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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http://tropicalatlantic.com/models/
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http://tropicalatlantic.com/models/
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Kori, i agree, To early, But it is beginning to amp up, it will be a process in which we will see slow development, but i has really cranked up today. Depression by Late Sunday or early next week.
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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
how do ya know what you can post then? it dont say anything about it

Click the image button then put the link in the spaces in the prompt.
Press ok.
Then preview to test.
It's ok if the image is too big, it can resize itself.
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 728
Quoting KoritheMan:

I've seen otherwise healthy looking systems suddenly sputter during the diurnal minimum. Weak systems are highly susceptible to it.

It is possible recon will go out, but I have my doubts that they will find a tropical depression. I just don't see the aforementioned subsidence abating quick enough to allow for that. But that is just my opinion.



They probably won't find a TD, but come sunday when the wave comes in and helps out 94L with the convection, I think we should be seeing TD by then, if not, Monday.
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:


Hey there DAM...good to see ya :)


Hey EYES, stayin' dry?
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1057. Bitmap7 10:39 PM EDT on June 03, 2011

We are still at the cyclogenisis stage here on this this one....RI does not come into play until we have an actual tropical storm.........
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Quoting KoritheMan:

I've seen otherwise healthy looking systems suddenly sputter during the diurnal minimum. Weak systems are highly susceptible to it.

It is possible recon will go out, but I have my doubts that they will find a tropical depression. I just don't see the aforementioned subsidence abating quick enough to allow for that. But that is just my opinion.


I'm certainly not saying they will find a TD. But they will GREATLY help for eventual forecasts and the current structure of the system should they go out tomorrow if the situation warrants.
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Quoting pottery:

...and West.


But once 94L develops a solid structure (like maybe a TS) it can fend off the dry air without too much problem.
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1064. beell
1021. KoritheMan 2:25 AM GMT on June 04, 2011

Same here, Kori. Way too early in the Season to get cross-threaded over the little stuff!
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10% at 8AM
20% at 2PM
30% at 8PM
My Forecast:
40 to 50% at 2AM
50% at 8AM
60% at 2PM
70% at 8PM
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Quoting AllStar17:


Well, it made it through today's.

I believe recon. is scheduled to go out tomorrow. That should be interesting should it materialize.
I've seen otherwise healthy looking systems suddenly sputter during the diurnal minimum. Weak systems are highly susceptible to it.

It is possible recon will go out, but I have my doubts that they will find a tropical depression. I just don't see the aforementioned subsidence abating quick enough to allow for that. But that is just my opinion.
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Quoting Patrap:
There is a "Preview comment" link next to "Post Comment Link", maybe try it and see how your link works b 4 posting it.

Thats why its there.
thank you i will try that
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Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


See #1053


Hey there DAM...good to see ya :)
Member Since: September 16, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1492
Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
how do ya know what you can post then? it dont say anything about it


See #1053
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Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


Here's the problem:

Access forbidden!

You don't have permission to access the requested object. It is either read-protected or not readable by the server.

If you think this is a server error, please contact the webmaster.
Error 403
euler.atmos.colostate.edu
Apache/2.0.54 (Fedora)
how do ya know what you can post then? it dont say anything about it
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1057. Bitmap7


Dry air not too far away, but its evidently beginning to draw in moisture from south and central america so we will see how that goes. The anticyclone has shown just what it can do for a system in terms of organisation, its also proven why its classified as fundamental in any forecast for RI of a system. This has a shot at RI, but it needs to pump that dry air away and the anticyclone needs to open a bit more to make the conditions absolutely perfect for any type of RI.

This may take time so I am putting a 24hr time limit for things to start getting heated with this system if conditions continue in the way they are now.
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Quoting reedzone:


That last frame is impressive Grothar, notice a thin round band around the low. This is really organizing well tonight. Code red by morning if trends continue with the invest.


This is so ironic reed, listen to this.


Tropical storm Arlene in 2005, before it hit florida, most of the convection was concentrated on the eastern side, and in 94L, the convection is concentrated in the eastern end, and it could become Arlene.

