Globe has 3rd consecutive warmest month on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:24 PM GMT on June 17, 2010

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The globe recorded its warmest May since record keeping began in 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). The May temperature anomaly of 0.69°C (1.24°F) beat the previous record set in 1998 by 0.06°C. We've now had three consecutive warmest months on record, the first time that has happened since 1998. NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies also rated May 2010 as the warmest May on record, tied with May 1998. Both NOAA and NASA rated the year-to-date period, January - May, as the warmest such period on record, and the last 12-month period (June 2009 - May 2010) as the warmest 12-month period on record. May 2010 global ocean temperatures were the second warmest on record, while land temperatures were the warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the 2nd warmest on record in May, according to both the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) groups.

For those interested, NCDC has a page of notable weather highlights from May 2010.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for May 2010. Image credit: NOAA National Climatic Data Center (NCDC).

Asia and Southeast Asia record their hottest temperatures in history
The mercury hit an astonishing 53.5°C (128.3°F) at MohenjuDaro, Pakistan, on May 26. Not only is the 128.3°F reading the hottest temperature ever recorded in Pakistan, it is the hottest reliably measured temperature ever recorded on the continent of Asia. The evidence for this record is detailed in a post I made earlier this month. The Pakistan heat wave killed at least 18 Pakistanis, and temperatures in excess of 50°C (122°F) were recorded at nine Pakistani cities on May 26, including 53°C (127.4°F) at Sibi. Record heat also hit Southeast Asia in May. According to the Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, Myanmar (Burma) had its hottest temperature in its recorded history on May 12, when the mercury hit 47°C (116.6°F) in Myinmu. Myanmar's previous hottest temperature was 45.8°C (114.4°F) at Minbu, Magwe division on May 9, 1998. According to Chris Burt, author of Extreme Weather, the 47°C (116.6°F) measured on May 12 this year is the hottest temperature measured in Southeast Asia in recorded history.

An average May for the U.S.
For the contiguous U.S., it was the 50th coldest (66th warmest) May in the 116-year record, according to the National Climatic Data Center. Idaho had its second coolest May on record, while it was Montana's fourth coolest, Wyoming's and Oregon's seventh coolest, Utah's eighth, California's ninth, and Nevada's tenth coolest such period. Rhode Island observed its second warmest May on record and Florida tied for its second warmest. Other states much warmer than normal during May included: Louisiana (4th warmest), Massachusetts (5th warmest), Connecticut (6th warmest), New Hampshire (7th warmest), Mississippi and New York (each 8th warmest), and New Jersey (9th warmest).

NCDC's Climate Extremes Index (CEI) for spring (March-May) was about 5 percent higher than average. The CEI measures the prevalence of several types of climate extremes (like record or near-record warmth, dry spells, or rainy periods). Factors contributing to spring's elevated values: widespread (2-3 times larger than average) coverage of anomalously warm daily max and min temperatures, and above-average extent of extreme one-day precipitation events. According to NOAA's Storm Prediction Center, tornadic activity in May was near normal with 290 preliminary tornado reports.

U.S. precipitation and drought
For the contiguous U.S., May 2010 ranked as the 35th wettest May in the 116-year record. The state of Washington had its third wettest May on record and extreme precipitation events in Tennessee and Kentucky contributed to their sixth and seventh wettest such period, respectively. It was the tenth wettest May in North Dakota. At the end of May, approximately 3% of the contiguous United States was in severe-to-exceptional drought. This is a very low amount of drought for the U.S.

