New floods in Pakistan kill 226; Maria heads towards brush with Bermuda

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:53 PM GMT on September 14, 2011

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A year after enduring the most devastating flooding in its history, Pakistan is again experiencing historic floods. An unusually heavy and late-lasting monsoon has brought torrential rains to Pakistan's southeast Sindh Province, which borders India to the east and the Arabian Sea to the south, and includes Pakistan's largest city, Karachi. The heavy rains began in the 2nd week of August, and have continued into the 2nd week of September, accumulating to 2 1/2 times more than average. According to Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry, Pakistan's Federal Advisor on Climate Affairs, this is the highest 4-week monsoon rainfall total ever recorded in Sindh province, amounting to more than 37 million acre feet of water, "which is unimaginable." The "unimaginable" rains occurred after a 12-month period where the province received no rain and was under severe drought conditions. At least 226 people have been killed in the new flooding, 1.2 million houses have been damaged or destroyed, and 280,000 people made homeless. There were already 1 million people needing food aid and 800,000 families without permanent shelter due to last year's floods, making this year's renewed flooding particularly disruptive. According to the India Meteorological Department, by September 1, the monsoon usually begins to retreat from northwest India and southeastern Pakistan. That hasn't happened this year, and the monsoon rains are forecast to continue at least for the remainder of this week--well into the 3rd week of September. This very unusual monsoon season also started a week earlier than normal.


Figure 1. Rainfall during the 2011 monsoon season has accumulated to 8 to 12 inches above average over portions of Pakistan's Sindh Province. Image credit: Pakistan Meteorological Department. Before and after satellite images of the flood are available at NASA Earth Observatory.

Is there a climate change connection?
Last year, heavy monsoon rains were enhanced by a very unusual jet stream configuration that brought cool air and rain-bearing low pressure systems to northern Pakistan. The great floods of 2011--rightfully called Pakistan's Katrina--submerged one fifth of the country, killing 1985 people, leaving 11 million homeless, and doing a record $9.5 billion in damage. This year, the monsoon weather patterns were much different, but also highly unusual, resulting in yet another great flood in Pakistan. In an interview with dawn.com, Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry, Pakistan's Federal Advisor on Climate Affairs, stated: "...climate change has become a reality for Pakistan. Clearly, Pakistan is heading for an increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events which included frequent floods and droughts, and the need of the hour is to plan for the future changes." These events are in line with international climate change projections, he said.


Figure 2. Evacuations in Pakistan's Sindh Province during the summer 2011 floods. Image credit: Pakistan Meteorological Department.

A skeptic of Dr. Qamar's arguments might point to the fact that monsoon rainfall in neighboring India was not all that unusual in either 2010 or 2011, and that major monsoon flooding disasters in back-to-back years in Pakistan were probably just bad luck. However, the monsoon in India and Pakistan has undeniably changed in recent decades. In a study published in Science in 2006, Goswami et al. found that the level of heavy rainfall activity in the monsoon over India had more than doubled in the 50 years since the 1950s, leading to an increased disaster potential from heavy flooding. Moderate and weak rain events decreased over the past 50 years, leaving the total amount of rain deposited by the monsoon roughly constant. The authors commented, "These findings are in tune with model projections and some observations that indicate an increase in heavy rain events and a decrease in weak events under global warming scenarios." A warming climate loads the dice in favor of heavier extreme precipitation events. This occurs because more water vapor can evaporate into a warmer atmosphere, increasing the chances of record heavy downpours. In addition, heavy downpours preferentially occur during thunderstorms, and a warmer climate produces a longer period of time during the year when thunderstorms can occur, giving more opportunities for heavy rainfall events. During August 2011, ocean temperatures in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Pakistan, in the region between 15°N - 25°N, 60°E - 70°E, were 0.8°C (1.4°F) above average, according to an analysis I did of the HADSST2 dataset. This was the 5th highest such value in over 100 years of record keeping. During the July 2010 monsoon, this region of ocean was 1.1°C (2.0°F) above average, the warmest July ocean temperatures on record. The extra heat in the ocean the past two summers have undoubtedly contributed to the high rainfall totals in Pakistan by allowing more water vapor to evaporate into the air. Thus, we should expect to see an increased number of disastrous monsoon floods in coming decades as the climate continues to warm and the oceans off the coasts of India and Pakistan heat up. Since the population continues to increase at a rapid rate in the region, death tolls from monsoon flooding disasters are likely to climb dramatically in coming decades. Another concern is that climate change might lead to more failures of the monsoon--years when the rains are far below normal, leading to widespread drought and crop failures. This is a more dangerous scenario, since historically, droughts have been much more deadly than floods in Asia. Failure of the monsoon rains typically occur during El Niño years, so if climate change increases the frequency of El Niño, we might see an increase in the failure of the monsoon rains. So far, climate models are unclear on how climate change might affect El Niño, so we don't know how great a concern future failures of the monsoon might be.

