Texas heat wave smashes more records; 93L more organized

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:26 PM GMT on August 17, 2011

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Texas' Texas-sized drought and heat wave is setting new records, as August temperatures regularly topping 100° continue to impact most of the state. The high temperature hit 102° at the Houston Intercontinental Airport yesterday, a record for the date, and the 16th consecutive day of 100°+ heat. The 16-day streak is a new record. The previous record was 14 straight days, ending on July 19, 1980.

The low temperature yesterday morning at Dallas/Fort Worth International was 86°--the all-time highest minimum temperature recorded there. This is the 4th time this summer Dallas has had an 86° minimum temperature, with the other dates being July 26, August 3, and August 4. Prior to this year, the hottest minimum temperature ever recorded in Dallas was 85° on September 1, 1939 (which they also matched this summer on July 25, August 7, and again this morning.) Thus Dallas has matched or exceeded their all-time hottest minimum temperature from previous years seven times this year. It's extremely rare for a station with a long observation history spanning more than fifty years to break an all-time record seven times in one year; if anyone can find an example of this in the past, I'd love to hear about it. The National Climatic Data Center records page is a good place to look. Dallas has had 40 days with a minimum temperature of 80° or higher this year, breaking the previous record of 39 days, set in 1998. Dallas had a streak of 40 straight days with a maximum temperature above 100° which ended August 10, good for 2nd place all-time, next to a 42-day streak in 1980.


Figure 1. The amount of rain needed to break the Texas drought is in excess of 15 inches (purple colors) over most of the state. This year's drought is officially Texas' worst one-year drought on record. Image credit: NOAA/NWS.

According to the National Climatic Data Center, twelve other major airports set or tied their all-time high minimum temperature two or more times this summer: San Angelo, TX (four times); Lake Charles, LA (three times); Bristol, TN; Indianapolis, IN; Trenton, NJ; Newark, NJ; West Palm Beach, FL; Shreveport, LA; Beckley, WV; Texarkana, AR; Lake Charles, LA; Lubbock, TX; plus, Fort Worth Meacham Field. This year's total of fourteen airports that broke their all-time high minimum temperature multiple times this summer is similar to last year's total of ten sites. Most notable last year was West Palm Beach, Florida, which tied it's all-time high minimum temperature of 83° five times in 2010.

Fifteen major airports have tied or broken their all-time highest temperature multiple times this summer: Tyler, TX (three times); Tallahassee, FL (three times); Fort Smith, AR; Harrison, AR; Tulsa, OK; McAlester, OK; Longview, TX; and Oklahoma City, OK, Ypsilanti, MI; Altoona, PA; Dubois, PA; Salisbury, MD; Raton, NM; Amarillo, TX; and Dalhart, TX. For comparison, only three stations broke their all-time maximum temperature record multiple times in 2010: Wilmington, DE; Norfolk, VA; and Richmond, VA.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Invest 93L.

Caribbean disturbance 93L
A westward-moving tropical wave in the Central Caribbean a few hundred miles south of Hispaniola, Invest 93L, has increased in organization overnight, building up a modest amount of heavy thunderstorms. Low-level spiral bands have begun to form on all sides of the storm this morning. There are currently no signs of a surface circulation, though there is plenty of large-scale rotation apparent on satellite imagery. Dry air surrounds 93L and has infiltrated the center of the disturbance, giving 93L a doughnut-like appearance. However, the disturbance is steadily moistening its environment and is under low wind shear of 5 - 10 knots, so this dry air should gradually mix out today and allow 93L to continue to organize. There is a hurricane hunter mission scheduled for this afternoon at 2pm EDT to see if a tropical depression is forming.

