Intensifying Hermine closes in on the Texas/Mexico coast

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:47 PM GMT on September 06, 2010

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Steadily intensifying Tropical Storm Hermine is closing in on the coast near the Texas/Mexico border, and should move ashore late tonight. Hermine became a tropical depression at 11pm last night, and could become a minimal hurricane by 11 pm tonight. Hermine's rate of intensification from nothing to a strong tropical storm is one of the fastest on record. It turns out that the extreme southwestern Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche, where Hermine formed, is prone to these sort of rapidly intensifying tropical storms. The curvature and topography of the land help induce a counter-clockwise spin to the air over the region, which helps get tropical storms spinning up unusually quickly. Helping the spin-up process are the very warm 30°C waters, low 5 - 10 knots of wind shear, and moist atmosphere. Hermine promises to be a very wet storm, and latest long range radar out of Brownsville, Texas shows a large area of heavy rain has been drenching southern Texas and northern Mexico all afternoon, with radar estimated rainfall amounts exceeding two inches in a few areas along the coast. Radar loops show that an eyewall is attempting to form, but a region of dry air from over land spiraled into Hermine's core between 4 - 5pm EDT, disrupting eyewall formation. However, it now appears that Hermine has closed off its eye from this dry air, which should aid in intensification. Satellite imagery shows Hermine has vigorous thunderstorms with very cold tops, and improving low-level spiral banding.

Forecast for Hermine
Hermine doesn't have much time over water before it comes ashore, which is a good thing. The storm is steadily organizing, and has a shot at reaching hurricane strength before the center moves ashore late tonight, near midnight. Heavy rain will be the main threat from Hermine, though isolated tornadoes may also cause damage, particularly over South Texas. Hermine is expected to accelerate through Central Texas Tuesday and Wednesday, and the storm's rains will help alleviate moderate to severe drought conditions affecting Central Texas.


Figure 1. Late afternoon radar image of Tropical Storm Hermine. Note the band of dry air spiraling into the core of the storm from the north.

Gaston continues to suffer from dry air
An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft spent the afternoon in Gaston's remains, and found a weak 1012 mb center of low pressure with only a limited region of westerly winds on the south side of the center of circulation. Top surface winds uncontaminated by heavy rain seen by their SFMR instrument were in the 30 - 35 mph range. The airplane found plenty of dry air in the storm's environment, and there are not enough heavy thunderstorms in ex-Gaston's circulation for it to qualify as a tropical depression. The remains of Gaston are now approaching the northern Lesser Antilles, and residents can expect a few heavy rain showers and wind gusts up to 40 mph beginning early this evening and continuing into the night. Latest radar out of Martinique doesn't show much in the way of heavy rain, and satellite imagery confirms that the thunderstorm activity associated with Gaston's remains is quite sparse. A large amount of dry air surrounds Gaston's remains on all sides, as seen on water vapor satellite loops.


Figure 2. Afternoon satellite image of the remains of Gaston, approaching the Lesser Antilles Islands.

Forecast for Gaston
There is little change to the forecast for Gaston's remains. Dry air will continue to be the major impediment to development, and the system is unlikely to become a tropical depression today. However, wind shear, which is currently a moderate 10 knots, is forecast by the latest SHIPS model run to fall very low, 0 - 5 knots, tonight through Wednesday. With almost no wind shear affecting it, Gaston will a better chance of keeping the moisture from its heavy thunderstorms near its core on Tuesday. This will insulate the storm from the dry air surrounding it. The atmosphere is also moister in the eastern Caribbean, further increasing the chances of development. I believe it is probable Gaston will become a tropical depression again on Tuesday. NHC is currently giving Gaston a 70% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday, which is a reasonable forecast.

