Gulf of Mexico disturbance 96L close to tropical storm status

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:26 PM GMT on June 23, 2012

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An area of low pressure and heavy thunderstorms in the Central Gulf of Mexico (96L) is close to tropical depression or tropical storm status, and all interests along the Gulf of Mexico coast should pay attention to the progress of this disturbance. The disturbance has brought heavy rains to Western Cuba, South Florida, and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula over the past two days, but the disturbance's heaviest rains are located well offshore over the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, where heavy thunderstorms are generating winds near tropical storm-force. A buoy 243 miles east of Naples, FL measured sustained winds of 31 mph, gusting to 38 mph, with 10-foot waves, at 8 am EDT Saturday morning. Our wundermap for the surrounding ocean areas shows a large region of the northern and eastern Gulf of Mexico is experiencing winds of 20 - 30 mph. Satellite-based surface wind measurements taken at 7:22 am EDT Saturday from the newly-available Oceansat-2 scatterometer, courtesy of India, showed a broad, elongated surface circulation over the Central Gulf of Mexico that was not well defined. The satellite saw top surface winds of 30 - 40 mph over the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. Visible satellite loops show that the circulation of 96L has become more defined this morning, and the heavy thunderstorm activity is slowly expanding and growing more intense. Upper-level winds out of the west are creating a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear over the region. Water vapor satellite loops show a modest region of dry air over the Central Gulf of Mexico, which is interfering with development and keeping the western side of 96L's circulation free of heavy thunderstorms. Ocean temperatures are about 28.5°C (83°F) in the Central Gulf of Mexico, which is about 1°F above average. A hurricane hunter mission is scheduled to investigate 96L this afternoon to see if a tropical depression or tropical storm has formed.


Figure 1. Saturday morning satellite image of tropical disturbance 96L in the Gulf of Mexico.


Figure 2. Radar-estimated precipitation for South Florida from tropical disturbance 96L.

Forecast for 96L
Wind shear is predicted to remain in the moderate range through Sunday night, which is likely low enough to allow 96L to develop into a tropical depression or tropical storm by Sunday; NHC gave 96L a 90% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday morning, in their 8am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook. The future path of 96L is still unclear. The disturbance will drift slowly northwards through Sunday night, which will likely bring heavy rains of 2 - 4 inches to the Gulf Coast from Central Louisiana to Central Florida. A storm surge of 1 - 3 feet is also likely along the Southeast Louisiana coast on Sunday; coastal flood advisories have already been posted there. By Monday, the majority of the reliable models, including the ECMWF, NOGAPS, HWRF, and UKMET, agree that a ridge of high pressure will build in over the Southern U.S., forcing 96L westwards across the Gulf of Mexico and into South Texas by Wednesday. However, the GFS model, which has been our 2nd most reliable track model over the past two years (behind the ECMWF), has consistently been predicting that a trough of low pressure pushing off of the U.S. East Coast will be capable of grabbing the disturbance and accelerating it to the northeast across Florida north of Tampa Bay on Monday. The GFDL model splits the difference between these extremes, taking 96L northwards to a landfall near the Alabama/Florida border on Tuesday. Given that the majority of the models predict a westward track to Texas, that should be viewed as the most probable path for 96L, but this is a low-confidence forecast. None of the models is predicting 96L will become a hurricane, and the SHIPS model is predicting just a 4% chance of rapid intensification for 96L. Given the moderate levels of wind shear and dry air over the Gulf, only slow to modest intensification of 96L is likely over the next few days.

Jeff Masters

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1896. DocBen
Quoting Altestic2012:
POLL

A) FIZZLE OUT IN GULF
B) TROPICAL STORM LANDFALL
C) CAT. 1 LANDFALL
D) CAT. 2 LANDFALL
E) STRONGER LANDFALL


Cat 1
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1895. pottery
Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
DEBBY IS THE EARLIEST 4TH STORM IN THE HISTORICAL RECORDS...
SURPASSING HURRICANE DENNIS OF 2005...WHICH BECAME A TROPICAL STORM
ON JULY 5TH.

We are ahead of 2005 ?
I wonder what that means.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting reedzone:
Also the track.. Levi is going to be thrilled. Guess he was right all along.


