Record floods on Mississippi River, Lake Champlain; 3rd EF-5 tornado verified

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:40 PM GMT on May 06, 2011

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The Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois continues to fall today, with a level of 59.3', 2.5' below the all-time peak of 61.8' set on Monday night. On Monday night, the Army Corps of Engineers was forced to intentionally destroy a levee at Birds Point on the west bank of the Mississippi, just downstream from Cairo, Illinois, in order to relieve pressure on the levees in Cairo and save that city from a billion-dollar levee breach. The destruction of the Birds Point levee also helped slow the rise of the Mississippi River just south of its confluence with the Ohio River, but the river is still rising slowly, and has now set all-time records at New Madrid, Missouri, Tiptonville, Tennessee, and Caruthersville, Missouri--a 70-mile stretch of river downstream from Cairo. Currently, the Mississippi is expected to reach its 2nd highest level on record at Memphis on May 10, cresting at 48.0'. The all-time record at Memphis occurred during the great flood of 1937, when the river hit 48.7'. Downstream from Memphis, flood waters pouring in from the Arkansas River, Yazoo River, and other tributaries are expected to swell the Mississippi high enough to beat the all-time record at Vicksburg, Mississippi by 1.3' on May 20, and smash the all-time record at Natchez, Mississippi by six feet on May 22, and by 3.2 feet at Red River Landing on May 23. Red River Landing is the site of the Old River Control Structure, the Army Corps' massive engineering structure that keeps the Mississippi River from carving a new path to the Gulf of Mexico. I'll have a detailed post talking about the Old River Control Structure next week. Its failure would be a serious blow to the U.S. economy, and the great Mississippi flood of 2011 will give the Old River Control Structure its most severe test ever. Also of concern is the forecast for the Mississippi to crest at 19.5 feet in New Orleans on May 24. The levees in New Orleans protect the city for a flood of 20.0 feet--that is not much breathing room. Fortunately, only 0.5 - 1.5 inches of rain are expected over the Missouri/Illinois region over the next five days, which should not raise flood heights significantly.

Good links to follow the flood:
Summary forecast of all crests on Lower Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.
Wundermap for Cairo, IL with USGS River overlay turned on.
National Weather Service "May 2011 Mississippi River Flood" web page


Figure 1. Flooding of the farmland along the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway due to the intentional destruction of a levee along the west bank of the Mississippi River in Southeast Missouri is obvious in this pair of before and after photos. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

Lake Champlain hits highest level since 1869; record flooding in Canada
The Governor of Vermont declared a state of emergency yesterday in Vermont due to flooding along Lake Champlain. Heavy rains over the past ten days, combined with snow melt have combined to push the lake ot three feet above flood stage, and the lake has now broken its previous record high, set in 1869. The flooding has caused numerous road closures but no evacuations in the U.S. The story is different in Quebec, Canada, where flood waters from Lake Champlain coursing down the Richelieu River have created a 150-year flood, forcing the evacuation of 1,000 people and the flooding of 3,000 homes and businesses in the Richelieu Valley, just south of Montreal. The lake level is expected to crest Saturday morning, then slowly fall. Lake Champlain is 120 miles long with nearly 600 miles of shoreline, making it the sixth largest natural lake in the U.S., trailing only the Great Lakes in size.


Figure 2. Five to eight inches of precipitation has fallen over much of the Lake Champlain watershed over the past two weeks. Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.

A third tornado from the April 27 Super Outbreak rated an EF-5
Yesterday, the Jackson, Mississippi office of the NWS upgraded the violent tornado that hit Neshoba, Kemper, Winston, and Noxubee Counties in the northeast part of the state to EF-5 status, with top winds of 205 mph. This tornado continued into Alabama and had a total path length of 92.3 miles. Three people died in the tornado, which was so powerful that it dug out the ground to a depth of two feet over an area 25 - 50 yards wide and several hundred yards long. This is the third tornado rated EF-5 from the April 27 outbreak; tornadoes that hit Smithville, MS and Hackleburg, AL also received EF-5 ratings.


Figure 3. EF-5 damage from the April 27, 2011 Neshoba tornado in Mississippi. The tornado was so powerful that it dug out the ground to a depth of two feet over an area 25 - 50 yards wide and several hundred yards long. Image credit: NWS.

