Tropical Storms Nate, Maria have formed; 2011 season on the heels of 2005's numbers

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 11:25 PM GMT on September 07, 2011

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Tropical Storm Nate formed in the southern Gulf of Mexico this afternoon after Hurricane Hunters found a well-defined surface circulation in Invest 96L. Nate is the 14th named storm this year, and comes three days before the climatological half-way point of the Atlantic hurricane season, September 10. A typical hurricane season has just 10 - 11 named storms, so we've already had 35% more than a whole season's worth of storms before reaching the season's half-way point. At this rate, 2011 will see 28 named storms, equalling the all-time record set in 2005. Nate's formation date of September 7 puts 2011 in 2nd place for earliest date of arrival of the season's 14th storm. Only 2005 had an earlier formation date of the season's 14th named storm (September 6, when Hurricane Nate got named.) Third place is now held jointly by 1936 and 1933, which got their 14th storm of the season on September 10.

This afternoon's Hurricane Hunter mission into Invest 96L/Nate found maximum sustained winds of at least 45 mph, and minimum central pressure of 1003 mb. Wind shear in the region is low and is expected to remain low for the next 48 hours. Sea surface temperature is toasty in the Gulf at around 30°C (86°F) and more than ample to support intensification. Nate will bring heavy rains and potential flooding and mudslides to Mexico, and according to some weather models, also has the potential to be a U.S. landfall threat. Nate's surface circulation is apparent on satellite loops, although the thunderstorm activity in the storm is displaced from the center. It appears the strongest storms are to the southwest and northeast of the center. East of the storm, thunderstorms are churning associated with the stationary front that's draped across Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and over the Yucatan Peninsula. This stationary front is left over from the cold front that pushed south through the central and eastern U.S. earlier this week, and created a focal point in the Gulf of Mexico for Tropical Storm Nate to form. It's notoriously difficult for weather models and forecasters to predict tropical cyclones that spin up in the Gulf of Mexico, but lead-time for both Nate and our previous Gulf cyclone, Lee, was generous.


Figure 1. Infrared satellite image of Tropical Storm Nate at 6:15pm EDT.

Forecast for Tropical Storm Nate
Given the favorable environment, in addition to a very warm pocket of sea surface waters in the central Gulf of Mexico, we expect that Nate will intensify modestly over the next few days. The National Hurricane Center forecasts that Nate will become the third hurricane of the season by Friday. The HWRF and ECMWF agree with this forecast—both of these models bring Nate to a category 2 hurricane by Saturday. The IVCN/ICON consensus models that the Hurricane Center relies on are more conservative, peaking at category 1 intensity. Nate's maximum potential intensity is heavily dependent on its track, which, according to the weather models, has been up in the air for the past few of days. Until this afternoon's run, the ECMWF has held true to its forecast that Nate will track north and make landfall anywhere from Louisiana to Florida. This afternoon, it backed off of that solution and is now forecasting a northern Mexico landfall. The GFS has consistently forecasted a track that lingers in the Bay of Campeche for a few days before ultimately making dive to the west into Mexico. Over the past few days the Canadian CMC model has been reluctant to develop Nate at all, but today is forecasting the system to track north into the Southeast U.S. states. Now that there is Hurricane Hunter data to ingest (as well as confirmed 45 mph surface wind speeds), we expect the models will come into better agreement on both track and intensity for Tropical Storm Nate.

Tropical Storm Maria

Tropical Depression 14 was named Tropical Storm Maria late this morning, as well. The storm is still pretty far east in the Atlantic, 1,200 miles east of the Leeward Islands, but is moving quickly to the west at 23 mph. According to the National Hurricane Center, Maria looks well-organized on satellite, "but not really." If you look closely at satellite loops (especially the loops that you can catch before the sun sets in that area), you'll see the surface circulation is located to the west of the strongest thunderstorm activity. Well-organized tropical cyclones will be vertically stacked in the atmosphere, with the strongest thunderstorms directly on top of the surface circulation. Maria's disjointed-ness is likely due to a pretty strong clip of wind shear (30 knots worth) in the area. This would usually be deadly for a tropical cyclone of Maria's strength, but since the storm is moving so quickly to the west, the Hurricane Center is forecasting the storm to remain somewhat intact for the next 5 days, although the forecast is for no intensification. Models are coming into better agreement on the track of this system. Prior to today, the ECMWF was forecasting a track south of Puerto Rico, but has since changed its mind and is now in agreement with many of the other models on a track skirting the northern Leeward Islands and missing the Greater Antilles to the north. Beyond this, there is quite a bit of uncertainty depending on steering winds in the Atlantic. It's still too early to guess which track the models will eventually converge on. Climatology favors a track that would miss land, with Dr. Bob Hart's track history pages suggesting Maria has a 22% chance of hitting Canada, 19% chance of hitting Bermuda, and an 11% chance of hitting North Carolina.

