Earl a Category 4 storm again

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:23 PM GMT on September 01, 2010

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Hurricane Earl has regained Category 4 strength this afternoon, and continues on a steady northwest path towards the North Carolina coast. Recent satellite imagery shows that Earl has become more symmetrical, with improved upper-level outflow and no signs of dry air wrapping into the core. The improved appearance is probably due to lower wind shear. Latest wind shear tendency imagery from the University of Wisconsin CIMSS group shows that shear on the southwest side of Earl has fallen by about 10 knots over the past 24 hours.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Earl.

Forecast for Earl
The latest set of model runs from 8am EDT (12Z) this morning shows little change to Earl's track. Thus, my write-up of the possible impacts to North Carolina, New England, and Canada in this morning's post remain unchanged. The latest SHIPS model forecast shows wind shear will remain moderate, about 15 knots, through Friday afternoon. This should allow Earl to maintain major hurricane status as it passes North Carolina early Friday morning. By Friday night, as Earl gets caught in the jet stream and accelerates to the northeast, wind shear will rise to 20 - 30 knots and ocean temperatures will plunge to 20°C, resulting in considerable weakening. Earl will still probably be a Category 1 or 2 hurricane early Saturday morning, when it will make its closest approach to New England. Earl is more likely to be a strong tropical storm or weak Category 1 hurricane early Saturday afternoon, when it is expected to make landfall in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Earl is a large hurricane, which gives it a higher potential for storm surge damage than a smaller hurricane with the same top winds. One measure of a storm's power, useful for gauging storm surge threat, is to measure the speed of the winds and multiply by the area over which those winds blow. This total is called the Integrated Kinetic Energy (IKE). Based on the storm's IKE, one can come up with a scale from 0 - 6 rating the storm's destructive power from its storm surge. A separate rating can be given to the destructive potential of the storm's winds. The IKE value of 112 Terrajoules for Earl, at 3:30pm EDT today, gives its storm surge a destructive power of 5.0 on a scale of 0 - 6. Earl's winds have a lower destructive power, 3.4 on a scale of 0 - 6. Let's hope the right front quadrant of Earl, where the main storm surge would occur, stays offshore! For comparison, the small Category 5 Hurricane Camille of 1969 had an IKE of 80 Terrajoules, and the very large Category 2 Hurricane Ike of 2008 had an IKE of 116 Terrajoules--similar to Category 3 Earl's.

Fiona
Tropical Storm Fiona is struggling due to high wind shear, courtesy of strong upper-level northerly winds from Hurricane Earl's outflow. The latest Hurricane Hunter center fix at 1:29pm EDT found Fiona had weakened some, with a central pressure of 999 mb. This is a rise of 1 mb from this morning. The wind shear analysis from the University of Wisconsin CIMSS group shows that shear has increased to a moderately high 15 - 20 knots this afternoon. Satellite loops show the classic signature of a tropical storm experiencing high wind shear--an exposed center of circulation, and all the heavy thunderstorms pushed to one side (the south side in this case). Martinique radar shows that the outer bands from Fiona are bringing heavy rain squalls to the same islands of the northern Lesser Antilles that were affected by Earl. Our wundermap for the northern Lesser Antilles shows no stations recorded winds over 20 mph this afternoon, though there was no reporting station on Barbuda, the island closest to Fiona.

Forecast for Fiona
Moderate wind shear and dry air should keep Fiona from attaining hurricane status over the next two days, as big brother Earl continues to bring high wind shear. The shear may be strong enough to destroy Fiona, as predicted by the NHC. However, by this weekend, Earl may pull far enough away for shear to drop and Fiona to survive. The 4 - 5 day track forecast is highly uncertain, as there is a large spread in the model solutions. It is possible Fiona may pose a threat to Bermuda on Saturday or Sunday, and the storm could wander for a week or more in the waters between Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast.


Figure 2. Afternoon satellite image of Fiona.

Tropical Storm Gaston forms
Tropical Storm Gaston developed enough heavy thunderstorms near its center this afternoon to get a name, and appears destined to become Hurricane Gaston by early next week. Water vapor satellite images show a large area of dry air to the north and west of Gaston, and this dry air will be the dominant inhibiting factor for development. The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts shear will remain moderate, 10 - 15 knots, for the next four days, and perhaps fall to the low range 4 - 5 days from now. Gaston is over warm 28°C waters, and should be able to steadily intensify into a hurricane by Saturday or Sunday, as predicted by the many of the intensity models. Gaston may threaten the northern Lesser Antilles Islands as early as Tuesday.

