Irene's rains heaviest on record in Vermont; Tropical Storm Katia forms

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:40 PM GMT on August 30, 2011

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Record flooding continues in the Northeast from Irene's torrential rains. Hardest hit was Vermont, where heavy rains in the weeks prior to Irene's arrival had left soils in the top 20% for moisture, historically. Irene dumped 5 - 8 inches of rain over large sections of Vermont, with a peak of 11.23" at Mendo. The reading from Mendo was the greatest single-day rainfall in Vermont's history, according to wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt, beating the 9.92" that fell at Mt. Mansfield on 9/17/1999 during the passage of Tropical Storm Floyd. The 13.30" that fell on East Durham, NY during Irene was just shy of New York State's all-time 1-day rainfall record: 13.70" at Brewster on 9/16/1999, from Tropical Storm Floyd.


Figure 1. Wunderphotographer 43BJAGER recorded this image of a house in Sharon, Vermont, that started out the week on the other side of this underpass.

According to the final Hurricane Irene summary from the NWS, the storm dropped 20" of rain in two locations, one in North Carolina and one in Virginia. Here are the highest rain amounts from the hurricane for each state:

Virginia Beach, VA: 20.40"
Jacksonville, NC: 20.00"
East Durham, NY: 13.30"
Freehold Twp, NJ: 11.27"
Mendon, VT: 11.23"
Ellendale, DE: 10.43"
New Hartford, CT 10.15"
Baxter St. Park, ME: 9.91"
Savoy, MA: 9.10"
Lafayette, PA: 8.82"
Pinkham North, NH: 7.33"
Warren, RI: 5.37"

Tropical Storm Katia forms
Tropical Storm Katia formed this morning in the far Eastern Atlantic off the coast of Africa. Katia will be in a moist, low wind shear environment with ocean temperature 1 - 2°C above the threshold needed to support a hurricane, and should be able to intensify to major hurricane strength when it passes to the north of the Lesser Antilles Islands 5 - 6 days from now. It is possible that some of the outer spiral bands of the storm might bring heavy rain squalls to the northern Lesser Antilles, but it would be a surprise if the core of the storm passed through the islands. The long term fate of Katia is unknown. Dr. Bob Hart's Historical Tropical Cyclone Probability web page suggests shows that tropical storms in Katia's current position have a 19% chance of hitting North Carolina, a 16% chance of hitting Canada, an 11% chance of hitting Florida, and a 47% chance of never hitting land.


Figure 2. The morning run of the GFS Ensemble prediction. The ensemble prediction was done by taking a lower-resolution version of the GFS model and changing the initial distributions of temperature, pressure, and humidity randomly by a few percent to generate an ensemble of 20 different computer projections of where Katia might go. The operational (highest-resolution) version of the GFS model (white line) is usually more accurate, but the ensemble runs give one an idea of the uncertainty in the forecast.

Katia is the 11th named storm this year, and comes a full twelve days before the half-way point of the Atlantic hurricane season. Climatologically, September 10 marks the half-way point. A typical hurricane season has just 10 - 11 named storms, so we've already had a whole season's worth of storms before reaching the half-way point. At this rate, 2011 will see 25 named storms, making it the 2nd busiest season on record, behind 2005. Katia's formation date of August 30 puts 2011 in 5th place for earliest date of arrival of the season's 11th storm. Only 2005, 1995, 1936, and 1933 had an earlier 11th storm.

Gulf of Mexico development possible late this week
Several of our best computer models for predicting formation of tropical cyclones, the GFS and ECMWF, are predicting that an upper level pressure interacting with a tropical wave now over the the Western Caribbean could combine to spawn a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico late this week or early next week. The formation location is likely to be off the coast of Louisiana or Texas, but the track of the system is hard to predict at this point.


Figure 3. Portlight volunteer Thomas Hudson clears a driveway yesterday in Hollywood, Maryland.

