Rina rapidly intensifies into a hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:59 PM GMT on October 24, 2011

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Rina is now a hurricane, just 21 hours after becoming a tropical depression. An Air Force Reserve hurricane hunter aircraft found winds of 75 mph--Category 1 hurricane strength--at 1:40 pm EDT in the north eyewall of Rina, using their SFMR surface wind instrument. Winds at flight level of 5,000 feet peaked at 78 mph, which typically translates to surface winds of 62 mph. On their second pass through the eye at 3:30 pm EDT, the winds were about 5 mph less, but the central pressure had fallen by two millibars, to 989 mb. Visible satellite loops show that Rina now has an eye, and the storm is steadily expanding in size and developing an impressive upper-level outflow channel to the north. Wind shear is a moderate 15 - 20 knots due to strong upper-level winds out of the southeast, and these winds are injecting dry air into Rina's southeast side, inhibiting heavy thunderstorm development there. Water temperatures are very warm, 29 - 30°C, and these warm waters extend to great depth.


Figure 1. Afternoon satellite image of Rina. An intense thunderstorm with a top that reaches into the stratosphere is visible on the southwest side of the eye. These "hot towers" are commonly seen in hurricanes undergoing rapid intensification.

Rina in historical context
Rina intensified into a hurricane just 21 hours after the first advisory was issued for it as a tropical depression. This is the second fastest such intensification since record keeping began in 1851. Hurricane Humberto of 2007 holds the Atlantic record for fastest intensification from first advisory issued to hurricane strength--18 hours. (Actually, Humberto did the feat in 14 1/4 hours, but this was rounded off to 18 hours in the final data base, which stores points every six hours). There have been six storms that accomplished the feat in 24 hours. Rina's formation brings this year's tally of hurricanes to six, which is average for an Atlantic hurricane season. The number of named storms this season is now seventeen, making it the 7th busiest Atlantic hurricane season since record keeping began in 1851. Only 2005, 1933, 1995, 1887, 2010, and 1969 had more named storms. However, 2011 has had an unusually low percentage of its named storms reach hurricane strength. Only 35% of this year's named storms have made it to hurricane strength, and normally 55 - 60% of all named storms intensify to hurricane strength in the Atlantic. The rare combination of near-record ocean temperatures but unusually dry, stable air over the Atlantic is no doubt at least partially responsible for this very unusual occurrence.


Figure 2. Microwave satellite image from 11:39 am EDT October 24, 2011, showing that Rina had a partially complete eyewall, which was open on the east side. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Forecast for Rina
The hurricane hunters found an elliptical eyewall that had a gap in it during their 3:30 pm eye penetration. The aircraft measured a temperature difference of 6°C between the eye and the region outside the eye, which is difficult to get unless an eyewall is on its way to completion. Rina will need to complete its eyewall if it is to intensify into a major hurricane. Given the fact wind shear is not expected to increase until Wednesday, Rina has a 2-day period to close off an eyewall and intensify, and it will probably reach Category 3 or Category 4 strength by Wednesday. On Wednesday, Rina will encounter a dry airmass with high wind shear that lies over the extreme northwestern Caribbean. These conditions should weaken the hurricane, but Rina could still be a major hurricane if it makes landfall in the Yucatan Peninsula on Wednesday or Thursday.

