Huge Western Caribbean low bringing heavy rains; Wisconsin levee failing

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:26 PM GMT on September 27, 2010

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Today, for the first day since August 20, the National Hurricane Center will not be issuing any advisories for an Atlantic named storm. Thus ends a remarkably active 36-day period that saw the formation of ten named storms, six hurricanes, and five intense hurricanes--an entire hurricane season's worth of activity, compressed into just five weeks of the six-month season. This season is not done yet, as we still have three more weeks of peak hurricane season left to go, and the Western Caribbean is looking poised to generate a tropical storm sometime in the next ten days.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of the Western Caribbean and Central America, showing the remains of Matthew over Mexico, and a large area of disturbed weather beginning to develop over the Western Caribbean.

A wet week ahead for the Western Caribbean, Florida, and the Western Bahamas
Pressures are falling over the Western Caribbean today as a large area of low pressure develops over the region. This low is bringing heavy rains across a huge area, from the Pacific shores of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico, to eastern Cuba and Haiti. All of Central America, eastern Mexico, the western 2/3 of the Caribbean, plus the Bahamas and Florida can expect sporadic periods of very heavy tropical rains over the coming week, with peak amounts of 3 - 6 inches per day possible. In the Western Caribbean, a few hundred miles east of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, a region of concentrated thunderstorms has built this morning, and has the potential to develop into a tropical depression by Wednesday. A large trough of low pressure over the Eastern U.S. is producing steering currents that will pull this area of disturbed weather to the north-northeast across western Cuba on Tuesday and Wednesday. The disturbance should move over Florida on Wednesday and Thursday, and over North Carolina by Thursday and Friday. All of these regions can expect very heavy rains from the disturbance, and NHC is giving a 30% chance that the disturbance will develop into a tropical depression by Wednesday. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate the disturbance this afternoon, if necessary.

Once the disturbance moves out of the Caribbean, the GFS and NOGAPS models predict that the Western Caribbean will "reload" and produce another tropical disturbance capable of developing into a tropical depression late this week or early next week. The steering currents are not expected to change over the coming ten days, and Florida and western Cuba can expect to see this second disturbance potentially bring a second round of heavy rain late this week and early next week.

Levee failing in Wisconsin due to rains from Hurricane Karl's moisture
In Portage, Wisconsin, about 25 miles north of Madison, a sub-standard 120-year-old levee is failing, thanks to flood waters 3.5 feet above flood stage on the Wisconsin River. The river was swollen last week by heavy rains of up to seven inches that fell in its watershed to the northwest. The rains were generated by a plume of very moist air associated with what was Hurricane Karl. This moisture was lifted over a warm front draped over Minnesota and Wisconsin on Wednesday and Thursday. These types of rain events are called Predecessor Rain Events (PREs), because they typically precede the actual arrival of the rain shield of a tropical storm.


Figure 2. Rainfall over Minnesota and Wisconsin for the seven-day period ending 8pm EDT Sunday 9/26/10. Heavy rains to the northwest of Portage, Wisconsin led to flooding along the Wisconsin River in Portage. Image credit: NOAA.

Canadian Military responds for Hurricane Igor relief
At least twenty communities in Newfoundland, Canada are still cut off from civilization after Tuesday's rampage by Hurricane Igor. The Canadian military has sent three warships and a number of helicopters into the disaster zone to deliver food, fuel, and medical supplies to those communities still cut off. Igor killed one person and caused over $100 million in damage to the island.


Figure 3. Miniature golf anyone? A house in St. John's Newfoundland now has a very three-dimensional front yard, thanks to Hurricane Igor's winds and rain. Image credit: Zach Goudie.

I'll have an update Tuesday morning.

