Maria pulling away from the Antillies; Ex-Katia pounding the U.K.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:04 PM GMT on September 12, 2011

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Tropical Storm Maria continues to struggle with moderate wind shear of 15 - 20 knots that is preventing the storm from organizing. The center of circulation lies fully exposed to view this morning, with satellite loops showing that all of Maria's heavy thunderstorms lie to the east of Maria's center. Spiral bands from Maria are bringing heavy rains to the Virgin Islands and northern Lesser Antilles, as seen on long-range radar out of Puerto Rico and Martinique radar. Radar-estimated rainfall amounts of three inches have occurred in the Virgin Islands; 0.94" has fallen in St. Thomas, which experienced a wind gust of 39 mph at 9:14 am local time.

Maria's center has been tracking more to the west than the forecast has been calling for, but since the center is so far from the heaviest thunderstorms, I wouldn't be surprised to see the center reform more to the east or east-northeast later today. The models are in unanimous agreement that Maria should resume a more northwesterly motion later today, and turn to the north by Tuesday. The trough of low pressure that is bringing hostile wind shear to Maria is predicted to slowly weaken over the next few days, which may allow the storm to grow to Category 1 hurricane strength by Wednesday. Intensification will be hampered by the fact that Maria will be passing over the cold water wake left by Hurricane Katia, though. On Wednesday, Maria will be making its closest approach to Bermuda. If Maria does manage to organize into a hurricane, Bermuda could see an 8-hour period of sustained winds of 35 - 40 mph beginning near 2 pm local time on Wednesday. Most of the models show that Maria will brush or strike Newfoundland, Canada on Friday morning. Heavy rains will be a flooding threat to the west of where Maria passes, and wind damage from high winds of 50 - 60 mph will be a concern to the east of where the center goes.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Maria.

Extratropical Storm Katia pounding Britain
Hurricane Katia brushed by Newfoundland, Canada on Saturday, and made the transition from a tropical system to a powerful extratropical storm. Extratropical Storm Katia maintained strong winds of 50 - 65 mph as it crossed the Atlantic, and is now lashing the northern British Isles with high winds and heavy rain. At 1 pm local time, the center of ex-Katia was over northern Scotland, and Malin Head, Ireland on the north coast of Ireland, was experiencing sustained winds of 49 mph. Winds in western Scotland were also high, with Aonach Mor recording sustained winds of 51 mph at 12:50 pm local time. The UK Met Office is warning that wind gusts up to 80 mph can be expected in Scotland today, as well as flooding rains of 2 - 4 inches. Ex-Katia's strong winds will likely cause significant tree damage and power failures across Northern Ireland and Scotland today.


Figure 2. Surface wind estimate from the Windsat satellite at 4:04 am EDT on Monday, September 12, 2011. The center of Extratropical Storm Katia is marked by an "L", and winds in excess of 50 knots (58 mph, purple triangles) were occurring to the southwest of the center, near the west coast of Ireland. Image credit: NOAA.

Britain's hurricane history
Hurricanes that transition to powerful extratropical storms hit the British Isles several times per decade, on average. In September 2006, two major hurricanes named Gordon and Helene transitioned to strong extratropical storms that hit the British Isles. Only once since accurate records began in 1851 has an actual hurricane with full tropical characteristics hit Europe. This happened on September 16, 1961, when Category 1 Hurricane Debbie hit northwestern Ireland. Wind gusts reached 106 mph at Ballykelly and 104 mph at Tiree and Snaefill, and coastal radio stations reported the airwaves were jammed with calls for help from small ships and fishing craft. Eleven people were killed and 50 injured in the storm. The only other tropical cyclone recorded to have hit Europe since 1851 was Hurricane Vince of 2005, which hit southern Spain as a tropical depression on October 11, 2005. Historical documents also suggest a hurricane hit Spain on October 29, 1842.

As reported by UK Met Office forecaster John Hammond in a post on the BBC 23 degrees blog, Britain has been affected at least eight times in the past twenty years by extratropical storms that were once tropical storms or hurricanes. The most recent one was Hurricane Bill of 2009, which hit Ireland on August 25 with sustained winds of 45 mph. Bill was a Category 4 hurricane northeast of the Lesser Antilles five days prior. In 2006, a record three extratropical storms that had once been tropical cyclones hit Britain:

Extratropical Storm Alberto, which had been a strong tropical storm that hit the Florida Panhandle, hit northern Ireland and Scotland as an extratropical storm with 35 mph winds.

