An evening shift at NHC: A Shary situation

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:57 PM GMT on October 28, 2010

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We have a rare late October triple threat in the Atlantic this morning, three "Invests" with a decent chance of developing. The most serious threat is Invest 91L, a tropical wave centered near 7N 49W, about 950 miles east-southeast of the Lesser Antilles Islands. 91L is moving west to west-northwest at 15 - 20 mph, and will spread heavy rains and gusty winds to the northern coast of South America and the southern Lesser Antilles Islands beginning on Friday night. The system is under low wind shear less than 10 knots, but is too close to the Equator to spin up very rapidly. The storm will also have difficultly developing due to land interaction with South America this weekend. However, several models are indicating the possibility that 91L could develop into a tropical depression in the Central Caribbean by the middle of next week. NHC is giving 90L a 20% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone by Saturday.

A low pressure system (Invest 90L) centered near 27N 42W in the middle Atlantic Ocean has developed a broad and elongated circulation. Heavy thunderstorms on its east side are generating tropical storm-force winds. However, the circulation of 90L has become increasingly stretched out this morning, and the storm is not as well organized as it was last night. NHC is giving 90L a 50% chance of developing into a tropical storm by Saturday.

Finally, a low pressure system (Invest 92L) centered 700 miles south-southeast of Bermuda is developing a surface circulation, and appears very close to tropical depression status. NHC is giving 92L a 60% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone by Saturday. The only land area that might be affected by 92L is Bermuda.


Figure 1. A rare late-October triple threat in the Atlantic: three areas of disturbed weather listed by NHC as areas of interest (Invests) worth running forecast models on. Image credit: National Hurricane Center.

A quiet Tuesday evening shift at NHC
Tuesday evening was a quiet shift at the National Hurricane Center, where I've spent the week as a participant in their visiting scientist program. Each week during hurricane season, NHC invites a hurricane researcher or forecaster in academia, government, or private industry to spend a week shadowing the NHC forecasters as they prepare their forecast products. The evening shift is chosen, since it is less of a zoo, and the presence of the visiting scientist will present less of a distraction to the forecasters.

There was only one area of interest (Invest 90L) on Tuesday. 90L was a disorganized low pressure system in the middle Atlantic that had gotten tangled up with an upper-level low pressure system that was bringing dry air and disruptive wind shear. I worked with senior hurricane specialist Dan Brown, who cheerfully analyzed 90L with me, but confided that this storm was barely worth keeping as an Invest. He lowered its chances of development to 10%, but did order one more run of the various forecast models, so I could see how that was done. He also pointed out two other systems he thought might turn into "Invests" worth watching later in the week, and noted in particular that the large tropical wave approaching South America was unusually vigorous for this time of year, and might be something to be concerned about if it managed to avoid South America and penetrate into the southern Caribbean.

Since there wasn't much else to see on the hurricane end of their operation, I spent the rest of the evening working with NHC's marine forecasting branch. The National Hurricane Center is responsible for preparing weather analysis charts and marine forecasts for the tropical Atlantic and Eastern Pacific, and I worked with meteorologist Felix Garcia of NHC's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch (TAFB). He prepared the 8pm Tropical Weather Discussion, and the 00Z tropical analysis chart. I'm highly envious of the software tools NHC has to prepare forecasts and make analysis charts! I want an NAWIPS and ATCF workstation like these guys have, which allows one to zoom, pan, overlay, and quickly change speeds of animations. I'm proud to say that I am responsible for a portion of the 1016 mb isobar on the 00Z tropical Atlantic surface analysis map for Tuesday night, which I drew using the fantastic map drawing software at NHC.

Wednesday evening: A Shary situation
Wednesday evening was a bit more interesting. Invest 90L had been joined by Invest 91L and Invest 92L, and odds for development of 90L had been bumped up to 30%. I spent the first portion of the shift working with TAFB forecaster Wally Barnes, who made the intensity and position estimates of the three invests based on infrared satellite imagery. This task is accomplished using the Dvorak technique, a system of classifying cloud patterns of tropical cyclones based on how cold the cloud tops are, how much spiral banding is present, and other factors. Wally let me determine where the center of 90L was at 00Z last night, and enter the fix into the official database. I am now forever responsible for a tiny piece of the 2010 Atlantic hurricane data base--an awesome responsibility! (It's my first addition to the cause since I sent in my final Hurricane Hunter VORTEX report from the eye of Hurricane Hugo on September 15, 1989, complaining about hitting 5.7 G's of acceleration.) We classified 90L as a T2.0, which is respectable, and meant the system might be on its way to status as Tropical Storm Shary. Wally had to do the analysis for the large, ill-defined tropical wave (Invest 91L), since his eye was much more highly trained to pick out subtle motions in the satellite animations that indicated where the most likely center of circulation might be trying to develop.


