Nicole kills five in Jamaica; historic rains in North Carolina; tornadoes in the Mid-Atlantic

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:23 PM GMT on September 30, 2010

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The season's fourteenth named storm, Tropical Storm Nicole, lasted only six hours as a tropical storm, but triggered torrential heavy rains that caused havoc from the Caribbean to North Carolina. In Jamaica, flash flooding from Nicole's rains killed at least five, and several other people were swept away by flood waters and are feared dead. The storm cut power to 170,000 island residents, and caused millions of dollars in damages. Nicole dumped 6.93" of rain on Kingston, and 8.62" in the Kingston suburb of Norbrook. Rains were heavier on the western end of the island; 8.47" fell at a personal weather station at Irwindale before the power failed and data was lost.


Figure 1. NASA MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Nicole at 2:20pm EDT on 9/29/10. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 2. Flooding in Jamaica from Tropical Storm Nicole. Image credit: Jamaica Observer.

In Southeast Florida, Nicole brought 5.83" of rain to Miami, 9.58" to Plantation Key, and 5.44" to Homestead. However, Florida escaped serious flooding. Cuba also received widespread rain amounts of 5 - 10 inches, but there are no reports of serious flooding on the island. The remnants of Nicole will continue to bring heavy rains to portions of Cuba, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas today.

Historic rainfall event for eastern North Carolina
In North Carolina, the the tropical moisture streaming northwards in advance of Nicole has generated an epic rainfall event. Wilmington, NC recorded 20.69 inches of rain over the past four days, and 21.28" for the five-day period ending at 10am EDT this morning. The incredible rainfall totals have eclipsed the city's record for heaviest 4-day and 5-day rainfall events, set in September 1999 during Hurricane Floyd (19.06".) Another 1 - 3 inches of rain are likely today in Wilmington, which might make this month the rainiest month in city history. A series of non-tropical low pressure systems have been developing along a stalled front off the Carolina/North Carolina coast over the past day, and this activity will continue through tonight before the rains finally end late tonight. The historic rainfall is causing severe and damaging flooding across much of eastern North Carolina. Fortunately, eastern North Carolina was under moderate drought conditions prior to this week's rainfall onslaught, so the flooding damage will not be as great as the billions of dollars of damage wrought by Hurricane Floyd.


Figure 3. Radar-estimated precipitation for North Carolina since Sunday shows that the precursor moisture from Nicole has brought widespread rain amounts in excess of ten inches to eastern North Carolina, with over fifteen inches (white colors surrounded by dark purple) near Wilmington.

Heavy rain, flooding, and tornadoes expected from Virginia to New England
The intense plume of tropical moisture streaming northwards along the U.S. East coast will bring heavy rains of 3 - 6 inches across a wide swath of coast from North Carolina northwards to New England today and Friday. The wunderground severe weather map shows that flood warnings are already posted for portions of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia, and flood watches extend northwards though Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and the rest of New England. Tornado watches have been posted for much of the Mid-Atlantic coast, and NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has put the region in their "slight risk" area for severe weather. One tornado warning has already been issued for coastal Virginia this morning. Three possible tornadoes were reported yesterday in northeastern North Carolina.

Disturbance 97L
Two tropical waves, located 600 - 1000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, are generating a large area of disorganized thunderstorms. NHC has designated this area Invest 97L this morning. The SHIPS model predicts that wind shear over 97L will remain moderate, 10 - 20 knots, through Saturday morning, then increase to levels marginal for development, 15 - 25 knots, Saturday afternoon through Monday. Some slow development of 97L is likely over this time period, and NHC is giving it a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday. The system is headed west-northwest at 15 mph, and should slow down to about 10 mph by Saturday. 97L will bring heavy rains and strong gusty winds to the Lesser Antilles Islands on Sunday and Monday. The ECMWF model is the only model that develops 97L, and foresees that 97L will track across the northern Lesser Antilles and pass near Puerto Rico on Monday and the eastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands by Wednesday. There are major differences in how the models handle the steering current forecast for next week, and the long-range track of 97L is highly uncertain at this point.


Figure 4. Morning satellite image of Invest 97L. The upper right portion on the disturbance, centered near 13.5N 45W, is most likely to develop into a tropical depression.

