Early 2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecasts

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 6:22 AM GMT on April 07, 2011

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Hi everybody, this is Dr. Rob Carver filling in for Dr. Masters. 

A continuation of the pattern of much above-average Atlantic hurricane activity we've seen since 1995 is on tap for 2011, according to the latest seasonal forecast issued April 6 by Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University (CSU). They are calling for 16 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes. An average season has 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. The new forecast is nearly identical to their forecast made in December, which called for 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes. Only six seasons since 1851 have had as many as 17 named storms; 19 seasons have had 9 or more hurricanes. The 2011 forecast calls for a much above-average chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S., both along the East Coast (48% chance, 31% chance is average) and the Gulf Coast (47% chance, 30% chance is average). The Caribbean is forecast to have a 61% chance of seeing at least one major hurricane (42% is average.) Five years with similar pre-season November atmospheric and oceanic conditions were selected as "analogue" years that the 2011 hurricane season may resemble: 2008, 1999, 1996, 1955, and 2006.  The first four years listed all had neutral to La Niña SST's during hurricane season, while 2006 had El Niño SST's.  The average activity for these years was 12.6 named storms, 7.8 hurricanes, and 4.8 major hurricanes.

This year, the forecasters have introduced a new statistical model for their  April forecasts.  There are four components in this model:

1. Average sea-level pressure in March around the Azores in the subtropical Atlantic.

2. The average of January through March sea-surface temperatures (SST's) in the tropical Atlantic off the coast of Africa.

3. Average sea-level pressure in February and March for the southern tropical Pacific ocean west of South America.

4. Forecasts of September's SST in the tropical Pacific using a dynamical model from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) 

The first two components are loosely linked together.  Statistical studies have shown that a weaker subtropical high near the Azores, combined with warmer SST's off the coast of Africa in March are associated with weak winds near the surface and aloft from August to October.  This decrease in wind speeds reduces wind shear which can disrupt forming storms.  These March conditions also are associated with warmer SST's in August to October, which is also favorable for more tropical storms.   For this forecast, the first component is strongly favorable for increased hurricane activity, while the second component is weakly negative.

The last two components represent the changes in sea-surface temperature and sea-level pressure that are the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO).  Briefly speaking,  El Niño conditions (warm sea-surface temperatures) are not favorable for Atlantic hurricanes.  For more info on ENSO and hurricanes, Jeff has this article.

Using the ECMWF model as guidance (see Figure 1), the CSU group believes that SST's in the tropical Pacific will be neutral (less than 0.5°C from normal).  This would have a small negative effect on hurricane activity.  However, the tropical Pacific sea-level pressure shows that the atmosphere looks like a La Niña event is still going on.  This is strongly favorable for Atlantic hurricane activity in the CSU group's model.

Figure 1. Forecasts of El Niño conditions by 20 computer models, made in March 2011. The ECMWF forecast used by the CSU group is represented by the dark orange square.  The forecasts for August-September-October (ASO) show that 5 models predict El Niño conditions, 7 predict neutral conditions, and 5 predict a weak to moderate La Niña. El Niño conditions are defined as occurring when sea surface temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific off the coast of South America ( the "Niño 3.4 region) rise to 0.5°C above average (top red line). La Niña conditions occur when SSTs in this region fall to 0.5°C below average. Image credit: Columbia University.

How accurate are the April forecasts? While the formulas used by CSU do well in making hindcasts--correctly modeling the behavior of past hurricane seasons--their April hurricane season forecasts have had no skill in predicting the future. This year's April forecast is using a new system and has not yet produced a verified forecast.  The scheme used in the past three years successfully predicted active hurricane seasons for 2008 and 2010, but failed to properly predict the relatively quiet 2009 hurricane season. A different formula was used prior to 2008, and the April forecasts using that formula showed no skill over a simple forecast using climatology. CSU maintains an Excel spreadsheet of their forecast errors ( expressed as a mathematical correlation coefficient, where positive means a skilled forecast, and negative means they did worse than climatology) for their their April forecasts. For now, these April forecasts should simply be viewed as an interesting research effort that has the potential to make skillful forecasts. The next CSU forecast, due by June 1, is the one worth paying attention to. Their early June forecasts have shown considerable skill over the years.


