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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for today

000
NOUS42 KNHC 032045 AMD
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
0445 PM EDT FRI 03 JUNE 2011
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 04/1100Z TO 05/1100Z JUNE 2011
TCPOD NUMBER.....11-003 AMENDMENT

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA (CARIBBEAN)..........ADDED:
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 04/2000Z
B. AFXXX 01AAA INVEST
C. 04/1630Z
D. 16.0N 78.0W
E. 04/2000Z TO 04/2315Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT
G. RESOURCES PERMITTING

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK............CHANGED:
BEGIN 12-HRLY FIXES AT 05/1800Z IF SYSTEM DEVELOPS.
3. REMARK: INVEST FOR 03/1800Z CANCELED AT 03/1130Z.

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


for tomorrow

000
NOUS42 KNHC 041515
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1115 AM EDT SAT 04 JUNE 2011
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 05/1100Z TO 06/1100Z JUNE 2011
TCPOD NUMBER.....11-004

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA (CARIBBEAN)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 05/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01AAA INVEST
C. 05/1430Z
D. 17.0N 78.0W
E. 05/1745Z TO 04/2200Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 06/0600Z
B. AFXXX 0201A CYCLONE
C. 06/0145Z
D. 17.0N 78.0W
E. 06/0500Z TO 06/0900Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: CONTINUE 12-HRLY FIXES WHILE
SYSTEM REMAINS A THREAT.
3. REMARK: LOW-LEVEL INVEST MISSION FOR 04/1800Z CANCELED
BY NHC AT 04/1300Z.

II. PACIFIC REQUIREMENTS
1. NEGATIVE RECONNAISSANCE REQUIREMENTS
2. OUTLOOK FOR SUCCEEDING DAY.....NEGATIVE.
SEF
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I have centered this image over the main circulation.
Watch for it to fill in from East to West over the next 6 to 12 hours as the dry air is mixed out.

Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
Quoting kmanislander:
Back for a bit.

The main circulation is centered to the South of Jamaica and is largely devoid of convection. The deep convection is situated on the East side only but in recent sat frames is trying to fill in to the West. Both the 850 and 700 mb maps align right overhead the surface map position for the low.



850 mb



700 mb





Thanks for clearing up the confusion earlier on a possible second COC forming nearer to the convective flare up, which is south of eastern Jamaica. Have any idea if there will be relocation?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Blue Angels are practicing over the clear blue skies of Pensacola right now. Gotta love 'em!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Yes...

To Illustrate how Desperate Florida is for Rain:



At least parts of FL got a little help from 93L.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
Re-plan your day aqua

000
NOUS42 KNHC 041515
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1115 AM EDT SAT 04 JUNE 2011
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 05/1100Z TO 06/1100Z JUNE 2011
TCPOD NUMBER.....11-004

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA (CARIBBEAN)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 05/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01AAA INVEST
C. 05/1430Z
D. 17.0N 78.0W
E. 05/1745Z TO 04/2200Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 06/0600Z
B. AFXXX 0201A CYCLONE
C. 06/0145Z
D. 17.0N 78.0W
E. 06/0500Z TO 06/0900Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: CONTINUE 12-HRLY FIXES WHILE
SYSTEM REMAINS A THREAT.
3. REMARK: LOW-LEVEL INVEST MISSION FOR 04/1800Z CANCELED
BY NHC AT 04/1300Z.

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



That mission canceled was for 94L or 93L? I ask because the time for todays mission to depart was 16:30z arriving around 20:00z.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14885
Back for a bit.

The main circulation is centered to the South of Jamaica and is largely devoid of convection. The deep convection is situated on the East side only but in recent sat frames is trying to fill in to the West. Both the 850 and 700 mb maps align right overhead the surface map position for the low.



850 mb



700 mb



Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15948
1811. pottery
So, how come they cancelled the Recon flight, if you guys are saying that they may be reviewing things upward?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24872
1810. aquak9
oh! thanks eyewall. Guess today's recon has been cancelled.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1808. pottery
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:


Hi Pot...They had it labeled and the little box for it like the two they are showing now.

