More pre-season predictions of a very active Atlantic hurricane season

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:02 PM GMT on July 12, 2010

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Hello again, it's Jeff Masters back again after a week away. Well, the past week was a wicked hot time to be in New England, where I was vacationing, and I certainly didn't expect to see 98° temperatures in Maine like I experienced! Fortunately, it's not hard to find cold water to plunge into in New England. Thankfully, the tropics were relatively quiet during my week away, and remain so today. There are no threat areas in the Atlantic to discuss at present, and none of the reliable computer models is forecasting tropical cyclone development over the next seven days. The NOGAPS model does show a strong tropical disturbance developing near the waters offshore of Nicaragua and Honduras this weekend, though. With not much to discuss in the present-day tropics, let's take a look at more pre-season predictions of the coming Atlantic hurricane season.

2010 Atlantic hurricane season forecast from Penn State
Dr. Michael Mann and graduate student Michael Kozar of Penn State University (PSU) issued their 2010 Atlantic hurricane season forecast on May 28. Their forecast utilizes a statistical model to predict storm counts, based on historical activity. Their model is predicting 19 to 28 named storms in the Atlantic, with a best estimate of 23 storms. The forecast assumes that record warm SSTs will continue in the Atlantic Main Development Region for hurricanes. Dr. Mann has issued two previous forecasts, in 2007 and 2009. The 2007 forecast was perfect--15 storms were predicted, and 15 storms occurred. The 2009 forecast called for 11.5 named storms, and 9 occurred (the 2009 forecast also contained the caveat that if a strong El Niño event occurred, only 9.5 named storms were expected; a strong El Niño did indeed occur.) So, the 2009 forecast also did well.


2010 Atlantic hurricane season forecast from the UK GloSea model
A major new player in the seasonal Atlantic hurricane season forecast game is here--the UK Met Office, which issued its first Atlantic hurricane season forecast in 2007. The UK Met Office is the United Kingdom's version of our National Weather Service. Their 2010 Atlantic hurricane season forecast calls for 20 named storms, with a 70% chance the number will range between 13 and 27. They predict an ACE index of 204, which is about double the average ACE index.

I have high hopes for the UK Met Office forecast, since it is based on a promising new method--running a dynamical computer model of the global atmosphere-ocean system. The CSU forecast from Phil Klotzbach is based on statistical patterns of hurricane activity observed from past years. These statistical techniques do not work very well when the atmosphere behaves in ways it has not behaved in the past. The UK Met Office forecast avoids this problem by using a global computer forecast model--the GloSea model (short for GLObal SEAsonal model). GloSea is based on the HadGEM3 model--one of the leading climate models used to formulate the influential UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. GloSea subdivides the atmosphere into a 3-dimensional grid 0.86° in longitude, 0.56° in latitude (about 62 km), and up to 85 levels in the vertical. This atmospheric model is coupled to an ocean model of even higher resolution. The initial state of the atmosphere and ocean as of June 1, 2010 were fed into the model, and the mathematical equations governing the motions of the atmosphere and ocean were solved at each grid point every few minutes, progressing out in time until the end of November (yes, this takes a colossal amount of computer power!) It's well-known that slight errors in specifying the initial state of the atmosphere can cause large errors in the forecast. This "sensitivity to initial conditions" is taken into account by making many model runs, each with a slight variation in the starting conditions which reflect the uncertainty in the initial state. This generates an "ensemble" of forecasts and the final forecast is created by analyzing all the member forecasts of this ensemble. Forty-two ensemble members were generated for this year's UK Met Office forecast. The researchers counted how many tropical storms formed during the six months the model ran to arrive at their forecast of twenty named storms for the remainder of this hurricane season. Of course, the exact timing and location of these twenty storms are bound to differ from what the model predicts, since one cannot make accurate forecasts of this nature so far in advance.

The grid used by GloSea is fine enough to see hurricanes form, but is too coarse to properly handle important features of these storms. This lack of resolution results in the model not generating the right number of storms. This discrepancy is corrected by looking back at time for the years 1989-2002, and coming up with correction factors (i.e., "fudge" factors) that give a reasonable forecast.

