Karl makes landfall near Veracruz; Igor slightly weaker

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:29 PM GMT on September 17, 2010

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Hurricane Karl made landfall on the Mexican coast ten miles north of Veracruz at 1pm EDT today as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Veracruz was on the weak (left) side of Karl's eyewall, and did not receive hurricane force winds, except perhaps at the extreme northern edge of the city. Winds at the Veracruz Airport, located on the west side of the city, peaked at sustained speeds of 46 mph, gusting to 58 mph, at 11:54am local time. Radar out of Alvarado shows that Karl has kept its eyewall intact well inland, even as the storm moves into the high mountains east of Mexico City. Karl was the first major hurricane on record in the Bay of Campeche--the region of the Gulf of Mexico bounded by the Yucatan Peninsula on the east. There were two other major hurricanes that grazed the northern edge of the Bay of Campeche, Hurricane Hilda of 1955 and Hurricane Charley of 1951, but Karl is by far the farthest south a major hurricane has been in the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricane records go back to 1851, but Karl is a small storm and could have gotten missed as being a major hurricane before the age of aircraft reconnaissance (1945).


Figure 1. Tracks of all major hurricanes since 1851 near Mexico's Bay of Campeche. Karl is most southerly storm on record in the Gulf of Mexico. Image credit: NOAA Coastal Services Center.

With Karl's ascension to major hurricane status, we are now ahead of the pace of the terrible hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005 for number of major hurricanes so early in the year. In 2005, the fifth major hurricane (Rita) did not occur until September 21, and in 2004, the fifth major hurricane (Karl) arrived on September 19. Wunderblogger Cotillion has put together a nice page showing all the seasons with five or more major hurricanes. The last time we had five major hurricanes earlier in the season was in 1961, when the fifth major hurricane (Esther) arrived on September 13. This morning we continue to have three simultaneous hurricanes, Hurricanes Igor, Julia, and Karl. This is a rare phenomena, having occurred only eight previous years since 1851. The last time we had three simultaneous hurricanes in the Atlantic was in 1998. That year also had four simultaneous hurricanes--Georges, Ivan, Jeanne and Karl--for a brief time on September 25. There has been just one other case of four simultaneous Atlantic hurricanes, on August 22, 1893. The year 2005 came within six hours of having three hurricanes at the same time, but the official data base constructed after the season was over indicates that the three hurricanes did not exist simultaneously.

Also remarkable this year is that are seeing major hurricanes in rare or unprecedented locations. Julia was the strongest hurricane on record so far east, Karl was the strongest hurricane so far south in the Gulf of Mexico, and Earl was the 4th strongest Atlantic hurricane so far north. This unusual major hurricane activity is likely due, in part, to the record Atlantic sea surface temperatures this year.


Figure 2. Hurricane Karl as seen by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite at 12:20 pm CDT on Thursday, September 16, 2010. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 3. Radar image of Karl at landfall in Mexico. Image credit: Mexican Weather Service.

Impact of Karl on Mexico
Given that the Bay of Campeche coast has never experienced a hurricane as strong as Karl, its impact is likely to cause major damage to a 50-mile wide coastal area beginning ten miles north of Veracruz. Fortunately, the coast is not heavily populated there, and is not particularly low-lying, so the 12 - 15 foot storm surge will not be the major concern from Karl. The main concern will be flooding from Karl's torrential rains. The region has been hit by three Category 2 hurricanes over the past 55 years, and two of these storms caused flooding that killed hundreds. The strongest hurricanes in history to affect the region were Item in 1950, with 110 mph winds, Janet in 1955, with 100 mph winds, and Diana of 1990, with 100 mph winds. Flooding from Janet killed over 800 people in Mexico. and flooding from Diana killed at least 139 people. Karl's high winds are also a major concern, and these winds are likely to extensive damage.

Igor
The Hurricane Hunters just left Hurricane Igor, and found that the hurricane has continued to slowly weaken. On their last pass through the eye of Igor at 1:49 pm EDT, an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft found a central pressure of 947 mb. The eyewall was missing a chunk on its southwest side. Top winds at the surface as seen by their SFMR instrument were barely Category 1 strength, 76 mph, though the aircraft did see 117 mph winds at 10,000 feet, which suggests the surface winds were probably of Category 2 strength, 105 mph.


Figure 4. Hurricane Igor as seen by the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite at 10:50 am EDT on Thursday, September 16, 2010. Image credit: NASA.

