TD 16 organizing; Mexican landslide kills hundreds; hottest day ever in Los Angeles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:25 PM GMT on September 28, 2010

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The large area of low pressure centered just south of Cuba's Isle of Youth has developed enough of a well-defined circulation to be classified as Tropical Depression Sixteen, and is likely to become Tropical Storm Nicole by Wednesday. The depression has a very broad center, with little heavy thunderstorm activity near the center, and is this very dissimilar to the usual types of tropical depressions we see in the Atlantic. The large size, broad center, and lack of heavy thunderstorm activity near the center of TD 16 will limit the storm's ability to rapidly intensify. TD 16 resembles the "monsoon depressions" common in India's Bay of Bengal or the Western Pacific. A monsoon depression is similar to a regular tropical depression in the winds that it generates--about 30 - 35 mph near the outer edges (and usually stronger on the eastern side of the circulation.) Monsoon depressions have large, calm centers, and can evolve into regular tropical storms, if given enough time over water to develop a tight, closed circulation. Today's monsoon-like depression in the Caribbean was able to form because the atmospheric flow pattern of the Eastern Pacific has shifted eastwards into the Western Caribbean, bringing in the Eastern Pacific ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone, a region of converging surface winds that creates a band of strong thunderstorms). This unusual flow pattern is forecast to remain in place for at least the next ten days.

An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft has been flying at 700 feet in TD 16 since 1:30pm EDT, and has thus far found a central pressure of 999 mb. The strongest winds at flight level seen as of 3:20pm EDT were 32 mph, located about 100 miles east of the center of TD 16. Surface observations show that the strongest winds at any surface station continue to be at Buoy 42057, several hundred miles to the southeast of TD 16's center. Winds were 27 mph, gusting to 34 mph at 2:43pm EDT this afternoon. Rotation of TD 16 can be seen on radar loops out of Pico San Juan, Cuba, and well as satellite imagery. The heavy thunderstorms are currently quite disorganized, but a curved band is beginning to wrap around the north side of the center, signaling that TD 16 is growing more organized. TD 16 has brought torrential rains to the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Cuba, and Honduras today.


Figure 1. Radar-estimated precipitation for South Florida and Cuba. TD 16 has brought 2 - 4 inches of rains to the region.

Forecast for TD 16
Because TD 16 is so large, it will take more time than a typical depression for it to spin up into a strong tropical storm. Given that the steering currents are expected to pull TD 16 north-northeastwards over Cuba and into South Florida and the western Bahamas on Wednesday, the storm lacks sufficient time over water to be any stronger than a 50 mph tropical storm for Florida. TD 16 is organizing pretty slowly this afternoon, and I think the top winds in Southeast Florida are most likely to be in the 25 - 35 mph range on Wednesday. Winds are likely to be stronger in the western Bahamas, perhaps 30 - 40 mph, since they will be in the stronger right front quadrant of the storm. By the time TD 16 makes landfall in South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday morning, it could be as strong as a 50 - 60 mph tropical storm. However, wind shear will increase sharply on Thursday as TD 16 gets caught in an upper-level trough of low pressure, and NHC is giving TD 16 only a 9% chance of making it to hurricane strength before it becomes an extratropical storm on Thursday. The primary danger from TD 16 is not wind, but heavy rainfall. A potent upper-level low and stationary front over the U.S. East Coast have been pulling moist, tropical air from the Caribbean northwards over the past few days, bringing heavy rains that have saturated the soils. This is called a Predecessor Rain Event, or PRE, since it comes in advance of the actual rain shield of the storm. (A PRE from Hurricane Karl brought southern Wisconsin the heavy rain that caused the levee on the Wisconsin River to fail yesterday.) Wilmington, NC received 10.33 inches of rain yesterday, its second greatest one-day rainfall since record keeping began in 1871. Only the 13.38" that fell during Hurricane Floyd on September 15, 1999 beat yesterday's rainfall total. With TD 16 expected to bring another 6 - 8 inches of rain to the region later this week, serious flooding is likely, and flash flood watches are posted for the North Carolina/ South Carolina border region. South Florida is also under a flood watch, for 3 - 5 inches of rain. Flooding rains of similar magnitude can also be expected in Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and the Western Bahamas through Wednesday night. Both the GFDL and HWRF models are predicting that TD 16 will dump rains in excess of eight inches along narrow portions of its path in eastern Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina.


