Nate almost a hurricane; Maria remains disorganized

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:05 PM GMT on September 08, 2011

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An Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft is in Tropical Storm Nate, and has found winds much stronger than the storm's satellite appearance would suggest. At 2:17 pm EDT, the aircraft measured winds at their flight level of 1500 feet of 93 mph, which would ordinarily support upgrading Nate to a Category 1 hurricane. Surface winds measured by the SFMR instrument were about 70 mph, suggesting that Nate is indeed very close to hurricane strength. However, latest visible satellite loops show that if Nate is a hurricane, it's only half of a hurricane. Nate's low-level center is exposed to view, due to northeasterly upper-level winds that are creating a moderate 10 knots of wind shear. This shear is keeping all of Nate's heavy thunderstorms pushed to the south side of the center, and the northern half of the storm almost cloud-free. Sustained winds at Buoy 42055, about 140 miles to the northwest of the center of Nate, were just 28 mph at 3:50 pm EDT this afternoon. Water vapor satellite loops show that there is a large area of very dry air from Texas to the north of Nate, and this dry air is keeping the northern half of the storm dry.

Nate will meander in the Bay of Campeche for several days, and the computer models are sharply divided on what happens early next week to the storm. A ridge of high pressure is expected to build in to the north of the storm, potentially forcing it westwards to a landfall in Mexico. However, our two best-performing models last year, the GFS and ECMWF, predict that a weak trough of low pressure expected to move across the U.S. early next week will be strong enough to turn Nate northwards towards an eventual landfall along the northern Gulf Coast. We will have to wait until the NOAA jet makes its first mission to sample the steering currents in the Gulf of Mexico to get a better idea on how probable this northern path might be; their first flight will be tonight, and the data will make it into the 8 pm models runs that will be available first thing Friday morning. As far as intensity goes, the very dry air to Nate's north should begin being less of a problem for it by Friday, when the upper level winds shift more to blow from the southeast, and the shear drops to the low range, 5 - 10 knots. Since the storm is moving very slowly, it will upwell cooler waters from the depths that will slow intensification, though.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Nate.

Tropical Storm Maria
Tropical Storm Maria barely survived as a tropical storm today, but is now making a bit of a comeback. Satellite loops show that Maria has been badly ripped up by the 10 - 20 knots of wind shear affecting it. The low-level center has been exposed to view most of the day, and surface arc-shaped clouds have been racing away from the storm to the west this afternoon, indicating that dry air has been getting into Maria's thunderstorms and disrupting the storm. However, the areal coverage and intensity of Maria's thunderstorms have increased a little in the past two hours. Maria is passing close to buoy 41040, which measured sustained winds of 36 mph, gusting to 45 mph, at 2:50 pm EDT.

Wind shear is predicted to fall to the low range on Friday as Maria approaches the Lesser Antilles. In addition, as I noted in this morning's post, Maria will be encountering an atmospheric disturbance known as a Convectively-Coupled Kelvin Wave (CCKW) that is currently passing through the Lesser Antilles Islands. There is a great deal of upward-moving air in the vicinity of a CCKW, and will help strengthen the updrafts in Maria's thunderstorms, potentially intensifying the storm. None of our models are detailed enough to "see" CCKWs", so we may see more intensification of the storm than the models are calling for. I believe Maria will continue to organize and arrive in the Lesser Antilles Islands as a tropical storm with 50 - 60 mph winds. The latest run of the GFDL model predicts that Maria will be a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday afternoon when it moves through the Virgin Islands, and a Category 2 hurricane Sunday night when it moves through the Turks and Caicos Islands. This is on the high end of what is possible, and I think it more likely that Maria will be a tropical storm with 50 - 60 mph winds in the northern Lesser Antilles, 60 - 70 mph winds in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, and a Category 1 hurricane in the Turks and Caicos Islands--assuming passage over Puerto Rico and the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic does not significantly disrupt the storm. A lower intensity, as forecast by NHC, is certainly quite possible, as Maria may continue to struggle with the dry air and wind shear besetting it.

The latest computer model runs have been trending more southwards, and the Northern Lesser Antilles, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and the Bahama Islands are all at high risk of a direct hit by Maria. The models are split on how strong the steering influence a trough of low pressure along the U.S. East Coast will have once Maria approaches the U.S. East Coast. Most of the models foresee that Maria will turn north before arriving at Florida, and potentially threaten North Carolina, Bermuda, or Canada. The latest run of the GFDL model, though, brings Maria through the Bahamas to a point just 100 miles southeast of Miami as a hurricane on Tuesday afternoon. While this forecast is an outlier, and it is more likely that Maria will turn north before reaching Florida, it will be another two days before we will have a fair degree of confidence on when Maria will curve to the north.