Extratropical Storm Gordon hit Ireland on September 21, 2006, with sustained winds of 65 mph. Gordon brought record warm temperatures as tropical air pushed north across the UK, and also strong winds that brought down power lines in Northern Ireland. Wind gusts to 60 mph (97 km/h) occurred in the Isles of Scilly off the southwest coast, and 81 mph (130 km/h) on the mainland.

Extratropical Storm Helene hit Northwestern Ireland on September 27, 2006, with sustained winds of 45 mph.


Figure 3. Path of Hurricane Lili of 1996, which caused $420 million in damage to the U.K. as an extratropical storm.

Other post-tropical cyclones that have the U.K. in the past twenty years include Hurricanes Isaac and Leslie of 2000, Hurricane Karl of 1998, and Hurricane Lili of 1996. The most severe of these storms was Extratropical Storm Lili, which hit Ireland on October 28, 1996, with sustained winds of 65 mph. Lili caused $420 million in damage (2011 dollars) in the U.K. According to Wikipedia, Lili produced a 92 mph (148 km/h) gust at Swansea, South Wales, while bringing a four ft (1.20 m) storm surge that inundated the River Thames. In Somerset, 500 holiday cottages were severely damaged. A United States oil drilling platform, under tow in the North Sea, broke loose during the storm and nearly ran aground at Peterhead. On the Isle of Wight, a sailing boat was beached at Chale Bay; luckily all five occupants were rescued. It was the most damaging storm to have struck the United Kingdom since the Great Storm of 1987, which killed 22 and did $660 million in damage (1996 dollars.) However, Lili also broke a four-month drought over southwest England.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Several of the models predict the development of a tropical depression or strong tropical disturbance 4 - 5 days from now off the coast of Africa. The NOGAPS model is predicting the Western Caribbean could see the development of a strong tropical disturbance 6 - 7 days from now.

I'll have an update Tuesday morning.

Jeff Masters

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NW Gulf Juuuuuuuuuuuuuuust about shut down for the rest of the hurricane season
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Quoting JLPR2:
Believe it or not, Maria is now the third biggest ACE contributor of the 2011 Hurricane (Tropical Storm) season. With a whooping 3.98 10^4 kt^2.

But she cant push the season over 70 all by herself.

True!
What are your thoughts on the Season so far?
Plenty activity, with no majors (in terms of windspeed) as yet.
Not what we thought would happen.
A little shear, but apart from that everything else has been Prime Conditions.
And yet... ?????

Any ideas?
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128. JLPR2
Believe it or not, Maria is now the third biggest ACE contributor of the 2011 Hurricane (Tropical Storm) season. With a whooping 3.98 10^4 kt^2.

But she cant push the season over 70 all by herself.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
A nice cluster of clouds just east of here coming this way.
Would be great to get an inch of rain overnight.
Heavy rumbles going on close by too!
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Quoting EasyRiderX:
I thought this blog discussed tropical weather? No one watching Maria go west?

Everyone is watching that.
But there is only so much that can be said.
In the meantime, we await your comment.
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Quoting presslord:



you're right, of course....there's just ssoo much jealousy here of my good looks....

Yep.
Cleavage does that...
Every time!
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I thought this blog discussed tropical weather? No one watching Maria go west?
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123. srada
Its a shame that the blog has come to discussing what a fish storm is. Good luck with Boreville, USA!
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Seems like it might be a good time to repost this.... I do so very sparingly....

When describing this blog to other people......

I like to use the analogy of getting six people together outside and asking them what color the sky is. Odds are you will get at least four different answers (light blue, blue, sky blue etc.)

Now take that same type of thought process and multiply it by thousands of participants who are extremely passionate about one specific subject.... To see the net effect, all you have to do is read a couple pages worth of posts here.

When you have folks from as many different ages, geographies, and backgrounds as we do here you are never going to win an argument. Sure there will be others who agree with you and others who disagree just the same. To try and argue your point, or just continually repost it is a waste of space, and will quickly get you put on a lot of ignore lists. To try and label an individual as a "caster" of any form will get you to the same end point pretty quickly as well.