Rare EF-2 tornado hits New Zealand
A tornado ripped through New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, on Tuesday, killing one person at a shopping mall and injuring at least fourteen others. The damage was rated EF-2, making the tornado one of the strongest in New Zealand's history. Below is some footage of the twister, showing why it is dangerous to be in a car during a tornado. (Note also the clockwise rotation of the tornado--this is the Southern Hemisphere, where storms rotate clockwise.)


Figure 4. Footage of the May 3, 2011 New Zealand tornado that passed through the Auckland suburb of Albany.

I'll have a new post Monday.

Jeff Masters

Flood 2011 Metropolis, IL (MikeShivers)
Market St looking south towards casino. Contrary to what the media makes you think, blowing the levee greatly helped in keeping the waters lower here. It wasn't just about Cairo, it helped a lot of communities. Flood stage is about 39 ft here, currently it is at about 61.5 feet it could have been closer to 65.
Flood 2011 Metropolis, IL
Flood 2011 Metropolis, IL (MikeShivers)
view from atop the casino barge looking north up Ferry St
Flood 2011 Metropolis, IL
Champlain in his Lake (Pedaltwister)
Isle La Motte, VT. St. Anne's Shrine Hey Hetzenwaelder these are more pictures of Lake Champlain at flood stage.
Champlain in his Lake

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i may go back too my other name in about a week i want too see how thing go this week 1st
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Maybe they were checking your profile out for suspicious activity. LOL



lol may be
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Quoting bappit:

RitaEvac is talking about southeast Texas, which is in an extreme drought. At a park today near Houston I saw cracks in the ground big enough to lose your car keys in. Of course, the gumbo clays will shrink and swell that way.

We haven't made the news as much as west Texas since we haven't had the wild fires. Humidities are higher here which reduces the fire danger, but the moisture has all been carried north. Guess where? Did get a spattering of light rain last week, left dust on car windshields.
Hmmm... now that u mention it, I recall the conversation about the salt encrusting power lines and causing outages at the oil refineries.... Actually, I think there's a much greater chance of SE TX getting drought relief from a early season GoM system than W TX.... the question is, will there be any early season systems in the first place?
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Quoting ThunderstormTornado:
my facebook is now back up

Maybe they were checking your profile out for suspicious activity. LOL
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Quoting PcolaDan:


They only followed the buffalo, therefor staying on the plains. And they didn't really go that far. Most North American tribes were not really nomadic. It is roughly 400 miles just across the state of South Dakota.

That's unlike our Native people here, Aborigines were nomadic. They followed the seasons. Like the grey nomads now.
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my facebook is now back up
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Quoting AussieStorm:

Wouldn't they migrate to different parts of the country


They only followed the buffalo, therefor staying on the plains. And they didn't really go that far. Most North American tribes were not really nomadic. It is roughly 400 miles just across the state of South Dakota.
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Quoting ThunderstormTornado:



ok


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thats why i was asking


FWIW mine is working also.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
@ 475....

Oh, dear.... at least they mostly have basements of one kind or another in S Dakota...

You know, I wonder what Indians who lived on the plains did in tornado season....

Wouldn't they migrate to different parts of the country
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Quoting BahaHurican:
@ RitaEvac, I'm wondering if any of this GoM moisture that has been fueling the severe weather in April will get caught up in an "early" tropical system.... any possibilities for such a setup? Seems like that's about the only way to get any serious moisture into the W TX area....

RitaEvac is talking about southeast Texas, which is in an extreme drought. At a park today near Houston I saw cracks in the ground big enough to lose your car keys in. Of course, the gumbo clays will shrink and swell that way.

We haven't made the news as much as west Texas since we haven't had the wild fires. Humidities are higher here which reduces the fire danger, but the moisture has all been carried north. Guess where? Did get a spattering of light rain last week, left dust on car windshields.
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BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ABERDEEN SD
808 PM CDT SUN MAY 8 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN ABERDEEN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
CENTRAL LYMAN COUNTY IN CENTRAL SOUTH DAKOTA...

* UNTIL 845 PM CDT

* AT 805 PM CDT...TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED A TORNADO 8
MILES SOUTHWEST OF PRESHO. DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED THIS TORNADO MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 15 MPH.

* THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
PRESHO AROUND 815 PM CDT...

THIS WARNING INCLUDES INTERSTATE 90 BETWEEN MILE MARKERS 221 AND 240.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

TO REPEAT...A TORNADO IS ON THE GROUND. TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN
INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID
WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE
CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.