Lee's rains trigger historic flooding in New York and Pennsylvania
An extreme rainfall event unprecedented in recorded history has hit the Binghamton, New York area, where 7.49" of rain fell yesterday. This is the second year in a row Binghamton has recorded a greater than 1-in-100 year rain event; their previous all-time record was set last September, when 4.68" fell on Sep 30 - Oct. 1, 2010. Binghamton has also already broken its record for rainiest year in its history. Records go back to 1890 in the city. The rain has ended in Binghamton, with this morning's rain bringing the city's total rainfall for the 40-hour event to 9.02". The Susquehanna River at Binghamton has risen to 25.69', its highest level since records began in 1847, and is now spilling over the flood walls protecting the city, according to media reports. In Hershey, Pennsylvania, Swatara Creek is 19' over flood stage, and more than 9' above its record flood crest. Widespread flash flooding is occurring across the entire area, and over 120,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.


Figure 2. Seven-day precipitation amounts from Tropical Storm Lee and its remnants. Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.


Figure 3. The Susquehanna River at Binghamton has crested this afternoon at its highest flood height on record, 25.69'. Records at this gauge go back to 1847. Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.


Figure 4. In Hershey, Pennsylvania, Swatara Creek is 19' over flood stage, and more than 9' above its previous record flood crest. The river is forecast to crest at 27.2' (green lines are the predictions.) Records at this gage go back to 1930. Image credit: NOAA/AHPS.

The extreme rains are due the the remains of Tropical Storm Lee interacting with a stationary front draped along the Eastern U.S. Adding to the potent moisture mix last night was a stream of tropical moisture associated with Hurricane Katia that collided with the stationary front. You don't often see a major city break its all-time 24-hour precipitation record by a 60% margin, according to wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, and he can't recall ever seeing it happen before. It's worth noting that the Susquehanna River Binghamton stream gage, which has been in operation since 1847, is due to be shut off in 3 weeks due to budget cuts. Here's the note at the USGS web site:

NOTICE (03/23/2011)--Data collection at this streamgage may be discontinued after October 1, 2011 due to funding reductions from partner agencies. Although historic data will remain accessible, no new data will be collected unless one or more new funding partners are found. Users who are willing to contribute funding to continue operation of this streamgage should contact Rob Breault or Ward Freeman of the USGS New York Water Science Center at 518-285-5658 or dc_ny@usgs.gov.

I'll have an update in the morning.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting Levi32:


She's weak but there. She won't be a hurricane until she's clear of the Caribbean islands and gets near and north of the Bahamas.
So for PR we should still be expecting a TS? Cause the NHC says that she will weaken to a TD.
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1803
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
...TROLL WARNING MAY BE NEEDED SOON...


TA13... Maria and Nate are moving closer together, may even interact... Who knows?

Pls look at the question IT IS VALID, not just who posted it.

You may be on a permanent troll hunt like one or two others, but the rest of us are here for info and if we haven't asked the question ourselves, because we might feel stupid in the presence of such superior minds, we are hardly likely to ask again if other's questions are dealt with so severely.

New people come on here every day, especially if the cone is heading their way. Some of those in fear for their lives.

Recently Grandpato4 was savaged during Irene early on for asking if it would affect Florida. Whether he was a troll or not, there were a thousand lurkers from Florida who probably daren't ask the same question for fear of ridicule.

Thankfully some folk answered his question rather than declaring him a troll. This blog should be informative. What's seems like a dumb "wind up" question might be from someone who's "Heard there's a possibility" who may never have experienced TS or H conditions before. Concerned, they Googled TS/H XXXXX's forecast and found the blog (like I did) and thought... These people might be able to inform me.
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274. DFWjc
Quoting BahaHurican:
Welcome, marinagal! U have to be tougher than the poofers sometimes... and there are a lot of us who do at least give u a chance to ask a few questions before we poof u.... lol... not that u r likely to ask anything poofable in the first place... ;o)

So far, FL is not likely to be hit directly by Maria. However, a lot is going to depend on when / how the latest trough pulls through, and also on how strong the Atlantic high is.



but i've always wondered, does your life change just because you got a "poof", if you believe in what you post fine, but c'mon your life is not exactly over just cause you got poofed (and no, i don't mean people who say stupid things or post idiotic pics, just the ones who don't agree with your predictions)
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Quoting WetBankGuy:
My only prediction: a DOOMtastic tidal surge straight from the Gulf into Lambeau Stadium tonight. Y'all keep an eye on Nate for us. We're going to wake up hungover and need y'all to talk very slow and quietly tomorrow morning. No all caps please. And no psychedelic graphics, please, Pat. Not to early in the morning at least.