Jeff Masters

Wisconsin River Flooding in Wisconsin Rapids September 2010 (LadyWriter)
Jackson Street Bridge late Saturday afternoon at cresting.
Wisconsin River Flooding in Wisconsin Rapids September 2010
Wisconsin River Flooding in Wisconsin Rapids September 2010 (LadyWriter)
Taken from First Avenue while looking eastward toward Grand Avenue Bridge/Elks Club when the flooding was at its worst
Wisconsin River Flooding in Wisconsin Rapids September 2010

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HERE IS THE 12Z NOGAPS Link.

Very interesting set up in the ATL east of the lesser antilles and in the caribbean
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CMC takes Nicole straight up the FL pen. into GA and SC with Otta hot on her trail before he swipes the OBX with the P storm hitting the Greater Antilles. Sheesh!
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Quoting WatchingThisOne:


True, they should be 30 min out. Don't know why they would be flying there at this point, with so little organization. I was just explaining the flight times in yesterday's flight plan for whoever it was who asked. Must have been scrubbed.
The GEM model has Florida getting soaked, but both systems towards southeast Florida...Link
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611. srada
Quoting largeeyes:

Doesn't lose it, just keeps it weak until bombing off NC coast. I think?



Largeeyes: Where are you located?..Im in Wilmington
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Quoting CaptnDan142:


1230 PM EDT MON 27 SEPTEMBER 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 28/1100Z TO 29/1100Z SEPTEMBER 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-118

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT SYSTEM (NORTHWEST CARIBBEAN)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 28/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01GGA INVEST
C. 28/1530Z
D. 20.0N 85.0W
E. 28/1700Z TO 28/2300Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 29/0600,1200Z
B. AFXXX 0216A CYCLONE
C. 29/0315Z
D. 21.5N 84.5W
E. 29/0500Z TO 29/1200Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK:
BEGIN 3-HRLY FIXES AT 29/1500Z IF SYSTEM DEVELOPS.

3. TASKING FOR AF AND G-IV MISSIONS AT 28/1800Z, 29/06
AND 1200Z WERE CANX BY NHC AT 1115Z.


3. REMARK: THE NSF/NCAR G-V WILL FLY A 7 HR RESEARCH
MISSION INTO AND AROUND THE SUSPECT AREA BETWEEEN
41,000 AND 43,000 FT WITH TAKEOFF AT 28/1200Z.


Note: CANX means canceled.


note the dates 28 and 29, I am starting to think that should have said 27 and 28
Member Since: March 10, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 7816
The CMC doing the best it can to make up for the Nogaps then.
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Quoting IKE:


I got 1.13 inches of rain yesterday. Sunny now and 77.7 outside.


Received 1.25" down along the coast this weekend! Love these cooler temps free of the humidity!
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Quoting largeeyes:

Doesn't lose it, just keeps it weak until bombing off NC coast. I think?

If that is it off the NC Coast that is not very strong.
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605. bwi
Good afternoon. I'm liking these new gridded forecast links from NHC, off of their main marine forecast page. Gives an idea of their thinking ahead of TD formation:

Pressure

Wind

Wave Height
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Quoting sporteguy03:

Did you see the 12z Nogaps? Link

I think it drops development completely it looks.

Doesn't lose it, just keeps it weak until bombing off NC coast. I think?
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Batten down the hatches Jax, that line came through Panama City early this morning and it really dumped on us. Some pretty strong gusts with it as well.
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Quoting IKE:


Then they should have already left and almost been there. There's nothing showing up...Link


True, they should be 30 min out. Don't know why they would be flying there at this point, with so little organization. I was just explaining the flight times in yesterday's flight plan for whoever it was who asked. Must have been scrubbed.
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Dang, Patrap must be enjoying the weather 70 degrees at 12pm must be nice. Oh well maybe by the end of this month.
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600. IKE
Quoting sporteguy03:

Did you see the 12z Nogaps? Link

I think it drops development completely it looks.


Looks that way.
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12Z CMC
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598. IKE
Quoting CaptnDan142:


Probably so Ike. I was just tired of seeing all the debate focused around the idea that nothing had been canceled - when in fact there were flights canceled.