Portlight disaster relief effort in Maryland
Hurricane Irene heavily damaged the town of Hollywood, Maryland, when a tornado cut off electric power, water, and phone service. Portlight and Team Rubicon volunteers arrived before emergency personnel, after following up on a local tip. What they found was an isolated area whose plight was unknown to the larger community. Most residents were trapped at their homes by heavy debris. Portlight and Team Rubicon worked for two days to clear paths to each address, extract vehicles from debris, and cut down trees that constituted safety hazards. Portlight also instructed local residents how to operate and maintain chainsaws and safely clear debris. No other volunteer organizations or emergency personnel arrived at any time, and Portlight succeeded in meeting the specific needs of the underserved, unserved, and forgotten. Visit the Portlight blog to learn more; donations are always welcome.

I'll have a new post on Wednesday discussing if the evacuations and media hype surrounding Irene were excessive.

Jeff Masters

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2114. vince1
Quoting EastTexJake:


I'm sure someone already has written a response to that opinion. To me being 'called to the carpet' means to be called before your bosses and possibly fired or disciplined. So I suppose it's just the phrasing I'm disagreeing with you on.

10-4. :) As the VP of his institute, he only speaks to one boss of course, lol. I bet they're on similar pages.
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Quoting Allyson00:




I'm not copying from another site, I get email updates 3 times a day from a subscription service (that's not open to the public) that several large companies subscribe to and thought I'd share the info since they usualy really hit the mark on these storms.  If it's going to cause a problem then I'll stop....just thought more info the better.  I'll go away....have a great day!



ok then keep up the good work
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115247
Quoting Allyson00:




I'm not copying from another site, I get email updates 3 times a day from a subscription service (that's not open to the public) that several large companies subscribe to and thought I'd share the info since they usualy really hit the mark on these storms.  If it's going to cause a problem then I'll stop....just thought more info the better.  I'll go away....have a great day!


No, its okay, don't let somebody run you away. Keep posting that as much as you want (just not spamming please) :)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32249
Coastal Flood Statement
COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
516 AM CDT WED AUG 31 2011

...MODERATE TO STRONG ONSHORE WINDS EXPECTED OVER THE THE WATERS
FOR MULTIPLE DAYS...

.A TROPICAL WAVE WILL PUSH INTO THE CENTRAL AND THEN WESTERN GULF
TONIGHT AND TOMORROW. BY FRIDAY A WEAK SURFACE LOW WILL START TO
DEVELOP OVER THE WESTERN GULF. THIS WILL CAUSE THE SOUTHEAST
WINDS THAT ARE ALREADY DEVELOPING TO STRENGTHEN DURING THE DAY
THURSDAY WITH ONSHORE FLOW OF 15 TO 20 KNOTS AT LEAST THROUGH THE
ENTIRE WEEKEND AND INTO NEXT WEEK. THIS PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO
STRONG ONSHORE FLOW WILL CAUSE TIDES TO BE WELL ABOVE NORMAL. THIS
WILL COINCIDE WITH LARGE DIURNAL TIDE RANGE WHICH COULD EXACERBATE
ANY COASTAL FLOODING ISSUES. A COASTAL FLOOD WATCH OR ADVISORY
WILL LIKELY BE NEEDED BY TOMORROW AFTERNOON.

STRONG ONSHORE WILL DEVELOP LEADING TO TIDES APPROACHING 1 TO 2
FEET ABOVE ASTRONOMICAL BEGINNING THIS FRIDAY. TIDES COULD BE
SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER THIS WEEKEND...ESPECIALLY IF THE SURFACE LOW
IN THE GULF BECOMES STRONGER THAN CURRENTLY EXPECTED OR IS MUCH
CLOSER TO THE REGION.

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Quoting Tazmanian:




why are you coping and posting that from other site?

I'm not copying from another site, I get email updates 3 times a day from a subscription service (that's not open to the public) that several large companies subscribe to and thought I'd share the info since they usualy really hit the mark on these storms.  If it's going to cause a problem then I'll stop....just thought more info the better.  I'll go away....have a great day!
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Quoting vince1:

If his opinion is ill informed as proclaimed by many on here, why shouldn't someone have the opportunity to "set him straight?" If he's not open to hearing out the opposition, that makes his opinion less valid.


