Tropical Storm Debby has formed in the Gulf of Mexico

By: angelafritz , 9:18 PM GMT on June 23, 2012

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Tropical Storm Debby has been named by the National Hurricane Center this afternoon after hurricane hunters investigated Invest 96L and found a solid closed circulation, with maximum winds of 50mph and gusts up to 65mph. All interests along the Gulf of Mexico coast should pay attention to the progress of Debby. Debby is drifting north at 5mph. The storm 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 west 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.

Visible satellite loops show an unorganized tropical cyclone with an obvious surface circulation, though the thunderstorm activity is well displaced to the east. The heavy thunderstorm activity is slowly expanding and growing more intense. Upper-level winds out of the west continue to create moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear over the region, though that is expected to increase over the next few days. Water vapor satellite loops show a region of dry air over the central Gulf of Mexico, which will continue to interfere with Debby's development and make it hard for the west side of the circulation to maintain heavy thunderstorms. Ocean temperatures are about 28.5°C (83°F) in the Central Gulf of Mexico, which is about 1°F above average.


Figure 1. Saturday afternoon satellite image of Tropical Storm Debby in the Gulf of Mexico.


Figure 2. Saturday afternoon forecast track for Tropical Storm Debby.

Forecast for Debby
The National Hurricane Center is forecasting Debby to remain a tropical cyclone over the next 5 days as it drifts north and then west toward Texas. The Hurricane Center is forecasting a very slow progression of the storm, with a potential landfall not occurring until Friday. However, most of the models that predict the turn to the west suggest landfall will happen before or around Wednesday. The models are still generally split on the forecast for Debby; 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 Debby west 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 and takes Debby north to a landfall near the Alabama/Florida border on Tuesday. The predicted track west to Texas is still the most likely outcome, though it remains a low-confidence forecast. In terms of intensity, none of the models is predicting Debby will become a hurricane, nor is the Hurricane Center. Though sea surface temperature is warm (and around 1°F above average), the actual heat content of the Gulf is relatively low. Wind shear is predicted to remain moderately strong through Sunday, but will increase to 30+ knots by Tuesday.

Debby's place in history (by Jeff Masters)
Remarkably, Debby's formation on June 23 comes a full two months ahead of the usual formation date of the season's fourth storm in the Atlantic, August 23. Debby's formation beats by twelve days the previous record for formation of the fourth named storm of the year in the Atlantic, set in 2005, when Hurricane Dennis was named on July 5. An early start to the Atlantic hurricane season has been increasingly common in recent years. In 2008, I blogged about the research of Dr. Jim Kossin of the University of Wisconsin, who published a 2008 paper in Geophysical Research Letters, titled "Is the North Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?" He concluded that yes, there is a "apparent tendency toward more common early- and late-season storms that correlates with warming Sea Surface Temperature but the uncertainty in these relationships is high". Three out of four of this year's early quartet of storms--Alberto, Beryl, and Debby--formed in ocean areas that were more than 1°F above average, which is an unusually high amount of warmth. We should expect to see more early-season Atlantic tropical storms as a consequence of global warming, since cool ocean temperatures are a key impediment to formation of such storms. However, this assumes that factors such as wind shear and atmospheric stability won't grow more hostile for tropical cyclone formation during the early part of hurricane season, and this is uncertain. If we do end up seeing a substantial increase in early-season tropical storms as a consequence of global warming, this is not necessarily a bad thing. Early-season tropical storms are often more boon than bane, bringing much-needed drought-busting rains, like Tropical Storm Beryl did for North Florida last month. With drought frequency and intensity predicted to increase for much of the Gulf Coastal states in coming decades, an increase in rainfall from early-season tropical storms may do more good than the damages inflicted by the high winds and flooding these storms may bring. There is typically a lot of wind shear around in May, June, and July, making it difficult for early season storms to reach major hurricane status. According to Wunderground's list of major early-season hurricanes, since record keeping began in 1851, there has been only one major hurricane in May, two in June, and nine in July. Three of these occurred in the past ten years, so there has not as yet been a large increase in early-season major hurricanes due to global warming.

References
Kossin, J., 2008, "Is the North Atlantic hurricane season getting longer?", Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 35, L23705, doi:10.1029/2008GL036012, 2008.

Angela and Jeff

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Florida Panhandle getting hammered
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Quoting Grothar:
If the GFS proves to be correct, can crow be served at room temperature, or does it have to be warmed?



Channeling my best Kahn...


"Crow is a dish best served, cold."
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2384. Grothar
Well, the center may not come across, but we sure are getting all the weather.


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Quoting Grothar:
If the GFS proves to be correct, can crow be served at room temperature, or does it have to be warmed?


