Tropical Storm Richard slowly intensifying

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:31 PM GMT on October 21, 2010

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Tropical Storm Richard is here, the seventeenth named storm of this very busy 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Richard's formation puts 2010 in 6th place for the greatest number of named storms in the Atlantic since record keeping began in 1851. Only 2005 (28 named storms), 1933 (21 named storms), 1995 (19 named storms), 1887 (19 named storms), and 1969 (18 named storms) had more.

We won't have another hurricane hunter aircraft in Richard until 8pm tonight, so we will have to rely on satellite intensity estimates until then. The closest buoy to Richard is NOAA buoy 42057, which is on Richard's weak side about 100 miles from the heaviest thunderstorms. Winds at the buoy were just 18 mph, gusting to 22 mph, at 2:43pm EDT this afternoon. Recent satellite imagery shows that Richard is steadily organizing, with several curved spiral bands forming on the storm's south and east sides. The storm is bringing very heavy rain to Jamaica. Water vapor satellite loops show considerable dry air to the west and north of Richard, and the southwesterly upper-level winds over the storm are bringing some of this dry into the core of the storm, keeping all the heavy thunderstorm development confined to the east side of the center. The waters beneath Richard are very warm, 29°C, and Richard will begin taking advantage of these warm waters now that the shear is falling.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Richard.

Intensity forecast for Richard
The latest SHIPS model forecast predicts that wind shear over the Western Caribbean will remain in the low range, 5 - 10 knots, through Monday morning. As the storm moves westwards on Friday, it will position itself beneath an upper-level high pressure system, which will aid the storm's upper-level outflow. With water temperatures a very warm 29°C and warm waters extending to great depth, Richard should be able to attain at least Category 1 hurricane strength by Saturday. NHC is currently giving Richard a 11% chance of becoming a major Category 3+ hurricane. I believe the odds are higher, near 30%. The main inhibiting factor for intensification will be interaction with the north coast of Honduras, and the possibility of the dry air to the west of Richard getting wrapped into the core of the storm while it is trying to organize. A band of very strong upper-level winds associated with the jet stream will be over the Gulf of Mexico early next week, so it is likely that if Richard crosses into the Gulf of Mexico, the storm will steadily weaken.

Track forecast for Richard
The latest set of 8am EDT (12Z) model runs are similar to the previous set of runs, and don't help illuminate what the long-range fate of Richard might be. Steering currents are weak in the Western Caribbean, and will remain weak through Friday morning, resulting in a slow, erratic movement for Richard. Most of the models favor a southerly, then southwesterly path at 5mph or less over the next two days. This may bring the center of Richard very close to or over the northern coast of Honduras on Saturday or Sunday, as predicted by the GFS, UKMET, and NOGAPS models. These models then show Richard dissipating over Central America. A much different solution is offered by the ECMWF, HWRF and GFDL models, which foresee less of a southerly motion for Richard over the next two days, resulting in the storm missing the north coast of Honduras by one hundred miles or more. These models take Richard to the northwest across the tip of the Yucatan (GFDL and ECMWF models) or western tip of Cuba (HWRF model) on Sunday or Monday. The HWRF and GFDL models predict Richard will be a threat to the west coast of Florida on Tuesday. NHC takes the reasonable approach of predicting a path somewhere between these two extremes, with Richard crossing the Yucatan between Cozumel and the Belize/Mexico border. Residents of northern Honduras should anticipate the possibility that Richard will pass very close or strike Honduras on Saturday or Sunday. Very heavy rains of 4 - 8 inches are possible over the the weekend in coastal Honduras beginning Friday night or Saturday morning. The 11am EDT NHC wind probability forecast is giving the highest odds for tropical storm-force winds at Guanaja in Honduras, at 46%. Cozumel, Mexico is given a 42% chance, Key West a 6% chance, and Ft. Myers a 3% chance.