Figure 2. "My boat is right here!" Forecaster Wally Barnes of NHC's Tropical Analysis and Forecasting Branch (TAFB) shows where he suspects the center of rotation of Invest 91L might be at 00Z on October 28, 2010.

Wally and I printed out the fix information we'd come up with for 90L, and took it over to Dan Brown, who was working the evening shift again over at the hurricane side of NHC.

"What, you're giving this a T2.0?" Dan good-naturedly hassled us, as we presented the fix info. "You're just trying to get something going for Jeff here so he can see some advisories get issued." Wally defended our analysis, pointing out how the heavy thunderstorms of 90L were pushing closer to the center of circulation, and how the cloud tops had gotten much colder. Dan agreed that 90L really was worthy of more attention, and commented that there was a good chance one of our three invests would probably develop into something NHC would have to issue advisories on before my final shift at NHC ended on Friday night. His prediction was that it would be 92L, the system a few hundred miles north of Puerto Rico.

An hour later, Dan wasn't so sure that 90L wouldn't beat 92L to the title of Tropical Storm Shary. The European ASCAT satellite had just sent in an image of the surface winds over 90L, and ASCAT was showing that the storm had a closed circulation and a respectable area of 40 mph tropical storm-force winds. He gave a call to James Franklin, the head of the hurricane specialist unit at NHC, who was at home. I listened in.

"Hey, I just got ASCAT," said Dan. "It's 35 knots. You can see the center, and the convection is about 130 miles to the northeast. I'm thinking of starting it as a tropical storm, but I hate to start it now, since the convection started at 21Z, and I'd like to see it persist. The ASCAT pass shows the circulation is a bit elongated, and the most recent microwave images are also showing that."

After discussing whether or not to initiate advisories on Tropical Storm Shary for a few more minutes, Dan hung up, then told me the scoop. "This is one of the most difficult parts of the job. It's a real judgment call whether or not to name a storm, when it's such a borderline situation like this. What we're going to do is issue a Special Tropical Weather Outlook mentioning that 90L has gale-force winds, bump the probability of development up to 50 or 60%, watch it for a few more hours, then re-assess." Dan then proceeded to call his replacement, Eric Blake, who was due to work the night shift, to tell him to come in as planned, since it looked like there could well be a Tropical Storm Shary to deal with. Dan then proceeded to write the Special Tropical Weather Outlook and send it out.


Figure 3. "The one that got away was this big!" Wally Barnes tells hurricane specialist Dan Brown what he thinks of 90L's recent burst of heavy thunderstorm activity.

Next update
I'll have an update on Thursday morning from the National Hurricane Center on the latest from the tropics.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting PensacolaDoug:
91L is coming right along. Hard to believe they only have it at 20%



2pm TWO

A VIGOROUS TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED OVER THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC ABOUT
850 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS IS PRODUCING A
LARGE AREA OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. THIS SYSTEM HAS BECOME
BETTER ORGANIZED TODAY...AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS APPEAR TO BE
FAVORABLE FOR SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE DURING THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THERE IS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF
THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS
IT MOVES WESTWARD OR WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 15 TO 20 MPH.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting JLPR2:


I must agree with the fact that 91L is spinning very nicely.
Yes..And there is a shelf full of Hurricane Wheaties in the Caribbean cupboard when Pre-Shari gets there.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19537
91L is coming right along. Hard to believe they only have it at 20%
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 519
Quoting Neapolitan:

ATCF has it classified as a "disturbance", a step above a wave. Next stop: TD.

AL, 91, 2010102812, , BEST, 0, 72N, 486W, 30, 1006, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1009, 150, 120, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
...next stop LO,then TD???
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting kshipre1:
maybe I am crazy for saying this because it is way too early but I am relieved that Florida's name is nowhere to be seen with 91L and hopefully it stays that way
Then it will probably get hit then.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaTom:
Gosh, I wonder if someone can point out where the jet is located in this image?



Wow, powerful jet....


That is the door to the Hurricane season. (Subtropical Jet)
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
126. JLPR2
92L reminds me of STS Olga in 07
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
125. JLPR2
Quoting hydrus:
They might even tag her at the 11 P.M. advisory.


I must agree with the fact that 91L is spinning very nicely.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
118.Thats not what i meant nvm what i said :/
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TampaTom:
Gosh, I wonder if someone can point out where the jet is located in this image?



