Category 4 Kenneth the strongest East Pacific late-season hurricane on record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:43 PM GMT on November 22, 2011

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Hurricane Kenneth has intensified into an impressive Category 4 storm with 145 mph winds in the Eastern Pacific. Kenneth is by far the strongest hurricane to appear so late in the season in the Eastern Pacific; the previous record was held by Hurricane Winnie of December 5, 1983, a Category 1 storm with 90 mph winds. There has not been an Atlantic hurricane as strong as Kenneth this late in the season, either; the latest of the seven November major hurricanes in the Atlantic was Hurricane Kate of November 21, 1985 (120 mph winds). Since 1949, here have been just three named storms that have formed in the Eastern Pacific after November 18. These three storms were an unnamed tropical storm on November 27, 1951; Tropical Storm Sharon on November 27, 1971; and Hurricane Winnie on December 5, 1983.

Kenneth is over 27°C waters and under light wind shear of 5 - 10 knots, so could conceivably intensify further. However, I expect the storm has peaked, since it's tough for a hurricane to get much stronger than Kenneth's current intensity with ocean temperatures so close to the 26.5°C hurricane formation threshold. Satellite loops show an impressive storm with a large eye, good symmetry, and plenty of upper-level outflow. The relative lack of spiral bands and large, thick eyewall may qualify Kenneth to be a rare breed of hurricanes known as "annular". Annular hurricanes are a subset of intense tropical cyclones that are significantly stronger, maintain their peak intensities longer, and weaken more slowly than average tropical cyclones. The latest SHIPS model output indicates that Kenneth has passed the initial screening step to be considered an annular hurricane. Only 4% of all hurricanes are annular hurricanes.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Hurricane Kenneth.

Unnamed tropical storm from September 2 brings the Atlantic's 2011 tally to 19
Re-analysis has shown that a tropical disturbance that formed between Bermuda and Nova Scotia on September 2 briefly attained tropical storm status, according to an article posted yesterday by Ken Kaye at SunSentinel.com, quoting NOAA's lead seasonal hurricane forecaster Gerry Bell. The addition of the unnamed tropical storm to the record books brings this year's tally of named storms to nineteen, tying 2011 with 2010, 1995, and 1887 as the 3rd busiest year for tropical storms. Only 2005 and 1933 had more named storms since record keeping began in 1851. An average season has just eleven named storms. Here's my blog entry from September 2 on the unnamed tropical storm:

A well-organized low pressure system with a surface circulation but limited heavy thunderstorm activity due to high wind shear is 450 miles south of Halifax, Canada. This disturbance, (94L), is headed northeast out to sea, and is being given a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression by NHC. 94L is under a high 25 - 30 knots of wind shear, but this shear is expected to fall to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, by Saturday morning. However, sea surface temperature will fall from 27°C today to 25°C Saturday morning underneath 94L, and the storm will have a very short window of time to get organized enough to get a name. At this point, it's really a subjective judgement call on whether or not 94L is already a tropical storm.

In addition, the Atlantic has gained one more hurricane for the year, as Nate was upgraded to a hurricane in post-season analysis. Nate hit Mexico's Bay of Campeche coast near Veracruz on September 11 as a weak tropical storm. The storm killed five people and caused minor damage near Veracruz. Nate brings this year's tally of hurricanes to seven, one hurricane above average.


Figure 2. True-color MODIS image of Tropical Storm Nate taken at 12:45 pm EDT Friday, September 9, 2011. At the time, Nate was a tropical storm with 50 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Invest 99L in the Atlantic moving over colder waters
In the Atlantic, Invest 99L, an extratropical storm in the middle Atlantic that is generating tropical storm-force winds, has moved over colder waters of 24°C and is looking less tropical than yesterday. The storm is moving northeastwards out to sea and over even colder waters, and is not a threat to any land areas. NHC is giving 99L a 10% chance of becoming a named subtropical storm.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting HurrikanEB:

Tell you one thing...

This:


is Not 10mph weaker than This:




that is not a cat 4 at lest not any more are hurricane is weaking and fast it could be a TS by wed AM and poof by thursday AM mid day if this rate of weaking keeps up
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115439


LOOKS like Bank of America is in serious trouble.....


