Hurricane Irene of 2011 now rated history's 6th most damaging hurricane

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:33 PM GMT on May 03, 2012

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New damage estimates released last month by NOAA now place the damage from 2011's Hurricane Irene at $15.8 billion, making the storm the 6th costliest hurricane and 10th costliest weather-related disaster in U.S. history. Irene hit North Carolina on August 27, 2011, as a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds, and made landfalls the next day in New Jersey and New York City as a tropical storm. Most of the damage from Irene occurred because of the tremendous fresh water flooding the storm's rains brought to much of New England. Irene is now rated as the most expensive Category 1 hurricane to hit the U.S. The previous record was held by Hurricane Agnes of 1972, whose floods did $11.8 billion in damage in the Northeast. NOAA also announced that the name Irene had been retired from the list of active hurricane names. Irene was the only named retired in 2011, and was the 76th name to be retired since 1954. The name Irene was replaced with Irma, which is next scheduled be used in 2017.


Figure 1. True-color MODIS image of Hurricane Irene over North Carolina taken at 11:35 am EDT August 27, 2011. At the time, Irene was a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

At last month's 30th Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology of the American Meteorological Society, Paul Ruscher of Florida State University explained how Irene's storm surge came within 8 inches of flooding New York City's subway system, which would have caused devastating damage. At the current global rate of sea level rise of 3.1 mm/year, a repeat of Irene 65 years from now would be capable of flooding the subway system, if no action is taken. Since sea level rise is expected to accelerate as the planet warms in coming decades, an Irene-type storm surge would likely be capable of flooding the NYC subway system much sooner than that. To read more about New York City's vulnerability, see Andrew Freedman's analysis at Climate Central, Climate Change Could Cripple New York’s Transportation, or my November 2011 blog post, Hurricane Irene: New York City dodges a potential storm surge mega-disaster.

Jeff Masters

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hey stormtracker, is this smoke from the fires over you?...
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SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MELBOURNE FL
630 AM EDT FRI MAY 4 2012

FLZ045-041259-
ORANGE-
630 AM EDT FRI MAY 4 2012

...DENSE FOG AND SMOKE REPORTED AT STATE ROUTES 50 AND 5 20...

FLORIDA HIGHWAY PATROL REPORTS DENSE FOG AND SMOKE ARE REDUCING
VISIBILITIES AT STATE ROUTES 50 AND 5 20 IN EAST ORANGE COUNTY.
MOTORISTS ARE URGED TO USE CAUTION IN THIS AREA AS VERY SUDDEN
VISIBILITY REDUCTIONS CAN OCCUR.

ACCORDING TO F H P...A STRETCH OF STATE ROUTE 50 IS CLOSED AT STATE
ROUTE 5 20. INCREASING WINDS SHOULD HELP DISPERSE THE SMOKE AND FOG
BY 9 AM.

&&

$$

JP
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La Nina made "the news." ;)

Goodbye La Nina: Will drought, hurricanes also go?
Associated PressAssociated Press – 19 hrs ago


WASHINGTON (AP) — The La Nina weather phenomenon is over. Forecasters say that's good news for the drought in the South and hurricane areas along the coasts.

The National Weather Service pronounced the two-year La Nina (NEEN'-yah) finished on Thursday. La Nina is the flip side of El Nino (NEEN'-yoh) and is caused by the cooling of the central Pacific Ocean. La Nina's greatest effects are in the winter, usually triggering drought in the U.S. South and more rain further north. It also often means more hurricane activity in the Atlantic during the summer. Global temperatures are cooler during La Ninas, especially in the tropics

Meteorologists reported some drought relief in Texas earlier this year. But recently drought conditions intensified again in parts of Texas and much of the Southeast.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 245
GFS Long Range.


Member Since: October 26, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2651
Glacial pace not slow anymore
Greenland's glaciers are melting 30% faster than they did a decade ago.

