Major rains for Southeast U.S., TX, KS, and OK; Jova and Irwin a threat to Mexico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:24 PM GMT on October 07, 2011

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A large low pressure system with heavy rain is expected to develop over Cuba, South Florida, and the Bahamas on Saturday. The counter-clockwise flow around this low will bring strong winds and heavy rains to much of the Florida coast on Saturday, and these conditions will spread northwards to Georgia by Sunday and South Carolina by Monday. I doubt that this storm will acquire enough organization to evolve into a subtropical storm that gets a name, based on the latest model output, and the fact that the storm's center may well be over the state of Florida. This will be a large, diffuse system that will bring strong winds and heavy rains to a large area of the Southeast U.S. coast, regardless of the exact center location. Portions of the coastal waters along the Florida Panhandle, as well as from Northeast Florida to South Carolina, are likely to experience sustained winds of 30 - 40 mph Monday and Tuesday. Since the storm is going to get its start as a cold-cored upper-level low pressure system with some dry air aloft, it will not be able to intensify quickly.


Figure 1. Rainfall forecast for the 5-day period ending at 8 am EDT Wednesday, October 12, 2011. The storm system affecting Florida this weekend is expected to bring up to 11 inches of rain along the coast. Heavy rains associated with a strong trough of low pressure are also expected to dump 4 - 6 inches of rain over drought-stricken areas of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

Heavy rain event coming for drought-stricken regions of Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas
A strong low pressure system is expected to track across the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles this weekend, bringing the heaviest rains of the year to drought-stricken portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas, including Abilene. Rainfall in this region has been 13 - 20 inches below normal for the year; Lubbock, Texas has had just 3 inches of rain this year, compared to a normal of 16 inches. Rainfall amount of 1 - 4 inches will be common in the region over the weekend, and may be able to reduce drought conditions from the highest level (exceptional) to the second highest level (extreme.) However, the heaviest rains will stay confined to the western half of Texas, and Texas's major cities such as Houston will see very little rain over the weekend. As of yesterday, Houston had gone 253 consecutive days without a one-inch rainstorm, a new record. The longest previous such streak was 192 days, set in 1917 - 1918. The last one inch rainstorm in the city was January 24, 2011. Remarkably, the local National Weather Service office has not issued any flood products in over a year.


Figure 2. The amount of rain needed to break the Texas drought is in excess of 15 inches (purple colors) over most of the state. This year's drought is officially Texas' worst one-year drought on record. Image credit: NOAA/NWS.

Philippe being ripped up by wind shear
Hurricane Philippe, the fifth hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season, doesn't have much time left as a hurricane, due to high wind shear of 40 - 50 knots that is starting to tear the storm apart. Satellite loops show Philippe has become lopsided and is now missing its eye. Philippe will continue to degrade in appearance over the next few days, and will die in the middle Atlantic without affecting any land areas.


Figure 3. True-color MODIS image of Philippe over the mid-Atlantic taken at 10:45 am EDT October 6, 2011. At the time, Philippe was a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Jova and Irwin: double trouble for Mexico's Eastern Pacific coast
In the Eastern Pacific off the coast of Mexico, two new tropical storms spun up yesterday. The storm of greatest immediate concern is the one closest to the coast, Tropical Storm Jova. Jova is currently headed west-northwest, parallel to the coast, but will turn north and then northeast over the weekend as a strong trough of low pressure dives southward over northern Mexico. The computer models have a fairly wide spread for the track of Jova, with the region of coast centered on Puerto Vallarta between Manzanillo and Tuxpan at greatest risk of a strike. Jova is under moderate shear of 10 - 20 knots, and shear is predicted to stay in the low to moderate range between now and landfall. Ocean temperatures are warm, 28 - 29°C, but the warm waters do not extend to great depth, limiting Jova's potential for rapid intensification. The upper atmosphere is also not cold enough to give Jova the kind of instability typically needed for rapid intensification. Nonetheless, both the GFDL and HWRF models predict Jova will intensify into a major Category 3 hurricane before landfall on Monday on the Mexican coast. The official NHC forecast is less aggressive, bringing Jova to Category 1 strength. This is probably too conservative, and I expect Jova will be at least a Cat 2 at landfall. One possible impediment to development may be Jova's close proximity to Hurricane Irwin to its west. Upper-level outflow from Irwin could weaken Jova, and the two storms may compete for the same moisture. The two storms are close enough to each other--about 650 miles apart--that they will affect each others' track, as well. Whenever two storms of at least tropical storm strength approach within 900 miles of each other, a phenomenon known as the Fujiwhara effect comes into play. This effect causes the two storms to rotate counterclockwise around a common center. Since the degree of rotation will depend on the relative strengths of the the two storms, and our ability to make good intensity forecasts is limited, the track forecasts for both Jova and Irwin will have a higher degree of uncertainty than usual. Regardless of Jova's strength at landfall, the storm will bring very heavy rains to the Mexican coast capable of causing dangerous flash floods and mudslides, beginning on Sunday night.