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- It's time for Bank of America to start wrestling with some existential questions.
The embattled financial institution's share price, already down 59% this year, hovered near its 2-year-low of $5.13 on a report in The Wall Street Journal that it was having difficulty meeting US financial regulatory requirements.
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Quoting interstatelover7165:
what's the first storm?

Same storm -- The first image is Kenneth earlier in the day, when it had peak winds of 145 mph.
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Quoting cyclonekid:
Hmmm. . .I have a question

1. NORTH INDIAN OCEAN AREA (MALAY PENINSULA WEST TO COAST OF AFRICA):
A. TROPICAL CYCLONE SUMMARY: NONE.
B. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY:
(1) AN AREA OF CONVECTION HAS PERSISTED NEAR 3.2N 89.5E,
APPROXIMATELY 510 NM EAST-SOUTHEAST OF SRI LANKA. ANIMATED INFRARED
SATELLITE IMAGERY REVEALED A DISTURBED AREA OF CYCLONIC CIRCULATION
TO THE EAST-SOUTHEAST OF SRI LANKA. THIS AREA IS ON THE NORTHERN
PERIPHERY OF AN EQUATORIAL BUFFER CELL IN SURFACE ANALYSIS.
UPPER
LEVEL ANALYSIS SHOWS THE AREA IS LOCATED UNDER A SMALL POCKET OF
UPPER LEVEL DIVERGENCE, APPROXIMATELY 10 DEGREES SOUTH OF A RIDGE
AXIS. SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES IN THIS AREA ARE 29-30 DEGREES
CELSIUS. GLOBAL MODELS HAVE BEEN AGGRESSIVELY BUILDING THIS
CIRCULATION INTO A TROPICAL STORM OVER THE NEXT 48-60 HOURS. MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS ARE ESTIMATED AT 10 TO 15 KNOTS. MINIMUM SEA
LEVEL PRESSURE IS ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR 1008 MB. THE POTENTIAL FOR
THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE WITHIN THE NEXT 24
HOURS IS LOW.

What is an Equatorial Buffer Cell?


If I'm not mistaken, they are equatorial zones which separate the tropical easterlies and the monsoonal westerlies.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Hmmm. . .I have a question

1. NORTH INDIAN OCEAN AREA (MALAY PENINSULA WEST TO COAST OF AFRICA):
A. TROPICAL CYCLONE SUMMARY: NONE.
B. TROPICAL DISTURBANCE SUMMARY:
(1) AN AREA OF CONVECTION HAS PERSISTED NEAR 3.2N 89.5E,
APPROXIMATELY 510 NM EAST-SOUTHEAST OF SRI LANKA. ANIMATED INFRARED
SATELLITE IMAGERY REVEALED A DISTURBED AREA OF CYCLONIC CIRCULATION
TO THE EAST-SOUTHEAST OF SRI LANKA. THIS AREA IS ON THE NORTHERN
PERIPHERY OF AN EQUATORIAL BUFFER CELL IN SURFACE ANALYSIS.
UPPER
LEVEL ANALYSIS SHOWS THE AREA IS LOCATED UNDER A SMALL POCKET OF
UPPER LEVEL DIVERGENCE, APPROXIMATELY 10 DEGREES SOUTH OF A RIDGE
AXIS. SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURES IN THIS AREA ARE 29-30 DEGREES
CELSIUS. GLOBAL MODELS HAVE BEEN AGGRESSIVELY BUILDING THIS
CIRCULATION INTO A TROPICAL STORM OVER THE NEXT 48-60 HOURS. MAXIMUM
SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS ARE ESTIMATED AT 10 TO 15 KNOTS. MINIMUM SEA
LEVEL PRESSURE IS ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR 1008 MB. THE POTENTIAL FOR
THE DEVELOPMENT OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE WITHIN THE NEXT 24
HOURS IS LOW.

What is an Equatorial Buffer Cell?
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thunderstorms starting to pick up from the NWS Radar in Raleigh...gon be interestin night tonight, hopefully notin bad happens
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting HurrikanEB:

Tell you one thing...

This:


is Not 10mph weaker than This:

what's the first storm?
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218. j2008
Quoting HurrikanEB:


One thing's for sure...