Faster than the IntergovernmentalPanel(on)ClimateChange could agree upon as a consensus worst case scenario, and slower than what any qualified scientist could reasonably project from facts on the ground as the worst case scenario.
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Aspectre, #468, there will be no winners should something like this happen.

Alan Robock of Rutgers has this interesting page. See the short presentation he gave at the 2011 AGU meeting. "Chilling" in many ways.
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A weather joke:

...wait for it...

...Jose.
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Quoting ilovehurricanes12:
bad news here!!Torn ACL puts Mariano's future in doubt may 4 2012!! bad news here!!

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera tore the ACL in his right knee during BP on Thursday and may be lost for the season.



sucks for him but it couldn't happen to a better team or fans.
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Good morning all. Quite the read aspectre. And thought provoking. Recently read a book called Arc Light. That is a place I hope we never go. And decisions I cannot fathom having to make. Chilling. Well I'm awake now. ;)
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477. MahFL
I think "re_anal.html" is an unfortunate web page name lol.
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472 bappit: It isn't humorous, so I can't see how it could be deleted.

The deleted "humorous" comments were almost always posted during Heavy Weather Emergencies, profanely/obscenely/etc worded, or posted to deliberately irritate the moderators and others who hate the unprovoked mention of trolls.
And having had one or two of my lengthy serious but off-topic comments made in response to another's postings deleted, I can assure you that MAD/etc is skirting the borderline even for a quiet period.
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405 Inyo: Irene left deep scars in Vermont that we are still dealing with.
I was just writing about Irene in my blog, and was surprised to see this post here.


Really nice write-up of Irene and invasive species on your blog.
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While lightning strikes here, i must say i'm very excited to watch a hurricane at the start of the season.
On the other hand....
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It isn't humorous, so I can't see how it could be deleted.
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HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAMPA BAY RUSKIN FL
331 AM EDT FRI MAY 4 2012

FLZ039-042-043-048>052-055>057-060>062-065-GMZ830 -850-853-856-870-
873-876-050745-
LEVY-CITRUS-SUMTER-HERNANDO-PASCO-PINELLAS-HILLSB OROUGH-POLK-
MANATEE-HARDEE-HIGHLANDS-SARASOTA-DE SOTO-CHARLOTTE-LEE-
TAMPA BAY WATERS-TARPON SPRINGS TO SUWANNEE RIVER OUT 20 NM-
ENGLEWOOD TO TARPON SPRINGS OUT 20 NM-
BONITA BEACH TO ENGLEWOOD OUT 20 NM-
TARPON SPRINGS TO SUWANNEE RIVER OUT 20 TO 60 NM-
ENGLEWOOD TO TARPON SPRINGS OUT 20 TO 60 NM-
BONITA BEACH TO ENGLEWOOD OUT 20 TO 60 NM-
331 AM EDT FRI MAY 4 2012

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR WEST CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST
FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TONIGHT.

...THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS WILL DEVELOP ACROSS THE AREA THIS
AFTERNOON. SEVERE WEATHER IS NOT EXPECTED AND THE PRIMARY THREAT
WILL BE OCCASIONAL CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING STRIKES.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...SATURDAY THROUGH THURSDAY.

...THUNDERSTORM IMPACT...
ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE AREA EACH DAY
THROUGH THURSDAY. SEVERE WEATHER IS NOT EXPECTED AND THE PRIMARY
THREAT WILL BE CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTNING.

.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...

SPOTTER ACTIVATION WILL NOT BE NEEDED TODAY.

$$

JOHNSON
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rain is getting closer but still no cigar...................
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Hopefully the moderators won't find this to be highly deletable due to being a bit too far off-topic even for a relatively quiet weather period.
If someone wants to open up their own blog for the subject, I'll delete this myself and we can argue over it there. (Sorry, never bothered to figure out how to open a personal blog here cuz I can't see my writings as sufficiently thoughtful to be worth blogging.)