References
Goswami, et al., 2006, " Increasing Trend of Extreme Rain Events Over India in a Warming Environment", Science, 1 December 2006:Vol. 314. no. 5804, pp. 1442 - 1445 DOI: 10.1126/science.1132027

Tropical Storm Maria headed towards a brush with Bermuda
Tropical Storm Maria is finally pulling away from Puerto Rico, and is headed north-northwest towards a brush with Bermuda, which will occur Thursday morning. Wind shear has fallen about 5 knots since yesterday, and is now a moderate 10 - 15 knots. This reduction in shear has allowed Maria a strengthen some, and satellite loops show the storm has more heavy thunderstorms that are better organized. The storm's surface circulation is still exposed on the storm's west side, though, and Maria does not have anything close to a complete eyewall built. Maria passed near NOAA buoy 41046 this morning, which reported a 1-hour period of sustained winds of 38 mph, gusting to 45 mph. An outer spiral band of Maria is just beginning to appear on Bermuda radar.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Maria.

Forecast for Maria
A trough of low pressure moving off the U.S. East Coast a predicted to turn Maria to the north-northeast by early Thursday, and accelerate the storm past Bermuda. The trough will also bring high wind shear of 20 - 30 knots beginning late tonight, which gives Maria just a short window of opportunity to intensify today. NHC gave Maria a 32% chance of reaching hurricane strength by Thursday in their 5 am EDT wind probability forecast. Intensification will be hampered by the fact that Maria will be passing over the cold water wake left by Hurricane Katia today. On Thursday morning, Maria will be making its closest approach to Bermuda. Bermuda will see an 8-hour period of sustained winds in the 25 - 35 mph range, accompanied by heavy rain squalls, beginning near 4 am local time on Thursday. Bermuda may experience a few hours where the wind rises above tropical storm force, 39 mph, near 8 am local time Thursday. Occasional rain squalls are expected to bring 1 - 3 inches of rain to the islands. Most of the models show that Maria will brush or strike Newfoundland, Canada on Friday afternoon. Most of the storm's high winds will be on the right side, and Maria will be weakening rapidly then, so I'm not expecting the storm will do much wind damage. Heavy rains could bring minor to moderate flooding to the eastern portion of the island.

Elsewhere in the tropics
Even the busiest of hurricane seasons have lulls, and we're hitting one this week during what is traditionally the busiest week of hurricane season. The models are backing off this morning on the development of a tropical depression or strong tropical disturbance late this week off the coast of Africa. The NOGAPS model continues to predict the Western Caribbean could see the development of a tropical depression 6 -7 days from now, but the other models are showing little support for this idea.

The Climate Reality Project
Those of you who like Al Gore's efforts to promote climate change awareness and solutions may be interested in checking out his latest effort tonight at 7 pm local time, in all 24 of the world's time zones, via climaterealityproject.org. It's a live streaming multimedia presentation created by Al Gore and delivered once per hour by 24 different presenters for 24 hours, representing every time zone around the globe.

Jeff Masters

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1185. WxLogic
Good Morning
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weather underground signed on to the fpl ad how come their bill was higher this yr than last and we used less power acc/ to their bill. they make themselves look beautiful and stuff but the reality is they charged more than last yr. they suck
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1183. MahFL
Quoting twincomanche:
The most interesting question is why would anyone get in a canoe and head off for who knows where with no idea if who knows where was even out there somewhere. Maybe we are missing something here.