Got good rain down this way last night, not so fast as to get nasty - just nice and steady. The greenery already looks better. You do alright up there?


I got 1.13 inches of rain yesterday. Sunny now and 77.7 outside.
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Quoting hydrus:
Good point, the slightest shift with the track could make a huge difference...The system looks a bit more symmetrical today..


I was thinking the same thing with it possibly even missing the trough... It almost looks like the trough has slid\is sliding by without it pulling the system out.

Won't there be less overall trough influence on the "system" if it's not formed yet?

I know no models show this... It just looks like it might happen from the orientation of the trough and where the system is currently trying to form.
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595. srada
Quoting mcluvincane:


Agree.. could be very bad for NC. everyone talking bout Florida but NC will be a bad situation in the coming weeks. Lots of property loss


I said this earlier..but the focus is on florida..we are outnumbered here..LOL..
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Quoting Jedkins01:


the GFS is most likely suffering from convective feedback from NC onward. The fact that it shows nearly double the rainfall up there than in south FLA makes very little sense.

For example, as the system approaches south Florida, PWATS will be around an astounding 3 inches, almost unheard of moisture content. That combined with whatever forms, tropical or not will act as an extremely moist tropical system. It will then also interact with the approaching front likely causing massive frontal convergence which could lead to disturbingly heavy rain in the frontal zone.


The thing is, not only will the system be moving faster as it head towards the northeast,decreasing the chances for heavier rain totals. But PW's will likely be closer to 2.00 inches, which is still well more than enough moisture for heavy rain when you throw in baroclinic forcing, but even still, that doesn't compare to what could set up over south Florida.

Keep in mind, the GFS is notoriously bad with depicting QPF. Accurate rainfall forecasting with 1 model is very rare, and even more so with the GFS. You usually have to use a blend with all the models, then make a prediction after taking into account all of them.


Isn't that prediction including today? Hell, we've had 3" so far!
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im not gonna know if Levi is correct or not til Reed says so lmao
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Quoting IKE:


I think they made an error on the dates of those you highlighted...should have been listed as today's date...27th and 28th, instead of 28th and 29th.


Probably so Ike. I was just tired of seeing all the debate focused around the idea that nothing had been canceled - when in fact there were flights canceled.

Got good rain down this way last night, not so fast as to get nasty - just nice and steady. The greenery already looks better. You do alright up there?
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Anyone here from Gainsville? Heard they are getting slapped pretty good right now from the cold front moving through...Power outages, etc.
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590. Jax82
Looks like some rain finally for Jacksonville :)

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Quoting WatchingThisOne:


FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 27/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01GGA INVEST
C. 27/1430Z
D. 18.0N 85.0W
E. 27/1700Z TO 27/2300Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

A = time the flight is expected to arrive at area of lowest pressure (COC if there is one)

C = time the flight is expected to take off (in order to reach the area of interest by the time in A)

E = time the flight is expected to be in the area of interest taking measurements



Thanks, I am assuming then it is cancelled, b/c the flight has not left (not on Google earth)
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Quoting IKE:


I think they made an error on the dates of those you highlighted...should have been listed as today's date...27th and 28th, instead of 28th and 29th.

Did you see the 12z Nogaps? Link

I think it drops development completely it looks.
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587. unf97
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
There is a threat to Florida right now. I consider a trof draped over the state with a developing tropical system at the end of it a danger. If YOU knew anything about meteorology, it would be obvious to you that Florida is being threatened at this time.


