Caribbean disturbance slow to develop; 5 EF-5 tornadoes this year confirmed

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:33 PM GMT on June 03, 2011

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The tropical disturbance (Invest 93L) that crossed over Florida on Wednesday, bringing welcome rains of 1 - 3 inches, is now a naked swirl of low clouds over the central Gulf of Mexico. The disturbance is embedded in a large area of dry air associated with an upper level low pressure system, and this dry air is discouraging development. 93L is also moving into a region of moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots, and NHC is giving 93L a 0% chance of developing into a tropical depression before the storm makes landfall in Mexico south of Brownsville on Saturday. There are a few heavy thunderstorms trying to fire up near the center of 93L's fairly well-formed circulation, but I don't think this storm is going to bring more than 1 - 2 inches of rain to the coast on Saturday.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of the Central Caribbean disturbance.

Central Caribbean disturbance 94L
Disorganized heavy thunderstorm activity continues in the region between Central America and Jamaica. Wind shear has fallen to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, and is predicted to continue to fall over the next two days. This should allow the disturbance, dubbed Invest 94L by NHC on Friday afternoon, to increase in organization, though it will take many days for it to approach tropical depression status, since it is so large and poorly organized. The last two runs of the NOGAPS model have developed the disturbance into a tropical depression or storm by early next week, with the system moving northwards into Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, and eastern Cuba. The other major models do not show the disturbance developing during the coming week. NHC is giving the disturbance a 10% of developing into a tropical depression by Sunday. A surge of moisture accompanying a tropical wave may aid development when the wave arrives in the Western Caribbean on Sunday. Water temperatures in the Central Caribbean are about 1°C above average, 29°C, which is plenty warm enough to support development of a tropical storm. Residents of Jamaica, eastern Cuba, the Cayman Islands, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic should anticipate the possibility that heavy rains of 2 - 4 inches may affect them today through Sunday.

Five EF-5 tornadoes confirmed in 2011
The National Weather Service in Oklahoma City announced Wednesday that the violent tornado that hit Binger, El Reno, Peidmont, and Guthrie, Oklahoma on May 24, killing nine people, was an EF-5 with winds greater than 210 mph. The rating was given based on measurements made by a University of Oklahoma portable "Doppler on wheels" radar. The long track, large wedge tornado caused extensive damage, with well built houses cleanly swept from their foundation and trees debarked. This tornado brings the total number of EF-5 tornadoes this year to five, tying 2011 with 1953 for 2nd place for greatest number of these top-end tornadoes in one year. Only 1974 (six) had more. The EF-5 tornadoes of 2011:

1) The April 27, 2011 Neshoba/Kemper/Winston/Noxubee Counties, Mississippi tornado (3 killed, 29 mile path length.)

2) The April 27, 2011 Smithville, Mississippi tornado (22 killed, 15 mile path length.)

3) The April 27, 2011 Hackleburg, Alabama tornado (71 killed, 25 mile path length.)

4) The May 22, 2011 Joplin Missouri tornado (138 killed, 14 mile path length.)

5) The May 24, 2011 Binger-El Reno-Peidmont-Guthrie, Oklahoma tornado. (9 killed, 75 mile path length.)


Figure 2. Aerial view of damage from the May 22, 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado. Image credit: Wikipedia.

A few other remarkable statistics on the tornado season of 2011, compiled from NOAA's official press release and Wikipedia's excellent tornado pages:

- The April 25 - 28 tornado outbreak, with 330 tornadoes, was the largest tornado outbreak of three days or less duration on record. The previous record was 148 tornadoes, set during the April 3 - 4, 1974 Super Outbreak.

- For April 27, 186 tornadoes have been confirmed. This is the largest 1-day tornado total on record, beating the 148 recorded in 24 hours on April 3 - 4, 1974.

- The April 14 - 16 tornado outbreak, with 162 confirmed tornadoes, ranks as the fourth largest tornado outbreak of three days or less duration on record.

- The May 21 - 26 tornado outbreak, with 158 confirmed tornadoes, ranks as the 5th largest 6-day or shorter tornado outbreak on record. A May 2003 6-day outbreak had 289 tornadoes, and a May 2004 6-day outbreak had 229 tornadoes. The year 2011 now has three of the top five tornado outbreaks on record.

- April confirmed tornado total was 683, making it the busiest tornado month on record. The previous record was 542 tornadoes, set in May 2003. The previous April record was 267 tornadoes, which occurred in April 1974. The 30-year average for April tornadoes is 135.

