Hurricane Maria rushes towards Newfoundland

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:41 PM GMT on September 16, 2011

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Hurricane Maria is bearing down on Newfoundland, Canada, as a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds. The wind shear over Maria turned out to be much lower than was predicted yesterday, allowing the storm to organize into the season's third hurricane. Latest satellite imagery shows that Maria is steadily degrading, with a hole in the storm's southwest eyewall, and the cloud pattern distorted by 30 - 50 knots of wind shear. The eyewall has collapsed, as seen on recent microwave satellite imagery. Maria's very fast forward speed of 45 mph means that only locations on the right (strong) side will experience hurricane force winds. With the center of Maria expected to pass over the extreme southeast tip of Newfoundland, only a small region of the island near Cape Race will see the powerful right-front quadrant of the storm. Winds at Sagona Island on the south shore of Newfoundland were sustained at 50 mph at 7:30 am local time, but have dropped to 37 mph at 9:10 am. Winds in the capital of St. John's have been rising steadily this morning, and were sustained at 37 mph, gusting to 46 mph, at 10:30 am local time. Winds will probably reach sustained speeds of 55 - 65 mph between 1 pm and 5 pm today in St. Johns, causing considerable tree damage and power failures. Radar out of Newfoundland shows the hurricane has been dumping heavy rains over the southeastern portion of the island this morning; rainfall has been under a half inch thus far at most locations, though. Along with wind damage, heavy rains leading to flash flooding are the main threat from Maria; last year, heavy rains of up to 8 inches from Hurricane Igor caused major damage in Newfoundland. Fortunately, Maria's rains are not expected to be as heavy as Igor's. According to the Canadian Hurricane Center, rivers in eastern Newfoundland are currently at average to below average levels, which will limit the amount of flooding. Maria's storm surge will arrive when the normal astronomical tide will be going out, limiting the damage the expected 3-foot storm surge will do.

Yesterday, Maria brought a brief 8-minute period of sustained winds of tropical storm force, 39 mph, to the Bermuda airport. Bermuda picked up 0.20" of rain from Maria.


Figure 1. Radar image of Tropical Storm Maria taken at 10:13 am EDT September 15, 2011. Image credit: Bermuda Weather Service.

Newfoundland's second consecutive year with a hurricane
If Maria strikes Newfoundland as a hurricane, this will be the province's second consecutive year with a hurricane strike, something that has never occurred since hurricane record keeping began in 1851. Last year, Hurricane Igor killed one person on Newfoundland, and damage exceeded $100 million, making Igor the most damaging tropical cyclone in Newfoundland history. A summary of the impact of Igor prepared by Environment Canada put it this way:

"Hurricane Igor and its severe impacts certainly represent a rare event in Newfoundland history which has been described as the worst in memory. In statistical terms, this was effectively a 50 - 100 year event depending on how one chooses to define it. There are no hurricanes/post tropical events of this magnitude striking Newfoundland in the modern era. Hurricane Juan in Nova Scotia was the last Atlantic Canadian hurricane to cause extreme damage. Prior to the naming of hurricanes, the 1935 Newfoundland Hurricane 75 years ago was of similar intensity."


Figure 2. A ravine carved by Hurricane Igor's flood waters washed out the Trans-Canada Highway, isolating Southeast Newfoundland from the rest of the province. Image credit: CBC News.

Elsewhere in the tropics
All of the models have been sporadically predicting development of a tropical wave 5 - 7 days from now between Africa and the Lesser Antilles. The location and timing of the hypothetical storm have been inconsistent, and there is at present no signs of anything brewing. The NOGAPS model continues to predict a strong tropical disturbance or tropical depression could form in the Caribbean 6 - 7 days from now, near Jamaica. None of the other models is supporting this idea, so the NOGAPS model is probably wrong on this scenario. I'll have an update Saturday afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting daddyjames:


Actually, science is very much a democracy, and perhaps the oldest form of such in our modern society.
It relies on someone postulating a theory to explain an observation(s), design hypotheses to test that theory, gather and interpret the data, and presents evidence of whether there is support for the theory for peer review. If in the judgement of fellow peers versed in the science, the tests are rigorous enough, and designed appropriately to address the hypothesis postulated and the results interpreted appropriately, then the results are published for an open discussion and debate. Whether or not a theory ultimately becomes a law is when the evidence presented overwhelmingly supports the theory postulated, and is generally accepted by the scientific community that the theory cannot be disproven.

Ok really off to work.