Angela

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A partial catch of Maria by ASCAT this evening.

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Quoting kmanislander:


Farthest East. In order of longitude and threat to the CONUS


...but of most interest to me, sigh.
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Quoting katharsiss:
What is MJO?


Madden–Julian oscillation

Link
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Quoting katharsiss:
What is MJO?


An anomalous surge of moisture that originates in the Indian Ocean and travels across the globe from west to east. Its progression is strongly influenced by warm ocean temperatures, which is why we saw so little moisture in the eastern Pacific, and instead why it was so focused in the Atlantic.

There are two phases of the MJO (Madden Julian Oscillation): the upward and downward phases. As the former suggests, this particular cycle favors increased moisture, which of course assists in breeding tropical cyclones. The latter implies a net decrease in overall moisture content.

Each MJO cycle typically lasts about 30 - 60 days, accounting for how long it takes to traverse the globe.
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618. ackee
Quoting kmanislander:


Yeah, the AB high has been displaced off to the NE mostly or far North allowing the waves to gain latitude long before getting to your area. Lots of recurvature this season but once the cold fronts begin the NW Caribbean could be at significant risk. That wont bring rain your way though
DO u think this year steering pattern are similar to last no system seem have made more souther track throught the carrb into the gulf been notice this trend in recent seasons on the other hand the NE carrb seem to the area of risk for tropical activity of late anythoughts
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Or not ...

TROPICAL STORM MARIA FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 6
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142011
0300 UTC THU SEP 08 2011

CHANGES IN WATCHES AND WARNINGS WITH THIS ADVISORY...

THE GOVERNMENT OF ANTIGUA HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR THE
ISLANDS OF ANTIGUA...BARBUDA...MONTSERRAT...NEVIS...AND SAINT KITTS
IN THE LEEWARD ISLANDS.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE LEEWARD ISLANDS OF ANTIGUA...BARBUDA...MONTSERRAT...NEVIS...
AND SAINT KITTS.

A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 48 HOURS.

INTERESTS ELSEWHERE IN THE LEEWARD ISLANDS...THE VIRGIN
ISLANDS...AND PUERTO RICO SHOULD MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF MARIA.

TROPICAL STORM CENTER LOCATED NEAR 13.4N 46.2W AT 08/0300Z
POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 40 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE WEST OR 275 DEGREES AT 20 KT

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 1002 MB
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 45 KT WITH GUSTS TO 55 KT.
34 KT....... 75NE 0SE 0SW 75NW.
12 FT SEAS.. 90NE 0SE 0SW 120NW.
WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT. RADII IN NAUTICAL
MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.

REPEAT...CENTER LOCATED NEAR 13.4N 46.2W AT 08/0300Z
AT 08/0000Z CENTER WAS LOCATED NEAR 13.3N 45.2W

FORECAST VALID 08/1200Z 13.7N 49.2W
MAX WIND 45 KT...GUSTS 55 KT.
34 KT... 75NE 0SE 0SW 75NW.

FORECAST VALID 09/0000Z 14.3N 53.3W
MAX WIND 45 KT...GUSTS 55 KT.
34 KT... 75NE 0SE 0SW 75NW.

FORECAST VALID 09/1200Z 15.1N 56.7W
MAX WIND 45 KT...GUSTS 55 KT.
34 KT... 75NE 0SE 0SW 75NW.

FORECAST VALID 10/0000Z 16.1N 59.7W
MAX WIND 45 KT...GUSTS 55 KT.
34 KT... 80NE 30SE 0SW 75NW.

FORECAST VALID 11/0000Z 19.0N 64.5W
MAX WIND 45 KT...GUSTS 55 KT.
34 KT... 80NE 30SE 0SW 75NW.