The future of seasonal hurricane forecasts using global dynamical computer models is bright. Their first three forecasts have been good. Last year the Met Office forecast was for 6 named storms and an ACE index of 60. The actual number of storms was 9, and the ACE index was 53. Their 2008 forecast called for 15 named storms, and 15 were observed. Their 2007 forecast called for 10 named storms in July - November, and 13 formed. A group using the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ECWMF) model is also experimenting with some promising techniques using that model. Models like the GloSea and ECMWF will only get better as increased computer power and better understanding of the atmosphere are incorporated, necessitating less use of "fudge" factors based on historical hurricane patterns. If human-caused climate change amplifies in coming decades, statistical seasonal hurricane forecasts like the CSU's may be limited in how much they can be improved, since the atmosphere may move into new patterns very unlike what we've seen in the past 100 years. It is my expectation that ten years from now, seasonal hurricane forecasts based on global computer models such as the UK Met Office's GloSea will regularly out-perform the statistical forecasts issued by CSU.

2010 Atlantic hurricane season forecast from Florida State University
Last year, another group using dynamical computer forecast models entered the seasonal hurricane prediction fray. A group at Florida State University led by Dr. Tim LaRow introduced a new model called COAPS, which is funded by a 5-year, $6.2 million grant from NOAA. This year, the COAPS model is calling for 17 named storms and 10 hurricanes. Last year's prediction by the COAPS model was for 8 named storms and 4 hurricanes, which was very close to the observed 9 named storms and 3 hurricanes.

Summary of 2010 Atlantic hurricane season forecasts
Here are the number of named storms, hurricanes, and intense hurricanes predicted by the various forecasters:

23 named storms: PSU statistical model
20 named storms: UKMET GloSea dynamical model
18.5 named storms, 11 hurricanes, 5 major hurricanes: NOAA hybrid statistical/dynamical model technique
18 named storms, 10 hurricanes, 5 intense hurricanes: CSU statistical model (Phil Klotzbach/Bill Gray)
17.7 named storms, 9.5 hurricanes, 4.4 intense hurricanes: Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), hybrid statistical/dynamical model technique
17 named storms, 10 hurricanes: FSU dynamical model
10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, 2 intense hurricanes: climatology

Only four hurricane seasons since 1851 have had as many as nineteen named storms, so 5 out of 6 of these pre-season forecasts are calling for a top-five busiest season in history. One thing is for sure, though--this year won't be able to compete with the Hurricane Season of 2005 for early season activity--that year already had five named storm by this point in the season, including two major hurricanes (Dennis and Emily.)

Tropical Storm Conson threatens the Philippines
Weather456 has an interesting post on why the Western Pacific typhoon season has been exceptionally inactive this year. It looks like we'll have out first typhoon of the Western Pacific season later today, since Tropical Storm Conson appears poised to undergo rapid intensification, and should strike the main Philippine island of Luzon as a Category 1 or 2 typhoon.

Next post
I'll have an update Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

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1814. Patrap
Quoting 69Viking:
1799. Patrap

Good day everyone, mighty quiet out there and that is a good thing! I remember Dennis all too well as the Eastern side of the storm hit my newly built less than two month old home less than 150 yards from the water! Thankfully it was built after Ivan and built up to the new code and raised off the ground 5 feet, the only damage was a few missing shingles and about 20 inches of water in the garage. The garage water wasn't a problem since the garage walls are cinder block for the first 5 feet, just had to pressure wash all the muck out of it when the water receded. Rode out the storm on higher ground at a friend's house and it was kind of scary wading to the house after Dennis passed in waste deep water to check on it but a huge relief when I saw the water line on step 3 out of 8! So far no 2005 rate of storms this year and quiet at least for the next week by the looks of it, yes that's a good thing in my books!


Watched Dennis Tops from NOLA as she went n.

Was a Bad un for sure.

That surge stopped just in time for ya seems.

A "Phew" moment Im sure
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127664


The problem is though, new outbreaks of SAL will keep coming off like seen in this 5-day java movie. When the high weakens, SAL should really decrease, and I highly believe we will get to Colin by August 1st.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31550
I may change my mind about the wave coming off of Africa, SAL has really decreased, we'll have to watch it. However, it does still have SAL from 31W - 70W to deal with.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31550
1811. sky1989
That is definately a good thing. I know Alex was bad for many people, but still we have had little compared to 2005, which had already had 2 major hurricanes and would have 2 more named storms before the end of July. Not only is a good thing for people living along the coast but it is also good for efforts pertaining to the oil spill. Hopefully they can get it capped before hurricane activity really picks up.
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Quoting Bordonaro:

My concern is what is going to happen when the pressurize that containment dome.

I question whether or not that vessel will actually withstand those pressures. I hope all goes well, we already have a big enough problem.


(sorry for the lengthy post)

The original BOP was rated at 15,000 psi. I'm sure the transition spool and "containment cap" (really more of a manifold) were built with this level of pressure in mind.