A trough of low pressure is predicted to pass to the north of Rina late this week, and now that the hurricane is expected to be a Category 2 or stronger storm, the chances for Rina to make it farther north and affect the Florida Keys and Southwest Florida have increased. The latest 8 am EDT runs of the GFDL and HWRF models both predict that Rina will pass through the Yucatan Channel on Thursday and make landfall on Friday in the Florida Keys or extreme Southwest Florida, south of Naples. The NOGAPS and GFS models predict a weaker storm, and keep Rina trapped in the Caribbean. I think it is more likely that Rina will pass through the Keys. If Rina does make it to the Keys, it would likely be as a tropical storm, since wind shear, dry air, and possible land interaction with Western Cuba and Mexico would potentially knock down the storm's strength. Heavy rains from Rina should begin affecting Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, northern Belize, and extreme Western Cuba on Wednesday. Rina's intensification into a hurricane over the Western Caribbean during the last half of October bring to mind Hurricane Wilma, which also performed such a feat in 2005. Wilma went on to become a Category 5 monster, the strongest Atlantic hurricane of all-time. I don't think Rina will be another Wilma, even though the ocean temperatures and total heat content are similar to what Wilma experienced. Wilma had nearly ideal upper-level atmospheric conditions with an anticyclone aloft and light wind shear, under 5 knots. Rina is experiencing 15 - 20 knots of wind shear and is also a smaller storm, and is thus more vulnerable to the effects of wind shear and dry air.

97L approaching ABC islands
A broad region of low pressure approaching the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao (Invest 97L), is moving west-northwest at 10 mph. Heavy thunderstorm activity has increased today, but the activity is not organized into spiral bands, as is apparent from Curacao radar. 97L is surrounded by a large region of dry air, and this dry air will retard development. 97L is under low wind shear less than 10 knots, and this shear is expected to remain low through Thursday. By the time 97L reaches the region between Jamaica and Nicaragua in the Central Caribbean on Thursday or Friday, the storm should find a moister environment, and could develop into a tropical depression. However, none of the reliable models are predicting that 97L will develop. NHC is giving 97L just a 10% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Wednesday. I put the odds higher, at 20%.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting WeatherfanPR:


OMG, they are the experts and their confidence is very low !!! Oh Wow !!!
Post #111 was made to help clarify this. :)
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Rina undoubtedly continues to intensify...the winds are just taking their time to catch up.

000
URNT12 KNHC 242104
VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL182011
A. 24/20:42:20Z
B. 17 deg 09 min N
083 deg 03 min W
C. 850 mb 1310 m
D. 60 kt
E. 162 deg 10 nm
F. 272 deg 74 kt
G. 162 deg 10 nm
H. 987 mb
I. 17 C / 1523 m
J. 22 C / 1525 m
K. 14 C / NA
L. NA
M. NA
N. 12345 / 8
O. 0.02 / 2 nm
P. AF306 0218A RINA OB 19
MAX FL WIND 74 KT S QUAD 20:39:00Z
Strong banding around center from 300 to 020 degrees
;
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Good to see the blog a little more active, although not as active as it used to be... due to wonderful people leaving. But I also think the tropics have lulled us to sleep over the past several weeks, so it is good to have something to talk about out there. Unfortunately, it is not good what may happen to the Yucatan, Cuba (and perhaps even parts of FL, if current modeling holds).

Thank you Dr. Jeff for your update... always appreciated!
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Also.. in regards to the track uncertainty... The next front coming down into the Gulf Coast states is causing the problem. The models are predicting a strong and fast front, but the low that is spinning the front down is expected to deepen further west than normal, which isn't adding up to an especially fast frontal motion. The low hanging back west also means the upper trough will likely be hanging back. This upper trough is what should be ejecting Rina out to the NE.

So... if the upper trough lags, Rina can push more west before recurving out to the NE. If the trough is weak, the turn won't be as sharp. If the trough has more time to deepen, the turn can be sharper, and the forward motion will be faster, too. Oh... and the deeper the trough, the greater the shear.

Lots of moving parts. If you can do better, I'm sure the NWS and NHC would love to hire you.
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110. Gorty
Grrr the GFS is already starting and its not winter! It has the snow storm just to my east... pull it back please! But this is good news for eastern New England.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
..RINA TURNS WEST-NORTHWESTWARD...EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN...
5:00 PM EDT Mon Oct 24
Location: 17.1°N 83.1°W
Max sustained: 75 mph
Moving: WNW at 3 mph
Min pressure: 989 mb

Someone help please, the last fix showed a jog to NE, yet, Rina turns WNW as per NHC, This is why some clearly criticize the NHC and rightfully so, just sayin....
based on satalite its been moving more wnw then nw so they went with the call
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With the ridge currently building in overhead and improving structure of Rina, there should be quite a show tonight.
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Quoting jeffs713:

They are just calling it like it is. Whenever you have a new system that is behaving unpredictably (likely due in part the the coarse resolution of the major global models), and the models are all over the place, its the best option. Which would you rather have: the NHC saying "our confidence is low in the long-term track", or "We are guessing the storm may end up in FL, or it could plow into Cuba. Or maybe Mexico. Outside chance of hitting Belize."

