93L near tropical depression strength

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:31 PM GMT on June 25, 2010

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The first tropical depression of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season appears imminent in the Western Caribbean, as the areal coverage and intensity of heavy thunderstorm activity associated with the tropical wave (Invest 93L) continue to increase. The storm has developed a surface circulation near 16.5N, 82.5W at 8am EDT, about 100 miles northeast of the Nicaragua/Honduras border. This is far enough from land that development will be slowed only slightly. Satellite loops show a poorly organized system, with only a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity near the center. However, the developing storm is affecting the weather across the entire Western Caribbean, and bands of heavy thunderstorms are quickly building over a large region. Pressures at ground stations and buoys all across the Western Caribbean have been falling significantly over the past day (Figure 2.) Water vapor satellite loops show that moist air surrounds 93L, and there is not much dry air to slow down development. There is an upper-level high pressure system a few hundred miles west of 93L, and the clockwise flow air around this high is bringing upper-level winds out of the northwest of about 10 - 15 knots over 93L, contributing to the 10 - 15 knots of wind shear observed in this morning's wind shear analysis from the University of Wisconsin's CIMSS group. Sea Surface Temperatures are very warm, 29 - 30°C. The Madden-Julian oscillation (MJO) currently favors upward motion over the Caribbean, which will act to increase the chances of tropical storm formation this week. The main negative for 93L is a combination of lack of spin and wind shear. Last night's pass of the ASCAT satellite showed a broad, elongated circulation, which will need to tighten up in order for 93L to become a tropical depression. The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to fly into 93L at 2pm EDT this afternoon to see if a tropical depression has formed.


Figure 1. Morning visible satellite image of the central Caribbean disturbance 93L.


Figure 2. Combined plot of wind speed, wind gusts, and pressure at buoy 42057 in the Western Caribbean. Pressure (green line) has fallen significantly over the past two days, and winds are beginning to increase.

Forecast for 93L
The greatest risk from 93L to the Western Caribbean will be heavy rainfall, and the nation most at risk is Honduras. The counter-clockwise flow of air around 93L will bring bands of rain capable of bringing 4 - 8 inches of rain to northern Honduras over the next two days. Heavy rains of 3 - 6 inches can also be expected in northeast Nicaragua, Cuba, Belize, the Cayman Islands, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. The storm is moving west-northwest at about 10 mph, and this motion is expected to gradually slow over the next five days to about 6 mph. I expect that by tomorrow, 93L should be closer to being directly underneath the upper level high pressure system to its west, which would act to lower wind shear and provide more favorable upper-level outflow. NHC is giving 93L a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday morning, which is a reasonable forecast. The storm will probably be a tropical depression or tropical storm with 40 mph winds when it moves over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Sunday. The storm will probably spend a day or so over the Yucatan, resulting in significant weakening. Once 93L emerges over the Gulf of Mexico, it will take the storm 24+ hours to recover its strength.

A trough of low pressure is expected to swing down over the Eastern U.S. on Monday. If this trough is strong enough and 93L develops significantly, the storm could get pulled northwards and make landfall along the northern Gulf of Mexico coast. This is the solution of the GFDL and HWRF models. If 93L stays weak and/or the trough is not so strong, the storm would get pushed west-northwestwards across Mexico's Bay of Campeche and make landfall along Mexican coast south of Texas, or in Texas. This is the solution of the NOGAPS, ECMWF, and Canadian models. A likely landfall location is difficult to speculate on at this point, and the storm could hit virtually anywhere along the Gulf of Mexico coast given the current uncertainty in its development. The amount of wind shear in the Gulf of Mexico next week is also highly uncertain. There is currently a band of high shear near 30 knots over the Gulf. The GFS model predicts that this band of high shear will lift northwards, keeping low wind shear over the Gulf next week. However, the ECMWF model keeps high shear entrenched over the Gulf of Mexico, which would make it unlikely 93L could intensify into a hurricane. In summary, I give 93L a 60% chance of eventually becoming Tropical Storm Alex, and 10% chance of eventually becoming a hurricane.

