Watch out for the bugs

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:56 AM GMT on December 10, 2011

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I'm wrapping up my stay in San Francisco for the annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world's largest gathering of Earth Scientists. Over eighteen thousand scientists from all over the world, including most of the world's top climate scientists, were in town this week to exchange ideas to advance the cause of Earth Science. It's been a great opportunity to learn about climate change topics I don't know much about, and I attended a fascinating (and somewhat unnerving) lecture on how global warming is expected to affect insects, titled "The Impact of Global Warming on global crop yields due to changes in pest pressure". Global warming is expected to bring a variety of impacts to agriculture, both positive and negative. Extra CO2 in the atmosphere will tend to increase crop yields, but crop losses due to insect pests are expected to double by 2100, according to a insect pest/crop model designed by David Battisti of the University of Washington. These losses will occur in addition to the expected 35 - 40% decrease in crop yields due to higher temperatures by the end of the century.



When temperature increases, the metabolic rate of insects goes up, requiring that they eat more to survive. In the mid-latitudes, the predicted 2 - 4°C temperature increase by 2100 will require insects to eat double what they do now, in order to survive. The increase in temperature is also expected to enable insect populations to rise by 20%. However, insect populations will fall by 20% in the tropics, where insects have evolved to tolerate a much narrower range of temperatures. Let's look at the world's three most important crops: rice, wheat, and corn. In the four largest rice producing countries--China, India, Bangladesh, and Thailand--Insects currently cause a loss of 10- 20% of the crop, and this is expected to double to 20 - 30% by 2100. These nations have 40% of the world's population, and make 60% of the world's rice. For corn, the world's four largest producers--the U.S., China, France, and Argentina--are expected to see insect pest losses double from 6% to 12%. The story is similar for wheat; pest losses are expected to double from 10% to 20% by 2100. The total increased damage to global agriculture is predicted to be $30 - $50 billion per year by 2100. This will likely contribute greatly to food costs and potential food shortages. The model made a number of simplifications that could greatly change this outcome, though. The model assumed that there would be no change to the number of insects that survive winter, and this number is likely to increase in a warmer climate. Precipitation was not changed to reflect what is expected to happen in a changed climate, and this will cause increases in crop yields in some areas, and decreases in others. Farmers are likely to change growing practices and utilize new pesticides to combat the expected increase in pests, and this was not considered, either. It is interesting to note that during the great natural global warming event of 55 million years ago--the Palecene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM)--fossil records of plant leaves show greatly increased levels of damage from insects, supporting the idea that a warmer climate will drive an explosion in the insect population.

Jeff Masters

Locust Clouds over Paamul (cleo85)
A several miles wide swarm of Locus is moving from Cancun south-west ward over Yucatans Jungle.Paamul, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Locust Clouds over Paamul

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Quoting Levi32:


Wait a minute. 1 degree of warming above today's levels is projected to shift the Sahara Desert 15 degrees northward? Then where is my Saharan shift during the 0.8C of warming in the last 60 years?

Last decade minus the 1950s in Precipitable Water shows no shifting of the desert. Just food for thought.





hey Levi, where ya been lately? aint seen ya here in awhile...
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
According to the American University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), locusts and mountain pine beetles won't be the only thing North Americans will have to worry about. According to a map, much of the American Midwest will be covered in perpetual drought by the 2060's, quite possibly desert as the Nebraska Sand Hills appear to be the main source of desertification, as Palmer Index drought values fall below -15: the Sand Hills are sand dunes about 10 metres high by 100 metres wide and about 1 km across, and are grass-stabilized but may have been active dunes during the Medieval Warm Period. During the Dust Bowl in Texas, Palmer Index values rarely fell below -3, and yet sand storms and crop failures were the norm.





Wait a minute. 1 degree of warming above today's levels is projected to shift the Sahara Desert 15 degrees northward? Then where is my Saharan shift during the 0.8C of warming in the last 60 years?