I'd much rather take them saying "our long-term confidence in the storm's track is low, because the models had entirely too much to drink last night."


OMG, they are the experts and their confidence is very low !!! Oh Wow !!!
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Quoting scott39:
A jog doesnt not call for a change in direction from the NHC. I think it has to go the same direction for 6 hours to change it.


correct Tropical storms and hurricanes wobble all the time imagine how many course changes they would need if they adjusted every hour instead of 6. Right now this system is pretty much stationary
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Remind me to not travel with the meteorologist there. ;-)


I actually got to sit next to Bill Reed on a flight out of Tampa back to Fort Lauderdale. Didn't recognize him but noticed his bag with the logo so asked him about it and that's when he introduced himself. Nice guy and we all joked about getting the generator AFTER Wilma and how we've been good since.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
..RINA TURNS WEST-NORTHWESTWARD...EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN...
5:00 PM EDT Mon Oct 24
Location: 17.1°N 83.1°W
Max sustained: 75 mph
Moving: WNW at 3 mph
Min pressure: 989 mb

Someone help please, the last fix showed a jog to NE, yet, Rina turns WNW as per NHC, This is why some clearly criticize the NHC and rightfully so, just sayin....
A jog doesnt not call for a change in direction from the NHC. I think it has to go the same direction for 6 hours to change it.
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:

yes stormpetrol stand up for you right and safty the \
NHC needs to start reading the full data from the HH
One wobble does not make a course change.

If you are driving west on I-10, and change lanes, does that mean you are suddenly are going WNW or even NW?
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
On a totally non-tropical weather note, Colorado will see its first real Winter storm this season...Winter Storm Watches are in effect for the Denver area.


YAY! WINTER! (does that mean SE TX gets rain?)
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Quoting stormpetrol:
..RINA TURNS WEST-NORTHWESTWARD...EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN...
5:00 PM EDT Mon Oct 24
Location: 17.1°N 83.1°W
Max sustained: 75 mph
Moving: WNW at 3 mph
Min pressure: 989 mb

Someone help please, the last fix showed a jog to NE, yet, Rina turns WNW as per NHC, This is why some clearly criticize the NHC and rightfully so, just sayin....

yes stormpetrol stand up for you right and safty the \
NHC needs to start reading the full data from the HH
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
Quoting WeatherfanPR:



oh really ? this is not good coming from the NHC then.

They are just calling it like it is. Whenever you have a new system that is behaving unpredictably (likely due in part the the coarse resolution of the major global models), and the models are all over the place, its the best option. Which would you rather have: the NHC saying "our confidence is low in the long-term track", or "We are guessing the storm may end up in FL, or it could plow into Cuba. Or maybe Mexico. Outside chance of hitting Belize."

I'd much rather take them saying "our long-term confidence in the storm's track is low, because the models had entirely too much to drink last night."
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On a totally non-tropical weather note, Colorado will see its first real Winter storm this season...Winter Storm Watches are in effect for the Denver area.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32825
Quoting jeffs713:

They do that all the time. I remember seeing it several times this year.



oh really ? this is not good coming from the NHC then.
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Quoting HurricaneSwirl:
WOW. I've been busy with school, and the last time I checked this website (yesterday around lunch time) we had a disorganized looking invest. I am shocked to come home from school right now and find a hurricane.

They are already comparing this to wilma, odd right?
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The midnight UTC model runs will likely shed some light on the situation, but model tracks really won't improve until the HH data is put in (06UTC?), and especially when the upper-air data from the G-IV flight is put in.