La Niña likely by July
El Niño rapidly dissipated in May, with sea surface temperatures (SSTs) over the tropical Eastern Pacific in the area 5°N - 5°S, 120°W - 170°W, also called the "Niña 3.4 region", falling to 0.50°C below average by June 14, according to NOAA.. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology is reporting that this number was 0.31°C below average (as of June 13.) Since La Niña conditions are defined as occurring when this number reaches 0.50°C below average, we are right at the threshold of a La Niña. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center has issued a La Niña watch, and it is likely that a full-fledged La Niña will emerge by July. Ten of the 23 El Niño models (updated as of May 19) are predicting La Niña conditions for hurricane season. However, as NOAA's Climate Prediction Center commented in their June 3 advisory, a number of the more reliable models are now calling for La Niña to develop this summer. They comment, "there is an increasing confidence in these colder model forecasts, which is supported by recent observations that show cooling trends in the Pacific Ocean and signs of coupling with the atmospheric circulation."

It is interesting to note that the last time we had a strong El Niño event, in 1998, El Niño collapsed dramatically in May, and a strong La Niña event developed by hurricane season. History appears to be repeating itself, and the emergence of La Niña will likely occur by July. The demise of El Niño, coupled with sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic that are currently at record levels, suggest that a much more active Atlantic hurricane season that usual likely in 2010. The 1998 Atlantic hurricane season was about 40% above average in activity, with 14 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 3 intense hurricanes. The season was relatively late-starting, with only one named storm occurring before August 20.


Figure 2. Ice extent through June 15, 2010 in the Arctic, compared to the record low years of 2006 and 2007. Record low Arctic ice extent began about June 1, and has remained at record low extent for the first half of June. Image credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Arctic sea ice extent reaches a record low at end of May
Northern Hemisphere sea ice extent in May 2010 was the 9th lowest since satellite records began in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Ice extent was near average at the beginning of May, but thanks to the fastest rate of decline ever observed during the month of May (50% faster than average), ice extent reached a record low by the end of May. Ice extent has remained at record low levels throughout the first half of June, as well. Ice volume was also at a record low at the end of May, according to University of Washington Polar Ice Center, due to the fact the Arctic is now dominated by thin first and second-year ice.

Record low Northern Hemisphere snow extent in May
For the second consecutive month, the Rutgers Snow Lab reported that the snow cover footprint over North America was the smallest on record for the month. A record-small snow footprint was also observed over Eurasia and the Northern Hemisphere as a whole.

The Atlantic is quiet
The 92L low pressure system, now located about 300 miles east of the northern Lesser Antilles Islands, has been completely disrupted by wind shear and dry air, and is no longer a threat to develop. The remnants of 92L, which are currently kicking up some strong thunderstorms due to interaction with an upper-level trough of low pressure, will bring heavy rain showers and wind gusts up to 35 mph to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands tonight through Friday, and into Puerto Rico Friday night through Saturday. On Sunday, the disturbance could bring heavy rains to northern Haiti. The earthquake zone in southern Haiti may also receive heavy enough rains to be of concern for the 1.5 million people living in tents and under tarps.

None of the reliable computer models is predicting formation of a tropical cyclone in the Atlantic over the next seven days, though the GFS model was suggesting a weak development moving through the southern Lesser Antilles Islands seven days from now.

Oil spill wind and ocean current forecast
Light and variable winds less than 10 knots will blow in the northern Gulf of Mexico for the next five days, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. The winds will tend to have a westerly component through Sunday, which will maintain a slow (1/4 mph) eastward-moving surface ocean current that will transport oil eastwards along the Florida Panhandle coast, according to the latest ocean current forecast from NOAA's HYCOM model. These winds and currents may be capable of transporting oil east to Panama City, Florida, and oil will continue to threaten the coasts of Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi for the remainder of the week as well, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. Ocean current forecasts for early next week show a weakening of the eastward-flowing currents along the Florida Panhandle, which would limit the eastward movement of oil so that it would not move past Panama City. The long range 8 - 16 day forecast from the GFS model indicates a typical summertime light wind regime, with winds mostly blowing out of the south or southeast. This wind regime will likely keep oil close to the coastal areas that have already seen oil impacts over the past two weeks.