I would have been concerned if any of the original riser pipe remained in the flow (probably rated around 500 psi, which is why they couldn't choke before).

Weak link is BOP ... did it take enough damage during the initial event that it can no longer hold the expected 9000 psi? (That would have been well within it's original 15,000 rating.) I doubt it but ya never know.

So no big worries about an overpressure explosion above the wellhead, at least not on my part. The problem would be if the new setup cannot hold 9000 psi ... that would mean a leak into the substrate deep in the wellbore at one or more locations. Under those circumstances, they would not be able to close in the well with the new cap. If this is the situation, hopefully things aren't so bad that they can't at least partially choke the flow to assist the relief well mudding and cementing effort.

If it holds 9000, we're golden, although I bet BP continues to collect as much oil as possible until the relief well(s) is ready to attempt the bottom kill.

Prayer for continued good weather is still appropriate, particularly if the pressure test fails.

WTO

(aside: Why aren't they waiting to get pressure readings at depth from relief well before they do the pressure test above? That would give them quite a bit more info to work with vis a vis wellbore failure (accurate pressure differential between bottom of well and containment cap). They may yet announce that.)
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1809. help4u
Models starting to show increased chances around 180 hours out.
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Remember the power of Hurricane's and go to safety of a shelter or leave the area well before the storm approaches.





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1807. sky1989
High pressure in the Atlantic is very high.
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Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
NSW

Priority
NSW SEVERE WEATHER WARNING
Localised Damaging Winds
For people in
Hunter, Central Tablelands, Southern Tablelands, ACT, South West Slopes, Central
West Slopes and Plains and eastern parts of the Riverina.

Issued at 1:05 am on Wednesday 14 July 2010

Synoptic Situation: 9:00 pm EST Tuesday
This is an update of the warning issued at 11:05 pm Tuesday.


A strong front is approaching southeastern New South Wales with widespread rain
and strengthening northwesterly winds. Winds will shift westerly behind the
front early Wednesday. Damaging winds reaching over 65 km/h over Alpine areas
[above 1200m] of the South West Slopes, Southern Tablelands and ACT. Peak wind
gusts may exceed 100 km/h. At lower elevations average winds may reach 55 to
65km/h per hour with peak gusts to 90km/h possible. Localised damaging winds
over Central West Slopes and Plains, eastern parts of the Riverina, South West
Slopes, Southern Tablelands and ACT may extend to the Central Tablelands and
Hunter Valley this morning. Areas exposed to west to northwesterly winds will be
most at risk. Localised damaging winds should contract to the Alpine areas of
the South West Slopes, Southern Tablelands and ACT by Wednesday afternoon.

Widespread snow showers will develop following the passage of the front with
blizzard conditions expected in Alpine areas of the Southern Tablelands, South
West Slopes and the ACT above 1200 metres.



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1799. Patrap

Good day everyone, mighty quiet out there and that is a good thing! I remember Dennis all too well as the Eastern side of the storm hit my newly built less than two month old home less than 150 yards from the water! Thankfully it was built after Ivan and built up to the new code and raised off the ground 5 feet, the only damage was a few missing shingles and about 20 inches of water in the garage. The garage water wasn't a problem since the garage walls are cinder block for the first 5 feet, just had to pressure wash all the muck out of it when the water receded. Rode out the storm on higher ground at a friend's house and it was kind of scary wading to the house after Dennis passed in waste deep water to check on it but a huge relief when I saw the water line on step 3 out of 8! So far no 2005 rate of storms this year and quiet at least for the next week by the looks of it, yes that's a good thing in my books!
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Welcome to More Fun Than SEVEN ExxonValdezes Day

