CSU: expect a quiet 2012 Atlantic hurricane season; EF-3 tornado confirmed in Texas

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:47 PM GMT on April 05, 2012

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Expect one of the quietest Atlantic hurricane seasons since 1995 this year, say the hurricane forecasting team of Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University (CSU) in their latest seasonal forecast issued April 4. They call for an Atlantic hurricane season with below-average activity: 10 named storms, 4 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. An average season has 10 - 11 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. The 2012 forecast calls for a below-average chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S., both along the East Coast (24% chance, 31% chance is average) and the Gulf Coast (24% chance, 30% chance is average). The Caribbean is forecast to have a 34% chance of seeing at least one major hurricane (42% is average.) Four years with similar pre-season March atmospheric and oceanic conditions were selected as "analogue" years that the 2012 hurricane season may resemble: 2009, 2001, 1965, and 1957. These years all had neutral to El Niño conditions during hurricane season. The average activity for these years was 9.5 named storms, 4.8 hurricanes, and 2.3 major hurricanes.


Figure 1. Departure of sea surface temperature (SST) from average for April 5, 2012, as computed by NOAA's NESDIS branch. SSTs in the hurricane Main Development Region (red box) were near average to below-average.

Why the forecast of a quiet season?
The CSU team cited two main reasons why this may be a quieter than average hurricane season:

1) La Niña has weakened rapidly over the tropical Eastern Pacific over the past month, and is expected to be gone by the end of April. In its wake, El Niño conditions may develop in time for the August - September - October peak of hurricane season. If El Niño conditions are present this fall, this will likely bring about a quiet Atlantic hurricane season due to increased upper-level winds over the tropical Atlantic creating wind shear that will tend to tear storms apart. The CSU team is leaning towards putting their trust in the ECMWF model, which is predicting that a weak El Niño event will be in place by fall.

2) Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the Main Development Region (MDR) for hurricanes from the Caribbean to the coast of Africa between 10°N and 20°N were near average to below average in March 2012. Virtually all African waves originate in the MDR, and these African waves account for 85% of all Atlantic major hurricanes and 60% of all named storms. When SSTs in the MDR are much above average during hurricane season, a very active season typically results (if there is no El Niño event present.) Conversely, when MDR SSTs are cooler than average, a below-average Atlantic hurricane season is more likely. This year's SSTs in the MDR are among the coolest we've seen since our current active hurricane period began in 1995. The cool temperatures are largely due to strong surface winds that blew during the winter over the tropical Atlantic in response to the positive phase of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO.) The strong winds stirred up the water, bringing up cooler waters from the depths.

How good are the April forecasts?
The forecasters are using a new statistical model developed last year for making April forecasts, so we don't have a long enough track record to judge how good the new model is. The new model correctly predicted a more active than average season for last year, though called for more activity than was actually observed. However, April forecasts of hurricane season activity are low-skill, since they must deal with the so-called "predictability barrier." April is the time of year when the El Niño/La Niña phenomenon commonly undergoes a rapid change from one state to another, making it difficult to predict whether we will have El Niño, La Niña, or neutral conditions in place for the coming hurricane season. Correctly predicting this is key, since if El Niño, conditions are present this fall, this will likely bring about a quiet Atlantic hurricane season due to increased upper-level winds over the tropical Atlantic creating wind shear that will tend to tear storms apart.

CSU maintains an Excel spreadsheet of their forecast errors ( expressed as a mathematical correlation coefficient, where positive means a skilled forecast, and negative means they did worse than climatology) for their their April forecasts. For now, these April forecasts should simply be viewed as an interesting research effort that has the potential to make skillful forecasts. The next CSU forecast, due by June 1, is the one worth paying attention to. Their early June forecasts have shown considerable skill over the years.