Shoooosh, wbg


Im trying to focus my Cheese Head Voodoo Mind meld.

We're also having Cheese Fondue as well.



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Quoting GilbertAllen:


The Bahamas is also benefiting from the United States government's measures, although I am surprised they did not weaken Irene a little for you guys, I suppose had it impacted Nassau, your government may have requested assistance.


Ohhh you're the guy that says the government controls hurricanes right?
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271. jpsb
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
People have been saying that death ridge will weaken the past 10 or 11 months and it hasn't. I think the outer areas of Texas could get some rain but I see the middle of Texas remaining mostly dry unfortunately. My humidity has been around 10 percent the past 5 days. And the Hits keep on coming: La Nina returns after hottest summer in U.S. history
September 8th, 2011 at 2:21 pm by Natalie Stoll under Weather

We received news today we%u2019ve feared was coming from the Climate Prediction Center. The La Nina weather pattern has officially returned after only a three month absence. Since the La Nina pattern is considered primarily responsible for our record setting drought and heat wave, this is especially bad news. The recent cooling of the Pacific waters will likely mean drought conditions will continue into 2012.

To add insult to injury, it is now official; not only has this summer been the hottest in Texas history, but Texas now has recorded the hottest summer of any state in U.S. history.

Website is Kxan.com look under weather. What can you do but take the drought or move.
I find it surprising that Texas was hotter then New Mexico or Arizona, guess temps in the mountains there tends to kept their averages down.

I am also not likely the long range forecast, more heat more drought. Gonna have to get a better pump for my well since I am not allowed to use MUD water to water my garden.
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Quoting spinningtop:
does anyone want to bet that florida will no effects from maria at all?


Yeah I'll bet you a dollar to a donut!
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Quoting Gearsts:
What do you think about Maria?


She's weak but there. She won't be a hurricane until she's clear of the Caribbean islands and gets near and north of the Bahamas.
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My only prediction: a DOOMtastic tidal surge straight from the Gulf into Lambeau Stadium tonight. Y'all keep an eye on Nate for us. We're going to wake up hungover and need y'all to talk very slow and quietly tomorrow morning. No all caps please. And no psychedelic graphics, please, Pat. Not to early in the morning at least.
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Quoting marinagal72:
For four years, I have read this blog. Good stuff majority of time.I like when people post model runs too. I also find myself laughing at the little quips that go back and forth between the posters. But, honestly I have been scared to death to ask any questions for fear of being Poofed as you put it.(just got my nerve up) I feel like the minute someone says Florida or Fish anything,they get ignored or Poofed. I want to do this right. So, If anyone has any suggestions for me on how not to Offend,Please let me know. I mean this in the most respectful way possible. :)Besides the "F" words
Welcome, marinagal! U have to be tougher than the poofers sometimes... and there are a lot of us who do at least give u a chance to ask a few questions before we poof u.... lol... not that u r likely to ask anything poofable in the first place... ;o)

So far, FL is not likely to be hit directly by Maria. However, a lot is going to depend on when / how the latest trough pulls through, and also on how strong the Atlantic high is.

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Quoting Levi32:


It's not becoming a major, or at least that's my opinion.

Wind shear is ok right now until you get up to 25N, and then it's pretty bad. The models don't seem to move that barrier very much, but we'll see. Lee's old upper low will still be pressing upper westerlies over the gulf for some time.


What happened to Hurricane Mitch? Its gone..?
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Quoting Caner:


Yup, was still living at home. :P

They expressly forbid me to go. Not because i wasn't allowed to go, mind you, i just wasn't allowed to go *there* :)

Think I woulda eaten my own MRE's as needed, and chainsawed for free.
Funny how you were able to sneak out, with the truck that fulla stuff.

