# Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog

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Tropical Cyclone Irina kills 72 on Madagascar
 By: JeffMasters, 3:13 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 +31
Heavy rains from Tropical Cyclone Irina have killed 72 people on Madagascar and left 70,000 homeless, according to news reports. Irina never reached hurricane strength, but dumped heavy rains on the island over an extended period, February 29 - March 2. The area affected was remote, so the reports of the disaster only today reached the outside world. Irina is the deadliest tropical cyclone of 2012 thus far, and the second deadly storm to affect the island in recent weeks; Tropical Cyclone Giovanna hit the island two weeks ago as a Category 3 storm, killing 35 and leaving 240,000 homeless. Irina is expected to dissipate over cold waters southwest of Madagascar over the next day.

Figure 1. Tropical Cyclone Irina over Madagascar at 07:15 UTC March 1, 2012. At the time, Irina was a tropical storm with 65 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

I'll have a new post on Thursday.

Jeff Masters
Categories: Hurricane
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 51. Neapolitan 6:14 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting RTSplayer:41:How does that get calculated?It looks to me like the central 1/3rd is "normal" and then 1/6th on either side is "above/below" and then another 1/6th is "much".Is it using standard deviations, or something arbitrary?F rom the NCDC:"In order to place each month and season into historical context, NCDC assigns ranks for each geographic area (division, state, region, etc.) based on how the temperature or precipitation value compares with other values throughout the entire record when sorted from highest to lowest value. In other words, the numeric rank value within the area represents the position or location of the sorted value throughout the historical record (1895-present). As a year is added to the inventory, the length of record increases. In 2010, NCDC had 116 years of records, thus the number 116 would represent the warmest or wettest rank; the number 1 would represent the coolest or driest rank. If a state has rank of 110, then it would be the seventh warmest or wettest on record for that time period. If a state rank has a value of 7, then that state ranked seventh out of 116 years, or seventh coolest or driest.The "Below Normal", "Near Normal", and "Above Normal" shadings on the color maps represent the bottom, middle, and upper tercile (or three equal portions) of the distribution, respectively. The lowest and uppermost decile (or 10%) of the distribution are marked as "Much Below Normal" and "Much Above Normal", respectively. In other words, for a 116-year period (1895-2010), a rank of Much Above/Below Normal, would be in the top/bottom 12 on record. Below/Above Normal, would represent one of the 39 coolest/warmest or driest/wettest such periods on record. "Near Normal" would represent an average temperature or precipitation value that was not one of the 39 coolest/warmest or driest/wettest on record. For a 116-year period of record, "Near Normal" would represent a rank between 40 and 77." Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13110
 52. yqt1001 6:22 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting RTSplayer:Don't bet on it.Skipping a grade might be cute, but it hurts you socially and it even hurts your education.He's homeschooled, he's already hurt socially. Member Since: November 19, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 1284
 53. Neapolitan 6:25 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Many of us could be in for a light show this evening. From Spaceweather.com:"GEOMAGNETIC STORM UPDATE: A CME propelled toward Earth by this morning's X5-class solar flare is expected to reach our planet on March 8th at 0625 UT ( /- 7 hr). Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, who prepared the CME's forecast track, say the impact could spark a strong-to-severe geomagnetic storm. Sky watchers at all latitudes should be alert for auroras."IOW, a visible aurora is possible anywhere on the planet between about 6:25 PM EST this evening and 8:25 AM EST tomorrow morning, with the median time at about 1:25 AM EST tonight.It's highly unfortunate that there'll be a nearly full moon tonight. But aurorae in northern latitudes may be more than bright enough to compensate... Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13110
 54. Patrap 6:26 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 CME Prediction Model - [SWPC]WSA-Enlil Solar Wind PredictionDescription: Latest CME-based model run Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 410 Comments: 124087
 55. Patrap 6:29 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Novelty has increased and when the Universe manifests something, it can do what is not expected, and usually does.Like the notion of a World when those of us over 50 were programmed to believe that the Soviet Union was a Given to continue...ad infinitive in our lives.Now, we rarely mention that collapse at all.Caesar:Who is it in the press that calls on me?I hear a tongue shriller than all the musicCry "Caesar!" Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.Soothsayer:Beware the ides of March.Caesar:What man is that?Brutus:A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 15-19 Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 410 Comments: 124087
 56. VAbeachhurricanes 6:40 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting Neapolitan:Many of us could be in for a light show this evening. From Spaceweather.com:"GEOMAGNETIC STORM UPDATE: A CME propelled toward Earth by this morning's X5-class solar flare is expected to reach our planet on March 8th at 0625 UT ( /- 7 hr). Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, who prepared the CME's forecast track, say the impact could spark a strong-to-severe geomagnetic storm. Sky watchers at all latitudes should be alert for auroras."IOW, a visible aurora is possible anywhere on the planet between about 6:25 PM EST this evening and 8:25 AM EST tomorrow morning, with the median time at about 1:25 AM EST tonight.It's highly unfortunate that there'll be a nearly full moon tonight. But aurorae in northern latitudes may be more than bright enough to compensate...Even here at 37 north? Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5661