Do you think a TD is possible by Sunday, based on the rate it is organizing.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
I think those saying code red by tomorrow are getting a little hyped. Yes, this system has made significant progress today, but it still has a ways to go. The west side is pretty much entirely devoid of deep convection, due to subsidence being forced into the system by the subtropical jet, which is gradually retreating northward.

Remember, patience is a virtue. It still has to go through the diurnal convective minimum tomorrow.


Well, it made it through today's.

I believe recon. is scheduled to go out tomorrow. That should be interesting should it materialize.
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Quoting KoritheMan:

There is an alternate method where spacing is involved. It's the one I use, as your method never seems to work for me.

What exactly happens when you copy the link into the box?
it puts the ifo into a header in the comment box and than you can still type a comment
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1053. Patrap
There is a "Preview comment" link next to "Post Comment Link", maybe try it and see how your link works b 4 posting it.

Thats why its there.
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1052. centex
Quoting Patrap:
94L WV Loop
That's a very wet loop.
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
Link


Here's the problem:

Access forbidden!

You don't have permission to access the requested object. It is either read-protected or not readable by the server.

If you think this is a server error, please contact the webmaster.
Error 403
euler.atmos.colostate.edu
Apache/2.0.54 (Fedora)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I think those saying code red by tomorrow are getting a little hyped. Yes, this system has made significant progress today, but it still has a ways to go. The west side is pretty much entirely devoid of deep convection, due to subsidence being forced into the system by the subtropical jet, which is gradually retreating northward.

Remember, patience is a virtue. It still has to go through the diurnal convective minimum tomorrow.
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Link
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Quoting lordhuracan01:

I have not seen yet....
Its pretty good... I have the sea shepherd app so ive been fully aware of what theyve been doing. They bought a new speed vessel, Much larger than the Ady Gil, for 1.5 Million. Its name is the Gojira(Or Otherwise Know As Godzilla) And it can go 30 MPH to outrun any Japanese whaling vessel, Very Impressive... People have been bothered by Sea Shepherd's vessel being named the "Godzilla" so theyve renamed it the Brigette Bardot. The Sea Shepherd Organization(That defend the whales in the Southern Ocean) are currently in the Medditeranean keeping fisherman from illegally hunting Tuna. Their last post is said they were staking out the coast of Libya due to the fact there is 10 Illegal fishing boats sitting in the dock of a Libyan coastal town.
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A slow moving tropical soaker is often much worse than a fast moving Cat 1 particularly in mountainous regions (with poverty stricken folks living in ramshackle housing on the hill-tops, or, in the valleys below)......Let's see what happens..... :(
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Quoting pottery:

...and West.

It's only a small amount, not contributing to destruction of 94L (A.K.A. Pre-Arlene)
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 728

Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
spaces? i just copy and paste link for pic when box pops up. is that wrong? it worked sometimes last year, thanks for your help!
There is an alternate method where spacing is involved. It's the one I use, as your method never seems to work for me.

What exactly happens when you copy the link into the box?
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
spaces? i just copy and paste link for pic when box pops up. is that wrong? it worked sometimes last year, thanks for your help!


Post the link by itself so we can see what's up with it.
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1043. Grothar
Don't know if it will show, but here are the divergent and convergent outlines. Been having a little trouble with this site.

Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25370
Quoting Grothar:


Yes, I actually did not expect to see something like that until tomorrow, but there it is. Organizing a little faster than I thought. I made an earlier post that this would happen in about 12 hours and it is only about 8 hours. I have to go back and look. Come on reed, you can tell me, did I nail this one or not? LOL


I think you did a good job.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


I'd be surprised if it got to red tomorrow, that doesn't seem like gradual development. It could easily poof out this time tomorrow. 40% tomorrow at most, though I've been wrong before.


Honestly, I think that if it keeps organizing like this a code red tomorrow is what we will most likely get but things can change. I still think we may get a 40% or 50% by next TWO, then again it's not rushing.
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Quoting cchsweatherman:
Interesting observation to note. Before the sun went down, you could clearly see the low level circulation in association with Invest 94L turning the atmosphere across a large portion of the Western Caribbean on RGB Floater Imagery. This continues to indicate an increasingly more organized system at the lower levels. Also, satellite imagery shows a well defined band to the southeast of the circulation center.