Invest 90L
A tropical wave that emerged off the coast of Africa yesterday (Invest 90L) has a modest amount of spin and some growing thunderstorm activity. Wind shear is a moderate 5 - 15 knots, and the waters are still warm enough to support tropical storm formation. NHC is giving the system a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Saturday. By Sunday, 90L will encounter high wind shear of 20 - 40 knots, discouraging further development. This system is not a threat to cross the Atlantic and affect the Lesser Antilles or North America.

Typhoon Megi takes aim at China
Typhoon Megi continues it slow march towards China at 5 mph, and is expected to make landfall Saturday morning on the Chinese coast opposite from Taiwan. Megi has maintained strength as a Category 3 typhoon with 115 mph winds today, despite rising wind shear (now a moderate 10 - 20 knots) and cooling sea surface temperatures. Megi is moving slow enough and is large and powerful enough that it is probably upwelling cold water from the depths to the surface faster than it can move away, and these upwelling cool waters are keeping Megi from being a stronger storm. Wind shear will increase dramatically to 20 - 40 knots on Friday as the typhoon makes its final approach to the coast of China, and this shear should be high enough to reduce Megi to Category 1 status before landfall. Megi will still be a very large and powerful storm capable of causing considerable wind and storm surge damage even at Category 1 strength. However, heavy rain will likely be the storm's main threat, since it is moving slowly and is a huge storm. I expect Megi will be a billion-dollar disaster for China, mostly due to flooding from heavy rains. The outer rain bands of Megi are already affecting the coast of China near Taiwan, as seen on China's radar composite, as well as Taiwan radar.

The clean-up continues in the Philippines from Megi, which hit northern Luzon island on Monday morning at 3:30 UTC as a Category 5 super typhoon with sustained winds of 165 mph and a central pressure of 914 mb. Severe damage was done to Isabela Province in northern Luzon, and 19 deaths are being blamed on the storm. Considering most major typhoon that have hit the Philippine in recent year have killed hundreds and sometimes thousands of people, the low death toll from Megi is a testament to the excellent efforts by officials in the Philippines to get people out of harm's way in advance of the storm.


Figure 2. Rainfall rate for Megi as observed by the TRMM polar orbiting satellite at 10:01am EDT October 21, 2010. Heavy rains in excess of 0.8" per hour (yellow colors) were present in Megi's eyewall and spiral bands. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Next update
I'll have an update Friday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting IKE:


What exactly are my motives? You make it sound like I'm some evil person on here.

Motives? Related to the weather? Your attitude is one of being pissed for whatever reason.

Ya man, I'm pissed, you're not evil, just deliberately aggravating and you know it!! Case closed!! Like they say the only one that squeals is the one that gets hit!!
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7506
or by 16N 80W
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
so what you say reedzone between the two big blobs of convection near 16N 79.5W


I don't know, I do believe the center is further east near or in the convection (north convection with the new blow up)
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
Guess I’ll stay up for the 11:00 p.m. update. Not expecting to read anything earth-shattering. Until then, guess I’ll listen to some Shirley Bassey.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
KerryInNOLA-

I know, I know... Just making sure I get in "writing".
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9700
Quoting Dakster:
Gro -

Don't think the model have a handle on "tricky dick" at the moment.

Although almost all of the storms this year so far have surprised in one way or other. From RI to falling apart, to track changes. I don't expect anything different from Richard.


This has been one strange season, even more than the blog. I do not believe they do have a good handle on it yet. Late season storms are much harder to predict because of the atmospheric dynamics are very capricious.

Remember, even though models are mechanical, they still rely on data which is by implication and inference leading to an incongruous conclusion.

Hope that cleared it up for you.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
so what you say reedzone between the two big blobs of convection near 16N 79.5W
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Quoting Grothar:


Funny, you should mention that. This reminds me of a storm back in '06. That is 1906 to you. Late October storm as I remember. Ne'er on to hit us twice down here. Strange little critter it was.


Ha Ha, and in the time I have been following weather, 1906 is about right! I know a weary eye must be kept, but I'm a half full (glass) kinda guy!
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
682. kmanislander 2:04 AM GMT on October 22, 2010

The one thing of interest is that the high is oriented more to the North and South than East to West. Unless this changes the influence of the high may be relatively short lived and the trough behind it will set in shortly thereafter.