Preliminary NWS survey of the April 3rd, 2012 Dallas, Texas tornadoes
The Fort Worth Weather Service office began surveying tornado damage yesterday from three tornadoes that ripped through the Dallas metro area on Tuesday afternoon. Official storm surveys will be released in the next few days. The Arlington/Kennendale tornado has a preliminary rating of EF-2. They suspect wind speeds peaked around 135mph, a path length of 4.6 miles, and a maximum width of 400 yards (1/4 mile). The Lancaster/Hutchins tornado has a preliminary rating of EF-2, and they suspect it had a maximum width of 200 yards (1/8 mile). The Forney tornado has a preliminary rating of EF-3, with suspected winds up to 150 mph. Surveys are ongoing--there's a lot of damage to see along the tornado paths. These ratings reflect the most severe damage the teams have seen so far. Eighteen tornado warnings were issued by the National Weather Service in Fort Worth on Tuesday, which saved hundreds of lives. There were no fatalities Tuesday, which is welcome news in the wake of 2011's deadly tornado season.


Figure 2. This photo was taken by a NWS Storm Survey team in Lancaster TX on April 4, 2012. It shows EF-2 tornado damage that occurred in parts of Lancaster on April 3, 2012.


Figure 3. From the Weather Service: This is an aerial photograph of a tornado damaged area in Arlington TX. The damage from the tornado that affected Kennedale and Arlington on April 3, 2012 has been given a preliminary rating of EF-2. The photo was taken on Wednesday, April 4, looking to the east.

Portlight disaster relief charity responds to this year's tornadoes
Disaster relief charity portlight.org sent Thomas Hudson to the DFW area yesterday to do damage assessment and determine whether there is a need for Portlight's services in the wake of the tornadoes. Check out the Portlight blog to see the latest updates, and catch up the great work they've been doing in Harrisburg, Illinois in the wake of the devastating EF-4 tornado that hit the town on Leap Day, 2012.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

I think 2000 j/kg of CAPE is sufficient.

The site I use does not have 500 mbar winds like TwisterData (but TwisterData doesn't have the ECMWF model), but it has 850 mbar and 200 mbar winds. Winds near the surface (850 mbar) are from the south, and up at 200 mb, they're due west.

Eek.


Very nasty stuff. Good news is, it's 240 hours out and just like with hurricanes the models can flipflop, bad news is also just like with hurricanes the ECMWF is usually the higher preforming model.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24579
Wow, to bad weather has gone the way of football, Monday morning quarterbacking. To bad the NWS can't tweet there forecast. Maybe we should replace them with a call center from some foreign country.Dam this government all they can win is an occasional war.
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Quoting Grothar:


They said the "best" not the greatest.


OOOOOH!
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Quoting pipelines:
why is wundergrounds "Best forecast" so inaccurate? I've noticed huge discrepancies lately from the NWS forecast and wundergrounds "best forecast".

For example, tonight, in Birmingham, wunderground states the low will be 72, NWS 49, it's already 56 and dropping. Tomorrow wunderground 82/68, NWS 72/49, Saturday wunderground 86/63, NWS 74/50. A 10-20 degree discrepancy is huge......


They said the "best" not the greatest.
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vMARINE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY AREA - RUSKIN FL
849 PM EDT THU APR 5 2012

GMZ853-856-873-876-060145-
849 PM EDT THU APR 5 2012

...STRONG THUNDERSTORMS APPROACHING THE WATERS...

AT 846 PM EDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED
THUNDERSTORMS...PRODUCING STRONG WINDS UP TO 33 KNOTS 24 NM WEST OF
M13 REEF...OR ABOUT 53 NM SOUTHWEST OF SIESTA KEY...MOVING EAST AT 25
KNOTS.

MARINERS CAN EXPECT GUSTY WINDS UP TO 33 KNOTS...LOCALLY HIGHER
WAVES...AND DEADLY CLOUD TO WATER LIGHTNING STRIKES. BOATERS SHOULD
SEEK SAFE HARBOR IMMEDIATELY UNTIL THIS STORM PASSES.

LAT...LON 2649 8317 2705 8349 2719 8255 2649 8223
2622 8305

$$
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Quoting pipelines:
why is wundergrounds "Best forecast" so inaccurate? I've noticed huge discrepancies lately from the NWS forecast and wundergrounds "best forecast".