359 WxGeekVA: In other news, Russia seems to want another Cold War with the U.S....
Russia's military threatens preemptive strike if NATO goes ahead with missile plan


From the Russian perspective, an anti-ICBM shield is a FirstStrike*weapon. ie From their military point of view, the US has renounced the stabilization effect of MutuallyAssuredDestruction to embark on a campaign to obtain RetaliationlessFirstStrike capabilities.

1) Russian intelligence knows that US sonar/satellite/etc capabilities allow US hunter subs to track and fire upon Russian SLBM-carrying boomers long before their own boomers become aware of the US hunters. First warning of the possibility of being attacked will come when the hunters launch their anti-sub missiles and/or torpedoes.
They also know that Russian hunter subs will be detected long before they can detect US boomers. ie US boomers can easily be prepared to launch-on-detection of the launch of Russian anti-sub missiles and torpedoes.
That US capability plus a partial*anti-ICBM/SLBM shield would effectively negate one leg of the Russian Triad that is supposed to assure MAD retaliation in the event that the US launches a first strike.

2) Russian intelligence knows that US satellite capabilities make it highly unlikely that Russia can effectively hide land-based InterContinentalBallisticMissiles and IntermediateRangeBallisticMissiles.
And that the interval between an ICBM and/or SubmarineLaunchedBallisticMissile (from boomers) launch and a target being hit is so short that it precludes any troubleshooting upon the detection&launch equipment; and thus so short that those in the chain of command of ordering a launch cannot decide whether a mess on the radar screen is the result of a computer error or of an ultramassive first strike.
Since the beginning of the nuclear standoff, the Soviets have always had an automatic-launch capability based upon detection of seismic waves and/or high-energy radiation from a nuclear blast...
...and probably so do the Russians. The problem is that a properly timed sequence of launches can essentially hit nearly all of the targets at so nearly the same time that nearly all of the ICBMs will be destroyed before a retaliatory launch can be triggered automaticly.
The ones that survive long enough to be successfully launched can theoretically be mopped up by the US anti-missile system.
Thus the second leg of their MAD Triad would become effectively negated.

3) The AirForces' bomber-based leg of the MAD Triad (for both sides) has always depended upon the destruction of the other side's airfields and nearly all of their interceptor craft by ICBMs&SLBMs.
Until the ClintonAdministration, the US got around that by having the StrategicAirCommand maintain flight schedules such that a fifth to a quarter of the total operational strategic bomber forces were IN THE AIR for 24hours/day&7days/week coverage. Even if the home airfields were destroyed by a first strike, those bombers would already be heading toward the Soviets.
The Soviets couldn't and now the Russians can't afford the fuel&maintenance costs associated with keeping aircraft flying on such 24/7 coverage schedules.
And again the US anti-missile shield would theoretically protect US bombers&interceptors and their associated airfields from being destroyed by a retaliatory ICBM&SLBM strike.
Thus negating the third leg of Russia's MAD Triad.

I very much doubt that the US would quietly acquiesce to an exclusively Russian capability to negate the effectiveness of the US MAD Triad of Retaliation.
And "We wouldn't launch first, we're the GoodGuys." doesn't cut it. Militaries base their defense plans upon the Other's capabilities, and not upon what they hope will be the Other's good will.

* Anti-IRBM/ICBM/SLBM missiles are going to be outnumbered by the IRBMs/ICBMs/SLBMs available for a massive attack, so producing a full-shield effect necessitates pre-emptively knocking out the overwhelming majority of IRBMs/ICBMs/SLBMs while they're still in-or-on the ground and sea.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


I don't even need a wand.



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465. Skyepony (Mod)
Finally the ASCAT..
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The thing with Fukushima, is that some ammounts of that radioactivity is reaching Alaska, Hawaii, and W Conus. We can disagree on the quantity, but the fact is that it is occuring. Not considering all the other many countries in the Pacific and at the moment there is no international effort imposing an inmediate stop.... This is serious...