It's called exploration. If we did not explore, humans would still be on the plains of Africa, scrubbing around for a living.
Member Since: June 9, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 2906
Still
14-2-2
...but for how long?
Member Since: July 12, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5984
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Everyone have a great Thursday. Tomorrow's Friday!
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Morning everyone. I thought you would enjoy this look back through cyclone history:

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/weather/hurricane/ os-storms-crazy-hurricane-tracks,0,5164144.photoga llery
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another beautiful day here in e cen fl. the jelly fish and sea lice are so bad now no one is surfing this maria swell.
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Morning, everyone. It's 75 degrees and with the humidity at 78, feels like 78 degrees. It's going to be another hot sunny uncomfortable day here.
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A bit of subject but worth a mention. We have just had 3 over 6. MAG. earthquakes in the last hour.
In Cuba area.Japan area, and New Zealand area.
I saw it on USGS.
Very early morning to everybody.
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Russia 3 USA 13

Anyone watching the game?
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Quoting jpsb:
Toshiba has developed a new class of micro size Nuclear Reactors that is designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks. The new reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet, could change everything for small remote communities, small businesses or even a group of neighbors who are fed up with the power companies and want more control over their energy needs.

The 200 kilowatt Toshiba designed reactor is engineered to be fail-safe and totally automatic and will not overheat. Unlike traditional nuclear reactors the new micro reactor uses no control rods to initiate the reaction. The new revolutionary technology uses reservoirs of liquid lithium-6, an isotope that is effective at absorbing neutrons. The Lithium-6 reservoirs are connected to a vertical tube that fits into the reactor core. The whole whole process is self sustaining and can last for up to 40 years, producing electricity for only 5 cents per kilowatt hour, about half the cost of grid energy.

Toshiba expects to install the first reactor in Japan in 2008 and to begin marketing the new system in Europe and America in 2009.


I was looking for a newer reference for this and found something that was almost exactly the same language, except:

Toshiba expects to commercialize the reactor after the mid 2010's.

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TS.Maria's_6amGMT_ATCF : Starting 14Sept_6amGMT and ending 15Sept_6amGMT

The 4 southern line-segments represent TropicalStormMaria's path,
the northernmost line-segment is the straightline projection for 15Sept_6amGMT,
the coastline blob at 44.589n63.452w-yaw is the endpoint of the 15Sept_12amGMT
straightline projection connected to its nearest airport,
and the coastline blob at 44n69.4w-18me is the same for the 14Sept_6pmGMT*mapping.

Using straightline projection of the travel-speed&heading derived from the
ATCF coordinates spanning the 6hours between 12amGMT then 6amGMT :
TS.Maria's travel-speed was 20.8mph(33.5k/h) on a heading of 8.3degrees(N)
TS.Maria was headed toward passage over ShagHarbour,NovaScotia ~1day22hours from now

Copy&paste 44n69.4w-18me, 44.589n63.452w-yaw, 23.8n68.9w-24.6n69.3w, 24.6n69.3w-25.6n69.3w, 25.6n69.3w-27.2n68.9w, 27.2n68.9w-29.0n68.6w, yqi, 27.2n68.9w-43.5n65.693w into the GreatCircleMapper for more info

The previous mapping (for 15Sept_12pmGMT) above on this page.

* The alteration of the endpoint of a TropicalCyclone's previous path also changes its previous travel-speed&heading, and the endpoint of its previous straightline projection...
...but I'm choosing to preserve the historicity of the mappings.
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1172. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #43
TROPICAL STORM ROKE (T1115)
15:50 PM JST September 15 2011
===============================

SUBJECT: Category One Typhoon In Sea South Of Japan

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Storm Roke (990 hPa) located at 25.9N 131.5E has 10 minute sustained winds of 40 knots with gusts of 60 knots. The cyclone is reported as moving west northwest at 10 knots

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

Gale Force Winds
=================
300 NM from the center in northeast quadrant
210 NM from the center in southwest quadrant

Forecast and Intensity
=====================

24 HRS: 26.7N 129.7E - 40 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 27.0N 128.9E - 45 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
72 HRS: 27.0N 128.3E - 50 knots (CAT 2/Severe Tropical Storm)
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1171. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #5
TROPICAL STORM SONCA (T1116)
15:00 PM JST September 15 2011
===============================

