Tomas significantly weaker; damage very heavy on St. Lucia and neighboring islands

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:38 PM GMT on October 31, 2010

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Hurricane Tomas dealt a punishing blow to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, with the neighboring islands of St. Vincent, Dominica, and Barbados also suffering heavy damage. St. Lucia received the full brunt of the northern eyewall of Tomas as it intensified into a Category 2 hurricane with 100 mph winds early this morning. The St. Lucia weather service reported that sustained winds of 90 - 95 mph affected the island. A state of emergency has been declared on the island, and there are island-wide power outages on both St. Lucia and Dominica. Heavy flooding affected St. Lucia, washing out many bridges, and the airport is closed due to flooding. Damage to structures is considerable, with many roofs gone, and damage reported to hospitals, schools, and businesses.


Figure 1. Torrential rains from Tomas triggered massive flooding on St. Lucia that destroyed several bridges and severely damaged roads. Image credit: Caribbean Hurricane Network.

Tomas significantly weakens
An Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft arrived at Tomas at 2pm this afternoon, and found a much weaker storm. The 2pm EDT center fix found that the pressure has risen to 994 mb, and the strongest surface winds were barely Category 1 hurricane strength, 74 mph. The aircraft found the the eyewall had mostly collapsed. Satellite loops of Tomas also show a significant degradation in the appearance of the storm in recent hours. The storm is highly asymmetric with very little heavy thunderstorm activity or upper level outflow on the west side, and the hurricane has only one prominent spiral band, on the east side. Wind shear is a high 20 knots due to strong upper level west-southwest winds, and these winds are driving dry air at mid-levels of the atmosphere into Tomas' west side, as seen on water vapor satellite imagery.


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Tomas taken at 10:30am EDT Saturday October 30, as the storm began lashing the Lesser Antilles. At the time, Tomas was a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Track forecast for Tomas
The ridge of high pressure pushing Tomas to the west-northwest will weaken by Tuesday, as a trough of low pressure approaches the eastern U.S. and breaks down the ridge. This will result in Tomas slowing from its current 9 mph forward speed to 5 mph by Tuesday. By Thursday, the trough to Tomas' north should be able to pull the storm to the north. The exact timing and location of this turn is still very uncertain. The computer model solutions from the latest set of 8am EDT (12Z) runs include a strike on Haiti on Friday (GFS and GFDL models), a strike on the Dominican Republic on Friday (NOGAPS model), a strike on Haiti on Saturday (UKMET model), a strike on Jamaica and eastern Cuba on Thursday (Canadian), or a strike on Puerto Rico on Friday (HWRF).

Intensity forecast for Tomas
Wind shear is forecast to remain in the high range, 20 - 25 knots, through Monday night, then decline to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, for the remainder of the week. Tomas will struggle with the shear and the dry air to its west through Tuesday, and I expect it will weaken to a tropical storm tonight, and remain a tropical storm until Tuesday, when the shear finally relents. At that point, re-intensification is likely, though with the storm's inner core gone, I expect it will take Tomas two days before it can re-establish a complete eyewall. Hindering that process will be the slow motion of the storm, which will allow cooler waters from the depths upwell to the surface and cool the SSTs. Still, the waters are very warm in the Caribbean and these waters extend to great depth, so the upwelling cool water may not impede intensification as much as might ordinarily be expected. The intensity Tomas might have as landfall in Hispaniola or Jamaica is highly uncertain, and a strength anywhere between a tropical storm and Category 3 hurricane would not be surprising. The HWRF model predicts Tomas will be a borderline tropical storm/Category 1 hurricane on Friday, while the GFDL foresees Tomas will be a strengthening Category 3 hurricane as it bears down on Haiti Friday afternoon. I predict Tomas will have trouble reorganizing, and will be a strengthening Category 1 hurricane on Friday as it makes landfall in Haiti or the Dominican Republic.


Figure 3. Hurricane specialists Robbie Berg (background) and Dan Brown (foreground) discuss the latest data on Tomas Friday night at the National Hurricane Center.

Next update
I'll have an update Monday morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting juniort:

I'm here in Barbados cant take another beating!
Hopefully it won't develop but looks like more rain on the way for you.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 6069
One more thing..The eastern Carrib isn't the friendliest place for TC's. The "John Hope" rule and all.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Nothing mentioned yet by the NHC but I think it needs to be watched. Looks even better than it did last night.

I'm here in Barbados cant take another beating!
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"Tomas" got his head cut off Halloween night! Not looking nearly so glum for Haiti at the moment. Hope it stays that way.
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Good Morning...