Elsewhere in the tropics
A tropical wave a few hundred miles northeast of the northernmost Lesser Antilles Islands is producing a modest amount of heavy thunderstorm activity. This system was designated Invest 94 by NHC this morning, and is passing beneath a trough of low pressure that is generating 30 - 40 knots of wind shear. However, by Sunday, the storm will be in a region of much lower wind shear, and NHC is giving the storm a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday morning. We do have one model, the GFS, which develops the system early next week. The GFS model takes the storm to the northwest and then north, predicting it will be very close to Bermuda on Tuesday.


Figure 3. Hurricane Celia as a Category 4 storm at 20:55 UTC Thursday, June 24, 2010, as captured by NASA's MODIS instrument.

Impressive Hurricane Celia hits Category 5
The first Category 5 hurricane in the Northern Hemisphere this year is Hurricane Celia in the Eastern Pacific. Celia's 160 mph winds make it tied with Australia's Tropical Cyclone Ului as the strongest tropical cyclone in the world so far in 2010. Celia has likely peaked in intensity, and is not expected to threaten any land areas.

Wind and ocean current forecast for the BP oil disaster
East to southeast winds of 5 - 15 knots will blow in the northern Gulf of Mexico today through Tuesday, according to the latest marine forecast from NOAA. The resulting weak ocean currents should push the oil to the west and northwest onto portions of the Louisiana and Alabama coasts, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from NOAA and the State of Louisiana. I would expect Mississippi to have its most serious threat of oil yet early next week as these winds continue. The longer range outlook is uncertain, and will depend upon what 93L does.

Resources for the BP oil disaster
Map of oil spill location from the NOAA Satellite Services Division
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's interactive mapping tool to overlay wind and ocean current forecasts, oil locations, 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

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Patrap:
TWO script-casting ?

Say it aint so



LOL
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Quoting GBguy88:
Maybe I'm out of line, but here goes. I can understand the want for something tropical to develop, I love watching storms too, but to all the people that are wishing 93L onto bigger and better things...just take into consideration what it's coming into if it hits the Gulf. I saw people on their knees in tears surrounded by oil out at the beach yesterday. And then there's the charter captain who shot himself. It's wrecking everything some people have ever known or lived for. We've seen a small fraction of what the oil spill has to offer, and chances are, a hit from any size storm is going to generate enough wind/wave action to put serious amounts of oil on the beach (or mass amounts into the Gulf Stream?). I think if any year is the year for people to be downcasters, it should be this one. I'm sorry, and I think a lot of Gulf coasters would share my sentiment here, but I do not want 93L anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico. "Exciting" is not the appropriate word to describe the development of 93L. You are more than entitled to be glad to have something to watch, it just seems that the attitude is almost jubilant for some.


Exactly...go to mexico and die 93L.
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Quoting Patrap:
TWO script-casting ?

Say it aint so



Nah pat, just speculating.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24553
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
No, lol.


actually, if this "RAPIDLY ORGANIZES" into a hurricane in 24 hours, this thing can be forced to move more northward because of those same upper level winds..
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The HH hasnt sent a HDOB in over 20 minutes...

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Quoting GBguy88:
Maybe I'm out of line, but here goes. I can understand the want for something tropical to develop, I love watching storms too, but to all the people that are wishing 93L onto bigger and better things...just take into consideration what it's coming into if it hits the Gulf. I saw people on their knees in tears surrounded by oil out at the beach yesterday. And then there's the charter captain who shot himself. It's wrecking everything some people have ever known or lived for. We've seen a small fraction of what the oil spill has to offer, and chances are, a hit from any size storm is going to generate enough wind/wave action to put serious amounts of oil on the beach (or mass amounts into the Gulf Stream?). I think if any year is the year for people to be downcasters, it should be this one. I'm sorry, and I think a lot of Gulf coasters would share my sentiment here, but I do not want 93L anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico. "Exciting" is not the appropriate word to describe the development of 93L. You are more than entitled to be glad to have something to watch, it just seems that the attitude is almost jubilant for some.