Once Jova has made landfall, Mexico needs to concern itself with Hurricane Irwin, which is gathering strength farther to the west. Irwin is also moving to the west-northwest, and will also be turned north and then northeast towards the coast of Mexico this weekend by the same trough of low pressure expected to affect Jova. The longer range computer forecast models show Irwin could make landfall as a hurricane on the Mexican coast late next week, along the same stretch of coast Jova will affect. If this verifies, the one-two punch of heavy rains from two tropical cyclones within a week could cause a devastating flood situation along the Mexican coast.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting ClaySFL:


We had one in March or April that was really intense. The winds in that one had to be gusting to at least 60 mph, and there were funnel clouds with this one, and one happened to be right over us.


I remember Spring, we had round after round of severe thunderstorms. I think my area was under a Tornado Watches for 36 hours. They issued one after the other after the other... it was crazy. Even saw a rotating wall cloud, that produced a funnel... but never had more than 45 mph winds with any of those storms.
Member Since: March 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1147
Quoting clwstmchasr:
They removed my post for telling the truth. So sad. This blog was a great place to talk about weather. Not anymore. I'm sure they will remove this post too. I'm done, just like all the others.

Don't leave :\
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32260
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Out for real this time, later all
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Quoting DiddyVort:
I still like the idea of the storm being off the east coast of Florida, over the west coast. Upper level pattern supports the divergence there, and model consensus reflects this by showing the majority of the voritcity and precipitation over this region.


Why hell yes!
Let's just throw one of the most accurate models right off in the ditch man!

LMAO!

Hey, that's a pretty funny comment.

seriously, idk why that's funny. Just because it's the most consistently accurate model does not mean it is always the most accurate model.

Given every other model (the model consensus) and the ECMWF itself, the upper level pattern is most conducive for a storm on that side.
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I just dont see this being a full fledged tropical system. Reason: during any typical tropical storm or hurricane, I have never felt the temperature drop like it did with that squall (of course, with the excption of Wilma, but that was due to a frontal passage as she was moving by). Indicates that it is bringing colder air from aloft down with the rains. Hence, not warm core... really no low pressure anyhow at this point... but if one were to develop, it would not have a warm core. Temperature down to 72 now.
Member Since: March 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1147
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I agree, not quite sure what some of the models such as the ECMWF are seeing. Even if a low does develop in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico though, another one would probably develop on the east side of Florida, and that one would become more dominant.
Idk, although it also shows the majority of the precipitation and voriticity on the east side of Florida. Just has the low pressure on the west side, I guess due to the orientation of the ridge to the north, not exactly sure why it has it that way though.
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Quoting ecflweatherfan:


Yeah, these storms mean business as they push through. And they sure pack a punch. In fact, I almost think the squall I just had here was stronger than any of the summer thunderstorms this year. I do not recollect any that produced a wind gust greater than 50 mph.


We had one in March or April that was really intense. The winds in that one had to be gusting to at least 60 mph, and there were funnel clouds with this one, and one happened to be right over us.
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Quoting Chucktown:
0 Z NAM continues to show solid run to consistency of a weak, nor'easter looking storm. Dry air intrusion is well defined as the main band of precip is displaced well away from the center. Just took a peek at the water vapor, and GFS is looking less and less likely with its eastern solution. The trough continues to dig over the eastern Gulf tonight, surface reflection will be near the west coast of Florida then lifting Northeast into early next week.

