L1mcdsFpFGFpLJdxd5LLyQ VNnXh!1757025235?oppId=54934&mode=VIEW
Due date: 12/3/2010
Eligibility: State and local governments
Matching requirement

97.110 Severe Repetitive Loss Program
http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=lfBGMP0FvtGsllw1XLfcPjv96L1mcdsFpFGFpLJdxd5LLyQ VNnXh!1757025235?oppId=54938&mode=VIEW
Due date: 12/3/2010
Eligibility: State and local governments
Matching requirement

97.047 Pre-Disaster Mitigation
http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=lfBGMP0FvtGsllw1XLfcPjv96L1mcdsFpFGFpLJdxd5LLyQ VNnXh!1757025235?oppId=54937&mode=VIEW
Due date: 12/3/2010
Eligibility: State and local governments
Matching requirement

97.092 Repetitive Flood Claims
http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=lfBGMP0FvtGsllw1XLfcPjv96L1mcdsFpFGFpLJdxd5LLyQ VNnXh!1757025235?oppId=54935&mode=VIEW
Due date: 12/3/2010
Eligibility: State and local governments
Matching requirement

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaSpin:


ONLY ONE......ROFLMAO...you might wanna look at alot of others than just yours.....Some got it nearly perfect.......Pat yourself on the back for being so perfect.....it will bite you latter.


Don't you love trolls, Tampa?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:



Actually, a search and rescue mission that may cost millions of dollars is being launched now. And it will cost millions, if they don't find her (or her boat wreckage) quickly. And who is paying for this search and rescue effort? The US taxpayers is who. And that makes it our business.


the US taxpayer
is hardly paying
for a search in the
southern Indian Ocean
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Now that we are back to the tropics, I'm back.

No, we're talking about Teddy Roosevelt
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:



Actually, a search and rescue mission that may cost millions of dollars is being launched now. And it will cost millions, if they don't find her (or her boat wreckage) quickly. And who is paying for this search and rescue effort? The US taxpayers is who. And that makes it our business.


See this is what I'm talking about. A discussion without name calling!
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:


reference?


Teddy Roosevelt...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Now that we are back to the tropics, I'm back.
Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
T. Roosevelt
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I will be surprised if we get as many tropical cyclones as what is being predicted for this year. Rare events seldom occur, and the forecast departure from long-term seasonal average number of storms would constitute a rare event should it occur. Even when it is remarkablly cold and cloudy in Miami, it seldom pays to forecast snow. If all the causes of high storm numbers were understood and if the factors could be depended on to stay put for the next 6 months, I might trust the high forescasts, but storm number forecasting is still in the pioneering stage.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CaneWarning:


I thought you wanted everyone to stay on topic?


Cane if you look back in nearly every instant....Liberals start it and then BANG it all starts....LOOK back i would say it was the case today also.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
Quoting smarterthanyou:
re: Abby Sunderland

"Better it is to bear mighty things,
win glorious triumphs
or be checkered by failure
than take ranks with those poor souls
who neither suffer much nor enjoy much
for they live in that gray twilight
which knows neither victory not defeat."


reference?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
re: Abby Sunderland

"Better it is to bear mighty things,
win glorious triumphs
or be checkered by failure
than take ranks with those poor souls
who neither suffer much nor enjoy much
for they live in that gray twilight
which knows neither victory not defeat."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricanelover236:
Im never right. Well we shall see about that. At the end of the season you all will see who is right and also i was the only one on here who predicted last year would feature activity similar to 2006 and tada! Look at what happened.


ONLY ONE......ROFLMAO...you might wanna look at alot of others than just yours.....Some got it nearly perfect.......Pat yourself on the back for being so perfect.....it will bite you latter.
Member Since: September 2, 2007 Posts: 179 Comments: 20450
Quoting Hurricanes101:


First off, what her parents allow her to do or not do is not your business

Second, her brother had just done it the year before, she had more than enough experience to do this; she isn't your typical 16-year old girl who just decided one day she wanted to circumnavigate the globe.

She has the training and the knowledge to do this and has been preparing for this trip for over 3 years


I thought you wanted everyone to stay on topic?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Tazmanian:
i would keep a eye down here in the SW part looks like some in is trying to spin up here with low wind shear




Forgive me if I'm wrong, but didn't a few posters ago mention that this convection and circulation is omnipresent, called the "Columbia Low"? If not, could somebody explain the "Columbia Low" a little better?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Im never right. Well we shall see about that. At the end of the season you all will see who is right and also i was the only one on here who predicted last year would feature activity similar to 2006 and tada! Look at what happened.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
I find the contention that the discussion of something (event, idea, etc) being picked up by the political arena is a Bad Thing, hard to square with my life experience and History. The word Politic goes back to the Greek City states where the ideas basic to Democracy arose. It meant citizen and politics referred to the public discussions of governance.

In my lifetime "politics" has determined that my family doesn't carry an ice jug of water along to town since my parents (Caucasians) refused to drink from the "Whites only" water fountains and the "Negros only" were unsanitary because of the ignoramuses who used them for spittoons.

Right now the US Body Politic is engaged in a major debate as to the proper role of Government in the marketplace. That this will play out in every public decision is inevitable.

We as a people have a hard time accepting the good intentions of those who disagree with us. This is partially due to the incredibly skewed distribution of power and partially to our diversity. (Many others as well this isn't a sociology blog)

Rather than decry the political process I would say "Lets agree to the rules and to listen to the refs, shake hands and come out fighting, and may the best ideas win.