Actually--to borrow that overused adverb--it's only a democracy in the sense that to be done correctly, it needs to show certain democratic values and principles: honesty and openness, a constant push to question authority, respect for evidence, a tolerance for opposing points of view, and so on. But where the rubber meets the road, science is anything but a democracy. In fact, it's more like an iron-fisted dictatorship, a despotic regime; science rules, period, and what it dictates is how it is and always will be. Every scientist in the world could declare tomorrow that baby humans do after all come from storks, but that wouldn't make it so.
Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13803
What ever happend on the blog well I'm glad it didn't have anything to do with me.With that said let's move on...nothing to see here.
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Quoting daddyjames:


Wow, tropicfreak, hope that I am not what you consider a troll.

If you do, that is not my purpose. And i will encourage you to report me to admin, as i really hope they are aware of what really is happening here.
In essence my comments are an open letter to the blog and i welcome any and all comments, including the admins, about what is and is not appropriate an appropriate topic for discussion. Currently, is not clear and ultimately destructive to a rational discussion about . . . . well what may be relevant on a particular day.

My reply to Grothar was genuine and heartfelt.


No no I wasn't referring to you as a troll, I was referring to what you said to Grothar and I was backing up your opinion.
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Quoting Tazmanian:




thats your job


LOL! Well you do a much better job at it than I do.
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Pressure at Cape Race is lower than the advisory pressure. 28.99" or 981.7 mb. Wind is sustained at 31 mph from the SSW, so the central pressure is a little lower. Maybe 980 mb or so. With the wind from the SSW that means the center is heading west of Cape Race, meaning a landfall on the Avalon peninsula.
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Quoting tropicfreak:


Have you fired up your poofer yet taz? Because we are gonna need to poof a lot of people!




thats your job
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


That's exactly the point that needed to be made over and over to some people. If they wanted a filtered blog where the content was determined by them, then they can start their own blog.

They can't seriously claim that Dr. Masters is "shoving this down [their] throat" if they are the ones that continue coming here over and over to read his blog. It's not unknown that he is a PhD-ed scientist, nor that he is respected in the scientific community for his understanding of hurricanes and climate change.

I certainly can't say that people always treat each other the best when having a debate on a topic with unfortunate political intrusion. But just because you have an opinion on something doesn't mean it is on equal footing in the science world. Science isn't a democracy, we don't get to vote on what we think scientists got right or not.
You know what I do when Doc post things about global warming.....Don't read it!.It's that simple people.It's not like someone is behind you telling you that you have to read it and shoving your head on the screen.
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201. txjac
Quoting Patrap:




Totally odd at how quicky she's moving ...geez, she laid around for days with hardly any movement.

Hope all are well and it's short-lived and gentle when and where she passes by
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Quoting tropicfreak:


And as for trolls, GET A LIFE!


Wow, tropicfreak, hope that I am not what you consider a troll.

If you do, that is not my purpose. And i will encourage you to report me to admin, as i really hope they are aware of what really is happening here.
In essence my comments are an open letter to the blog and i welcome any and all comments, including the admins, about what is and is not appropriate an appropriate topic for discussion. Currently, is not clear and ultimately destructive to a rational discussion about . . . . well what may be relevant on a particular day.

My reply to Grothar was genuine and heartfelt.
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Quoting Tazmanian:
16/1745 UTC 46.5N 52.9W EXTRATROPICAL MARIA -- Atlantic


Have you fired up your poofer yet taz? Because we are gonna need to poof a lot of people!
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Maria WV loop



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Slow weather day so here goes...
AGW is theoretical science.. there are just too many variables both known and unknown at this point, and until otherwise... POOF
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Quoting lavinia:
Post #185 rkay1

That was uncalled for and a perfect example of why people are leaving this blog.


Ignore him, that's the same guy who said that Irene was not that bad.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
I really wish there were a separate climate blog on this site. It used to be so easy to obtain useful information about what's going on in the tropics by simply reading the latest page of comments, but whenever this climate debate gets going, you have to scroll endlessly to come across a piece of information related to the tropics.



It would be nice to have a separate climate blog here, but I think Dr. Masters is making the same point aptly illustrated by Levi's blogs on a regular basis -- that so much of the weather and climate are all interconnected. In any event, it's his blog.

I can't speak for the most incendiary and juvenile postings that get tossed up here, but I think a lot of the problem the larger group has is when people start attacking people -- attacking politicians, scientists, or the rest of us on the blog.

Making this Blog more firmly adhere to the idea that we keep weather discussions here about (a) the Tropics or (b) Dr. Masters' current post, probably really would simplify things the quickest and furthest. I know I have several times asked a question about tropical weather and how other systems would affect it at the time, only to be quickly lost and ignored in the swollen stream of irrelevant or more "flaming" comments.
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Quoting aquak9:
If ya'll REALLY think that it was opinions concerning AGW that got everyone leaving, you are so wrong.