Heavy rain showers and gusty winds from the storm will affect Puerto Rico Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon. This activity will spread to the Dominican Republic Tuesday afternoon through Thursday morning. Assuming dry air and an encounter with Hispaniola's high mountains do not destroy Gaston, heavy rain from the storm should move over Haiti, eastern Cuba, and Jamaica Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The models don't give much support for Gaston surviving past Wednesday. The ECMWF, GFS, NOGAPS, Canadian, and HWRF models all dissipate Gaston. However, two models--the GFDL and UKMET--predict that Gaston will survive the dry air and an encounter with Hispaniola, and pass far enough south of the island to find a favorable environment in the Central Caribbean for development on Wednesday. Wind shear will be low, water temperatures will be hot, and the atmosphere will be plenty moist. Gaston could intensify into a hurricane in the Western Caribbean by the end of the week, as predicted by the latest run of the GFDL model.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The models are fairly unanimous in predicting development late this week of a tropical wave expected to emerge from the coast of Africa on Tuesday or Wednesday. The next storm will be called Igor.

Next post
I'll have an update in the morning.

Jeff Masters

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Back when Danielle, made her odd turn to the North, then Earl and then Fiona...and now Gaston just turn in to a vapor trail, I started doing some "research" and I discovered two terms, Ionosphere "heaters", and I was rather stunned to find the largest built to date in Alaska called H.A.A.R.P.

1935
The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935,The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane struck the Florida Keys with a minimum pressure of 892 mb--the lowest pressure ever observed in the United States.

1969
Hurricane Camille (1969) cat 5,Hurricane Camille struck the Mississippi Gulf Coast causing a 25-foot storm surge, which inundated Pass Christian

1988
Hurricane Gilbert of 1988 was a Category Five hurricane at peak intensity and is the strongest Atlantic tropical cyclone on record with a minimum pressure of 888 mb.

1992
Hurricane Andrew in August, 1992, Hurricane Andrew of 1992 made landfall over southern Miami-Dade County, Florida causing 26.5 billion dollars in losses.

1993
Work on the HAARP Research Station was begun in 1993 following a one year environmental impact analysis. The first functional facility was completed in December 1994 with three passive, diagnostic instruments and an evaluation prototype HF transmitter consisting of 18 antenna elements and a net radiated power of 360 kW.

1999
In March 1999, the HAARP Research Station had been developed to an intermediate level capable of high quality ionospheric research with the addition of several additonal instruments to the diagnostic suite and an improved HF transmitter utilizing 48 antenna elements and with a net radiated power capability of 960 kW.

2002
Hurricane Lili of 2002 made landfall on the Louisiana coast as a Category One hurricane.

2003
Hurricane Isabel of 2003 made landfall near Drum Inlet on the Outer Banks of North Carolina as a Category 2 hurricane.

Beginning in 2003, the buiding program began the final stage of development at the HAARP Research Station. In addition new instruments were added to the facility including a new UHF Ionospheric Radar and a telescopic dome for optical observations.

2004
Hurricane Gaston of 2004 was a Category One hurricane that made landfall along the central South Carolina coast.
Hurricane Frances of 2004 made landfall over the southern end of Hutchinson Island, Florida as a Category Two hurricane.
Hurricanes Jeanne and Ivan of 2004 were Category Three hurricanes when they made landfall in Florida and in Alabama, respectively.
Hurricane Charley of 2004 was a Category Four hurricane made landfall in Charlotte County, Florida with winds of 150 mph.

2005
Hurricane Katrina 2005
Hurricane Rita 2005
Hurricane Wilma 2005

2006
the HAARP Research Station now has The HF transmitter consisting of 180 antenna elements having a net radiated power capability of 3,600 kW, thus completing its development as originally planned. Although the HF transmitter is complete, the program continues to improve and develop the suite of scientific instruments at the facility to enhance its scientific product.

20 major research campaigns and numerous shorter studies were conducted at the facility.

The results of this research have yielded new discoveries and have identified new areas to be studied. The results of research sponsored by HAARP have been reported in peer-reviewed scientific journals including The Journal of Geophysical Research, Geophysical Research Letters, Radio Science, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and Nature.

no hurricanes have made landfall on the United States since.

Now back-in-the day, before we could sit down to our computers, maybe no one would notice the convenient down troth coming down out of Alaska. But now it is "like" late fall in September and summer not even over with one can't help but to think something is slewed and something just had to do it...

is it possible?

before you guys jump on my back, yes I see stuff in a different light and from different angles than the norm.
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1185. leo305
Quoting CosmicEvents:
OMG...the expert on TWC just reported on the tornado warning near the COC, and said that if you were in the area and effected by one of these embedded tornados to expect "gusty winds"!