Warmed
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THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR SOUTH FLORIDA.

.DAY ONE...TODAY AND TONIGHT

TORNADOES: ISOLATED TORNADOES WILL REMAIN POSSIBLE TODAY AND
TONIGHT ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION.

WATERSPOUTS: ISOLATED WATERSPOUTS ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE LOCAL
WATERS TODAY THROUGH TONIGHT.

FLOODING: STREET FLOODING OR FLOODING OF LOW LYING AREAS,
ESPECIALLY WITHIN URBAN LOCALES WILL REMAIN A POSSIBILITY WHERE
ANY HEAVY RAINFALL BECOMES CONCENTRATED.

THUNDERSTORMS: ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS WILL REMAIN POSSIBLE. THE
PRIMARY IMPACTS WILL BE OCCASIONAL LIGHTNING STRIKES, LOCALLY
HEAVY RAINFALL, AND GUSTY WINDS OF 45 TO 55 MPH.

WIND: SUSTAINED WINDS WILL AVERAGE 20 TO 25 KNOTS OVER THE GULF
WATERS, WHERE A SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT. IN ADDITION,
GUSTY WINDS OF 45 TO 55 MPH COULD OCCUR AT ANY LOCATION WITH A
FEW SHOWERS OR STORMS.

WAVES: SEAS MAY EXCEED 9 FEET OVER THE OFFSHORE GULF WATERS, WELL
WEST OF NAPLES.

RIP CURRENTS: THERE IS A MODERATE RISK OF RIP CURRENTS AT THE
GULF COAST BEACHES, WITH A SLIGHT RISK ALONG THE ATLANTIC COAST
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2381. ncstorm
Quoting Grothar:
If the GFS proves to be correct, can crow be served at room temperature, or does it have to be warmed?


the NHC may have to have some of that too..LOL..but you right, it still could turn west..what a storm!
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2380. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33491
Quoting LargoFl:
he sure did, i listened to him and bought my supplies just in case,power goes out i got my stuff lol
I went out on Friday for my last minute items. This is the reason I stay on the blog. TY guys
Member Since: February 14, 2004 Posts: 2 Comments: 661
If you watch it carefully the storm is moving just W of due North, so not completely sold on a land fall in the panhandle, but they're gonna get raked pretty good either way. Like Skye just posted it's 165 miles from shore, so if it's gonna turn it's gonna be a hard one.

EDIT: Looking at the steering layers after posting this. There is a pretty big weakness in the ridge. Probably enough to let Debby through right where she's at.

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2377. Grothar
If the GFS proves to be correct, can crow be served at room temperature, or does it have to be warmed?
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2375. LargoFl
Quoting Grothar:




Well, it could still turn west, but a number of us were maintaining a more NE movement before it did. Emguy, you did good.
he sure did, i listened to him and bought my supplies just in case,power goes out i got my stuff lol
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33491
2374. Grothar
Quoting PensacolaDoug:
Morn'n all. Breezy down on Bayou Grande this morning.
Storms getting kind of close. Makes me womder if warnings may need to go up for the panhandle at some point today.


I wouldn't be surprised if they did.
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You could see the ridge breaking down over the E. Central US last night/this morning on water vapor. Hard for the storm to ignore that big of a weakness...
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2371. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33491
2370. Grothar
Quoting ncstorm:


I knew it was going to happen..try to tell people yesterday the cone was not set in stone..The GFS had to be seeing something the other models didnt..which now I am worried because the GFS had a east coast runner when I went to bed but turned it at the last minute before landfall in NC..let me go watch the latest run and see if that is still the same..

thanks Grothar!




Well, it could still turn west, but a number of us were maintaining a more NE movement before it did. Emguy, you did good.
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2368. LargoFl
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
Debby is going to FL!!
yes the gfs was right all along
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33491
2367. Skyepony (Mod)
Product: Air Force Temp Drop (Dropsonde) Message (UZNT13 KNHC)
Transmitted: 24th day of the month at 11:30Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 302)
Storm Number: 04
Storm Name: Debby (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 2
Observation Number: 06

Part A...

Date: Near the closest hour of 11Z on the 24th day of the month
Highest Mandatory Level For Which Wind Was Reported: 850mb
Coordinates: 27.9N 86.5W
Location: 165 miles (266 km) to the SSW (198°) from Panama City, FL, USA.

