Ernesto disorganized; more fires, extreme heat for Oklahoma

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:25 PM GMT on August 05, 2012

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A disorganized Tropical Storm Ernesto continues to speed westward at 23 mph across the Caribbean. Ernesto has brought sporadic heavy rains to Jamaica today, and Kingston has picked up 0.51" of rain as of noon, and recorded top sustained winds of 22 mph. Ernesto looks very unhealthy on visible satellite loops, with its low-level circulation center a naked swirl exposed to view with almost no heavy thunderstorm activity near the center. However, the storm does have some rather far-flung spiral bands, and these bands are bringing occasional heavy downpours to Haiti, western Cuba, Jamaica, and the southwest Dominican Republic. This morning's flight by the Hurricane Hunters found that Ernesto had a very high central pressure of 1006 mb and top winds near 50 mph. The latest wind shear analysis from the SHIPS model shows moderate shear of 10 - 15 knots affecting the storm, but there must be some wind shear the satellites are not able to detect affecting Ernesto, given its disorganized appearance. Water vapor satellite loops show a large area of dry air to the west, and this dry air is also interfering with Ernesto's organization.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image with 375 meter resolution taken of Ernesto by the new Suomi NPP satellite at 1:39 pm EDT August 4, 2012. At the time, Ernesto had a flare-up of intense thunderstorms, and had top winds of 60 mph. Image credit: University of Wisconsin Madison CIMSS.

Forecast for Ernesto
Ernesto's rapid forward speed of 23 mph has been part of the reason for its lack of intensification, but the storm is expected to slow down Monday and Tuesday in response to a trough of low pressure passing to the north. This slowing, in combination with low wind shear, a moister environment, and increasing heat energy in the ocean, may allow Ernesto to strengthen some before making landfall in Belize or Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday night. However, the storm will be passing very close to the north coast of Honduras, putting a portion of its circulation over land and limiting intensification potential. It is unlikely Ernesto will become a hurricane in the Caribbean; NHC is giving just a 19% chance that this will occur. The main threat from Ernesto will be heavy rains over Honduras, Belize, Mexico, and Jamaica. The track forecast for Ernesto has become a bit easier, since the storm's current disorganization and more southerly path make will make it more difficult for the storm to make a northwesterly turn into the Gulf of Mexico like the UKMET and GFDL models are predicting. A stronger Ernesto would have been more likely to turn northwest under the influence of a trough of low pressure passing to the north. If Ernesto survives its crossing of the Yucatan Peninsula, the potential exists for it to re-strengthen over the Bay of Campeche, and make a second landfall on Mexico's coast on Friday, between Tampico and Veracruz. It's pretty unlikely that Ernesto will hit the U.S.-- though Brownsville, Texas could see some rain from Ernesto's outer spiral bands on Friday, if the storm survives that long.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Ernesto, showing the exposed low-level center--a swirl due south of Jamaica--and only very limited heavy thunderstorm activity surrounding the center.

Tropical Storm Florence
Tropical Storm Florence continues to plow westward at 14 mph over the Eastern Atlantic, and is not a threat to any land areas for next five days. The SHIPS model is predicting a moderate 5 - 15 knots of wind shear for Florence Sunday and Monday, but the shear will increase to the high range as Florence encounters an upper-level trough of low pressure on Tuesday. The latest Saharan Air Layer Analysis shows that a large area of dry air lies to the north and west of Florence, and this dry air will likely cause problems for the storm. Ocean temperature are near 26 - 26.5°C, which is right at the threshold for where a tropical storm can typically exist. It is possible that Florence could pose a threat to Bermuda next weekend, if the storm survives that long. Both the GFS and ECMWF models dissipate Florence before then.

Historic heat wave in Oklahoma
A second day of destructive fires affected Oklahoma on Saturday, thanks to extreme heat and drought, low humidities, and strong winds in advance of an approaching cold front. At 3 pm CDT Saturday, Oklahoma City had a temperature of 107°, a humidity of 19%, and winds of 16 mph gusting to 22 mph. The Oklahoma fires have destroyed at least 125 homes. The high temperature in Oklahoma City on Saturday reached 109°, the 12th warmest temperature recorded in the city since records began in 1891. Friday's high of 113° tied for the warmest temperature in city history.