Thanks goodness Tomas has been stripped out of all his associated convection... Hispaniola definitely doesn't need a HURR... I sure hope it keeps it up.
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morning
things have qupet here in st lucia, but we got a pounding from Tomas. the souther part of the island is totally cut off from he rest of the island. no access roads, and communication is almost zero. what is of grave concern to me is what looks like an area of disturbed weather to the southeast of the winwards. it appears there is some 850mb vort and a anticyclone to its south west. hope this not more trouble for us here in the islands
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582. IKE
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
i hope the next 29 days go out on a quiet note i have had enough now and can wait till april to do it again


Amen.
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Met Service of Jamaica website
Monday, November 1, 2010 at 5:00 a.m.

Bulletin #1 Tropical Storm Tomas

TROPICAL STORM TOMAS ENTERING THE CENTRAL CARIBBEAN SEA

Hurricane Tomas has weakened to a tropical storm but could re-strengthen near Jamaica later this week.

At 4:00 a.m. the centre of Tropical Storm Tomas was located near Latitude 13.8 degrees North, Longitude 67.7 degrees West, or about 220 kilometres (135 miles) northeast of Curacao, Netherlands Antilles, or 1020 kilometres (630 miles) east-southeast of Morant Point, Jamaica.

Tomas is moving towards the west near 22 km/h (14 mph) and this general motion, with a decrease in forward speed, is expected to continue for the next 48 hours.

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 85 km/h (50 mph), with higher gusts, and additional weakening is forecast over the next 24 hours before Tomas begins to re-strengthen by late Tuesday. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 280 km (175 miles) from the centre.

Satellite imagery shows that the heavy rainfall associated with Tropical Storm Tomas is displaced east of the centre of circulation, indicating that the system is now in an area of strong wind shear that is preventing development. This should continue through tonight; however, Tomas is likely to remain a tropical storm south of Hispaniola until Wednesday and then turn towards Haiti as a hurricane on Thursday. The current forecast is for the centre of the system to pass over Haiti and head towards the North Atlantic Ocean on Friday.

Jamaica should feel impacts from the outer bands of the storm on Thursday as it passes some distance east of the island. Periods of heavy rainfall and strong, gusty winds could be experienced, mainly over eastern parishes and eastern waters. Some storm surge could also occur over coastal areas of northeastern parishes.

Fishers on the cays and banks are further urged to complete their preparations and be on the alert to evacuate.

The Meteorological Service continues to monitor the progress of this system, and all interests, especially fishers and other marine operators, should pay special attention to further Releases.

The next Bulletin on Tropical Storm Tomas will be issued at 8:00 a.m. today.
egt
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Tomas starts out yesterday as a 100mph hurricane and is knocked down to a 50mph naked TS this morning. How is he going to last another 24 hours under these conditions?
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i hope the next 29 days go out on a quiet note i have had enough now and can wait till april to do it again
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577. IKE
29 days...
17 hours...
41 minutes and it's hopefully finished.
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Quoting IKE:
not much left die tomas die
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Met Service of Jamaica website
November 01, 2010 at 5:00 a.m.

LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST

SIGNIFICANT FEATURE… High Pressure Ridge across the western Caribbean.

Comment
The High Pressure Ridge will weaken as Tropical Storm Tomas enters the central Caribbean tomorrow.

24-HOURS FORECAST
This Morning… Partly cloudy.
This Afternoon… Isolated showers and thunderstorms mainly across southern parishes and inland areas elsewhere.
Tonight …Becoming fair.

Maximum temperatures expected today:
Kingston…32 degrees Celsius.
Montego Bay…32 degrees Celsius.

3-DAYS FORECAST (starting tomorrow)
Tue… Partly cloudy morning across northern parishes but mainly sunny elsewhere. Isolated showers and thunderstorms during the afternoon.
Wed… Partly cloudy morning with isolated showers across sections of eastern parishes. Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms across sections of most parishes.
Thurs… Outbreaks of showers and thunderstorms with tropical-storm force winds.

Regionally… Tropical Storm Tomas continues to weaken this morning and at 4:00 a.m. was located 220 kilometres northeast of Curacao. Additional weakening is forecast over the next 24 hours but re-strengthening could begin late Tuesday.
kjb
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573. IKE
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Quoting juniort:
Looks quite interesting right now though!