Of note though is the fact that the high is quite intense and should not have much trouble dislodging Richard from his present stalled position.

LOOKING AT THAT GRAPHIC

Excellent observation about the elongation, it is just a matter of how quick the high moves Eastward, and out of the way, and obviously how far Richard moves West/NWest by the influence from the high, before the next trough comes into play and wants to tug Richard
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Friggin GE is giving me a hard time :(

Complete Update



AOI
AOI AOI AOI

AOI AOI AOI

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
Climatologically speaking, a tropical cyclone in Richard's general position in October has Florida written all over it. If there is anything left of the system, it will very likely impact Florida at some point (could be remnant low/TD/TS, etc.). If it were September then the Northern Gulf Coast would be most likely, whereas in November, it would likely go east of Florida into the western Atlantic. I, for one, am just hoping for some rain and a breezy day followed by a REAL cold front with a couple nights in the 40s.
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Quoting KerryInNOLA:
As far as any hurricane striking solid land it is over.


So I can cancel my windstorm coverage and take down the shutters...

And if you are wrong you will pay for my damages?
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9700
701. doorman79
2:15 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting Orcasystems:
Ah what the heck... my two cents worth

Ike is a lot of things.. a troll isn't any of them. If Ike tells you your in it deep.. listen up and start looking for higher ground.

He doesn't pretend to be a forecaster or semi pro weather weenie.. he has been a round here long enough to look at things with common sense.

Something a lot of you younger types appear to be lacking from a lot of the chat I have seen on here lately.

My two cents.. take it or leave it... like Ike, I don't really care one way or the other if you like what I say or not.


Plus he is a Zepplin man!
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
700. SouthDadeFish
2:14 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting jrweatherman:


He doesn't show the other side, he only shows one side.
Because the entire rest of the blog always shows the other side. He doesn't need to show the other side.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
699. reedzone
2:14 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting Orcasystems:
Ah what the heck... my two cents worth

Ike is a lot of things.. a troll isn't any of them. If Ike tells you your in it deep.. listen up and start looking for higher ground.

He doesn't pretend to be a forecaster or semi pro weather weenie.. he has been a round here long enough to look at things with common sense.

Something a lot of you younger types appear to be lacking from a lot of the chat I have seen on here lately.

My two cents.. take it or leave it... like Ike, I don't really care one way or the other if you like what I say or not.


Very good post right there!
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
698. Grothar
2:13 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting doorman79:


You tell me, you invented the square wheel lol

Doing good!


Funny, you should mention that. This reminds me of a storm back in '06. That is 1906 to you. Late October storm as I remember. Ne'er on to hit us twice down here. Strange little critter it was.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
697. SouthDadeFish
2:13 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Center location with respect to convection:

Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
696. jrweatherman
2:12 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting SouthDadeFish:
Lol idk why IKE is taking so much crap tonight. IKE always shows the other side of the story. So many people on here hype up a storm saying rapid intensification is coming, etc, while IKE is always realistic, showing what else can happen when no one cares to talk about it. It may not be the fun thing, but its accurate.


He doesn't show the other side, he only shows one side.
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 650
695. Orcasystems
2:12 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Ah what the heck... my two cents worth

Ike is a lot of things.. a troll isn't any of them. If Ike tells you your in it deep.. listen up and start looking for higher ground.

He doesn't pretend to be a forecaster or semi pro weather weenie.. he has been a round here long enough to look at things with common sense.

Something a lot of you younger types appear to be lacking from a lot of the chat I have seen on here lately.

My two cents.. take it or leave it... like Ike, I don't really care one way or the other if you like what I say or not.
Member Since: October 1, 2007 Posts: 81 Comments: 26493
694. GeoffreyWPB
2:11 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
693. IKE
2:10 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting stormpetrol:
Quoting NOLALawyer:


Ike just enjoys taking a dump in the collective punchbowl. The only reason he isn't labeled a troll is because his methods are subtle. He doesn't make bold statements intended to rile people up, he just posts naked swirls, models full of empty oceans and any model or track that shifts away from the U.S. He is actually more effective with his techniques than a rabid troll because he is the ultimate downer.