This:


is Not 10mph weaker than This:


Maybe the NHC is thinking this is a really bad EWRC. LOL
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Quoting HurrikanEB:


Tell you one thing... That is Not 10mph weaker than This:



AMEN to that. more like boundary Cat 2/3...went thru rapid intensification. time for rapid weakening!
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting SPLbeater:


blah...more like 115mph 3

Tell you one thing...

This:


is Not 10mph weaker than This:

Member Since: May 2, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1344
Quoting trunkmonkey:
Kenneth is Bushes Fault!

Always is and always will be!


XD
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Quoting HurrikanEB:
135mph Kenneth?... category 4 in action :/




blah...more like 115mph 3
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
135mph Kenneth?... category 4 in action :/

Edit: Image moved to next post to avoid repost.
Member Since: May 2, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1344
Kenneth is Bushes Fault!

Always is and always will be!
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Quoting HurrikanEB:


135mph, per latest advisory... minimal 4 :/

That's ridiculous.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Minimal Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale...at most.



135mph, per latest advisory... minimal 4 :/

7:00 PM PST Tue Nov 22
Location: 12.5%uFFFDN 115.6%uFFFDW
Max sustained: 135 mph
Moving: W at 10 mph
Min pressure: 949 mb

".AND THIS
INTENSITY COULD BE A LITTLE GENEROUS."
Member Since: May 2, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 1344
Quoting wxgeek723:


More like May.


ah. so, season start in december? either way, im behind my usual preparing days(early november, late october) for that basin
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting SPLbeater:


was getting worried, i ddint have tracking chart and the season is about if not already started. guess November is the southern hemispheres' june?


More like May.
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Quoting Articuno:

lol..


missed a step felt myself go backwards..but grabed the wall heh
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting SPLbeater:
i almost fell down the stairs

lol..
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2553
Quoting cyclonekid:
No problem! Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclones are always interesting to track. It's the exact thing as looking at the Atlantic, just backwards. Awesome! :)


was getting worried, i ddint have tracking chart and the season is about if not already started. guess November is the southern hemispheres' june?
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting SPLbeater:


big thanks man. have this site on fvorites, but couldnt git the map to work. works here, not sure whats up with that lol. time to print!
No problem! Southern Hemisphere tropical cyclones are always interesting to track. It's the exact thing as looking at the Atlantic, just backwards. Awesome! :)
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Quoting cyclonekid:


Indian Ocean
SW Pacific
SE pacific


big thanks man. have this site on fvorites, but couldnt git the map to work. works here, not sure whats up with that lol. time to print!
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Minimal Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale...at most.

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Cat 4? Really? More like Cat 2 or 1.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Just a little while ago, SAB came back with a T# of 5.0, which is 105 mph. TAFB on the other hand, came out with a T# of 6.0, which is 135 mph. The NHC will probably go right down the middle, at 5.5, which is 120 mph.

Or, they could go with ATCF, and go with 135 mph.
kenneth is not stronger than a cat 2. eyewall collapsing eye lost thats what happens when you hit just slightly cooler waters and wind shear. looks to me like a 90mph hurricane
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Quoting SPLbeater:
i almost fell down the stairs

lol....why?
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i almost fell down the stairs
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Just a little while ago, SAB came back with a T# of 5.0, which is 105 mph. TAFB on the other hand, came out with a T# of 6.0, which is 135 mph. The NHC will probably go right down the middle, at 5.5, which is 120 mph.

Or, they could go with ATCF, and go with 135 mph.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
ADT T#'s range anywhere from 4.5 (90 mph) to 5.5 (120 mph).

Nothing supports Kenneth being a Category 4 hurricane.


I'd take the middle and say 5.0 (~105mph)
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ADT T#'s range anywhere from 4.5 (90 mph) to 5.5 (120 mph).

Nothing supports Kenneth being a Category 4 hurricane.
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Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Any thoughts?



