Igor delivers punishing blow to Newfoundland; 95L growing more organized

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:21 PM GMT on September 22, 2010

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Hurricane Igor delivered a punishing blow to Newfoundland Canada, which suffered one of its worst poundings by a hurricane in the past century. Igor made it all the way to southeast Newfoundland yesterday as a Category 1 hurricane, bringing a peak wind gust of 107 mph to Cape Pine in Southeast Newfoundland. Igor brought sustained winds of 58 mph, gusting to 85 mph, to Newfoundland's capital, St John's. The city recorded a remarkably low pressure of 958 mb, and picked up 3.99" of rain during Igor's passage. Widespread rain amounts of 5 - 9 inches fell over much of southeast Newfoundland's rocky terrain, which is unable to absorb so much water. The resulting severe flooding washed out hundreds of roads, collapsed several major bridges, and forced numerous rescues of people trapped on the second stories of their homes by flood waters. Igor generated swells of 6 - 8 meters (20 - 26 feet) that pounded the southern coast of Newfoundland last night and this morning; significant wave heights reached 39 feet at the Newfoundland Grand Banks Buoy, and a storm surge of a meters (3.28 feet) hit the northeast shores of Newfoundland last night. Igor is now a large and powerful extratropical storm off Greenland and Labrador, and continues to generate hurricane force winds over water--winds at Angisoq, Greenland were sustained at 66 mph this morning.

It is not that unusual for hurricanes to penetrate as far north as Newfoundland's latitude; over 40 hurricanes have done so. The last time this occurred was in 2003, when Hurricane Fabian made it to latitude 48.7°N as a hurricane. The all time record is held by Hurricane Faith of 1966, which followed the Gulf Stream and maintained hurricane status all the way north to latitude 61.1°N, just off the coast of Norway.


Figure 1. Little Barsway bridge 10 km north of Grand Bank, Newfoundland, after floodwaters from Hurricane Igor swept it away. Image credit: George J.B. Rose.


Figure 2. Hurricane Igor at 11:47am EDT on Wednesday, September 21, as it pounded Newfoundland as a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. Image credit: Environment Canada.


Figure 3. Video of impressive flooding on Newfoundland's Burin Peninsula, whose 20,000 residents were cut off from the rest of the province by flooded roads and closed bridges.

Dangerous Caribbean disturbance 95L growing more organized
A tropical wave (Invest 95L) moving westward at 15 mph though the south-central Caribbean is bringing gusty winds and heavy rain to the northern coast of Venezuela and the islands of Curacao, Aruba, and Bonaire this morning. A wind gust of 38 mph was recorded at Curacao last night. Radar from Curacao and satellite loops show that 95L's thunderstorms have a pronounced rotation, with a center of circulation located just off the coast of South America. Thunderstorm activity is fairly limited, but is slowly increasing in areal coverage and intensity. Wind shear over the Caribbean is low, 5 - 10 knots, and is forecast to remain low to moderate, 5 - 15 knots, for the rest of the week. NHC is giving the disturbance a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Thursday. I'd put the odds higher, at 70%. The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to investigate 95L this afternoon.

The wave should continue moving westward near 15 mph through Friday afternoon, when it will arrive near the northern coast of Nicaragua. Most of the models show some development of 95L by Thursday or Friday, and the disturbance will bring heavy rains to the Netherlands Antilles Islands and north coast of South America on today and Thursday as passes to the north. Heavy rains may also spread to Southwest Haiti and Jamaica on Thursday, and the Cayman Islands, Cuba, Honduras, and Nicaragua on Friday. When 95L moves over or just north of Honduras on Saturday, a trough of low pressure diving southwards over the Eastern U.S. will weaken the steering currents over the Western Caribbean and cause 95L to turn more to the northwest and slow. If the center of 95L remains over water, the storm could easily develop into powerful and dangerous Hurricane Matthew over the Western Caribbean early next week. Even if the center stays over land, the circulation of the storm may be capable of generating dangerous flooding rains over Central America. Steering currents will be weak over the Western Caribbean through the middle of next week, and 95L may spend up to a week over the Western Caribbean, drenching the region with very heavy rains. Another possibility is that the trough of low pressure over the Eastern U.S. will be strong enough to draw 95L northwards across western Cuba and into the Gulf of Mexico 6 - 8 days from now. This solution is not being emphasized as much in today's model's runs as yesterday's, and the danger to the U.S. is uncertain at this point.


Figure 4. Morning satellite image of 95L.