Its clearly fighting with dry air as the western half of the disturbance is practically devoid of convection and will probably still be for the next 24 hours or so until more moisture comes into support with a tropical wave on Sunday.

Overall, Invest 94L has made significant progress towards development today, but its still at least a couple days from possible tropical depression status.


Great analysis cchs
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1039. centex
Nice high res visible of gulf and ex-93L. Keep link when something other than naked swirl to watch.

LSU GOES-13
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Quoting Grothar:


Yes, I actually did not expect to see something like that until tomorrow, but there it is. Organizing a little faster than I thought. I made an earlier post that this would happen in about 12 hours and it is only about 8 hours. I have to go back and look. Come on reed, you can tell me, did I nail this one or not? LOL


Haha nailed it right on the head.
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1037. pottery
Quoting Vincent4989:


Image shows dry air to the north.

...and West.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24055
Quoting Chicklit:
It went from 10% this morning to 30% by 8 p.m. for development within 48 hours. wow. But evidently still too early to say where it will go.



umm we have a strong idea
new map
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How intense could 94L get?
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Quoting KoritheMan:

Don't use spaces.
spaces? i just copy and paste link for pic when box pops up. is that wrong? it worked sometimes last year, thanks for your help!
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Quoting Vincent4989:


Image shows dry air to the north.
The upper flow pattern should allow the driest of air to completely miss the circulation. Still has to battle a respectably dry airmass, though.
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1032. j2008
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Good Evening....Regardless of longer-term development for 94L the ongoing short-term convection, and nearly stationary location, means a very serious, and life threatening, flooding situation for Jamaica and Hispanola.....Last thing anyone needs is a stationary tropical system with copious rains for several days.....I hope it gets moving soon for their sake.

Definatly, and it would definatly be welcome to send some of that rain up to places where they need it.
Member Since: December 19, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 224

Quoting cchsweatherman:

Overall, Invest 94L has made significant progress towards development today, but its still at least a couple days from possible tropical depression status.
Agreed.
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Image shows dry air to the north.
Member Since: November 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 728
Quoting HurricaneDean07:
Yep, Like i said 50% chance or 60% Chance at the next TWO for 94L, looking much more impressive, guess it had a sudden change of heart? Maybe....


Jar of hearts.
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Quoting HurricaneHunterJoe:
any help for my pics not showing?
Don't use spaces.
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1027. pottery
Quoting weathermanwannabe:
Good Evening....Regardless of longer-term development for 94L the ongoing short-term convection, and nearly stationary location, means a very serious, and life threatening, flooding situation for Jamaica and Hispanola.....Last thing anyone needs is a stationary tropical system with copious rains for several days.....I hope it gets moving soon for their sake.

I agree with that!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24055
Interesting observation to note. Before the sun went down, you could clearly see the low level circulation in association with Invest 94L turning the atmosphere across a large portion of the Western Caribbean on RGB Floater Imagery. This continues to indicate an increasingly more organized system at the lower levels. Also, satellite imagery shows a well defined band to the southeast of the circulation center.

Its clearly fighting with dry air as the western half of the disturbance is practically devoid of convection and will probably still be for the next 24 hours or so until more moisture comes into support with a tropical wave on Sunday.

Overall, Invest 94L has made significant progress towards development today, but its still at least a couple days from possible tropical depression status.
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rofl grothar. it's after 10 o'clock so time for my bedtime. haha. will have to check back in the morning.
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1024. Grothar
Quoting reedzone:


That last frame is impressive Grothar, notice a thin round band around the low. This is really organizing well tonight. Code red by morning if trends continue with the invest.


Yes, I actually did not expect to see something like that until tomorrow, but there it is. Organizing a little faster than I thought. I made an earlier post that this would happen in about 12 hours and it is only about 8 hours. I have to go back and look. Come on reed, you can tell me, did I nail this one or not? LOL
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 69 Comments: 25370

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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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