Took the words right out my mouth, that is what I call excellent personality profiling ( hope you don't mind that word) cherry picks graphs, and comments by the "experts" and models just for sole purpose of aggravating others, not because they wishcast or anything else, just basically to be contrary, rarely a comment or debate of personal opinion, to sum it all a cold individual( long time poster , well his tactics are very annoying) though I might given him credit for posting some interesting graphics, his motives are clear!!!


What exactly are my motives? You make it sound like I'm some evil person on here.

Motives? Related to the weather? Your attitude is one of being pissed for whatever reason.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
691. Dakster
2:10 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Gro -

Don't think the model have a handle on "tricky dick" at the moment.

Although almost all of the storms this year so far have surprised in one way or other. From RI to falling apart, to track changes. I don't expect anything different from Richard.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 9700
690. Grothar
2:09 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting doorman79:


Have to admit he hasn't been wrong all year. I think when we here ike say "ow shi+" we may be in trouble lol!


Good one, doorman. Ike has been on this blog a long time, even before I came on.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
688. reedzone
2:08 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting shikori:


Looks like a new center is forming smack in the middle of that!
Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
687. doorman79
2:08 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting Grothar:


You, doorman, NEVER! How you doing? So, do you think the models will shift back to the right?


You tell me, you invented the square wheel lol

Doing good!
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
686. SouthDadeFish
2:06 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Lol idk why IKE is taking so much crap tonight. IKE always shows the other side of the story. So many people on here hype up a storm saying rapid intensification is coming, etc, while IKE is always realistic, showing what else can happen when no one cares to talk about it. It may not be the fun thing, but its accurate.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
685. Grothar
2:06 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting doorman79:


Hey, Pottery accused me of stirring the pot the other night lol! ;P


You, doorman, NEVER! How you doing? So, do you think the models will shift back to the right?
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
684. doorman79
2:06 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting stormpetrol:
Quoting NOLALawyer:


Ike just enjoys taking a dump in the collective punchbowl. The only reason he isn't labeled a troll is because his methods are subtle. He doesn't make bold statements intended to rile people up, he just posts naked swirls, models full of empty oceans and any model or track that shifts away from the U.S. He is actually more effective with his techniques than a rabid troll because he is the ultimate downer.

Took the words right out my mouth, that is what I call excellent personality profiling ( hope you don't mind that word) cherry picks graphs, and comments by the "experts" and models just for sole purpose of aggravating others, not because they wishcast or anything else, just basically to be contrary, rarely a comment or debate of personal opinion, to sum it all a cold individual( long time poster , well his tactics are very annoying) though I might given him credit for posting some interesting graphics, his motives are clear!!!


Have to admit he hasn't been wrong all year. I think when we here ike say "ow shi+" we may be in trouble lol!
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
683. caneswatch
2:05 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting Grothar:


You honestly don't think I am going to respond to that question? After the flack flying around about the models. I just post them and watch the arguments fly.


Haha, there's been a lot tonight. Honestly, it went from west, to east, to west again. They have no idea where it's going, and i'd say it moves back east again.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
682. kmanislander
2:04 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Good evening folks

Changes are afoot in the steering as seen below. The high is starting to nose over the top of Richard which should start to nudge the storm to the SW initially then off to the West and WNW.

The one thing of interest is that the high is oriented more to the North and South than East to West. Unless this changes the influence of the high may be relatively short lived and the trough behind it will set in shortly thereafter.

Of note though is the fact that the high is quite intense and should not have much trouble dislodging Richard from his present stalled position.

Another intersting 24 hours ahead

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681. Grothar
2:04 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


So you see it, too, huh? Thought I was the only one.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
679. jrweatherman
2:04 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting stormpetrol:
Quoting NOLALawyer:


Ike just enjoys taking a dump in the collective punchbowl. The only reason he isn't labeled a troll is because his methods are subtle. He doesn't make bold statements intended to rile people up, he just posts naked swirls, models full of empty oceans and any model or track that shifts away from the U.S. He is actually more effective with his techniques than a rabid troll because he is the ultimate downer.