Last decade minus the 1950s in Precipitable Water shows no shifting of the desert. Just food for thought.



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Evening all. 976mb low holding steady, winds around 40kts on south side. still praying wont be too bad on previously beaten UK. Latest ASCAT-
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208. AstroHurricane001
Thank you for posting this image at the top.
If values are to drop to -15 in the central US and then we look further afield on the map we see that they also drop to -15 or below in the entire Mediterranean region and from Mexico down to the north of south America, then what will occur is that maybe 1.5 billion people will possibly be taken out of life's equation.Probably a lot more by 2060
If any reasonable proof that this might occur can be obtained then its time to start contingency plans as its only 49 years away.
I can tentatively believe a lot of things but this map seems a bit extravagant.
Member Since: January 21, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2189
Quoting hydrus:
NOAA is not showing much for Texas..I was shocked and heart broken about Bordonaro..I think He was in his late 40,s..Way to soon ..I pray for his family.



thats the 3 mos outlook

here the 6-10 day out look wish has rainfall well above norml





and here is the 8 too 14 day out look wish all show rain fall well above norml for TX


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Quoting sar2401:


A drop in the Palmer Index to a never before seen -15 in less than 50 years? I would really have to see the data to understand how such a thing could be possible.


A 1C rise in global temperatures would turn the sandhills into a scrub desert and the dunes were active during the MWP (see image). Notice also that the Sahara Desert expands toward England.
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Quoting AstroHurricane001:
According to the American University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), locusts and mountain pine beetles won't be the only thing North Americans will have to worry about. According to a map, much of the American Midwest will be covered in perpetual drought by the 2060's, quite possibly desert as the Nebraska Sand Hills appear to be the main source of desertification, as Palmer Index drought values fall below -15: the Sand Hills are sand dunes about 10 metres high by 100 metres wide and about 1 km across, and are grass-stabilized but may have been active dunes during the Medieval Warm Period. During the Dust Bowl in Texas, Palmer Index values rarely fell below -3, and yet sand storms and crop failures were the norm.





A drop in the Palmer Index to a never before seen -15 in less than 50 years? I would really have to see the data to understand how such a thing could be possible.
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Quoting ILwthrfan:


It was offshore drilling related.


My understanding is that there is currently no offshore exploration in that area. Even if it was explosive seismic exploration, the blasts should have been picked up by seismographs. Some kind of sonic boom seems to make the most sense to me, given the number of military installations in the area.
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So sad, So sudden..

We will miss his wit and posts.

Bordonaro
16 July 1961 - December 2011


His arrangements are posted in my Blog..

..comment # 150


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Quoting AstroHurricane001:
Long-range GFS models show possible end to Texas drought.

An' I'm still shocked and upset over Bordonaro's passing - was only two years ago when he helped me understand the Arctic blasts and oscillations.
NOAA is not showing much for Texas..I was shocked and heart broken about Bordonaro..I think He was in his late 40,s..Way to soon ..I pray for his family.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22698
Quoting AstroHurricane001:
According to the American University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), locusts and mountain pine beetles won't be the only thing North Americans will have to worry about. According to a map, much of the American Midwest will be covered in perpetual drought by the 2060's, quite possibly desert as the Nebraska Sand Hills appear to be the main source of desertification, as Palmer Index drought values fall below -15: the Sand Hills are sand dunes about 10 metres high by 100 metres wide and about 1 km across, and are grass-stabilized but may have been active dunes during the Medieval Warm Period. During the Dust Bowl in Texas, Palmer Index values rarely fell below -3, and yet sand storms and crop failures were the norm.