LMAO
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Quoting GBguy88:
So, any bets as to what the winds top out at? I say about 62 sustained (as per advisory) with peak gust being 75-80. Probably too high, but that north side looks punchy.


Port Isabel reported a gust to 52 mph
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Quoting TXCaneCrasher:


Question, don't they usually issue a tornado warning where the COC is making landfall? I know Hermine didn't make landfall at Brownsville but the eyewall is getting very close to them now. Just curious


Tornadoes are more commonly found in the outer bands, particularly along the NE flank of the circulation, but they can and do occur near the core as well.
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OMG...the current buxom expert on TWC just reported on the tornado warning near the COC, and said that if you were in the area and effected by one of these embedded tornados to expect "gusty winds"!
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1181. xcool


AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
1053 PM AST MON SEP 6 2010

.UPDATE...AREA OF LOW PRESSURE ASSOCIATED WITH THE REMNANTS OF
GASTON...WAS QUICKLY APPROACHING THE NORTHERN LEEWARDS...AND
REMAINED FAIRLY DISORGANIZED. EARLIER SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWED WEAK
LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION WITH ONLY MODERATE AMOUNTS OF CONVECTION JUST
NORTH AND WEST OF THE CIRCULATION. DURING THE PAST COUPLE OF HOURS...
SATELLITE IMAGERY AS WELL AS WELL...AS THE SATELLITE DERIVED HOURLY
ESTIMATED RAINFALL/HYDRO-ESTIMATOR PRODUCT SHOWED A STEADY DECLINE
IN CONVECTIVE ACTIVITY AND PRECIPITATION AROUND THIS FEATURE. IN
ADDITION...LATEST WEATHER OUTLOOK FROM THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
SUGGESTED THAT BECAUSE THE REMNANTS OF GASTON REMAIN POORLY DEFINED...
AND THE SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT IS MARGINALLY CONDUCIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT...
THERE IS NOW ONLY A MEDIUM CHANCE...50 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING
A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

LATEST GFS MODEL GUIDANCE SUGGESTS THIS SYSTEM TO QUICKLY MOVE ACROSS
THE REGION AS AN OPEN WAVE...WHILE THE NAM WAS MORE AGGRESSIVE AND BROUGHT
THE SYSTEM CLOSER TOO AND ACROSS THE LOCAL ISLANDS BY EARLY WEDNESDAY
MORNING. WITH THAT SAID...AND REGARDLESS OF FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OR
NOT...STILL EXPECT FAIRLY ACTIVE WEATHER...WITH INCREASING CLOUDINESS
AND THE POTENTIAL FOR LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL AND WIND GUSTS POSSIBLY
TO NEAR TROPICAL STORM FORCE ACCOMPANYING SQUALLS AS IT MOVES ACROSS
THE LOCAL AREA TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH WEDNESDAY. THEREFORE NO
MAJOR CHANGES WERE MADE TO THE INHERITED FORECAST PACKAGE AT THIS
TIME...EXCEPT FOR THE SHORT TERM FORECAST WINDS BASED ON THE
LATEST MODEL GUIDANCE... SHIP REPORTS AND BUOY DATA. RESIDENTS AND
VISITORS SHOULD STILL REMAIN VIGILANT AND CLOSELY MONITOR THE
PROGRESS OF THIS SYSTEM AS IT MOVES ACROSS THE LOCAL REGION OVER
THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

&&

.AVIATION UPDATE...VFR CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO PREVAIL ACROSS MOST TAF
SITES AT LEAST THROUGH 07/12Z. SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH
LEAD BANDS OF FORMER TS GASTON WILL REACH TNCM AND TKPK AFTER 07/06Z...
BRINGING BRIEF MVFR CONDS AND GUSTY WINDS TO 20 KT OVERNIGHT.
THESE SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS SHOULD REACH THE VI BY 07/012Z AND
TJSJ AFT 07/16Z WITH MVFR CONDITIONS. THESE CONDITIONS WILL SPREAD
WESTWARD TO TJPS...TJMZ...AND TJBQ...AFTER 07/16Z.