SUBJECT: Category One Typhoon In Sea Near Minami tori Shima

At 6:00 AM UTC, Tropical Storm Sonca (1004 hPa) located at 22.2N 155.2E has 10 minute sustained winds of 35 knots with gusts of 50 knots. The cyclone is reported as almost stationary

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

Gale Force Winds
==================
180 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
=====================

24 HRS: 24.4N 153.7E - 35 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
48 HRS: 26.0N 148.3E - 40 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
72 HRS: 30.0N 144.2E - 40 knots (CAT 1/Tropical Storm)
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Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4570
1169. vince1
Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_phoenix_metr o/central_phoenix/reports-of-'glowing-object'-flyi ng-across-arizona-sky




A view of the glowing orange light in the night sky around 7:45 p.m. Sept. 14, 2011.
Photographer: Brien McElhatten

By: Erisa Nakano
PHOENIX - There have been numerous reports across Arizona regarding an orange "glowing object" flying across the night sky.

ABC15 is working to confirm what it really was. We started getting reports of the possible meteor around 7:45 p.m. Wednesday.

Our multimedia journalist Brien McElhatten captured the attached photo in Chandler when he saw the glowing object before it started streaking across the sky.

Many of our viewers are also sounding off about it on the ABC15 Facebook page.

Sharon Roesch wrote, "It was huge and incredible- we were driving and too much in shock."

Althea Keegan wrote, "It had a green tail and burned out just as I had my camera ready to snap a picture."

The ABC15 newsroom confirmed that there have been similar reports in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.

UFO(s)! I'm sure the powers that be will issue their formal explanations anytime now. :)
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Quoting JLPR2:



2:00 AM AST Thu Sep 15
Location: 28.7°N 68.4°W
Max sustained: 65 mph
Moving: NNE at 18 mph
Min pressure: 999 mb

NHC is issuing intermediate advisories.

Also, I think maria could be hurricane at 11am.


She may increase in in ability, but she is going away from land and that is a good thing....bermuda will be taken out of the equation IMUO
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Quoting sunlinepr:


Looks like 20%...


looks like nice inflow band on the southern wave into the surface circulation,looking pretty good
Member Since: September 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4570
Absurdly late, but since the 6amGMT ATCF report has yet to appear...

24.6n69.4w, 25.6n69.4w have been re-evaluated&altered for TS.Maria's_12amGMT_ATCF
24.6n69.3w, 25.6n69.3w, 27.2n68.9w are now the most recent positions
Starting 14Sept_12amGMT and ending 15Sept_12amGMT

The 4 southern line-segments represent TropicalStormMaria's path,
the northernmost line-segment is the straightline projection for 15Sept_12amGMT,
the coastline blob at 44n69.4w-18me is the endpoint of the straightline projection connected to its nearest airport for the 14Sept_6pmGMT*mapping,
and the coastline blob at 33.158n79.212w-gge is the same for the 14Sept_12pmGMT*mapping.

Using straightline projection of the travel-speed&heading derived from the
ATCF coordinates spanning the 6hours between 6pmGMT then 12amGMT :
TS.Maria's travel-speed was 18.8mph(30.3k/h) on a heading of 12.6degrees(NNE)
(11.25degrees is midway between N and NNW)
TS.Maria was headed toward passage over Halifax,NovaScotia ~2days10hours from now

Copy&paste 33.158n79.212w-gge, 44n69.4w-18me, 23.0n68.3w-23.8n68.9w, 23.8n68.9w-24.6n69.3w, 24.6n69.3w-25.6n69.3w, 25.6n69.3w-27.2n68.9w, yaw, 25.6n69.3w-44.589n63.452w into the GreatCircleMapper for more info

The previous mapping (for 14Sept_6pmGMT)

* The alteration of the endpoints of a TropicalCyclone's previous paths also changes its previous travel-speeds&headings, and the endpoints of its previous straightline projections...
...but I'm choosing to preserve the historicity of the mappings.
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1164. JLPR2
Well I'm off to bed.


Lets see what tomorrow/later today brings.
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1163. JLPR2
Quoting LostTomorrows:


I doubt they'd issue an intermediate advisory on a storm that far out (even if it was threatening Bermuda, which it is) unless it was a significant increase in strength. But she's looking like she could be a hurricane by noon tomorrow, or sooner. Which means that she may very well win her settlement (in regards to an earlier post I made),



2:00 AM AST Thu Sep 15
Location: 28.7°N 68.4°W
Max sustained: 65 mph
Moving: NNE at 18 mph
Min pressure: 999 mb

NHC is issuing intermediate advisories.