OK, I missed that somehow....
Thanks.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24872
Missed it by that much!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Re-plan your day aqua

000
NOUS42 KNHC 041515
WEATHER RECONNAISSANCE FLIGHTS
CARCAH, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER, MIAMI, FL.
1115 AM EDT SAT 04 JUNE 2011
SUBJECT: TROPICAL CYCLONE PLAN OF THE DAY (TCPOD)
VALID 05/1100Z TO 06/1100Z JUNE 2011
TCPOD NUMBER.....11-004

I. ATLANTIC REQUIREMENTS
1. SUSPECT AREA (CARIBBEAN)
FLIGHT ONE -- TEAL 70
A. 05/1800Z
B. AFXXX 01AAA INVEST
C. 05/1430Z
D. 17.0N 78.0W
E. 05/1745Z TO 04/2200Z
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

FLIGHT TWO -- TEAL 71
A. 06/0600Z
B. AFXXX 0201A CYCLONE
C. 06/0145Z
D. 17.0N 78.0W
E. 06/0500Z TO 06/0900Z
F. SFC TO 15,000 FT

2. SUCCEEDING DAY OUTLOOK: CONTINUE 12-HRLY FIXES WHILE
SYSTEM REMAINS A THREAT.
3. REMARK: LOW-LEVEL INVEST MISSION FOR 04/1800Z CANCELED
BY NHC AT 04/1300Z.

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

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

Your welcome to swap houses with me. I much prefer summer than winter, so does my back.


LOL! May have to do that!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting pottery:

Was it ever on?


Hi Pot...They had it labeled and the little box for it like the two they are showing now.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting keithneese:



Aussie,

Looking at those temps I wish I was down there. It's 10:22 in the morning here in Mobile Alabama and it's 91F right now, heading for 98F.

Your welcome to swap houses with me. I much prefer summer than winter, so does my back.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

Mate. If you keep going on like a goose you'll get a ban. Cool it mate. Forget about him.
If you don't people will put flag and ignore you and not him.

Parramatta Sydney Australia
Now
54.3°F falling
Updated at 00:50 EST
Heading for a low of 47°F



Aussie,

Looking at those temps I wish I was down there. It's 10:22 in the morning here in Mobile Alabama and it's 91F right now, heading for 98F.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
They took 94L off the TCFA page.

Link

Maybe updating it, Check back in a few minutes and there may be a TCFA with image and message to go with it. StormW gives 72hrs before condition deteriorate
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting NICycloneChaser:


I'm not really sure to be honest. Generally you're right, GFS and ECMWF tend to be accurate ones, and neither of those have shown much development at all. But the other one's, particularly the NOGAPS and UKMET, have been consistent in showing some development. I tend to side with the consistent ones, but these have been consistently different. I can't see much reason as to why it wouldn't develop personally, shear is low, plenty of moisture from several tropical waves. My two cents would be on development, but it's hard to write off what several global models are saying.

But actually, The Weather Channel say it isn't going to develop, so it mustn't be.... Lol


They are quite reliable, after all, they don't let the hurricane specialists like Dr. Knabb and Bryan Norcross do their job, the other meteorologists think they know what they are doing yet they don't look at the NHC.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
It is so dry in the Tallahassee area of Florida. I would welcome a few days of rain. We have had several Large fires burn up here the past few days.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1798. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
They took 94L off the TCFA page.

Link


Probably about to get an upgrade after that Windsat pass.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1797. pottery
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
They took 94L off the TCFA page.

Link

Was it ever on?
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24872
They took 94L off the TCFA page.

Link
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1795. aquak9
thank you eyewall, thanks for the good intentions, Nea.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeoffreyWPB:
Hope this clears things up :)



I hope the BAMM track holds true to 94L, as for the CLIP5 track, not a good track, takes it straight into the GOM, and we all know what happens when storms get into the gulf right?
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
1793. aquak9
Thank you, H101.