Wow, powerful jet....
Kinda a halloween looking pic...:)
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19537
121. JLPR2
Two orange circles and a red... O.o
Although 90L is looking tired, so maybe that one wont develop.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
000
ABNT20 KNHC 281733
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT THU OCT 28 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH A LOW PRESSURE
SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 1200 MILES NORTHWEST OF THE NORTHERNMOST CAPE
VERDE ISLANDS IS DISORGANIZED. DEVELOPMENT OF THIS LOW IS BECOMING
LESS LIKELY DUE TO UNFAVORABLE UPPER-LEVEL WINDS. THERE IS A
MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES SLOWLY WESTWARD.

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH A SURFACE LOW PRESSURE
AREA LOCATED ABOUT 600 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF BERMUDA CONTINUE TO
SHOW SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION...HOWEVER THIS SYSTEM DOES NOT YET HAVE
A WELL-DEFINED CENTER OF CIRCULATION. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE
SOMEWHAT CONDUCIVE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A TROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL
DEPRESSION OVERNIGHT OR ON FRIDAY...HOWEVER UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE
EXPECTED TO BECOME LESS FAVORABLE AFTER THAT. THERE IS A HIGH
CHANCE...60 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A SUBTROPICAL OR
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES
WEST-NORTHWESTWARD NEAR 15 MPH.

A VIGOROUS TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED OVER THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC ABOUT
850 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS IS PRODUCING A
LARGE AREA OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. THIS SYSTEM HAS BECOME
BETTER ORGANIZED TODAY...AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS APPEAR TO BE
FAVORABLE FOR SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE DURING THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THERE IS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF
THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS
IT MOVES WESTWARD OR WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 15 TO 20 MPH.


ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER PASCH/CANGIALOSI

Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9576
Quoting Neapolitan:

Good one, Doug. You take an article that talks repeatedly about the certainty of Arctic sea ice melting and the dangers inherent in that happening, yet you focus on only the part that shows forecasters were a little too aggressive on the timeline for that happening as "proof" the the theory is a sham?

Seriously?

Inadequate-but-possibly-somewhat-illustrative-analogy time: a man goes to the doctor because he's not feeling well. That doctor tells him that he has cancer. He goes to another for a second opinion, and is told the same thing. Increasingly concerned, he solicits the opinion of a third, then a fourth, then a fifth, but all of them agree: he does, indeed, have inoperable cancer. Almost resigned to that fact, he finally as asks one how long he has to live. That doctor tells him "About six months is my guess."

But then!

The man wakes up in the hospital six months and two days later, and--while the cancer is still obviously ravaging his body in and out, and he can barely move--he looks at the calendar, then laughs as loudly as his sickened lungs will let him while croaking, "I knew it! Those doctors lied to me!!!!! I didn't die at six months, so I clearly don't have cancer!!!"

;-)




Pretty goofy analogy there Nea. Regardless, you say, and I quote: "Good one, Doug. You take an article that talks repeatedly about the certainty of Arctic sea ice melting and the dangers inherent in that happening, yet you focus on only the part that shows forecasters were a little too aggressive on the timeline for that happening as "proof" the the theory is a sham?

I didn't offer this article as proof that AGW theory is a sham. Where did I say that? I just posted the article as something to consider is all. Don't read more into it than there is.
Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 519
Gearsts if it is more than a wave then tell me what is this looks to me as a wave with a low at 1006 mb
plus AL, 91, 2010102812, , BEST, 0, 72N, 486W, 30, 1006, DB, the is more than a wave if it was just a wave then it would have a WV instead of a DB
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9576
000
ABNT20 KNHC 281733
TWOAT
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT THU OCT 28 2010

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY ASSOCIATED WITH A LOW PRESSURE
SYSTEM LOCATED ABOUT 1200 MILES NORTHWEST OF THE NORTHERNMOST CAPE
VERDE ISLANDS IS DISORGANIZED. DEVELOPMENT OF THIS LOW IS BECOMING
LESS LIKELY DUE TO UNFAVORABLE UPPER-LEVEL WINDS. THERE IS A
MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES SLOWLY WESTWARD.

SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH A SURFACE LOW PRESSURE
AREA LOCATED ABOUT 600 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF BERMUDA CONTINUE TO
SHOW SIGNS OF ORGANIZATION...HOWEVER THIS SYSTEM DOES NOT YET HAVE
A WELL-DEFINED CENTER OF CIRCULATION. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE
SOMEWHAT CONDUCIVE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A TROPICAL OR SUBTROPICAL
DEPRESSION OVERNIGHT OR ON FRIDAY...HOWEVER UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE
EXPECTED TO BECOME LESS FAVORABLE AFTER THAT. THERE IS A HIGH
CHANCE...60 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A SUBTROPICAL OR
TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS IT MOVES
WEST-NORTHWESTWARD NEAR 15 MPH.