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Satellite appearance on Nate is getting much better..
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


Wind shear is decreasing isn't it?? It has to be, the National Hurricane Center even says conditions will be more favorable.

Think it will reach major hurricane status? Well...how about this...What are the chances it reaches major hurricane status?


It's not becoming a major, or at least that's my opinion.

Wind shear is ok right now until you get up to 25N, and then it's pretty bad. The models don't seem to move that barrier very much, but we'll see. Lee's old upper low will still be pressing upper westerlies over the gulf for some time.
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Quoting aquak9:

and if you've had tons of plastic surgery and look like an over-made-up old woman? Don't post it as an avatar.


lol
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Quoting Levi32:
Good afternoon.

I must say that given Nate's satellite appearance, I don't think anybody in the world expected a pressure of 995mb and 70mph winds from the recon. We will have to see if Nate can actually hold this up once he starts moving northward, away from the friendly curved coast of the BOC and deeper into dry air and wind shear.
shear wont be a problem for nate it will be the massive dry air to the nw of him. its starting to moisten up but still is very dry. a cat 1 or 2 is possible and a mexico landfall to me looks unlikely, given the fact the texas death monster is over mexico, its either sw or ne and i think option 2 is more likely. maria is weaker and further south. more westward jog now? what do you think?
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This is from the Miami NWS Discussion issued at 2:25 p.m....

EXTENDED FORECAST...
THE WEATHER FOR EARLY TO MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK WILL MAINLY DEEPEN
ON THE TRACK AND STRENGTH OF TROPICAL STORM MARIA. AT THIS
TIME...THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER HAS MARIA LOCATED NEAR THE
CENTRAL BAHAMA ISLANDS TUESDAY MORNING. THE LONG RANGE MODELS OF
THE GFS AND THE ECMWF HAS MARIA MOVING NORTH THROUGH REST OF THE
BAHAMA ISLANDS PASSING TO THE EAST OF SOUTH FLORIDA. THIS WILL PUT
SHOULD FLORIDA IN THE SUBSIDENCE OF THE STORM. HOWEVER...THIS FAR
OUT THE ERROR ON THE LOCATION OF MARIA CAN BE 300 MILES EITHER TO
THE EAST OR WEST OF THE TRACK FROM THE HURRICANE CENTER.
THEREFORE...RESIDENTS AND VISITORS OF SOUTH FLORIDA NEED TO
CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECAST FROM THE NATIONAL
HURRICANE CENTER ON TROPICAL STORM MARIA THROUGH THE WEEKEND AND
INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


There is no need to have your eyes peeled to the NHC site, not going to find anything particularly new :P

Just sayin'. :P
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
000
WTNT64 KNHC 082229
TCUAT4

TROPICAL STORM MARIA TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142011
630 PM AST THU SEP 08 2011

THE GOVERNMENT OF FRANCE HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR
GUADELOUPE.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
We are next!
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1803
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:
000
WTNT64 KNHC 082229
TCUAT4

TROPICAL STORM MARIA TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142011
630 PM AST THU SEP 08 2011

THE GOVERNMENT OF FRANCE HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR
GUADELOUPE.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN


There is no need to have your eyes peeled to the NHC site, not going to find anything particularly new :P
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Quoting spinningtop:
channel 13 here in central florida just said that maria will get to the central bahamas and make a sharp turn tuesday back out into the atlantic and miss florida altogther so dont panic


Many things can change between now and then
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248. Caner
Quoting aquak9:
I was in my Ford Explorer (last year they made them as a pickup truck), in which i had my chainsaw, 50 gallons of gas, 100 gallons of fresh water, 240 MRE's, my toolkit, 10,000 feet of Romex cable, chains, ropes and pulleys.

I made helped a lot of people, and in the 2 weeks following, i made $27,000 removing trees, installing generators and setting up electrical distribution systems.


uhm...and you were 18 and you snuck outta your parents house?

Someone help me out here....


Yup, was still living at home. :P

They expressly forbid me to go. Not because i wasn't allowed to go, mind you, i just wasn't allowed to go *there* :)
Member Since: June 27, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 179
Quoting aquak9:


Just be nice, be yourself. Treat other bloggers as you wish to be treated. Read back aways, before you jump right in and start asking questions...but don't let that stop you from asking questions.

And don't answer any wu-mails that ask about your feet.