Figure 2. Forecast precipitation for the 5-day period from 8am today through 8am EDT Sunday, October 3, 2010. Image credit: NOAA Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.

Up to 1,000 feared dead in Mexican landslide
Mexico has taken the brunt of the devastation from the hurricane season of 2010, thanks to the landfalls of this year's two deadliest and most damaging storms, Hurricanes Alex and Karl. But Mexico's worst blow yet hit this morning, when heavy rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Matthew triggered a landslide in Mexico's mountainous Oaxaca state that buried as many as 1,000 people in Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec, a town of 9,000. Rescuers have not reached the area yet, but hundreds are feared dead in the 300 homes that were buried by the early morning landslide. Matthew hit Belize on Saturday as a minimal tropical storm with 40 mph winds, and dissipated Sunday over southern Mexico. However, Matthew's remains stalled out over the region of Mexico that had already received torrential rains from Hurricane Karl, which hit on September 18. Satellite estimates of Matthew's rains over southern Mexico (Figure 3) show that a foot of rain may have fallen in the landslide area. Matthew's remains still linger over the region, but are probably only capable of bringing 1 - 2 inches of additional rain through Thursday.


Figure 3. Satellite-estimated rainfall for the five-day period ending at 8pm EDT Monday September 27, 2010. The dark green colors show where rainfall amounts of 300 mm (about 12 inches) fell, due to the remnants of Tropical Storm Matthew. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Once TD 16 moves out of the Caribbean, the GFS model predicts that the Western Caribbean will "reload" and produce another tropical disturbance capable of developing into a tropical depression early next week. The GFS also predicts a tropical or subtropical storm will form over the Bahamas late this week, and move north-northeast along the U.S. East Coast, missing hitting land. The NOGAPS model hints at the Bahamas storm, and also predicts development of a tropical wave a few hundred miles northeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands, about a week from now.

Hottest day in Los Angeles history
The mercury hit a blistering 113°F (45.0°C) at 12:15 pm PDT yesterday in downtown Los Angeles, making it the hottest day in Los Angeles history. It may have gotten hotter, but the thermometer broke shortly after the record high was set. The previous record in Los Angeles was 112°F set on June 26, 1990; records go back to 1877. Nearby Long Beach tied its hottest all-time temperature yesterday, with a scorching 111°F. And Christopher C. Burt, our new featured blogger on weather records, pointed out to me that a station in the foothills at 1260' elevation near Beverly Hills owned by the Los Angeles Fire Department hit 119°F yesterday--the hottest temperature ever measured in the Los Angeles area, tying the 119°F reading from Woodland Hills on July 22, 2006. Yesterday's record heat was caused by an unusually large and intense upper-level high pressure system centered over Nevada that generated winds blowing from the land to the ocean, keeping the ocean from exerting its usual cooling influence. Remarkably, Los Angeles had its second coldest summer on record this year, and temperatures just five days ago were some the coldest September temperatures in the region for the past 50 years.

The remarkable summer of 2010
Wunderground is pleased to welcome a new featured blogger--weather historian Christopher C. Burt. Chris is a leading expert in the U.S. on weather records, and is author of the world's most popular weather records book published to date, Extreme Weather: A Guide and Record Book. He's spent a lifetime collaborating with like-minded individuals from around the world, and no one--including official sources such as the National Climatic Data Center and the National Extremes Committee--has done as thorough a job correlating the various weather records available and determining the most accurate extreme values of such. Each month he'll be reporting on the notable records for heat, cold, and precipitation set world-wide, and his first post takes a look at the remarkable summer of 2010. It's great to have someone like Chris who stays on top of weather extremes, and I hope you'll pay a visit to his blog and welcome him to the wunderground site!