Well, I'd have to live to be over a 100 to say I told you so in 2060, so I'll say it now. No way will that happen. LMAO!
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Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:





I am confused...
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3 deaths are now blamed on last night's quake in mexico.
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According to the American University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), locusts and mountain pine beetles won't be the only thing North Americans will have to worry about. According to a map, much of the American Midwest will be covered in perpetual drought by the 2060's, quite possibly desert as the Nebraska Sand Hills appear to be the main source of desertification, as Palmer Index drought values fall below -15: the Sand Hills are sand dunes about 10 metres high by 100 metres wide and about 1 km across, and are grass-stabilized but may have been active dunes during the Medieval Warm Period. During the Dust Bowl in Texas, Palmer Index values rarely fell below -3, and yet sand storms and crop failures were the norm.



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Long-range GFS models show possible end to Texas drought.

An' I'm still shocked and upset over Bordonaro's passing - was only two years ago when he helped me understand the Arctic blasts and oscillations.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:


Please, no politics or religion. We all know where that usually ends up....
Exactly everything ends up with the two polarize visions in the U.S. Conservatives vs. Liberals or progressives views...just find tolerance and respect of others. Nobody has the complete truth, just be objective, fair, moderate, and balance...
Member Since: May 31, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1008
Quoting sar2401:


Very interesting. I can't explain it either, but I wonder, after reading the comments after the article, if this isn't a case of "Facebook Panic". One person feels something, posts it on Facebook, and then dozens join in within minutes. It gets to the point where people who really didn't feel anything think there's something wrong with them since "everyone" else did.

We get this constantly down here when we have tornado weather. One person sees a limb blow down or a funny looking roll cloud and posts "There's a tornado at ...such and such a place". Soon, other people join in, and every garbage can blowing down the road is major damage. They drive us crazy on Skywarn as Birmingham is reading the same things and wants confirmation, and none of our trained spotters see anything. There's always been a tendency for humans to engage in group panics, but things like Facebook make it possible to happen in seconds instead of days. These kind of things also tend to increase in time of political or economic tensions. For an interesting perspective on how it happened in the days before Facebook, do a Google search for "Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic".


It was offshore drilling related.
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Quoting sunlinepr:
Something shook New Jersey on Saturday, but it wasn't an earthquake

Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2011 12:30 pm | Updated: 7:20 pm, Sat Dec 10, 2011.

By DAN GOOD Staff Writer |

Local residents felt a slight tremor at about 10 a.m. Saturday. Residents in Newark, Bergen County and Sussex County felt it, too %u2014 something that made houses shake and water ripple.
It wasn%u2019t an earthquake.
But what was it?U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Paul Caruso isn%u2019t sure.

Link


Dozens in N.J. report feeling earthquake, but U.S. Geological Survey detects none

Link


Very interesting. I can't explain it either, but I wonder, after reading the comments after the article, if this isn't a case of "Facebook Panic". One person feels something, posts it on Facebook, and then dozens join in within minutes. It gets to the point where people who really didn't feel anything think there's something wrong with them since "everyone" else did.

We get this constantly down here when we have tornado weather. One person sees a limb blow down or a funny looking roll cloud and posts "There's a tornado at ...such and such a place". Soon, other people join in, and every garbage can blowing down the road is major damage. They drive us crazy on Skywarn as Birmingham is reading the same things and wants confirmation, and none of our trained spotters see anything. There's always been a tendency for humans to engage in group panics, but things like Facebook make it possible to happen in seconds instead of days. These kind of things also tend to increase in time of political or economic tensions. For an interesting perspective on how it happened in the days before Facebook, do a Google search for "Seattle Windshield Pitting Epidemic".
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17453
OracleDeAtlantis:
There's something in your post that makes IE8 stop working when I try to quote it. I have no idea where your picture came from. It certainly, in the form you posted it, wasn't from the USGS. Where exactly did you get it it, and what exactly does it mean? I'm totally baffled at this point.

BTW, geologists have no ability distinguish an earthquake as being a foreshock of a larger quake until the larger quake occurs. Japan has 5-6 magnitude earthquakes on a regular basis, and the vast majority are not followed by larger earthquakes. This is an area of earth science they know almost nothing about, hence the inability of using one earthquake to predict the occurance of another.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 17453
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Quoting Presslord:
Respectfully: It's not so much dependence on government....if you'll drill a little deeper...you can see that it's really an issue of poverty....disaster is always hardest on the poor....government dependence is simply one of many symptoms...


