February 2012 the globe's 22nd warmest; record Hawaii hailstone confirmed

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:09 PM GMT on March 28, 2012

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February 2012 was the globe's 22nd warmest February on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). Global temperatures were the 15th warmest on record according to NASA. It was the coolest February since 1994, and the coolest month, relative to average, since January 2008. The relatively cool temperatures were due, in part, to the on-going La Niña event in the Eastern Pacific, which has brought a large amount of cool water to the surface. February 2012 global land temperatures were the 37th warmest on record, and ocean temperatures were the 12th warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were colder than average, the 7th or 13th coldest in the 34-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). February temperatures in the stratosphere were the coldest on record. We expect cold temperatures there due to the greenhouse effect and to destruction of ozone due to CFC pollution. Snow cover during February varied dramatically depending on which hemisphere you were in. Eurasia had its third largest snow cover extent in the 46-year period of record, while North America had its fourth lowest. As seen in Figure 1, much of North America and Siberia were much warmer than average, while Europe was considerably colder than average. Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of February in his February 2012 Global Weather Extremes Summary.


Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for February 2012. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

La Niña weakens, almost gone
A borderline weak La Niña event continues in the equatorial Pacific, where sea surface temperatures were approximately 0.5°C below average during February and the the first half of March. NOAA's Climate Prediction Center forecasts that La Niña will be gone by the end of April. The majority of the El Niño computer models predict neutral conditions for this fall, during the August - September - October peak of hurricane season, though 32% of the models predict an El Niño will develop. El Niño conditions tend to decrease Atlantic hurricane activity, by increasing wind shear over the tropical Atlantic.

February Arctic sea ice extent fifth lowest on record
Arctic sea ice extent was at its fifth lowest extent on record in February, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Continuing the pattern established in January, conditions differed greatly between the Atlantic and Pacific sides of the Arctic. On the Atlantic side, especially in the Barents Sea, air temperatures were higher than average and ice extent was unusually low. February ice extent for the Barents Sea was the lowest in the satellite record, due to air temperatures that ranged from 4 - 8°C (7 - 14°F) above average at the 925 mb level (about 3000 feet above sea level). In contrast, on the Pacific side, February ice extent in the Bering Sea was the second highest in the satellite record, paired with air temperatures that were 3 to 5 degrees Celsius (5 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit) below average at the 925 mb level. Satellite sea ice records date back to 1979.


Figure 2. Record-setting hailstone from the Hawaii 'supercell' thunderstorm that hit the Hawaiian island of Oahu on March 9, 2012. Image credit: NOAA/National Weather Service.

Huge hailstone sets Hawaii record
A hailstone with the diameter of roughly that of a grapefruit that hit Oahu on March 9, 2012, has been confirmed as the largest hailstone on record for the state of Hawaii, according to NOAA. The record-setting hailstone was dropped by a “supercell” thunderstorm on the windward side of Oahu. There were numerous reports of hail with diameters of 2 to 3 inches and greater. Hail the size of a penny (diameter of 3/4 inch) or quarter (diameter of one inch) has been reported in Hawaii only eight times since records began, and there is no record of hail larger than 1 inch in diameter. Hail the size of golf balls and baseballs can only form within intense thunderstorms called supercells. These supercells need warm, moist air to rise into progressively colder, drier air, as well as winds changing direction and increasing speed with increasing height off the ground. For both sets of conditions to exist at the same time in Hawaii is extremely rare, but that did occur on March 9. Conditions that day were ideal for a supercell to form, and the storm looked very much like supercell thunderstorms common in the Central U.S. during spring. Supercells can also produce tornadoes, another rarity in Hawaii. The same hail-producing supercell produced a confirmed EF-0 tornado with winds of 60-70 mph in Lanikai and Enchanted Lakes on Oahu.

Jeff Masters

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268. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Fiji Meteorological Services
Tropical Disturbance Summary
TROPICAL DEPRESSION 17F
9:00 AM FST March 29 2012
=================================

At 21:00 PM UTC, Tropical Depression 17F (1000 hPa) located at 18.4S 175.7E is reported as slow moving southward. Position fair based on multisatellite visible/infrared imagery and peripheral surface observations. Sea surface temperature is around 29C.

Organization has improved slightly past 12 hours. Convection remains persistent to the east of the partially exposed low level circulation center. Tropical depression 17 lies under an upper diffluent region in a low to moderate sheared environment and is expected to move into an area of increasing shear. Cyclonic circulation extends up to 500 HPA.

Most global models have picked up the system and are moving it south with little intensification.

Potential for this system to develop into a tropical cyclone in the next 4-48 hours remains LOW.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45581
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:



Can't be changing it up on me Kori! My comment holds the evidence! :p


Not if there were no eyewitnesses.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Comin in hot:
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Quoting KoritheMan:


Look again.