EXTENDED OUTLOOK. NOTE...ERRORS FOR TRACK HAVE AVERAGED NEAR 175 NM
ON DAY 4 AND 225 NM ON DAY 5...AND FOR INTENSITY NEAR 20 KT EACH DAY

OUTLOOK VALID 12/0000Z 22.5N 68.5W
MAX WIND 50 KT...GUSTS 60 KT.

OUTLOOK VALID 13/0000Z 25.5N 71.0W
MAX WIND 60 KT...GUSTS 75 KT.

REQUEST FOR 3 HOURLY SHIP REPORTS WITHIN 300 MILES OF 13.4N 46.2W

NEXT ADVISORY AT 08/0900Z

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
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Quoting kmanislander:
Maria under some serious shear



I think it has more to do with speed shear. It's very difficult to keep a tropical cyclone together when it's moving 23mph and then has 15kts of shear. CIMSS maps don't really support anything higher than 15-20kts of shear, but that is plenty when the storm is moving so fast.
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Quoting Relix:
Weird... nothing on Maria so far...
yeah i know, maybe she turned into an open wave!
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Quoting kmanislander:
Maria under some serious shear




yea NHC didnt even update her at 11:00 lol
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Debating whether to discontinue advisories on Maria?
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
NHC leaving Maria update till last....


Farthest East. In order of longitude and threat to the CONUS
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610. Relix
Weird... nothing on Maria so far...
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NHC leaving Maria update till last....
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Quoting DontAnnoyMe:


How do you do that?


Look at the bottom of the post.
See number of comments.
If # of comments is less than 100, add name to list.

Repeat as necessary.
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What is MJO?
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I just wanted to say, I really appreciate your updates.
hey, thanks so much!!
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Maria under some serious shear

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Quoting kmanislander:


Yeah, the AB high has been displaced off to the NE mostly or far North allowing the waves to gain latitude long before getting to your area. Lots of recurvature this season but once the cold fronts begin the NW Caribbean could be at significant risk. That wont bring rain your way though

That's right.
Had record rains in June (measured rainfall on 23 days), but since July 15 or so, it's been low.
Did get a 5" cloudburst in 2 hours a couple Saturdays ago.
4" in the first hour.
Like a waterfall!
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24653
Quoting PRweathercenter:
Good Evening

Blog Update From Earlier For Those That Missed it Earlier

Maria's not looking that great, however Nate could me a threat!


I just wanted to say, I really appreciate your updates.
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Quoting pottery:

Doing good!
Could use some more rain though.
These storms are passing too far north and leaving us dry.
Although there have been showers on the hills, not much here in the flat...

Strange year for true.
Look at the ITCZ.
Nothing there but wave after wave, passing North....


Yeah, the AB high has been displaced off to the NE mostly or far North allowing the waves to gain latitude long before getting to your area. Lots of recurvature this season but once the cold fronts begin the NW Caribbean could be at significant risk. That wont bring rain your way though
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Quoting wxobsvps:
What does Joe B say on Nate?
still sticking with cat2/3 into La
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600. Skyepony (Mod)
KATIA~ click to see TRMM glide through the eye..
Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 193 Comments: 38684
Good Evening

Blog Update From Earlier For Those That Missed it Earlier

Maria's not looking that great, however Nate could me a threat!
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Quoting JeffMasters:
Bad news in Binghamton, NY, which has just had it's heaviest 24-hour rainfall in history:

The Flood Warning continues for
the Susquehanna River at Binghamton Washington street.
* At 9:45 PM Wednesday the stage was 19.1 feet.
* Flood stage is 14.0 feet.
* Major flooding is occurring and record flooding is forecast.
* Forecast... the river will continue rising to near 26.0 feet by
early Thursday afternoon. Then begin falling.
* Impact... at 25.6 feet... the river overtops the flood walls in downtown Binghamton.

Jeff Masters
That's sad news.
I had friends that went to school there at SUNY.
Loved visiting them.
Nice people.....great spiedies.
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TROPICAL STORM NATE DISCUSSION NUMBER 2
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL152011
1000 PM CDT WED SEP 07 2011

SATELLITE IMAGERY...CONVENTIONAL AND MICROWAVE...SHOWS LITTLE CHANGE
IN EITHER THE POSITION OR THE ORGANIZATION OF NATE DURING THE PAST
SEVERAL HOURS. THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER REMAINS EXPOSED ABOUT 60 N MI
NORTHEAST OF THE MAIN CONVECTIVE AREA...AND OVERALL THE SYSTEM
RETAINS A SOMEWHAT BAROCLINIC APPEARANCE DUE TO ITS POSITION NEAR
THE SOUTHWESTERN END OF A FRONTAL ZONE. SATELLITE INTENSITY
ESTIMATES FROM TAFB AND SAB ARE BELOW TROPICAL STORM STRENGTH.
HOWEVER...A SHIP REPORTED 40 KT WINDS SOUTHEAST OF THE CENTER AT
0000 UTC....AND THAT IS THE BASIS FOR THE INITIAL INTENSITY.