Tropical Storm Lisa
Tropical Storm Lisa continues to churn the waters of the far Eastern Atlantic. By Friday night, upper level winds out of the west are expected to increase, bringing high wind shear of 20 - 45 knots over Lisa. The high shear may be capable of destroying the storm by early next week. It appears unlikely that Lisa will affect any land areas.

Georgette headed towards Arizona
Tropical Depression Georgette hit the tip of Baja California as a weak tropical storm with 40 mph winds yesterday, but dropped little rain. Georgette is in the Gulf of California, headed northwards, and could bring heavy rains to Arizona on Thursday.

Hurricane Karl's aftermath
Mexico continues to clean up from Hurricane Karl, which made landfall last Friday in Veracruz state as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Karl dumped approximately one foot of rain in the Sierra Madre Oriental Mountains, which cause some rivers to rise to unprecedented levels. The death toll from Karl's flooding and mudslides stands at 16, and ten of thousands remain in shelters after being displaced from their flooded homes. Insurance company AIR Worldwide is estimating insured losses at $100 - $200 million. Actual damage is estimated to be as much as $3.9 billion, since insurance take-up rates are low in Mexico. Karl is the second billion-dollar hurricane to hit Mexico this year; in June, Hurricane Alex hit just south of the Texas border as a Category 2 storm, killing 51 and doing $1.9 billion in damage.

Elsewhere in the tropics
The GFS model predicts a new tropical depression might develop in the Central Caribbean about seven days from now. The NOGAPS model predicts a new tropical depression will form off the coast of Africa about seven days from now.

My next post will be Thursday morning.

Jeff Masters

Uprooted Buoy (Maciejewski)
A buoy is left stranded on the beach from the storm waves of Hurricane Igor...
Uprooted Buoy

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Thanks Levi. can you explain what a cut-off cold low is?
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Quoting weatherboyfsu:
I chased Hurricane Opal and Hurricane Wilma and can tell you that was no comparison. Hurricane Wilma a much more stronger storm overall.

I was stuck on I-95 the night Opal hit, but didnt see much because the storm increased in forward speed and lost much of its wind punch. We sat under an overpass with other vehicles at about 1am because the wind got to strong. About 4am the skies cleared completely. The only thing that Opal had left was a strong storm surge because it had strengthen to a cat 5 for a short period of time before dying back to cat 1. That was enough to start the waves which take longer to die down. We saw many boats washed up on land and power lines down but not what we expected. The thing I remember the most about that night was all the traffic headed east on I-95 while we were the only ones headed east. May have seen 10 vehicles the entire evening after Tallahassee headed west.

As far as Wilma goes, you can look at my video on Stormjunkie.com. I got about 6 hours of video of wilma. This storm never quit. I was completely wore out from this chase. There was a lot of energy associated with this storm. It was relentless and deliberate. Power lines down, shingles blowing off an brand new building and trees down everywhere. I sought refuge under the front of a Home Depot just inland from Marco Island. The storm was huge in area coverage and solid from beginning to end. A lot of rain and flooding. The wind field was one of the largest that I have experienced.



I-95? that runs north to south along the east coast of the United States, you thinking about I-10 maybe?
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Quoting scott39:
So weve had 4 in 60 years since Wilma was removed due to a Typo.

Um... I'm still struggling to understand your intent by posting a statement such as that.

I could say that only 2 majors have ever hit the Galveston area in the last 50 years... but that leaves out Ike, which was 5mph short of major status, and did more damage than the other 2 combined.
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358. srada
Quoting DestinJeff:
CONUS Landfall:



Great!
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Oracle28,

It really depends what it does down there to determine it's future strength. It will eventually pull north. Will it be just moisture? Possibly, or maybe it won't hit land and become a Hurricane as the HWRF shows... Too early to tell right now, there was no need for the sarcastic mocking.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I really think 95L could care about history right now. The ingredients are there for it to be #4. Also what if this hit as a CAT 2, does it really diminish the storms importance any at all?
Nobodys Diminishing anything here. I thought the game would be interesting during down time. I also like learning from History.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6890
hello so i have not been on sincve yesterday and i was wondering what are some of the predictions for 95L as I am on the southeast coast of florida and very curious?
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Cleo came of Cuba in 64 as a moderate tropical storm. Look at the radar when she hit ne Dade she was a cat3 IMO.
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I chased Hurricane Opal and Hurricane Wilma and can tell you that was no comparison. Hurricane Wilma a much more stronger storm overall.