Can't be changing it up on me Kori! My comment holds the evidence! :p
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WICHITA KS
753 PM CDT WED MAR 28 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN WICHITA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHEASTERN GREENWOOD COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST KANSAS...

* UNTIL 815 PM CDT

* AT 747 PM CDT...TRAINED WEATHER SPOTTERS REPORTED NUMEROUS FUNNEL
CLOUDS NEAR MADISON...OR 22 MILES NORTHEAST OF EUREKA. A TORNADO MAY
DEVELOP AT ANY TIME.
DOPPLER RADAR SHOWED THIS DANGEROUS STORM
MOVING EAST AT 10 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
MAINLY RURAL AREAS OF NORTHEASTERN GREENWOOD COUNTY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

THIS TORNADO WARNING REPLACES THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING THAT
WAS IN EFFECT FOR THE SAME AREA.

&&

LAT...LON 3817 9596 3801 9596 3802 9612 3816 9614
TIME...MOT...LOC 0052Z 261DEG 8KT 3809 9607
HAIL 2.75IN

$$
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5026
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Forgot the ReadMe ;)


Look again.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


*successfully boots up hailstone.exe*

Install Severe Thunderstorm
Install Tornado
Install Flash Flood
Help
Exit Installer


Forgot the ReadMe ;)
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Funny. :P


*successfully boots up hailstone.exe*

Install Severe Thunderstorm
Install Tornado
Install Flash Flood
Help
ReadMe
Exit Installer
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
tops near 55k now
nite all.
Tomorrow morning, i will see if i can analyze the new GFS and ECMWF runs tomorrow.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9731
Quoting Patrap:
We dont even consider The African Wave flow..until a third of the way into a Given season. Climatologically, well, we focus on the GOM and Caribbean for early development.








Good point.

Member Since: March 22, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 723
Quoting KoritheMan:


Wonder if I can put it in my disk drive?

Funny. :P
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32261
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
That's gotta hurt...

0015 275 MADISON GREENWOOD KS 3813 9614 DISK SHAPED WITH SEVERAL GOLFBALL-SIZED. (ICT)


Wonder if I can put it in my disk drive?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
That's gotta hurt...

0015 275 MADISON GREENWOOD KS 3813 9614 DISK SHAPED WITH SEVERAL GOLFBALL-SIZED. (ICT)
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32261
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
PRC081-131-290330-
/O.NEW.TJSJ.FF.W.0008.120329T0024Z-120329T0330Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000 Z.OO/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
824 PM AST WED MAR 28 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN JUAN HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
THE FOLLOWING MUNICIPALITIES

IN PUERTO RICO
LARES
SAN SEBASTIAN

* UNTIL 1130 PM AST

* AT 817 PM AST...WEATHER DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED MODERATE TO
LOCALLY HEAVY SHOWER ACTIVITY ACROSS PARTS OF THE WARNED AREA. THIS
RAINFALL IN ADDITION TO THE RAINFALL THAT HAS ALREADY OCCURRED...
WILL RESULT IN RAPID RISES ON SMALL STREAMS...CREEKS AND RIVERS
ACROSS THESE MUNICIPALITIES. RESIDENTS IN FLOOD PRONE AREAS SHOULD
MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND IMMEDIATELY AND NEVER TRY TO CROSS A FLOODED
ROADWAY.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING.
IF YOU ARE IN THE WARNING AREA MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND IMMEDIATELY.
RESIDENTS LIVING ALONG STREAMS AND CREEKS SHOULD TAKE IMMEDIATE
PRECAUTIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CROSS
SWIFTLY FLOWING WATERS OR WATERS OF UNKNOWN DEPTH BY FOOT OR BY
AUTOMOBILE.

&&

LAT...LON 1839 6701 1834 6684 1824 6684 1830 6703

$$

EM

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT /USE LOWER CASE LETTERS/:
HTTP://WWW.WEATHER.GOV/SANJUAN
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14315
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
50k ft tops on the back 2 storms, rotation on the bottom one:

That tilt is questionable, as rotation is no where near that strong higher up in the atmosphere, like it should be.

It would also explain why there is no tornado warning.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32261
TornadoTitans.com are in the middle of some massive hail. They also have a possible wall cloud on their stream.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5026
Quoting Levi32:


ECMWF's seasonal forecasts started in August 2008.
Oh okay.Thanks.It would have been interesting to see what it was predicting for that year.Ahh oh well it's all in the past now.
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50k ft tops on the back 2 storms, rotation on the bottom one:
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 9731
Quoting washingtonian115:
Do you have the ones from 05??


ECMWF's seasonal forecasts started in August 2008.
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Mano, que aguacero, no para de llover.....

Keeps on raining here in PR..

