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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Quoting redUK:
Why are my comments blocked! I;ve only made a handful of posts and they've all been reasonable. :(


77. is yours, and it's not blocked.
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Quoting EtexJC:


Where were you from? At the time i was at FM1960 and IH45


I went through Alicia at the same location. Ponderosa Forest. Alicia was nastier than Ike as far as winds in that area of Houston.
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Quoting JonClaw:
So, TSW up for NYC.

When was the last time we had that?


ZCZC MIATCPAT3 ALL
TTAA00 KNHC DDHHMM
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM HANNA INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY NUMBER 35A
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082008
200 PM EDT FRI SEP 05 2008

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FROM NORTH OF SANDY HOOK NEW
JERSEY TO WATCH HILL RHODE ISLAND...INCLUDING LONG ISLAND. A
TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Storms for some reason like landfalls at Night, Ike, Katrina, Andrew and countless other major landfalls but there have been some, Dolly, Gustav, Charley for example.


Charley was not a Night hurricane. It entered in the morning and exited early morning off the next day.
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Quoting leo305:


don't say it will or it will not, because saying it will is like you saying for a 100% certain thing, if you had said "It will possibly, or it may, or it looks likely base on my forecast" then it would be better accepted.

Statements like yours get people fired at my job. I say will or wont because those are the answer people want. I am an all or nothing forecaster. Those are the forecasters that get respect from nonweather people making serious decisions even if a forecast is missed. You can not make a decision on it might or might not happen.
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000
WTNT43 KNHC 012058
TCDAT3
TROPICAL STORM FIONA DISCUSSION NUMBER 9
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL082010
500 PM AST WED SEP 01 2010

THOUGH THE SATELLITE APPEARANCE OF FIONA LOOKS QUITE DISHEVELED WITH
THE SURFACE CIRCULATION POPPING OUT FROM UNDER THE DEEP
CONVECTION...THE AIR FORCE HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT OBSERVATIONS
SHOW THAT THE SYSTEM STILL IS MAINTAINING MODERATE TROPICAL STORM
INTENSITY. PEAK 850 MB FLIGHT LEVEL WINDS OF 57 KT AND SFMR SURFACE
WIND ESTIMATES OF ABOUT 50 KT INDICATE THAT FIONA REMAINS AT 50 KT.
AIRCRAFT OBSERVATIONS ALSO INDICATE THAT FIONA IS RATHER SMALL IN
HORIZONTAL EXTENT WITH TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS EXTENDING OUT
LESS THAN 100 NM ON AVERAGE AROUND THE SYSTEM.

CURRENT MOTION OF THE CYCLONE IS A SPEEDY 17 KT TOWARD THE
NORTHWEST. THE SYSTEM IS BEING ADVECTED ALONG MAINLY BY THE RIDGE
TO ITS NORTHEAST WITH SOME CONTRIBUTION OF STEERING AS WELL BY THE
MUCH LARGER HURRICANE EARL. THE MODEL GUIDANCE IS IN GOOD
AGREEMENT THROUGH TWO DAYS THAT THE CYCLONE WILL CONTINUE TOWARD
THE NORTHWEST AT A SLOWER FORWARD SPEED. AFTER THAT...THE
SOLUTIONS DIVERGE WITH SOME GUIDANCE QUICKLY HAVING FIONA ABSORBED
WITHIN THE CIRCULATION OF EARL AND SOME KEEPING FIONA AS A DISTINCT
VORTEX AND EVENTUALLY BECOMING A FRONTAL LOW IN ABOUT FOUR TO FIVE
DAYS. THE FORECAST TRACK IS CLOSE TO THE MODEL CONSENSUS...MINUS
THE GFDN HURRICANE MODEL WHICH TAKES FIONA UNREALISTICALLY DUE
WEST...AND IS SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY.