Looks like a moderate tropical storm now. :P
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Quoting SPLbeater:
can ANYBODY get me a link to blank tracking chart for Indian ocean and SW pacific? any help will be hugely appreciated


Indian Ocean
SW Pacific
SE pacific
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can ANYBODY get me a link to blank tracking chart for Indian ocean and SW pacific? any help will be hugely appreciated
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Invest 99L may not be done after all. Winds have increased since the last update, and satellite imagery shows a more "Subtropical" look to it. It is frontal in nature right now, but don't be surprised if it breaks away. Additionally, all day long, SAB/TAFB have come back with "ST1.5".



see, thats what i was trying to tell yal! :D
Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4488
18Z GFS develops a weak subtropical/tropical storm from the tail end of the front about to go through the Northeast over the next few days, but drops it by hour 180.

Link
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thanks for cutting off fpl sound. i was sick of the ad saying how wonderful fpl takes care of the people they raised their prices and that is all that matters.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Invest 99L may not be done after all. Winds have increased since the last update, and satellite imagery shows a more "Subtropical" look to it. It is frontal in nature right now, but don't be surprised if it breaks away. Additionally, all day long, SAB/TAFB have come back with "ST1.5".



Maybe this is the situation the models were depicting.
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Invest 99L may not be done after all. Winds have increased since the last update, and satellite imagery shows a more "Subtropical" look to it. It is frontal in nature right now, but don't be surprised if it breaks away. Additionally, all day long, SAB/TAFB have come back with "ST1.5".

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Kenneth is definitely not a Category 4 hurricane any longer...Probably around 125 mph at this current time.

Oh well... :P

And it doesn't even look that strong. I'm sure they'll get the numbers right in the end...
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Quoting Neapolitan:
EP, 13, 2011112300, , BEST, 0, 125N, 1153W, 115, 949, HU, 64, NEQ, 35, 25, 20, 35, 1012, 180, 20, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, KENNETH, D,

AL, 99, 2011112300, , BEST, 0, 313N, 447W, 40, 1004, LO, 34, NEQ, 220, 150, 0, 0,

Kenneth is definitely not a Category 4 hurricane any longer...Probably around 125 mph at this current time.

Oh well... :P
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Kenneth down to 115 knots (still Cat 4):

EP, 13, 2011112300, , BEST, 0, 125N, 1153W, 115, 949, HU, 64, NEQ, 35, 25, 20, 35, 1012, 180, 20, 0, 0, E, 0, , 0, 0, KENNETH, D,

...and 99L's pressure is down and winds are up a bit:

AL, 99, 2011112300, , BEST, 0, 313N, 447W, 40, 1004, LO, 34, NEQ, 220, 150, 0, 0,
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Quoting Cotillion:


Regardless of whatever semantics you want to use to keep yourself happy, it is still an interesting story as it backs up from a similar one two years ago.

Makes you wonder about the security. Being done over once is embarrassing, but twice just seems negligent. Unless it was leaked on purpose.

The timing of the release certainly seems to be.


The emails were from the same crack, not a new one.
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Quoting Grothar:


Makes perfect sense to me. Our weather reports says, "Partly rainy all day. Chance of rain near 100%



I will tell you that we would Party in the rain all day even if it only rained for a part of the day! I will tell you it has been soooooo dry here ...... Oh, it is Partly and not Party. ........... never mind. ... sigh
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4768
Going back over some of the ADT T#'s, I believe that Tropical Depression Ten was a tropical storm at one point. Going plainly off of ADT T#'s, the system was a 45 mph TS. We'll see what the NHC does....