Next post
I'll have an update in the morning, and Dr. Rob Carver will have a late night update tonight.

Jeff Masters

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18z models

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Good god another one.Face palm.
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LOL, again, I wonder what happened to those deadseasoncasters or how do you call them.
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if florida goes this year untouched by a hurricane it would be a miracle
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Pretty darn impressive upper level outflow channels (particularly the poleward outflow channel) associated with Earl.

Earl has a wicked tail for sure.
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
I really feel sorry for the Upper Antilles and PR. Now they have to think about Gaston and the one behind it.Some people probably won't even know about these storms because they lost power so they can't get news about these storms.
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Food for thought.

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


It just wont quit!


Oh Goody, just what we need!
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Guys, I'm very nervous about Gaston. I am putting up shutters as we speak. later will be on my way to Publix to buy 48 gallons of water
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Pretty darn impressive upper level outflow channels (particularly the poleward outflow channel) associated with Earl.

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Quoting gordydunnot:
My only opinion at this time is OZ is going to disappointed.


I bet so too. LOL
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
695. xcool
yea GETTING READY FOR 99L .
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15671
Should see 99L before tomorrow ends.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
My only opinion at this time is OZ is going to disappointed.


There is a boy who should jump out of the Gene pool... its to deep for him.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
691. JLPR2
I think I lost my jaw, Gaston already and 99L is on the way?


This is nuts!

Also, good evening everyone! XD
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8697
Station 41047
NDBC
Location: 27.469N 71.491W
Conditions as of:
Wed, 01 Sep 2010 22:50:00 UTC
Winds: SE (140°) at 46.6 kt gusting to 60.2 kt
Significant Wave Height: 31.5 ft
Dominant Wave Period: 13 sec
Mean Wave Direction: SSE (160°)
Atmospheric Pressure: 29.54 in and steady
Air Temperature: 82.8 F
Dew Point: 77.7 F
Water Temperature: 84.2 F
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GFDL 18Z moves right/east a tad bit: You can see the differences by sliding along the historical wind swaths in the little mouseover...

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Quoting beell:
Some hopeful signs on this water vapor loop-at least in the upper levels. Hopeful this will also follow suit in the lower levels soon

If you look just inland over SC, NC, VA you might just pick out the last little bit of oblong shaped ridging getting squeezed by the approaching trough.

Also noticeable near the apex of the ridge over Maine as the approaching trough lifts the ridge north and east-allowing Earl to follow.

Both obs (if accurate!) should allow Earl some room to move north. No ridge busting required.

Atlantic WV Loop


Nope, still too much between Earl and the trof. Way way too much real-estate
Member Since: August 20, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 373
My only opinion at this time is OZ is going to disappointed.
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685. xcool
back to back storms
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15671
684. bwat
Anyone got an XTRP with the new movement?
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No..just September in the Atlantic..
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682. xcool
here come 99l
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15671
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Here we go again.
YET ANOTHER STRONG TROPICAL WAVE IS ABOUT TO MOVE OFF THE WEST COAST
OF AFRICA AND IS PRODUCING A BROAD AREA OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE ADJACENT WATERS. SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF
THIS SYSTEM IS POSSIBLE AS IT MOVES WESTWARD NEAR 10 MPH OVER THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF THIS
SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
And you think it's going to stop? I wish. It's going to be like this for another month or two. Hopefully everyone is prepared and heeded what NOAA said when they forecasted an active season.

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Should have 99L before too long.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
*yawn* What a boring season...

LMAO
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
No way...


Very impressive
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*yawn* What a boring season...

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Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26511
Norcorss on TWC just said this may be the turn to the north we are seeing. If that is the case then it's a really good thing and the tracks would shift east.
Member Since: April 26, 2009 Posts: 3 Comments: 3667
Quoting dmaddox:
NNW and speeding up!
Dang. Earl hit the gas!
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Here we go again.
YET ANOTHER STRONG TROPICAL WAVE IS ABOUT TO MOVE OFF THE WEST COAST
OF AFRICA AND IS PRODUCING A BROAD AREA OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE ADJACENT WATERS. SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF
THIS SYSTEM IS POSSIBLE AS IT MOVES WESTWARD NEAR 10 MPH OVER THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF THIS
SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.