THE INTENSITY FORECAST IS...AS USUAL...A DIFFICULT CALL. DESPITE THE
CYCLONE REMAINING OVER QUITE WARM WATERS FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL
DAYS...THE VERTICAL SHEAR APPEARS TO BE THE LIMITING FACTOR FOR THE
INTENSITY OF FIONA. A RESEARCH MISSION BY THE NSF GULFSTREAM-V JET
SHOWED UNIDIRECTIONAL 35 KT EASTERLIES ADVECTING OVER THE TOP OF
THE CYCLONE. SUCH UPPER LEVEL FLOW...ALONG WITH THE FAST FORWARD
SPEED...SHOULD LIMIT ANY INTENSIFICATION IN THE NEAR TERM AND THE
FORECAST INTENSITY SHOWS LITTLE CHANGE FOR THE NEXT TWO DAYS. AFTER
THAT...IT IS ANTICIPATED THAT FIONA WILL GRADUALLY DECAY AS IT GETS
ENTRAINED INTO THE CIRCULATION OF EARL AND VERTICAL WIND SHEAR
INCREASES.
THE INTENSITY FORECAST IS SIGNIFICANTLY BELOW THE MODEL
CONSENSUS BUT IS QUITE SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY. IF CURRENT
TRENDS CONTINUE...IT IS EVEN POSSIBLE THAT FIONA WILL NO LONGER
HAVE A CLOSED SURFACE CIRCULATION. UNDER THIS SCENARIO...
ADVISORIES...AND FIONA...WOULD CEASE TO EXIST.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 01/2100Z 20.2N 62.9W 50 KT
12HR VT 02/0600Z 21.6N 64.6W 50 KT
24HR VT 02/1800Z 23.8N 66.3W 50 KT
36HR VT 03/0600Z 25.9N 67.4W 50 KT
48HR VT 03/1800Z 27.4N 67.6W 45 KT
72HR VT 04/1800Z 30.0N 66.5W 35 KT
96HR VT 05/1800Z 33.5N 64.5W 25 KT
120HR VT 06/1800Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER LANDSEA/BLAKE


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Quoting btwntx08:
if u have a wireless connection on a laptop like i do those graphics load fast


Nope, wired. Hmm, maybe it was a fluke.
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Quoting txwxnut2:
Jim Cantore was just ranting on TWC because not enough people are taking Earl seriously.


It looks like a lot of people are just sitting around waiting to decide tomorrow, and they don't realize how big Earl is or how fast Earl is going to be moving NW by morning.



Then when they get family members killed or loss of property, they are gonna blame TWC, NHC and the media for allegedly "not informing them".

There are a lot of houses behind Jim Cantore that show no evidence of preparations at all. No boards/shutters, and stuff just sitting around in the yard...a few dozen yards off the water...

This happens everywhere. Then they will blame the government when they don't have supplies. I have news for people like this - IT IS NOT THE GOVERNMENTS RESPONSIBILITY TO PREPARE FOR A STORM - IT IS THEIRS!!! I don't feel sorry for people who have the information and don't act on it. Their choice - then there are the IDIOTS who expect first responders to come to them in the heart of the storm. drives me freakin crazy.


well its funny the media (or Jim Cantore) is sitting here raving about people not leaving..TWC as of yesterday was still running Storm Stories instead of weather reporting so thats calling the kettle calling the pot black and the local media is downplaying the effects as well..
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07L/MH/E/C4
MARK NEAR
27N/73W
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197. xcool

Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
Breaking news...mandatory evacuation for tourist and local citizens of cape hatteras, NC...that is as of a few minutes ago from TWC
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Oh man. I was just watching the news. Seems like a whole lot of people aren't taking Earl seriously. That's really, really bad news.
Member Since: August 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 884
Quoting aasmith26:


Graphics are SUPER LARGE in size. Taking forever to d/l on my 25mbps connection.
It's most likely your computer. For mine, they fit into the window.
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So, TSW up for NYC.

When was the last time we had that?
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Quoting MagicSpork:


I was ten days from my sixth birthday when Alicia hit. I was actually standing on the porch outside my grandmother's apartment watching Alicia as she rolled through.

Yeah, I don't know how I survived my childhood, either...


Where were you from? At the time i was at FM1960 and IH45
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Quoting CocoaLove:


Not all of us. I remember. Had to replace my roof after Wilma. :(

Looking at Gaston.


I agree. I think that year when Wilma barreled thru has not been forgotten for many, many S. Floridians....
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local met in nola said gaston not a problem for us i wonder.....so soon to say that....
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


You Survived a Cat 5

I Will add one thing however.

It was a Miracle that

1) Andrew had a Small windfeild

2) He Didnt Hit Downtown Miami Directly

If that 150mph core hit Downtown Miami...


While the eye went over Homestead, the Strongest winds were over Perrine and Cutler Ridge because they had the Northern Eye wall and over 175 mph sustaine due to the NE quadrant and the forward speed of 20 mph.
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Quoting cyclonekid:
Sorry I haven't been on lately :( I've been really busy.