 57. Patrap 6:42 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 410 Comments: 124087
 58. SPLbeater 6:43 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting yqt1001:He's homeschooled, he's already hurt socially.is that so? i havnt noticed. Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
 59. hydrus 6:43 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting SPLbeater:ya i know i should do good, and i try to do good...but dat dont mean i am fully enthused lol. I dont think 4 years ahead of me in high school and college is being rushed. I did NOT skip because i wanted to, I did NOT skip on my decision. I skiped because i already knew the work, and that was my mothers decision. This is just my own opinion, but skipping a grade is not always a bad thing. If you know the work and A+ everything that crosses your desk, then you should move on. To me an advanced student is wasting time in a classroom when he or she knows the material inside and out. Anyone who matriculates early and graduates early may find the maturity level of others challenging or even uncomfortable, but those issues usually pass with time. Speedy completion of college education needed for the career you are pursuing may be beneficial in the long run. We are all individuals, and all handle different situations differently. Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 18996
 60. Chicklit 6:44 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11006
 61. SPLbeater 6:44 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 16S Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
 62. StormTracker2K 6:52 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Not only is the possibility of Peyton joining the Dolphins but it appears Reggie Wayne wants to play for the Dolphins as well. WOW!! Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
 63. SPLbeater 6:57 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting hydrus: This is just my own opinion, but skipping a grade is not always a bad thing. If you know the work and A+ everything that crosses your desk, then you should move on. To me an advanced student is wasting time in a classroom when he or she knows the material inside and out. Anyone who matriculates early and graduates early may find the maturity level of others challenging or even uncomfortable, but those issues usually pass with time. Speedy completion of college education needed for the career you are pursuing may be beneficial in the long run. We are all individuals, and all handle different situations differently.it seems like some always forget that last sentence. :) Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
 64. DavidHOUTX 6:57 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Anyone have any updated models about this rain event in Texas this weekend? Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 597
 65. StormTracker2K 7:02 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting DavidHOUTX:Anyone have any updated models about this rain event in Texas this weekend? Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
 66. SPLbeater 7:03 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 The GFS, NOGAPS and ECMWF are all hinting at another tropicl system forming east and north of 90E 20S late this week or early next week. NOGAPS and GFS arent sure with movement of the forecast low; ECMWF moves it southeastward in Australia. Might include that in my next blog. :D Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
 67. Tropicsweatherpr 7:03 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 The surfers in Puerto Rico are happy to have the windy with very high swells that are occuring now. Wow,the very strong Bermuda High Pressure is at 1040 mbs. Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 12917
 68. Xyrus2000 7:06 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting WatchingThisOne:Yup. Not sure about education, but social skills are not strengthened by being rushed through to college.I'll second that. I graduated early and went to college when I was 16. In hindsight, that was mistake. :P Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1212
 69. Chicklit 7:09 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting Xyrus2000:I'll second that. I graduated early and went to college when I was 16. In hindsight, that was mistake. :PI was 17.As smart as teenagers think they are, they have incredible gaps in thought processes. Sometimes starting too early can really set you back in other ways. Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11006
 70. StormTracker2K 7:11 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Looks like the worst of this rain event will be from LA to TN. Somebody in that zone is going to get a foot of rain.This just for 48 hours. Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
 71. nofailsafe 7:11 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting Neapolitan:Many of us could be in for a light show this evening. From Spaceweather.com:"GEOMAGNETIC STORM UPDATE: A CME propelled toward Earth by this morning's X5-class solar flare is expected to reach our planet on March 8th at 0625 UT ( /- 7 hr). Analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, who prepared the CME's forecast track, say the impact could spark a strong-to-severe geomagnetic storm. Sky watchers at all latitudes should be alert for auroras."IOW, a visible aurora is possible anywhere on the planet between about 6:25 PM EST this evening and 8:25 AM EST tomorrow morning, with the median time at about 1:25 AM EST tonight.It's highly unfortunate that there'll be a nearly full moon tonight. But aurorae in northern latitudes may be more than bright enough to compensate...It'll be cloudy here all day and then Rainpocalypse-II starts up tomorrow, so I don't guess, even in the best of circumstances, that we'd be able to see it here in HGX. Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 3 Comments: 925
 72. swampdawg 7:12 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting yqt1001:He's homeschooled, he's already hurt socially.Why sit in a grade if you already know all the work. Skip on to the next grade. Hell, leave this kid alone......... Member Since: July 1, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 73