For all those wishing for Wilma, or a pinhole eye, or CHAOSDEATHDESTRUCTIONWHEE... please do your homework. Rina barely has an eye, and absolutely doesn't have the environment to become another Wilma-like storm. SFL will likely get some rain, and possible TS winds from Rina, but based on the environment she is in, it isn't looking good for her holding together long enough to do significant damage to FL. Now the Rivera Maya, on the other hand...
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WOW. I've been busy with school, and the last time I checked this website (yesterday around lunch time) we had a disorganized looking invest. I am shocked to come home from school right now and find a hurricane.
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dropsound has 987 which should be the official pressure still a 2 mb drop in 1 hour
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986.1 mbar with a 10 mph wind...This means Rina's actual pressure is at 985 mbar, or roundabout.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32825
I believe I did drop the word rapid this morning and monster refering to Rina. pat-pat myself on the back. Lucky guess more like it! Haha
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I say the forecast for H rina will lies between the OFCI and the GFS/AVNO
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 12716
Watch the 8pm model runs...They will be better to accurately predict the future motion of Rina. The models have been in two camps 1. a weak system likely being trapped in the Carribean and the 2nd camp suggesting a much stronger system being affected by the trough in the US and pulling Rina north and then northeast. Once the models come to a better agreement then they will adjust the forecast of Rina in later periods.

I'm hoping to be in Key West for partying this Saturday.. I hope that Rina will not spoil my plans
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Quoting Ameister12:

90-100mph.

Agreed, maybe 105.
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Quoting WeatherfanPR:
It's the first time I remember to see this in a Discussion of a Tropical Cyclone in the Atlantic Basin.


GIVEN THE EXTREMELY LARGE SPREAD IN THE GUIDANCE...AND THE POOR RUN
TO RUN CONSISTENCY...THERE IS MUCH LOWER THAN NORMAL CONFIDENCE IN
THE LONG-RANGE TRACK FORECAST OF RINA.


They do that all the time. I remember seeing it several times this year.
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Quoting Speeky:
What do you think Rina will reach by the end of the day.

I think Rina may be a catagory 3.

90-100mph.
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Time: 20:42:00Z
Coordinates: 17.1333N 83.0333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 843.7 mb (~ 24.91 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,375 meters (~ 4,511 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 986.1 mb (~ 29.12 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 218° at 7 knots (From the SW at ~ 8.0 mph)
Air Temp: 21.5°C (~ 70.7°F)
Dew Pt: 13.9°C (~ 57.0°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 10 knots (~ 11.5 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 9 knots (~ 10.3 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr (~ 0 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

probably the 3 rd fix , right on top of the last one!( stationary)
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It's the first time I remember to see this in a Discussion of a Tropical Cyclone in the Atlantic Basin.


GIVEN THE EXTREMELY LARGE SPREAD IN THE GUIDANCE...AND THE POOR RUN
TO RUN CONSISTENCY...THERE IS MUCH LOWER THAN NORMAL CONFIDENCE IN
THE LONG-RANGE TRACK FORECAST OF RINA.

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79. islander101010 4:56 PM EDT on October 24, 2011 +0
i would not poof anyone there are only 60 comments with the atlantic humming along.

This is the 2nd blog today, you do realize that?
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Quoting responderkv:
Us Cozumelenos would like to forget Wilma after passing the 6yr. anniversary just last week.
We are sure hoping that Rina is not a Wilma redux.
Our economy has never recovered completely since Wilma '05, the US economic crisis '08 and then the false H1N1A flu '09 (never ever a case in Cozumel, '11 European economic crisis). It's been a tough 6 yrs.
I guess we'll just wait for the end of the world. It's less than 14 months away.
In the midst of, just in case preparation.