Everyone here is simply in awe of what is being witnessed. That is all.

The professionals here and many amateurs have a great insight into the technical aspects of these systems. Sometimes a few debates ensue. Sit back and enjoy.

No one here can conjure up a storm or influence its path.
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673. xcool
I'M CALL IT TD IMO IMO/
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting CaneWarning:


Wishcasting is about as harmless as it gets. It doesn't change what will happen. It may be a bit tacky to do on the blog, but it doesn't hurt anybody.


Some people are of the belief that it does, what can you do. Tropical Cyclones are random acts of development and not something one can control physically or divinely. As you have said it is harmless.
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TWO script-casting ?

Say it aint so

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129454
On the current recon flight, note the VERY light winds at flight level (375mb) passing NE of the Yucatan.

Shear seems to have eased a lot in that slot between the Yucatan and Cuba, faster I think than expected. I don't expect 93L to take that track, but it may be disrupted a little less, maintain better circ, as it crosses the Yucatan.

Perhaps this is why SHIP is maintaining intensity for the trip across the Yucatan ... a storm of this size should be able to keep itself relatively well hydrated if it is not getting sheared away.
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Had our first wind shift making you think it is in the outer bands
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Where can I track the recon? thanks
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I suspect the 2 pm TWO will be something like..
'this system has become better organized, and a tropical depression could be forming, an Air Force hurricane hunter is currently investigating the system, there is a high chance, 80%, of this become a tropical depression within the next 48 hours'
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24553
Quoting xcool:
i have bad feel about 93L

I still think it's going to be no or baby show..
It just don't think it has the sea room to do much than be a mid level TS. But Hurricanes have blown up before very quickly out of that area so it's possible..
We simply have to wait to see how it interacts with land. Until then there is no real confidence in anything.

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Quoting Hurricanes101:
Is there any significance to their being winds from the West and WSW in the upper levels in the Yucatan Channel?
No, lol.
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Quoting weatherwatcher12:

Maybe you should just type it in normal letters because someone might think that is officially from the NHC.


Go read it now, that and the Atlantic discussion.
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Is there any significance to their being winds from the West and WSW in the upper levels in the Yucatan Channel?
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:
This is probably a STUPID question, but I've never used Google Earth before, and how do I refresh it if it doesn't do so automatically??


It does it automatically, but if it doesnt, just uncheck and check the recon option and it should refresh.
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Quoting reedzone:
The TWO will probably be something like this..
"RECON IS CURRENTLY INVESTIGATING THE SYSTEM TO SEE IF A TROPICAL DEPRESSION HAS FORMED, IF SO, ADVISORIES WILL BE INITIALIZED IMMEDIATELY."

Maybe you should just type it in normal letters because someone might think that is officially from the NHC.
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we will need a Vortex Message before they upgrade
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658. jpsb
Quoting Dropsonde:
But it is absolutely false to say that the states had "nothing" to do with it. They invited them when they had the option of saying "Keep Out," like Florida, and there would have been not one thing that your big bad federal government could've done about
Not the place for this debate but you are entirely incorrect. If the feds allow drilling in federal waters then drilling will happen weather you like it or not. The only reason drilling does not happen off the Fla coast is because the FEDS will not allow it.
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Oil..vey
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129454
Quoting scottsvb:
93L has looked its best when? Over the past 1hr 30 minutes.. Finally T-Storms..enough for a Classified TD are firing over the LLC. Yesterday there was nothing... last night into this morning there was popcorn T-storms as the main convergence line of T-Storm was down south off the Nicaragua coast..this was due to SSE winds and SSW winds converging. Now this has become more of a feeder band and also allowing T-Storms to form over the LLC. I feel now there is a 60% chance of a TD when recon goes out there. 80% by later tonight if the T-Storms improve.
Path will be W to WNW tonight and NW by Saturday. Models in the short term might be too slow on moving this into NE Belieze or the Yucitan.. by Saturday morning if they find this a TD in the next few hours.. we will have a TS.
Future path remains uncertain as the more W it goes before reaching land.. the more decoupling will happen on Sunday. GFS says a decoupling will happen which I said might happen a few days ago after the Yucitan. Leaving the LLC NW off the Yucitan with drier air..while a midlevel center moves NE offshore Clearwater by Tuesday morning. Or if 93L gets stronger quicker and moves inland closer to Cozumel-Cancun..it wont lose much intensity and get pulled more N and could be a stronger TS in the GOM threatening Mobile-Cedar Key. Does this have a chance to be a Hurricane? Well its too early to tell. My first though is on decoupling Sunday. The trough is strong and will stall over the N GOM during the week sending impulses and weak lows (non tropical) ENE across florida. There is a slight chance that if this does decouple, a new LLC will form before making landfall on Tuesday. Or again, if it takes a more early NNW path near Cancun..it may hold together in the GOM. Time will tell along with movement.
bump
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This is probably a STUPID question, but I've never used Google Earth before, and how do I refresh it if it doesn't do so automatically??
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Quoting frostynugs:
"I guess everyone who's out of work because of the offshore drilling stoppage deserve that too?"