Igor's impact on Bermuda
Hurricane warnings are now flying for Bermuda, and tropical storm force winds will arrive at the island late Saturday night. Igor is a huge storm, and tropical storm force winds extend out 290 miles to the north of its center. As the hurricane moves north, it will expand in size, as it takes advantage of the extra spin available at higher latitudes due to Earth's rotation. By Saturday night, Igor's tropical storm force winds are expected to extend outwards 320 miles from the center. Igor will be moving at about 11 - 13 mph during the final 24 hours of its approach to Bermuda, so the island can expect a period of 39+ mph tropical storm force winds to begin near midnight Saturday night--a full 24 hours before the core of Igor arrives. Igor will speed up to about 15 mph as it passes the island near midnight Sunday night, and Bermuda's battering by tropical storm force winds will not be as long as Igor moves away, perhaps 10 hours long. Hurricane force winds will probably extend out about 70 miles from the center when the core of Igor reaches Bermuda, and the island can expect to be pounded by hurricane force winds for up to 6 - 8 hours. In all, Bermuda is likely to suffer a remarkably long 36-hour period of tropical storm force winds, with the potential for many hours of hurricane force winds. Long duration poundings like this are very stressful for buildings, and there is the potential for significant damage on Bermuda. However, buildings in Bermuda are some of the best-constructed in the world, and if Igor weakens to Category 2 strength, as appears likely, damage on the island may be just a few million dollars. According to AIR Worldwide, "Homes in Bermuda are typically one or two stories and constructed of 'Bermuda Stone,' a locally quarried limestone, or of concrete blocks. Roofs are commonly made of limestone slate tiles cemented together. Commercial buildings, typically of reinforced concrete construction, rarely exceed six stories. In both residential and commercial buildings, window openings are generally small and window shutters are common. These features make Bermuda's building stock quite resistant to winds, and homes are designed to withstand sustained winds of 110 mph and gusts of up to 150 mph."

Bermuda's hurricane history
Igor is similar in strength and projected track to Hurricane Fabian of 2003. Fabian hit Bermuda as a Category 3 hurricane with 120 mph winds. It was the most damaging hurricane ever to hit the island, with $355 million in damage. Fabian's storm surge killed four people crossing a causeway on the island. These were the first hurricane deaths on Bermuda since 1926. The most powerful hurricane on record to strike Bermuda was the Category 4 Havana-Bermuda Hurricane, which hit on October 22, 1926, with 135 mph winds. The hurricane sank two British warships, claiming 88 lives, but no one was killed on the island. The deadliest hurricane to affect the island occurred on September 12, 1839, when a Category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds and an 11-foot storm surge hit, tearing off the roofs of hundreds of buildings and wrecking several ships. An estimated 100 people were killed (source: Encyclopedia of Hurricanes, Typhoons, and Cyclones, by David Longshore.)

Elsewhere in the tropics
A tropical wave off the coast of Africa, a few hundred miles south of the Cape Verdes Islands, is disorganized, but has the potential for some slow development over the next few days. The NOGAPS model develops this wave into a tropical depression 4 - 5 days from now. NHC is giving the wave a 10% of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday.

I'll have a new post on Saturday.

Jeff Masters

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2048. BDADUDE
Quoting Skyepony:


A few of the BAM models are beginning to figure Igor could failed to be completely swept off by the front & then get caught under the next ridge. Perhaps it's because the front is becoming kinda flat. Brings confidence down on the forecast a little but I wouldn't stop preparing in Bermuda yet. Igor is a big force.
Are you saying that we wont get this hit, cool. I hope you are right.
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2047. Prgal
Another cam from Bermuda: Link
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Yeah, it is possible that it recurves due to the weaknesses induced in the subtropical ridge by the trofs, but it isn't "set in stone" (as StormTop likes to say, lol). I would like to see some dynamical plots run on the invest before having a clue as to where it may go.


Thanks! It seems that the gulf coast gets has more to worry about if it does not develop, and drifts as a wave into the carib. 2004 was crazy in that troughs were just not very strong, allowing he ridge to be very perssitent. This allowed Francis and gene, Ivan, to hit the area right?
This year obviously does not have that pattern, this years CV storms just look like they pose the greatest danger to North Carolina, and possible the East Coast of Florid. I understand things change, but its just a trend I have noticed.
I think that if development slowed off Africa, then the GOM may have more to worry about, and if monsoonal moisture made it into the carib.