Joe Rogan on Fukushima and Nuclear Power: If these reactors keep messing up, were going to have giant areas of our world contaminated and dead for 100,000s of years Thats the reality were operating under (VIDEO)

Link
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Quoting Skyepony:


See the yellow fog at Fukushima? The camera watchers are chatting this up. Odd how Tepco admits the gas/fog that comes out all the time is radioactive right before it turns yellow.



Gundersen: “The water is steaming and boiling” still at Fukushima; “Yes, there’s some radiation being given off ” (AUDIO) — Visible in recent Tepco webcam footage? (VIDEO)

Published: May 3rd, 2012 at 5:40 pm ET



Interview On April 15, 2012
KGO Radio’s Pat Thurston
Arnie Gundersen

Host: Let me ask you about the pools themselves. They’re not covered up they’ve got these rods in there that they are trying to cool down… I assume they’re still emitting radioactivity… I assume that’s still going out into the air?

Gundersen: Yes. There’s some radiation being given off because the water is steaming and boiling.

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461. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting sunlinepr:


See the yellow fog at Fukushima? The camera watchers are chatting this up. Odd how Tepco admits the gas/fog that comes out all the time is radioactive right before it turns yellow.
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460. Skyepony (Mod)
Weather Insurance Losses Approach $2 Billion In April from the tornadoes hail & such.
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Goodnight everyone.
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Quoting BobWallace:


I'm a southern Jefferson boy.

Down in the Emerald Triangle....


Sounds like a bunch of Humboldt to me. :) You are too much, Bob!!
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Quoting Grothar:


Don't have to look it up. I have family in Oregon. :) In which side of the almost state do you reside.


I'm a southern Jefferson boy.

Down in the Emerald Triangle....
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
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455. Skyepony (Mod)
Surface trough formed this afternoon accompanied by some mid level turning east of Tampa. Good thing the gulf isn't tepid hot & the shear is 30kts. Come on rain.

Looking at GMAO (select Tropical Atlantic under region). Dominican Republic looks like it might get dumped on, with more rain for PR. May be the start of a very week low that moves off to the NE. GFS takes that moisture that hit South America today & draws it over the Leeward Islands.

Nite docrod.
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Quoting Skyepony:


G'nite Skye - checking out early .... look at all those photons going nowhere. Ok - elsewhere.
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Quoting BobWallace:


I remember the State of Franklin from growing up there in the 1940s and 1950s. I did have to look up the State of Frankland as I had never heard of that version before. I don't think we had a lot of Franks around back then. The German side of my family came from Bavaria.

BTW, I now live in the (almost) State of Jefferson.
Feel free to look that one up if you need.... ;o)


Don't have to look it up. I have family in Oregon. :) In which side of the almost state do you reside.
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Quoting Grothar:


Well, for some reason I have a feeling you looked that up. But that is OK. I remembered it from school back in the 1950's. Some things just stick with you. But this is also a good way of learning. I am really happy to see people, especially the younger ones, take the time to look up correct facts.


I remember the State of Franklin from growing up there in the 1940s and 1950s. I did have to look up the State of Frankland as I had never heard of that version before. I don't think we had a lot of Franks around back then. The German side of my family came from Bavaria.

BTW, I now live in the (almost) State of Jefferson.
Feel free to look that one up if you need.... ;o)
Member Since: February 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1344
Quoting WxGeekVA:
Before I go to sleep, here's lightning in slow motion...





Amazing to see in slow motion! It must be noted that lightning travels at 3700 miles a second... I can`t believe one could make a slow motion video - unless the given speed is for the return-flash only.
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Link Quad Cities IA Loop

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Before I go to sleep, here's lightning in slow motion...



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Still have houses and places closed or still in repair from that storm..