I was stuck on I-10 the night Opal hit, but didnt see much because the storm increased in forward speed and lost much of its wind punch. We sat under an overpass with other vehicles at about 1am because the wind got to strong. About 4am the skies cleared completely. The only thing that Opal had left was a strong storm surge because it had strengthen to a cat 5 for a short period of time before dying back to cat 1. That was enough to start the waves which take longer to die down. We saw many boats washed up on land and power lines down but not what we expected. The thing I remember the most about that night was all the traffic headed east on I-10 while we were the only ones headed west. May have seen 10 vehicles the entire evening after Tallahassee headed west.

As far as Wilma goes, you can look at my video on Stormjunkie.com. I got about 6 hours of video of wilma. This storm never quit. I was completely wore out from this chase. There was a lot of energy associated with this storm. It was relentless and deliberate. Power lines down, shingles blowing off an brand new building and trees down everywhere. I sought refuge under the front of a Home Depot just inland from Marco Island. The storm was huge in area coverage and solid from beginning to end. A lot of rain and flooding. The wind field was one of the largest that I have experienced.

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Quoting kshipre1:
Hey Levi! How are you buddy?! Great to see you as always. Let me tell ya, you are a great meteorologist. excellent choice of words and great explaining. I see you someday at the NWS or Chief of the Hurricane Center! You are a real smart guy man!

Quick question for you. I read your second and fourth paragraphs but compared to yesterday (I know it is too early)is your confidence waning in the EGOM getting hit due to the model runs?

Reason I ask is because Dr. Masters said this morning in his blog that compared to yesterday, the models overall are a little less bullish on a hit anywhere on the US CONUS.

is there any update on the strength and timing of the trough? thanks Levi.


I still feel the same as yesterday that there is a strong threat to the gulf coast from New Orleans eastward, and there is a chance Matthew tries to sneak up along the east coast of Florida without really getting into the gulf but that will likely depend on how long he spends in the Caribbean. The models won't be in great agreement for a while because cut-off cold lows hanging out underneath ridges over the U.S. are hard to deal with, and the models probably won't agree on its behavior very well until we're on top of the situation where the storm is actually moving northward. There are even a few runs which kill Matthew over central America without bringing him north, but I am confident he will find a way out of the Caribbean in this pattern.
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Quoting Levi32:
It is nice to see the ECMWF depicting a broader, weaker system coming across Cuba on Day 8, but that doesn't mean it will stay that way. The runs will likely flip-flop with both intensity, timing, and track. This will be a rather interesting storm to forecast if it tangles with central America.



Perhaps this was the strong high that was due a month ago, causing the CONUS strike possibilities? Anyways, 95L will most likely stay just off the coast after hitting or moving east of Florida.
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350. MahFL
Quoting oracle28:


I have a good feeling this will effect Florida either as a remnant low, or a Hurricane.

Phew, that narrows it down. So be ready for 35 mph winds or 75-160 mph winds.


Don't forget the inconvienient 240 mph gusts too......
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Quoting Cotillion:
Though, I added Eloise to the list in an edit, the original poster specified 'homebrew' storms only. Eloise wasn't a homebrew, it started just prior to reaching the Lesser Antilles.


I really think 95L could care less about history right now. The ingredients are there for it to be #4. Also what if this hit as a CAT 2, does it really diminish the storms importance any at all?
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Quoting Cotillion:
Though, I added Eloise to the list in an edit, the original poster specified 'homebrew' storms only. Eloise wasn't a homebrew, it started just prior to reaching the Lesser Antilles.
Have you found any more?
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6890
Though, I added Eloise to the list in an edit, the original poster specified 'homebrew' storms only. Eloise wasn't a homebrew, it started just prior to reaching the Lesser Antilles.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Levi,

can you please answer post 325? thanks
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It is nice to see the ECMWF depicting a broader, weaker system coming across Cuba on Day 8, but that doesn't mean it will stay that way. The runs will likely flip-flop with both intensity, timing, and track. This will be a rather interesting storm to forecast if it tangles with central America.

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thanks for the update levi, btw i must say i have learned alot from your videos..next year maybe NHC will name a storm after you!!!
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


well said, not really sure what the point of all of this is anyway. Its only happened blah blah times in the last blah blah years. Last I checked mother nature could care less lol

oh and Eloise should be on that list too, hit as a major on September 24th
Its really just for fun. But you have to admit the odds are low this time of year of being hit by a major home brew on the US Gulf Coast.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6890
341. srada
Quoting Levi32:


It will be interesting though to see if a 2nd system does try to come in and develop behind Matthew. The only way they would get tangled up like that is if Matthew spends days trying to get out of the Caribbean, but again it could be the GFS just not being able to handle all the energy correctly.