IDK though!
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Quoting atmoaggie:
But, Ike's early surge had everything to do with being trapped in the gulf and Ike running parallel to the coast and right off the shelf.

This makes no sense. If it were a real threat,on that line of thinking, Jacksonville would have been flooded by Earl and Igor, for example, and many other places.


I must admit Atmo...My laziness this morning and only one cup of coffee, I did not read the link. That said, Earl was moving a good bit faster than Igor correct? And was also a good bit smaller, not that he was really a small storm...But geez, Igor is just ridiculously large.
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2044. IKE
Quoting PanhandleChuck:


I hear ya brother


I jumped in my Oldsmobile, with my doberman pincher and got the heck out of here for that one.
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Quoting Prgal:


I am not sure about Haiti but here in PR we have the same warning and we have had 15 feet waves in the northern coast. Sadly yesterday a 19 year old woman lost her life in Arecibo. She was at the beach and a huge wave "came out of nowhere" and took her and her boyfriend. He was able to get out but she couldnt.
Yeah, waves, I would expect up to 14 foot waves. Surge is something completely different...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
2042. bird72
Quoting IKE:


I could be wrong on that from what MH09 says.


Don't worry about that, we are here to learn and observe, and some of you who have better knowledge of this, to teach some of us who have less knowledge about this. :)
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09 dos this have a ch of becomeing any thing its sure on its way of becomeing 95L all so i have noted good turing with this all so it looks stalled or vary slow moveing S


Link
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Link to Bermuda Weather Service Web Cam provided yesterday by Chucktown

Link
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2039. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #31
TYPHOON FANAPI (T1011)
21:00 PM JST September 18 2010
================================

SUBJECT: Category Four Typhoon In Sea South Of Okinawa

At 12:00 PM UTC, Typhoon Fanapi (940 hPa) located at 23.9N 124.3E has 10 minute sustained winds of 85 knots with gusts of 120 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west at 9 knots

Dvorak Intensity: T5.5

Storm Force Winds
=================
80 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
================
180 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
=======================
24 HRS: 24.1N 119.3E - 60 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 23.9N 115.4E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
72 HRS: 23.7N 111.4E - Tropical Depression
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 48 Comments: 43686
Quoting StormJunkie:


Fried crispy please and thanks! Can I get a side of grits with that too.
oops, wrong hash...
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Not quite, Karl's remnants are in EPac. This is therefore the remnant outflow of Karl that the storm brought into the Gulf as part of a larger low pressure system prior to making landfall.
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2036. IKE
Quoting bird72:


Can Kelvin wave, forecast to be on Atlantic in next days, have an enhancement effect additional to the MJO, toward incremenent in tropical cyclones?


I'm not sure on that. Others on here should know.
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2035. Prgal
Quoting atmoaggie:
!?!?!

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/EDIS-89DP3D?OpenDocument

Haiti: Storm surge warning issued for north coast

The Haitian Red Cross has warned communities living along the country's north coast of a potentially dangerous storm surge over the coming days.
...
According to the DPC, the storm surge could be as high as 14 feet (four metres) %u2013 potentially affecting thousands of people who live along the coast. The surge is the result of water being pushed South and South West by Hurricane Igor, which is now heading north up the United States' Atlantic Coast.

atmo: Uhh, I hope that's bullsh.. The storm surge modeler in me says it is. 2 - 4 feet, yeah, maybe. 14 feet?


I am not sure about Haiti but here in PR we have the same warning and we have had 15 feet waves in the northern coast. Sadly yesterday a 19 year old woman lost her life in Arecibo. She was at the beach and a huge wave "came out of nowhere" and took her and her boyfriend. He was able to get out but she couldnt.
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I just hope bermuda is prepared for what Igor is about to bring them.He could possibly end up being the worst storm to affect them in 7 years.
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Quoting IKE:





I hear ya brother
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2031. IKE
8:00 AM AST Sat Sep 18
Location: 25.6°N 63.2°W
Max sustained: 110 mph
Moving: NW at 13 mph
Min pressure: 939 mb
..........................................