 73. SPLbeater 7:12 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting Chicklit:I was 17.As smart as teenagers think they are, they have incredible gaps in thought processes. Sometimes starting too early can really set you back in other ways.All i need to do when i git to college is remember one thing: dont be reed timmer and skip classes to go storm chasing lol Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
 75. DavidHOUTX 7:13 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting StormTracker2K:Wow... looks like it is moving further and further east as each day passes Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 597
 76. hydrus 7:16 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Great post Skye. Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 18996
 77. hydrus 7:17 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting swampdawg:Why sit in a grade if you already know all the work. Skip on to the next grade. Hell, leave this kid alone......... I said that earlier. I would much rather move on and learn more. Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 18996
 78. Patrap 7:18 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 410 Comments: 124087
 80. hydrus 7:26 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting SPLbeater:it seems like some always forget that last sentence. :) And it is nothing short of true. Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 18996
 81. nrtiwlnvragn 7:28 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Member Since: September 23, 2005 Posts: 13 Comments: 10396
 83. Xyrus2000 7:41 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting swampdawg:Why sit in a grade if you already know all the work. Skip on to the next grade. Hell, leave this kid alone.........Well that only works if indeed he has mastered the material for a particular grade level.I'm not sure how things operate where he is, but where I am homeschoolers have to go in for formal educational reviews to ensure that they are actually learning the necessary subjects and acquiring an adequate understanding of those subjects. It's a lot more intensive than just being "asked a few questions". You have to present proof (activities, workbooks, writing samples, lab books, etc.). And then, at certain grade levels, you must must pass assessment exams.The parent(s) are free, of course, to make any claim they want. But if they can't prove it to the education reviewers then it doesn't hold water. And if an otherwise normal healthy child shows a consistent lack of education (significantly behind where other similarly aged children are) then you may not be allowed to continue homeschooling your child.Other areas may be more strict or less strict than where I am though. Member Since: October 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 1212
 84. Skyepony (Mod) 7:42 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting muddertracker:I usually don't, and probably shouldn't now, but I can't help myself. Where on earth do you live? I am sure the public school teachers in your area would be damn proud of your comments. Not all teachers are great, but most are. They work their asses off for little pay and get second guessed at every turn. For every teacher that gets bad press and does stupid crap, there are hundreds, if not thousands, that do the right thing and are teaching for the right reasons. Generalizations = bad.I have friends that are teachers that told me to homeschool if I could. I know one that quit teaching so she could homeschool. FL is now all about passing the FCAT. The better the school does as a whole the more money they get. Teacher's hands are tied..they aren't happy either. No one is hating on teachers here.Huge lead opens up in the ice..East Siberia Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 155 Comments: 35485
 85. Chicklit 7:46 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 I appreciate what Skye is saying, so plussed her.However, there are gifted and AP opportunities in the public school that won't leave your child in social limbo; the implication is that if all you're focusing on is academics, then you're missing another important part of education which comes with social experience and emotional maturity. But overriding everything is that each child is different and what may work for one won't for another. It's got to be a case by case decision. So you may have a point about the kid who is hanging around with weather geeks possibly not finding his social niche is with students his own age.The reason the homeschoolers may do well isn't because the public education system is so bad, it's because their parents make an extraordinary committment to educating their children. Personally, if my mother had homeschooled me, we would have had a serious problem since she doesn't have either the will or the patience for it. But if she did, I'm sure I would have appreciated the attention. Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11006
 86. SPLbeater 7:50 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting Skyepony: On the homeschool subject... I've seen many kids pulled from Jr High because of social problems the last 5 or so years. A few had even stopped speaking. After a year or so out, usually "unschooling" they begin accelerating to where they are entering college 1-3 years early & fitting in as well as learning fine. I've taught horse riding to homeschoolers on & off for longer than I care to mention..The few that the parents fail to let out of the house always stick in people's mind..Looking back over the years at what the homeschoolers grew up to accomplish compared to the public school kids..hands down the homeschoolers got the better head start. These days getting the social aspect is way easier with all the online interaction. Even SPLbeater~ knows more about hanging out with a bunch of the type of people planning on working with one day... Conversing with more geeks a day than even the gifted or honored classes at school could offer. Homeschooling & public school has changed in the last few decades. 20% of the kids in the county here are homeschooled. Public schools here are great at teaching kids to misbehave, be foul mouthed & how to pass the FCAT.SPL~ Just be ready to test into at least Calculus before starting college.AmenThank youAmenOK :D Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