T'was rather entertaining actually..
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Quoting BobWallace:


Well, State of Frankland when presented to the Continental Congress. But prior to that the area was first the State of Franklin and the Free Republic of Franklin. ;o)



If you want to have some fun with your friends, look up the name John Hanson. Some people maintain there were 7 Presidents before Washington. See why there is some basis of fact to that, although I doubt it will ever be revised.
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:


OK, in 1954 Hurricane ALICE is listed twice as named storm #1 and named storm #11. Both named storms have the same information assigned to them. Also there is a CAT1 hurricane Florence listed with 65 mph winds. .... OK, I will admit it. I was was in charge of statistics that year and I like the name Alice. Also, I thought Florence was a little breathier than others gave her credit for. ;-)


LOL. You get the cookie, Rookie!
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Quoting Grothar:


Here is something I posted earlier and no one responded. It really is a mistake and no one has caught it. See you can find it.

There is an almost mistake in the Unisys records for 1954 and 1955. It is a trick question, but who can find the mistake first.

I will even give you the link.

Link


OK, in 1954 Hurricane ALICE is listed twice as named storm #1 and named storm #11. Both named storms have the same information assigned to them. Also there is a CAT1 hurricane Florence listed with 65 mph winds. .... OK, I will admit it. I was was in charge of statistics that year and I like the name Alice. Also, I thought Florence was a little breathier than others gave her credit for. ;-)
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Quoting BobWallace:


Well, State of Frankland when presented to the Continental Congress. But prior to that the area was first the State of Franklin and the Free Republic of Franklin. ;o)



Well, for some reason I have a feeling you looked that up. But that is OK. I remembered it from school back in the 1950's. Some things just stick with you. But this is also a good way of learning. I am really happy to see people, especially the younger ones, take the time to look up correct facts.
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FLASH FLOOD WARNING
IAC107-115-183-040900-
/O.NEW.KDVN.FF.W.0001.120504T0258Z-120504T0900Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000 Z.OO/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE QUAD CITIES IA IL
958 PM CDT THU MAY 3 2012

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN THE QUAD CITIES HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
KEOKUK COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST IOWA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF SIGOURNEY...
LOUISA COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST IOWA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...WAPELLO...COLUMBUS JUNCTION...
WASHINGTON COUNTY IN SOUTHEAST IOWA...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF WASHINGTON...

* UNTIL 400 AM CDT FRIDAY

* AT 953 PM CDT...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR INDICATED
FLASH FLOODING FROM A THUNDERSTORM OVER THE WARNED AREA. A
SPOTTER REPORTED OVER 2 INCHES OF RAINFALL IN LESS THAN AN HOUR
NEAR WASHINGTON.

* LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO LETTS...
WHAT CHEER...SOUTH ENGLISH...KINROSS...KESWICK...HARPER...DELTA...
WELLMAN...RICHMOND AND KALONA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

ADDITIONAL RAINFALL OF 1 TO 2 INCHES IS EXPECTED FROM ADDITIONAL
THUNDERSTORMS OCCURRING OVER THE AREA.

BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE THE
DANGERS OF FLOODING...ESPECIALLY WHILE DRIVING.

&&

LAT...LON 4151 9241 4151 9172 4142 9148 4141 9137
4133 9138 4133 9107 4126 9111 4108 9115
4107 9135 4109 9137 4116 9137 4116 9140
4116 9241

$$

LE
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Quoting Grothar:


Actually in was Frankland, but who is being picky. I only used the Carolina analogy as a shot to my friend press. We have to tease each other just to keep our joints moving.


Well, State of Frankland when presented to the Continental Congress. But prior to that the area was first the State of Franklin and the Free Republic of Franklin. ;o)

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Quoting KoritheMan:


Inside my wishcasting head, Taz. Inside my wishcasting head.



oh
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


The Eastern Caribbean looks juicy with plenty of moisture.


Getting to be that time of year.

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Quoting nrtiwlnvragn:


The Eastern Caribbean looks juicy with plenty of moisture.
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Quoting Chicklit:




this says dust in the wind


Sounds like a good song title. :)
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Quoting Grothar:


Wave your magic wand and make it go away now.


I don't even need a wand.
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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.