Member Since: September 26, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 15684
1178. pottery
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Hermine is inland and wreaking havoc on the area....Stay safe..Now look at what is coming off of Africa:


Heh!!
That's a Wowza of a Wave!
3 days to The Peak!
Who has the graph??
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Quoting Leafgreen:

I click the - icon on the stuff that has nothing to do with weather, and the + icon for this post.

I clicked plus on this 'cause your avatar is freakin cool
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1176. GBguy88
So, any bets as to what the winds top out at? I say about 62 sustained (as per advisory) with peak gust being 75-80. Probably too high, but that north side looks punchy.
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TORNADO WARNING
Warning Issue Date: 1048 PM CDT MON SEP 06 2010

SOUTHERN CAMERON COUNTY IN DEEP SOUTH TEXAS.
* UNTIL 1115 PM CDT
* AT 1048 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
TORNADO 6 MILES NORTHEAST OF BROWNSVILLE...MOVING NORTHWEST AT 60
MPH.
* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
BROWNSVILLE.
OLMITO.
RANCHO VIEJO.
SAN BENITO.
HARLINGEN.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...
PLEASE REPORT TORNADOES OR FUNNEL CLOUDS...WINDS OF 58 MPH OR
HIGHER...AND ANY WIND DAMAGE TO YOUR NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN
BROWNSVILLE BY CALLING 956-504-1432.
&&
LAT...LON 2588 9747 2589 9753 2593 9756 2593 9759
2595 9760 2596 9762 2602 9766 2602 9775
2604 9779 2621 9769 2599 9727 2594 9730
2593 9734 2592 9735 2592 9738 2586 9737
2585 9745
TIME...MOT...LOC 0348Z 125DEG 53KT 2602 9747
$$
HART
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Hermine is inland and wreaking havoc on the area....Stay safe..Now look at what is coming off of Africa:

Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 11432
Quoting PrivateIdaho:


Is their a Doppler showing where it is?


Nevermind...I have it
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1170. pottery
Quoting RTLSNK:
Greetings and salutations Lord Pottery. I see you are holding court here this late night. My brother and family live NW of Houston so I am keeping track of Hermine for him.

What?
Has he gone off to bed, leaving you the Task of keeping him safe?
You are a Good Brother, Snakeymon.
Mine would never do that for me..
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thanks for everyone's response to my question. You all have a goodnight and stay safe if you are in the path of this.
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Quoting Hurricanman:


Yes, but this is a real tornado.


Is their a Doppler showing where it is?
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Brownsville is now encountering the strongest wings of Hermine. The eye wall is crossing the border from inland. There is less moisture in the southern half of the center. South texas is getting a comparable swing by Hermine as did northern mexico.
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Quoting leo305:
the "eye wall" of TS hermine is probably going to slam to brownsville.. 60 + mph gusts are likely within that..
That's what looks to be happening right now.
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Quoting TXCaneCrasher:


Question, don't they usually issue a tornado warning where the COC is making landfall? I know Hermine didn't make landfall at Brownsville but the eyewall is getting very close to them now. Just curious


Yes, but this is a real tornado.

* AT 1048 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A TORNADO 6 MILES NORTHEAST OF BROWNSVILLE...MOVING NORTHWEST AT 60 MPH.
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1163. leo305
Quoting TXCaneCrasher:


Question, don't they usually issue a tornado warning where the COC is making landfall? I know Hermine didn't make landfall at Brownsville but the eyewall is getting very close to them now. Just curious


well there tends to be a tornado watch on the north and east side of the system, because the outflow opposes the surface flow, add the friction, and things can spin up

as for warnings, sometimes, weak tornadoes are common in landfalling tropical systems, now in the eye wall, sometimes
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1162. GBguy88
Quoting TXCaneCrasher:


Question, don't they usually issue a tornado warning where the COC is making landfall? I know Hermine didn't make landfall at Brownsville but the eyewall is getting very close to them now. Just curious


They've done that for nearly every landfalling storm I've been in...granted those were mostly all hurricanes. Either way, I think it's plausible that Brownsville is going to see 70+ in gusts, tornado or not.
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Quoting F4PHANTOM:
Not Frank but Norman. Always liked Frank's explanation of the weather.