For example, tonight, in Birmingham, wunderground states the low will be 72, NWS 49, it's already 56 and dropping. Tomorrow wunderground 82/68, NWS 72/49, Saturday wunderground 86/63, NWS 74/50. A 10-20 degree discrepancy is huge......
You will have to give more credence to the NWS forecasts as they are somewhat influenced by local forecasters instead o being based completely on averaged out model data like the "best forecast" is. Use your intuition.
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Quoting pipelines:
why is wundergrounds "Best forecast" so inaccurate? I've noticed huge discrepancies lately from the NWS forecast and wundergrounds "best forecast".

For example, tonight, in Birmingham, wunderground states the low will be 72, NWS 49, it's already 56 and dropping. Tomorrow wunderground 82/68, NWS 72/49, Saturday wunderground 86/63, NWS 74/50. A 10-20 degree discrepancy is huge......


I think it's because they focus more on specific locales, and even neighborhoods. Whereas NWS data is typically calibrated from an official observing station, usually outside of a particular community.
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Quoting thunderbug91:
Mass in the GOM picking up intensity again as it nears the shore.

looks like ft meyrs and naples get the action tonight
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why is wundergrounds "Best forecast" so inaccurate? I've noticed huge discrepancies lately from the NWS forecast and wundergrounds "best forecast".

For example, tonight, in Birmingham, wunderground states the low will be 72, NWS 49, it's already 56 and dropping. Tomorrow wunderground 82/68, NWS 72/49, Saturday wunderground 86/63, NWS 74/50. A 10-20 degree discrepancy is huge......
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Quoting Grothar:


I had the vsval. The had a very varied menv. Expensive thovgh. An average cost of dinner was about CCLXXIV.


274?
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7:00 PM Update had CAPE readings ranging from 1,500j/kg - 2,500j/kg mostly around the southern tip of Florida.



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Quoting Jedkins01:



Yeah by about 10 AM this morning I could tell the forecast for strong/severe storms might not hold. I was watching the disturbance this morning that was supposed to be the trigger for thunderstorms tonight but between SPC meso-analysis and Water Vapor loop I could see that the disturbance was collapsing and only the south part was still holding. Basically it split this morning into to pieces, the northern half dissipated and a piece of energy broke off and moved southeast and is headed for far south Florida and could provide some strong storms there.


Basically the models performed terribly with this entire system for our area.
They sure did perform bad, but this is where the human forecasters should have stepped up and updated the forecast based solely on their educated opinions on what will take place. Last night the forecasted 10% pops remained until less than 1 HOUR before the storms hit the coast without a SPS or any statement being issued. I just don't get why our local office insists on giving the computer models so much credit instead of using its own knowledge to make a better forecast based on real time data including radar and satellite...
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Quoting Jedkins01:



Yeah by about 10 AM this morning I could tell the forecast for strong/severe storms might not hold. I was watching the disturbance this morning that was supposed to be the trigger for thunderstorms tonight but between SPC meso-analysis and Water Vapor loop I could see that the disturbance was collapsing and only the south part was still holding. Basically it split this morning into to pieces, the northern half dissipated and a piece of energy broke off and moved southeast and is headed for far south Florida and could provide some strong storms there.


Basically the models performed terribly with this entire system for our area.


Well, earlier when someone asked about the Tampa area, I did mention that what looked like the "tail" on radar was sort of weak, and you couldn't see farther out.

So the system sort of broke in half, and part went north of Tampa and mostly fizzled, and the part that was headed for Tampa has sort of just died.

At the time, I said 4 to 6 hours, but I agree at this point they probably won't get much more than some clouds and maybe mist...
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting Grothar:


I had the vsval. The had a very varied menv. Expensive thovgh. An average cost of dinner was about CCLXXIV.
That is a lot...Rome must have been really cool.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22702
Quoting DavidHOUTX:


If we get another Allison here in Houston, that will be a major flood problem
and another ts name retire.
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Quoting Grothar:


I had the vsval. The had a very varied menv. Expensive thovgh. An average cost of dinner was about CCLXXIV.


Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3477
Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:
NHC has posted their presentations from the recent National Hurricane Conference on their Outreach page.

2012 National Hurricane Conference - Hurricane Readiness for Coastal Community (L-311) Course

Overview (4 MB)
Hurricane Life Cycle & Hazards (18 MB)
Forecast Process (8 MB)
Forecast Verification (3 MB)
NHC & WFO Products (12 MB)
Wind Speed Probabilities (5 MB)
Introduction to Storm Surge (28 MB)
Storm Surge Forecasting & Products (7 MB)
Readiness (1 MB)
Exercise (6 MB)

Check out the wind probabilities pdf. It works just like a basketball pool.
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Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Wow. NWS Tampa must be feeling pretty disappointed in itself tonight after blowing 2 forecasts in a row. Last night they predicted a silent 10% pops for the area and we ended up with severe storms, and tonight they predict a 60% of t-storms, mentioning some could be severe, but it looks as if only a small portion of the forecast area will receive any rain at all, let alone severe weather.

Am I missing something? I really don't see anymore storms forming out in the Gulf that could affect west central Florida...



Yeah by about 10 AM this morning I could tell the forecast for strong/severe storms might not hold. I was watching the disturbance this morning that was supposed to be the trigger for thunderstorms tonight but between SPC meso-analysis and Water Vapor loop I could see that the disturbance was collapsing and only the south part was still holding. Basically it split this morning into to pieces, the northern half dissipated and a piece of energy broke off and moved southeast and is headed for far south Florida and could provide some strong storms there.


Basically the models performed terribly with this entire system for our area.
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Quoting Jedkins01:


Its not dry air, moisture is what it was forecast to be, it can't be explained that easily.


There just isn't anything to trigger convection, the approaching shortwave which was supposed to bring the activity essentially collapsed but a portion held strong and ejected southeast. You can follow the upper disturbance on water vapor and short wave IR.


Oh so you're saying it needed an mechanism to give it the boot, like an ULL?
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Quoting washingtonian115:
How was the food??


I had the vsval. The had a very varied menv. Expensive thovgh. An average cost of dinner was about CCLXXIV.
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
two words...dry air. I was actually looking forward to a stormy night too. Something has definitely changed about the atmosphere here lately, today was one of the more humid days of the year as well and the sun was out, you would think there would have been enough instability to pop off or sustain the thunderstorm activity. I know there is something I'm not understanding here about the dynamics in the atmosphere that had to come together for the forecast to hold true.


Its not dry air, moisture is what it was forecast to be, it can't be explained that easily.


There just isn't anything to trigger convection, the approaching shortwave which was supposed to bring the activity essentially collapsed but a portion held strong and ejected southeast. You can follow the upper disturbance on water vapor and short wave IR.


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NHC has posted their presentations from the recent National Hurricane Conference on their Outreach page.

2012 National Hurricane Conference - Hurricane Readiness for Coastal Community (L-311) Course

Overview (4 MB)
Hurricane Life Cycle & Hazards (18 MB)
Forecast Process (8 MB)
Forecast Verification (3 MB)
NHC & WFO Products (12 MB)
Wind Speed Probabilities (5 MB)
Introduction to Storm Surge (28 MB)
Storm Surge Forecasting & Products (7 MB)
Readiness (1 MB)
Exercise (6 MB)
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


If the shear values and CAPE are excellent enough.. April 27th, 2011 style.

I think 2000 j/kg of CAPE is sufficient.

The site I use does not have 500 mbar winds like TwisterData (but TwisterData doesn't have the ECMWF model), but it has 850 mbar and 200 mbar winds. Winds near the surface (850 mbar) are from the south, and up at 200 mb, they're due west.

Eek.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32859
Quoting CanesfanatUT:


Sorry - just saw this. Bob - those rigs can EASILY move back to the dry gas plays if NG prices climb. I don't think you understand - when you shut in a well, it doesn't stop producing for good. It's characteristics change and the production may change - but a well isn't dead.