Actually, all those poor offshore drillers were being "put out of work" by a moratorium that prevented the drilling of 36 DRILLING wells, vs. the literally thousands of PRODUCTION wells currently in operation in the Gulf Coastal area. They were doing all that whining over 36 wells. Oil PRODUCTION was not shut down, only DRILLING. Big difference.


????? I didn't say production was shut down. But unemployment is up.
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Good Job LEVI!
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I dont think anyone wants 93L (or any other storm, for that matter) to assault the ocean anywhere near the oil spill, but we cant control the weather, we can only watch and make educated guesses, which is what most people here are doing.
Quoting GBguy88:
Maybe I'm out of line, but here goes. I can understand the want for something tropical to develop, I love watching storms too, but to all the people that are wishing 93L onto bigger and better things...just take into consideration what it's coming into if it hits the Gulf. I saw people on their knees in tears surrounded by oil out at the beach yesterday. And then there's the charter captain who shot himself. It's wrecking everything some people have ever known or lived for. We've seen a small fraction of what the oil spill has to offer, and chances are, a hit from any size storm is going to generate enough wind/wave action to put serious amounts of oil on the beach (or mass amounts into the Gulf Stream?). I think if any year is the year for people to be downcasters, it should be this one. I'm sorry, and I think a lot of Gulf coasters would share my sentiment here, but I do not want 93L anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico. "Exciting" is not the appropriate word to describe the development of 93L. You are more than entitled to be glad to have something to watch, it just seems that the attitude is almost jubilant for some.
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Quoting extreme236:


Maybe 2.0. At least by the TAFB who already had a 1.5.
Possibly.
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12z Early Cycle NHC model tracks
Invest93
Statistical/Simple Models (CLIPER,BAMs,LBAR,other Statistical Models)




Dynamic Models (More sophisticated models)




Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 427 Comments: 129454
recon is still at 26000 feet
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Quoting GBguy88:
Maybe I'm out of line, but here goes. I can understand the want for something tropical to develop, I love watching storms too, but to all the people that are wishing 93L onto bigger and better things...just take into consideration what it's coming into if it hits the Gulf. I saw people on their knees in tears surrounded by oil out at the beach yesterday. And then there's the charter captain who shot himself. It's wrecking everything some people have ever known or lived for. We've seen a small fraction of what the oil spill has to offer, and chances are, a hit from any size storm is going to generate enough wind/wave action to put serious amounts of oil on the beach (or mass amounts into the Gulf Stream?). I think if any year is the year for people to be downcasters, it should be this one. I'm sorry, and I think a lot of Gulf coasters would share my sentiment here, but I do not want 93L anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico. "Exciting" is not the appropriate word to describe the development of 93L. You are more than entitled to be glad to have something to watch, it just seems that the attitude is almost jubilant for some.