NOAA has launched a great new interactive mapping tool that allows one to overlay wind forecasts, ocean current forecasts, oil location, etc.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon 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
NOAA great new interactive mapping tool that allows one to overlay wind forecasts, ocean current forecasts, oil location, etc.
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
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

I'll have an update on Friday.

Jeff Masters

Tar Goobers on Okaloosa Island (Beachfoxx)
Tar & Oil from the DWH spill spoil our beaches - it hit shoreline about 11:30 am CST today
Tar Goobers on Okaloosa Island

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Levi, when will we know what a good forecast for shear is in the GOM (IF) x92 is going to develope there?
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Quoting Levi32:


I do not remember the exact numbers because I only had a chance to read them once. I know 300% was at least within their range. It was a pretty insane ACE.
I would have to say so. Maybe I can find it online.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I don't think that they would forecast an ACE of 300% because 2005 had an ACE of 248%. 300% would equal in about 12-18 hurricanes.


I do not remember the exact numbers because I only had a chance to read them once. I know 300% was at least within their range. It was a pretty insane ACE.
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Quoting extreme236:


I don't see it making it into the Caribbean. It's too far north as it is. If it goes into the Caribbean, it will be for a short time IMO
I agree. It should affect the Caribbean islands and whatever is left of it should eventually make it towards the Bahamas and then Florida. Looks like it has a long way before the GOM.
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I just looked at the floater and 92L is still moving west
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
re: 236

Well, anyway, i am sorry if i offended you. Wasn't my intention to be personal.

Please accept my 100% natural, oil free and biogradable apology.
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Tropical Storm BLAS just developed in the EPAC. Ok, I have to admit that is a scary name, sounds like a CAT 5.
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Posted by: JeffMasters, 9:24 AM EDT on June 17, 2010

Thanks Dr. M. If you make the analog comparison to 1998 in terms of potential conditions for 2010, interesting to note the similar, higher, trajectories of several of the storms that year to 92L (albeit with a 2 month formation period difference as 92L basically took an early season Cape Verde track) and several storms that curved out to sea that year also. The ultimate postion of the A-B high during the peak months this year will be the key factor; if we get a large number of storms this year, hopefully we will see lots of fish storms along with the landfalling ones as the high shifts.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
I see it making it in to the Caribbean







and also I feel that that area near S America will be that system that some models were hinting on


I don't see it making it into the Caribbean. It's too far north as it is. If it goes into the Caribbean, it will be for a short time IMO
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240. Relix
PR is getting hammered by heavy t-storms. Can't wait to see what ex 92L brings
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I see it making it in to the Caribbean







and also I feel that that area near S America will be that system that some models were hinting on
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
ACE is accumulated cyclone energy, the stronger a system the higher the ACE. My point to get across was that they may not be forecasting a super-hyperactive season (although 20 named storms is hyperactive) they are forecasting a very intense season with a lot of westward trekkers. You can blame that on the negative NAO, La Nina, and very warm SSTs.

Understood. The way the prediction was written it appeared that it was forming a correlation between high ACE and a high number of storms in a season. Obviously that is not the case. But intensity definitely. Ike familiarized many in the Houston area with the concept of ACE.
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Quoting Levi32:
ECMWF has the Atlantic at 23 storms this year, with ACE 300-something % above normal I believe.
I don't think that they would forecast an ACE of 300% because 2005 had an ACE of 248%. 300% would equal in about 12-18 hurricanes.
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Quoting LoneStarWeather:

But it doesn't appear, from the numbers you've given, that ACE has any direct correlation with a high number of storms. Certainly not the range of 13-27 that they are giving a 70% chance of occurring.
ACE is accumulated cyclone energy, the stronger a system the higher the ACE. My point to get across was that they may not be forecasting a super-hyperactive season (although 20 named storms is hyperactive) they are forecasting a very intense season with a lot of westward trekkers. You can blame that on the negative NAO, La Nina, and very warm SSTs.
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ECMWF has the Atlantic at 23 storms this year, with ACE 300-something % above normal I believe.
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Wow! That is big city, from my standpoint. I lived in a small town called Andrews (Huntington County)... the population was about 1000... no traffic lights. At least down here, we know several days in advance that a hurricane is on its way... up there tornadoes can drop on you in no time flat.
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TampaSpin:
Those aren't leaks. Notice how whenever the ROV moves, right after there is a burst of "oil" from the seafloor? This is simply silt etc being stirred up from the thrusters on the ROV. Think of a helicopter over a dusty field. In fact, right at the very start, you can almost see a "gust front" go from the ROV over the seafloor, kicking up sediment.
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Quoting leo305:
I don't think it will move through the carribean.. it's moving WNW/NW at the moment and it's looking like it's either going to go over the islands or just to the north and track towards the Bahamas


Ive been saying that all along. I dont think it will ever see the GOM and they dont need it now.

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Felix developed at a very low latitude in the Caribbean.
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Quoting leo305:
I don't think it will move through the carribean.. it's moving WNW/NW at the moment and it's looking like it's either going to go over the islands or just to the north and track towards the Bahamas


It's on course to cross near or just north of Guadeloupe.
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Quoting leo305:
I don't think it will move through the carribean.. it's moving WNW/NW at the moment and it's looking like it's either going to go over the islands or just to the north and track towards the Bahamas


ECMWF takes it over those Caribbean islands into the Bahamas as nothing impressive.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Active hurricane season predicted

17 June 2010

Our latest forecast confirms the North Atlantic tropical storm season looks set to be active this year.

The Met Office prediction of 20 tropical storms between July and November, with a 70% chance that the number will be in the range 13 to 27, is well above the 1990–2005 long-term average of 12.4.


The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index is a measure of the storm lifetimes and intensities as well as total numbers over a season. This year’s most likely ACE index is 204, with a 70% chance that the index will be in the range 90 to 319 — this is again well above the 1990–2005 average of 131.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An ACE of 204% is insane. the best analogs in terms of ACE are 1961, 2004, and 1995.

Let me give a run down:

1961: ACE of 205%. That season consisted of 8 hurricanes and 7 major hurricanes.

2004: ACE of 225%. that season consisted of 9 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes.

1995: ACE of 228%. That season consisted of 11 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes.

I've got to say, we're in for one hell of a season.

But it doesn't appear, from the numbers you've given, that ACE has any direct correlation with a high number of storms. Certainly not the range of 13-27 that they are giving a 70% chance of occurring.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


also was it Isidore or Lili in 2002 that formed after being over South America?


Yeah Isidore.

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00z ECMWF shows development off the African coast at around 216hr now, rather than it showing development in the Southern Antilles.
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I don't think it will move through the carribean.. it's moving WNW/NW at the moment and it's looking like it's either going to go over the islands or just to the north and track towards the Bahamas
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OMG 92L is alive people it the NE Caribbean run for your lives LOL



Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
Quoting Levi32:


If that were just 1 degree further north
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Quoting extreme236:
Interesting to note about the Met forecast is it's from July to November.
That just makes it all more scary. Because they are cramming 20 named storms into a 5 month period.
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Quoting Levi32:


But survive is a relative term. To me survival right now means remaining a distinguishable system, that could potentially be a problem if it moves into the Gulf of Mexico later if it remains a recognizable system.
Oh I see. The only thing I could see 92L being is energy with some showers and thunderstorms by the time that it gets into the western Caribbean. And as you stated I would consider that a "recognizable feature".

Quoting extreme236:


The system will have some type of remnant left that could perhaps show some signs of life later down the road, not saying it will, but its possible.
anything is possible in the tropics. I just don't see any development of 92L, possibly as Levi stated if it remains as a recognizable feature by the time it gets into the GOM.
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Quoting Levi32:


Not this far south, but it did enter the Caribbean at a very low latitude.



also was it Isidore or Lili in 2002 that formed after being over South America?
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Quoting clwstmchasr:


Didn't Charlie originate from a similar location?