Believe me a LOT of companies are waiting with baited breath for Henry Hub prices to hit 4 $/MBTU. NG will come if the market gets higher.


You think I don't understand that wells, once drilled, produce gas for a while? Why would you arrive at that thought?

Yes, rigs can move back in when the price is right. And at the moment the price is not right which is why they packed up and left. You seem to feel that $4 is about the right price to bring some rigs back. I can't dispute that, but clearly today's price is too low to keep them working.

We had a drilling bubble. Too much money flooded into operations and too many wells were sunk. A supply glut was created and prices dropped below the cost of drilling a well.

Of course if the price goes higher then NG use will drop for grid energy. Gas peaker plants will likely start loosing out to storage. We've got some interesting battery options coming on line.
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Quoting Grothar:


Nice, I just never cared for walking around in a sheet, though.
How was the food??
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17831
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Wow. NWS Tampa must be feeling pretty disappointed in itself tonight after blowing 2 forecasts in a row. Last night they predicted a silent 10% pops for the area and we ended up with severe storms, and tonight they predict a 60% of t-storms, mentioning some could be severe, but it looks as if only a small portion of the forecast area will receive any rain at all, let alone severe weather.

Am I missing something? I really don't see anymore storms forming out in the Gulf that could affect west central Florida...
two words...dry air. I was actually looking forward to a stormy night too. Something has definitely changed about the atmosphere here lately, today was one of the more humid days of the year as well and the sun was out, you would think there would have been enough instability to pop off or sustain the thunderstorm activity. I know there is something I'm not understanding here about the dynamics in the atmosphere that had to come together for the forecast to hold true.
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Grothar. I would like to request a conference with you.


I'll have my people get back to your people.

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Quoting PedleyCA:
115- Must be me but your icon reverted to an empty one just then, weird....
Quoting PedleyCA:


Yes, I broke that news yesterday

Nice Icon... bet they don't complain on that one.

Hey, where did it go....
I don't know what the icon problem is and I'm to lazy to find out.I think we should move on about the boy getting banned though.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17831
Quoting washingtonian115:
How was Rome Grothar?


Nice, I just never cared for walking around in a sheet, though.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


If the shear values and CAPE are excellent enough.. April 27th, 2011 style.


I kinda figured, I just didn't want to over-state the case.

Because the forecast is still ten days out, but some of the dynamics are very similar and the surface low is of very similar intensity.

Biggest difference is this one is farther north, if we're talking about the same system from last year.

Of course, a lot can happen in ten days, and how everything lines up will determine shear.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
115- Must be me but your icon reverted to an empty one just then, weird....
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Quoting washingtonian115:
No offense but...This news is old....


Yes, I broke that news yesterday

Nice Icon... bet they don't complain on that one.

Hey, where did it go....
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Wow. NWS Tampa must be feeling pretty disappointed in itself tonight after blowing 2 forecasts in a row. Last night they predicted a silent 10% pops for the area and we ended up with severe storms, and tonight they predict a 60% of t-storms, mentioning some could be severe, but it looks as if only a small portion of the forecast area will receive any rain at all, let alone severe weather.

Am I missing something? I really don't see anymore storms forming out in the Gulf that could affect west central Florida...
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Quoting RTSplayer:
222:

What is that? Below 990mb surface somewhere over Kansas and Nebraska?

That's 10 days out, but wouldn't that have like outbreak potential?


If the shear values and CAPE are excellent enough.. April 27th, 2011 style.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24579
Quoting yqt1001:
Just heard from SPL, he did get permabanned.

1 down, thousands to go!

I shall take down Jeff Masters and rule this site with an iron fist!
No offense but...This news is old....
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17831
Quoting BobWallace:


I agree that price quadrupling isn't likely in the next few years. But at current prices most of the drilling rigs have left the natural gas fields. Until the current supply gut is used up and prices rise some they won't return.

The futures market sees NG prices doubling over the next five years.