THE INITIAL MOTION IS A VERY UNCERTAIN 090/2...AND IT IS LIKELY THAT
FOR THE NEXT DAY OR SO REFORMATIONS OF THE CENTER WILL CAUSE LARGER
CHANGES IN POSITION THAN THE ACTUAL MOTION OF THE CYCLONE. AFTER
THAT TIME...RISING PRESSURES TO THE NORTH AND NORTHEAST SHOULD
CAUSE NATE TO BEGIN A SLOW NORTHWESTWARD MOTION...WHICH MOST OF THE
GUIDANCE SHOWS NATE TURNING WESTWARD BY 120 HOURS. THERE REMAINS A
LOT OF NORTH-TO-SOUTH SPREAD IN THE TRACK GUIDANCE...AND THE
CANADIAN MODEL IS A MAJOR OUTLIER IN SHOWING A MOTION TOWARD THE
NORTHERN GULF COAST. THAT SOLUTION IS DISCOUNTED FOR THIS FORECAST.
THE FORECAST TRACK IS SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ONE AND SHOWS THE
CENTER OF NATE REMAINING OVER THE BAY OF CAMPECHE FOR THE NEXT FIVE
DAYS.

NATE IS FORECAST TO REMAIN IN AN AREA OF LIGHT VERTICAL WIND SHEAR
FOR THE NEXT 36-48 HOURS...AND THE INTENSITY GUIDANCE RESPONDS TO
THIS LOW SHEAR AND THE WARM UNDERLYING WATERS BY FORECASTING
STRENGTHENING. HOWEVER...THERE IS ABUNDANT DRY AIR TO THE
NORTHWEST OF NATE WHICH COULD SLOW THE RATE OF STRENGTHENING IF THE
STORM INGESTS IT...AND THE CURRENT STORM STRUCTURE IS NOT FAVORABLE
FOR RAPID STRENGTHENING. BASED ON THIS...THE INTENSITY FORECAST
SHOWS GRADUAL STRENGTHENING INTO A HURRICANE DURING THAT TIME.
AFTER 48 HOURS...THE GLOBAL MODELS ARE DIVIDED ON HOW MUCH WIND
SHEAR NATE MIGHT ENCOUNTER...WITH THE ECMWF FORECASTING A MORE
FAVORABLE ENVIRONMENT THAN THE OTHER MODELS. DUE TO THE
UNCERTAINTY...THE NEW INTENSITY FORECAST IS UNCHANGED FROM THE
PREVIOUS ADVISORY.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 08/0300Z 20.4N 92.5W 40 KT 45 MPH
12H 08/1200Z 20.3N 92.2W 45 KT 50 MPH
24H 09/0000Z 20.5N 92.0W 50 KT 60 MPH
36H 09/1200Z 21.1N 92.2W 55 KT 65 MPH
48H 10/0000Z 21.7N 92.8W 65 KT 75 MPH
72H 11/0000Z 23.0N 94.0W 70 KT 80 MPH
96H 12/0000Z 23.5N 95.5W 75 KT 85 MPH
120H 13/0000Z 23.5N 97.0W 75 KT 85 MPH

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
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@84HR 00Z NAM Parallel:



Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5030
Hurricane KATIA
...KATIA TURNING NORTHWARD BETWEEN BERMUDA AND THE EAST COAST OF THE UNITED STATES...
11:00 PM AST Wed Sep 7
Location: 30.8°N 70.0°W
Max sustained: 80 mph
Moving: NNW at 13 mph
Min pressure: 982 mb
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593. Skyepony (Mod)
TRMM got a nice pass on NATE..click for quicktime animation.

Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 193 Comments: 38684
When they say things are heating up in the tropics, aren't things really cooling down? And if a hurricane is basically just one big heat engine, who turned the key to start it? Seriously, I just started keeping up with this blog and I find most of you folks are fun and informative, true weather junkies. Thanks for sharing your wealth of information and experience.
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Quoting kmanislander:


Hi there pal, long time no speak. How's it going down South ??. After a very wet spell here last week the heat is back in full force.What a year this is.