Figure 2.
Accuracy of long-range forecasts of Atlantic hurricane season activity performed by Phil Klotzbach and Bill Gray of Colorado State University (colored squares) and Tropical Storm Risk, Inc. (colored lines). The CSU team's April forecast skill is not plotted, but is less than zero. The skill is measured by the Mean Square Skill Score (MSSS), which looks at the error and squares it, then compares the percent improvement the forecast has over a climatological forecast of 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. TS=Tropical Storms, H= Hurricanes, IH=Intense Hurricanes, ACE=Accumulated Cyclone Energy, NTC=Net Tropical Cyclone Activity. Image credit: TSR.

2011 Atlantic hurricane season forecast from Tropical Storm Risk, Inc.

The  British  private  forecasting  firm  Tropical Storm Risk, Inc.  (TSR),   issued  their  2011  Atlantic hurricane season forecast on April 5. They are also calling for  a  very  active  year: 14. 2 named storms, 7.5 hurricanes, and 3.6 intense hurricanes. We would round that to 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes.   This  compares to their forecast issued in December of 15.6 named storms, 8.4 hurricanes,   and intense hurricanes. TSR predicts a 55%  chance  of  an  above-average  hurricane season, 28% chance of a near-normal season, and only a 17%  chance  of  a  below normal season. TSR bases their April forecast on predictions  that  sea  surface temperatures this fall in the tropical  Atlantic  will  be  above  about  0.08°C above average, and trade  wind  speeds  will  be  about 0.2  m/s  slower  than average.  The decrease in the trade wind speeds is favorable for enhanced hurricane activity, while the forecast SST's are expected to be neutral for hurricane activity.

TSR puts their skill level right next to the forecast numbers: 13% skill above chance at forecasting the number of named storms, 11% skill for hurricanes, and 10% skill for intense hurricanes. That's not much skill, and really, we have to wait until the June 1 forecasts by CSU, NOAA, and TSR to get a forecast with reasonable skill.

Rob's critiques of the April forecasts
I have to note that Jeff and I wrote this article together.  He wrote the general framework before the forecasts were issued, while I wrote the details based on the actual forecasts.  So the preceding text is a joint production.  However, I have a few observations to make that are my responsibility alone.

First, I am disappointed that the CSU group has changed forecast models only after three seasonal forecasts.  This makes it very difficult to assess the skill of the current forecast using past performance.  This is very important for forecast users, and they do it everyday.  For example, I tend to discount a forecast of rain if it comes from a source that over-forecasts rain (The boy who cried wolf problem).

In the documentation that came with the April forecast, the CSU group argue that the hindcasts show the new forecast model has skill.  However, I think hindcasts are a poor substitute for real forecasts in understanding the skill of a statistical forecast model, like that of the CSU's group.  As Jeff noted, the previous forecast model did well with the hindcasts and yet had mixed results with the actual forecasts.  This does not give me confidence that the new forecast model will be superior to the previous model.

From a philosophical viewpoint, I am inherently cautious about statistical forecast models like the one used by the CSU group.  Essentially, they look at what happened in the past and use that to predict the future.  However, for making forecasts, we assume that the relationships in space and time between the predictors (such as the average March sea-level pressure around the Azores) and the predictands (Atlantic hurricane activity) does not change as we move forward in time.  In a world with climate change, that's a tricky assumption to make.

In any event, it is customary in the meteorological community to continue running older forecast guidance models after the introduction of newer models.  This allows forecasters and forecast users to leverage their knowledge of the forecast skill of the older model and gain insight into the forecast skill of the new model.  The CSU group really should have included the forecast from the previous statistical forecast system in this forecast.     

I am uneasy with some of the methodology choices made in implementing the forecast model.  Data for the first three predictors was obtained from the Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), NOAA's newest and most advanced reanalysis product.  However, CFSR data for 2010 and 2011 has not been released yet, so the CSU group used NCEP/NCAR Reanalysis (NNR), NOAA's first-generation reanalysis, to fill in the gaps.  Due to differences in design, resolution, etc., CFSR and NNR can have different depictions of the state of the atmosphere.  So using NNR's March 2011 average SLP instead of CFSR's could alter the forecast in unexpected ways.  It would be interesting to see how CFSR's 2010-2011 data changes the results. 