 87. Neapolitan 7:51 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 I've known well-adjusted home-schooled kids who could absolutely run academic circles around most public school students--but I've also known home-schooled graduates who had trubblez speelink thayr oan namz. By the same token, I've known public school graduates who went on to great success, and others who became as derelict as derelict can be. In short, then, it seems to me there's a huge spread in students, teachers, and teaching methods.Having said all that: I've raised my children mostly in Florida, and I'm complete aware of the inanity of teaching to the FCAT. For instance, our nation's history is rich and profound, yet FCAT-oriented teaching insists on drilling into the kids an endless list of names and dates, names, and dates, names and dates. It seems to me pointless, pathetic, and a near-complete waste of time.But, still--not all public schools, public school teachers, or public school students are the same, so it's unfair to paint them with the same brush. Member Since: November 8, 2009 Posts: 4 Comments: 13110
 89. DavidHOUTX 7:56 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 597
 90. BHicks94 7:57 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Looking to find out if there is the possibility of a precipitation event in the Florida Panhandle in 10 days. Can anyone share any models that might give a clue? Thanks. Member Since: January 25, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 2
 91. SPLbeater 7:57 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
 92. SPLbeater 7:59 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting BHicks94:Looking to find out if there is the possibility of a precipitation event in the Florida Panhandle in 10 days. Can anyone share any models that might give a clue? Thanks.GFS 10 day precipitation loop Member Since: August 4, 2011 Posts: 46 Comments: 4481
 93. DavidHOUTX 8:01 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 597
 94. DavidHOUTX 8:02 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 lol Member Since: August 18, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 597
 96. WatchingThisOne 8:02 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:Even here at 37 north?"Severe" geomagnetic storm, per NOAA:Power systems: possible widespread voltage control problems and some protective systems will mistakenly trip out key assets from the grid.Spacecraft operations: may experience surface charging and tracking problems, corrections may be needed for orientation problems.Other systems: induced pipeline currents affect preventive measures, HF radio propagation sporadic, satellite navigation degraded for hours, low-frequency radio navigation disrupted, and aurora has been seen as low as Alabama and northern California (typically 45° geomagnetic lat.)So you might not see it at 37 degrees.Thanks Patrap! for keep us up to date on this. As soon as I heard about it I came here for info, and there you were! Member Since: July 15, 2005 Posts: 3 Comments: 1259
 97. GeorgiaStormz 8:08 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting yqt1001:He's homeschooled, he's already hurt socially.Really, because i am homeschooled too. Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9348
 98. Skyepony (Mod) 8:08 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 The east wind is bringing me rain now:)Chicklit~ You can probably appreciate my thoughts more than most since we are in the same school district (or close) & you get the each to their own. Here on the space coast there is a higher than average number of over-educated nerds..many of whom can homeschool, gaining probably the biggest advantage..letting you control your schedule to enjoy life. Another reason for this spike is the sharp rise in ADD & Autism.. These kids aren't fairing well in public school.Think about had your Mom had the internet. Many kids school online. The gifted classes..they bus those kids to a few schools one day a week for that. Homeschoolers can go pass the gifted test & participate in that too. They can go to classes they select in school too. Most go to the High School to take driver's ed. I know some in things like drama..though homeschool in this area is so big they have their own sports teams, bands, co-ops & such. Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 155 Comments: 35485
 99. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod) 8:09 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting Skyepony:I have friends that are teachers that told me to homeschool if I could. I know one that quit teaching so she could homeschool. FL is now all about passing the FCAT. The better the school does as a whole the more money they get. Teacher's hands are tied..they aren't happy either. No one is hating on teachers here.Huge lead opens up in the ice..East Siberiasea ice will all but be gone this season in late aug september skye watch and see Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 161 Comments: 50910
 100. VAbeachhurricanes 8:13 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting WatchingThisOne:"Severe" geomagnetic storm, per NOAA:Power systems: possible widespread voltage control problems and some protective systems will mistakenly trip out key assets from the grid.Spacecraft operations: may experience surface charging and tracking problems, corrections may be needed for orientation problems.Other systems: induced pipeline currents affect preventive measures, HF radio propagation sporadic, satellite navigation degraded for hours, low-frequency radio navigation disrupted, and aurora has been seen as low as Alabama and northern California (typically 45° geomagnetic lat.)So you might not see it at 37 degrees.Thanks Patrap! for keep us up to date on this. As soon as I heard about it I came here for info, and there you were!Im north of Bama... haha so maybe! Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5661
 101. Skyepony (Mod) 8:14 PM GMT on March 07, 2012 Quoting KEEPEROFTHEGATE:sea ice will all but be gone this season in late aug september skye watch and seeTotally agree.. I'm right next to you in the Doom Camp on sea ice. Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 155 Comments: 35485

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