Absolutely. It not only the threat of very heavy rains, but remember, there will also likely be the concern of tornadoes, as there is with any landfalling tropical cyclone. This fact can't be lost in your minds folks. As a matter of fact, the threat of tornadoes worries me the most.
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Quoting Waltanater:
I wouldn't trust any of the models at this point. Usually they are always wrong, to some degree.
Good point, the slightest shift with the track could make a huge difference...The system looks a bit more symmetrical today..
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583. IKE
Quoting WatchingThisOne:


FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 27/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01GGA INVEST
C. 27/1430Z
D. 18.0N 85.0W
E. 27/1700Z TO 27/2300Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

A = time the flight is expected to arrive at area of lowest pressure (COC if there is one)

C = time the flight is expected to take off (in order to reach the area of interest by the time in A)

E = time the flight is expected to be in the area of interest taking measurements



Then they should have already left and almost been there. There's nothing showing up...Link
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Quoting masonsnana:
What is wrong with some of you?? Levi is much respected in here. Get a grip or go elsewhere!


Anyone who rails on Levi is guaranteed a "!" from me. The guy really knows his stuff and is modest about it.
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How is this for some autumn heat...

As of 1253pm EDT (KMLB)
Wind from the SE (140 degrees) at 10 MPH (9 KT)
Visibility 10 mile(s)
Sky conditions mostly cloudy
Temperature 91.0 F (32.8 C)
Heat index 102.7 F (39.3 C)
Dew Point 75.9 F (24.4 C)
Relative Humidity 61%
Pressure (altimeter) 29.82 in. Hg (1009 hPa)

Ouch... feels every bit of that too! Record high is 93F... so getting close
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580. IKE
Quoting CaptnDan142:


1230 PM EDT MON 27 SEPTEMBER 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 28/1100Z TO 29/1100Z SEPTEMBER 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-118

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT SYSTEM (NORTHWEST CARIBBEAN)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 28/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01GGA INVEST
C. 28/1530Z
D. 20.0N 85.0W
E. 28/1700Z TO 28/2300Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 29/0600,1200Z
B. AFXXX 0216A CYCLONE
C. 29/0315Z
D. 21.5N 84.5W
E. 29/0500Z TO 29/1200Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK:
BEGIN 3-HRLY FIXES AT 29/1500Z IF SYSTEM DEVELOPS.

3. TASKING FOR AF AND G-IV MISSIONS AT 28/1800Z, 29/06
AND 1200Z WERE CANX BY NHC AT 1115Z.


3. REMARK: THE NSF/NCAR G-V WILL FLY A 7 HR RESEARCH
MISSION INTO AND AROUND THE SUSPECT AREA BETWEEEN
41,000 AND 43,000 FT WITH TAKEOFF AT 28/1200Z.


I think they made an error on the dates of those you highlighted...should have been listed as today's date...27th and 28th, instead of 28th and 29th.
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.
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Quoting ecflweatherfan:
Now... my question would be, if RECON is going today... is that 1800Z time the time the flight leaves, or the time the flight is due into the storm?


FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 27/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01GGA INVEST
C. 27/1430Z
D. 18.0N 85.0W
E. 27/1700Z TO 27/2300Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

A = time the flight is expected to arrive at area of lowest pressure (COC if there is one)

C = time the flight is expected to take off (in order to reach the area of interest by the time in A)

E = time the flight is expected to be in the area of interest taking measurements

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Be back later when we have more data.
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


and from what I see todays did not cancel anything


1230 PM EDT MON 27 SEPTEMBER 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 28/1100Z TO 29/1100Z SEPTEMBER 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-118

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT SYSTEM (NORTHWEST CARIBBEAN)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 28/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01GGA INVEST
C. 28/1530Z
D. 20.0N 85.0W
E. 28/1700Z TO 28/2300Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 29/0600,1200Z
B. AFXXX 0216A CYCLONE
C. 29/0315Z
D. 21.5N 84.5W
E. 29/0500Z TO 29/1200Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK:
BEGIN 3-HRLY FIXES AT 29/1500Z IF SYSTEM DEVELOPS.