Graphics are SUPER LARGE in size. Taking forever to d/l on my 25mbps connection.
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Quoting atmoaggie:
Like 1933 (72 years previous to 2005). *Could* have actually had more named storms than 2005. We'll never know.


Yep and 1887 before that (46 years previous).

All great anomalies amongst their 'eras'.

So, it'll happen again.

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183. xcool
NNW TO ME
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
Sorry I haven't been on lately :( I've been really busy.







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Quoting redUK:


It's been *almost* due north for the past hour:

http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/goeseastconusir.html

put lat/lon on and animate...



Definitely looks NW to me
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
Its Been only 5 years since the 2004-2005 Seasons and People in South Florida Have already forgot about what had happend....


Not all of us. I remember. Had to replace my roof after Wilma. :(

Looking at Gaston.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Very scary trend going on in the Atlantic as it seems that almost every single tropical wave that has emerged since Danielle has turned into a tropical cyclone.

I will have a blog entry in a little bit, but if there is any system that I am deeply worried about is not only Earl, but Gaston...that guy will be a bad boy.

My prayers all to those in Earl's path, and please, please, prepare! Best be safe than sorry.

Absolutely! I was Tarheel born and it's a very special place to me along with the people. Please get to a safe place............please!
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Quoting HaboobsRsweet:

I can say it because I can forecast for myself. that is my forecast and what I feel will happen. I will say it again. Earl's eye will not come ashore but will get close. My two cents just like everyone else has theirs. Take it for what it is. We wonder why mets get such a bad rep...it is because some are so wishy washy on their forecast and give broad ranges or percentages vs just saying what is going to happen. I would get fired at my job if I did not give an forecast like I just did above.


don't say it will or it will not, because saying it will is like you saying for a 100% certain thing, if you had said "It will possibly, or it may, or it looks likely base on my forecast" then it would be better accepted.
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
177. at519
I want to repeat my post this morning regarding the IKE number of Earl. I had 6 feet of water in my house after Ike and we were on the "Dry Side". Anybody thinking of staying put, thinking they can ride it out needs to get things right with their family. The storm surge for Ike arrived 12 to 16 hours before landfall catching Bolivar, West end of Galveston Island and Freeport off guard. Dr. Jeff has mentioned the Ike number in his latest post. If we could only harness that energy!
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000
WTNT42 KNHC 012051
TCDAT2
HURRICANE EARL DISCUSSION NUMBER 30
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL072010
500 PM EDT WED SEP 01 2010

VISIBLE SATELLITE IMAGES INDICATE THAT THE EYE HAS BECOME VERY
DISTINCT...WITH OJECTIVE T-NUMBERS OSCILLATING AROUND 6.0 FOR THE
PAST FEW HOURS. AN AIR FORCE PLANE MEASURED FLIGHT-LEVEL WINDS OF
138 KNOTS AND A MINIMUM PRESSURE OF 941 MB IN THE LAST FIX.
HOWEVER...SFMR MEASUREMENTS WERE A LITTLE LOWER. A COMPROMISE OF
THESE DATA SUPPORTS AN INITIAL INTENSITY OF 115 KNOTS.
HOWEVER...EARL COULD FLUCTUATE IN INTENSITY DURING THE NEXT 12 TO
24 HOURS BUT SHOULD BEGIN TO GRADUALLY WEAKEN AS IT REACHES
COOLER WATERS AND MOVES INTO HIGHER SHEAR BEYOND 36 HOURS. BY DAY 5
THE HURRICANE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABSORBED BY A LARGE EXTRATROPICAL
CYCLONE WELL NORTH OF CANADA.

SATELLITE AND RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT FIXES INDICATE THAT EARL
HAS BEEN MOVING RELENTLESSLY TOWARD THE NORTHWEST OR 310 DEGREES
AT 15 KNOTS. THE HURRICANE IS ABOUT TO REACH THE WESTERN EDGE OF
THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE AND SHOULD BEGIN TO TURN MORE TO THE
NORTH-NORTHWEST AND NORTH LATER TONIGHT AND THURSDAY. IN ABOUT 36
HOURS OR SO...THE HURRICANE WILL ENCOUNTER THE BASE OF THE
MID-LATITUDE WESTERLIES AND SHOULD BEGIN TO RECURVE OR TURN TO THE
NORTHEAST WITH AN INCREASING FORWARD SPEED. THIS IS THE SOLUTION
CONSISTENTLY PROVIDED BY TRACK MODELS...WHICH HAVE EARL PASSING TO
THE EAST BUT NOT FAR FROM THE OUTER BANKS OF NORTH CAROLINA ON
THURSDAY NIGHT. ONLY A SMALL WESTWARD DEVIATION OF THE TRACK TO THE
WEST WOULD BRING THE CORE OF THE HURRICANE TO THE COAST.