Next update
I'll have an update Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

Post Tropical Storm Nicole Sunset. (bethinking)
Taken at the Lower Sugarloaf Key Estuary as the skies cleared after TS Nicole moved north.
Post Tropical Storm Nicole Sunset.
Hooray for the power company! (AnnaThomas)
Current rain storm took out a tree and a power line. This is what my front yard looks like right now. Praise the power company for responding so quickly- so I could post this picture!
Hooray for the power company!

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1873. surfmom
Re. the Front, It was fascinating to be "in it" so to speak - paddled out first thing AM - calm just a bit of wave on the water... the hours of transition from calm to a a whole lotta wind (and knowing exactly what was going on) was fascinating -- it's like I could see someone flip the switch -- the change in the water (wave build up & type of wave) was just tooo cool --
The calm placid Gulf really kicked up her heels and danced.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
The season at a glance:

1) In the early part of the season, many disbelieving the experts pooh-poohed the talk of a very active/hyperactive season, and swore the overall numbers would be low.

2) As the early part of the season wore on, many of the same naysayers began speaking triumphantly that they were right and the experts were wrong; there was no way so many storms could possibly form in the remaining time.

3) When things finally started to happen--with a vengeance--near the end of August, the naysayers/downcasters predicted there simply wasn't enough time left in the season for the numbers to grow to meet pre-season expectations.

4) Now that the numbers have rapidly grown, and it appears many/most of the expert pre-season predictions for overall activity will be met or exceeded, the naysayers say either, "Nah, the season's over", or "Overall numbers don't mean anything, anyway; it's all about impact on the CONUS". While the former statement doesn't have a bit of science behind it, the latter myopically and xenophobically assumes that deadly impacts in Mexico and elsewhere somehow "don't count".

5) When a storm does have impact on the CONUS--Alex, TD2, Bonnie, TD5, Hermine, ex-Nicole--The Negative Ones say those storms don't count either, because they weren't on a par with Andrew or Katrina so far as devastation goes.

So...when the season is over and done, and the count stands as high as 20/12/6, the naysayers will be still be standing on the sidelines shouting, "BUST!!" simply because--it is hoped, though not yet guaranteed--no mid- or large-sized CONUS cities were utterly destroyed. Well, sorry. I suppose for those whose only measures for the success or failure of a particular hurricane season are a) corpse counts and b) damage amounts, 2010 may--again, I hope--go down as a bust for the CONUS. But for others who like watching and studying tropical weather, this remarkable season has been anything but...and there's a whole lot of it left.


I agree to most of that, Nea, except three points:

a.) You know as well as I do that an active September is no guarantee of an active October. It's already one for the record books, no question, but I'd hold the 20 storm prediction as fact for longer, yet.

b.) I'm not aware of who has been stating that this season is a bust for a considerable time. Perhaps as I am not here for the evening shifts as it is called, that I've missed those declarations.

c.) There is always the risk of becoming just as absolute on the argument as the counter side. The discussion on here seems to boil down to 'it's really active!' vs 'it's a bust!' without any thought to the middle.

It is active yes, but how active? Is it really as hyperactive as it looks on face value?
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16N 47W ??


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Quoting Orcasystems:


Umm thats one of the reasons :)

Most Canadians... and I would assume most of the Islanders down south will be backing the European Team, because of our background and culture.


well then don't complain when we invade. :) did they cancel the rest of the day?
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1869. myway
Post 1840

Very well said. +1000000.......
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1868. HCW
Are you tired of hitting F5 at advisory time waiting for for updates from the NHC ? If so I have found a way so that you don't have waste your energy reloading a page. It's IEM BOT on Twitter get Instant warnings, storm reports and NHC updates



http://twitter.com/iembot_HGX

This will work in your area also by changing the last 3 letters to your local radar code


If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a WU email . Have a great day James n Mobile
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so all models still track 97L through the eastern herbert box? or is there an update coming soon in the models?
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Quoting BobinTampa:


washed out for the whole day? or just delayed?

Why are you rooting for the Europeans? You're much closer to America! :o)


Umm thats one of the reasons :)

Most Canadians... and I would assume most of the Islanders down south will be backing the European Team, because of our background and culture.
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Quoting CycloneBoz:
Season 2010 - GOES East Animation: June - July

This GOES East Infrared Hurricane Sector animation is a long loop that shows all of June and July 2010. This video features Hurricane Alex, which blew up quickly and torched the Mexico Gulf coast and well inland! Also shown is Tropical Storm Bonnie, which could not quite get it together. This video features the music of Gustav Holtz's symphony - "The Planets."