011AUG26 140000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.8 3.0 3.2 0.5T/hour OFF OFF -2.72 -11.61 SHEAR N/A 14.83 34.15 FCST
2011AUG26 141500 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.8 3.1 3.2 0.5T/hour OFF OFF -0.63 -11.04 SHEAR N/A 14.85 34.17 FCST
2011AUG26 143000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.8 2.1 1.0 0.5T/hour OFF OFF -1.59 -11.55 SHEAR N/A 14.87 34.19 FCST
2011AUG26 144500 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.7 2.1 1.0 0.5T/hour ON OFF -2.23 -10.92 SHEAR N/A 14.88 34.22 FCST
2011AUG26 150000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.7 2.2 1.0 0.5T/hour ON OFF -4.53 -10.23 SHEAR N/A 14.90 34.20 FCST
2011AUG26 151500 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.6 2.2 1.0 0.5T/hour ON OFF -11.80 -9.60 SHEAR N/A 14.92 34.22 FCST
2011AUG26 153000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.6 2.2 1.0 0.5T/hour ON OFF -18.00 -9.73 SHEAR N/A 14.93 34.24 FCST
2011AUG26 154500 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.5 2.2 1.0 0.5T/hour ON OFF -14.18 -9.29 SHEAR N/A 14.95 34.26 FCST
2011AUG26 160000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.5 2.3 1.0 0.5T/hour ON OFF -11.44 -9.10 SHEAR N/A 14.96 34.28 FCST
2011AUG26 161500 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.5 2.3 1.0 0.5T/hour ON OFF -9.83 -9.78 SHEAR N/A 14.98 34.30 FCST
2011AUG26 163000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.4 2.3 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -6.03 -9.53 SHEAR N/A 15.00 34.32 FCST
2011AUG26 164500 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.3 2.2 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -8.26 -10.07 SHEAR N/A 15.01 34.34 FCST
2011AUG26 170000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.3 2.2 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -7.40 -9.91 SHEAR N/A 15.03 34.36 FCST
2011AUG26 171500 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.2 2.1 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG 1.10 -10.51 SHEAR N/A 15.04 34.38 FCST
2011AUG26 173000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.1 2.1 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG 0.32 -10.44 SHEAR N/A 15.06 34.40 FCST
2011AUG26 174500 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.1 2.0 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -3.04 -10.23 SHEAR N/A 15.08 34.42 FCST
2011AUG26 180000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.1 2.0 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -5.03 -9.96 SHEAR N/A 15.09 34.44 FCST
2011AUG26 181500 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.1 2.0 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -8.78 -9.20 SHEAR N/A 15.11 34.46 FCST
2011AUG26 183000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.1 1.9 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -12.89 -8.34 SHEAR N/A 15.13 34.47 FCST
2011AUG26 184500 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.1 1.8 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -10.54 -7.81 SHEAR N/A 15.14 34.49 FCST
2011AUG26 190000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.0 1.8 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -9.66 -7.16 SHEAR N/A 15.16 34.51 FCST
2011AUG26 191500 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 2.0 1.7 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -7.40 -7.12 SHEAR N/A 15.18 34.53 FCST
2011AUG26 193000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 1.9 1.6 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -6.37 -7.15 SHEAR N/A 15.19 34.55 FCST
2011AUG26 194500 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 1.9 1.6 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -6.20 -7.23 SHEAR N/A 15.21 34.57 FCST
2011AUG26 200000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 1.8 1.6 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -3.86 -6.83 SHEAR N/A 15.23 34.59 FCST
2011AUG26 203000 2.8 1002.0/ +0.0 / 41.0 1.8 1.6 1.0 0.5T/hour ON FLG -0.15 -5.68 SHEAR N/A 15.26 34.63 FCST
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Quoting pottery:

As one of the Newspapers said today, the floods yesterday were the result of "Brief, Persistent showers..."

Does that answer your question?
I'm still trying to make sense of it!

But yes, plenty rain, some showers have been very heavy. Fortunately, they have been pretty localised. But when it rains like this in the Valleys it can get serious.


Makes perfect sense to me. Our weather reports says, "Partly rainy all day. Chance of rain near 100%
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177. Skyepony (Mod)
Kenneth has been marginally annular all day..

Here's the last analysis..

## ANNULAR HURRICANE INDEX (AHI) EP132011 KENNETH 11/22/11 18 UTC ##
## PASSED SCREENING STEP, MIGHT BE ANNULAR, CALCULATE AHI FROM DISCRIMINANT ANALYSIS ##
## AHI= 1 (AHI OF 100 IS BEST FIT TO ANN. STRUC., 1 IS MARGINAL, 0 IS NOT ANNULAR) ##


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Quoting StormTracker2K:
DAMM!





It almost looks like a gigantic hurricane complete with eye over SE Alabama....

DOOM!
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Quoting Grothar:


Are you still getting a lot of rain down there?

As one of the Newspapers said today, the floods yesterday were the result of "Brief, Persistent showers..."

Does that answer your question?
I'm still trying to make sense of it!

But yes, plenty rain, some showers have been very heavy. Fortunately, they have been pretty localised. But when it rains like this in the Valleys it can get serious.
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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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