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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Quoting CybrTeddy:
If I'm reading this right, recon is scheduled for takeoff at 10:30 am EDT.
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 05/2200Z.........DATE CORRECTED.
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT
I would wait and see though since this was posted yesterday and chances are it could be cancelled again. I guess we will soon know since that time is not too far off.
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3323. aquak9
ecmf- just tuck a little instant coffee powder between your cheek and gum like snuff...it'll all be ok.

Obviously none of ya'll ever played spin the bottle. Geeez.

Ok, what does line A stand for on the recon? I understand the rest of it.
Even figured out EST.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
If I'm reading this right, recon is scheduled for takeoff at 10:30 am EDT.
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 05/2200Z.........DATE CORRECTED.
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT


Take off time is letter C @ 1430Z official time clock is here.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
Quoting Orcasystems:


I'm just happy to wake up everyday... anything else is a bonus :)

Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI






I don't like waking up. Main reason, very stiff back. I guess that's why I went to bed at 5am this morning, Getting to sleep is ok-ish but it's the waking up part that I don't like. Plus the cold mornings and also a pain. This week is going to be a cold one. Cold front coming through in the morning followed by and even stronger one on Wednesday, already talking about snow west of Sydney on the Blue Mountains.
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Jamaica Met Service

June 05, 2011 at 5:00 a.m.

***FLASH FLOOD WARNING NOW IN EFFECT ***

The Meteorological Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for low-lying and flood-prone areas of St Mary, Portland, St Thomas, St Catherine, Clarendon, Kingston and St Andrew, while a Flash Flood Watch remains in effect for all others parishes until 5:

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING means flooding has been reported or will occur shortly. Motorists and pedestrians should not attempt to cross flooded roadways or other low-lying areas as strong currents are likely. Residents in low-lying areas should be on the alert for rising waters and be ready to move quickly to higher ground.

The area of Low Pressure over the Caribbean Sea, south of Jamaica has remained almost stationary over the past 12 hours. This area of disturbed weather is expected to linger across the region until Tuesday and will continue to influence the weather over the island during the period.


Satellite imagery and RADAR reports indicate that light to moderate and at times heavy showers affected mostly eastern and central parishes last night.

However, the forecast is for periods of showers and thunderstorms, which could be heavy at times, to continue to affect most parishes today and continuing into early next week.

Fishers and other marine interests are advised to exercise caution, as strong winds and rough sea conditions are expected in the vicinity of showers and thunderstorms.


The Area of Low Pressure currently has a low chance of developing into a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours, and the Meteorological Service will continue to monitor the progress of this system.


raw/grb
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
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 05/2200Z.........DATE CORRECTED.
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT

Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12695
Quoting CybrTeddy:
If I'm reading this right, recon is scheduled for takeoff at 10:30 am EDT.
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 05/2200Z.........DATE CORRECTED.
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT


Now it is posted.
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3317. emcf30
Quoting aquak9:
ahhhh...Orca.....

(spins bottle, it points at grothar)- ok Grothar. Will YOU please post the recon schedule for today, and then(spins bottle again) ecmf then YOU get to translate ZULU time into EST time.

Boy I woke up in an odd mood.


Your not kidding . LOL
The morning crew is good for a few laughs which is good this morning since my coffee maker malfunctioned this morning and brewed my coffee all over the counter and floor. Needless to say, me and the coffee maker did not see eye to eye so I smashed it and threw it away. Now I am having a cup of instant out of my hurricane supply kit. It sucks.
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I think we have a new LLC right under the convection as the organization has improved significantly in that region
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Quoting Grothar:


Wow, only a 130 degree cone of uncertainty.
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3314. aquak9
Grothar. That's squish spider. That's not recon schedule. Ecmf is waiting.
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If I'm reading this right, recon is scheduled for takeoff at 10:30 am EDT.
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 05/2200Z.........DATE CORRECTED.
F. SFC TO 10,000 FT
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3312. Grothar
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3311. aquak9
hey giovanni- What's Up With That?
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3310. Bitmap7




Morning all. This was the kind of symmetry we were looking for yesterday but never got.
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3309. aquak9
I don't see the recon schedule posted yet, gro.
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3307. Grothar
Quoting emcf30:

Good morning Grothar
TO much coffee already this morning? LOL


Stop peeking in my window.
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3306. Grothar
Quoting aquak9:
ahhhh...Orca.....