Sorry - just saw this. Bob - those rigs can EASILY move back to the dry gas plays if NG prices climb. I don't think you understand - when you shut in a well, it doesn't stop producing for good. It's characteristics change and the production may change - but a well isn't dead.

Believe me a LOT of companies are waiting with baited breath for Henry Hub prices to hit 4 $/MBTU. NG will come if the market gets higher.
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Quoting BrickellBreeze:


Severe?

Not sure yet. 58dbz and growing fast...
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Quoting RTSplayer:
222:

What is that? Below 990mb surface somewhere over Kansas and Nebraska?

That's 10 days out, but wouldn't that have like outbreak potential?

Definitely. The scary thing is, the ECMWF is usually accurate and first starting showing the "outbreak" on Tuesday. The GFS is actually less bullish than usual, but I'm sure that will change as time progresses knowing the model.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32859
Quoting thunderbug91:
Mass in the GOM picking up intensity again as it nears the shore.



Severe?
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222:

What is that? Below 990mb surface somewhere over Kansas and Nebraska?

That's 10 days out, but wouldn't that have like outbreak potential?
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Not good...not good at all.





Holy longwave trough, Batman!
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Not good...not good at all.



Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32859
Quoting RTSplayer:


I dislike the yardage penalty system in Football.

I think they should reduce all penalties to 5 yards.

For flagrant penalties such as holding, roughing, facemask, etc, which are currently given 10 and 15 yards, they should instead give a 5 yards penalty, and eject the individual player from the game until the end of the quarter. A second string player or other player would still be allowed to replace the ejected player during the penalty time.

Sort of like a "card" system or a "penalty box" system.


Grothar. I would like to request a conference with you.
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Mass in the GOM picking up intensity again as it nears the shore.

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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


Technical foul! 5 yard penalty!

What? That was a personal foul?

(Instant review)

After watching the replay, Personal Foul! 15 yard penalty and loss of down!


I dislike the yardage penalty system in Football.

I think they should reduce all penalties to 5 yards.

For flagrant penalties such as holding, roughing, facemask, etc, which are currently given 10 and 15 yards, they should instead give a 5 yards penalty, and eject the individual player from the game until the end of the quarter. A second string player or other player would still be allowed to replace the ejected player during the penalty time.

Sort of like a "card" system or a "penalty box" system.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 33 Comments: 1520
Quoting hydrus:
Another strong"A" storm..A September 19, 1950 weather map featuring Hurricane Able
Date 19 September 1950Hurricane Able was the first named tropical cyclone in the Atlantic Ocean, and was also the first of a record eight major hurricanes in the 1950 Atlantic hurricane season. Its development was confirmed on August 12 by the Hurricane Hunters, which is a group that intentionally flies into a hurricane for observations. Hurricane Able reached peak winds of 140 mph (225 km/h), and initially threatened to strike the Bahamas. Instead, it turned to the northwest and later to the northeast. After brushing the Outer Banks and Cape Cod, Able moved ashore on Nova Scotia as a rapidly weakening tropical storm. It later crossed Newfoundland and dissipated on August 22...It passed well east of the seaboard and still dropped quite a bit of rain.

The hurricane prompted standard precautions in the Bahamas and Florida, although it did not affect the region. In North Carolina, winds and waves brushed the coast, while around New York City, heavy rainfall caused some flooding. Along Cape Cod and Nantucket, Able produced winds up to 55 mph (90 km/h) and high waves, and across New England there were nine traffic fatalities. The hurricane killed 2 people in Canada and caused over $1 million in damage.


I wouldn't mind seeing another one of these:





Hurricane Able in 1951. The only May major hurricane in the historical database.
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57 deaths and $1-2 billion in damage so far in 2012.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32859
Jed you have been pretty on so far. I will say I'm in Orlando not my hometown in fl. but just in the last 1/2 hour the winds have died down which sometimes means a change. I've noticed it never seems to be to bad if the wind is strong in S. Fl. before these fronts. I think we will all know something for sure in the next hour.
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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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