Nothing mentioned yet by the NHC but I think it needs to be watched. Looks even better than it did last night.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Quoting scott39:
Goodmorning, I do not know how Tomas can take another 24 hours of wind shear over a naked swirl without dissipating?
Wind shear tendency map shows shear reducing but IDK.
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Goodmorning, I do not know how Tomas can take another 24 hours of wind shear over a naked swirl without dissipating?
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Looks quite interesting right now though!



Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I see that too. According to the NHC surface maps looks like a wave. They sure don't need any more rain.
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Good Morning

Do solar panels produce more energy than it takes to produce them?

I have been watching all the models for days. Now with Thomas a TS not a Hurricane and still VERY far south, will it still make a complete 120-140 degree turn?
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Quoting stormpetrol:
morning, i'm thinking tomas going too far south for the trough to turn him north but that's just my take
Morning. I was thinking the same thing.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Quoting juniort:
There looks like something is south east of the islands again..hope not more trouble
I see that too. According to the NHC surface maps looks like a wave. They sure don't need any more rain.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
There looks like something is south east of the islands again..hope not more trouble
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morning, i'm thinking tomas going too far south for the trough to turn him north but that's just my take
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Quoting surfmom:
Good Morning--checking in b/4 work-- hummmmmmmm is tomas dead or alive??
Good morning. According to NHC he is still alive. Just taking a break for the next 24 hrs. We shall see.
Member Since: October 9, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 8436
Good Morning--checking in b/4 work-- hummmmmmmm is tomas dead or alive??
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TropicalStormTomas's heading turned westward to (9.6degrees south of) dueWest
from it's previous heading of (4.5degrees south of) WestSouthWest
TS.Tomas's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions decreased to ~13.7mph(~22km/h) from its previous travel speed of ~15mph(~27.8km/h)
HurricaneTomas : Category2
31Oct 09amGMT - 14.0n62.9w - 100mph_(~160.9km/h) - - 983mb - NHC.Adv.#9
31Oct 12pmGMT - 14.0n63.3w - 100mph_(~160.9km/h) - - 983mb - NHC.Adv.#9A
Cat.1
31Oct 03pmGMT - 14.0n63.7w - - 90mph_(~144.9km/h) - - 986mb - NHC.Adv.#10
31Oct 06pmGMT - 14.2n64.3w - - 70knots.(~129.6km/h) - - 992mb - ATCF
31Oct 09pmGMT - 14.4n64.9w - - 75mph_(~120.7km/h) - - 994mb - NHC.Adv.#11
TS.Tomas
1Nov. 12amGMT - 14.4n65.6w - - 55knots.(~101.9km/h) - - 997mb - ATCF
1Nov. 03amGMT - 14.2n66.5w - - 65mph_(~104.6km/h) - - 997mb - NHC.Adv.#12
1Nov. 06amGMT - 13.9n67.1w - - 45knots . (~84.3km/h) - 1003mb - ATCF
1Nov. 03amGMT - 13.8n67.7w - - 50mph__(~80.5km/h) - 1003mb - NHC.Adv.#13

Copy&paste 14.0n62.9w, 14.0n63.3w, 14.0n63.7w, 14.2n64.3w, 14.4n64.9w-14.4n65.6w, 14.4n65.6w-14.2n66.5w, 14.2n66.5w-13.9n67.1w, 13.9n67.1w-13.8n67.7w, cya, aua into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the headings and the distances traveled over the last 12^hours.
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560. IKE
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 1st day of the month at 08:40Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 300)
Storm Number & Year: 21L in 2010
Storm Name: Tomas (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 5
Observation Number: 14
A. Time of Center Fix: 1st day of the month at 8:08:30Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 13°45'N 67°29'W (13.75N 67.4833W) (View map)
B. Center Fix Location: 336 miles (541 km) to the SSW (196°) from San Juan, Puerto Rico (USA).
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,461m (4,793ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 34kts (~ 39.1mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 21 nautical miles (24 statute miles) to the W (277°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 32° at 27kts (From the NNE at ~ 31.1mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 37 nautical miles (43 statute miles) to the W (277°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 1003mb (29.62 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 17°C (63°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,540m (5,052ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 22°C (72°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,536m (5,039ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 6°C (43°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: 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 2 nautical miles
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 47kts (~ 54.1mph) in the northeast quadrant at 5:45:50Z
Maximum Flight Level Wind Outbound: 43kts (~ 49.5mph) in the north quadrant at 8:21:30Z
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Good night all looks like another system sneaking up on Pottery from the east 10n 50w.
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TropicalStormTomas's heading turned southward to (4.5degrees south of) WestSouthWest
from it's previous heading of (9.8degrees west of) WestSouthWest
TS.Tomas's average speed moving between its last 2 reported positions decreased to ~15mph(~27.8km/h) from its previous travel speed of ~20.7mph(~33.3km/h)
HurricaneTomas : Category2
31Oct 06amGMT - 13.8n62.4w - 100mph_(~160.9km/h) - - 982mb - NHC.Adv.#8A
31Oct 09amGMT - 14.0n62.9w - 100mph_(~160.9km/h) - - 983mb - NHC.Adv.#9
31Oct 12pmGMT - 14.0n63.3w - 100mph_(~160.9km/h) - - 983mb - NHC.Adv.#9A
Cat.1
31Oct 03pmGMT - 14.0n63.7w - - 90mph_(~144.9km/h) - - 986mb - NHC.Adv.#10
31Oct 06pmGMT - 14.2n64.3w - - 70knots.(~129.6km/h) - - 992mb - ATCF
31Oct 09pmGMT - 14.4n64.9w - - 75mph_(~120.7km/h) - - 994mb - NHC.Adv.#11
TS.Tomas
1Nov. 12amGMT - 14.4n65.6w - - 55knots.(~101.9km/h) - - 997mb - ATCF
1Nov. 03amGMT - 14.2n66.5w - - 65mph_(~104.6km/h) - - 997mb - NHC.Adv.#12
1Nov. 06amGMT - 13.9n67.1w - - 45knots . (~84.3km/h) - 1003mb - ATCF