...NEW HURRICANE HUNTER AIRCRAFT EN ROUTE TO IGOR... ...CONDITIONS ON BERMUDA ARE EXPECTED TO DETERIORATE THIS EVENING...
11:00 AM AST Sat Sep 18
Location: 26.0°N 63.6°W
Max sustained: 110 mph
Moving: NW at 12 mph
Min pressure: 939 mb
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HurricaneIgor's heading had turned westward to (2.9degrees north of) NorthWest
from its previous heading of (9.1degrees north of) NorthWest
H.Igor's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions was ~12.3mph(~19.9km/h)

17Sep 03pmGMT - - 23.1n60.1w - - 120mph - - 945mb - - NHC.Adv.#38
17Sep 06pmGMT - - 23.4n60.7w - - 115mph - - 946mb - - #38A
17Sep 09pmGMT - - 23.7n61.1w - - 105mph - - 947mb - - #39
18Sep 12amGMT - - 24.2n61.3w - - 105mph - - 947mb - - #39A
18Sep 03amGMT - - 24.6n62.0w - - 110mph - - 947mb - - #40
18Sep 06amGMT - - 24.9n62.4w - - 110mph - - 942mb - - #40A
18Sep 09amGMT - - 25.1n62.8w - - 110mph - - 939mb - - #41
18Sep 12pmGMT - - 25.6n63.2w - - 110mph - - 939mb - - #41A
18Sep 03pmGMT - - 26.0n63.6w - - 110mph - - 939mb - - #42

Copy&paste 23.1n60.1w, 23.4n60.7w, 23.7n61.1w, 24.2n61.3w, 24.6n62.0w-24.9n62.4w, 24.9n62.4w-25.1n62.8w, 25.1n62.8w-25.6n63.2w, 25.6n63.2w-26.0n63.6w, jax, ilm, bda into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the last 12hours
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2028. tkeith
Quoting Floodman:


Ahhh...coffee and hash...reminds me of my old band days...
LOL...
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2027. bird72
Quoting IKE:


More moisture...favorable for tropical development. I don't think it has anything to do with steering.


Can Kelvin wave, forecast to be on Atlantic in next days, have an enhancement effect additional to the MJO, toward incremenent in tropical cyclones?
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2026. scott39
Goodmorning, Are the models showing the same steering pattern for the next 2 weeks?
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Igor has been sitting there for a long time...And we all remember how far in advance of Ike the surge started coming ashore in places like Bolivar. Hmmm.
But, Ike's early surge had everything to do with being trapped in the gulf and Ike running parallel to the coast and right off the shelf.

This makes no sense. If it were a real threat,on that line of thinking, Jacksonville would have been flooded by Earl and Igor, for example, and many other places.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting Bordonaro:
Folks, what is this area of disturbed weather off of the Mexican coast. Do we have a spare HH aircraft to fly into this?????


This is the remains of Karl....

Taco :o)
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The long-range GFS model, along with many other models continue to predict a Gulf hurricane.

06z places it over the Cancun/Cozumel area, then moves it SW into the BoC, stalls it then gives it a possible hit in the Texas coast.



00z run last night shows a possible Miami area landfall.



18z run hinted more toward Tampa Bay.



Yesterday's 12z run also showed stalling, but in the NORTHERN Gulf.



CMC develops a similar system quite quickly, but from the SW Caribbean, and passes it over Cancun.

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2022. IKE
Quoting PanhandleChuck:
I am noticing a sense of complacency in here and along the Panhandle coast. A lot of talk of Fish or Mexico storms, chances of the Gulf Coast not getting a direct hit by the end of October are pretty slim IMO. People should not let their guard down yet.




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Quoting BioChemist:


I dont know if you saw my question, I am just trying to learn, not argue!
It does not seem like this next invest formed much further south than the others, and with its current NW movement, it willend up in the same place.
There was stuff moving west near that region yesterday, but it seems to have consolidated into what we are now discussing.
Is it that much further south than the others? Also, what makes you think the storm will have a better chance? It just seems like, if anything, the troughs will get more frequent and more strong in the coming weeks. Is this wrong?
Thanks!
Yeah, it is possible that it recurves due to the weaknesses induced in the subtropical ridge by the trofs, but it isn't "set in stone" (as StormTop likes to say, lol). I would like to see some dynamical plots run on the invest before having a clue as to where it may go.
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Quoting mfaria101:


Glad to hear it Flood, I'll mail you back later, have some coffee and hash issues I need to attend to.


Ahhh...coffee and hash...reminds me of my old band days...
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This is isabel.