It's not over yet.... I can see the GFS scenario occuring too... Drak's not out of the woods yet.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Altestic2012:
POLL

A) FIZZLE OUT IN GULF
B) TROPICAL STORM LANDFALL
C) CAT. 1 LANDFALL
D) CAT. 2 LANDFALL
E) STRONGER LANDFALL

C
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7614
1892. guygee
Six posts of the bulletin with one withdrawn now blank. That's the spirit! We're on a roll now!
(Edit: Joking reference to earlier post on the lack of redundant TWO posts *sigh* I'm out)
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000
WTNT44 KNHC 232052
TCDAT4

TROPICAL STORM DEBBY DISCUSSION NUMBER 1
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042012
400 PM CDT SAT JUN 23 2012

AIRCRAFT RECONNAISSANCE...SATELLITE...AND BUOY DATA INDICATE THAT
THE CIRCULATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE AREA OF LOW PRESSURE IN THE
GULF OF MEXICO HAS BECOME SUFFICIENTLY DEFINED TO CLASSIFY THIS
SYSTEM AS A TROPICAL STORM. THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS BASED ON A
HIGHEST 1000-FT FLIGHT-LEVEL WIND OF 61 KT AND SFMR WINDS NEAR 45
KT. THESE WINDS ARE ONLY OCCURRING TO THE EAST OF THE CENTER.

DEBBY IS MOVING SLOWLY NORTHWARD...OR 360 DEGREES AT 5 KT. THE
CYCLONE IS IN A WEAK STEERING ENVIRONMENT BETWEEN TWO MID-LEVEL
RIDGES LOCATED OVER THE GREATER ANTILLES AND THE SOUTHERN UNITED
STATES...AND DEBBY IS NOT EXPECTED TO MOVE MUCH DURING THE NEXT
COUPLE OF DAYS. THE TRACK GUIDANCE IS SPLIT IN TWO BRANCHES...WITH
THE GFS AND GFDL SHOWING AN EASTWARD MOTION ACROSS FLORIDA...AND
THE REST OF THE MODELS BRINGING DEBBY WESTWARD ACROSS THE NORTHERN
GULF TOWARDS TEXAS. EVEN THOUGH THE DETERMINISTIC GFS SHOWS AN
EASTWARD TRACK...MORE THAN HALF OF THE GFS ENSEMBLE MEMBERS ARE IN
AGREEMENT WITH THE WESTWARD-MOVING MODELS...MAKING THE WESTWARD
SCENARIO SEEM MORE LIKELY. IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE TOO THAT THE
ECMWF MODEL SHOWS A FASTER WESTWARD MOTION THAN INDICATED IN THE
NHC FORECAST...SO IT IS POSSIBLE THAT DEBBY COULD REACH THE COAST
EARLIER THAN INDICATED.

DEBBY IS CURRENTLY A SHEARED CYCLONE WITH NEARLY ALL OF THE DEEP
CONVECTION LOCATED IN A CURVED BAND TO THE EAST OF THE CENTER.
HOWEVER...AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW OVER THE NORTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO
IS FORECAST TO DIG SOUTHWESTWARD...WHICH WILL RESULT IN A DECREASE
OF VERTICAL SHEAR AFFECTING THE SYSTEM...AND A GREATER CHANCE OF
INTENSIFICATION OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. BECAUSE THE OFFICIAL TRACK
FORECAST IS SO DIFFERENT FROM THE GFS SOLUTION...THE GFS FIELDS USED
BY THE SHIPS AND LGEM MODELS ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE REPRESENTATIVE OF
THE CONDITIONS ENCOUNTERED BY DEBBY. THE NHC FORECAST THEREFORE
SHOWS MORE STRENGTHENING THAN INDICATED BY THE INTENSITY GUIDANCE.