Our government robs initiative and incentive from poor people by making them too comfortable in their poverty. We do this in the form of subsidized housing, food-stamps and free cell-phones to name a few.There are plenty of people who truly need the benefits, others, and they are legion, just game the system. If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you'll get Paul's vote every time


Please, no politics or religion. We all know where that usually ends up....
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Quoting Presslord:
Respectfully: It's not so much dependence on government....if you'll drill a little deeper...you can see that it's really an issue of poverty....disaster is always hardest on the poor....government dependence is simply one of many symptoms...


Our government robs initiative and incentive from poor people by making them too comfortable in their poverty. We do this in the form of subsidized housing, food-stamps and free cell-phones to name a few.There are plenty of people who truly need the benefits, others, and they are legion, just game the system. If you rob Peter to pay Paul, you'll get Paul's vote every time
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Member Since: July 25, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 670
Here's a nice image of the eclipse as seen from the Tokyo Tower on December 10.

Link to article
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Respectfully: It's not so much dependence on government....if you'll drill a little deeper...you can see that it's really an issue of poverty....disaster is always hardest on the poor....government dependence is simply one of many symptoms...
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Quoting Skyepony:
sar~ I see your point, overall it wasn't costliest. The number of Billion dollar events is telling too though. 2005 was weighted overall by Katrina taking down levees & wiping some towns. Regardless, having this many billion dollar disasters means more people over all were affected. The shear coverage of the country in terms of extreme weather this year was noteworthy & maybe more remembered as a whole since more people's lives were directly affected by some sort of weather disaster this year.

The reason Katrina took the limelight was most of the people who live in New Orleans were totally dependent on government, even today they are still a train wreck as far as recovery is concerned.
The main obstacle for these poor folks is our own Federal government.
Example: 2006 Nashville Tn. Huge F3 tornado devastated the Nashville area.
2010 Nashville Tn. Large flood did billions of dollars of damage, damage is second to Katrina at that time.
Total damage of the 2011 flooding in the East coast is not available at this time but it's close to Katrina, and Nashville if not succeeded those figures.
Natural disasters cost billions of dollars to rebuild.
Look for homeowners insurance rates to climb in America in the next year to pay for these huge losses.
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I just finished the report on Kenneth. With that, other than a few cosmetic adjustments, the hurricane season summary blog I've been working on since October is finally complete! I'll release it to you guys tomorrow.

Hurricane Kenneth

November 19 - November 25

Kenneth was a rare late-season major hurricane, and the latest forming major hurricane in the satellite era.

a. Storm history

Kenneth does not appear to have been spawned by a tropical wave. Instead, a perturbation within the ITCZ appears to have been the catalyst. A large area of convection was noted near the west coast of Africa on November 1, but it cannot be definitively traced back to a tropical wave. The extent and coverage of this activity soon diminished, and the vigor of the convection associated with this feature was largely indistinguishable from the rest of the ITCZ, which was lying at or below 10N latitude for much of the first week of November. Convection increased in a position about 850 miles southeast of the Windward Islands around 1200 UTC November 8. Although a distinct system was now evident, convection soon diminished as it moved westward into the eastern Caribbean Sea. Early on November 13, the system merged with a preexisting area of cloudiness and thunderstorms that had manifest over the extreme southwest Caribbean Sea. An abrupt increase in convection over that portion of the Atlantic was the result.