I'm sure someone already has written a response to that opinion. To me being 'called to the carpet' means to be called before your bosses and possibly fired or disciplined. So I suppose it's just the phrasing I'm disagreeing with you on.
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Even if Katia does not go on to affect the United States, we have another threat beginning to form in the extreme northwest Caribbean/southeast Gulf of Mexico. Models are in a good consensus that we should start watching for development on Friday. Afterwards, it appears that the system could spend DAYS over the boiling hot waters of the Gulf of Mexico. IMO, if this thing forms, watch for a hurricane landfall.

Nothing past that is impossible...

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32249
2107. vince1
Quoting presslord:


that sort of reasoned, rational thinking will not be tolerated

I knew I'd attain a modicum of rationality one day. :P

ON topic since I've veered, I'm in the northeastern "wet" spot on this here map (felt a few sprinkles this morning on a bicycle ride, which is always a good sign...go away, Mr. High):

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18z GFS still shows future Lee heading towards west Florida. This run has hit hitting the Panhandle.
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Seems like there is a general consensus this morning to jump on the out to sea solution with Katia. I am not sold yet, as there appears to still be a chance for bridging of the CONUS high and Bermuda high. Definitely a complex pattern setting up, especially with a potential Lee sitting in the Gulf.
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Quoting Hhunter:
Bastardi tends to favor a meandering gulf system with more of a attempt that heads north the slides sw toward Rio grande.. also maybe a stronger system like a Bret from a few years back that hit Texas
Bastardi has lost his mind. He did the weather last night with two guinea pigs on his shoulders and one on his head. I think Global Warming has finally got to him.
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Quoting Allyson00:
Track Graphic

http://www.wunderground.com/wximage/Allyson00/



TD35

Current Location:
20.5N/86.5W
Geographic Reference: Northwest Caribbean and Yucatan
Movement: West-northwest at 8 mph
Max Winds: 25 mph
Organizational Trend: Little change
Chance of Development to a Tropical Storm within 48 hours: 15%
Chance of Development to a Tropical Storm beyond 48 hours: 70%
Forecast Track Confidence: Average first 72 hours, low beyond then due to poor model agreement.

Changes From Our Previous Forecast We have slightly increased the chances of development within the first 48 hours and beyond. Our new probabilities are 15/70, up from 10/65. The chances of the system becoming a hurricane have also been increased from 20 to 25 percent. We have also slowed the forward motion somewhat beyond 72 hours. This may give the disturbance more time to develop over the Gulf of Mexico.

Our Forecast The area of disturbed weather in the northwest Caribbean is likely to form into a broad area of low pressure in the northwest Gulf of Mexico. There after, the forecast is highly uncertain. The computer forecast models continue to have different forecasts. However, what is becoming likely is that steering currents will be weak and only a slow motion is likely after 72 hours. Therefore, we have slowed the forecast somewhat from the previous forecast and do not bring the system inland until next Monday or Tuesday.

Since the system may have additional time over the water, and environmental conditions appear as if they will be favorable, we have slightly increased the chances of development. There is now a 70 percent chance that the disturbance will eventually develop into at least a depression. The chances of the system becoming a hurricane are now 25 percent.

Expected Impacts on Land Texas/Louisiana Coasts: The disturbance may spread heavy rain into the area by Saturday. Due to the very slow motion expected near the coast, the squalls may last for several days.

Expected Impacts Offshore Northwest Gulf of Mexico: Thunderstorms may begin increasing off the Texas and Louisiana coasts as early as Thursday evening, which means that Thursday may be the last day for potential evacuations offshore. But with that decaying frontal boundary currently across the central Gulf, there may be scattered thunderstorms off the Texas and Louisiana coasts over the next several days in advance of the disturbance and possible development.