93L will bring heavy rain showers to southern Haiti this afternoon and to Jamaica tonight. By Thursday, 93L's forward motion will slow to 10 - 15 mph, and the storm will bring heavy rains to Northern Honduras and Northeast Nicaragua. These rains will spread to Belize and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula by Saturday. The latest SHIPS model forecast shows wind shear remaining in the low range and the atmosphere steadily moistening as 93L enters the Western Caribbean on Thursday. All of the models agree that the ridge of high pressure steering 93L to the west will remain strong, forcing the storm into a landfall Friday in Northeast Nicaragua or Northeast Honduras. It is possible that 93L will have time to intensify into a Category 1 hurricane before then, though landfall as a tropical storm would be more likely, given the dry air that 93L needs to overcome. Regardless of development, the storm will bring very heavy rains of 4 - 8 inches or more to Nicaragua and Honduras. These rains are likely to cause dangerous flash flooding and mudslides. NHC gave 93L a 30% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday morning in their 8am outlook; I'd put these odds at 50% now, given the continued increase in organization seen on satellite images.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of the tropical wave 500 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands.

Elsewhere in the tropics
A tropical wave near 14°N 34°W, about 500 miles west-southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa, is moving westward near 15 - 20 mph. This wave has little heavy thunderstorm activity associated with it due to dry air, but an impressive amount of large-scale spin is obvious in visible satellite loops. This wave is expected to arrive in the Lesser Antilles Islands by Saturday. Three of our four reliable models for predicting tropical storm genesis predict that this wave could develop into a tropical depression sometime Friday through Sunday. A west-northwest track through the Northeast Caribbean bringing the storm near Puerto Rico by Sunday or Monday is favored by most of the models.

Jeff Masters

Tanker Drop (anm8ed)
This fire destroyed 15 homes and burned about 30 acres. Was nothuge, but was in a populated area.
Tanker Drop
Jet Ski dock (BEENE)
Business is slow here this summer.
Jet Ski dock
The Marina (BEENE)
Lake Houston is dangerously low as well. They will be draining 12inches of water to ease the water shortage in Houston
The Marina

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Quoting Levi32:
Good morning.

Blog update:

Tropical Tidbit for Wednesday, August 17th, with Video
Thanks for the video, Whats going to make the enviroment any better to develope the AOI off of Africa, when it gets to 50W to 60W than 93L did? It seems to me that the models have been bullish this season on long range intensity forecasts.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
I'd be surprised if recon didn't find a closed circulation, but it wouldn't be the first I've been surprised.

Why would you be surprised when there is a buoy under the storm strongly suggesting there isn't a closed circulation?
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1009 MB found so far, Circulation possibly closed, Found NE Quadrant closed
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Fairly strong winds being detected it appears...

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I'd be surprised if recon didn't find a closed circulation, but it wouldn't be the first I've been surprised.

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Not looking good for if the Circulation is closed, unless it located further south than thought...
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Looks Elongated to me.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
If some have HH recon questions,,feel free to check out the Hurricane Hunter Featured Blog as we have a AFR HH Blogger here already, for years.


Randy Bynon, August 14, 2011
Dropsonde SysOp/AVAPS PM, 53rd WRS "Hurricane Hunters", USAFR
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128236
Quoting wunderkidcayman:


well levi its starting to drop the pressure so lets see it that drop continues ya
The pressure will start to drop now due to normal diurnal cycles...
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Product: Air Force Tropical RECCO Message (URNT11 KNHC)
Transmitted: 17th day of the month at 17:10Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 300)
Mission Purpose: Investigate fifth suspect area (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 1
Observation Number: 05

Mandatory Data...

Observation Time: Wednesday, 17:07Z
Radar Capability: Yes
Aircraft Altitude: Below 10,000 meters
Coordinates: 15.1N 73.2W
Location: 245 miles (394 km) to the SSW (194°) from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Turbulence: None
Conditions Along Flight Route: In the clear
Pressure Altitude: 300 meters
Flight Level Wind: From 100° at 18 knots (From the E at ~ 20.7 mph)
- The above is a spot wind.
- Winds were obtained using doppler radar or inertial systems.
Flight Level Temperature: 23°C
Flight Level Dew Point: -21°C
Weather (within 30 nautical miles): Thunderstorm(s)
Mean Sea Level Pressure (MSLP): 1009 mb (extrapolated)

Optional Data...