Also, I think maria could be hurricane at 11am.
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1162. jonelu
Quoting EYEStoSEA:
YAY TX...rain!
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Quoting JLPR2:
Hmm, Maria kept at 65mph at 2am.


I doubt they'd issue an intermediate advisory on a storm that far out (even if it was threatening Bermuda, which it is) unless it was a significant increase in strength. But she's looking like she could be a hurricane by noon tomorrow, or sooner. Which means that she may very well win her settlement (in regards to an earlier post I made),
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Did Beell have it out with someone? Or is he having personal issues? Tonight's GW spats were not unusual.

Wish you well Beell whatever troubles you.
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Quoting Twinkster:


Well Tennessee is going to be Gator Bait Saturday afternoon
We shall see. They both have looked good so far. Florida has a lot more speed and D, but Tennessee has Tyler Bray. Waite till you see this kid play!
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In that RAMMB loop... looks like there is WV / SAL interaction in the northen boundary...


Good night to all.....
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Quoting EYEStoSEA:
Well, I'm gonna get some sleep...good night ...goes for JLPR and Sunliner too :)


Good Rest for your eyes, EYES
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Will SAL be an inhibiting factor??

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Quoting scooster67:

To hard to come by any tickets. Funny thing is I am a Tennessee native and actually more of a Vol's fan. Got "Smokey" on my desk as a paperweight.:)


Well Tennessee is going to be Gator Bait Saturday afternoon
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Quoting JLPR2:
6N, 16W
Ramsdis Loop


Looks like 20%...
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Quoting Hurlo:


Good for you! (psst...can you score some tickets to the Georgia game?)

To hard to come by any tickets. Funny thing is I am a Tennessee native and actually more of a Vol's fan. Got "Smokey" on my desk as a paperweight.:)
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Well, I'm gonna get some sleep...good night ...goes for JLPR and Sunliner too :)
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Quoting scooster67:
I'm at the Admin building in the PPD, physical plant division, department of accounting.


That's cool. Good Luck with your new Job!!!!!!
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1149. JLPR2
6N, 16W
Ramsdis Loop
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Quoting scooster67:
Crashed early this evening. Resorted to some more "natural" pain medication.


If the pain is too strong, a small piece of a broken Aspirin will do the job of easing the pain....
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1147. JLPR2
Quoting sunlinepr:
GFS do not develops that wave... up to now...



Reminds me of Maria, didn't develop that one either and bam, there is Maria at 65mph. XD
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Quoting Twinkster:



where do u work at UF I am a student
I'm at the Admin building in the PPD, physical plant division, department of accounting.
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GFS do not develops that wave... up to now...

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Quoting scooster67:


Was laid off back in April and finally got back to work, at UF in Gainseville "Go Gators", and insurance will kick back in first of next month. Actually looking forward to going to the Dentist.

Arggggggg.....



Good for you scooster.....jobs are so hard to come by these days....Wish you well with your new job :)
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1143. JLPR2
Nice little spin at 6n.
A little too far south, but looking nice.
10% circle eh... not that awesome.

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Quoting Grothar:


Don't know. I hope he is just having a bad day. I know how he feels. Wondered where you were scoost!
Crashed early this evening. Resorted to some more "natural" pain medication. How are you feeling friend?
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Quoting scooster67:


Was laid off back in April and finally got back to work, at UF in Gainseville "Go Gators", and insurance will kick back in first of next month. Actually looking forward to going to the Dentist.

Arggggggg.....




where do u work at UF I am a student
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1139. Grothar
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Quoting Hurlo:
Poor oral health is closely correlated with heart disease.

Take care.


Was laid off back in April and finally got back to work, at UF in Gainseville "Go Gators", and insurance will kick back in first of next month. Actually looking forward to going to the Dentist.

Arggggggg.....

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1137. Grothar
Quoting scooster67:


What's up with Beell?


Don't know. I hope he is just having a bad day. I know how he feels. Wondered where you were scoost!
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Quoting sunlinepr:
That's a couple of weeks old. :S
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About JeffMasters

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