(spins bottle, it points at grothar)- ok Grothar. Will YOU please post the recon schedule for today, and then(spins bottle again) ecmf then YOU get to translate ZULU time into EST time.

Boy I woke up in an odd mood.


Funny, we didn't notice.
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Quoting aquak9:
ahhhh...Orca.....

(spins bottle, it points at grothar)- ok Grothar. Will YOU please post the recon schedule for today, and then(spins bottle again) ecmf then YOU get to translate ZULU time into EST time.

Boy I woke up in an odd mood.


I'm just happy to wake up everyday... anything else is a bonus :)

Complete Update

TS BUSTED FORECAST ALIBI





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3304. Grothar
Quoting Seflhurricane:
did not read back so i did not know it was posted already, sorry



Just ignore me in the morning. 5 cups of coffee just sets me off, especially when there is a storm in the Caribbean. I mean no harm.
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3303. aquak9
ahhhh...Orca.....

(spins bottle, it points at grothar)- ok Grothar. Will YOU please post the recon schedule for today, and then(spins bottle again) ecmf then YOU get to translate ZULU time into EST time.

Boy I woke up in an odd mood.
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3301. emcf30
Quoting Grothar:


Yes, it is interesting. And it was just as interesting as the 5 other times it was posted this morning.

Good morning Grothar
TO much coffee already this morning? LOL
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Quoting Grothar:


Yes, it is interesting. And it was just as interesting as the 5 other times it was posted this morning.
did not read back so i did not know it was posted already, sorry
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Quoting NICycloneChaser:
I think we need to decide on one person who will post the TWO when it is released rather than having 5 or 6 posts all at once. Its not like we're not all reading it on the NHC's website anyway...


Or, like this.

XYZ person - Hey guys, the TWO is out. I've provided a link for those who don't know what a TWO is or where to get it, check it out.

ABC person - What do you make of the TWO XYZ, looks like it's getting better organized this morning.

XTZ person - Sure is. I was originally thinking it may be Monday before we would be talking depression. Have to see how this latest convective mass progresses through the day.


Wait till there is a hurricane on the deck and threatening. There is literally a full page of copied and pasted TWO & Discussions most of the time. It gets impossible to go back and catch up because by the time you read back to catch up you need to read back and catch up again.
Member Since: January 30, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
3297. aquak9
Thank you gentlemen and Dewey...

was half afraid I was on iggy, ahh but just think of the evil freedom that would've given me.

So 94L did garner a little more clusteration last night. (nods head approvingly) Just send that puppy north.
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Quoting Grothar:


Sorry, Dear. I didn't see you. I was reading my newspaper.


I was drinking my coffee and catching up... but I kept hearing this drumming noise... thought it might still be the crowd chanting after the game last night.. or even rain... but noooo.. its someone waiting for people to say hello.

Another beautiful day in the neighbourhood... no sign of clouds or rain.. and early tee times... the world is good.
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3295. Grothar
Quoting Seflhurricane:
Look at what the NWS Miami has posted in their discussion. INTRESTING


WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY...
ALTHOUGH CONFIDENCE BEGINS TO DECREASE THIS FAR OUT INTO EXTENDED
FORECAST...THE ECMWF/UKMET/NOGAPS/GFS/GFS ENSEMBLE MEAN DUE INDICATE
INCREASING DEEP LAYER MOISTURE ACROSS SOUTH FLORIDA TOWARD THE END
OF THE WEEK AS THE AFOREMENTIONED BROAD LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION SOUTH
OF CUBA SLOWLY DRIFTS WEST-NORTHWEST. DUE TO THIS LOW
CONFIDENCE...WILL SLIGHTLY INCREASE RAINFALL PROBABILITIES BACK
TOWARD CLIMATOLOGY THROUGH THIS PERIOD TO EXPRESS SOME DEGREE OF
UNCERTAINTY.