Doing good!
Could use some more rain though.
These storms are passing too far north and leaving us dry.
Although there have been showers on the hills, not much here in the flat...

Strange year for true.
Look at the ITCZ.
Nothing there but wave after wave, passing North....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24653
cantore said canadian solution unlikely and he HIGHLY doubts nate will move north into the Gulf Coast. i HATE how they say there is nearly 100% chance it doesnt go north. just hope nate proves them wrong only at that case weaker for the gulf coast
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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9874
A NW to NNW heading for Nate sure would be nice. Splitting the uprights between Corpus Christi and Galveston would give Texas the soaking it needs.

Is that too much to ask?
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558.

Those are ensembles, which are essentially plots of the same model using different synoptic data.

In other words, they try and account for every variable, hence the wide diversity in tracks.
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Quoting JeffMasters:
Bad news in Binghamton, NY, which has just had it's heaviest 24-hour rainfall in history:

The Flood Warning continues for
the Susquehanna River at Binghamton Washington street.
* At 9:45 PM Wednesday the stage was 19.1 feet.
* Flood stage is 14.0 feet.
* Major flooding is occurring and record flooding is forecast.
* Forecast... the river will continue rising to near 26.0 feet by
early Thursday afternoon. Then begin falling.
* Impact... at 25.6 feet... the river overtops the flood walls in downtown Binghamton.

Jeff Masters


Wow... thanks to Lee.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5030
Quoting JeffMasters:
Bad news in Binghamton, NY, which has just had it's heaviest 24-hour rainfall in history:

The Flood Warning continues for
the Susquehanna River at Binghamton Washington street.
* At 9:45 PM Wednesday the stage was 19.1 feet.
* Flood stage is 14.0 feet.
* Major flooding is occurring and record flooding is forecast.
* Forecast... the river will continue rising to near 26.0 feet by
early Thursday afternoon. Then begin falling.
* Impact... at 25.6 feet... the river overtops the flood walls in downtown Binghamton.

Jeff Masters
Thanks Dr. Masters. I spoke with a friend earlier just outside of Harrisburg, Pa. They seem to be having flooding issues also.
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Quoting wxobsvps:


Sorry, I disagree.


Why?
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Definitely decent changes in the steering with NAM Parallel @66HR:





00Z GFS might be bring something new to the table.
Member Since: August 14, 2008 Posts: 4 Comments: 5030
580. JeffMasters (Admin)
Bad news in Binghamton, NY, which has just had it's heaviest 24-hour rainfall in history:

The Flood Warning continues for
the Susquehanna River at Binghamton Washington street.
* At 9:45 PM Wednesday the stage was 19.1 feet.
* Flood stage is 14.0 feet.
* Major flooding is occurring and record flooding is forecast.
* Forecast... the river will continue rising to near 26.0 feet by
early Thursday afternoon. Then begin falling.
* Impact... at 25.6 feet... the river overtops the flood walls in downtown Binghamton.

Jeff Masters
Quoting SPLbeater:
im waiting.....why they takin so long
Tropical Storm NATE RSS Feed icon Storm Archive
...LITTLE CHANGE IN THE POSITION OR INTENSITY OF NATE DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS...
10:00 PM CDT Wed Sep 7
Location: 20.4°N 92.5°W
Max sustained: 45 mph
Moving: E at 2 mph
Min pressure: 1003 mb
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Some pathetic looking storms out there in the Atlantic this evening. Maybe they will just dissipate and die.
Member Since: May 22, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 907
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
What about the mosquitoes ? They are eating us alive up here.


Misery loves company. Ferocious down here as well. I heard the "fogger" driving around earlier but that only seems to *&^% the mossies off LOL
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Quoting reedzone:


Sorry, I disagree, she should be moving NNW per the NHC but she continues the NW movement for now. Again, I'm not saying it's gonna hit the USA. Though it'll be a close call for New England from what it looks like.
Dont be silly dude.
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The NAM is the first of the 00z runs to come out, and it wants to take Nate to the Northern Gulf Coast, it seems. It's interesting because the 00z runs are the first to have the valuable information of recon data and best center placement.
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Quoting 3211976:
Can some body explain me the purpose of this model plot



"X" marks the spot
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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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