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Quoting Levi32:
Although the Euro is clearly illustrating that this season will be relatively inactive overall, one of the pieces of evidence that it should be at least slightly more active than 2009 is the fact that the Euro had much higher probabilities for high sea-level pressure and low precipitation in its 2009 forecast compared to this year:

2009 March EUROSIP:





2012 March EUROSIP:




Do you have the ones from 05??
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Sea Surface Anomaly GOM


2012




One year ago

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
Quoting hydrus:
This looks rather El-Nino-ish...And moisture is grow abundant in the gulf.

The caribbean region is usually dry in el nino years, though in 2006 there was quite a bit of flooding here in Jamaica...
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8139
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Well, the wall cloud is completely gone.

Yeah, the rotation just died out on radar, but there was a cone funnel cloud reported on that storm not long ago according to TornadoTitans.com
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5026
Atlantic WAVETRAK

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Well, the wall cloud is completely gone.

I stand corrected. It is back and better well formed.

It's a beautiful storm really.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32261
Quoting Ameister12:

It's probably cycling. The rotation looks like it may be getting stronger again.

Well, the wall cloud is completely gone.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32261
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

The wall cloud is dying according to live video on ChaserTV. Either that, or it is cycling.

It's probably cycling. The rotation looks like it may be getting stronger again.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5026
Turning very dangerous now.

FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
752 PM AST WED MAR 28 2012

PRC017-091-291145-
/O.NEW.TJSJ.FA.W.0007.120328T2352Z-120329T1145Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000 Z.OO/
BARCELONETA PR-MANATI PR-
752 PM AST WED MAR 28 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN SAN JUAN HAS ISSUED A

* FLOOD WARNING FOR...
BARCELONETA MUNICIPALITY IN PUERTO RICO...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF BARCELONETA...
MANATI MUNICIPALITY IN PUERTO RICO...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF MANATI...

* UNTIL 745 AM AST THURSDAY

* AT 751 PM AST RUNOFF FROM PREVIOUS HEAVY RAINFALL HAS RESULTED IN
SIGNIFICANT RISES ON RIO GRANDE DE MANATI AT MANATI. AT 750 PM
AST...U.S.G.S. RIVER RAIN GAGES ALONG RIO GRANDE DE MANATI
INDICATED THAT THE RIVER LEVEL WAS WELL ABOVE THE FLOOD STAGE.
MOTORISTS DRIVING ALONG THE RIO GRANDE DE MANATI IN FLOOD PRONE
AREAS SHOULD EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION. MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND
IMMEDIATELY AND NEVER TRY TO CROSS A FLOODED ROADWAY.

A FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR HAS BEEN REPORTED.
STREAM RISES WILL BE SLOW AND FLASH FLOODING IS NOT EXPECTED.
HOWEVER...ALL INTERESTED PARTIES SHOULD TAKE NECESSARY PRECAUTIONS
IMMEDIATELY.

LAT...LON 1848 6649 1838 6646 1837 6651 1843 6655
1849 6655

$$

EM
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14315
This looks rather El-Nino-ish...And moisture is growing abundant in the gulf.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21414
235. Skyepony (Mod)
Noticed last week the whole Atlantic ITCZ had migrated back into this surface map. It was a little higher than it is today.. Which seems a bit early. Also note the L there about to come off Africa.. That may be our first tropical wave..



Member Since: August 10, 2005 Posts: 173 Comments: 38148
We dont even consider The African Wave flow..until a third of the way into a Given season. Climatologically, well, we focus on the GOM and Caribbean for early development.






Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
Although the Euro is clearly illustrating that this season will be relatively inactive overall, one of the pieces of evidence that it should be at least slightly more active than 2009 is the fact that the Euro had much higher probabilities for high sea-level pressure and low precipitation in its 2009 forecast compared to this year:

2009 March EUROSIP:





2012 March EUROSIP:




Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Ameister12:
Carbondale is in the path of this tornado warned storm. Could produce a tornado at anytime.

The wall cloud is dying according to live video on ChaserTV. Either that, or it is cycling.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32261
Carbondale is in the path of this tornado warned storm. Could produce a tornado at anytime.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5026
Quoting KoritheMan:


It depends on how strong the drought is.


If the ITCZ invades deep into Africa stronger than normal then the preceding drought will not really affect tropical wave strength. The only significance there will be dust that would get kicked up by the waves and inhibit development after they are over the eastern Atlantic, but that area is already going to be less favorable overall.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Yes Keeper,a very dangerous situation is unfolding here. If there is news about flooding,I will post it.

Puerto Rico really need a break from the recent rains
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8139
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 21414
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TOPEKA KS
657 PM CDT WED MAR 28 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TOPEKA HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTH CENTRAL OSAGE COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL KANSAS...

* UNTIL 730 PM CDT

* AT 652 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WITH STRONG ROTATION CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A
TORNADO. THIS SEVERE STORM WAS LOCATED NEAR CARBONDALE...MOVING
NORTHEAST AT 10 MPH.

* LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE...
CARBONDALE...

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

FOR YOUR SAFETY...GO TO A STORM SHELTER OR BASEMENT NOW!

STAY TUNED TO WEATHER RADIO OR LOCAL MEDIA OUTLETS FOR THE LATEST
SEVERE WEATHER INFORMATION.

&&

LAT...LON 3886 9569 3883 9559 3879 9561 3874 9568
3881 9576
TIME...MOT...LOC 2358Z 232DEG 9KT 3879 9569
HAIL 1.75IN

$$

BLAIR
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32261
It really has been a wet first three months especially March,when it is supposed to be the dry season for Puerto Rico. So far in 2012,I have the countdown of 92 flood advisories & Warnings that have been issued.
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 14315
Magnitude 4.3 - SICILY, ITALY
2012 March 28 23:17:05 UTC


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 426 Comments: 128639
Quoting KoritheMan:


The Gulf of Guinea remains remarkably cold:



That might enhance Sahel precipitation by promoting a northward progression of the ITCZ, which would make meteorological sense. But the ongoing drought and the cool eastern Atlantic will likely keep Cape Verde numbers to a minimum.

Levi32 point out the same thing in his 2012 hurricane season outlook
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8139
1. FORMATION OF A SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE IS POSSIBLE WITHIN
A 155 NM RADIUS OF 9.6N 113.7E WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.
AVAILABLE DATA DOES NOT JUSTIFY ISSUANCE OF NUMBERED TROPICAL
CYCLONE WARNINGS AT THIS TIME. WINDS IN THE AREA ARE ESTIMATED TO
BE 18 TO 22 KNOTS. METSAT IMAGERY AT 280000Z INDICATES THAT A
CIRCULATION CENTER IS LOCATED NEAR 9.7N 113.7E. THE SYSTEM IS
MOVING EAST-NORTHEASTWARD AT 06 KNOTS.
2. REMARKS: THE AREA OF CONVECTION PREVIOUSLY LOCATED NEAR 7.9N
113.4E, IS NOW LOCATED NEAR 9.7N 113.7E, APPROXIMATELY 290 NM NORTH-
NORTHWEST OF BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, BRUNEI. RECENT ANIMATED
MULTISPECTRAL SATELLITE IMAGERY SHOWS CONTINUED CONSOLIDATION OF
CONVECTION OVER THE LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER (LLCC). A 272234Z
SSMIS 37 GHZ IMAGE SHOWS THE LOW-LEVEL BANDING WRAPPING AROUND, AND
INTO, THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE LLCC. THERE IS POOR CONFIDENCE IN THE
CURRENT POSITION DUE TO THE DEGREE OF SPREAD IN PGTW, KNES, AND RJTD
CENTER FIX POSITIONS DURING THE SYSTEMS LIFE CYCLE. UPPER-LEVEL
ANALYSIS INDICATES THE LLCC IS APPROXIMATELY 5 DEGREES EQUATORWARD
OF THE SUBTROPICAL RIDGE AXIS, WHICH IS CREATING MODERATE LEVELS OF
VERTICAL WIND SHEAR (10-15 KNOTS). HOWEVER, IT SEEMS THAT EXCELLENT
DIVERGENCE ALOFT IS CURRENTLY OFFSETTING THE MODERATE VERTICAL WIND
SHEAR AND ALLOWING FOR PERSISTENT CENTRAL CONVECTION. ANIMATED WATER
VAPOR IMAGERY SHOWS THE MAJORITY OF OUTFLOW TO BE POLEWARD WITH
LITTLE EQUATORWARD EXHAUST. THE PRELIMINARY MODEL GUIDANCE DOES
SUGGEST A WEAK STEERING ENVIRONMENT DURING THE NEXT 12-24 HOURS WITH
A POSSIBLE LOOPING PATTERN BEFORE SUBTROPICAL RIDGING TO THE NORTH
BUILDS IN SUFFICIENTLY TO STEER THE SYSTEM GENERALLY WESTWARDS
TOWARDS VIETNAM. MAXIMUM SUSTAINED SURFACE WINDS ARE ESTIMATED AT 18
TO 22 KNOTS. MINIMUM SEA LEVEL PRESSURE IS ESTIMATED TO BE NEAR 1008
MB. DUE TO INCREASED CONSOLIDATION OF CENTRAL CONVECTION AND THE
EXCELLENT DIVERGENCE ALOFT, THE POTENTIAL FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF A
SIGNIFICANT TROPICAL CYCLONE WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS IS HIGH.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 83 Comments: 7835
Good evening all!
Member Since: November 6, 2010 Posts: 11 Comments: 8139
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One can see the beginning of the intense low on the CRAS W.V.forecast loop..Link
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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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