Copy&paste 13.8n62.4w, 14.0n62.9w, 14.0n63.3w, 14.0n63.7w, 14.2n64.3w-14.4n64.9w, 14.4n64.9w-14.4n65.6w, 14.4n65.6w-14.2n66.5w, 14.2n66.5w-13.9n67.1w, cya, aua, 13.9n67.1w-12.48n69.9w into the GreatCircleMapper for a look at the headings and the distances traveled over the last 12^hours.

Using straightline projection upon the speed&heading averaged
over the 3hours spanning the last two reported positions:
~12&1/2hours from now to QuadirikiCaves,Aruba

^ The westernmost line-segment is the straightline projection.
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557. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Tropical Cyclone Warning Center Perth
Tropical Cyclone Advice #15
TROPICAL CYCLONE ANGGREK (01U)
15:00 PM WST November 1 2010
======================================

At 2:00 pm WST (12:30pm Cocos local time) Tropical Cyclone Anggrek, Category 2 (989 hPa) or 10.6S 97.5E about 190 km north northeast of Cocos Island has 10 minute sustained winds of 50 knots with gusts of 70 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving south southeast at 5 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T3.5/3.5/S0.0/24HRS

Storm Force Winds
=================
30 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
=================
70 NM from the center

Tropical Cyclone Anggrek is expected to intensify Monday night as it moves southwards towards the Cocos Islands. Squalls on the islands will get gradually stronger during the day with periods of gale force winds likely by nightfall.

With the cyclone expected to curve around toward the west on Tuesday it is likely that it will be close to Cocos for an extended period and so gales should continue throughout Tuesday. If the cyclone passes close by VERY DESTRUCTIVE wind gusts will occur and tides are likely to rise above the normal high tide mark with DAMAGING WAVES and flooding of low lying areas.

Tropical Cyclone Warnings
=========================
A Cyclone WARNING continues for people on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Forecast and Intensity
======================
12 HRS: 11.6S 97.7E - 60 knots (CAT 2)
24 HRS: 12.1S 97.4E - 70 knots (CAT 3)
48 HRS: 13.2S 95.8E - 70 knots (CAT 3)
72 HRS: 13.9S 93.2E - 55 knots (CAT 2)

Additional Information
=======================
The system was located using an SSMIS pass at 0135Z together with animated IR, NIR and VIS imagery. The location of the centre is not too clear so the uncertainty of the position has been increased to 60nm. Shear appears to be decreasing and a curved band may be developing. Attempts to apply a curved band pattern give a curvature between 0.5/0.8, resulting in a DT of 3.0. A shear pattern in the VIS imagery yields a similar result, but a shear pattern doesn't appear as applicable now. No recent SATCON is available.

The MET is 3.5 based on a 24 hour trend of D-. Pattern matching indicates no adjustment hence DT is 3.0 and MET/PAT are 3.5. The final wind intensity estimate is assigned at 50 knots. Shear over the system appears to be diminishing, and the upper flow is markedly diffluent. Conditions are forecast to become more favourable during the remainder of today with shear forecast to diminish further and an outflow channel likely to become better established to the south.