Put your opinion/comment/question out in the blog once. If someone wants to comment great, if not move on (that is what I do at least).

While this is a weather blog everyones reason for being here is not the same. You have those that love to watch the models and watch a blob of clouds slowly coalesce into a storm, then there are those that find the aspect of a hurricane exciting, those who keep an eye on it for an early heads up, or those who have to watch it because preparedness is part of their employers expectation of them, and last but not least those who wish to judge a storms probability based upon empirical or non-empirical data, climatology, or just good ole "gut feel" or a possibly little of all of the above.

Bottom line is arguing about where a storm is going to go or not go, about which model is correct five days out, or what your interpretation of climatology is predicting gets you no farther than where you started off at.

I personally enjoy the contributors who try and post relevant information and while they may comment on it, they do not try to force feed it to me in large doses. Anyone who presents a calm rational debate on why they think the storm is going to do whatever; I will gladly read and consider. That does not mean I have to comment on it, if in the end I choose to think contrary to what they do.

For those who think a storm is not relevant just because it is not a threat to you (and feel the need to say so), there is a good chance that it is relevant to someone reading the blog.

I hope that everyone who finds the aspect of a hurricane exciting and wants to experience one gets a chance to do so before they die, without loss of life, property, or loved ones. Naturally, there are a lot of us here who do not wish to ever go through another one if we can help it. For those that do however, it might behoove you to listen to some of the old dogs on here who have been in a storm or two. Especially the ones who really suffered and lost it all, I am not talking about someone who needed a new roof and did not have power for a week (yeah it sucks). I am speaking specifically to the ones who have truly lost it all (homes, jobs, family, pets, finances, mental facilities) and there are many on here who have done so (you just might change your mind). They just might be able to teach you a thing or two, and you in turn by posting relative information and insight just might be able to give them a heads up, just in case they ever need it again.

Just something to consider, I will now put my soapbox back in the closet for the year....
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Quoting pottery:

LOL !
Now, you need to ask yourself WHY everyone finds it easy to be mean to you.
I mean, you dont think it's all of us do you?



you're right, of course....there's just ssoo much jealousy here of my good looks....
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What is the persistent blob off just off the coast of Belize anyways? Does it have a snowballs chance?

I am wistfully looking for anything resembling convection at this point that might have the tiniest chance of coming and hopefully raining on my parade....
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Quoting presslord:


Do you know my ex-wife?

LOL !
Now, you need to ask yourself WHY everyone finds it easy to be mean to you.
I mean, you dont think it's all of us do you?
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Good Heavy rain falling here right now, with Thunder rumbling just south of me.
Very nice!
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Are the hurricane hunters going into Maria today?
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Quoting pottery:

Never without that Elixir of Long Life!
And anyway, I dont NEED a reason to be mean to you....
Sort of comes naturally.

heheheheh


Do you know my ex-wife?
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


That's always a major problem, need to send a care package via a wc130 right away.

Waiting on that.
Hurry!
Just make sure they dont drop anything on my Calabash tree.
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Quoting presslord:


Indeed....Pottery is being mean to me.....I think he's outta rum...

Never without that Elixir of Long Life!
And anyway, I dont NEED a reason to be mean to you....
Sort of comes naturally.

heheheheh
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:


I've eaten flying fish for breakfast after picking them up off the deck early in the morning.

...the resort ....How many stars?

Good Going!
Got hit by one in the face one time. A big one.
Hurt like anything.
Thought it had taken off a piece of my head!

16 Stars, Naturally!
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Quoting twincomanche:


Thank You! As a novice this is a map I can actually understand. Very helpful.
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Quoting presslord:


Indeed....Pottery is being mean to me.....I think he's outta rum...


That's always a major problem, need to send a care package via a wc130 right away.
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Hey Levi. good morning. first off, sorry to hear about your fall. hope you yourself are ok and also sorry about the laptop

in regards to the caribbean starting to light up soon, as usual, I think you are right. you have been right on pretty much everything you have predicted.

pretty scary to think if a major cane gets boilin in the caribean. we live in Florida, so, for sure, we will be on the lookout!

again, hope you are ok. have a nice day
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Quoting swampdawg:
I guess i missed something really important on here from earlier......but it seems like people who usually get along great on here, are not getting along so great now......