Although the strongest of this activity was confined just offshore coastal areas of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, analysis of both satellite imagery and ASCAT data suggest that the most concentrated area of lower- to middle-tropospheric turning was centered just north of Panama. Early on November 16, the gyre entered the eastern Pacific and moved quickly westward to the south of the Gulf of Tehuantepec. Convection began to increase several hundred miles south of the Gulf of Tehauntepec on November 17, and a broad area of low pressure is estimated to have formed late that day; analysis of scatterometer data indicates that the low possessed a fairly well-defined surface circulation during this time, but actual winds were relatively light. The system soon showed signs of organization, with a developing outflow channel to the west in the upper levels. In addition, loose and shallow bands developed within the precipitation shield, particularly over the western semicircle.

The low continued to organize as it moved generally westward, and it became a tropical depression near 1800 UTC November 19 while centered about 480 miles south of Acapulco, Mexico. The depression became a tropical storm about 24 hours while located about 535 miles south of Manzanillo, Mexico. Under a favorable upper-level environment characterized by a warm ridge aloft, Kenneth rapidly intensified, attaining hurricane status near 1200 UTC November 21, when satellite images showed a ragged eye within the confines of a well-defined central dense overcast. At this time, Kenneth was located approximately 720 miles east-southeast of the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. Kenneth continued to rapidly deepen, becoming a major hurricane near 0000 UTC November 22. The hurricane continued to deepen, and reached its peak intensity of 125 kt near 1500 UTC that day, centered about 750 miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.

Almost as quickly as it strengthened, Kenneth fell apart; analysis of high cloud motion vectors on satellite imagery suggests that westerly shear began to encroach on the tropical cyclone early on November 23. That, combined with cooling sea surface temperatures along the trajectory of the hurricane, appear to have been responsible for the rapid weakening that was observed after peak intensity. Kenneth dropped below major hurricane strength around 0600 UTC November 23, with the associated cloud pattern quite ragged at that time. Kenneth weakened to a tropical storm around 1800 UTC that day. Under the influence of SSTs well below 26C, Kenneth continued to weaken, becoming a tropical depression near 0600 UTC November 25. Devoid of convection, the shallow vortex became a remnant low six hours later, while centered about 1250 miles west-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California.
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If you believe the earth has a voice, then where better to speak of her sickness, than from her belly?

Three days before the fifth largest earthquake in recorded history struck the island of Japan, there was a foreshock measuring 7.3>>> in magnitude. This foreshock went unrecognized, however, until after the main shock occurred. Only then did scientists studying this earthquake, realize what they had observed.

On March 8, 2011 immediately following this precursor event, a curious picture denoting it was published. The translated words suggest a future event linked to the precursor, and in only three days the Latin written on this USGS picture below, will happen, and arguably even appear similar visually to what was about to occur. It reads ...

Venir = first person singular "To come"

Incipio = present active "I begin"

Divello = present active "I tear apart"

The words are oddly stacked and interlocked. They overlay what appear to be three sevens, made to look like exclamation marks. This fact is underlined, literally by the history of the exclamation mark, which is derived from the Latin word "io," and which are the only two overlapping letters in the text.

This mark is used at the end of a sentence, to add emphasis or to indicate high volume of a speaker, and the only "person" present in this picture, is the earth.

The exclamation mark is also known in printers jargon as the Bang!







Member Since: August 27, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 525
Something shook New Jersey on Saturday, but it wasn't an earthquake

Posted: Saturday, December 10, 2011 12:30 pm | Updated: 7:20 pm, Sat Dec 10, 2011.

By DAN GOOD Staff Writer |

Local residents felt a slight tremor at about 10 a.m. Saturday. Residents in Newark, Bergen County and Sussex County felt it, too — something that made houses shake and water ripple.
It wasn’t an earthquake.
But what was it?U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Paul Caruso isn’t sure.

Link


Dozens in N.J. report feeling earthquake, but U.S. Geological Survey detects none

Link
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Does it? We've had Negative NAO for the past several years, which usually promotes cold air and snow across the Eastern USA. However, this year, we're in a moderate to strong Positive NAO, so us in the East/Southeast may not get the cold air and snow we're hoping for.