If ya'll think that certain AGW opinions got certain bloggers banned- once again, ya'll are so wrong.



You're right, as far as I can tell all parties present for yesterday's blog-a-geddon on both sides of the debate, are still here and not banned.
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16/1745 UTC 46.5N 52.9W EXTRATROPICAL MARIA -- Atlantic
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Quoting aquak9:
If ya'll REALLY think that it was opinions concerning AGW that got everyone leaving, you are so wrong.

If ya'll think that certain AGW opinions got certain bloggers banned- once again, ya'll are so wrong.



Ding ding ding... You win..... You are so right....
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Quoting reedzone:
Too bad all of you don't realize that these are your OPINIONS and not facts :P


Quoting MississippiWx:


Well, that's a shame because we have a good thing going here with several quality bloggers. I figured the vets on the blog would be able to withstand the debates a little more since they happen every year during lulls. It's fairly easy to step away from the blog and not contribute to the immaturity that runs rampant during debates. Once the debate calms down again, voila! It's like it never happened.

Dr. Masters can post whatever he wants, as far as I'm concerned. As long as it says Dr. Jeff Masters' Wunderblog at the top of the page, he's in his own rights. Dr. Masters is not the problem. The problem lies with the immaturity of some posters.


Well said! inifinity!!
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Post #185 rkay1

That was uncalled for and a perfect example of why people are leaving this blog.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
If ya'll REALLY think that it was opinions concerning AGW that got everyone leaving, you are so wrong.

If ya'll think that certain AGW opinions got certain bloggers banned- once again, ya'll are so wrong.

Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 178 Comments: 26674
Quoting ScottLincoln:


Science isn't a democracy, we don't get to vote on what we think scientists got right or not.


Actually, science is very much a democracy, and perhaps the oldest form of such in our modern society.
It relies on someone postulating a theory to explain an observation(s), design hypotheses to test that theory, gather and interpret the data, and presents evidence of whether there is support for the theory for peer review. If in the judgement of fellow peers versed in the science, the tests are rigorous enough, and designed appropriately to address the hypothesis postulated and the results interpreted appropriately, then the results are published for an open discussion and debate. Whether or not a theory ultimately becomes a law is when the evidence presented overwhelmingly supports the theory postulated, and is generally accepted by the scientific community that the theory cannot be disproven.

Ok really off to work.
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Quoting lavinia:
Half the posts on this page should be re ported for not being on topic. If anyone is so interested in finding out what happened yesterday, it would be more prudent to go and read it for yourselves rather than listening to gossip! In the mean time, Maria is hitting Newfoundland and for those of you who don't know....there are people there.

On the subject of Maria, just for a break from AGW and personal attacks, does anyone have any links for webcams in Newfoundland?
Dr Masters mentioned that the peak winds should be around now. Have any higher than those he metioned been measured?
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Anyway, hope we get back on the tropics eventually. :-)

I'm out for the day. Play nice.
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I really wish there were a separate climate blog on this site. It used to be so easy to obtain useful information about what's going on in the tropics by simply reading the latest page of comments, but whenever this climate debate gets going, you have to scroll endlessly to come across a piece of information related to the tropics.

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Half the posts on this page should be re ported for not being on topic. If anyone is so interested in finding out what happened yesterday, it would be more prudent to go and read it for yourselves rather than listening to gossip! In the mean time, Maria is hitting Newfoundland and for those of you who don't know....there are people there.
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:
"The problem lies with the immaturity of some posters."

I would like to present before the court Exhibit A, your Honor:
"Quit pretending to understand climate and science. There is absolutely NO debate on this blog by people like you. Anything that doesnt fit your preconceived notion of AGW is labeled "personal opinion" and "not relevant". Youd do the blog a great service and go back to Ricky's blog where you came from."

I would like to next present Exhibit B, your Honor:
"His post was incredibly narrow minded and lies! And you've done a great job at insulting skeptics! Like a kid!"

I have no further evidence to present before the court, at this time, your Honor. I respectfully request the right to do so as further evidence is uncovered.


Surpise Witness called to the stand
Maria Brushes Maria
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Quoting PakaSurvivor:
paper or online?


does it matter?
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Dr. Masters can post whatever he wants, as far as I'm concerned. As long as it says Dr. Jeff Masters' Wunderblog at the top of the page, he's in his own rights. Dr. Masters is not the problem. The problem lies with the immaturity of some posters.