Pretty sad when this old dog plans it's day around recon.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Man the models have no clue what 94l is going to do. They seem to have about as much of an idea what will happen as I do, LOL.
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nrtiwlnvragn beat me to it...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aquak9:
C. 04/1630Z
D. 16.0N 78.0W
E. 04/2000Z TO 04/2315Z

would someone be so kind as to give me those times in EST? simple math is not my strong point.


C. 12:30 PM EST
E. 4:00 PM EST, 7:15PM EST
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


The eastern one may be mid level. GOES East is in Rapid Scan (8 images per hour). Speed up this GHCC Loop using "Faster".
Seems very plausible looking that visible loop, but the WindSAT you posted just a little while ago would suggest it's at the surface.

But then again WindSAT is known to be faulty.

Member Since: September 2, 2009 Posts: 130 Comments: 21194
1786. Grothar
The latest fix of the strongest center is still around 16.2 N and 77.8 west, which would be almost directly South of Jamaica. I don't see any evidence of any new center forming. Just very strong bursts of convection. However, as we know, when we have broad low levels, they can form and re-form anywhere.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1785. aquak9
Sammywb, I'm with you. We could use three Fayes this summer. I hate to wishcast, but anyplace in Florida would be so happy with some rain.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting aquak9:
C. 04/1630Z
D. 16.0N 78.0W
E. 04/2000Z TO 04/2315Z

would someone be so kind as to give me those times in EST? simple math is not my strong point.


its a 4 hour difference; flight takes off at 1630Z which is 1230EDT; the times underneath describe the general times they will be flying the system. 2000Z to 2315Z is 4pm to 715pm
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I agree another TS Faye to zigzag across the state would be excellent.. hope we don't have to wait until August to get one..

well I mean, Skye's area got a little too much rain from Fay but still we got rain.
The drought map went from Red to Green/blue as their storm crossed us..

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1781. JRRP
yea a little bit east
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Quoting largeeyes:
Lovin the BAMM bringing it up the east coast. God do we need the rain.


But we don't need the wind though here in VA.
Member Since: September 2, 2006 Posts: 110 Comments: 6878
OFFSHORE WATERS FORECAST FOR THE SW AND TROPICAL N ATLANTIC AND
CARIBBEAN SEA


Excerpt:

.SYNOPSIS...A 1008 MB LOW NEAR 16N78W REMAINS ANCHORED TO THE
FAR EASTERN EXTENT OF THE MONSOON TROUGH. THE MONSOON TROUGH
EXTENDS SOUTH TO SOUTHWEST OF FROM THE LOW ACROSS TO THE
SOUTHERN PORTION OF CENTRAL AMERICA. THE LOW IS FORECAST TO
REMAIN NEARLY STATIONARY THROUGH EARLY NEXT WEEK WITH THE
POTENTIAL TO BECOME A TROPICAL CYCLONE. A TROPICAL WAVE S OF 16N
ALONG 59W/60W WILL ENTER THE FAR E CARIBBEAN TODAY THROUGH EARLY
SUN BEFORE LIFTING NE AS A TROUGH MON THROUGH WED. A SECOND
TROPICAL WAVE EXTENDS FROM NEAR 17N48W TO 05N54W. THIS TROPICAL
WAVE WILL MOVE INTO THE TROPICAL N ATLC WATERS TODAY THROUGH
SUNDAY AND INTO THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN MONDAY.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1776. aquak9
C. 04/1630Z
D. 16.0N 78.0W
E. 04/2000Z TO 04/2315Z

would someone be so kind as to give me those times in EST? simple math is not my strong point.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1774. Skyepony (Mod)
Morning all. As for 94L~ Still going with my thoughts the other day for now, bad news for Hispaniola. Continued rain for them, Jamaica, probably SE Cuba & possible more for PR. There's still alot of wait & see but if I had to choose I'd go with the HWRF this morning. It might linger long enough, get around there & go for Cuba & FL or Bahamas. Hard to say since it should stay fairly stationary for the next few days.
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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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