Yes, it is interesting. And it was just as interesting as the 5 other times it was posted this morning.
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FLdewey I just checked into WU through firefox (where my WU account is not saved), and it appears you're automatically put on ignore. People be hatin !
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3293. Grothar
Quoting aquak9:
(drums fingers on countertop, glares all around)

I said, "good morning"


Sorry, Dear. I didn't see you. I was reading my newspaper.
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3292. emcf30
Good morning Aquak
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so it looks like 94L will move towards the NW carribean and be either by the yucatan peninsula and cuba , and with a trof expected to come down you know what that means !!
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Look at what the NWS Miami has posted in their discussion. INTRESTING


WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY...
ALTHOUGH CONFIDENCE BEGINS TO DECREASE THIS FAR OUT INTO EXTENDED
FORECAST...THE ECMWF/UKMET/NOGAPS/GFS/GFS ENSEMBLE MEAN DUE INDICATE
INCREASING DEEP LAYER MOISTURE ACROSS SOUTH FLORIDA TOWARD THE END
OF THE WEEK AS THE AFOREMENTIONED BROAD LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION SOUTH
OF CUBA SLOWLY DRIFTS WEST-NORTHWEST. DUE TO THIS LOW
CONFIDENCE...WILL SLIGHTLY INCREASE RAINFALL PROBABILITIES BACK
TOWARD CLIMATOLOGY THROUGH THIS PERIOD TO EXPRESS SOME DEGREE OF
UNCERTAINTY.
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3288. aquak9
(drums fingers on countertop, glares all around)

I said, "good morning"
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3287. Grothar
Quoting tropicfreak:


Sucking in more energy, expect further organization today.


Yes. As I said last night, this should organize just a little bit more. I do not think that the main energy came from the South, but rather the North and East. Even though it 'appeared' that there was abundant moisture coming from the South, the main impetus for increase in convection came from the moisture to the North.
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I still say that location for 12Z is not correct plus atcf is known for not being that accurate there have been many times that I have seen the atcf being off target
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12695
3285. Grothar
Very cold cloud tops at center of convection.

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Quoting Grothar:


Sucking in more energy, expect further organization today.
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Quoting Neapolitan:
The latest ATCF data on 94L:

AL, 94, 2011060512, , BEST, 0, 162N, 793W, 25, 1007, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1010, 250, 175, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,

IOW: same winds, same pressure, and nearly the same location since Friday evening.


Making good progress then.....
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3282. aquak9
good morning friends, fiends, lurkers, and what-nots.

Another semi-smokey yet cloudless day with no rain in the forecast for NE Fla. Reminds me of that Nine Inch Nails song, "Every Day is Exactly the Same".
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The latest ATCF data on 94L:

AL, 94, 2011060512, , BEST, 0, 162N, 793W, 25, 1007, DB, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1010, 250, 175, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,

IOW: same winds, same pressure, and nearly the same location since Friday evening.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
I know some people in Spanish Town. Is flooding an issue where you are ?

Nothing on the shout as yet.
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Quoting Grothar:


Nice convergence going on there.
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3278. Grothar
Quoting Neapolitan:

I generally try to read back a bit to see see whether something has been posted before I do so myself. Sometimes I'll find that I've cross-posted, and if I have I'll blank out my entry to help keep the place looking tidier. But, yes, as someone else said, it would be great if everyone read back before posting. (To me what's even worse than the multiple TWOs are the multiple Cyclone Activity charts, especially when one gets a splash of red.)

But, as someone said, nice as it would be if everyone read back, it ain't gonna happen. ;-)


Did you just carefully take a swipe at somebody? :-)
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Morning!

I see 94L has now become a fuzz ball, noticed last night that it was pulling in some energy, knew that was going to help it's organization. I see the NHC upped it back to 30%, good call.

Here's our fuzz ball.

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Quoting NICycloneChaser:
I think we need to decide on one person who will post the TWO when it is released rather than having 5 or 6 posts all at once. Its not like we're not all reading it on the NHC's website anyway...


That is a good point, however those of us that have been visiting this blog for some time have accumulated quite a few people that are hidden/blocked and we dont see their posts.
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3275. Grothar
Quoting NICycloneChaser:
I think we need to decide on one person who will post the TWO when it is released rather than having 5 or 6 posts all at once. Its not like we're not all reading it on the NHC's website anyway...


That is half the fun. The younger ones always did that and now some of us say, "mature" people do it to see if we can best some other blogger. I guess it can be annoying.
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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.