:(
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*Click on the image to open it in a new window. The image can be further magnified there.*
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i would not poof anyone there are only 60 comments with the atlantic humming along.
Quoting Speeky:
I love the idea that anything can happen with Rina. As long as it does not cause deaths. I am fine seeing this storm become another Wilma. I can't wait to see what she can do
it wont matter but rina should not have this name i
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 5001
Us Cozumelenos would like to forget Wilma after passing the 6yr. anniversary just last week.
We are sure hoping that Rina is not a Wilma redux.
Our economy has never recovered completely since Wilma '05, the US economic crisis '08 and then the false H1N1A flu '09 (never ever a case in Cozumel, '11 European economic crisis). It's been a tough 6 yrs.
I guess we'll just wait for the end of the world. It's less than 14 months away.
In the midst of, just in case preparation.

Don't mention Mitch, either. Would like to forget 'em all.
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What do you think Rina will reach by the end of the day.

I think Rina may be a catagory 3.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Is that a...? No, I'm not going to say it...PINHOLE EYE?!


Could be. Hope not.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
..RINA TURNS WEST-NORTHWESTWARD...EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN...
5:00 PM EDT Mon Oct 24
Location: 17.1°N 83.1°W
Max sustained: 75 mph
Moving: WNW at 3 mph
Min pressure: 989 mb

Someone help please, the last fix showed a jog to NE, yet, Rina turns WNW as per NHC, This is why some clearly criticize the NHC and rightfully so, just sayin....
Couldn't part of the problem be the area the storm is in? I read the book on "The Phantom" which was lost in Hurricane Mitch. The NHC had a hard time calling that one. In fact the book basically blamed the NHC for the erroneous forcasts that contributed to the loss of the boat.
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Quoting stormpetrol:
..RINA TURNS WEST-NORTHWESTWARD...EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN...
5:00 PM EDT Mon Oct 24
Location: 17.1°N 83.1°W
Max sustained: 75 mph
Moving: WNW at 3 mph
Min pressure: 989 mb

Someone help please, the last fix showed a jog to NE, yet, Rina turns WNW as per NHC, This is why some clearly criticize the NHC and rightfully so, just sayin....

I told kman last night, the NHC uses long-term motion, not these little wobbles. The long term motion is still towards the west northwest.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32825
herberts box 2 action,nah....it'll weaken into a reminant low going by north of kw,to much sheer and dry air ahead
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..RINA TURNS WEST-NORTHWESTWARD...EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN...
5:00 PM EDT Mon Oct 24
Location: 17.1°N 83.1°W
Max sustained: 75 mph
Moving: WNW at 3 mph
Min pressure: 989 mb

Someone help please, the last fix showed a jog to NE, yet, Rina turns WNW as per NHC, This is why some clearly criticize the NHC and rightfully so, just sayin....
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Quoting chrisdscane:



i think the nhc is wayyyy off on their track


Just remember, the NHC predicted Rina to not form and be over Central America.
So I'm sure they're just scatching their heads. They had no idea Rina would be a strengthening hurricane today

Yesterday THC had Rina staying a Topical Storm and not even becoming a hurricane.
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986mb!!
Time: 20:42:30Z
Coordinates: 17.1333N 83.0333W
Acft. Static Air Press: 843.7 mb (~ 24.91 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,375 meters (~ 4,511 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 986.3 mb (~ 29.13 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 291 at 3 knots (From the WNW at ~ 3.4 mph)
Air Temp: 20.9C (~ 69.6F)
Dew Pt: 14.1C (~ 57.4F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 5 knots (~ 5.8 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 10 knots (~ 11.5 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 0 mm/hr (~ 0 in/hr)
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Is that a...? No, I'm not going to say it...PINHOLE EYE?!

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32825
I love the idea that anything can happen with Rina. As long as it does not cause deaths. I am fine seeing this storm become another Wilma. I can't wait to see what she can do
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i think the nhc is wayyyy off on their track
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Quoting Saltydogbwi1:


2 days ago the gfs had a strong storm in the nw carib but then dropped it for some reason and hasnt really shown it since dunno why


Yeah, a couple days ago GFS was predicting a hurricane crossing Cuba. Then it just dropped it. Ever since its been way off the mark with development.
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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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