Season 2010 - GOES East Animation: August - September

This GOES East Infrared Hurricane Sector animation is a long loop that shows all of August and September 2010. This video features a slew of tropical storms and hurricanes, none of which made official landfall along the U.S. coastline. How many can you correctly identify? This is one killer video you will want to see again and again. This video features the music of Gustav Holtz's symphony - "The Planets."


Very, very cool!
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1863. tkeith
Oh, BTW...Happy October blog :)
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1862. tkeith
Quoting Orcasystems:
The season may not be a bust... but the day sure is. I got up way to early to watch the European Team lay a whoppin on the opposition.. and its rained out :(
only a minor setback...

USA!
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Quoting Orcasystems:
The season may not be a bust... but the day sure is. I got up way to early to watch the European Team lay a whoppin on the opposition.. and its rained out :(


Outlook doesn't look good. It's going to be wet here for days. Tomorrow might be alright, but Sunday apparently won't be.

(Hosting fair weather events past the end of September here makes no sense to me).
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Quoting Orcasystems:
The season may not be a bust... but the day sure is. I got up way to early to watch the European Team lay a whoppin on the opposition.. and its rained out :(


washed out for the whole day? or just delayed?

Why are you rooting for the Europeans? You're much closer to America! :o)
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1859. surfmom
Aloha Geoff! Cot.,IKE, ChicklIt & all weather watchers this Friday morning (thanks Gamms - woke up not know what day it was.

For those who ride waves - this was a nice overview of the season from a Surfer's Perspective here in SWFL.

One thing I always like to note, b/4 lurking, then posting here I look at 'canes w/ a most narrow mind -- I had NO AWARENESS nor did I consider the plight of folks getting slammed by this force of nature -- all I thought about was getting waves..... my consciousness was raised & my self-centered thinking radically changed as I watched and learned in REAL TIME how folks can be horribly impacted by 'CANES.... Education is always of value to society and the community - but you have to have your MIND OPEN to allow new thinking in.

AURASURF - M.WEAVER - Summer surf season review
Glad everyone got some fun ones yesterday. Do you think it was fun because the sandbars are so piled up from not being used? Or is everyone just so happy to surf after the last 5 months we have had? Going back we had 1 good south swell at the beginning of May that lasted a couple days. That was the last of the continental storms before the doldrums set in so most of May after the first week was flat, June? Completely flat. July? 1 three hour swell from Alex, if you blinked you missed it. August we had TD 5 which was fun on the heels of Colin on the EC. Then the back to school windswell. Then for September we had good swell on the EC to start the month but totally flat on the GC until the last day of September. Hopefully you were able to get away to centro or something. That makes a handful of days for the entire summer on the back of a freezing cold, worthless winter. 2010 has been so brutal for us. Hopefully better patterns are ahead.
The heat is not supposed to return as we stay in N and NE flow for the next week or so. Our only other shot at waves is a slight chance for a knee to thigh bump at N County late, late Sunday as winds gust from the N for a bit. Otherwise WFL stays 1ft N line, flat or less. The WX should be extremely nice so get out and enjoy it! Happy October!
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1858. kwgirl
Good Morning all. Well I never thought I would see that front push through the Keys. I believe this is the earliest in the year to see dry air down here. It actually feels like fall, a month early!!!
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The season may not be a bust... but the day sure is. I got up way to early to watch the European Team lay a whoppin on the opposition.. and its rained out :(
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#1840 Nea, nice job there!

I agree.... :o)
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1855. HCW
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I woke up shivering this morning, looking for my blanket. It got down in the very low 60's last night here in PC. I noticed they have us hitting 50's in a few days...Sheesh from blazing hot Summer to Winter in one week.
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Thanks Neapolitan, that sums it up nicely.
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Quoting surfmom:
Neapolitan --whooo Nelly-- I'm in agreement w/you, Lordy you have your thinking & philosophy & human behavior observation hat on early this morning... no wonder you're holding your head.