In any event, we will have to wait and see what the Atlantic hurricane season of 2011 brings.

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I swear, he'd argue with the devil himself.

There goes Arkansas again. Man I hope it's letting off steam, and reducing tension in that area.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 26258
They need to be doing physical soundings, relying on Corpus and Lake Charles is reason why they can't get an excellent handle on where tropical systems are going I think.
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Thought they didn't do soundings in Houston Jeff?

Its not a physical sounding. Its a model sounding. Based off observations and nearby physical soundings.

My e-mail to the NWS went into a black hole apparently, but I found the site I linked by accident. (its the model soundings they talk about in the forecast discussions).

Its nothing near as accurate as the physical soundings, but it helps understand local conditions fairly well.

The source site is http://rucsoundings.noaa.gov/. You have to know the airport code to get it to pull, though.
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Thought they didn't do soundings in Houston Jeff?
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'The UK will be basking in hot sun this weekend as the high temperatures look set to spread.

On Friday, parts of Britain were hotter than Rome, Athens, Istanbul, LA and New York, with temperatures predicted to reach 21C (70F).

Average temperatures for this time of year are 7C (45F) in Scotland, and 12C (54F) in London.

London and the Home Counties have basked in warm sunshine for the past two days, with mid-afternoon temperatures reaching 22C (71.6F) in Gatwick, West Sussex, and Charlwood, Surrey, on Thursday.

This equalled the highest recorded 7 April temperature of 22C (71.6F) - recorded in Achnashellach, in the Highlands of Scotland, in 1974.'

21/22C up here close to the Yorkie Moors.

You can now just imagine that the whole royal wedding event will end up being a cold, wet, dreary affair weather wise - using up all the good weather credits for this month.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Well, surface moisture is quite high, but the moisture drops way off above the near surface layer. Also, the ridge aloft is causing an inversion in the mid levels. To be honest, the atmosphere is amazingly favorable for convection considering we are sitting here in Early April with a strong ridge overhead.

This year is definitely looking much better than last year. Last year the atmosphere always was against convection. Even during El Nino early on we didn't get any severe weather and almost no thunderstorms because the air was so darn stable.

This year, there has been a general replacement of more stable air that dominated last year with more unstable air.

Speaking of inversion layers... they suck. And have a MUCH bigger impact than you think on convection. For example, here in Houston, we have had PLENTY of moisture at the low levels, and some solid forcing the past few weeks, but very little to speak of in the way of rain. Why? A very strong cap caused by an inversion layer around 850-900mb.


RUC sounding for KIAH (Houston Intercontinental Airport). Notice the rise in temps at 1200 feet, and drop in humidity at 2600 feet. Its a textbook inversion layer, and is acting to basically destroy anything that tries to get going. Also, this inversion layer is caused by a change in wind direction around those levels. (note at the very lowest levels, the wind is from the SE, off the gulf. Above that, its out of the SW, which is over land, from Mexico, and tends to be very dry. Yes, we will get some low clouds, but nothing will drop from them.
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Quoting kwgirl:
Thanks. They don't call them "dry" for nothing:)


I don't know, I can imagine dry Tortugas can actually be quite wet at times. That part of the gulf can be absolutely drenched with rain sometimes. Its just that it's April on an island off the coast of South Florida.

I would probably bet dry Tortugas is known for some huge rain events at times actually. People probably just visited it during the winter and spring and called it "dry Tortugas".
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Quoting hurricane23:
Hurricane Andrew Page


Hey there "killer." Good to see you.
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Hurricane Andrew Page
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Quoting RastaSteve:
Lift index is over -6 here over much of the interior of C FL with surface dewpoints in the low 70's and temps of 90 could be enough to pop off a few thunderstorms this afternoon but the demise of these storms will be the low PWT.

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/rtimages/mlb/adas/ convective_parms.gif


Well, surface moisture is quite high, but the moisture drops way off above the near surface layer. Also, the ridge aloft is causing an inversion in the mid levels. To be honest, the atmosphere is amazingly favorable for convection considering we are sitting here in Early April with a strong ridge overhead.