Figure 3. Highway 48 is covered in smoke as flames continue, Saturday, Aug 4, 2012, east of Drumright, OK. Image credit: Associated Press.

The only comparable Oklahoma heat wave: August 1936
The only heat wave in Oklahoma history that compares to the August 2012 heat wave occurred during the great Dust Bowl summer of 1936, the hottest summer in U.S. history. Oklahoma City experienced three days at 110° that summer, and a record streak of 22 straight days with a temperature of 100° or hotter. Those numbers are comparable to 2012's: three days at 110° or hotter, and a string of 18 consecutive days (so far) with temperatures of 100° or hotter. The weak cold front that passed though Oklahoma Saturday will bring temperatures about 10° cooler over the next few days, but high temperatures are still expected to approach 100° in Oklahoma City Sunday through Tuesday. It's worth noting that Oklahoma City has experienced only 11 days since 1890 with a high of 110° or greater. Three of those days were in 2011, three in 2012, and three in the great Dust Bowl summer of 1936.

Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has a new post on July's heat extremes in the U.S.


Figure 4. Most of Oklahoma has experienced nine consecutive days with highs of 100° or more, and many regions, including Oklahoma City, have had a streak of eighteen such days. Image credit: Oklahoma Mesonet.

Severe thunderstorm complex forces evacuation of Lollapalooza
A organized complex of severe thunderstorms developed over Eastern Iowa and Northern Illinois late Saturday afternoon, forming a dangerous bow echo that swept through Chicago, forcing the evacuation of the Lollapalooza music festival. NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) logged over 150 reports of wind damage from the storm, with five of the thunderstorms containing winds in excess of hurricane force (74 mph.) And just yesterday, my daughter was bemoaning her misfortune at not being able to get tickets to the show! The thunderstorm complex traveled about 300 miles from Eastern Iowa to Ohio, generating winds gust in excess of 58 mph along most of its path, meeting the definition of a derecho.


Figure 5. Radar image of the severe thunderstorm complex that spawned a dangerous bow echo over Chicago, which forced the evacuation of the Lollapalooza music festival.

Jeff Masters

IN THE EYE OF THE STORM (nanamac)
Storm clouds overwhelming Chicago
IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
IN THE EYE OF THE STORM (nanamac)
Sheets of rain & darkness!
IN THE EYE OF THE STORM
()
Storm damage (Bubbly)
Straight line winds during a severe thunderstorm left crumpled metal and splintered wood behind in Frytown, Iowa
Storm damage

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Quoting Chicklit:


Check out this link. Link La Ceiba Honduras Weather
Click on Satellite map as needed to check convection in your area.


Thanks for the link..already have it though...smile...just wanted a best guess...whether I should sandbag the roof or not...lol
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Quoting Levi32:
THOSE MODELS
ARE ALSO FORECASTING THE LOW-LEVEL AND MID-/UPPER-LEVEL
CIRCULATIONS TO RE-COUPLE AND BECOME VERTICALLY ALIGNED AGAIN IN
ABOUT 24 HOURS OR SO
...WHICH SHOULD ALLOW FOR MORE SIGNIFICANT
STRENGTHENING TO OCCUR. UNTIL THAT TIME...HOWEVER...ERNESTO IS
EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN LITTLE
.


....He says that, and then the forecast is for more strengthening during the first 24 hours than the next 24 after that lol.

INIT 06/0300Z 15.0N 79.7W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 06/1200Z 15.3N 81.3W 50 KT 60 MPH
24H 07/0000Z 16.1N 83.3W 55 KT 65 MPH
36H 07/1200Z 17.1N 85.1W 60 KT 70 MPH
48H 08/0000Z 17.9N 87.5W 65 KT 75 MPH
72H 09/0000Z 19.0N 91.4W 35 KT 40 MPH...INLAND
96H 10/0000Z 20.0N 95.2W 50 KT 60 MPH...OVER WATER
120H 11/0000Z 20.5N 98.5W 55 KT 65 MPH...INLAND


Astute observation, Levi.
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This convection is impressive. As Stewart said, there are -85C tops at the center. Let's hope the mid level center stays unaligned.