Shen, I have always had a great deal of respect for you; you are an even-handed, measured individual with a great deal of knowledge and even better, wisdom...

Thank you...as far as politics go, THAT was the post of the day!
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Quoting LoneStarWeather:

Damn, it's worse than I thought. Thank you for the information. So basically, BP has been pumping I'm guessing hundreds of thousands of gallons of this stuff, maybe more, into the Gulf to mostly just submerge the oil and kill off anything that it comes in contact with. I wonder how long it takes for those chemicals to break down? And I wonder what the impact of this spill would have been had they not been used at all.


Something over a million gallons is my understanding (I may have misread the article). When taken in context wioth the size and volume of the GOM, it;'s a drop in the bucket, but it doesn't disperse evenly and dilute...my understanding is it tends to congregate
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting LoneStarWeather:

Damn, it's worse than I thought. Thank you for the information. So basically, BP has been pumping I'm guessing hundreds of thousands of gallons of this stuff, maybe more, into the Gulf to mostly just submerge the oil and kill off anything that it comes in contact with. I wonder how long it takes for those chemicals to break down? And I wonder what the impact of this spill would have been had they not been used at all.


I couldn't believe they were allowed to do that. It was purely a PR stunt to get the oil off the surface and give the appearance of "less oil" from the air. Oh and did I mention that BP has tons of it sitting in their warehouse that they need to use up? They should have been using the coagulant powder that allows the oil to then be vacuumed off the surface with the recovered solution being 99% oil. Kevin Costner's rigs hold some promise as well. Glad you found the info useful...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I find the contention that the discussion of something (event, idea, etc) being picked up by the political arena is a Bad Thing, hard to square with my life experience and History. The word Politic goes back to the Greek City states where the ideas basic to Democracy arose. It meant citizen and politics referred to the public discussions of governance.

In my lifetime "politics" has determined that my family doesn't carry an ice jug of water along to town since my parents (Caucasians) refused to drink from the "Whites only" water fountains and the "Negros only" were unsanitary because of the ignoramuses who used them for spittoons.

Right now the US Body Politic is engaged in a major debate as to the proper role of Government in the marketplace. That this will play out in every public decision is inevitable.

We as a people have a hard time accepting the good intentions of those who disagree with us. This is partially due to the incredibly skewed distribution of power and partially to our diversity. (Many others as well this isn't a sociology blog)

Rather than decry the political process I would say "Lets agree to the rules and to listen to the refs, shake hands and come out fighting, and may the best ideas win.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting clwstmchasr:


That is my issue. Not that her parents did not force her but as her parents they have the responsibility to tell her no. 16yr old girls do not belong on a 40ft boat alone circling the globe.


First off, what her parents allow her to do or not do is not your business

Second, her brother had just done it the year before, she had more than enough experience to do this; she isn't your typical 16-year old girl who just decided one day she wanted to circumnavigate the globe.

She has the training and the knowledge to do this and has been preparing for this trip for over 3 years
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7874
Quoting Floodman:


The dispersants are as toxic as the oil is, certainly but I'm not sure about the ability of the dispersant to evapoate with the seawater; by the looks of it, the majority of the dispersant is staying well below the surface with the oil plumes...

Anyone have anything specific on corexit (the dispersant most used at this point)?


From Nalco.



from the EPA on one of them

http://www.epa.gov/oem/content/ncp/products/corex952.htm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting hurricanejunky:


Unfortunately, the chemicals in the dispersant closely resemble paint thinner. It's hard to argue that it won't have some sort of bad effect on the environment.

From Wikipedia on Corexit:
The proprietary composition is not public, but the manufacturer's own safety data sheet on Corexit EC9527A says the main components are 2-butoxyethanol and a proprietary organic sulfonic acid salt with a small concentration of propylene glycol. Corexit EC9500A is mainly comprised of hydrotreated light petroleum distillates, propylene glycol and a proprietary organic sulfonic acid salt. Propylene glycol is a chemical commonly used as a solvent or moisturizer in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. An organic sulfonic acid salt is a synthetic chemical detergent, such as dodecyl benzene sulfonate used in laundry detergents, that acts as a surfactant to emulsify oil and allow its dispersion into water. The EPA released further data on its chemical composition, including 2-butoxyethanol, identified as a causal agent in the health problems experienced by cleanup workers after the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

The safety data sheet states “The potential human hazard is: High.”

According to the Alaska Community Action on Toxics, the use of Corexit during the Exxon Valdez oil spill caused "respiratory, nervous system, liver, kidney and blood disorders" in people. According to the EPA, Corexit is more toxic than dispersants made by several competitors and less effective in handling southern Louisiana crude. Reportedly Corexit is toxic to marine life and helps keep spilled oil submerged. The quantities used in the Gulf will create 'unprecedented underwater damage to organisms.' 9527A is also hazardous for humans: 'May cause injury to red blood cells (hemolysis), kidney or the liver'. Alternative dispersants which are approved by the EPA are listed on the National Contingency Plan Product Schedule and rated for their toxicity and effectiveness.

Damn, it's worse than I thought. Thank you for the information. So basically, BP has been pumping I'm guessing hundreds of thousands of gallons of this stuff, maybe more, into the Gulf to mostly just submerge the oil and kill off anything that it comes in contact with. I wonder how long it takes for those chemicals to break down? And I wonder what the impact of this spill would have been had they not been used at all.
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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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