Link


I would recommend Levi's video from this morning.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32260
537. 7544
1009 PM EDT FRI OCT 7 2011

...FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN MIAMI HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WATCH FOR A PORTION OF SOUTH FLORIDA...INCLUDING THE
FOLLOWING AREAS...COASTAL BROWARD...COASTAL MIAMI DADE...
COASTAL PALM BEACH...FAR SOUTH MIAMI DADE...INLAND BROWARD...
INLAND MIAMI DADE...INLAND PALM BEACH...METRO BROWARD...METRO
MIAMI DADE AND METRO PALM BEACH.
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from the 12z models
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Quoting TomTaylor:
Here's an even older one for ya, TAWX13



Every layer of the atmosphere in the deep tropics (15N to the equator) has been below average in terms of relative and specific humidity so far this year (June to August). Outside of the deep tropics (15N to 30N), from 700mb to 300mb, the atmosphere has been above normal moisture content in terms of both relative and specific humidity. However, from the surface up to the 850mb level, this region outside of the deep tropics has also been drier than average. From this reanalysis data we can conclude the entire atmospheric profile of the deep tropics has been drier than normal, and that the areas outside of the deep tropics have also been drier than normal at the low levels of the atmosphere -- perhaps the most critical level of the atmosphere as far as humidity is concerned for hurricanes.

Check the reanalysis data for yourself if you don't believe me. TPW anomalies also show that from roughly 15N down to the equator the atmosphere has been drier than normal. Above that latitude the PWAT anomalies are above average, however, as I already mentioned the low levels of the atmosphere in these regions have been drier than average.

These conclusions would also explain quite well why the tropical Atlantic has been lacking in terms of vertical instability.


You know, what is funny about that, is just as the season started I commented that before it started, there were floods all over the world and the Mississippi was running over its banks and so on. My thought was that there is only so much water and if more of it than usual is flowing in rivers and lying in flood plains then that much more would be not available in the atmosphere. Granted the Sun pumps millions of gallons a day from the oceans, lakes and everywhere there is moisture, but I wonder if there is a connection or a reason why (as you pointed out) it has been drier.
My comment was ignored by the way...
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0 Z NAM continues to show solid run to consistency of a weak, nor'easter looking storm. Dry air intrusion is well defined as the main band of precip is displaced well away from the center. Just took a peek at the water vapor, and GFS is looking less and less likely with its eastern solution. The trough continues to dig over the eastern Gulf tonight, surface reflection will be near the west coast of Florida then lifting Northeast into early next week.

Link
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Quoting aquak9:
(((vortness)))
hey aqua dog
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Quoting TomTaylor:
I still like the idea of the storm being off the east coast of Florida, over the west coast. Upper level pattern supports the divergence there, and model consensus reflects this by showing the majority of the voritcity and precipitation over this region.

I agree, not quite sure what some of the models such as the ECMWF are seeing. Even if a low does develop in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico though, another one would probably develop on the east side of Florida, and that one would become more dominant.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32260
Quoting ClaySFL:
The first squall here arrived about 10-20 minutes ago in Central Palm Beach Co. Nice driving rain, strong gusts, and some lightning.


Yeah, these storms mean business as they push through. And they sure pack a punch. In fact, I almost think the squall I just had here was stronger than any of the summer thunderstorms this year. I do not recollect any that produced a wind gust greater than 50 mph.
Member Since: March 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1147
Well, the Bahamas, Florida, and the rest of the SE US will have to watch out for possible development of a subtropical storm in the area. Models don't suggest anything too strong and development is no guarantee, but they do show plenty of rainfall regardless, so be prepared for some weather from the weekend into next week.

Aside from that, the GFS and ECMWF have been showing areas of low pressure over the western Caribbean for the last few days now. Although they have been essentially showing this since early September, the forecast does seem much more reasonable now given the amplified MJO signal and the strong model consensus that this pulse of the MJO will reach our area around roughly the same time while remaining it's amplitude along the way. Also interesting to see the ECMWF actually develops a storm at the end of its forecast link (which it rarely does, usually it's the GFS that spits out storms at the end of it's loops).

I'm out for now, going to the movies, have fun and play nice, I'll catch ya'll later
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Quoting DiddyVort:
12Z ECM...Monday:



Photobucket
I still like the idea of the storm being off the east coast of Florida, over the west coast. Upper level pattern supports the divergence there, and model consensus reflects this by showing the majority of the voritcity and precipitation over this region.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
LOL.... I was just thinking how FLAT FL is S of the I-10 line... 60 ft is like really high.... lol...

Course, I can't speak too loudly in the Bahamas, where 200+ ft is considered a "mountain"... lol

Surprisingly,...
.


The Island I live on.... now called Providenciales, was long referrred to locally as "Blue Hills" since that was what you first saw from the deck of a sailboat...

We got plenty hills... one area is now called "Blue Mountain" (The Jamaicans must LAUGH when they see that sign...)

Only island in Bahamas which can rival our elevations is Cat Island, with the Hermitage.