Yeah, I used to watch him all the time. He is good at explaining everything on our level
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1160. RTLSNK
Greetings and salutations Lord Pottery. I see you are holding court here this late night. My brother and family live NW of Houston so I am keeping track of Hermine for him.
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Hermine is moving NW according to radar, and yes, it looks like Brownsville will take the brunt of its winds.
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Quoting Halyn:


Doyou have a "visitor", Pottery .. or has a blogger named "Snake" just joined us?


I was thinking the same thing!!?
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Quoting leo305:
Tornado warning for brownsville..


Question, don't they usually issue a tornado warning where the COC is making landfall? I know Hermine didn't make landfall at Brownsville but the eyewall is getting very close to them now. Just curious
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1156. leo305
yep, it wasn't a mistake, there really is a tornado warning
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1155. pottery
Quoting Halyn:


Doyou have a "visitor", Pottery .. or has a blogger named "Snake" just joined us?

LOL, just shouting out to my good Buddy RTLSNK at post 1130.
His Dear Friends get to call him Snake.
He is rather Slithery...
heheheheh
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Quoting leo305:
well the steering layers are calling for this thing to move NNW/NW soon
I think we are starting to see it now.
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Quoting leo305:
Tornado warning for brownsville..

Poor Brownsville they have had a bad year!
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Quoting texascoastres:
Thanks TXCANE

I dont even remember seeing Neil Frank come on for Earl, He only shows up when something is possibly going to affect Tx


Yeah, I usually stick to Chn 2 but when things like this pop up I go between, 2, 11 and 13.
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1150. Skylink
moving back to the nnw now, guess it was just a good wobble.
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1149. leo305
nvm..

they made a mistake
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1148. Halyn
Quoting pottery:
Greetings, Snake.


Doyou have a "visitor", Pottery .. or has a blogger named "Snake" just joined us?
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Thanks TXCANE

I dont even remember seeing Neil Frank come on for Earl, He only shows up when something is possibly going to affect Tx
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Quoting F4PHANTOM:
In Houston my friend


sorry, stand corrected then.
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Port Isabel

Conditions at PTIT2 as of
(10:24 pm CDT on 09/06/2010)
0324 GMT on 09/07/2010: Unit of Measure: English Metric Time Zone: Station Local Time Greenwich Mean Time [GMT] British Summer Time [GMT+1] Eastern Greenland [GMT-1] Azores [GMT-2] Western Greenland [GMT-3] Atlantic Standard [GMT-4] US/Eastern Standard US/Central Standard US/Mountain Standard US/Pacific Standard Alaska Standard [GMT-9] Hawaii-Aleutian Standard [GMT-10] Samoa Standard [GMT-11] International Date Line West [GMT-12] Western European [GMT+0] Central European [GMT+1] Eastern European [GMT+2] Moscow [GMT+3] USSR Zone 3 [GMT+4] USSR Zone 4 [GMT+5] USSR Zone 5 [GMT+6] USSR Zone 6 [GMT+7] China Coast [GMT+8] Japan Standard [GMT+9] Guam Standard [GMT+10] GMT+11 International Date Line East [GMT+12]
Click on the graph icon in the table below to see a time series plot of the last five days of that observation.

Wind Direction (WDIR): ESE ( 120 deg true )
Wind Speed (WSPD): 34.0 kts
Wind Gust (GST): 46.0 kts
Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.69 in
Air Temperature (ATMP): 79.0 °F
Water Temperature (WTMP): 85.3 °F
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1144. pottery
Greetings, Snake.
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1143. Ryuujin
Brownsville is about to get hammered hard.
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1142. pottery
SNAKE!!
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Quoting texascoastres:
pottery

no sir, just that they were concerned about them

and to F4PHANTOM
i don't remember them saying Earl was coming to TX
probably a polite way of saying "Don't everybody call the station every 1/2 min. We are seeing what is going on."
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No direction just hugging the coast
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1137. lparky
and I believe you can see a slight move to east in the middle of the loop. I don't see a "straight in" movement. Looks to my very, very untrained eye it is heading 0'n
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1136. leo305
well the steering layers are calling for this thing to move NNW/NW soon
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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.