This year is definitely looking much better than last year. Last year the atmosphere always was against convection. Even during El Nino early on we didn't get any severe weather and almost no thunderstorms because the air was so darn stable.

This year, there has been a general replacement of more stable air that dominated last year with more unstable air.
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swoon swoon swoon

g'morning hydrus to you as well.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 26258
559. Neapolitan

It was "interesting" for the first week or so untill the military moved into the neighborhood. No way to contact emergency services, and vigilante justice does have it's pros and cons.
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Lift index is over -6 here over much of the interior of C FL with surface dewpoints in the low 70's and temps of 90 could be enough to pop off a few thunderstorms this afternoon but the demise of these storms will be the low PWT.

http://www.srh.noaa.gov/images/rtimages/mlb/adas/ convective_parms.gif
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Andrew 1992
This is the way it was as far as the eye could see at the Dadeland MHP.
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Quoting kwgirl:
Thanks. They don't call them "dry" for nothing:)
We were there in August of 1980 when hurricane Allen passed south. They were not dry then...he he
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I counted 10 of these small earthquakes today and all in about exactly the same place.
Seems a bit odd!

MAP

2.6

2011/04/08 13:16:49

35.236

-92.366

6.0

ARKANSAS
Member Since: January 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2093
Quoting aquak9:
Kendall was bad; Homestead was nightmarish.
Cutler ridge taxes satisfactory verbal desciption...Mornin Aqua.
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Neapolitan "Yes, the Dry Tortugas. The site received half an inch of rain on April 6th, beating the old record of 0.07 set in 1954. Guess that's not so dry after all, huh? ;-) "

554 TampaTom "The Damp Tourugas? The Moist Tortugas?"

So much for their tourism promise of fun&sun with no "I'm melting... I'm melting...". Just leaves the AtacamaDesert and the McMurdoDryValleys for the Wicked. And Antarctica is colder than a Witch's
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Quoting Jax82:


The map source is Ham Weather. The dot is on Dry Tortugas, its tough to see ;) On Wed, Apr 6th Dry Tortugas recorded 0.5 inches, the old record was 0.07 inches in 1954.

Here's a Link
Thanks. They don't call them "dry" for nothing:)
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Kendall was bad; Homestead was nightmarish.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 26258
Quoting emcf30:


I headed a team the day after Andrew hit that set up and ran a DMAT unit on Crome ave at what was the community center in Homestead. We had delivered several babies at that center. We slept on the shuffle board courts for several days. Was an interesting experience.The damage was amazing. There was Homestead Police officers assigned with us when we started to do search and rescue. Most of the times they did not even know where we were at due to the visual landmarks and signs being wiped out. I will try to scan some photos and post them in my pics section of the website.
Krome ave reminded me of the end of the world.
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wow. lotsa folks, here and in Andrew.

I was in Hialeah.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 26258
Quoting greentortuloni:


Agree
They are over there risking there lives...And now they have to worry whether or not there families will eat, or if the power is on...What a message this sends to the world about our governments leadership skills....Nice trough digging in..
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Nea, I guess thats why we had national guardsmen standing guard around us locked and loaded. May have been all the blackhawks taking off and landing with patients and supplies. Did hear alot of gunfire at night tho
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Quoting emcf30:


I headed a team the day after Andrew hit that set up and ran a DMAT unit on Crome ave at what was the community center in Homestead. We had delivered several babies at that center. We slept on the shuffle board courts for several days. Was an interesting experience.The damage was amazing. There was Homestead Police officers assigned with us when we started to do search and rescue. Most of the times they did not even know where we were at due to the visual landmarks and signs being wiped out. I will try to scan some photos and post them in my pics section of the website.

Then we very well may have run into each other. I was at the armory in Homestead--right next to the community center--for two days handing out relief supplies (water, diapers, infant formula, bread, etc.), then spent another three days driving through Homestead and Florida City going door-to-door--or, truthfully, debris pile to debris pile--looking for those unable to get to the center. Most of the time we were out in convoys, several vehicles working at once, and with several people in each vehicle. But I and another guy once found ourselves cut off from the group in what was left of a mobile home park, and we were robbed of all our supplies at gunpoint within, literally, minutes. When we told the cops about it later, they just shrugged and said, "Bummer. Guess you won't be going back there alone, huh?"