That's exactly the point that needed to be made over and over to some people. If they wanted a filtered blog where the content was determined by them, then they can start their own blog.

They can't seriously claim that Dr. Masters is "shoving this down [their] throat" if they are the ones that continue coming here over and over to read his blog. It's not unknown that he is a PhD-ed scientist, nor that he is respected in the scientific community for his understanding of hurricanes and climate change.

I certainly can't say that people always treat each other the best when having a debate on a topic with unfortunate political intrusion. But just because you have an opinion on something doesn't mean it is on equal footing in the science world. Science isn't a democracy, we don't get to vote on what we think scientists got right or not.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
"The problem lies with the immaturity of some posters."

I would like to present before the court Exhibit A, your Honor:
"Quit pretending to understand climate and science. There is absolutely NO debate on this blog by people like you. Anything that doesnt fit your preconceived notion of AGW is labeled "personal opinion" and "not relevant". Youd do the blog a great service and go back to Ricky's blog where you came from."

I would like to next present Exhibit B, your Honor:
"His post was incredibly narrow minded and lies! And you've done a great job at insulting skeptics! Like a kid!"

I have no further evidence to present before the court, at this time, your Honor. I respectfully request the right to do so as further evidence is uncovered.
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Quoting HimacaneBrees:
If you believe this is strictly a tropical weather blog, then you'll believe that I have a subscription to Playboy Magazine just because I like to "read the articles".
paper or online?
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Quoting MississippiWx:
I've been very inactive here for the past week or so. What the heck is going on? I've stepped in for a post or two, but what's with people leaving? Before I make statements, I'd like to know the story.


From what I have seen it falls into two camps

1) Those who disagree with Dr. Masters advocacy of human caused climate change.

2) Those who disagree with how wunderground interprets community standards and the banning of members. Along with this is the and functions and how they affect the filter functions where a members comments are then hidden from view, especially for nonmembers. Perceived as a form of censorship.
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If you believe this is strictly a tropical weather blog, then you'll believe that I have a subscription to Playboy Magazine just because I like to "read the articles".
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


I didn't actually see any of this unfold to the point where people were leaving the blog, so I might have to defer to others. But the general gist appears to be that the "climate debate" ramped up again yesterday, maybe due to Dr. Masters discussing the Climate Realities Project. That seemed to again bring out people who desire to protest what Dr. Masters posts on his own blog, and because he is not posting what they want him to post, some may have left the active commenting roster.


People need to understand that this is his house!

Let's say you're affiliated with a political party and I'm with another.

I invite you over to my house for dinner and you see a big poster of a person from my political party hanging from the dinning room wall. You've got 2 options, either you walk out of my house because you can't stand looking at the poster, or you sit there, put up with it and eat your food.

Having said that, he can post whatever he feels like posting here because this is his site and his blog.
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Quoting aprinz1979:
If anybody doesn't agree with the way Dr. Masters handles HIS BLOG, there are plenty of other blogs out there. I find it extremely disrespectful for those who have the nerve to say negative things in his own blog.


I am sorry if you have interpreted any of my comments as negative. It is not intended that way. It is simply an observation that not one person on this blog can state with any degree of certainty what is and is not an appropriate topic on this blog on a daily basis. Recently it has led to a tremendous upheaval, and lends itself to the discourse observed (but certainly does not excuse the behaviors of individual posters).

Ask any behavioral researcher, and I believe that a strong case could be made that what is "culturally acceptable" on this particular blog is a muddled mess. And this would be a case study of what not to do in any organization.

I am off to work - so won't be able to get back with you until a later time. (I think i heard a big sigh of relief) :D.
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Grothar is leaving?

If that happens, maybe I need to take up full-contact bungee jumping...
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Quoting yonzabam:


AGW deniers often have a propagandist mentality. They are not truth seekers and it's common for them to accuse others of their own faults - like you just did.


It has a technical term, too... "projection."
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Quoting ScottLincoln:


I didn't actually see any of this unfold to the point where people were leaving the blog, so I might have to defer to others. But the general gist appears to be that the "climate debate" ramped up again yesterday, maybe due to Dr. Masters discussing the Climate Realities Project. That seemed to again bring out people who desire to protest what Dr. Masters posts on his own blog, and because he is not posting what they want him to post, some may have left the active commenting roster.


Well, that's a shame because we have a good thing going here with several quality bloggers. I figured the vets on the blog would be able to withstand the debates a little more since they happen every year during lulls. It's fairly easy to step away from the blog and not contribute to the immaturity that runs rampant during debates. Once the debate calms down again, voila! It's like it never happened.