Estimated Surface Wind: From 150° at 15 knots (From the SSE at ~ 17.2 mph)
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Quoting Levi32:


Well there is the little matter of 93L being directly on top of this buoy at 15N, 75W, and nothing happened lol.



well levi its starting to drop the pressure so lets see it that drop continues ya
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Quoting Grothar:


I normally don't do "Soapbox" but I guess I just got a little ticked this morning. Many bloggers are trying to inform others by showing models, forecasts, maps, etc. Instead of thanking them for their time and efforts. It is constant criticism. Like the following:

1. Oh, that is 300 hours out, means nothing!
2. There is no way the ridge is going to be like that.
3. Things change, why show a model of that.

I don't always agree with what someone may write in their opinion, but I keep it to myself. Bloggers like Levi, hydrus, CyberTeddy and many other spend a lot of time and effort to make blogs and models to keep us informed. How do we thank them. Criticism. Each of us is willing to discuss a point of disagreement with others, but this is different. Anyone over the age on 1 knows how quickly things can change. If someone post a future forecast model of a powerful system, they are not necessarily saying "This is where it will hit in 963 hours" It is that sometimes that callousness with which some bloggers are treated is totally uncalled for. One observation I have made is that those who criticize most post the least relevent material. There Ocean, it is your fault I got on the Soapbox. I will get off now, because I heard they need wood.

+10000
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
A nontasked mission in the Gulf just showed up on my Google Earth.
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting MississippiWx:


that thing looks very tropical
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Quoting Grothar:


I normally don't do "Soapbox" but I guess I just got a little ticked this morning. Many bloggers are trying to inform others by showing models, forecasts, maps, etc. Instead of thanking them for their time and efforts. It is constant criticism. Like the following:

1. Oh, that is 300 hours out, means nothing!
2. There is no way the ridge is going to be like that.
3. Things change, why show a model of that.

I don't always agree with what someone may write in their opinion, but I keep it to myself. Bloggers like Levi, hydrus, CyberTeddy and many other spend a lot of time and effort to make blogs and models to keep us informed. How do we thank them. Criticism. Each of us is willing to discuss a point of disagreement with others, but this is different. Anyone over the age on 1 knows how quickly things can change. If someone post a future forecast model of a powerful system, they are not necessarily saying "This is where it will hit in 963 hours" It is that sometimes that callousness with which some bloggers are treated is totally uncalled for. One observation I have made is that those who criticize most post the least relevent material. There Ocean, it is your fault I got on the Soapbox. I will get off now, because I heard they need wood.


well thanks Grothar for the shout out..I post model runs too early in the morning:)..but so well SAID!!
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15282
Quoting MississippiWx:


The NHC has been very stingy with the percentages on 93L. I've never seen them degrade a system so much just because it had no surface circulation. Just because it didn't have a surface circulation doesn't mean it won't have one in 24 or 48 hours. With the very strong 850mb vort 93L has been showing, you would think it would make it to the surface eventually. It looks like it has made it to the surface now, but recon will confirm for us.


id take those percentages out if i was a noaa boss. ive seen systems go from 90% to 0%. it just hints at the weakness in forecasting (sometimes) and makes for cries and laughs. reminds me of models too much
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from Allan Huffman

As we head into late August the same general pattern will continue with a strong ridge in the western US and a strong ridge in the western Atlantic and a general trough in between over the east coast. As I talk about in the tropical update column this could be dangerous for Florida and the southeast coast as this western Atlantic ridge will steer storms near the southeast coast before beginning to re-curve.

Trends in ENSO subsurface temperatures appear to be pointing to a neutral or weak La Nina Fall and possible winter. A strong cold pool has developed under the surface near the Date Line while subsurface warmth remains in western sections of the equatorial Tropical Pacific. This points to no real discernable trend although La Nina is much more likely than an El Nino which seems very unlikely at this point. If I had to make a forecast, I would say we are back into weak La Nina conditions by this Fall and it will last through the Winter. What will that hold for the Winter? I am still figuring that out and will drop hints in the coming weeks.
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 15282
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recon is find a lot of SE winds
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Quoting OceanMoan:


I must have missed what has angered you, but I like hearing your opinions and would like for you to start sharing them again. :-)


I normally don't do "Soapbox" but I guess I just got a little ticked this morning. Many bloggers are trying to inform others by showing models, forecasts, maps, etc. Instead of thanking them for their time and efforts. It is constant criticism. Like the following:

1. Oh, that is 300 hours out, means nothing!
2. There is no way the ridge is going to be like that.
3. Things change, why show a model of that.