A VIGOROUS TROPICAL WAVE LOCATED OVER THE TROPICAL ATLANTIC ABOUT
850 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE WINDWARD ISLANDS IS PRODUCING A
LARGE AREA OF SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS. THIS SYSTEM HAS BECOME
BETTER ORGANIZED TODAY...AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS APPEAR TO BE
FAVORABLE FOR SOME SLOW DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE DURING THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. THERE IS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF
THIS SYSTEM BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS AS
IT MOVES WESTWARD OR WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 15 TO 20 MPH.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

$$
FORECASTER PASCH/CANGIALOSI

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
115. CAAM
I guess Doc Masters got a pretty good week to be at the NHC after all. :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
106.WOW cmc doing too? Could that really happen?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Gosh, I wonder if someone can point out where the jet is located in this image?



Wow, powerful jet....
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
91L looks better than the other two.
Member Since: June 16, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1015
Yet NHC says 91L has 20% chance, i give it 70%
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
6 hrly fixes, they must think highly of 91L
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting Gearsts:
104.Not yet is still a wave with spin nothing more.

ATCF has it classified as a "disturbance", a step above a wave. Next stop: TD.

AL, 91, 2010102812, , BEST, 0, 72N, 486W, 30, 1006, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1009, 150, 120, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13275
104.Not yet is still a wave with spin nothing more.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
12Z CMC
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
hey look what I found

000
NOUS42 KNHC 271520 AMD
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1120 AM EDT WED 27 OCTOBER 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 28/1100Z TO 29/1100Z OCTOBER 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-148 AMENDMENT

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK : PSBL LOW LEVEL INVEST
NEAR 9.0N AND 57.5W FOR 29/1800Z WITH FOLLOW ON 6 HRLY
FIXES BEGINNING 30/1200Z IF SYSTEM DEVELOPS. ---ADDED


II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY....NEGATIVE.
WVW


000
NOUS42 KNHC 281430
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1030 AM EDT THU 28 OCTOBER 2010
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 29/1100Z TO 30/1100Z OCTOBER 2010
TCPOD NUMBER.....10-149

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA (NEAR BERMUDA)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 29/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01JJA INVEST
C. 29/1400Z
D. 29.0N 65.5W
E. 29/1730Z TO 29/2100Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

2. SUSPECT AREA (APPROACHING WINDWARD ISLANDS)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 71
A. 29/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01KKA INVEST
C. 29/1530Z
D. 09.5N 57.0W
E. 29/1730Z TO 29/2200Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT


3. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: BEGIN 6-HRLY FIXES ON SYSTEM
NEAR THE WINDWARD ISLANDS AT 30/1200Z NEAR 11N 62W.


II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS.
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY....NEGATIVE.
JWP


Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9576
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i believe its a go for 91L
They might even tag her at the 11 P.M. advisory.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19537
Quoting Jeff9641:


Look at the models for next week there is hope for a good bit of rain next week for FL.



There seems to always be lots of rain in the forecast for FL. Problem is the drought keeps getting worse and worse.

Either evaporation is at record levels or it just isn't happening. Not picking on you AT ALL, just seems these crazy models ALWAYS have it in the forecast.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting WeatherfanPR:
I hope 91L dissipates or moves very far away from Puerto Rico !!!
the pro surfers are going to get wet
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
91 seems like a td in the making guessing about 8inches for barbados
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91L is definitely looking stout this afternoon.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting NHCaddict:
Not a drop of rain at my house west or Orlando in more than a month. Getting crunchy in the yard, worried about the well. We could really use a nice rainy, breezy tropical storm. Nothing exciting, just anything with RAIN.

~shaking the rain stick~


I know your pain. Running on 36 days without rain here in Houston. Grass has been crunchy for weeks, and our hurricane season is climalogically over here. Good soaking rains normally aren't in the cards until December. blah.
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POSS T.C.F.A.
INV/91L/XX
MARK
8.18n/49.28w
Member Since: Posts: Comments:


Not a good year in the rain category for FL. A complete 180 in less than a years time. A wishin I will go.

My name is Ryan and, and, and ummm I am a wishcaster. PLEASE 91, PLEEEEAAASE.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
I hope 91L dissipates or moves very far away from Puerto Rico !!!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting EvPv:
Ask Mr. Brown when his next book is coming out. Will the title be 'The Lost Buoy' ?
:)

bah-dah-BUMP!

;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13275
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Good morning all.

Tropical Tidbit for Thursday, October 28th, with Video
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
84. 7544
91L looks like a td at this hour and the last 4 hours they might make the call soon imo
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Quoting NHCaddict:
Looks like a H'ween mask out there:)
Booo!
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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.