"Hurricane Haven" airing this afternoon
My live Internet radio show, "Hurricane Haven", will be airing again today at 4pm EDT. The call in number is 415-983-2634, or you can post a question to broadcast@wunderground.com. Be sure to include "Hurricane Haven question" in the subject line.

Today's show will be about 30 minutes, and you can tune in at http://www.wunderground.com/wxradio/wubroadcast.h tml. The show will be recorded and stored as a podcast.

I'll have updates as the situation with TD 16 requires.

Jeff Masters

Alone again, naturally (ftogrf)
Lonely Seagull, as a storm associated with TD 16 is approaching.
Alone again, naturally

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1735. leo305
woops double post
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Quoting CycloneBoy:


I bet that you don't have elementary aged children to think about...it's not the danger from winds we're talking about. 5+ inches of rain in a short time period cause major safety issues on our streets here. Good god man, use your head. If it turns out to be nothing, big deal. I think that everyone would agree that tomorrow is not a day that anyone should be out and about if it's not necessary. And it's not necessary. Again, common sense isn't so common. My kids will be going, but only because I drive them. If the school area is flooded, they're coming home with me. I don't care what the county thinks about that...

Geeesss, we have become a nation of crybabies. I myself have 2 grown ones and never once would I have thought of keeping them home over something like this. Now if the county canceled school then I would have no other recourse. Or if I woke up and turned on the TV and found out the situation was worse then,...hello I wouldn't let them go.

BTW, what are 2 working parents supposed to do, not go to work as well because they have to babysit all day due to 6 inches of possible rain,,.... again possible rain. Yes I'm sure their employers would so understand.

In the end common sense wins out
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1733. leo305
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Exactly my point. I said it would move over the eastern part of Cuba which is more mountainous and would serve to disrupt the fragile circulation.


lol I meant eastern.. the high wont allow it to get that far east
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
If that blob over Jamaica continues to grow it will take over the whole region :)
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Quoting CycloneBoy:


I bet that you don't have elementary aged children to think about...it's not the danger from winds we're talking about. 5+ inches of rain in a short time period cause major safety issues on our streets here. Good god man, use your head. If it turns out to be nothing, big deal. I think that everyone would agree that tomorrow is not a day that anyone should be out and about if it's not necessary. And it's not necessary. Again, common sense isn't so common. My kids will be going, but only because I drive them. If the school area is flooded, they're coming home with me. I don't care what the county thinks about that...


Yep
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I wonder if the call to the JMA would be prudent for the NHC.
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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
If you want to know where the REAL COC is, just follow the rapidly developing feeder bands. This thing is finally pulling in those outstretched arms and they lead to one point, and it's FAR from where they thought it would be.







Please tell me what lat/long you see it at. TIA
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1728. pottery
Quoting NRAamy:
Just reading back....

Pott! You got some leakage issues??!!!

;)

Apparently my glass had a leak...
All is well now.
LOL
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1727. leo305
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
If you want to know where the REAL COC is, just follow the rapidly developing feeder bands. This thing is finally pulling in those outstretched arms and they lead to one point, and it's FAR from where they thought it would be.









you can see the old LLC moving ESE getting sucked in were the highest convergence is..