Dr. Masters can post whatever he wants, as far as I'm concerned. As long as it says Dr. Jeff Masters' Wunderblog at the top of the page, he's in his own rights. Dr. Masters is not the problem. The problem lies with the immaturity of some posters.
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"Vermont relief" the gov. of the state showed up for the phish charity concert. not a cop on a horse but as a fan of the effort.
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 5006
Quoting HimacaneBrees:
There is more to life than this blog. Although it is very useful during the season and should stay close to the topic when serious threats are out there, some people take it absolutely way to serious.

Did anyone watch the LSU - Ms St. game last night. That was classic SEC football.


Nah, but I watched the USA beat Russia in the Rugby World Cup. First time both teams have qualified.

Australia will spank your boys big time, though. They're in a different league. Good to see the sport taking off.
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Quoting MississippiWx:
I've been very inactive here for the past week or so. What the heck is going on? I've stepped in for a post or two, but what's with people leaving? Before I make statements, I'd like to know the story.


I didn't actually see any of this unfold to the point where people were leaving the blog, so I might have to defer to others. But the general gist appears to be that the "climate debate" ramped up again yesterday, maybe due to Dr. Masters discussing the Climate Realities Project. That seemed to again bring out people who desire to protest what Dr. Masters posts on his own blog, and because he is not posting what they want him to post, some may have left the active commenting roster.
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Quoting aspectre:
113 WeatherWx "From levi's blog directly, part of his statement in post #29: I myself am not going to even post in the main blog unless there is a storm threat, because it would be a waste of time otherwise."

Hardly surprising: I woulda recommended that course of action if he'd asked.
Levi32 is in the first year of taking a (hopefully, maths hyperintensive) Physics major. Not for wimps, not for slackers, and definitely not for procrastinators (ie those whose chief interest is outside of educating themselves). PLUS, he's has (to have) a paying job on the side.
Trying to carry on a conversation in this blog means using up a lot of time skimming through a lot of irrelevance. Time he can easily put to better use: he's probably running close to (if not past) the point of sleep-deprivation even without wading through the daily WUnderBlog.

112 daddyjames "Goals are not clear regarding acceptable topics (note, I said topics, not comments) on the blog. What and what is and is not "off limits" in regards to the discussion varies at the whim of the main blogger, which shifts on a daily basis (or even several times a day depending on the degree of perceived threat by a system).
A recipe for cultural catastrophe within any organization, as we are currently witnessing.


Actually they're quite clear.
Off-HurricaneSeason, pretty much anything goes, including YouTube embeds of music videos... EXCEPT when there is an on-going weather/geophysics-related EMERGENCY, in which case bloggers should strive to remain on that topic.
During HurricaneSeason, just stay on the topics specificly discussed in Dr.Masters' current blog entry... or hurricane preparedness and past experiences with TropicalCylones.

I've been temp-banned once. Another blogger was being adamantly argumentative about "Alex is a he" and "Alex is a male name". And during a lull in that particular TC's activity and threat level, I posted a bunch of pictures of different well known movie Alex's who were female.
Tested the borderline between acceptable and unacceptable, and got tossed into WUjail by "la migra".

Recently during Maria, I got overly longwinded and political (but non-partisanly) in response to a "look at how well the soldiers and vets are treated" comment. It was deleted.
Thing is, I was already "Should I or shouldn't I?" when contemplating on whether to PostComment. The deletion was a "You really shouldn't have."
In other words: when in doubt, don't.


You illustrate my point exactly. You should not have to even ask yourself, "Should I or shouldn't I." You should have clear understanding about what is and what is not acceptable at all times. This is evident, when many bloggers who really want to discuss weather phenomena, preface their remarks with
Quoting 996tt:
I am just curious and god knows I really don't want to stir anything up.

The question posed was a legitimate weather related question, but not concerning the tropics, per se. There should not be any hesitation about even asking this question. But, given Dr. master's post today, is it or is it not an acceptable topic of discussion? Yesterday there would have been no question, but today there is.
Tropical weather is actually a year round event, believe it or not (sarcasm alert), and is not limited to whether or not certain storm systems form in the Atlantic during a certain time of year.

@hurricanejunky - Thanks for the replies.

I agree back to the tropics.
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Quoting 996tt:
Haha, a lively debate would be better than this. Dang, so is hurricane season over or what. I have a feeling that perhaps Yucatan might still get some action, but not us. Check back next week.


I think we're in a week or so long lull. We were almost on pace with 2005 but then the faucet turned off...
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161. 996tt
Haha, a lively debate would be better than this. Dang, so is hurricane season over or what. I have a feeling that perhaps Yucatan might still get some action, but not us. Check back next week.
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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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