Marsden Square: 081 (About)

Level Geo. Height Air Temp. Dew Point Wind Direction Wind Speed
994mb (29.35 inHg) Sea Level (Surface) 26.6°C (79.9°F) 25.3°C (77.5°F) 250° (from the WSW) 1 knots (1 mph)
1000mb -50m (-164 ft) This level does not exist in this area of the storm above the surface level.
925mb 638m (2,093 ft) 23.0°C (73.4°F) 22.8°C (73.0°F) 160° (from the SSE) 4 knots (5 mph)
850mb 1,376m (4,514 ft) Unavailable Unavailable 200° (from the SSW) 4 knots (5 mph)

Information About Radiosonde:
- Launch Time: 11:19Z
- About Sonde: A descending radiosonde tracked automatically by satellite navigation with no solar or infrared correction.

Remarks Section...

Dropsonde Location: Dropped in eye.

Splash Location: 27.86N 86.49W
Splash Time: 11:21Z
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2365. Grothar
Quoting avthunder:
Morning all. Just got woken up by Debby. Here in Northeast Broward. Very loud thunder. Three shaking dogs.
We may owe the GFS an apology.


That was some storm, wasn't it. It is still black outside. I am in Coral Ridge Estates, are you nearby?
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2364. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting luvtogolf:


If I'm looking at Google Earth correctly, the HH found the center 64 miles NE of the center from the 5am advisory. looks like 27.5N 86.29W

Am I correct?


(27.8667N 86.4833W) is the center fix by recon a few moments ago.
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1000mb 13m (43 ft) 23.4°C (74.1°F) 21.8°C (71.2°F) 60° (from the ENE) 57 knots (66 mph)


3 meters above observation height, so probably only counts for about 60mph officially, which is still above previous max winds.
Member Since: January 25, 2012 Posts: 32 Comments: 1505
Quoting TampaFLUSA:

Speaking of Charley, remember how long they took to adjust the forecast track NE? It was moving NNE for several hours before they updated the track.



Yep, I do remember, seriously, I had Bay news 9 on and he showed that buoys are reporting 50 mph gusts and even higher at times over a large area to our west, if Debbie turns east and our winds become onshore we will see similar winds near the coast. Those heavier convective cells are finally progressing more eastward for the coast now. That is when the real rain begins. This is just the appetizer :)
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Debby is going to FL!!
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2360. LargoFl
Quoting Jedkins01:



lol I'm not doing that yet, but I am going to head out to the gulf of Mexico later since I only live a few miles from it. I was watching the local guys this morning and there is a large area of tropical storm force winds not far offshore, wave height is also getting over 10 ft not too far offshore now as well.
hey Jed..mike sidell from weather channel is supposed to be on clearwater beach today..say HI for me lol
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33491
The ULL to Debby's west has lost sway.


Link WV Loop GOM But it is still digging into her.
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Debby trying to hit the escape route.



The ridge over the southern plains slightly retreating westward.



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Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 322° at 43 knots (From the NW at ~ 49.4 mph)
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2356. ncstorm
CMC shifted east


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Quoting Articuno:

2006 maybe?
Link


Yes that's gotta be it. :)

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2354. tea3781
Im going with a landfall of Cedar Key, Fl. I'm going with the GFS. I think its going to win!
Member Since: August 29, 2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 455
2353. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33491
Where is FL lol jk
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Quoting Skyepony:
That was a really brief west wind on recon. Plane briefly dropped 200', showing a bit of low pressure. ~27.817N 86.500W Extrapolated surface pressure isn't on.


If I'm looking at Google Earth correctly, the HH found the center 64 miles NE of the center from the 5am advisory. looks like 27.5N 86.29W

Am I correct?
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Quoting Jedkins01:


I really was surprised to wake to this amount of wind honestly, with daytime heating the wind could increase as well, because you get mixing with daytime heating, allowing some elevated stronger gusts to be brought down, especially in convective rains.


Notice as well the wind direction, being from the SE in our region.

I've lived here long enough to know that this, in every way, has the feel of being in the path of a landfalling system coming in from the Eastern Gulf.

The wind picking up in intensity so quickly (just two or three hours ago it was not even half this brisk), the low clouds streaming so rapidly from the SE, the rain quickly becoming more and more steady in picking up in intensity, the barometer behaving accordingly.. it has all the earmarks.

Frankly, I am not picking on the NHC but just pointing out that they have missed on this system. Of course, the computer models have struggled with it much more than usual as well. And to be fair, it is an oddball type of storm, with the analog to previous storm events being a big factor that is used in the model programs.

There was one other system here in this area though that was very similar to this one. It was the famous "no-name" storm of late June, 1982 (if memory serves). That one was missed altogether, not even named as a TS before it made landfall in the Tampa Bay area, catching all of the forecasters completely flat-footed. But it caused some considerable storm tide damage along the coast as well as some wind damage.