Well the QBO has recently tanked according to Steve D. That and the MJO is expected to plunge into the COD. This should hopefully force the Polar Stratosphere to warm-up and correspond to a -AO/NAO +PNA/-EPO by late December even as early as The Winter Solstice(though to be fair models are split on weather to reemerge an MJO-pulse in phase 4 or keep it dead).
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Or Mordor. Master Samwise peering through the murk.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:


It is cool outside. Rising through the 40s and dusty outside. Or a thick haze, the wind doesn't seem to be strong enough to pick up dust but it is murky outside. It's like a dust storm came from someplace else and is settling out here.


Sounds like New Jersey. :)
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Quoting Grothar:


Hi, Brian. How's the weather there?


It is cool outside. Rising through the 40s and dusty outside. Or a thick haze, the wind doesn't seem to be strong enough to pick up dust but it is murky outside. It's like a dust storm came from someplace else and is settling out here.
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Quoting goodsign:
Weather about normal here in Huntsville, AL. I suppose nothing that exciting.


Basically normal down here by Montgomery too, although it feels colder after our warm November. Looks like we have a small chance for rain Sunday night and Monday but then nothing else until the end of the week. It's down to 35 here now, so the secondary cold front has gone through.
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Very nice pics of that roll cloud, Aussiestorm. You guys get some good clouds down there.

Skye, I guess my point is that 2005 appears to be seriously understated in terms of impact to the US. 14 tropical storms hit the continental US, with Katrina happening to be the worst. Almost every state from Texas through Florida and up the East Coast was affected by one or more of these storms. This doesn't even count the usual tornados, heat waves, and blizzards that occur every year. 2011 was certainly a bad year for those of us in the South, Midwest, and parts of the Northeast, but it's hard for me to believe that the worst cumulative year for weather disasters in the US by any measure other than total deaths, still wasn't 2005.
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Good morning everyone.


Hi, Brian. How's the weather there?
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
I am good Taz and it's good to see you. I remember going over the GFS model runs with you during hurricane season :)



yup
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Weather about normal here in Huntsville, AL. I suppose nothing that exciting.
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I am good Taz and it's good to see you. I remember going over the GFS model runs with you during hurricane season :)
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Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
Good morning everyone.



good AM too you sir how are you
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115456

Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Rain has been south and west of me all, does not seem to be moving at all, several reports of 1 to 2 inches in South Texas, good for them


Awe. I was hoping it might get to your area. Sure not moving much. But I'm glad for them too. :)
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Good morning everyone.
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Quoting SPLbeater:
hey guys. aint been on today, workin from 8-12 splitting firewood
Better than atoms. Warms you twice.
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:

Rain has been south and west of me all, does not seem to be moving at all, several reports of 1 to 2 inches in South Texas, good for them
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Quoting Ossqss:
Some "fill in" with respect to my earlier request for more information on the blog relevant bug model specifics related to this, well, blog, no ?;)



This is nothing compared to the twig of 93.
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Storm photo's from a storm that just passed over Sydney.







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Some "fill in" with respect to my earlier request for more information on the blog relevant bug model specifics related to this, well, blog, no ?;)

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this is old data, but havnt seen nothin new from jtwc. 4 AM this mornin the LLCC SUPPOSEDLY is located near 11.8N 116.1E. Im guessing that lil swirl round 9.4N 115.5E is it. not much to see there...
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
And now for... Find the WPac Tropical Depression!!!!! Pick your blob....




er,, dis un?

WP942011 - INVEST



Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery/loop

..click image for Loop dee Loop

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129902
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The area of low pressure that is extremely disorganized and virtually convectionless.


I cant find an LLC....
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The area of low pressure that is extremely disorganized and virtually convectionless.


AND JTWC said only 15-20 knot windspeeds. lol
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
And now for... Find the WPac Tropical Depression!!!!! Pick your blob....


The area of low pressure that is extremely disorganized and virtually convectionless.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32859

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About

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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