Notice that the ECMWF hints at new stuff in the Caribbean at Day 10 but Matthew is already gone. The GFS takes longer to get him north.



Dang..look at NC/SC..the GFS is having a field day..
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Quoting Levi32:


Thanks, it is my pleasure :)


WOOT! Levi in the house....been waiting all morning for your blog!
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331. The blog isn't the place to discuss the private affairs of others. Perhaps you should email Admin and ask, as they and he are the only ones that really know.
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Quoting Cotillion:


Alright, well going back further to 1950 you'll only include Isbell from 1964 (coincidentally a similar track to 95L possibly as well as in one of 2010's analog years. Of course, it hit South Florida, but from the west - as far as I can tell, that's still the Gulf Coast), Inez (though, that's not the US, but Mexico - still in the Gulf; Hilda of 1955 may also come into that category).

Other storms such as Gracie and Hazel did not hit the Gulf Coast, but were vicious enough in that timeframe. Also, not including 1964's Hilda version as that weakened to below major prior to landfall in Louisiana.

That said, the fact the majors aren't hitting the Gulf Coast during this period much doesn't mean a whole lot. Best to just go with hurricanes - they can cause enough damage. Take 1964 - of the three storms that were retired (Cleo, Dora, Hilda), none hit as majors. The one that did was Isbell which wasn't retired. The US doesn't get hit by majors *as* majors *that* often at any point in the season (not compared to their Caribbean neighbours, for example)

*EDIT* - and Eloise in 1975, as Hurricanes101 points out.
So weve had 4 in 60 years since Wilma was removed due to a Typo.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6890
Quoting GeauxGirl:


Thanks, Levi. You are always so thorough and explain the subject so well. Keep up the good work, it is appreciated by those of us in the strike zone, so to speak. :)

GG


Thanks, it is my pleasure :)
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


how about breaking it down a bit further, can they only start with letters after "F"

you can narrow anything down to only 1 or 2 occurrences if you have enough defining parameters lol


After 'F' and only female names. LOL
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GFS at 228 hours



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Quoting Hurricanes101:


Eloise was a major too in 1975


Good spot, yes. There's the 2nd.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting Cotillion:


Alright, well going back further to 1950 you'll only include Isbell from 1964 (coincidentally a similar track to 95L possibly as well as in one of 2010's analog years. Of course, it hit South Florida, but from the west - as far as I can tell, that's still the Gulf Coast), Inez (though, that's not the US, but Mexico - still in the Gulf; Hilda of 1955 may also come into that category).

Other storms such as Gracie and Hazel did not hit the Gulf Coast, but were vicious enough in that timeframe. Also, not including 1964's Hilda version as that weakened to below major prior to landfall in Louisiana.

That said, the fact the majors aren't hitting the Gulf Coast during this period much doesn't mean a whole lot. Best to just go with hurricanes - they can cause enough damage. Take 1964 - of the three storms that were retired (Cleo, Dora, Hilda), none hit as majors. The one that did was Isbell which wasn't retired. The US doesn't get hit by majors *as* majors *that* often at any point in the season (not compared to their Caribbean neighbours, for example)


well said, not really sure what the point of all of this is anyway. Its only happened blah blah times in the last blah blah years. Last I checked mother nature could care less lol

oh and Eloise should be on that list too, hit as a major on September 24th
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Quoting reedzone:
Morning everyone,
I don't really have a detailed forecast, heck there is no center yet. I think the models will lock on when "Matthew" forms. I have a good feeling this will effect Florida either as a remnant low, or a Hurricane. If it stays in Central America, the moisture is likely to lift north, maybe redevelop, or not. However, the GFS and EURO show the storm staying away from CA and catching the trough, heading towards Florida. It's a complex situation.. Oh and don't scream out out to sea if it misses Florida because the high in the Atlantic, the high we were supposed to have earlier this season is dominant and should keep 95L close to the coastline. That is my current thinking on the invest, soon to be "Matthew". I don't believe it will turn out to sea after hitting or missing Florida, if it even does that.


I have a good feeling this will effect Florida either as a remnant low, or a Hurricane.

Phew, that narrows it down. So be ready for 35 mph winds or 75-160 mph winds.
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Quoting Levi32:
Good morning all.