Good points - IMHO


Morning Mom...I agree. Nea is a very smart guy. His avatar reminds me of Kreskin :)
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The AOI centered at 48.5W 15N
ASCAT last night caught some circulation
The convection and cloud cover is organizing well on All Sat Channels.
Shear is 5-10 at the moment
No Dry air
TD by this evening and TS by morning.
I'm going with a west then north track due to the ULL just to the NW and the Trough off the East coast but where all that will occur depends on development.
Regardless us in the Northern Islands most likely need to get ready over the weekend.
http://www.knmi.nl/scatterometer/ascat_ear_25_prod/ascat_app.cgi?cmd=showimage&ascending=yes&day=0& flag=no&coord.x=195&coord.y=182
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1848. surfmom
Quoting stillwaiting:
hmmmmmm,whats up boz-worth????,plan on chasing 97l when it hits nc as a major in about 8-9days????
hey Dude - no fishing for you yesterday - surfed siesta from 8:30 till @ noon - then winds really picked up and headed to Turtle till 5:30 - what do you see out your window this morning.......?
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1846. surfmom
Neapolitan --whooo Nelly-- I'm in agreement w/you, Lordy you have your thinking & philosophy & human behavior observation hat on early this morning... no wonder you're holding your head.

Good points - IMHO
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Quoting Neapolitan:
The season at a glance:

1) In the early part of the season, many disbelieving the experts pooh-poohed the talk of a very active/hyperactive season, and swore the overall numbers would be low.

2) As the early part of the season wore on, many of the same naysayers began speaking triumphantly that they were right and the experts were wrong; there was no way so many storms could possibly form in the remaining time.

3) When things finally started to happen--with a vengeance--near the end of August, the naysayers/downcasters predicted there simply wasn't enough time left in the season for the numbers to grow to meet pre-season expectations.

4) Now that the numbers have rapidly grown, and it appears many/most of the expert pre-season predictions for overall activity will be met or exceeded, the naysayers say either, "Nah, the season's over", or "Overall numbers don't mean anything, anyway; it's all about impact on the CONUS". While the former statement doesn't have a bit of science behind it, the latter myopically and xenophobically assumes that deadly impacts in Mexico and elsewhere somehow "don't count".

5) When a storm does have impact on the CONUS--Alex, TD2, Bonnie, TD5, Hermine, ex-Nicole--The Negative Ones say those storms don't count either, because they weren't on a par with Andrew or Katrina so far as devastation goes.

So...when the season is over and done, and the count stands as high as 20/12/6, the naysayers will be still be standing on the sidelines shouting, "BUST!!" simply because--it is hoped, though not yet guaranteed--no mid- or large-sized CONUS cities were utterly destroyed. Well, sorry. I suppose for those whose only measure for the success or failure of a particular hurricane season is a) corpse counts and b) damage amounts, 2010 may--again, I hope--go down as a bust for the CONUS. But for others who like watching and studying tropical weather, this remarkable season has been anything but...and there's a whole lot of it left.



i find this synaptic viewpoint to be genuinely insightful amidst the chaos i see happening between people (and their opinions) on a daily basis in this blog.
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1840. Neapolitan 8:26 AM EDT on October 01, 2010

Nice comments....The active season certianly panned out as predicted but the "tracks" leading to Florida and Gulf have not.....It's an intellectual exercize to analize the pre-season conditions and to see how close you can get to your estimates but at the end of the day, the most salient factor is whether a major impacts a populated region.....It's not about the numbers and the US has been very lucky this year in terms of the Cape Verde season.
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hmmmmmm,whats up boz-worth????,plan on chasing 97l when it hits nc as a major in about 8-9days????
Member Since: October 5, 2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
1841. surfmom
Good Morning - I'm Blissfully WAVE beaten this morning, yesterday thanks to that NNW wind in SWFL/SRQ - it was a DAY of WAVE

CycloneBOZ post 1808 - Lovely!!! & thx for sharing : ) What a wonderful way to wake up!! sure beats reading the newspaper. The music combined with the beauty of nature -- ahhhh - what a wondrous thing life, our earth and weather is!!
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The season at a glance:

1) In the early part of the season, many disbelieving the experts pooh-poohed the talk of a very active/hyperactive season, and swore the overall numbers would be low.

2) As the early part of the season wore on, many of the same naysayers began speaking triumphantly that they were right and the experts were wrong; there was no way so many storms could possibly form in the remaining time.