Not this far south, but it did enter the Caribbean at a very low latitude.

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Quoting clwstmchasr:


Didn't Charlie originate from a similar location?


Yes Charley did
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Interesting to note about the Met forecast is it's from July to November.
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Quoting extreme236:


The system will have some type of remnant left that could perhaps show some signs of life later down the road, not saying it will, but its possible.


To add to your point; if weak systems like this never regenerated, we would have never had Katrina
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
TD 2E dissipated too, thanks to dry air and wind shear. TD3E only has a short window to develop and indeed might not due to cooler SSTs and high wind shear. While the 2010 atlantic hurricane season will likely be very active the EPAC will likely be bellow average in activity. things will likely explode like the way the EPAC just did with activity in the next few weeks. Look for the first week of July.


03E is fairly well organized for the time being. I'd say it's likely to become Blas sometime today before weakening.
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Active hurricane season predicted

17 June 2010

Our latest forecast confirms the North Atlantic tropical storm season looks set to be active this year.

The Met Office prediction of 20 tropical storms between July and November, with a 70% chance that the number will be in the range 13 to 27, is well above the 1990–2005 long-term average of 12.4.


The Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) index is a measure of the storm lifetimes and intensities as well as total numbers over a season. This year’s most likely ACE index is 204, with a 70% chance that the index will be in the range 90 to 319 — this is again well above the 1990–2005 average of 131.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An ACE of 204% is insane. the best analogs in terms of ACE are 1961, 2004, and 1995.

Let me give a run down:

1961: ACE of 205%. That season consisted of 8 hurricanes and 7 major hurricanes.

2004: ACE of 225%. that season consisted of 9 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes.

1995: ACE of 228%. That season consisted of 11 hurricanes and 5 major hurricanes.

I've got to say, we're in for one hell of a season.
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210. myway
Quoting ecflweatherfan:
Myway... where in northern Indiana are you from? I also lived up there and moved down to Central Florida about 21yrs ago. And I hate the cold. I would rather deal with the tropics anytime!


The bustling metropolis of Knox (population 3000 on a good day).
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I still don't see it surviving more than 24 hours because it's circulation is an open trof. And it still has pretty strong shear ahead of it.


The system will have some type of remnant left that could perhaps show some signs of life later down the road, not saying it will, but its possible.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
BLOG UPDATE!

June 17, 2010 - 11:20 AM EDT - 92L Dissipates; The Atlantic Remains Quiet -

92L may have dissipated, but where will the energy in the Twave go?
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Quoting Levi32:


But survive is a relative term. To me survival right now means remaining a distinguishable system, that could potentially be a problem if it moves into the Gulf of Mexico later if it remains a recognizable system.


If it only has 10% of the energy left in the GOM something will form from that if Sheer is Low!

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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I still don't see it surviving more than 24 hours because it's circulation is an open trof. And it still has pretty strong shear ahead of it.
Miami09 I hope your right, but i keep reading from more than just this site that EX92L has potential in the GOM.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I still don't see it surviving more than 24 hours because it's circulation is an open trof. And it still has pretty strong shear ahead of it.


But survive is a relative term. To me survival right now means remaining a distinguishable system, that could potentially be a problem if it moves into the Gulf of Mexico later if it remains a recognizable system.
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TD 2E dissipated too, thanks to dry air and wind shear. TD3E only has a short window to develop and indeed might not due to cooler SSTs and high wind shear. While the 2010 atlantic hurricane season will likely be very active the EPAC will likely be bellow average in activity. things will likely explode like the way the EPAC just did with activity in the next few weeks. Look for the first week of July.
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Quoting Levi32:


I'm more worried about it in the gulf later on...it will have to eventually bust right through the shear zone and shear won't be very light over it during its trek across the Caribbean.
I still don't see it surviving more than 24 hours because it's circulation is an open trof. And it still has pretty strong shear ahead of it.
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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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