The next update will be issued by 10AM CDT.

Meteorologists: Derek Ortt / George Harvey
ImpactWeather, Inc. All rights reserved
Link




why are you coping and posting that from other site?
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115247
2101. vince1
Quoting EastTexJake:


Well, since the article is clearly labeled "Commentary" it's stating the author's opinion, right or wrong. That's what he's paid to do so why should he be 'called to the carpet'?

If his opinion is ill informed as proclaimed by many on here, why shouldn't someone have the opportunity to "set him straight?" If he's not open to hearing out the opposition, that makes his opinion less valid.
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Quoting vince1:

A lot of the Military involvement has an ulterior motive of keeping the oil routes clear/safe from harm. There's no easy answer (green jobs initiatives are flailing), but foreign aid needs to come to a standstill as well as neverending wars in Middle Eastern cesspools (our govt. doesn't care to acknowledge history and the inevitable results of long-term occupations where the indigenous population is hellbent on doing it their own way). If only safe domestic drilling could be employed here, but the mix of heavy-handed environmentalism and energy companies who cut safety corners (i.e. BP) are like a double whammy of an obstacle to making this happen, sigh.


that sort of reasoned, rational thinking will not be tolerated
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Raises hand in class: So I'm watching the HWRF and if I've been following that mid-Atlantic 1024 isobar is the mid-Atlantic ridge. As it becomes elongated and stretches west, is that the opposite of a weakness in the ridge? Is the 1008 isobar north of the Bahamas that dissolves the weakness looked for? What does the 1008 isobar forming instead over the Northeast mean in this scenario? (I understand this is just one model. I'm just trying to map the discussion to this one model for my own education).

Thanks to anyone with time enough to explain to all of us who wanted to be weathermen when we were kids but did something else instead but wound up here.
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2098. Hhunter
Bastardi tends to favor a meandering gulf system with more of a attempt that heads north the slides sw toward Rio grande.. also maybe a stronger system like a Bret from a few years back that hit Texas
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Track Graphic

http://www.wunderground.com/wximage/Allyson00/



TD35

Current Location:
20.5N/86.5W
Geographic Reference: Northwest Caribbean and Yucatan
Movement: West-northwest at 8 mph
Max Winds: 25 mph
Organizational Trend: Little change
Chance of Development to a Tropical Storm within 48 hours: 15%
Chance of Development to a Tropical Storm beyond 48 hours: 70%
Forecast Track Confidence: Average first 72 hours, low beyond then due to poor model agreement.

Changes From Our Previous Forecast We have slightly increased the chances of development within the first 48 hours and beyond. Our new probabilities are 15/70, up from 10/65. The chances of the system becoming a hurricane have also been increased from 20 to 25 percent. We have also slowed the forward motion somewhat beyond 72 hours. This may give the disturbance more time to develop over the Gulf of Mexico.

Our Forecast The area of disturbed weather in the northwest Caribbean is likely to form into a broad area of low pressure in the northwest Gulf of Mexico. There after, the forecast is highly uncertain. The computer forecast models continue to have different forecasts. However, what is becoming likely is that steering currents will be weak and only a slow motion is likely after 72 hours. Therefore, we have slowed the forecast somewhat from the previous forecast and do not bring the system inland until next Monday or Tuesday.

Since the system may have additional time over the water, and environmental conditions appear as if they will be favorable, we have slightly increased the chances of development. There is now a 70 percent chance that the disturbance will eventually develop into at least a depression. The chances of the system becoming a hurricane are now 25 percent.

Expected Impacts on Land Texas/Louisiana Coasts: The disturbance may spread heavy rain into the area by Saturday. Due to the very slow motion expected near the coast, the squalls may last for several days.

Expected Impacts Offshore Northwest Gulf of Mexico: Thunderstorms may begin increasing off the Texas and Louisiana coasts as early as Thursday evening, which means that Thursday may be the last day for potential evacuations offshore. But with that decaying frontal boundary currently across the central Gulf, there may be scattered thunderstorms off the Texas and Louisiana coasts over the next several days in advance of the disturbance and possible development.