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t2/loop-rgb.html

I agree with you
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Quoting leo305:


it wouldn't be able to move North east towards western cuba... the high is blocking it from moving that far east

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8dlm2.html
Exactly my point. I said it would move over the eastern part of Cuba which is more mountainous and would serve to disrupt the fragile circulation.
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Quoting CycloneBoy:


I bet that you don't have elementary aged children to think about...it's not the danger from winds we're talking about. 5+ inches of rain in a short time period cause major safety issues on our streets here. Good god man, use your head. If it turns out to be nothing, big deal. I think that everyone would agree that tomorrow is not a day that anyone should be out and about if it's not necessary. And it's not necessary. Again, common sense isn't so common. My kids will be going, but only because I drive them. If the school area is flooded, they're coming home with me. I don't care what the county thinks about that...
I agree with you 100%. Right now there is not any wind with this system to speak of but trust me the rain amount is unbelievable. I have a 12 year old grandson that lives with me and I kept him home from school today. 2 hours later people were having to leave work to pick up their kids when the govt. finally decide to close the schools due to flooding issues.
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1724. dader
GT they are in close consultation with the NHC when they make decisions. If it were a weather emergency- things would be different. And they may be tmrw. And for all those who think they will sue the school if a child gets hurt in transport- good luck. This is a complete rational decision based on objective facts, not weatherunderground conjecture or hypotheticals.
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1723. dader
GT they are in close consultation with the NHC when they make decisions. If it were a weather emergency- things would be different. And they may be tmrw. And for all those who think they will sue the school if a child gets hurt in transport- good luck. This is a complete rational decision based on objective facts, not weatherunderground conjecture or hypotheticals.
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Just hope nothing happens.. and for Dader, I am also a business own.. over 25 year..I DO KNOW the disruption a "system" can cuase. But I am a realist and KNOW from experience how the school system had to hurry and close schools right before katrina..NOT THAT THIS IS Sfla Katrina, but know the chaos; as a parent and teacher. Trust you me I do not want schools closed, it takes away from instruction Much needed instruction bc of state testing, bc of some sad situations where kids best part of day is at schools, bc kids do like to learn.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I don't know if he is skinny but maybe the chair had weak legs. wkc, j/k

true, true
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If you want to know where the REAL COC is, just follow the rapidly developing feeder bands. This thing is finally pulling in those outstretched arms, and they lead to one point, and it's FAR from where they thought it would be.







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1719. leo305
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
IFit develops SE of Cayman and is moving NE all that will serve to do is take it over the higher mountains in Cuba. The eastern end is more mountainous than the western side. The only way this would have more time to intensify much is if it was moving NW not NE.


it wouldn't be able to move North east towards western cuba... the high is blocking it from moving that far east

http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8dlm2.html
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Quoting GTcooliebai:

Aha wunderkid must be skinny like me if he got knocked off his chair from 20 mph winds.
I don't know if he is skinny but maybe the chair had weak legs. wkc, j/k
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1717. leo305
Quoting GTcooliebai:

Wouldn't that shift the track offshore?


http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/tropic/real-time/atlantic/winds/wg8dlm2.html

that wouldn't allow it to move offshore too much
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Quoting dader:
I can't even believe that some people think schools should be closed for this "system"- mostly teachers and students. This is going to be such a nonevent in SFLA that it would be embarassing to close schools. Plus bus drivers are trained to drive in bad weather- its Florida. Districts understand, but teachers often don't, that cancelling school causes major disruptions for parents and businesses- you know the people that enable the schools to run. Schools should be cancelled in emergencies- not for weather.


I bet that you don't have elementary aged children to think about...it's not the danger from winds we're talking about. 5+ inches of rain in a short time period cause major safety issues on our streets here. Good god man, use your head. If it turns out to be nothing, big deal. I think that everyone would agree that tomorrow is not a day that anyone should be out and about if it's not necessary. And it's not necessary. Again, common sense isn't so common. My kids will be going, but only because I drive them. If the school area is flooded, they're coming home with me. I don't care what the county thinks about that...
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Leo and wunderkidcayman, I don't know what the two of you are seeing but all I am seeing is a big blob. Granted, we are getting more than our fair share of rain but winds are 15-20 mph at the most and once in a while a gust about 30-35 mph. TD16 is far from being an organized system.

Aha wunderkid must be skinny like me if he got knocked off his chair from 20 mph winds.
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1714. Seastep
Time for bed, but that is not a new center. The overall circulation is very well defined. Just large. A little spin up will not be able to take over for that.