Took the words right out my mouth, that is what I call excellent personality profiling ( hope you don't mind that word) cherry picks graphs, and comments by the "experts" and models just for sole purpose of aggravating others, not because they wishcast or anything else, just basically to be contrary, rarely a comment or debate of personal opinion, to sum it all a cold individual( long time poster , well his tactics are very annoying) though I might given him credit for posting some interesting graphics, his motives are clear!!!


Yep....
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 650
678. doorman79
2:03 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting Grothar:


You honestly don't think I am going to respond to that question? After the flack flying around about the models. I just post them and watch the arguments fly.


Hey, Pottery accused me of stirring the pot the other night lol! ;P
Member Since: August 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 895
677. GeoffreyWPB
2:03 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting Grothar:


You honestly don't think I am going to respond to that question? After the flack flying around about the models. I just post them and watch the arguments fly.


He reports...You decide.
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
675. stormpetrol
2:02 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting NOLALawyer:


Ike just enjoys taking a dump in the collective punchbowl. The only reason he isn't labeled a troll is because his methods are subtle. He doesn't make bold statements intended to rile people up, he just posts naked swirls, models full of empty oceans and any model or track that shifts away from the U.S. He is actually more effective with his techniques than a rabid troll because he is the ultimate downer.

Took the words right out my mouth, that is what I call excellent personality profiling ( hope you don't mind that word) cherry picks graphs, and comments by the "experts" and models just for sole purpose of aggravating others, not because they wishcast or anything else, just basically to be contrary, rarely a comment or debate of personal opinion, to sum it all a cold individual( long time poster , well his tactics are very annoying) though I might given him credit for posting some interesting graphics, his motives are clear!!!
Member Since: April 29, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 7506
674. GeoffreyWPB
2:02 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Member Since: September 10, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
673. Grothar
2:02 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting caneswatch:


What do you think Grothar? Do they move back?


You honestly don't think I am going to respond to that question? After the flack flying around about the models. I just post them and watch the arguments fly.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
670. SouthDadeFish
2:00 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Convective burst is starting right over the center. Let's see if it continues.
Member Since: August 12, 2007 Posts: 11 Comments: 2448
669. scooster67
2:00 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
It looks like the Texas trouth is moving the ridge East and South. What will that do to Tricky Dicky?
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668. IKE
1:59 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Recon looks done for now.
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667. reedzone
1:59 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
That little pop up convection is starting to grow fast..

Member Since: July 1, 2008 Posts: 13 Comments: 7334
666. caneswatch
1:59 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting Grothar:


What do you think Grothar? Do they move back?
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
665. IKE
1:58 AM GMT on October 22, 2010
Quoting shikori:
is the recon site working for anyone?


It is now....

Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 22nd day of the month at 01:22Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 301)
Storm Number & Year: 19L in 2010
Storm Name: Richard (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 4
Observation Number: 11
A. Time of Center Fix: 22nd day of the month at 1:07:20Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 15°52'N 80°30'W (15.8667N 80.5W) (View map)
B. Center Fix Location: 245 miles (394 km) to the SSE (166°) from George Town, Cayman Islands (GBR).
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: Not Available
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 35kts (~ 40.3mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 47 nautical miles (54 statute miles) to the NE (46°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 110° at 29kts (From the ESE at ~ 33.4mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 87 nautical miles (100 statute miles) to the NE (46°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 1006mb (29.71 inHg) - Extrapolated
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 22°C (72°F) at a pressure alt. of 426m (1,398ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 24°C (75°F) at a pressure alt. of 425m (1,394ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 23°C (73°F)
K. Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Level: 1,500 feet
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 0.5 nautical miles
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 31kts (~ 35.7mph) in the southeast quadrant at 0:04:30Z
Sea Level Pressure Extrapolation From: Below 1,500 feet
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858

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About JeffMasters

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