- If the three deaths in Massachusetts from Wednesday's tornadoes are confirmed, this year's tornado death toll will be 522, beating 1953 as the deadliest tornado year since modern tornado records began. That year, 519 people died, and three heavily populated cities received direct hits by violent tornadoes. Waco, Texas (114 killed), Flint, Michigan (115 killed), and Worcester, Massachusetts (90 killed) all were hit by violent F-4 or F-5 tornadoes. A similar bad tornado year occurred in 1936, when violent tornadoes hit Tupelo Mississippi (216 killed), and Gainesville, Georgia (203 killed.) During that time period, the tornado death rate per million people was 60 - 70 times as great as in the year 2000 (Figure 4), implying that this year's tornadoes would have killed many thousands of people had we not had our modern tornado modern warning system.

- The May 22, 2011 Joplin, Missouri tornado killed 138 people and injured 1150, making it the deadliest U.S. tornado since 1947, and 8th deadliest in history. The $1 - $3 billion estimate of insured damage makes it the most expensive tornado in history.

- Damage from the April 25 - 28 super tornado outbreak was estimated at $3.5 - $6 billion, making it the most expensive tornado outbreak of all-time.

- The tornado that hit Springfield, Massachusetts on June 1 was at least an EF-3 with 136 - 165 mph winds. It was only the 9th EF-3 or stronger tornado to hit Massachusetts since 1950, and the third deadliest, with three deaths.

- The year 2011 now ranks in 3rd place behind 1974 and 1965 for highest number of strong to violent EF-3, EF-4, and EF-5 tornadoes (Figure 3.)


Figure 3. Number of strong to violent EF-3, EF-4 and EF-5 tornadoes from 1950 to 2011. The year 2011 now ranks in 3rd place behind 1974 and 1965. There is not a decades-long increasing trend in the numbers of these most dangerous of tornadoes. Image credit: NOAA/National Climatic Data Center (updated using stats for 2008 - 2011 from Wikipedia.)


Figure 4. Death rate per million people per year in U.S., 1875-2000. Thin line with dots is raw rate, curved thick line is death rate, filtered by 3-point median and 5-point running mean filter, and straight solid lines are least squares fit to filtered death rate for 1875-1925 and 1925-2000. Dashed lines are estimates of 10th and 90th percentile death rates from 1925-2000. The death rate fell from 8 per million to .12 per million between 1940 and 2000. Image credit: A Brief History of Deaths from Tornadoes in the United States, Harold Brooks and Charles Doswell III.

Joplin tornado the 7th U.S. billion-dollar weather disaster of 2011
The Joplin tornado is the 7th U.S. weather disaster of 2011 costing more than a billion dollars. With a major flooding disaster coming on the Missouri River, and hurricane season still to come, 2011 has an excellent chance of beating 2008's record of nine billion-dollar weather disasters. The billion dollar weather disasters of 2011 so far:

1) 2011 Groundhog Day's blizzard ($1- $4 billion)
2) April 3 -5 Southeast U.S. severe weather outbreak ($2 billion)
3) April 8 - 11 severe weather outbreak ($2.25 billion)
4) April 25 - 28 super tornado outbreak ($3.5 - $6 billion)
5) Mississippi River flood of 2011 ($9 billion)
6) Texas drought ($1.2 billion)
7) Joplin tornado ($1 - $3 billion)


Figure 5. River flood outlook for the U.S. Image credit: NOAA.

The next U.S. billion-dollar weather disaster: a Missouri River flood?
A great 100-year flood has arrived along the Missouri River and its tributaries from Montana to Nebraska. Record spring rains, combined with snow melt from record or near-record winter and spring snows, brought the Missouri River at Williston, North Dakota to 27.9' yesterday, just an inch short of the highest crest on record (28.0' on 4/01/1912.) Tributaries to the Missouri, such as the Souris River in North Dakota and the North Platte River in Nebraska, are already flooding at all-time record heights. With warm summer temperatures and additional rainfall expected over much of the area during the coming week, snow melt and rain runoff will swell area rivers even further, creating a damaging 100-year flood. Wunderground weather historian Christopher C. Burt has the details in his latest post, and I will be writing more on this latest epic flood next week.

I'll have a new post on Monday, or earlier if the Caribbean disturbance shows significant development.

Jeff Masters

Joplin Tornado Damage (thebige)
Joplin Tornado Damage
And Bigger.... (weatherfanatic2010)
Here it is turning into a monster.
And Bigger....