Yea, aquak9....that should be the saying on the WU t-shirts.
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Quoting MississippiWx:


There were 3 flights on-going at the same time, one being the G-IV flight in the GOM. Only got recon data for Nate for about an hour, and data for Maria was even more spaced out.
so nate wont be a hurricane today then?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
000
WTNT64 KNHC 082229
TCUAT4

TROPICAL STORM MARIA TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL142011
630 PM AST THU SEP 08 2011

THE GOVERNMENT OF FRANCE HAS ISSUED A TROPICAL STORM WARNING FOR
GUADELOUPE.

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
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Quoting Neapolitan:

No, not really. What would you say it is?
I'll jump in and say it. Global Warming. (And BTW, I agree).
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will the strength of Nate have any bearing on his track or is it mostly dependant on the ridge and the trough?
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I was in my Ford Explorer (last year they made them as a pickup truck), in which i had my chainsaw, 50 gallons of gas, 100 gallons of fresh water, 240 MRE's, my toolkit, 10,000 feet of Romex cable, chains, ropes and pulleys.

I made helped a lot of people, and in the 2 weeks following, i made $27,000 removing trees, installing generators and setting up electrical distribution systems.


uhm...and you were 18 and you snuck outta your parents house?

Someone help me out here....
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Because of Andrew's size, he had very little effect up here in West Palm. Just some rain and gusty winds. But watching Channel 4's coverage on TV was unbelieveable.
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Quoting bigwes6844:
omg u cant be serious! u think it has a chance to weaken big time before it gets to us. (if necessary)
People have been saying that death ridge will weaken the past 10 or 11 months and it hasn't. I think the outer areas of Texas could get some rain but I see the middle of Texas remaining mostly dry unfortunately. My humidity has been around 10 percent the past 5 days. And the Hits keep on coming: La Nina returns after hottest summer in U.S. history
September 8th, 2011 at 2:21 pm by Natalie Stoll under Weather

We received news today we’ve feared was coming from the Climate Prediction Center. The La Nina weather pattern has officially returned after only a three month absence. Since the La Nina pattern is considered primarily responsible for our record setting drought and heat wave, this is especially bad news. The recent cooling of the Pacific waters will likely mean drought conditions will continue into 2012.

To add insult to injury, it is now official; not only has this summer been the hottest in Texas history, but Texas now has recorded the hottest summer of any state in U.S. history.

Website is Kxan.com look under weather. What can you do but take the drought or move.
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Quoting Levi32:
Good afternoon.

I must say that given Nate's satellite appearance, I don't think anybody in the world expected a pressure of 995mb and 70mph winds from the recon. We will have to see if Nate can actually hold this up once he starts moving northward, away from the friendly curved coast of the BOC and deeper into dry air and wind shear.
The north gulf coast is safe again according to the latest model runs, of course the next ones could have it back in the bullseye. what is your thinking now, i know you favored the north gulf coast this morning on you tidbit, but has anything changed to change your thinking?
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don't blame ya one bit, Dak.
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Quoting aprinz1979:



Sorry I take that back!



thats ok
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235. Caner
Quoting aprinz1979:



Forgot to mention NO WATER....no power for a month. School didn't start for a month (I was 13 at the time) bored in the house doing nothing and then they took away long weekends to make up for the month of school we lost. So pretty miserable. Don't want another Andrew


Yeah, they are definitely devastating on the unprepared.

I was in my Ford Explorer (last year they made them as a pickup truck), in which i had my chainsaw, 50 gallons of gas, 100 gallons of fresh water, 240 MRE's, my toolkit, 10,000 feet of Romex cable, chains, ropes and pulleys.

I helped a lot of people, and in the 2 weeks following, i made $27,000 removing trees, installing generators and setting up electrical distribution systems.

Made enough to move to Louisiana and start my life.

So yes, they destroy, but like all destruction, new life takes root in it.
Member Since: June 27, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 179
Quoting Tazmanian:


HEY



Sorry I take that back!
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Boo yall lol "Thats our trophy" lol...I'm hoping if i turn my back on Nate now i wont be in for any more surprises but that never seems to be the case with these Gulf of Mexico systems
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Quoting aquak9:
Dakster- how very frightening. Totally.


It is the only phobia I have... and one that I learn to deal with... And you won't catch me on a glass elevator either.
Member Since: March 10, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 10462
Quoting aprinz1979:


Take Cantore's job! He's getting old anyways


HEY
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Could we just get ONE model to point Nate in Texas' direction? PLEASE
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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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