3) When things finally started to happen--with a vengeance--near the end of August, the naysayers/downcasters predicted there simply wasn't enough time left in the season for the numbers to grow to meet pre-season expectations.

4) Now that the numbers have rapidly grown, and it appears many/most of the expert pre-season predictions for overall activity will be met or exceeded, the naysayers say either, "Nah, the season's over", or "Overall numbers don't mean anything, anyway; it's all about impact on the CONUS". While the former statement doesn't have a bit of science behind it, the latter myopically and xenophobically assumes that deadly impacts in Mexico and elsewhere somehow "don't count".

5) When a storm does have impact on the CONUS--Alex, TD2, Bonnie, TD5, Hermine, ex-Nicole--The Negative Ones say those storms don't count either, because they weren't on a par with Andrew or Katrina so far as devastation goes.

So...when the season is over and done, and the count stands as high as 20/12/6, the naysayers will be still be standing on the sidelines shouting, "BUST!!" simply because--it is hoped, though not yet guaranteed--no mid- or large-sized CONUS cities were utterly destroyed. Well, sorry. I suppose for those whose only measures for the success or failure of a particular hurricane season are a) corpse counts and b) damage amounts, 2010 may--again, I hope--go down as a bust for the CONUS. But for others who like watching and studying tropical weather, this remarkable season has been anything but...and there's a whole lot of it left.
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thanks. if the MJO is headed up in the western pacific, what does that mean for the SW Atlantic, Caribean and GOM?
Member Since: July 12, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1133
Good Morning.......That ULL centered over Bermuda is probably keeping 97L in check for the time being but it continues to retro-grade out to the NW. Once it gets out of the way over the the next 24 hours, 97L might have a better chance of development if it can generate some convection which has diminished since yesterday IMHO.
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Quoting Chicklit:
What someone 'thinks' about the season being over has no impact on the weather whatsoever.


By the same token.
What someone 'thinks' about the season has no impact on the weather whatsoever.
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Quoting WxLogic:
Appars 97L is having a hard time organizing... even though there's an anti-cyclone above it and no SAL to speak about:



Low level convergence is meager at best for now, but still has a good upper level divergence still thanks to the departing ULL to its NW.

If 97L is able to sustain itself without the help of the ULL to its NW then it might have chance. At least we can say that low/mid level vorticity have remain fairly stacked.

850MB VORT:


500MB VORT:



Finally, GFS appears to be doing good so far as ECMWF is starting to back off little by little from developing this feature and only leaving CMC (strongest & east) and NOGAPS (weakest & west) attempting to develop this system and moving it into the Bahamas region.


Agree 100% this is the hole scenario,
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1833. IKE
Quoting kshipre1:
Ike,

good morning. it seems like the dots are more in octants 3 and 4. does this mean more chance of recurves?


Not sure it means that, but the upward MJO looks headed toward the western PAC, IF those charts verify.
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Quoting cat5hurricane:
Yeah, the 850mb Vort looks really good. But the overall upper-level environmental conditions only look marginally favorable...at the moment. It does have factors limiting it's development as you mentioned.


The complete scenario, no passion Agree 100%
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Ike,

good morning. it seems like the dots are more in octants 3 and 4. does this mean more chance of recurves?
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1828. shfr173
Is that the remnent of Mathew?
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Pretty wet, system supposed to deepen to 950s in millibars. Another one behind it by the start of next week. October starts.

Anyone want an inch or so of rain?

Gotta love omega block/pattern regimes (though it seems like it'll weaken soon).
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1825. Gearsts
Is not ther thats wrong.Should be where the vort is.
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1823. WxLogic
Appars 97L is having a hard time organizing... even though there's an anti-cyclone above it and no SAL to speak about:



Low level convergence is meager at best for now, but still has a good upper level divergence still thanks to the departing ULL to its NW.

If 97L is able to sustain itself without the help of the ULL to its NW then it might have chance. At least we can say that low/mid level vorticity have remain fairly stacked.

850MB VORT:


500MB VORT:



Finally, GFS appears to be doing good so far as ECMWF is starting to back off little by little from developing this feature and only leaving CMC (strongest & east) and NOGAPS (weakest & west) attempting to develop this system and moving it into the Bahamas region.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5038

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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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