I don't always agree with what someone may write in their opinion, but I keep it to myself. Bloggers like Levi, hydrus, CyberTeddy and many other spend a lot of time and effort to make blogs and models to keep us informed. How do we thank them. Criticism. Each of us is willing to discuss a point of disagreement with others, but this is different. Anyone over the age on 1 knows how quickly things can change. If someone post a future forecast model of a powerful system, they are not necessarily saying "This is where it will hit in 963 hours" It is that sometimes that callousness with which some bloggers are treated is totally uncalled for. One observation I have made is that those who criticize most post the least relevent material. There Ocean, it is your fault I got on the Soapbox. I will get off now, because I heard they need wood.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


The NHC has been very stingy with the percentages on 93L. I've never seen them degrade a system so much just because it had no surface circulation. Just because it didn't have a surface circulation doesn't mean it won't have one in 24 or 48 hours. With the very strong 850mb vort 93L has been showing, you would think it would make it to the surface eventually. It looks like it has made it to the surface now, but recon will confirm for us.


Well there is the little matter of 93L being directly on top of this buoy at 15N, 75W, and nothing happened lol.

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Product: Air Force Tropical RECCO Message (URNT11 KNHC)
Transmitted: 17th day of the month at 16:59Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 300)
Mission Purpose: Investigate fifth suspect area (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 1
Observation Number: 03

Mandatory Data...

Observation Time: Wednesday, 16:53Z
Radar Capability: Yes
Aircraft Altitude: Below 10,000 meters
Coordinates: 15.5N 72.1W
Location: 211 miles (339 km) to the S (176°) from Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
Turbulence: None
Conditions Along Flight Route: In the clear
Pressure Altitude: 7,310 meters
Flight Level Wind: From 120° at 15 knots (From the ESE at ~ 17.2 mph)
- The above is a spot wind.
- Winds were obtained using doppler radar or inertial systems.
Flight Level Temperature: -17°C
Flight Level Dew Point: -48°C
Weather (within 30 nautical miles): Scattered clouds (trace to 4/8 cloud coverage)
400 mb Surface Altitude: 7,590 geopotential meters
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15935
236. MahFL
Bouy 42058 is now "steady".
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Quoting MississippiWx:


The NHC has been very stingy with the percentages on 93L. I've never seen them degrade a system so much just because it had no surface circulation. Just because it didn't have a surface circulation doesn't mean it won't have one in 24 or 48 hours. With the very strong 850mb vort 93L has been showing, you would think it would make it to the surface eventually. It looks like it has made it to the surface now, but recon will confirm for us.


Yes. I agree. Usually a system is 50 or 60% when they refer to a surface circulation.
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I'm interested to see what kind of winds are in that northern band headed for Jamaica.
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It appears Recon is going to investigate the south side first, the area that would most likely be opened...
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Winds at our buoy are out of the SE now:

Link
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Quoting AllStar17:
My uneducated guess placed on Google Earth:


mine is close to yours
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Hey Levi, thanks.
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This is what pre-Don looked like (even though Don didn't amount to much):
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12Z NGP ending @180HR

Pretty close to 00Z ECMWF.

DLM


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Quoting AllStar17:
It would be funny if it went from 30% to a tropical depression. That'd be the second time something went from 30/40% to a cyclone (Bret).


The NHC has been very stingy with the percentages on 93L. I've never seen them degrade a system so much just because it had no surface circulation. Just because it didn't have a surface circulation doesn't mean it won't have one in 24 or 48 hours. With the very strong 850mb vort 93L has been showing, you would think it would make it to the surface eventually. It looks like it has made it to the surface now, but recon will confirm for us.
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Quoting belizeit:
Ascat just made a pass of the system and only showed a wind shift

as I said nether is as reliable as the HH RECON missions
remember the SCATs are Sat Winds the RECONs are live wind data from in the storms I trust the recons more
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Missippiwx, like stated in Levi's Video, its circulation is still for the most part at the mid levels, recon will be here to determine it, but doesn't appear we have a TD quite yet, though recon is just in time for the NHC's next TWO, which should have some decent info in it...
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Recon is descending...
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Simulated global temperature in experiments that include human influences (pink line), and model experiments that included only natural factors (blue line). The black line is observed temperature change.