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The first squall here arrived about 10-20 minutes ago in Central Palm Beach Co. Nice driving rain, strong gusts, and some lightning.
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Phillipe reminds me of 3 days ago. lol
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Check the radar link here:

Link

Two features of interest...
1) Off the coast between Fort Pierce and West Palm Beach, there is a slight turning of the radar echoes. Now this is not the low pressure they mentioned, as that will develop farther south, but interesting nonetheless.

2) Just north of that, the cluster of heavy showers/storms off Melbourne... on the north edge of that is a boundary pushing northward (not sure if that is an outflow or frontal boundary being pushed north). I have noticed that winds have changed from the NE earlier today to E now.

Any ideas???
Member Since: March 19, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1147
Quoting FrankZapper:
Just in!

NHC has no circles for Atlantic basin.

That's not just in...
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32260
Quoting dfwstormwatch:
Wow! didnt think texas would see this for another 20 years...
...FLASH FLOOD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM 10 PM CDT THIS EVENING
THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN AMARILLO HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF OKLAHOMA AND TEXAS...
INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING AREAS...IN OKLAHOMA...BEAVER AND
TEXAS. IN TEXAS...ARMSTRONG...CARSON...COLLINGSWORTH...
DONLEY...GRAY...HANSFORD...HEMPHILL...HUTCHINSON.. .LIPSCOMB...
MOORE...OCHILTREE...POTTER...RANDALL...ROBERTS...S HERMAN AND
WHEELER.

* FROM 10 PM CDT THIS EVENING THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON

* SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS WILL DEVELOP LATER THIS EVENING AND
SLOWLY MOVE ACROSS THE TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES OVERNIGHT.
STORMS WILL PRODUCE LOCALLY HEAVY RAINFALL ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE
CENTRAL AND EASTERN TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA PANHANDLES...WHERE RAINFALL
AMOUNTS OF 2 TO 3 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE. ISOLATED AREAS MAY RECEIVE 3
TO 4 INCHES OF RAINFALL BENEATH THE STRONGER STORMS.

* HEAVY RAINFALL MAY CAUSE FLOODING OF LOW LYING AREAS CAUSING SMALL
STREAMS AND CREEKS TO OVERFLOW THEIR BANKS. IN MORE DEVELOPED
AREAS...HEAVY DOWNPOURS MAY FLOOD STREETS...INTERSECTIONS AND
UNDERPASSES. LOW LYING AREAS AND ADJACENT STRUCTURES WILL BE PRONE
TO FLASH FLOODING.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH MEANS THAT CONDITIONS MAY DEVELOP THAT LEAD
TO FLASH FLOODING. FLASH FLOODING IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION.

YOU SHOULD MONITOR LATER FORECASTS AND BE PREPARED TO TAKE ACTION
SHOULD FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS BE ISSUED.
glad to see texas getting the rain again
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Emergency Alert just activated in Miami-Dade and Broward
for very heavy rain and possible flooding alerts
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Just in!

NHC has no circles for Atlantic basin.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Oh now you are saving posts now huh? >:|
yep I couldn't post the post when I wanted to for some reason so I decided to mail it to myself and repost it later lolz
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Here's what I mean by the lower than normal Total Precipitable Water Values from 15N down to the equator over the tropical Atlantic so far this season (Jun-Aug)

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Quoting TomTaylor:
Here's an even older one for ya, TAWX13



Every layer of the atmosphere in the deep tropics (15N to the equator) has been below average in terms of relative and specific humidity so far this year (June to August). Outside of the deep tropics (15N to 30N), from 700mb to 300mb, the atmosphere has been above normal moisture content in terms of both relative and specific humidity. However, from the surface up to the 850mb level, this region outside of the deep tropics has also been drier than average. From this reanalysis data we can conclude the entire atmospheric profile of the deep tropics has been drier than normal, and that the areas outside of the deep tropics have also been drier than normal at the low levels of the atmosphere -- perhaps the most critical level of the atmosphere as far as humidity is concerned for hurricanes.

Check the reanalysis data for yourself if you don't believe me. TPW anomalies also show that from roughly 15N down to the equator the atmosphere has been drier than normal. Above that latitude the PWAT anomalies are above average, however, as I already mentioned the low levels of the atmosphere in these regions have been drier than average.

These conclusions would also explain quite well why the tropical Atlantic has been lacking in terms of vertical instability.

Oh now you are saving posts now huh? >:|
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32260
Re: #500 (-- ECFLweatherfan --) That is WILD! Hope we're gonna get some of that good rain here in SW Florida. My garden in the Cape is ready for a soaking. Can't say I wanna be blowing away at nearly 60 mph, though!