Indeed....Pottery is being mean to me.....I think he's outta rum...
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Quoting pottery:

I take that personally!
How did you know I had flying fish for lunch anyway?
You have been resorted for that!


I've eaten flying fish for breakfast after picking them up off the deck early in the morning.

...the resort ....How many stars?
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Quoting swampdawg:
I guess i missed something really important on here from earlier......but it seems like people who usually get along great on here, are not getting along so great now......

Remember Pott's Theorem No. 1---

"The level of Angst and Bad Feelings are inversely proportionate to the amount of Tropical Storm activity in the Atlantic Basin"

In other words, the fewer the storms, the more irate become the Inmates in this Ward.
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Quoting JupiterFL:
In 2005 WU was a diverse community made up of all different kinds of individuals. For the most part, each one added in their own way and everyone played nicely. The main concern was to answer weather related questions and have fun while learning. Sometimes this meant complete focus on an event like Katrina. Sometime this meant a whole page of jokes.

In 2011 we have a bunch of chest thumping primates. Everyone knows more than the next guy and is in turn offended by every third post.

Get over yourselves.

If you don't like a post, skip it.
Or not and get your panties in wad over a term like Fish or a post on global warming... That's real constructive.



The difference between 2005 and 2011 on here is like night and day.
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Quoting Bielle:


Dr Masters's blog is an international one. Phrases defined to make light of what happens everywhere except in CONUS are likely to cause offence, something best avoided. Many phrases that were in common parlance in all of our lives in the sixties we do not use now out of respect for our international friends and neighbours. "Fish storm" seems a term best avoided unless it has official sanction somewhere, and then only in the approved context.


Good, Lord... Everyone getting caught up in the semantics of what's considered a fish storm. The term means different things to different people. Realize that, accept it, and we'll all be better off.

When someone that's not aware of the islands or other non CONUS impacts and they say fish storm, it's probably due to ignorance. If it really bothers you that much, educate them, politely, and move on.

I seriously doubt someone calling a storm a fish, when it's impacting islands means that they don't care about the fate of the people on the islands. It's not meant to be insensitive. It's meant to indicate the path they think the storm will go.

Most of the time when I see fish storm, I take it as synonymous with "this storm will recurve before it affects the Eastern seaboard, directly."

It gets tiresome to read 20% of the posts arguing about this every time we have a CV system to track.
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
Sumptin smells fishy in here...

I take that personally!
How did you know I had flying fish for lunch anyway?
You have been resorted for that!
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I guess i missed something really important on here from earlier......but it seems like people who usually get along great on here, are not getting along so great now......
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Sumptin smells fishy in here...
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Quoting JupiterFL:
In 2005 WU was a diverse community made up of all different kinds of individuals. For the most part, each one added in their own way and everyone played nicely. The main concern was to answer weather related questions and have fun while learning. Sometimes this meant complete focus on an event like Katrina. Sometime this meant a whole page of jokes.

In 2011 we have a bunch of chest thumping primates. Everyone knows more than the next guy and is in turn offended by every third post.

Get over yourselves.

If you don't like a post, skip it.
Or not and get your panties in wad over a term like Fish or a post on global warming... That's real constructive.


To many young folks who don't know or appreciate the blog as it was in 2005...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
In 2005 WU was a diverse community made up of all different kinds of individuals. For the most part, each one added in their own way and everyone played nicely. The main concern was to answer weather related questions and have fun while learning. Sometimes this meant complete focus on an event like Katrina. Sometime this meant a whole page of jokes.

In 2011 we have a bunch of chest thumping primates. Everyone knows more than the next guy and is in turn offended by every third post.

Get over yourselves.

If you don't like a post, skip it.
Or not and get your panties in wad over a term like Fish or a post on global warming... That's real constructive.
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Quoting twincomanche:
Get out the tin foil hats quickly.