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Quoting BahaHurican:
Skye, when I saw "landslides" I immediately got a flashback of that 2006 storm [whose name I can't remember and will have to look up]. I remember the news reports of the extensive landslides around that volcano, and I'm glad so little damage has been reported thus far. Sure hope that's all there is.
Quoting Skyepony:
Baha~ Thank the NAO for this taste of spring. Mild the next 10 days or so.

I don't remember the name either.


Typhoon Durian


The typhoon produced heavy rainfall across its path, with localized totals reaching over 18 inches in Albay province. Earlier eruptions of Mayon Volcano combined with the rainfall to result in widespread mudslides across the province.

The next day, reports of deaths or injuries had not reached the media centers. Two weeks later, the death toll had risen to at least 720.

Final death toll is not known, because large areas buried by major lahars around Mayon cannot be excavated.
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Quoting emcf30:

mine is working



ok


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thats why i was asking
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480. Skyepony (Mod)
That's the one in 2006. Much better developed storm.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37822
Quoting ThunderstormTornado:
is any one facebook down?

mine is working
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478. Skyepony (Mod)
There is flooding in New Zealand.

Fires~
Firefighters are battling 34 wildfires in Siberia on an area of over 1,300 hectares, Russia's Emergencies Ministry said on Sunday. Over the last twenty-four hours, the area affected by the wildfires has increased by 838 hectares. The human factor is considered as the main cause for the emergence of forest fires, the ministry said. The largest number of forest fires continues to be registered in the Irkutsk Region and Buryatia in East Siberia, and also in West Siberia, the ministry said. In the summer of 2010, an enormous heat wave in Central Russia caused massive wildfires across the country, which killed 62 people and left thousands homeless.


AR has a wildfire

Aere
Lightning has struck a Philippine Airlines plane parked at Manila's international airport during a thunderstorm. Nine people who took cover under the plane from the downpour suffered slight burns. Airline spokeswoman Cielo Villaluna says the Airbus 320 plane was not damaged by the lightning late Saturday and that its crew and passengers, who had boarded for a flight to Bangkok, were unharmed. The airline used another aircraft for the flight to Bangkok as a precaution. Villaluna said Sunday that the four aircraft cleaners, two cargo handlers and three security men injured by the lightning were declared out of danger after treatment in two hospitals.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37822
@ 475....

Oh, dear.... at least they mostly have basements of one kind or another in S Dakota...

You know, I wonder what Indians who lived on the plains did in tornado season....
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is any one facebook down?
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I think this is the one...

Typhoon Durian (Reming) Typhoon (JMA)
Category 4 super typhoon (SSHS)

Typhoon Durian at peak intensity on November 29
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------

Formed November 25, 2006
Dissipated December 5, 2006
Highest
winds 10-minute sustained:
195 km/h (120 mph)
1-minute sustained:
250 km/h (155 mph)

Lowest pressure 915 mbar (hPa; 27.02 inHg)
Fatalities 1,497[1][2]
Damage At least $13.5 billion (2006 USD)
At least $14.7 billion (2011 USD)
Areas
affected Yap State, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia
Part of the
2006 Pacific typhoon season

Typhoon Durian (international designation: 0621, JTWC designation: 24W, designated Typhoon Reming by PAGASA and sometimes called Super Typhoon Durian) was an intense storm that wreaked havoc in the Philippines, causing massive loss of life when mudslides from the Mayon Volcano buried many villages. According to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Durian was the 24th tropical depression, 23rd tropical storm, 14th typhoon and 7th super typhoon of the 2006 Pacific typhoon season. It was also the 21st named storm and 14th typhoon of the season recognised by the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre for tropical cyclones in this region, the Japan Meteorological Agency. The name Durian was submitted to the naming list by Thailand, which refers to a fruit, Durio zibethinus.[3]

Durian first made landfall in the Philippines packing strong winds and heavy rains that caused mudslides near Mayon Volcano. After causing massive damage in the Philippines, it exited into the South China Sea and weakened slightly, before managing to reorganise and restrengthen into a typhoon shortly before its second landfall, this time in Vietnam near Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, causing further damage of more than US$400 million. In all, Durian killed at least 1,497 people, and left hundreds more missing. Damages from the typhoon were estimated at over $13 billion (2006 USD).[4]

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Reed Timmer: Meteorologist and Extreme Storm Chaser
Targeting exploding cell near Winner, SD. Will fire up live stream when we get closer
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472. Skyepony (Mod)
Baha~ Thank the NAO for this taste of spring. Mild the next 10 days or so.