Anybody got a feel for whether that ULL is moving westwards enough to allow a low to form on the Gulf side?
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Quoting severstorm:

Ok i'll bite zephyrhills fl. ne of Tampa. I have rain showers windy up high above the ground. 69.3 temp 9.7mph and had .17 in the rain guage.
LOL.... I was just thinking how FLAT FL is S of the I-10 line... 60 ft is like really high.... lol...

Course, I can't speak too loudly in the Bahamas, where 200+ ft is considered a "mountain"... lol

Surprisingly, we're in the clear for now... but all week we've been having the off and on rain with gusty winds, mainly out of the east. It's been unseasonably cold by comparison with the last 10 or so years.... normally we don't start seeing low 70s overnight until the end of October.... However, like u guys, the rain is a boon; aside from our tropical visitor earlier this season, it's been a pretty dry spring / summer period in the Bahamas.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I don't think he is definite about not being definite with weather, because in this case, me being definite about the low pressure area is pretty definite, but he doesn't think so. He says being definite about the weather is definitely not definite, but I don't agree.

Do you definit-I mean, agree?

really well i think he is definite about you being definite about the low pressure but hes not definite about you being definite about him being not definite about the low definitely...
Member Since: July 31, 2011 Posts: 5 Comments: 888
Here's an even older one for ya, TAWX13

Quoting Levi32:


I say that because moisture levels have been above-normal in the entire tropical Atlantic all season long based on reanalysis. That might not make sense because almost every storm so far has struggled with dry air. The reason for that is not because there is an abnormally large amount of dry air around, but because the lack of instability makes the storms more vulnerable to the dry air that is already there, as well as self-produced dry air within collapsing thunderstorms.


Every layer of the atmosphere in the deep tropics (15N to the equator) has been below average in terms of relative and specific humidity so far this year (June to August). Outside of the deep tropics (15N to 30N), from 700mb to 300mb, the atmosphere has been above normal moisture content in terms of both relative and specific humidity. However, from the surface up to the 850mb level, this region outside of the deep tropics has also been drier than average. From this reanalysis data we can conclude the entire atmospheric profile of the deep tropics has been drier than normal, and that the areas outside of the deep tropics have also been drier than normal at the low levels of the atmosphere -- perhaps the most critical level of the atmosphere as far as humidity is concerned for hurricanes.

Check the reanalysis data for yourself if you don't believe me. TPW anomalies also show that from roughly 15N down to the equator the atmosphere has been drier than normal. Above that latitude the PWAT anomalies are above average, however, as I already mentioned the low levels of the atmosphere in these regions have been drier than average.

These conclusions would also explain quite well why the tropical Atlantic has been lacking in terms of vertical instability.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I don't think he is definite about not being definite with weather, because in this case, me being definite about the low pressure area is pretty definite, but he doesn't think so. He says being definite about the weather is definitely not definite, but I don't agree.

Do you definit-I mean, agree?
I'm definite about this definitiveness. I agree! :)
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I'm in Fot Lauderdale and there are strong rains coming through but breaks in between. Can't help but feel like there is something happening right over the state. Glad I didn't top up the pool :-)
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(((vortness)))
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I don't think he is definite about not being definite with weather, because in this case, me being definite about the low pressure area is pretty definite, but he doesn't think so. He says being definite about the weather is definitely not definite, but I don't agree.

Do you definit-I mean, agree?

What is this I don't even...
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Definitely not definite? O_o
for sure
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Quoting Neapolitan:
Since it's a little slow at the moment, thought you might like this somewhat weather-related, newly-posted video of nature doing its thing at the Cornish North Cliffs:



Newspaper story
awesome video, glad nobody was standing on that cliff as well
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Did you go through yesterday's blog entry just for that? XD
yep just to read all your comments of course

lol
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Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Definitely not definite? O_o

I don't think he is definite about not being definite with weather, because in this case, me being definite about the low pressure area is pretty definite, but he doesn't think so. He says being definite about the weather is definitely not definite, but I don't agree.

Do you definit-I mean, agree?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32260
Very heavy squall here in Merritt Island right now. I just recorded a wind gust to 56 mph. Torrential rain falling, lightning. And 0.58" in 10 minutes. Crazy!
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Quoting TomTaylor:
lol It's definitely not definite.

It's a bad idea to speak in absolutes in weather forecasts...




We still have a solid month left of the season under what is forecasted to be one of the strongest MJO pulses of the year, I wouldn't say that.

Definitely not definite? O_o
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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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