Good times...

I took a few dozen pictures of the damage before I started feeling guilty about doing so; I'll scan them and post them when I get a chance.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13603
Quoting aquak9:
hey- I could be wrong, I am wrong a lotta times.

Damn if they don't pay the military. That's messed up.


Agree
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Record temps in northern Spain in some cases 15/c above normal. 33/c or about 90+F this afternoon on the north coast. Noaa said it was coming last week.

Whats with all these moderate earthquakes in ARKANSAS?

Bit more of a problem at another nuclear plant in Japan but they say they have it under control. Leaks of radioactive water etc.

Not a word of politcs there!
Member Since: January 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2093
Quoting TampaTom:


The Damp Tourugas?
lol
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Quoting RitaEvac:
Alert! Government out of Control


E PLURIBUS UNUM..!..........not
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Quoting Neapolitan:

Yes, the Dry Tortugas. The site received half an inch of rain on April 6th, beating the old record of 0.07 set in 1954. Guess that's not so dry after all, huh? ;-)


The Damp Tourugas?

The Moist Tortugas?
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.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13603
541 aquak9 "Gov't shut down...or...crocodiles on the loose."

Don't need any further legislation on those critters thanks to Hook's Law:
No matter how charming it's friendly smile, never never handfeed a crocodile.
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551. Jax82
Quoting kwgirl:
546, where did you get that map. It shows a record rainfall, I think, in Key West this April. I believe that is wrong, since I have been here and it hasn't rained much at all. Or is that dot on the Dry Tortugas?


The map source is Ham Weather. The dot is on Dry Tortugas, its tough to see ;) On Wed, Apr 6th Dry Tortugas recorded 0.5 inches, the old record was 0.07 inches in 1954.

Here's a Link
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Quoting Jax82:
records the past week.

The NCDC is having some server issues, so that map shows only incomplete data from April 4th, 5th, and 6th. On those days, there were 352 record daily highs (269 new, 83 ties), 86 record daily high minimums (59, 27), 80 record daily lows (42, 38), and 50 record daily low maximums (32, 18).
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13603
FYI - Denis Feltgen, PIO for the NHC, posted on Facebook that should the shutdown happen, he'll be furloughed.

I wonder how many other folks at other NWS offices will be furloughed? At Norman, OK? During the spring tornado season?
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546, where did you get that map. It shows a record rainfall, I think, in Key West this April. I believe that is wrong, since I have been here and it hasn't rained much at all. Or is that dot on the Dry Tortugas?
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Quoting scooster67:

My niece was born the day Andrew hit. The low peasure induced early labor and she was 1.5 pounds when she was born, 3 months early. Her father drove through the early part of the storm to get to the hospital. When He got there they would not let anyone in and He had to ride the storm out in the parking garage.


I headed a team the day after Andrew hit that set up and ran a DMAT unit on Crome ave at what was the community center in Homestead. We had delivered several babies at that center. We slept on the shuffle board courts for several days. Was an interesting experience.The damage was amazing. There was Homestead Police officers assigned with us when we started to do search and rescue. Most of the times they did not even know where we were at due to the visual landmarks and signs being wiped out. I will try to scan some photos and post them in my pics section of the website.
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546. Jax82
records the past week.
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529. I'd quote that and say " 1", but OMG that is a long post. So 1.

I don't agree with ALL of it, but I do agree with the jist of it. The American public has had the wool pulled over its eyes every 2 years, and especially so every 4 years. The American voter, in general, does not remember what happens 6 months before the election. We remember what happened last week. We remember what the candidate said in the last debate 3 weeks ago. We don't remember that they voted to reduce school funding, or voted against that healthcare bill. Or held up a college funding bill over a trade proposal that would cost a corporate donor a few million in sales. We don't remember that. All we see is what the talking heads on TV say in a 20-second sound bite, or what some divisive editorial writer says.