Carbon dioxide concentration (parts per million) for the last 800,000 years, measured from trapped bubbles of air in an Antarctic ice core.



More information: Climate Change Impacts on the U.S.

Over the last 800,000 years, natural factors have caused the atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration to vary within a range of about 170 to 300 parts per million (ppm). The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased by roughly 35 percent since the start of the industrial revolution. Globally, over the past several decades, about 80 percent of human-induced CO2 emissions came from the burning of fossil fuels, while about 20 percent resulted from deforestation and associated agricultural practices. In the absence of strong control measures, emissions projected for this century would result in the CO2 concentration increasing to a level that is roughly 2 to 3 times the highest level occurring over the glacial-interglacial era that spans the last 800,000 or more years.

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 423 Comments: 128236
My uneducated guess placed on Google Earth:
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Quoting BahaHurican:
On the TX high/heatwave/drought....

Does no one remember Russia last year??? same high pressure system, different location. What'll be interesting is to see if we get another "death high" somewhere else in the Nrn hemisphere next summer. I'm a bit reluctant to attribute these highs to global warming, because it seems we had a similar global pattern in place in the late 1920s - early 1930s.


Hmm, maybe it's an overheating economy that's the problem...
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It would be funny if it went from 30% to a tropical depression. That'd be the second time something went from 30/40% to a cyclone (Bret).
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Looks like 12Z NGP is starting to like 93L.
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Quoting kshipre1:
Hello Levi. do you know off hand what the wind shear looks like with the next big african wave headed westward?

I know there is plenty of warmer water ahead but I guess the dry air could play a role as well?


Dry, Saharan air is what will keep the wave tame until it gets west of 50W and approaches the Caribbean islands, which is when it will probably begin to develop if it is destined to.

There is a big TUTT low out in the central Atlantic currently inflicting high wind shear on the area, but this is forecasted to lift northward and out of the way as the wave moves in. However, details of the upper-level environment when the wave is near the islands are another thing that is still too far out to know. Chances are that the environment won't be too hostile though. It is mid-August and it's not too hard to get things to develop during this time of year as long as the environment is moist and the trade winds aren't too fast.
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Nea:

--Yes, the climate always changes. But it's never--not as far back as
scientists can see in the fossil data--changed this quickly without
bringing on severe disruptions to the biosphere.

The fossil record (as well as the sedimentary rock record in general) has very low time resolution.  We know that, on average, the earth has been significantly warmer over the last half billion years that it is presently, and on average sea level has been much higher than now.  But we cannot see with the granularity that we get from thermometers and various other types of instruments.  We don't know how fast the climate has warmed or cooled in the past.

Just my $0.02, from someone with a degree in geophysics and a minor in geology...
Member Since: August 26, 2006 Posts: 16 Comments: 4766
Quoting belizeit:
Ascat just made a pass of the system and only showed a wind shift


I'll believe what the hunters show...lol. ASCAT is really not that reliable in these smaller circulations.
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Will be back this evening to check on things.....Everyone enjoy the rest of the day.
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Recon still 4 degrees west away from the edge of 93L.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:


shows some sorta circulation there but I rather wait for the ASCAT but none are as reliable as the HH RECON missions
Ascat just made a pass of the system and only showed a wind shift
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On the TX high/heatwave/drought....

Does no one remember Russia last year??? same high pressure system, different location. What'll be interesting is to see if we get another "death high" somewhere else in the Nrn hemisphere next summer. I'm a bit reluctant to attribute these highs to global warming, because it seems we had a similar global pattern in place in the late 1920s - early 1930s.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22073
Quoting MississippiWx:


Yep...It appears that the Northern band will hit Jamaica head on...

As of now, I think recon will find a TD.


I agree, too well organized to not be declared a tropical system.
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Quoting belizeit:


shows some sorta circulation there but I rather wait for the ASCAT but none are as reliable as the HH RECON missions
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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.