The next update will be issued by 10AM CDT.

Meteorologists: Derek Ortt / George Harvey
© ImpactWeather, Inc. All rights reserved
Link
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2096. vince1
Quoting splash3392:
But that would mean doing something to support America instead of a foreign country. Wow novel idea!

A lot of the Military involvement has an ulterior motive of keeping the oil routes clear/safe from harm. There's no easy answer (green jobs initiatives are flailing), but foreign aid needs to come to a standstill as well as neverending wars in Middle Eastern cesspools (our govt. doesn't care to acknowledge history and the inevitable results of long-term occupations where the indigenous population is hellbent on doing it their own way). If only safe domestic drilling could be employed here, but the mix of heavy-handed environmentalism and energy companies who cut safety corners (i.e. BP) are like a double whammy of an obstacle to making this happen, sigh.
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Quoting FLdewey:
Not so interested in The "Weather" Channel.. but my local met is now whining about the gulf, so I guess I should start paying attention.

Need to buy goggles and a helmet.
Dewey, did DJ get a permaban or did he just decide it wasn't fun anymore?
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This season seems to have similarities with 2003.
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Well, my classroom and kids are calling for me. Everyone have a wonderful Wednesday!
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Quoting vince1:

Kinda' like MSNBC and it being the 4th Branch (Propaganda Wing) of the Fed. Govt. ;) Mainstream news = joke.

The author is the VP at the Competitive Enterprise Group. http://www.cei.org/ (unfortunately, I'm not seeing direct contact details...probably prefers a shield from the hate mail in response to espousing some radical positions).

I agree with his mission (seen the state of USPS and Medicare lately?). That doesn't mean he's fully considered the implications of all of his positions, and he should definitely be called to the carpet.


Well, since the article is clearly labeled "Opinion" it's stating the author's opinion, right or wrong. That's what he's paid to do so why should he be 'called to the carpet'?
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Quoting Tazmanian:




it wont be a fish if it hits Bermuda


Yep
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting MrstormX:
Looks like Katia has a 90% + chance of going out to sea, meanwhile there is moisture in the BOC. Could this be the start of Lee?




it wont be a fish if it hits Bermuda
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115247
Looks like Katia has a 90% + chance of going out to sea, meanwhile there is moisture in the BOC. Could this be the start of Lee?
Member Since: May 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 4438
Quoting MahFL:


If you don't know what that means, your obviously a younger person. Also you know you could always Google the term and gain a bit more "education".


I love anyone who considers me a younger person. *G* I looked it up, got it. After carrying a military ID card for 27 years, I still don't remember that term. Guess I was sheltered somehow. *S*
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Quoting Autistic2:
The K storm is gaining Lattitude quickley, maybee fish?




wont be a fish if it hits Bermuda
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115247
Quoting Neapolitan:
To put things into perspective: the Hurricane Hunter program costs as much as 2.2 hours of the war in Afghanistan; Congress wants to cut that "unnecessary expense" to roughly 1.5 hours worth of the Afghanistan war.

Nothing like having your priorities straight, huh?


All we have to do is schedule the last flight out of Afghanistan a couple of hours earlier... and we're set.... if it's two hours worth of wartime costs, end the war a day early and that's worth roughly 10 storms.
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Katia has that comma head appearance almost snail like in a way. Dry air could be a problem today, but she is trying to keep it away from her.

Wow that VT Irene damage is incredible. Family on Cape COd, MA still without power, third day already, normally they are pretty good at restoring power after nor'easters.
Member Since: July 29, 2011 Posts: 9 Comments: 5
Quoting TampaSpin:



This would be CRAZY if to happen......God Help the Eastern Seaboard if this was to happen!
So far I only see GFS predicting this for us Tampa. It looks like the system that is predicted for TX gets picked up by a trough and shot east. Any ideas here?
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2081. Hhunter
Quoting MahFL:


Now now, we ALL know why you like that met....tut tut tut.....
. Nice taste in weather babes indeed..
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2080. MahFL
Quoting aislinnpaps:
beware the industrial military complex

Huh??