A minimum of ~1,699,501barrels(71,379,044gallons) had spilled into the Gulf before midnight3July. The ExxonValdez spilled 11,000,000gallons.
Subtracting that 71,379,044gallons from 77,000,000gallons leaves 5,620,956gallons until the equivalent of 7 ExxonValdezes are spilled.
(For links&details about how the above was calculated, see blog1541post60)
5,620,956gallons is equal to 133,832barrels
.Date collected or flared --> spilled
.On 4July, 24,955barrels --> 10,045barrels
.On 5July, 24,980barrels --> 10,020barrels
.On 6July, 24,760barrels --> 10,240barrels
.On 7July, 24,575barrels --> 10,425barrels
.On 8July, 24,395barrels --> 10,605barrels
.On 9July, 24,790barrels --> 10,210barrels
.Subtotal 148,455barrels --> 61,545barrels
On 10July 15,195barrels --> 19,805barrels (collection halted by noon)
.Subtotal 163,500barrels --> 81,350barrels (cap and riser replacements begin)
1/2 11July - 4,035barrels --> 13,465barrels (flared subtracted from 1/2 of 35,000)
.Subtotal 167,535barrels --> 94,815barrels
1/2 11July - 4,195barrels --> 13,305barrels (flared subtracted from 1/2 of 35,000)
.Subtotal 171,730barrels -> 108,120barrels (high-volume riser emplaced)
1/2 12July - 4,035barrels --> 13,465barrels (flared subtracted from 1/2 of 35,000)
.Subtotal 175,765barrels -> 121,585barrels (tighter cap emplaced)
1/2 12July - 4,245barrels* -> 13,255barrels ( * subtracted from 1/2 of 35,000)
.Subtotal 180,010barrels -> 134,840barrels

* collection restarted after noon
1,010 barrels collected and 3,235barrels flared
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Evening all, TS CONSON is currently making landfall E of Manila.

Pandi Bulacan
San Roque, BULACAN

Elevation: 30 m
Temperature: 25.7 %uFFFDC
Dew Point: 25.6 %uFFFDC
Humidity: 99%
Wind:
NE at 46.3 km/h /
Wind Gust: 46.3 km/h /
Updated: 1:01 AM HKT on July 14, 2010

Sydney is experiencing very strong winds from a passing cold front.

Central, Southern Luzon told to brace for Basyang(CONSON) landfall

By Alcuin Papa
Philippine Daily Inquirer


MANILA, Philippines -- It could be a rough night for residents of Central Luzon as Typhoon Basyang (international name: Conson) is set to slam into the area early Wednesday morning while making its away across the Luzon island.

According to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) senior forecaster Robert Sawi, they expect Basyang to make landfall between the Aurora province and northern Quezon province by Tuesday midnight, hitting Infanta, Quezon and Baler, Aurora directly.

After it hits land, the typhoon will make its way through Central Luzon early morning. Its going to be a direct hit for Central Luzon, Sawi said.

He added that stormy weather would be felt in Central Luzon and Southern Luzon, with Basyang hitting land. He also warned against sailing in coastal waters of any part of Luzon, saying this would be dangerous.

PAGASA Administrator Prisco Nilo advised local governments and farmers to expect heavy damage to crops in agricultural areas. He also said they estimated Basyangs radius from the center at 250 kilometers.

He said the typhoon has been getting energy from the southwest monsoon (Habagat). We also expect strong rains in the Visayas and Bicol Region because of the enhancement of the Habagat," he said.

After cutting through Central Luzon, Basyang will exit through Subic in Zambales by Wednesday afternoon or evening and out into the South China Sea, according to Sawi.

As for Metro Manila, Sawi said Basyang would bring rains to the metropolis. He said they were not expecting the typhoon to hit Metro Manila directly. Only the provinces north of Metro Manila, he said.

The agencys 5 p.m. weather update, said the eye of Basyang was at 40 kilometers north northeast of Daet, Camarines Norte.

The typhoon is packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kilometers per hour.

PAGASA raised public storm signal number 3 over Camarines Norte, northern Quezon including Polilio Island and Aurora.

Storm signal number 2 is raised over Camarines Sur, southern Quezon, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Marinduque, Catanduanes and Isabela.

Areas under storm signal number 1 include Metro Manila, Albay, Batangas, Cavite, Bataan, Pampanga, Zambales, Tarlac, Pangasinan, La Union, Benguet, Mt. Province, Ilocos Sur, Kalinga, Apayao, Abra, Ifugao, and Cagayan.

According to Dr. Susan Espinueva, chief of PAGASAs Hydrometeorological Division, said Basyang would likely dump around 150 millimeters of rain during its movement over Central Luzon.

She estimated less rainfall for Metro Manila, or less than 100 millimeters. But she issued a flood warning for the Bicol Region and the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Riza and Quezon) area.
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1799. Patrap
TWC STORM ALERT - Hurricane Dennis Coverage - July 9, 2005

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127664
1798. Patrap


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 421 Comments: 127664
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


I dont expect development becuse of SAL, but I definitely do think that wave will come close to ending the SAL outbreak. I'm watching the one in Central Africa...



ture but SAL is weaker then 24hrs a go not has march dusts
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114776
YAWN




you guys said that with the last one and it went poof
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114776
Quoting BahaHurican:
Whoa... the low at the upper end of that Twave seems to have acquired some moisture.... that's going to be a monster as it gets into the ATL....