It just wont quit!
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NNW and speeding up!
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Digital Dvorak seeing a bit of a drop off:


To continue? Remains to be seen.

Looks pretty good, structurally.

Loop here: http://rammb.cira.colostate.edu/ramsdis/online/loop_timestamp_640.asp?data_folder=rmtc/rmtcsasec4ir 404
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SUMMARY OF 800 PM EDT...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...27.2N 73.5W
ABOUT 565 MI...910 KM SSE OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...135 MPH...215 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 330 DEGREES AT 18 MPH...30 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...941 MB...27.79 INCHES
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
000
WTNT32 KNHC 012347
TCPAT2
BULLETIN
HURRICANE EARL INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 30A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072010
800 PM EDT WED SEP 01 2010

...LARGE AND DANGEROUS HURRICANE EARL THREATENING THE U.S.
MID-ATLANTIC COAST...


SUMMARY OF 800 PM EDT...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...27.2N 73.5W
ABOUT 565 MI...910 KM SSE OF CAPE HATTERAS NORTH CAROLINA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...135 MPH...215 KM/HR
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNW OR 330 DEGREES AT 18 MPH...30 KM/HR
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...941 MB...27.79 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

NONE.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A HURRICANE WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* BOGUE INLET NORTH CAROLINA NORTHEASTWARD TO THE NORTH
CAROLINA/VIRGINIA BORDER INCLUDING THE PAMLICO AND ALBEMARLE
SOUNDS.

A HURRICANE WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* NORTH OF THE NORTH CAROLINA/VIRGINIA BORDER TO CAPE HENLOPEN
DELAWARE.
* WOODS HOLE TO SAGAMORE BEACH MASSACHUSETTS...INCLUDING MARTHAS
VINEYARD AND NANTUCKET.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* CAPE FEAR TO WEST OF BOGUE INLET NORTH CAROLINA.
* NORTH OF THE NORTH CAROLINA/VIRGINIA BORDER TO SANDY HOOK NEW
JERSEY...INCLUDING DELAWARE BAY SOUTH OF SLAUGHTER BEACH AND THE
CHESAPEAKE BAY SOUTH OF NEW POINT COMFORT.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* SANDY HOOK NEW JERSEY TO WOODS HOLE MASSACHUSETTS...INCLUDING
BLOCK ISLAND AND LONG ISLAND SOUND.
* NORTH OF SAGAMORE BEACH TO THE MOUTH OF THE MERRIMACK RIVER
MASSACHUSETTS.

A HURRICANE WARNING MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED
SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA. A WARNING IS TYPICALLY ISSUED
36 HOURS BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF
TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS...CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE
PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS. PREPARATIONS TO PROTECT LIFE
AND PROPERTY SHOULD BE RUSHED TO COMPLETION.

A HURRICANE WATCH MEANS THAT HURRICANE CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE
WITHIN THE WATCH AREA. A WATCH IS TYPICALLY ISSUED 48 HOURS
BEFORE THE ANTICIPATED FIRST OCCURRENCE OF TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE
WINDS...CONDITIONS THAT MAKE OUTSIDE PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR
DANGEROUS.

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.

INTERESTS IN NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND AND SOUTHEASTERN CANADA SHOULD
MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF EARL.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY
YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AT 800 PM EDT...0000 UTC...THE EYE OF HURRICANE EARL WAS LOCATED
NEAR LATITUDE 27.2 NORTH...LONGITUDE 73.5 WEST. EARL IS MOVING
TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST NEAR 18 MPH...30 KM/HR. THIS MOTION IS
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TONIGHT WITH A TURN TO THE NORTH ON THURSDAY.
ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CORE OF THE HURRICANE WILL APPROACH THE
NORTH CAROLINA COAST BY LATE THURSDAY...AND MOVE NEAR OR OVER THE
OUTER BANKS OF NORTH CAROLINA THURSDAY NIGHT.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 135 MPH...215 KM/HR...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. EARL IS A CATEGORY FOUR HURRICANE ON THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON
HURRICANE WIND SCALE. SOME FLUCTUATIONS IN INTENSITY ARE LIKELY
TONIGHT AND THURSDAY...BUT A GRADUAL WEAKENING TREND IS ANTICIPATED
THEREAFTER.