Based on the expected conditions, and in general agreement with the trend in NWP and STIPS, the system is forecast to reach hurricane intensity during Tuesday. The spread of model guidance indicates the Cocos Islands have a high risk of impact from hurricane force winds during Tuesday.

As the system passes south of 12S the ocean heat content becomes marginal. The system is also likely to encounter more stable boundary layer air in the wake of the mid latitude system. Hence the system is expected to weaken as it moves off to the southwest on Wednesday. STIPS is consistent with this but some NWP guidance do not weaken the system until later.
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I'm out. Happy November everybody!
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Quoting alfabob:


Well if energy management is out main concern, then I would be worried about the atmospheric windows; if we can absorb heat by means of infrared solar panels (future technology), then we can re-emit at another frequency which can penetrate the atmosphere (without being absorbed and re-emitted in the infrared region). But if we continue to add compounds into the atmosphere without knowing how they affect this "window", then we may create a very difficult problem to solve.

We just need to focus on keeping the polar regions cool, and adjusting a few issues to cut down on unhealthy environmental exposures. We "geo-engineered" the planet this far, I'm hoping that we can continue to change it into something which benefits everyone.
I feel ya! But let's become carbon nuetral before wbe try to actually reduce solar energy adsorption. There are things we MAY be able to do in the future and things we CAN do today. I think we should start doing the things we CAN do.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Ok, I am out of here for the night, Tomas is almost dead :)




Thanks Orca, Good night.
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Ok, I am out of here for the night, Tomas is almost dead :)




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Quoting victoriahurricane:


I've lived in Victoria my whole young life (19 years now) and I love it here. It has everything one could ask for and then some, I'm never moving out of here.


Go to bed..its 1139. if the Myth Busters were not having a special on channel 27, I would be asleep
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Quoting jonelu:

I know...I just read a whole article on Victoria....now I wanna go there.


I've lived in Victoria my whole young life (19 years now) and I love it here. It has everything one could ask for and then some, I'm never moving out of here.
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Quoting alfabob:


Not to be against the "American Dream" but capitalism is not for a more clean energy source. It is about publicity and efficiency (and maybe a little bit of federal corruption to get ahead of the competition). If you really consider all of the factors in the production of current solar cells, cloud seeding, and any other geo-engineering related projects; it may in the end cause more damage then without.

I never really believed in cloud seeding, but after witnessing planes creating on/off/on/off/on streaks of "contrails" while flying into moderately organized updrafts (and also having a B.S. in physics to apply the correct principles), it becomes pretty obvious that these trails are not carbon nucleates with condensed water molecules. Maybe after watching the same plane loop around 4 or 5 times and creating the same "contail" in the exact location within an hour or so.

How much pollution does minning the silver and barium sulfate produce? how is the absorption and emittion spectrum changed from ordinary cloud particulates? How with this affect the populations health and cost more energy and pollution to be generated?

For every solar panel made, does the raw materials create more GW effects than solve? Why are photovoltaic sells being advertised as the solution but they only last for 10 - 25 years? Is it possible that our "solutions" are in fact causing more damage then otherwise due to the nature of our society?

Our current system = act now + don't worry + make money

The solution is inform, act now, start caring.
Lifecycle energy and waste management analyses can help answer the questions you pose. Cellosic, nuclear, and wind power are all parts of the puzzle but there is not a replacement for fossil fuel available, rather, we need to find efficient fuels that make sense for individual regions.
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1003mb (29.62 inHg) Sea Level (Surface) 28.6°C (83.5°F) 26.5°C (79.7°F) 125° (from the SE) 10 knots (12 mph)
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France is the leader in nuclear energy and is 15 to 20 years ahead of us in advanced nuke reactor design. If we drag our feet we will be behind in alternative fuel technology also.

Link
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I actually work in R and D, to build a renewable energy industry in the U.S. We have the technology to start making a dent in fossil fuel consumption (at a resonable price) but lack the national will to put forth the effort.
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Quoting WXTXN:
Too bad for the rest of the world the Us has been at the wheel with a heavy foot for decades...
Sad, but true. Challenges like switching from fossil fuels to renewable sources would be seen as opportunities to lead and change the world but these days politicians are more interested in staying in office rather that leading.
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540. WXTXN
Quoting PrivateIdaho:
If you are driving down a road you have never been on before and you see a "curve ahead" sign, would you slow down?...If you suspected that human activity was damaging the environment....would you at least examine that activity so you could understand the repercusions?
Too bad for the rest of the world the Us has been at the wheel with a heavy foot for decades...
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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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