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3024. j2008
Did everybody leave??
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
maybe i call upon the hurricane god to bring forth what they desire


And so it was written that 94L shall rise up into the night and first unleash the rains upon Jamaica. And those who beheld that happening would quiver in fear for what might follow.
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Quoting JLPR2:
94L doing better tonight, seems it needed to get rid of the old convection and start from scratch. XD

Tomorrow morning we'll see what it manages tonight.


Based upon recent trends (slowly increasing moisture and surface convergence), I'd expect this new convection to continue building overnight and possibly overhead the surface circulation.
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Quoting ncstorm:


I've been through Floyd, Fran, Bonnie, Diana and got a little bit of Hugo..its all exciting till the storm passes and you laying in your bed at night in 90 degree weather and not a breeze stirring with no power for two weeks..and you defintely wont be able to get on your cell phones or the internet because all the towers will be out, waiting for 4 hours in a line for ice in the middle of a hot day, and have to carry water back and forth for a good bath..not pretty at all..thats why I watch unfortunately just to see where its headed..
That about sums it all up.
Member Since: May 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
double posttt
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3019. JLPR2
00z map


Was this posted already?
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Quoting ncstorm:


I've been through Floyd, Fran, Bonnie, Diana and got a little bit of Hugo..its all exciting till the storm passes and you laying in your bed at night in 90 degree weather and not a breeze stirring with no power for two weeks..and you defintely wont be able to get on your cell phones or the internet because all the towers will be out, waiting for 4 hours in a line for ice in the middle of a hot day, and have to carry water back and forth for a good bath..not pretty at all..thats why I watch unfortunately just to see where its headed..


Just FYI. I had cell & internet for the duration of Hurricane Wilma. Called my parents while in the eye. I did not have it for Frances and Jeanne. AT&T for Frances and Jeanne, Sprint for Wilma...
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
<
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Quoting JLPR2:
94L doing better tonight, seems it needed to get rid of the old convection and start from scratch. XD

Tomorrow morning we'll see what it manages tonight.
or maybe just got through dmin then progress toward dmax
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


Dont dare claim to know who any of us are and what we have lived through

you crossed the line there big time
Neither of us represents the blog in general. I do not want to misrepresent your feelings, cause I don't know you. Sorry if I offended you. But you are not WE either, right?
Member Since: May 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1193
3013. JLPR2
94L doing better tonight, seems it needed to get rid of the old convection and start from scratch. XD

Tomorrow morning we'll see what it manages tonight.
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Quoting Orcasystems:
Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI








Update... Canucks lead Stanley Cup series... 2-0
sharks should be there instead
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Quoting Vincent4989:

That is NOT an invest.


Your 100% correct.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
3010. Ossqss
Favorable conditions should provide a show in 3-4 days and then it has nothing to steer it for a bit. Keep an eye on this first one. MJO is in play.
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Quoting kmanislander:
Like the mythical Phoenix, 94L struggles to rise from the ashes. It aint over till its over




mythical phoenix is spreading it's wings tonight, ever closer to the center. One more step up the ladder of Organization tonight. Stick with my Monday for talks about depression.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting Orcasystems:
Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI








Updates... Canucks lead Stanley Cup series... 2-0


you know they are going to win....

they aren't facing a team from New York LOL
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


94L would have been nothing but a weak TS in the GOMEX. Barry and Alberto where like this and also brought much needed rains. Even Fay in 2008 had great benefits towards Florida.

I've been nailed by hurricanes, I don't want that on anyone but I was really hoping for a weak TS or at least the rainy season to kick off, mind you I could do without the lightning and the hail.



Isabel in 2003 was enough for me. Eyewall remnants passed right over Richmond VA at nightfall, and thats when all of the trees began to topple, we had 2 trees damage our house. One landed right on top of it, we were fortunate that something in the attic caught a branch that kept the tree itself from crashing through. Then on July 29th of 2010 a possible tornado or microburst tore through my neighborhood, and we had several trees down, winds were 80 mph, trees couldn't withstand it, luckily, when we lost 6 trees, they fell away from the house. It's an experience I would never want to live through, it was scary, and the sound of the wind was so eerie. Funny thing was, shortly before my power went out, radar didn't show much coming my way, must have really exploded.