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2018. IKE
Quoting IKE:


More moisture...favorable for tropical development. I don't think it has anything to do with steering.


I could be wrong on that from what MH09 says.
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I am noticing a sense of complacency in here and along the Panhandle coast. A lot of talk of Fish or Mexico storms, chances of the Gulf Coast not getting a direct hit by the end of October are pretty slim IMO. People should not let their guard down yet.

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2016. LeMoyne
Quoting Skyepony @ 1921:
IGOR


Thank you for the viewer
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 4 Comments: 84
this has good turning i think this has a ch of be comeing 95L be for too long its all so moveing a way from land

Link
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Quoting Neapolitan:


NOAA doesn't currently cover Bermuda with its SLOSH model:

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE

Tropical weather-related image
Why would NOAA provide Bahama with SLOSH modeling, but the Bahamas refuses to share their radar data with anyone? (Yeah, I know we can get plots. Talking about the data, here.)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12461
Quoting P451:


It's an area of low pressure that extended northward from Karl over the past two days. It does have a chance to develop albeit slowly at first.

Looks like it is developing NOW. A tornado warning has just been issued for Corpus Christi, TX, as a waterspout is moving inland from these bands of convection.

The NHC needs to watch this for a surprise TS!!!

Link to AVN satellite loop of the GOM:
Link
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Quoting bird72:


That could change the stearing pattern is some way?
Yes. Upward motion promotes ridging across the SE U.S which could cause for more cyclones to move towards the U.S, particularly the SE and Gulf states if the system is coming from the east to west.
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2009. IKE
Quoting bird72:


That could change the stearing pattern is some way?


More moisture...favorable for tropical development. I don't think it has anything to do with steering.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Believe me, now that systems begin to develop in the western Caribbean and SW Atlantic, you're going to see loads of different types of tracks. Systems like Rita, Wilma, Ida, Beta, etc are known to prowl in October and November.


I dont know if you saw my question, I am just trying to learn, not argue!
It does not seem like this next invest formed much further south than the others, and with its current NW movement, it willend up in the same place.
There was stuff moving west near that region yesterday, but it seems to have consolidated into what we are now discussing.
Is it that much further south than the others? Also, what makes you think the storm will have a better chance? It just seems like, if anything, the troughs will get more frequent and more strong in the coming weeks. Is this wrong?
Thanks!
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Quoting atmoaggie:
!?!?!

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/rwb.nsf/db900SID/EDIS-89DP3D?OpenDocument

Haiti: Storm surge warning issued for north coast

The Haitian Red Cross has warned communities living along the country's north coast of a potentially dangerous storm surge over the coming days.
...
According to the DPC, the storm surge could be as high as 14 feet (four metres) %u2013 potentially affecting thousands of people who live along the coast. The surge is the result of water being pushed South and South West by Hurricane Igor, which is now heading north up the United States' Atlantic Coast.

atmo: Uhh, I hope that's bullsh.. The storm surge modeler in me says it is. 2 - 4 feet, yeah, maybe. 14 feet?


Igor has been sitting there for a long time...And we all remember how far in advance of Ike the surge started coming ashore in places like Bolivar. Hmmm.
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2005. bird72
Quoting IKE:


Yes.

You think 94l needs to be watch by us?
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Quoting dader:


Well the only thing simliar about that track would be its movement. The CMC run doesnt look like Wilma at all to me.
and over the past week that run has had the Low hit every state from Brownsville TX to Miami, to Savannah GA. Too far out people.
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Quoting btwntx08:
ur welcome sarah


Hey neighbor, was out of town for the week. Last thing ya'll need down there is more rain. Opening dove season is a bust.....arghhhh. Can you give me a quick run through of why so many people "left" the blog?
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Quoting tacoman:
no its to close to land and it cant move out into the gom the high is just to strong...it will probably give texas some much needed rain fall...


Much needed, yeah, after they went through Alex, TD 2, Hermine (if there's more, correct me)
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1999. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting txjac:
Skyepony, interesting post. How the heck could something as large as Igor follow a patch like the ones showing him to go in circles? (like two of the lines show?


A few of the BAM models are beginning to figure Igor could failed to be completely swept off by the front & then get caught under the next ridge. Perhaps it's because the front is becoming kinda flat. Brings confidence down on the forecast a little but I wouldn't stop preparing in Bermuda yet. Igor is a big force.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 156 Comments: 36107

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About JeffMasters

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