Wishcasting is about as harmless as it gets. It doesn't change what will happen. It may be a bit tacky to do on the blog, but it doesn't hurt anybody.
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The TWO will probably be something like this..
"RECON IS CURRENTLY INVESTIGATING THE SYSTEM TO SEE IF A TROPICAL DEPRESSION HAS FORMED, IF SO, ADVISORIES WILL BE INITIALIZED IMMEDIATELY."
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I got TD1's center at approx 16N,82W.....and I'm just about convinced we'll have alex at 5pm after recon fly's......93L's looking great!!
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
I expect T1.5 by looking at that image.


Maybe 2.0. At least by the TAFB who already had a 1.5.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
Quoting Stormchaser2007:


CDO will form from that.. its going to "EXPLODE" conditions are perfect for RI
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Quoting xcool:
i have bad feel about 93L
Everyone does...
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642. xcool
i have bad feel about 93L
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
Quoting Stormchaser2007:
I expect T1.5 by looking at that image.
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Quoting utilaeastwind:
LOOKS TO ME THAT THE COC IS AT 16N 82W TRAVELING WESTWARD.

IT ALSO IS LOOKING MORE LIKE A TD.


The visible loop has just relocated the low to 16N 82W. TD or TS coming soon.
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Maybe I'm out of line, but here goes. I can understand the want for something tropical to develop, I love watching storms too, but to all the people that are wishing 93L onto bigger and better things...just take into consideration what it's coming into if it hits the Gulf. I saw people on their knees in tears surrounded by oil out at the beach yesterday. And then there's the charter captain who shot himself. It's wrecking everything some people have ever known or lived for. We've seen a small fraction of what the oil spill has to offer, and chances are, a hit from any size storm is going to generate enough wind/wave action to put serious amounts of oil on the beach (or mass amounts into the Gulf Stream?). I think if any year is the year for people to be downcasters, it should be this one. I'm sorry, and I think a lot of Gulf coasters would share my sentiment here, but I do not want 93L anywhere near the Gulf of Mexico. "Exciting" is not the appropriate word to describe the development of 93L. You are more than entitled to be glad to have something to watch, it just seems that the attitude is almost jubilant for some.
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Quoting will45:


Also looks like it is moving just slightly north of west if i am reading it right


that's what they expect with the models..
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23 to 29 knts.
out of the S.E.

Thats 27 to 34MPH.

http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=42057
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Quoting bappit:


Using my own eyes, I'd say it has been stationary since yesterday, but you don't want to make your life and death decisions on the basis of what people on here say. :)


The models have been all over the place, my eyes have been all over the place, opinions on here have been all over the place.....It's a Madhouse I tell You (Charleston Heston....Planet of the Apes)...... :)
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Quoting frostynugs:
"I guess everyone who's out of work because of the offshore drilling stoppage deserve that too?"

Actually, all those poor offshore drillers were being "put out of work" by a moratorium that prevented the drilling of 36 DRILLING wells, vs. the literally thousands of PRODUCTION wells currently in operation in the Gulf Coastal area. They were doing all that whining over 36 wells. Oil PRODUCTION was not shut down, only DRILLING. Big difference.


Yep, which is why oil prices will not go up because of the moratorium.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
At 16:25:00Z (last observation), the reconnaissance aircraft was 115 miles (185 km) to the N (5°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.

Recon coordinates as of 16:25:00Z: 22.800N 86.667W


Looks like they are entering the first feder band of 93L.
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Quoting Stormchaser2007:
RIGHT over the COC

Beautiful.
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CNN is talking about 93L saying it's going to be a concern, "it's looking a little bit impressive on satellite, we don't know what is going to do, the models just give us a hint at what it may do"
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I'm just making a guess, but maybe they are expecting 93L to be classified as a tropical depression before 5pm, and wouldn't that qualify as a special update at that time, or is that only for Tropical Storm and greater? I forget, it's been a while.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
So they're think we are going to see Alex. Looks to stay TD status over land.


Also looks like it is moving just slightly north of west if i am reading it right
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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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