Anyway, I think some want a hurricane because they have never gone through one before, trust me, ever since I was 7 I wanted exciting stuff like hurricanes, and I never realized how powerful mother nature was until I actually witnessed it in person, and it can be dangerous, so next time you want to wish for a hurricane or tornado to hit you're area, think again.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6872
Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI








Update... Canucks lead Stanley Cup series... 2-0
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
3005. ncstorm
Quoting FrankZapper:
1000+

A lot of them are just kids too. Have never lived through the misery. They have no responsibilities. It's a big adventure.


I've been through Floyd, Fran, Bonnie, Diana and got a little bit of Hugo..its all exciting till the storm passes and you laying in your bed at night in 90 degree weather and not a breeze stirring with no power for two weeks..and you defintely wont be able to get on your cell phones or the internet because all the towers will be out, waiting for 4 hours in a line for ice in the middle of a hot day, and have to carry water back and forth for a good bath..not pretty at all..thats why I watch unfortunately just to see where its headed..
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Quoting Bitmap7:

I know thats why I asked why the nhc has a 30% on the pacific system when 94l looks better.
Oh because you said 93L I got a little thrown off. Lol, oops.
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Quoting WoodyFL:


Your one of the guys I talked about earlier. I guess your one of the younger guys here but your alwasy polite to every body. Dont pay attention to those others.


Well thank you Woody!

And I won't anymore.
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Quoting Vincent4989:

That is NOT an invest.


They were joking relax

it was due to the fact that the last big scale storms in the midwest ended up creating 93L
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3001. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting kmanislander:
Like the mythical Phoenix, 94L struggles to rise from the ashes. It aint over till its over

maybe i call upon the hurricane god to bring forth what they desire
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 168 Comments: 53285
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Invest 95L moving through the Great Lakes tonight.


That is NOT an invest.
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Quoting Levi32:


Zombie invest?


Well, that area of deep convection is reaching out like a snake for the low center.
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Quoting kmanislander:
That deep convection is closing in on the low center and it is still early for tonight.


Been watching that through the last couple hours. Also note the convection off the Nicaraguan/Honduran coastline. This, in addition with rising dew points and relative humidity in the area seem to indicate to me that dry air is either lessening or finally get mixed out of the region.
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That deep convection is closing in on the low center and it is still early for tonight.
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2996. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting ncstorm:


We have had ash in Eastern NC for over two months because of the wildfires in the outer banks and as much as severe drought we are in, I havent heard anyone from NC ask for a storm to make its way here..it is what it is..




It's cause eastern NC floods so bad with surge during 'canes where we don't so much & NC has 21 fires burning currently & FL has too many to bother counting.
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2995. Levi32
Quoting kmanislander:
Like the mythical Phoenix, 94L struggles to rise from the ashes. It aint over till its over



Zombie invest?
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Quoting SouthBeach:


Is it coming back, KMan?


Perhaps LOL
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Quoting Bitmap7:

I know thats why I asked why the nhc has a 39% on it when 94l looks better.


Because 91E has a better chance of developing in 48 hours than 94L does.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23505
Quoting FrankZapper:
1000+

A lot of them are just kids too. Have never lived through the misery. They have no responsibilities. It's a big adventure.


Dont dare claim to know who any of us are and what we have lived through

you crossed the line there big time
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Quoting tropicfreak:


Well the drought in eastern NC isn't as bad as it is in FL and Texas, but still something to be reckoned with. Would like to see some tropical moisture to keep us at or ahead of the annual average rainfall, because we at least here in Richmond VA do tend to fall behind a lot during the summer.
Need rain badly here in the Valley of the Shenandoah. Nice early rain made for a good first cutting of hay but now the corn's been planted we need rain to get it to sprout. Looks pretty touch and go. We are losing moisture fast.
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Quoting FrankZapper:
CT, I'm not pointing the finger at anyone in particular, but there were a few comments about a possible TS or greater in the GOM, which upset the NOLA natives. This caused Bob Breck to make his comments ( which you are probably aware because of the comments on this blog). There was unnecessary worry because nowadays all in The Big Easy are high-strung about the tropics. I'm not trying to get on anyone's BAD SIDE, just asking for moderation and sensitivity, as BB stated.
What did bob say?
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2988. ncstorm
Quoting CybrTeddy:


In early June with 40 knots of shear in the Gulf? Not gonna happen.


I hope not eithier but we have some seen some strange things with the weather lately...
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2987. Bitmap7
Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
That isn't 94L though, lol, this is:


I know thats why I asked why the nhc has a 30% on the pacific system when 94l looks better.
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Quoting ncstorm:


I never said death and destruction..I only said the "thrill" of if ..we all would like rain but as the old saying goes, be careful of what you wish for..we all know these storms can amplify to a category 5 at a minutes notice especially in the gulf of mexico and well, there goes your good soaking..