I don't remember the name either.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37822
Skye, when I saw "landslides" I immediately got a flashback of that 2006 storm [whose name I can't remember and will have to look up]. I remember the news reports of the extensive landslides around that volcano, and I'm glad so little damage has been reported thus far. Sure hope that's all there is.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
@ RitaEvac, I'm wondering if any of this GoM moisture that has been fueling the severe weather in April will get caught up in an "early" tropical system.... any possibilities for such a setup? Seems like that's about the only way to get any serious moisture into the W TX area....
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469. Skyepony (Mod)
Situation Update No. 1
On 08.05.2011 at 16:59 GMT+2

Tropical storm Aere lashed the northeastern Philippines on Sunday, killing at least nine people and forcing more than 100,000 villagers to flee from farming towns threatened by landslides. The storm slammed into Catanduanes province with winds of 53 miles (85 kilometers) per hour and gusts of 62 mph (100 kph). It triggered landslides and floods, disrupted transportation and knocked out power in some towns. More than 4,700 commuters were stranded in several seaports after ferries suspended trips and roads were closed due to floods and the danger of landslides, officials said. Several domestic flights were canceled. A landslide buried a house in Camarines Sur province's Balatan township at dawn, killing three people, including a baby, regional disaster-response director Bernardo Alejandro said. An elderly woman drowned trying to cross a swollen river in Daraga town in Albay province, and a man was electrocuted in a flooded village in Libon town. Three men drowned in Catanduanes and Leyte provinces, and a driver died in a truck crash during stormy weather in Camarines Sur, officials said. Authorities helped evacuate villagers Saturday in farming communities at the base of Mayon volcano in Albay, where heavy rain threatened to turn into mudslides. Many more fled their homes Sunday as floodwaters began to rise, disaster-response officer Jukes Nunez said. Tons of ash have been deposited on Mayon's slope from past eruptions, and mudslides caused by a typhoon in 2006 buried entire villages, leaving about 1,600 people dead and missing, Alejandro said. "The villagers evacuated automatically, without resistance," Alejandro told The Associated Press by telephone. "Many still remember that disaster." Officials shut off power in at least four flooded Albay towns to avoid accidents. Albay is about 212 miles (340 kilometers) southeast of Manila. The second storm to batter the country this year is expected to blow northwestward and exit from the country later this week, government weather forecaster Juanito Galang said. Lightning struck a Philippine Airlines plane at Manila's international airport during a thunderstorm late Saturday.
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 162 Comments: 37822
Quoting seminolesfan:
Sorry, Baha. I know what you mean, it does seem that we have strayed WAY o.t. for the day.

Not too much going on though really, except for a bunch of wait and see.
Things I'm waiting on:
1.The spillway decision
2.The TUTT to move out of the Cent/Wrn Atlantic
3.The ITCZ to start making its way north in the ATL basin
4.The AEJ to break out from the ITCZ over Africa

What cha wanna chat about? You pick.
Hey.... just got back... got "carried away".... [well, carried OFF might be a better description LOL] and just got back.

I don't figure there's much more to say about the spillways until we know the final decision on Morganza.... on the other stuff I'm always open... don't have as much time to look up stuff myself this week [FUN week at work ahead!] but will be looking at whatever gets posted...

One thing I will say, since pple were talking about weather patterns, is that it is unseasonably cool / cloudy for May here in the NW Bahamas... Our overnight low was 66, which hasn't been seen in May for a few years, and we've been staying much less humid than one would expect. Not that we're complaining.... lol Just wondering when the "real" May temps are going to kick in. Not sure how much longer low pressure systems pushing in from the west will be impacting us. And so far, no genuine AEWs making it off the continent.... Hmmmm....
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When the bees come out for water when the sprinkler is on, you know its begun, the thirst for life is upon us.
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Guys, this drought is starting to take its toll on the coast of TX in SE TX. starting to get bad. chinch bugs are on the move, & grass is dying, pine trees browning. water rationing on the way.
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440 AstroHurricane001 "Wow. The Missouri levee explosion registered as a magnitude 3.1-equivalent earthquake."