GIVEN THE FORECAST TRACK...THE LARGE SIZE OF THE WIND FIELD...AND
THE EXPECTED INCREASE IN FORWARD SPEED WATCHES AND WATCHES HAVE
BEEN EXTENDED NORTHWARD ALONG THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INITIAL 01/2100Z 26.3N 73.3W 115 KT
12HR VT 02/0600Z 28.4N 74.7W 115 KT
24HR VT 02/1800Z 31.7N 75.4W 110 KT
36HR VT 03/0600Z 35.1N 74.7W 100 KT
48HR VT 03/1800Z 38.5N 72.2W 90 KT
72HR VT 04/1800Z 46.5N 63.5W 60 KT
96HR VT 05/1800Z 58.0N 57.0W 40 KT...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
120HR VT 06/1800Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER AVILA

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Quoting Flyairbird:
http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/disaster_prevention.shtml

It is never too late to post this info from NOAA
Link
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174. xcool
GFS SHOWS TWO MORE STORMS WOW.
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
Quoting Cotillion:


A season will catch 2005, just not for another 50-60 years when AMO+ rolls around again. History says so.

Like 1933 (72 years previous to 2005). *Could* have actually had more named storms than 2005. We'll never know.
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Quoting Barkeep1967:



wrong read the error range. 100-150 miles. There is absolutely no possible way you can say this storm is not coming ashore 100%. Do I think it is ? no. Can it ? you better believe it.

I can say it because I can forecast for myself. that is my forecast and what I feel will happen. I will say it again. Earl's eye will not come ashore but will get close. My two cents just like everyone else has theirs. Take it for what it is. We wonder why mets get such a bad rep...it is because some are so wishy washy on their forecast and give broad ranges or percentages vs just saying what is going to happen. I would get fired at my job if I did not give an forecast like I just did above.
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http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/disaster_prevention.shtml

It is never too late to post this info from NOAA
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Quoting Alockwr21:


Yep, and transformers popping all night long. It was chaos there with so many trees down everywhere! I remember crabtree valley mall being completed flooded..


I lived close to the Mall. I remember walking around after the storm amazed at the damage. Cars with trees down the middle of them, flooding, no power. It was bad even that far inland.
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Quoting EtexJC:


Alicia in '83 was like that for me, and i was just 7 when it hit at 2-3am in the morning


I was ten days from my sixth birthday when Alicia hit. I was actually standing on the porch outside my grandmother's apartment watching Alicia as she rolled through.

Yeah, I don't know how I survived my childhood, either...
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167. xcool


i'm sososo sorry i'm models cast just have fun todayy


Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
Quoting CaneWarning:


It must be a record!
I'm just so happy to have been the first to quote the 9.75 year lurker.

(See what I added to my previous comment? lol)
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


Storms for some reason like landfalls at Night, Ike, Katrina, Andrew and countless other major landfalls but there have been some, Dolly, Gustav, Charley for example.
The worst possible time a storm can make landfall is at night,because you can't see what's happening.
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Member Since: July 2, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 2811
Quoting breald:
What really stinks are these night hurricanes/tropical storms. They are bad enough but much scarier at night.


I survived Hurricane Andrew. Will never forget those winds and the sound of debris and unknown objects hitting my friend's home as we hunkered down in a small room.

My home was destroyed. Thankfully we weren't there when it happened. Talk about a life-altering event.

God bless everyone with these storms. I'm sending positive thoughts and energy to all.
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160. xcool
breald no
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
157. xcool


maybe Hermine
hmm
Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15620
Quoting Hurricanes101:


we have only had 7 named storms so far

and no season will ever catch 2005, so strike that one

we can easily pass both 2004 and 2008; as well as; getting close to 1995


A season will catch 2005, just not for another 50-60 years when AMO+ rolls around again. History says so.

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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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