That storm also started out much like this one, preceded by days of monsoonal storminess over the E Gulf and over much of the Florida peninsula before morphing into a full-blown tropical cyclone. But as I said, it was never detected by the NHC as a tropical system at all and only recognized as such after the fact. So they have done better with this one, as one would expect due to the passage of time and improved technology, even with the otherwise relatively minor forecasting gaffes.
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2349. Skyepony (Mod)
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 24th day of the month at 11:30Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 302)
Storm Number & Year: 04L in 2012
Storm Name: Debby (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 2
Observation Number: 05
A. Time of Center Fix: 24th day of the month at 11:19:40Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 27°52'N 86°29'W (27.8667N 86.4833W)
B. Center Fix Location: 167 miles (269 km) to the SSW (197°) from Panama City, FL, USA.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,371m (4,498ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 38kts (~ 43.7mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 60 nautical miles (69 statute miles) to the NE (39°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 119° at 32kts (From the ESE at ~ 36.8mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 60 nautical miles (69 statute miles) to the NE (39°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 994mb (29.35 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 18°C (64°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,522m (4,993ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 20°C (68°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,522m (4,993ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp & Sea Surface Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): Not Available
L. Eye Character: Not Available
M. Eye Shape: Not Available
N. Fix Determined By: Penetration, Wind, Pressure and Temperature
N. Fix Levels (sfc and flt lvl centers are within 5nm of each other): Surface and 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 1 nautical mile
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 32kts (~ 36.8mph) in the northeast quadrant at 11:00:00Z
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2348. jpsb
Quoting Grothar:


Here is an excerpt from the NHC

THAT TRACK
SCENARIO WAS SUPPORTED BY THE ECMWF MODEL...WHICH HAS BEEN THE
BEST-PERFORMING GUIDANCE OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS. HOWEVER...THE
0000 RUN OF THAT MODEL HAS SHIFTED SUBSTANTIALLY TO THE NORTH AND
EAST OF THE PREVIOUS RUNS. THE U.K. MET. OFFICE MODEL HAS ALSO
SHIFTED SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE RIGHT. IN FACT...ONLY THE HWRF MODEL
Great news for us in Houston-Galveston area. After Ike the last thing we need here is another big TC. Rain would have been nice though.
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Been wondering about that myself. Can't remember which year but there was an EGOM earthquake when there was a storm passing Florida's east coast. Interesting as you say. :)

2006 maybe?
Link
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2346. Skyepony (Mod)
That was a really brief west wind on recon. Plane briefly dropped 200', showing a bit of low pressure. ~27.817N 86.500W Extrapolated surface pressure isn't on.
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Quoting icmoore:
Good morning everyone! Well it IS raining here, rain gauge had about 1.70" most of that from last night. Got all 3 dogs out with the umbrella, they are dry I am not imagine that :) Settling down with first cup of coffee to check out Debby. Barometer is down at 29.81" and we have all kinds of coastal warnings up. Should be an interesting day.
Morning all. Just got woken up by Debby. Here in Northeast Broward. Very loud thunder. Three shaking dogs.
We may owe the GFS an apology.
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2344. ncstorm
Quoting SFLWeatherman:
994MB now!!!!!!!!


the 8am advisory is going to be real interesting..
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Quoting gator23:


So with the 8AM advisory we should see the shift reflected correct?

They only change the track at 5 and 11 advisories, probably few changes at 8AM as recon investigates... They may shift warnings around a little.
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Quoting Grothar:


Just don't go in the water!!!!!!!!!
sideshore.offshore.winds.couldbe.good.surfing
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2341. ncstorm
Quoting Grothar:


Here is an excerpt from the NHC

THAT TRACK
SCENARIO WAS SUPPORTED BY THE ECMWF MODEL...WHICH HAS BEEN THE
BEST-PERFORMING GUIDANCE OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS. HOWEVER...THE
0000 RUN OF THAT MODEL HAS SHIFTED SUBSTANTIALLY TO THE NORTH AND
EAST OF THE PREVIOUS RUNS. THE U.K. MET. OFFICE MODEL HAS ALSO
SHIFTED SIGNIFICANTLY TO THE RIGHT. IN FACT...ONLY THE HWRF MODEL


I knew it was going to happen..try to tell people yesterday the cone was not set in stone..The GFS had to be seeing something the other models didnt..which now I am worried because the GFS had a east coast runner when I went to bed but turned it at the last minute before landfall in NC..let me go watch the latest run and see if that is still the same..

thanks Grothar!
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994MB now!!!!!!!!
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Just drove down to the Beach--that's some PO'd water!
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Morn'n all. Breezy down on Bayou Grande this morning.
Storms getting kind of close. Makes me womder if warnings may need to go up for the panhandle at some point today.
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2337. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33491
2336. gator23
Quoting Grothar:


Usually at 2 8 and 11.


So with the 8AM advisory we should see the shift reflected correct?
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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.