We don't vote based on the best candidate any more. We don't vote based on who we think will represent our ideals the best. We vote based on a vague party platform. We vote on rhetoric. We vote based on what the candidate says, knowing full good and well they are lying about 80% of what they say, and the other 20% they can't do on their own anyway.

In the past 30 years, our country has effectively been stuck in neutral (sometimes first gear). We've made lots of talk, but little progress. Think back to 1980. What advances have come since then due to a federal government initiative?

- The internet? No, that was started by the government, but restricted to educational institutions. The government didn't make it available to the rest of the world, private parties did.
- The computer? Nope, private parties did that.
- Space exploration? Ok, we put the shuttle in space, and the ISS. That was all started before 1980, and wasn't a new initiative.

In the 30 years prior to 1980, we put men in space, put a man on the moon, and started the interstate highway system.

The US government, as a whole, is stuck into neutral because Congress figured us out. They figured out what they need to do to be re-elected without actually doing much. Since I'm seeing more evidence that we have figured them out too, we need to do something about it!
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The Weather Channel seems to think a squall line is gonnna form along that front but as we know nothing happens. TWC isn't really good to listen too anyway
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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:

My niece was born the day Andrew hit. The low peasure induced early labor and she was 1.5 pounds when she was born, 3 months early. Her father drove through the early part of the storm to get to the hospital. When He got there they would not let anyone in and He had to ride the storm out in the parking garage.
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Gov't shut down...or...crocodiles on the loose.

Decisions, decisions.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 26258
539 yes, anyways no more rain in sight, local stations saying 20% Sunday night,
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Some of you will notice that the morning crew tends to be a bit more open in their discussions, and we also seem to have much more open and civil conversations in here. After about 11am CST, it falls apart, though. This is why I always try to hop on in the AM (unless work is super-busy), and then stay away more in the afternoon.
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Many Americans have been conned into taking out loans, mortgages, and credit cards which have terms in which a single late or missed payment triggers large penalties AND a doubling or tripling or more of the interest rate on the outstanding debt for the entirety of the remainder of the loan.
And the effect of federal workers having to cutback on spending -- with no paycheck in sight -- is going to send ripples of cutbacks in workhours and lower pay into a large portion of the service sector. So those loan triggers will also be pulled on private-sector workers.
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SPC AC 080746

DAY 3 CONVECTIVE OUTLOOK CORR 1
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
0246 AM CDT FRI APR 08 2011

VALID 101200Z - 111200Z

...THERE IS A MDT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS PARTS OF SE
MN...WI...ECNTRL IA...NW IL AND FAR NE MO...

...THERE IS A SLGT RISK OF SVR TSTMS ACROSS PARTS OF THE UPPER MS
VALLEY...MID-MS VALLEY...OZARKS AND SRN PLAINS...

CORRECTED TO EXTEND MDT RISK AREA FURTHER INTO SE MN AND NRN IA TO
MATCH PROBABILITIES

...UPPER MS VALLEY/WRN GREAT LAKES...
AN IMPRESSIVE UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH IS FORECAST TO MOVE INTO THE CNTRL
PLAINS SUNDAY WITH AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW CLOSING OFF OVER THE NRN
PLAINS. AHEAD OF THE SYSTEM...A POWERFUL 55 TO 70 KT JET WILL
TRANSPORT LOW-LEVEL MOISTURE QUICKLY NWD INTO THE UPPER MS VALLEY
WHERE SFC DEWPOINTS SHOULD REACH THE LOWER TO MID 60S F. THIS SHOULD
ALLOW MODERATE INSTABILITY TO DEVELOP ACROSS MUCH OF THE UPPER
MIDWEST BY SUNDAY AFTERNOON WHERE NUMEROUS THUNDERSTORMS APPEAR
LIKELY TO DEVELOP AS LARGE-SCALE ASCENT INCREASES DURING THE
AFTERNOON. THUNDERSTORMS SHOULD FIRST DEVELOP DURING THE AFTERNOON
ALONG A WARM FRONT ACROSS IA...WI AND SRN MN WITH ADDITIONAL
CONVECTION INITIATING ALONG THE COLD FRONT DURING THE EARLY EVENING
EXTENDING SWD INTO NW MO. THIS IS EXPECTED AS THE EXIT REGION OF THE
AN IMPRESSIVE 80 TO 100 KT MID-LEVEL JET SPREADS ACROSS THE
UPPER-MIDWEST CREATING STRONG DEEP LAYER SHEAR AND VERY FAVORABLE
CONDITIONS FOR SEVERE STORMS. THIS COMBINED WITH STRONG LOW-LEVEL
SHEAR PROFILES SHOULD BE FAVORABLE FOR SUPERCELLS AND TORNADOES
ESPECIALLY IN ERN IA...NW IL...SE MN AND SW WI WHERE A MODERATE RISK
HAS BEEN PLACED. A FEW STRONG TORNADOES COULD OCCUR EITHER NEAR THE
WARM FRONT IN THE AFTERNOON OR ALONG THE COLD FRONT AS THE LOW-LEVEL
JET STRENGTHENS DURING THE EARLY EVENING.