Tropical Tidbit for Wednesday, September 22nd, with Video


Thanks, Levi. You are always so thorough and explain the subject so well. Keep up the good work, it is appreciated by those of us in the strike zone, so to speak. :)

GG
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Hey Levi! How are you buddy?! Great to see you as always. Let me tell ya, you are a great meteorologist. excellent choice of words and great explaining. I see you someday at the NWS or Chief of the Hurricane Center! You are a real smart guy man!

Quick question for you. I read your second and fourth paragraphs but compared to yesterday (I know it is too early)is your confidence waning in the EGOM getting hit due to the model runs?

Reason I ask is because Dr. Masters said this morning in his blog that compared to yesterday, the models overall are a little less bullish on a hit anywhere on the US CONUS.

is there any update on the strength and timing of the trough? thanks Levi.
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324. 7544
Quoting Levi32:


Yeah I don't know why some people will randomly get that problem on randomly different videos. I don't think it's me. Try resetting it to the beginning of the video after starting it and see if it works then. That works for some people.


will try thanks
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Nice job Levi. Did you get an e-mail from Bastardi yet. J/K


Lol
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322. JRRP

Nicole
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321. 7544
Quoting CaptnDan142:


Just the nature of YouTube I think. It isn't just his that do that. Your connection speed for receiving isn't the limiting factor, when the servers get heavily loaded, everything slows down a bit.


ok thnaks
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Quoting 7544:
hi levi i like to watch your videos but why they play then stop to much sorta like buffing takes too long thanks im on high speed to is it the way u upload them maybe


Yeah I don't know why some people will randomly get that problem on randomly different videos. I don't think it's me. Try resetting it to the beginning of the video after starting it and see if it works then. That works for some people.
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Nice job Levi. Did you get an e-mail from Bastardi yet. J/K
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Quoting scott39:
Yes, and I was referring to TCs that are home brew in the W Atlantic not CV TCs. I forgot to say that.


Alright, well going back further to 1950 you'll only include Isbell from 1964 (coincidentally a similar track to 95L possibly as well as in one of 2010's analog years. Of course, it hit South Florida, but from the west - as far as I can tell, that's still the Gulf Coast), Inez (though, that's not the US, but Mexico - still in the Gulf; Hilda of 1955 may also come into that category).

Other storms such as Gracie and Hazel did not hit the Gulf Coast, but were vicious enough in that timeframe. Also, not including 1964's Hilda version as that weakened to below major prior to landfall in Louisiana.

That said, the fact the majors aren't hitting the Gulf Coast during this period much doesn't mean a whole lot. Best to just go with hurricanes - they can cause enough damage. Take 1964 - of the three storms that were retired (Cleo, Dora, Hilda), none hit as majors. The one that did was Isbell which wasn't retired. The US doesn't get hit by majors *as* majors *that* often at any point in the season (not compared to their Caribbean neighbours, for example)

*EDIT* - and Eloise in 1975, as Hurricanes101 points out.
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 5300
Quoting Hurricanes101:


Um no, you said late September to Mid October

Wilma hit the US on the 24th of October, if you are considering the 24th of October as Mid-October then you need to include storms from September 15th on as Late September too, which would increase your numbers
LOL, Ok you got me on a typo. Opal Rita!! Only proves my point more of the odds of not getting a major hurricane from a Western home brew this time of year.
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6890
Quoting 7544:
hi levi i like to watch your videos but why they play then stop to much sorta like buffing takes too long thanks im on high speed to is it the way u upload them maybe


Just the nature of YouTube I think. It isn't just his that do that. Your connection speed for receiving isn't the limiting factor, when the servers get heavily loaded, everything slows down a bit.
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Quoting DestinJeff:
GFS being stoopid again with the twice-barrel shotgun.



It will be interesting though to see if a 2nd system does try to come in and develop behind Matthew. The only way they would get tangled up like that is if Matthew spends days trying to get out of the Caribbean, but again it could be the GFS just not being able to handle all the energy correctly.

Notice that the ECMWF hints at new stuff in the Caribbean at Day 10 but Matthew is already gone. The GFS takes longer to get him north.

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Quoting IKE:


It has 95L just sit down there for days. You could throw a dart at a dartboard and have as good a luck as these models are, long-range. Just too far in advance, IF it's going to dance around the Yucatan for a week.

Yeah that seemed pretty weird it just sitting there, oh well tricky forecast ahead, wonder what the ECMWF will show.
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313. 7544
hi levi i like to watch your videos but why they play then stop to much sorta like buffing takes too long thanks im on high speed to is it the way u upload them maybe
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The whole point to trival pursuit of Majors hitting the US Gulf Coast at this time of year is rare!
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 6890

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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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