Can't think in terms of the typical TD, imo.

Goodnight all.

Hopefully conditions will permit my new A/C to be installed. They were pretty confident they could do it.

8AM, so maybe...
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Quoting leo305:


if it develops south east of the caymans, conditions would be favorable for significant strengthening..
IFit develops SE of Cayman and is moving NE all that will serve to do is take it over the higher mountains in Cuba. The eastern end is more mountainous than the western side. The only way this would have more time to intensify much is if it was moving NW not NE.
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1711. 7544
hmm new conv forming around the real center if this does what it did for the last two dmaxes this could be nicole late tonight after the blackout this system likes the dmax hours imo
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Quoting leo305:


if it develops south east of the caymans, conditions would be favorable for significant strengthening..

Wouldn't that shift the track offshore?
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1709. leo305
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Leo and wunderkidcayman, I don't know what the two of you are seeing but all I am seeing is a big blob. Granted, we are getting more than our fair share of rain but winds are 15-20 mph at the most and once in a while a gust about 30-35 mph. TD16 is far from being an organized system.


notice the spin south west of grand cayman at the beginning of the loop, that was the DOMINATE LLC, notice how it spins towards the sotuh, then south east, then east south east as it spins around towards the strongest area of convergence..

http://www.ssd.noaa.gov/goes/flt/t2/loop-rgb.html
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Quoting dader:
I can't even believe that some people think schools should be closed for this "system"- mostly teachers and students. This is going to be such a nonevent in SFLA that it would be embarassing to close schools. Plus bus drivers are trained to drive in bad weather- its Florida. Districts understand, but teachers often don't, that cancelling school causes major disruptions for parents and businesses- you know the people that enable the schools to run. Schools should be cancelled in emergencies- not for weather.

+10
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Quoting dader:
I can't even believe that some people think schools should be closed for this "system"- mostly teachers and students. This is going to be such a nonevent in SFLA that it would be embarassing to close schools. Plus bus drivers are trained to drive in bad weather- its Florida. Districts understand, but teachers often don't, that cancelling school causes major disruptions for parents and businesses- you know the people that enable the schools to run. Schools should be cancelled in emergencies- not for weather.

I agree it would be embarrassing to keep your kids home from school, shoot we here in Tampa Bay know all to well when Charley was expected to hit us, but I guess you can't take anything for granted, so if this thing got upgraded before school started tomorrow I could see them taking precautions. And what says you that Weather is not an Emergency?
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Quoting NRAamy:
Capt, oh my Capt! Ready to be inspired!

:)


*passes the "inspirational artifact" to Amy*
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
Quoting leo305:


the old center is spinning south eastward towards the area of highest convergance right now..

I think the NHC is tracking a weaker spin off of the old center while you can see it clearly on infared/visible that the cumulus are spinning around the old center as it moves towards the south east...
Leo and wunderkidcayman, I don't know what the two of you are seeing but all I am seeing is a big blob. Granted, we are getting more than our fair share of rain but winds are 15-20 mph at the most and once in a while a gust about 30-35 mph. TD16 is far from being an organized system.
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1704. leo305
Quoting GTcooliebai:

Its only expected to be a low end ts & most of the winds should stay offshore if that new COC has reformed to the southeast of the Cayman Islands.


if it develops south east of the caymans, conditions would be favorable for significant strengthening..
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
1703. leo305
Quoting CycloneBoy:


Completely irrational, foggy. It's always better to be safe than sorry. I don't get it. It costs the county money to cancel school, but any child that gets hurt due to flooding potential has a lawsuit against the county for negligence. Just stupid and irresponsible. I drive my kids and their school floods easily. Just not very smart, but expected I guess from the brilliant leadership that is Miami-Dade...


yep.. and if it decides to go HUMBERTO on us.. well lets just say someone's going to get sued..
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Quoting foggymyst:
Abacosurf: thanks, you as well. In harder schools, parents are not involved, even with special needs (my class) students. Very sad. And what I am to do with my own kids? I do not want them at school, (being a TS) or my oldest driving to school, just does not make sense to me.