EARL IS A LARGE HURRICANE. HURRICANE FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP
TO 90 MILES...150 KM...FROM THE CENTER...AND TROPICAL STORM FORCE
WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 200 MILES...325 KM.

THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 941 MB...27.79 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WINDS...TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO REACH THE NORTH
CAROLINA COAST WITHIN THE WARNING AREA BY THURSDAY AFTERNOON WITH
HURRICANE FORCE WINDS OCCURRING BY LATE THURSDAY. TROPICAL STORM
FORCE WINDS WILL LIKELY REACH THE COAST FROM VIRGINIA NORTHWARD TO
NEW JERSEY BY LATE THURSDAY NIGHT OR EARLY FRIDAY.

STORM SURGE...A DANGEROUS STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS
MUCH AS 3 TO 5 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL WITHIN THE HURRICANE WARNING
AREA AND THE LOWER CHESAPEAKE BAY. ELSEWHERE WITHIN THE TROPICAL
STORM WARNING AREA...STORM SURGE WILL RAISE WATER LEVELS BY AS MUCH
AS 1 TO 3 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL. NEAR THE COAST...THE SURGE WILL
BE ACCOMPANIED BY LARGE AND DESTRUCTIVE WAVES.

RAINFALL...ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES...WITH ISOLATED
MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 6 INCHES...ARE EXPECTED OVER PORTIONS OF EASTERN
NORTH CAROLINA INCLUDING THE OUTER BANKS.

SURF...LARGE SWELLS FROM EARL WILL CONTINUE TO AFFECT THE BAHAMAS
AND THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES THROUGH FRIDAY. THESE
SWELLS WILL LIKELY CAUSE DANGEROUS SURF CONDITIONS AND RIP
CURRENTS.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1100 PM EDT.

$$
FORECASTER PASCH

Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
Quoting MoltenIce:
Fiona hardly looks like a 95 km/h TS. Gaston looks like a TS IMO and yes looks miles better than Fiona.

Gaston

Fiona, open wave with 95 km/h winds.
I don't think it has winds of 60mph (Fiona), but it isn't a tropical wave either. I reckon it is no stronger than a 40mph TS right now.
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665. xcool
i was rigth
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15671
Good Evening all.
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Hey,

B Bob starts at 7cst right?
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Here we go again.
YET ANOTHER STRONG TROPICAL WAVE IS ABOUT TO MOVE OFF THE WEST COAST
OF AFRICA AND IS PRODUCING A BROAD AREA OF SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS OVER THE ADJACENT WATERS. SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF
THIS SYSTEM IS POSSIBLE AS IT MOVES WESTWARD NEAR 10 MPH OVER THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...10 PERCENT...OF THIS
SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.
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Quoting bwat:
Ive found that local mets just repeat what the latest NHC advisory said. I've never seen a local met go against the NHC ever. Let NHC say NNW at 8, the local mets will say NNW.
Moving: NNW at 18 mph
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285
657. Skyepony (Mod)
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 1st day of the month at 23:39Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 302)
Storm Number & Year: 08L in 2010
Storm Name: Fiona (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 3
Observation Number: 15
A. Time of Center Fix: 1st day of the month at 23:11:10Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 20°51'N 63°24'W (20.85N 63.4W)
B. Center Fix Location: 242 miles (389 km) to the NE (46°) from San Juan, Puerto Rico (USA).
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,436m (4,711ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 47kts (~ 54.1mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 26 nautical miles (30 statute miles) to the SSE (150°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 199° at 39kts (From the SSW at ~ 44.9mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 83 nautical miles (96 statute miles) to the SE (138°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 1000mb (29.53 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 16°C (61°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,533m (5,030ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 20°C (68°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,532m (5,026ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 14°C (57°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Radar, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 3 nautical miles
Remarks Section - Remarks That Were Decoded...
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 58kts (~ 66.7mph) in the northeast quadrant at 21:08:30Z
Remarks Section - Additional Remarks...
MAX FL TEMP 208 C 025 / 7 NM FROM FL CNTR
RADAR BANDING EAST SIDE OF STORM AND 12NM CLEAR AREA OBSERVED WITH LIGHT RADAR RETURNS
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Quoting breald:
If Earl is turning North how far west is he at this point in time?
looks like around 73.5 W
Member Since: August 23, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 285

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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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