3. TASKING FOR AF AND G-IV MISSIONS AT 28/1800Z, 29/06
AND 1200Z WERE CANX BY NHC AT 1115Z.


3. REMARK: THE NSF/NCAR G-V WILL FLY A 7 HR RESEARCH
MISSION INTO AND AROUND THE SUSPECT AREA BETWEEEN
41,000 AND 43,000 FT WITH TAKEOFF AT 28/1200Z.


Note: CANX means canceled.
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Quoting stillwaiting:
Im interested to see the tropical models when 96l gets designated,cause the front w/be stationary,still not even close to accurate forecast until theirs a low to track...
The trof isn't stationary yet. Still pushing eastward, although slower than it was last night.
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Quoting Levi32:
GFS ensemble precipitation mean for the next 5 days shows the corridor of rain up the eastern seaboard, illustrating the track of what should be Nicole.

A point here in predicting the storm's track using a model precipitation total is to remember that this storm is likely to be lopsided with most of the activity focused east of the center. When drawing the track line, start on the left side of the precipitation swath, and then go back to the middle from the Carolinas northward as baroclinic forcing provides rain to the west of the storm center as well from that point on.



the GFS is most likely suffering from convective feedback from NC onward. The fact that it shows nearly double the rainfall up there than in south FLA makes very little sense.

For example, as the system approaches south Florida, PWATS will be around an astounding 3 inches, almost unheard of moisture content. That combined with whatever forms, tropical or not will act as an extremely moist tropical system. It will then also interact with the approaching front likely causing massive frontal convergence which could lead to disturbingly heavy rain in the frontal zone.


The thing is, not only will the system be moving faster as it head towards the northeast,decreasing the chances for heavier rain totals. But PW's will likely be closer to 2.00 inches, which is still well more than enough moisture for heavy rain when you throw in baroclinic forcing, but even still, that doesn't compare to what could set up over south Florida.

Keep in mind, the GFS is notoriously bad with depicting QPF. Accurate rainfall forecasting with 1 model is very rare, and even more so with the GFS. You usually have to use a blend with all the models, then make a prediction after taking into account all of them.
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RufusB that is because they don't have enough people out there to gerrymander. But they get just enough senators to run the country.
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Quoting immaturehurjunkie:
For the skeptics on this blog

http://hurricane.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/37917/florida-may-be-in-the-heart-of.asp?partner= accuweather


That Proves, What????
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Im interested to see the tropical models when 96l gets designated,cause the front w/be stationary,still not even close to accurate forecast until theirs a low to track...
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For the skeptics on this blog

http://hurricane.accuweather.com/blogs/news/story/37917/florida-may-be-in-the-heart-of.asp?partner= accuweather
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 20
This is highly unlikely. The reservoir of warm, deep water in the Caribbean cannot be depleted by a relatively short-lived tropical cyclone, even if it is very intense. It just does not last long enough.

A reconfiguration of the trades due to a record-strength La Nina would be my explanation.

Also, the ability of CFS to generate tropical cyclones is, uh, a bit on the unproven side.

Quoting Levi32:
Joe Bastardi made a good point yesterday about the CFS. Notice how it cools the SSTs significantly in the NW Caribbean by the time December rolls around. The only possible way that could happen is from tropical cyclones, so the climate model is showing the enhanced activity here at the tail-end of the season in the SW Atlantic Basin.
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Kinda funny... the NWS Melbourne lowered the PoP today to 20% for my area. Looking at the radar, steering winds have veered to S/SW and there are developing showers west of Vero Beach and near Lake Okee (both to my S/SW). Their forecast may not hold water now. Oh how I need the rain here (my grass is really crispy). But according to that HPC map put up a few mins ago, looks like I could see a good 5" . Yay!
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Quoting RufusBaker:
Al thoe models have the systems going under FL and missing the state.. looks like FL is safe
Which models are you referring to anyway? I just checked the global models and they show a cyclone (either TD or TS) striking s Florida and continuing up its east coast.
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I think I need to check craigslist for a pontoon boat.
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HOPE THIS WORKS
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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.