The way the pattern is right now and has been; the only way Texas and Florida are even going to dent their droughts is from a tropical system

Even the most prominent of meteorologists have mentioned that Tropical Storms can be beneficial to drought stricken areas

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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
Yep only thing worse is that Mountain Side brand Maple Syrup from Florida.


That syrup must be from those mountains they had in the background in the "Pensacola: Wings of Gold" TV show. That must be where the infamous Florida maple tree can be found.

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Like the mythical Phoenix, 94L struggles to rise from the ashes. It aint over till its over

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ncstorm:


I never said death and destruction..I only said the "thrill" of if ..we all would like rain but as the old saying goes, be careful of what you wish for..we all know these storms can amplify to a category 5 at a minutes notice especially in the gulf of mexico and well, there goes your good soaking..


In early June with 40 knots of shear in the Gulf? Not gonna happen. Sorry to seem like I'm jumping down your throat here but we're all a little upset with the lack of rain we've been experiencing for the 2nd year in a row down here in FL.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23505
Quoting FrankZapper:
CT, I'm not pointing the finger at anyone in particular, but there were a few comments about a possible TS or greater in the GOM, which upset the NOLA natives. This caused Bob Breck to make his comments ( which you are probably aware because of the comments on this blog). There was unnecessary worry because nowadays all in The Big Easy are high-strung about the tropics. I'm not trying to get on anyone's BAD SIDE, just asking for moderation and sensitivity, as BB stated.


Let me tell you something, I said a TS in the GOM is POSSIBLE. Never said it would definitely happen, besides, a few of the models have been showing it as a TS in the gulf. If anything you're the downcaster, because we are certainly not wishcasting.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6872
2980. ncstorm
Quoting keithneese:


I think the point is that people are wishing for a good soaking, not a cat 5 knocking at the door. To read the original post, you would think that we want death and destruction. We just would like some rain.


I never said death and destruction..I only said the "thrill" of if ..we all would like rain but as the old saying goes, be careful of what you wish for..we all know these storms can amplify to a category 5 at a minutes notice especially in the gulf of mexico and well, there goes your good soaking..
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Rain, Rain, again for all night long......
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Quoting ShenValleyFlyFish:
I thought those Lakecanes usually happen in November?



lol, the jet this year is no joke. Wherever it is problems arise.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Queensland disaster bill climbs to AU$6.8b
Sunday June 5, 2011 - 11:02 EST

Repairs from Queensland's floods and Cyclone Yasi are costing AU$1 billion more than expected.

The latest costs from last summer's Queensland floods and Cyclone Yasi have climbed to AU$6.8 billion, $1 billion higher than the State Government's February estimate.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser says the increase is largely due to new estimates from councils on repairs.

He says the additional costs place pressure on the state budget, which will be handed down later this month.

Premier Anna Bligh has also set a timeline to pay out the majority of funds from the state's Disaster Relief Appeal.

She says by the end of August more than AU$265 million(public donations) will be handed out to 30,000 flood and cyclone victims.


- ABC
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


I wouldnt waste your breath arguing with people like this.

I think the ones who barge in here and either tell us what we can and cant talk about or completely misread our interest in the tropics as we want death and destruction are just as bad as the trolls.

This last week has been filled with good discussion with very very few people going overboard; yet we still get people who barge in here, read about 5 posts and claim we want a strong hurricane hitting our area.


You're right there. I don't post very often, but I read the blog and the comments throughout the day every day, and I have really learned a lot just from reading. Thank you for this. :)
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Quoting FrankZapper:
CT, I'm not pointing the finger at anyone in particular, but there were a few comments about a possible TS or greater in the GOM, which upset the NOLA natives. This caused Bob Breck to make his comments ( which you are probably aware because of the comments on this blog). There was unnecessary worry because nowadays all in The Big Easy are high-strung about the tropics. I'm not trying to get on anyone's BAD SIDE, just asking for moderation and sensitivity, as BB stated.


I won't lie, there is always kids who want a storm to hit them so they can miss school but I aint seen it so it dont effect me. Bob Breck made his comments directed towards Dr. Masters, not the bloggers, because if he bases his opinions off his bloggers its like basing your opinion off an article by what the comments say it just don't work like that.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23505
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
Invest 95L moving through the Great Lakes tonight.

I thought those Lakecanes usually happen in November?
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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.