DEBBY IS THE EARLIEST 4TH STORM IN THE HISTORICAL RECORDS...
SURPASSING HURRICANE DENNIS OF 2005...WHICH BECAME A TROPICAL STORM
ON JULY 5TH.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 23/2100Z 26.2N 87.6W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 24/0600Z 26.9N 87.8W 45 KT 50 MPH
24H 24/1800Z 27.3N 88.1W 50 KT 60 MPH
36H 25/0600Z 27.4N 88.5W 50 KT 60 MPH
48H 25/1800Z 27.5N 89.5W 55 KT 65 MPH
72H 26/1800Z 27.5N 91.5W 55 KT 65 MPH
96H 27/1800Z 27.5N 93.5W 60 KT 70 MPH
120H 28/1800Z 27.5N 95.0W 60 KT 70 MPH

$$
FORECASTER BERG/AVILA
Member Since: June 20, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 2150
1890. nigel20
Quoting Altestic2012:
POLL

A) FIZZLE OUT IN GULF
B) TROPICAL STORM LANDFALL
C) CAT. 1 LANDFALL
D) CAT. 2 LANDFALL
E) STRONGER LANDFALL

C.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1889. pottery
Quoting Altestic2012:
POLL

A) FIZZLE OUT IN GULF
B) TROPICAL STORM LANDFALL
C) CAT. 1 LANDFALL
D) CAT. 2 LANDFALL
E) STRONGER LANDFALL

F _ Certain DOOM
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Altestic2012:
POLL

A) FIZZLE OUT IN GULF
B) TROPICAL STORM LANDFALL
C) CAT. 1 LANDFALL
D) CAT. 2 LANDFALL
E) STRONGER LANDFALL


90 knot hurricane is what I am thinking so D.
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Cat. 4 overnight.





why cat 4 overe night what make it more fun and make it a cat 5 overe night ok?
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that offshore cell just east of naples looks like ft myers may get tornado warned
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Quoting presslord:


please stop injecting your silly reality into everyone else's serious fantasy


LOL!!!
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I'm still against Debby touching Mexico.. It just doesn't seem right... If she does head west as forecast, Northern Texas.
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1883. Patrap
Seems da crows be safe fer now.

; )
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
DEBBY IS THE EARLIEST 4TH STORM IN THE HISTORICAL RECORDS...
SURPASSING HURRICANE DENNIS OF 2005...WHICH BECAME A TROPICAL STORM
ON JULY 5TH.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Altestic2012:
POLL

A) FIZZLE OUT IN GULF
B) TROPICAL STORM LANDFALL
C) CAT. 1 LANDFALL
D) CAT. 2 LANDFALL
E) STRONGER LANDFALL
D.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting WxGeekVA:

NHC


ME



LOL... I thought the westcasters were off. Guess I'll eat some crow.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
70 mph peak on first advisory written by Avila and Berg? Wow, what's Stewart going to show?


Gotta love the conservative mets...
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Levi called it first though 2 days ago, props to him from me!
Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
Well, this is going to be interesting. I agree with the NHC's forecast track, but I think their intensity forecast is a bit low.
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1875. DocBen
Hurricane Debby by DMAX Monday morning.
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1873. Walshy
GFS TO RETIRE...
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
70 mph peak on first advisory written by Avila and Berg? Wow, what's Stewart going to show?
Cat. 4 overnight.
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Quoting Cat5hit:
What.... Only three posts of it?
Lol
Never have understood why people post the NHC updates when you can just go to the site...
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1870. LargoFl
Quoting hurricanejunky:
WOW! NHC discounting GFS...interesting...
until tomorrow when they do again, then monday they wont
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36905
1869. WxLogic
Well... now that we have Debby we'll see what she'll do. Still keeping options open but NHC knows best.
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IMO, good forecast both track and intensity wise by the NHC... Maybe a tad conservative on intensity but that's probably the right thing for them to do.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 82 Comments: 7614
Quoting WxGeekVA:

NHC


ME


Your path is logical :)
Member Since: September 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1143
Slow track; if that ULL backs off and an anticyclone develops aloft, things may get real nasty.
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1865. NESTORM
West it is for now?
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good job wxgeek
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Quoting WxGeekVA:

NHC


ME



WATCH IT TOMORROW HEADING TOWARDS FL
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Mamma Mia, That'sa big Cone Of Doom!
Quoting stormchaser19:
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1861. nigel20
Quoting WxGeekVA:

NHC


ME


Your track forecast is very similar to that of the NHC...
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70 mph peak on first advisory written by Avila and Berg? Wow, what's Stewart going to show?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31466
Also the track.. Levi is going to be thrilled. Guess he was right all along.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1858. LargoFl
Quoting Sfloridacat5:
70 mph storm approaching Texas on Wednesday to Thursday. "But take with a grain of salt" Storm could be much stronger.
it sure could,dont get there till thursday, sitting on that mid 80's water..whew,texas you wanted it..you got it..hope the rains help you with your drought
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 36905
With moderate to low shear, over the warm waters of the GOM, I just can't see there only being 20 mph of intensification over the next 5 days. I'd probably be more suprised if we don't see Hurricane Debby.
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Quoting Littleninjagrl:


I'm in Tampa (Town N Country) and I have not had anything more than a 30-40 second very light mist. Its been cloudy all day but no actual rain. Its thundering now but nada. I dont know where this "hell" is breaking loose but, it ain't anywhere around Tampa (my area of Tampa).


please stop injecting your silly reality into everyone else's serious fantasy
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1855. bappit
Quoting RTSplayer:



The radius of each circle, and hence the cone, is based on a 66% probability and not a set width.

Which means that the forecast cone means there will be a 66% probability that the storm will be inside that cone, and of course, a 33% probability that the storm will be outside the cone.

That's how I understand it, too. And indeed from the NHC website:

"To form the cone, a set of imaginary circles are placed along the forecast track at the 12, 24, 36, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h positions, where the size of each circle is set so that it encloses 67% of the previous five years official forecast errors. The cone is then formed by smoothly connecting the area swept out by the set of circles."
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting FLWeatherFreak91:
Hell must not be all that bad because I've only had spotty raindrops falling and calm wind for the past 3 hours here north of Tampa.


I'm in Tampa (Town N Country) and I have not had anything more than a 30-40 second very light mist. Its been cloudy all day but no actual rain. I dont know where this "hell is breaking loose" but, it ain't anywhere around Tampa (my area of Tampa anyway).
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...TROPICAL STORM DEBBY FORMS IN THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO... ...TROPICAL STORM WARNING ISSUED FOR A PORTION OF THE LOUISIANA COAST...
------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------

4:00 PM CDT Sat Jun 23
Location: 26.2°N 87.6°W
Moving: N at 6 mph
Min pressure: 1001 mb
Max sustained: 50 mph

Member Since: Posts: Comments:

NHC


ME

Member Since: September 3, 2011 Posts: 13 Comments: 3468
WOW! NHC discounting GFS...interesting...
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I don't know...that peak intensity may be a bit too low.
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1848. icmoore
Quoting Tazmanian:
i been waiting too see this part



TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES...280 KM
TO THE EAST OF THE CENTER


Me, too...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Focus on this line.
DEBBY IS CURRENTLY A SHEARED CYCLONE WITH NEARLY ALL OF THE DEEP
CONVECTION LOCATED IN A CURVED BAND TO THE EAST OF THE CENTER.
HOWEVER...AN UPPER-LEVEL LOW OVER THE NORTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO
IS FORECAST TO DIG SOUTHWESTWARD...WHICH WILL RESULT IN A DECREASE
OF VERTICAL SHEAR AFFECTING THE SYSTEM...AND A GREATER CHANCE OF
INTENSIFICATION OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS. BECAUSE THE OFFICIAL TRACK
FORECAST IS SO DIFFERENT FROM THE GFS SOLUTION...THE GFS FIELDS USED
BY THE SHIPS AND LGEM MODELS ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE REPRESENTATIVE OF
THE CONDITIONS ENCOUNTERED BY DEBBY. THE NHC FORECAST THEREFORE
SHOWS MORE STRENGTHENING THAN INDICATED BY THE INTENSITY GUIDANCE.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1846. Patrap
000
WTNT34 KNHC 232051
TCPAT4

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM DEBBY ADVISORY NUMBER 1
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL042012
400 PM CDT SAT JUN 23 2012

...TROPICAL STORM DEBBY FORMS IN THE CENTRAL GULF OF MEXICO...
...TROPICAL STORM WARNING ISSUED FOR A PORTION OF THE LOUISIANA
COAST...