AT THIS POINT...THE MODELS APPEAR TO BE IN GOOD AGREEMENT CONCERNING
THE TIMING AND STRENGTH OF THE SYSTEM. ALTHOUGH THIS IS THE
CASE...AM EXPECTING THE UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH TO BE A BIT SLOWER INTO
THE PLAINS SO HAVE NUDGED THE MODERATE RISK A BIT SWWD TO ACCOUNT
FOR THIS.

...SRN AND CNTRL PLAINS...
AN IMPRESSIVE UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH WILL MOVE INTO THE GREAT PLAINS
SUNDAY. THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT WILL BE PROBABLE AHEAD OF THE
TROUGH ALONG A COLD FRONT FROM ERN KS SWD INTO ERN OK AND ECNTRL TX
WHERE MODERATE INSTABILITY AND STRONG DEEP LAYER SHEAR IS FORECAST.
DUE THE POTENTIAL FOR SUPERCELL DEVELOPMENT...AN ENHANCED THREAT FOR
TORNADOES...LARGE HAIL AND WIND DAMAGE COULD OCCUR DURING THE EARLY
EVENING FROM WCNTRL MO SWD INTO NW AR AND NE OK. THE THREAT SHOULD
BE MORE ISOLATED IN SE OK AND ECNTRL TX BUT THE ENVIRONMENT SHOULD
STILL SUPPORT HAIL AND WIND DAMAGE.

...UPPER OH VALLEY AND CNTRL APPALACHIAN MTNS...
ISOLATED THUNDERSTORM DEVELOPMENT ALSO MAY OCCUR JUST TO THE EAST OF
AN UPPER-LEVEL RIDGE IN THE UPPER OH VALLEY AND CNTRL APPALACHIAN
MTNS. IN THIS REGION...MODELS FORECAST AN AXIS OF MODERATE
INSTABILITY WITH ENOUGH DEEP LAYER SHEAR FOR A MARGINAL SEVERE
THREAT MAINLY SUNDAY AFTERNOON.

..BROYLES.. 04/08/2011

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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aspectre:
Now that was interesting. Went onto GoogleMaps to check out 38.267n141.033e (the port town of Sendai), then used the Satellite view on a whim...
...and the overhead shots clearly showed the wreckage from the magnitude9.1earthquake as I shifted the map and zoomed in.
I'm impressed. Didn't realize that GoogleMaps updated their satellite photos so frequently.

They normally don't update them this often, but they will rush localized updates in after major events like natural disasters. They did the same thing for Haiti and Ike.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting jrweatherman:
I guess I should go find a weather blog somewhere.

Yeah, you could do that. Or you could talk about weather here; nobody will try to stop you. I promise. ;-)
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13603
Quoting aspectre:
Now that was interesting. Went onto GoogleMaps to check out 38.267n141.033e (the port town of Sendai), then used the Satellite view on a whim...
...and the overhead shots clearly showed the wreckage from the magnitude9.1earthquake as I shifted the map and zoomed in.
I'm impressed. Didn't realize that GoogleMaps updated their satellite photos so frequently.

They're quick, alright; they actually updated the maps for the tsunami zone within three days of the quake.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13603

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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.