I dont expect development becuse of SAL, but I definitely do think that wave will come close to ending the SAL outbreak. I'm watching the one in Central Africa...
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31550
Whoa... the low at the upper end of that Twave seems to have acquired some moisture.... that's going to be a monster as it gets into the ATL....

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21585
Quoting FLdewey:
Since it was posted erroneously last week that the tar balls found on Cocoa Beach were from the Deepwater Horizon clusterf... uhh disaster I thought I would post the article confirming they were not from that spill.

FL Today Article

Seems like not all the ones from TX were from there either, which is not surprising given the amount of oil-related traffic through the offshore waters... I don't want to begin to imagine the impact of hurricanes along the GOM coast, even with the potential success of capping... :o(
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21585
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


...just dropped back in. Actually yesterday I thought of saying to you that it was not necessary for you to be so polite and "Share" the "Blobiness" with us in the TCI. We had heavy (over 2") rain with lightning, but not much wind.

CRS
Oh, we love to share... lol.... actually it was great having a bit of a break from the island-wide rain... didn't get any showers here until after 4 p.m.

I keep stepping away to check if it's started to rain yet so I can close windows...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21585
1790. sky1989
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
GFS has it bad days and it's good days and today it one of the bad days


The models go back and forth as we frequently see. It might go back to forcasting development. If the NAO goes back negative we should see conditions becoming more favorable as the Atlantic high will weaken, lowering pressures throughout the Atlantic and lessening the amount of dust coming off of Africa. Things should gradually become more favorable as we approach August.
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1789. help4u
Taz before end of month we will see Bonnie.July 22- 26.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
R u still there? Can u say what wx was like yesterday in ur neck of the woods?


...just dropped back in. Actually yesterday I thought of saying to you that it was not necessary for you to be so polite and "Share" the "Blobiness" with us in the TCI. We had heavy (over 2") rain with lightning, but not much wind.

CRS
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I expect at least once major hurricane to make landfall in the Gulf of Mexico, and at least one to make landfall along the East Coast.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31550
i think we see Bonnie be for then
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114776
Hi Taz n Thel...seems Bonnie maynot form IMO til after July 25th - August 1st time frame...anyone agree
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Thanks ya'll.
DOH!
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well that is because most of the time hurrkat is wrong CybrTeddy
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Quoting largeeyes:
I'm curious. Am I the only person who has went back and read some of the 2005 blogs? Amazing the small number of comments there. Some of it is really amazing to read. I loved how Dr. Masters declared the season over, only to have to talk about Zeta on Dec 30.


2005 IMHO was the greatest year for this blog. We had a tremendous amount of data to soak up, we have lots of fun, and there were not nearly as many people on the blog then. I realize everything changes, but I wish we could go back to the way it was in 2005...... minus all the storms that is! LOL

No disrespect to any that were not here......
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:


Filter: Show All Show Bad Show Below Average Show Average Show Good Show Best
show bad will keep the worst of the excesses out of view
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21585
1774. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting JBirdFireMedic:
I need some technical help if anyone is familiar with this problem.

When I view the blog, a lot of the posts are in "hidden" mode, as if I had clicked "hide" next to their name. I have not clicked hide nor ignore.
Any way to stop this?



Filter: Show All Show Bad Show Below Average Show Average Show Good Show Best
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Strong line of thunderstorms about to enter some big cities:
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well VAbeachhurricanes the reason is that thay are overcasting the SAL and Dry air and shows nothing if there was no SAL and Dry air GFS would have been forecasting like 3 CV storm by now and maybe we would have had our first on that wave that is curently clearing out the SAL for the wave behind it located near the CV islands
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I need some technical help if anyone is familiar with this problem.

When I view the blog, a lot of the posts are in "hidden" mode, as if I had clicked "hide" next to their name. I have not clicked hide nor ignore.
Any way to stop this?

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1770. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting IslandsWeatherInc:

sorry, it was just a joke, i took my profile picture off :P
its not the best approach to making friends that i assure you
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#1762... right, thought of that after hitting the trigger finger...

#1763... TYVM...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21585


Quoting BahaHurican:
Looks like that first wave is a SAL-wiper...


I said that to hurrkat yesterday.. he didn't think the waves would clear out the SAL, particularly that wave. Looks like he was wrong.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23627
hi
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114776
Looks like time for our daily shower.... BRB.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21585
yes BahaHurican and it is giving room for the other wave to develop that very one that is going to come off of the coast soon
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About

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