SUMMARY OF 400 PM CDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...26.2N 87.6W
ABOUT 220 MI...355 KM SSE OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 360 DEGREES AT 6 MPH...9 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1001 MB...29.56 INCHES


WATCHES AND WARNINGS
--------------------
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FROM THE MOUTH OF THE PEARL
RIVER WESTWARD TO MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA...NOT INCLUDING THE CITY OF
NEW ORLEANS OR LAKE PONTCHARTRAIN.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT...

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR...
* THE COAST OF LOUISIANA FROM THE MOUTH OF THE PEARL RIVER WESTWARD
TO MORGAN CITY...NOT INCLUDING THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS OR LAKE
PONTCHARTRAIN

A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE
EXPECTED SOMEWHERE WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN 36 HOURS.

FOR STORM INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...INCLUDING POSSIBLE
INLAND WATCHES AND WARNINGS...PLEASE MONITOR PRODUCTS ISSUED BY
YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORECAST OFFICE.


DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK
------------------------------
AIRCRAFT RECONNAISSANCE AND BUOY DATA INDICATE THAT THE AREA OF LOW
PRESSURE IN THE GULF OF MEXICO HAS BECOME TROPICAL STORM DEBBY.

AT 400 PM CDT...2100 UTC...THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM DEBBY WAS
LOCATED NEAR LATITUDE 26.2 NORTH...LONGITUDE 87.6 WEST. DEBBY IS
MOVING TOWARD THE NORTH NEAR 6 MPH...9 KM/H. A SLOW NORTHWARD
MOTION IS EXPECTED TONIGHT...FOLLOWED BY A WESTWARD TURN ON SUNDAY.
ON THE FORECAST TRACK...THE CENTER OF DEBBY WILL BE MOVING OVER THE
NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO DURING THE NEXT FEW DAYS.

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS ARE NEAR 50 MPH...85 KM/H...WITH HIGHER
GUSTS. THESE WINDS ARE OCCURRING WELL EAST OF THE CENTER OF
CIRCULATION. SOME STRENGTHENING IS FORECAST DURING THE NEXT 48
HOURS.

TROPICAL-STORM-FORCE WINDS EXTEND OUTWARD UP TO 175 MILES...280 KM
TO THE EAST OF THE CENTER.

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE ESTIMATED FROM RECONNAISSANCE DATA IS 1001
MB...29.56 INCHES.


HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
----------------------
WIND...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO FIRST REACH THE
COAST WITHIN THE WARNING AREA BY SUNDAY NIGHT...MAKING OUTSIDE
PREPARATIONS DIFFICULT OR DANGEROUS.

STORM SURGE...THE COMBINATION OF A STORM SURGE AND THE TIDE WILL
CAUSE NORMALLY DRY AREAS NEAR THE COAST TO BE FLOODED BY
RISING WATERS. THE WATER COULD REACH THE FOLLOWING DEPTHS ABOVE
GROUND IF THE PEAK SURGE OCCURS AT THE TIME OF HIGH TIDE...

MISSISSIPPI AND SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA...1 TO 3 FT

THE DEEPEST WATER WILL OCCUR ALONG THE IMMEDIATE COAST IN AREAS OF
ONSHORE FLOW. SURGE-RELATED FLOODING DEPENDS ON THE RELATIVE
TIMING OF THE SURGE AND THE TIDAL CYCLE...AND CAN VARY GREATLY OVER
SHORT DISTANCES. FOR INFORMATION SPECIFIC TO YOUR AREA...PLEASE
SEE PRODUCTS ISSUED BY YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE OFFICE.

RAINFALL...DEBBY IS EXPECTED TO PRODUCE RAIN ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 6
INCHES ALONG THE GULF COAST FROM SOUTHERN LOUISIANA TO THE FLORIDA
PANHANDLE...WITH POSSIBLE ISOLATED MAXIMUM AMOUNTS OF 10 INCHES.


NEXT ADVISORY
-------------
NEXT INTERMEDIATE ADVISORY...700 PM CDT.
NEXT COMPLETE ADVISORY...1000 PM CDT.

$$
FORECASTER BERG/AVILA
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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.