Its only expected to be a low end ts & most of the winds should stay offshore if that new COC has reformed to the southeast of the Cayman Islands.
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1701. dader
I can't even believe that some people think schools should be closed for this "system"- mostly teachers and students. This is going to be such a nonevent in SFLA that it would be embarassing to close schools. Plus bus drivers are trained to drive in bad weather- its Florida. Districts understand, but teachers often don't, that cancelling school causes major disruptions for parents and businesses- you know the people that enable the schools to run. Schools should be cancelled in emergencies- not for weather.
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1700. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
016L/TD/XN
MARK
20.79N/79.20W

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 174 Comments: 54639
1699. NRAamy
Capt, oh my Capt! Ready to be inspired!

:)
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1698. leo305
btw near tropical storm force winds coming with that squall nearing dade county...

key largo got 36mph wind gusts..
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
Quoting foggymyst:
I am a teacher, just wondering if officials could be waiting for a the td to be name before cancelling schools. Wonder if anyone has asked a school bus driver about driving in a regular strong storm with children, how about kids that walk to and from school. IF you think this does not happen even in storms, think again. Parents that have limited reources check off "my child will walk home from school even in inclement weather" (i teach elementary).. The notion is just crazy.


Completely irrational, foggy. It's always better to be safe than sorry. I don't get it. It costs the county money to cancel school, but any child that gets hurt due to flooding potential has a lawsuit against the county for negligence. Just stupid and irresponsible. I drive my kids and their school floods easily. Just not very smart, but expected I guess from the brilliant leadership that is Miami-Dade...
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Abacosurf: thanks, you as well. In harder schools, parents are not involved, even with special needs (my class) students. Very sad. And what I am to do with my own kids? I do not want them at school, (being a TS) or my oldest driving to school, just does not make sense to me.
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
Is that one a HH or a G-IV. If it is a HH, when should we expect reports?


AF = Air Force
308 = last 3 digits of the aircraft serial number

That's like 2/3 of the tail number, btw.

:-)
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 856
1693. leo305
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
Judging from the new COC, which I think is pretty much a done deal right now, we will be looking at a system that is more tropical than earlier predicted. That means a potentially deeper low, with not much change in steering, but with more speed up the East Coast.

This could be a New England storm.



the old center is spinning south eastward towards the area of highest convergance right now..

I think the NHC is tracking a weaker spin off of the old center while you can see it clearly on infared/visible that the cumulus are spinning around the old center as it moves towards the south east...
Member Since: April 17, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1753
very funny hunkerdown no I did not hit my head we I fell but I did hit my back
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1691. flsky
THe front is back over the DBS area again. Flood watch declared for Orlando area.
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Quoting Abacosurf:
The parents need to be involved. They should keep their kids home if they feel there is danger. I don't leave anything up to govt. God bless you BTW!

Wow! it's just some rain your not gonna melt.
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1689. Seastep
Quoting wunderkidcayman:
well looky what we have here

THERE ARE MULTIPLE LOW-LEVEL CLOUD SWIRLS PRESENT...AND THE CENTER
APPEARS TO RE-FORM FROM TIME TO TIME.

maybe the reall COC is reforming just to the SE of us


I believe they are still talking in the same area. Not by Jamaica.

If it were really down there, you would see winds from the N/NE here.

Sat is deceiving on this one. Have to go by obs. HH will check it out in a few hours.
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Here comes October fest...
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1686. wxhatt
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:
Judging from the new COC, which I think is pretty much a done deal right now, we will be looking at a system that is more tropical than earlier predicted. That means a potentially deeper low, with not much change in steering, but with more speed up the East Coast.

This could be a New England storm.



Where do you see a new COC??
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Here comes October fest...
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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.