If you don't know what that means, your obviously a younger person. Also you know you could always Google the term and gain a bit more "education".
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2079. vince1
Quoting MoltenIce:
Fox News is a joke anyway.

Anyone have the contact details of the author? I want to e-mail something really nice.

Kinda' like MSNBC and it being the 4th Branch (Propaganda Wing) of the Fed. Govt. ;) Mainstream news = joke.

The author is the VP at the Competitive Enterprise Group. http://www.cei.org/ (unfortunately, I'm not seeing direct contact details...probably prefers a shield from the hate mail in response to espousing some radical positions).

I agree with his mission (seen the state of USPS and Medicare lately?). That doesn't mean he's fully considered the implications of all of his positions, and he should definitely be called to the carpet.
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Katia looking better
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Quoting rod2635:


The program improves forecast accuracy. That saves lives and allows individuals and businesses to make plans to try to minimize losses. Suspect the cost/benefit ratio of the program rather good. Perhaps the 'unnecessary expense' here might be Congressional salaries. Approval ratings around 14%. They should get an 86% pay cut. When approval ratings improve, though performance, pay might rise. One can dream.


NWS is one of the very few GOV agencys that has earned its place. Too many of them don't. The piece some of you are indicting FOX news for is an opinion piece. Differing opinions are still allowed in this country right? It's not FOX advocating for it. Some of you don't like FOX. So what? Don't watch it. You will, however, miss legitimate news stories that some of the other outlets won't report. There is a new movement towards conservatism is this country and I welcome it because the progressive (liberal) policies that our political leaders have persued and championed during the last 50 years have put us on a course that is un-sustainable. How is it that the most successful and wealthiest country this planet has ever produced, has built itself a government it can't afford? Madness.
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2076. MahFL
Quoting GTcooliebai:
100% of Texas is in some sort of drought...that's bad!


Not drought, just "abnormally dry".
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Quoting weatherh98:


first yea fish second i find that handle offensivee to some u might get attacked


I understand that I am different than most people but I dont understand the Offensive part. Are you talking about K Storm or my handle Autistic2? Dont people pick handles that kinda represent who they are?

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Quoting Seawall:
When you're in SE TX, or SW LA, who is your "Go To" guy for the weather? Is it Kerry Cooper and Greg Boswick of KFDM, or Patrick Vaughn and Bert out of KMBT, or Dana Melancon, out of Fox?, or Wade Hampton, out of channel 7 in Lake Charles. Rob Robbin is now on Gator 99.5 instead of 96.1. Rob was the old stand by back in the day.
Hampton on KPLC is very good. Knows what he's talking about.
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2073. IKE
6Z GFS @ 96 hours....


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Quoting FLdewey:
Not so interested in The "Weather" Channel.. but my local met is now whining about the gulf, so I guess I should start paying attention.

Need to buy goggles and a helmet.


Don't forget the googles!
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Quoting Autistic2:
The K storm is gaining Lattitude quickley, maybee fish?


first yea fish second i find that handle offensivee to some u might get attacked
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look at the plume of moisture and a little spin imbedded
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beware the industrial military complex

Huh??
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The K storm is gaining Lattitude quickley, maybee fish?
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2066. vince1
Quoting Neapolitan:
To put things into perspective: the Hurricane Hunter program costs as much as 2.2 hours of the war in Afghanistan; Congress wants to cut that "unnecessary expense" to roughly 1.5 hours worth of the Afghanistan war.

Nothing like having your priorities straight, huh?

Eisenhower was a sage, beware the industrial military complex.
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Quoting hurricanerunaway:



Humberto took out 7 trees at my place...amounted to about a weeks worth of clean up for us.


Oh, I know he did more at other's places. I was lucky here with him.
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About

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.