Is the sky falling????
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Quoting jpsb:
Katia did not hit Scotland, Katia died (as a tropical cyclone) in the North Atlantic. The upper level low that resulted from the death of Katia (Katias' ghost) is what hit the UK, not Katia.
How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
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Quoting Bielle:


Dr Masters's blog is an international one. Phrases defined to make light of what happens everywhere except in CONUS are likely to cause offence, something best avoided. Many phrases that were in common parlance in all of our lives in the sixties we do not use now out of respect for our international friends and neighbours. "Fish storm" seems a term best avoided unless it has official sanction somewhere, and then only in the approved context.


International, indeed. I've been in Croatia the last days. When visiting WU by the hotel computer, the labels of the page appeared in Russian. Strange looking.
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This 'fish storm' debate is getting a little out-of-hand.

Truthfully, ALL tropical Storms probably affect land somewhere even in minor ways.
Maria "affected" Trinidad by pulling the rainclouds north of here so it did not rain that day.....

I was always under the impression that a "fish storm" (not a very pretty name, to be sure) was a storm whose CENTER DID NOT ENTER ANY LANDMASS.

Can we leave it at that and move on?

The Tropical Atlantic and the Eastern Pacific are really very quiet for Sept 12th.

Strange and Unexpected stuff and whatnot.

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I looks like an early fall this year according to the GFS.
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Arguments like the ones about "Fish Storms" are as irrelevant as the term. It has been used for as long as I have been on this blog and I guess it has become politically incorrect to use the term. I thought the GW arguments were silly but this just takes the cake. Unfortunately this board is going the way of most Internet sites and while there are still good posters and good information the decline is inevitable.



Can't we keep it on the weather I ask hypocritically?

This ridge of high pressure over Texas is killing us. Fires are popping up everywhere, cattle and trees are dying and people are losing their livelihoods. I keep all important paperwork in a bag with me in case I can not get back to the house. So it gets a little annoying to see arguments over silly terms. The weather is what is important here, that's it.
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Quoting Levi32:


Yeah the GFS has turned from green to brown for the next two weeks, which is interesting, but other models like the ECMWF and UKMET keep upward motion over the Caribbean area for a longer time. It will be interesting to see who wins, but I think activity is still favored there regardless. We had our last 3 storms during a downward MJO so it's not absolutely necessary to have its support, though it would be nice for development.



Thank you
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Quoting islander101010:
term fish was used when i was a kid in the sixties we used it back in the 90s on the west palm beach blog a fish is not hitting the conus simple as that. sorry islanders canadian english bahamians and bermudians nothing personal but thats the way it is


Dr Masters's blog is an international one. Phrases defined to make light of what happens everywhere except in CONUS are likely to cause offence, something best avoided. Many phrases that were in common parlance in all of our lives in the sixties we do not use now out of respect for our international friends and neighbours. "Fish storm" seems a term best avoided unless it has official sanction somewhere, and then only in the approved context.
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Quoting TropicalWeatherGrl88:
Levi, Can you please post the MJO for the next few weeks and give a short conclusion. I was looking it over and in my opinion it does not look to be in green for to long for the caribbean. I just want to make sure I am correct


Yeah the GFS has turned from green to brown for the next two weeks, which is interesting, but other models like the ECMWF and UKMET keep upward motion over the Caribbean area for a longer time. It will be interesting to see who wins, but I think activity is still favored there regardless. We had our last 3 storms during a downward MJO so it's not absolutely necessary to have its support, though it would be nice for development.

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Infact the last few model runs of the GFS almost show nothing just heading into the Yucatan is that in relation to have a downward MJO
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Quoting SQUAWK:


Well, looks like we have a new blog cop. Thought that was Pat's job.

This fish stuff is just your opinion right? Or is it a law? Or are we not allowed to define fish storm to suit our own liking?


Relax. No one's trying to control your brain waves or anything.
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Quoting islander101010:
term fish was used when i was a kid in the sixties we used it back in the 90s on the west palm beach blog a fish is not hitting the conus simple as that. sorry islanders canadian english bahamians and bermudians nothing personal but thats the way it is


Actually, it's not the way it is. Storms do make an impact, whether they hit land or not.
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Levi, Can you please post the MJO for the next few weeks and give a short conclusion. I was looking it over and in my opinion it does not look to be in green for to long for the caribbean. I just want to make sure I am correct
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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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