ANFO equivalent to 678kilograms(1492pounds) of TNT.
500to4,000ton cast blasts are not uncommon in strip-mining operations.
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Just a interesting note. Looking a NHC radar in motion for Miami seems to be a small low pressure area in NW Dade County. Probably just some type of day time heating but thought it looked interesting.Buoy in area show similar wind pattern.Sorry no blobs to watch yet.
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
More correct perhaps but not as pretty. Don't mess with tradition. ;)
Actually, Shen; I'm not sure how much better this one is. If you look at the color legend and what it relates to it seems to be saying that there are more majors than total canes and more canes than storms. I'm not sure whomever did this was careful enough with their data.

One thing is for sure, that vertical axis labeling is funky for how they present the data.
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Quoting seminolesfan:
I'm sure most people have seen the 'peak of the season' graph. I've seen some complaints about the fact that the information presented is questionable as far as when it was last updated and that the x-axis isn't labeled and so forth. Well, I just stumbled on a different version of this graph.
Link

This one includes 2010 data and has two different year ranges. It also seems to have more data backend to it.
More correct perhaps but not as pretty. Don't mess with tradition. ;)
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I'm sure most people have seen the 'peak of the season' graph. I've seen some complaints about the fact that the information presented is questionable as far as when it was last updated and that the x-axis isn't labeled and so forth. Well, I just stumbled on a different version of this graph.
Link

This one includes 2010 data and has two different year ranges. It also seems to have more data backend to it.

edit: On closer inspection, I'm noticing some problems with the color legend and how the ratios of TS, Hurr, and Majors are represented. This makes me question the whole site's handling of data, so this might need to be discounted. YMMV
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Quoting aquak9:
I grew up here, Cyber. When I was little? oh, the afternoon storms we'd have, there was no such thing as drought, or yards dying, or pine trees dropping needles and turning brown.

But in the past 10-15 years, those storms have faded, faded. What we used to get twice a week, now seems like twice a month. If we're lucky.
:(


It has changed... I have lived in South Florida pretty much all my life as well and happen to agree with your observations.

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Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
wow only 1 post from 100,000 to 1



yup
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Quoting emcf30:


Taz, that sucks that you could not figure out what scumbag stole your screen name and caused all the problems. Hope it doesn't happen again.



me too
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Quoting ThunderstormTornado:
hi all its me Taz and this is my new name i hop you like it


Taz, that sucks that you could not figure out what scumbag stole your screen name and caused all the problems. Hope it doesn't happen again.
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North Florida could use alot of rain,its been very dry here.


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Quoting ThunderstormTornado:
hi all its me Taz and this is my new name i hop you like it
wow only 1 post from 100,000 to 1
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 170 Comments: 53548
Quoting PcolaDan:


Only 99,999 more post to get 100,000 again now. :)




yup un less i can get the Admin too move my 100,000 commets too my new name lol
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Quoting ThunderstormTornado:
hi all its me Taz and this is my new name i hop you like it


Only 99,999 more post to get 100,000 again now. :)
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hi all its me Taz and this is my new name i hop you like it
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Quoting DRYDOCK:
Not new to this site, but I thought this site was about the weather. Why the politics? I like this site, been reading this site since 2007, I think. Oh well.

It is a weather site. But it's also a flood site. And an earthquake site. And a tsunami site. And a nuclear energy site. And a music site, and a humor site, and a sports site. And, yes, sometimes politics interjects themselves (you should have been here last Sunday night when word of OBL broke out). In short, when there's no huge weather story going on--a landfalling hurricane, say, or a massive tornado outbreak--the conversation flows every which direction in a nice, organic way. You've been around a while, so you know we're mostly a lot of bright, knowledgeable, open-minded people here. Of course, there is also a small handful of disagreeable and petty folks. But just ignore that last group as most do, join the conversation (or start your own) and have fun!
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from what I can tell, seems like weather and politics run more hand-in-hand than expected.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
i may have too make a new name guys


Scan your computer with your virus checker and Spybot first to make sure it has not been compromised first.
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Quoting DRYDOCK:
Not new to this site, but I thought this site was about the weather. Why the politics? I like this site, been reading this site since 2007, I think. Oh well.
Too late, man. We've already switched back to weather. Your complaint will be forwarded to the correct department. Thanks for all your concern and contributions.
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Not new to this site, but I thought this site was about the weather. Why the politics? I like this site, been reading this site since 2007, I think. Oh well.
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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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