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Ernie is going to miss a mainland Nicaragua landfall and will make landfall around 50 miles north of Chetumal just below Hurricane status. Just my guess as an inexperienced met student. Anything at this point seems like a guess, though the real corridor for this storm is getting clearer fast.
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Quoting yoboi:


do ya think ernesto will build tonight??


I feel bad for you being picked on, I also feel that these trolls here are the same person. This day and age it's easy to use simultaneous dummy accounts. Someone mentioned the entertainment boards and how they have a regular troll infestation, and it seems that there's mostly just one major troll, and maybe some wannabe ones that like to stir the pot. In this case, I think you're dealing with a guy who likes talking to himself.

Wih the way things are going, I wouldn't be surprised to find a 70 mph storm when I wake up. I think Ernie's on an upwards trend for good now.
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 564
Quoting Altestic2012:
1493... Pocamocca: The story went that in 2008, "she" started posting around the time of Gustav's landfall as a 16 year old girl with a pretty avatar on this blog. Her posts were very astute and meteorologically sound, and the curious thing was that she said she was from Galveston, and this was before Ike was even a named storm, but "she" impressed all the younger guys with "her" hurricane blogs as Ike developed and tracked westward, and people on here were literally crying over her when "she" didn't post for like a couple weeks after Ike made landfall, then "she" was finally somehow exposed as a dude. I forgot how though.


That's honestly one of the funniest things I've read on here. It was probably some sexual predator.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
1525. yoboi
Quoting Altestic2012:
1493... Pocamocca: The story went that in 2008, "she" started posting around the time of Gustav's landfall as a 16 year old girl with a pretty avatar on this blog. Her posts were very astute and meteorologically sound, and the curious thing was that she said she was from Galveston, and this was before Ike was even a named storm, but "she" impressed all the younger guys with "her" hurricane blogs as Ike developed and tracked westward, and people on here were literally crying over her when "she" didn't post for like a couple weeks after Ike made landfall, then "she" was finally somehow exposed as a dude. I forgot how though.


really???
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2328
Quoting hurricanehunter27:
Just a question but what would Ernesto have to do to start moving more northward (Lets say 200-300 miles north of forecaster landfall) intensity wise?


Rapidly intensify. There won't be any rapid intensification with the center at the surface not aligning with the mid-level center. Forecast discussion said that they should align by tomorrow. Quicker strengthening could occur then.
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Just a question but what would Ernesto have to do to start moving more northward (Lets say 200-300 miles north of forecaster landfall) intensity wise?
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1516. MZT
Well 11pm EST is late enough for me with a Monday coming... Up to the late nighters to keep playing Whack-a-Troll :-}
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Quoting Pocamocca:

Further south.

Oh wait....it still can go to LA/MS/AL coastline!!!!!

LMFAO


I'm about to ignore you. Quit being obnoxious.
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
1511. yoboi
Quoting ncstorm:
odd that tropics chat is empty?


do ya think ernesto will build tonight??
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2328
1509. Levi32
THOSE MODELS
ARE ALSO FORECASTING THE LOW-LEVEL AND MID-/UPPER-LEVEL
CIRCULATIONS TO RE-COUPLE AND BECOME VERTICALLY ALIGNED AGAIN IN
ABOUT 24 HOURS OR SO
...WHICH SHOULD ALLOW FOR MORE SIGNIFICANT
STRENGTHENING TO OCCUR. UNTIL THAT TIME...HOWEVER...ERNESTO IS
EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN LITTLE
.


....He says that, and then the forecast is for more strengthening during the first 24 hours than the next 24 after that lol.

INIT 06/0300Z 15.0N 79.7W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 06/1200Z 15.3N 81.3W 50 KT 60 MPH
24H 07/0000Z 16.1N 83.3W 55 KT 65 MPH
36H 07/1200Z 17.1N 85.1W 60 KT 70 MPH
48H 08/0000Z 17.9N 87.5W 65 KT 75 MPH
72H 09/0000Z 19.0N 91.4W 35 KT 40 MPH...INLAND
96H 10/0000Z 20.0N 95.2W 50 KT 60 MPH...OVER WATER
120H 11/0000Z 20.5N 98.5W 55 KT 65 MPH...INLAND
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Quoting allancalderini:
He is now moving at 15mph he really has decrease in his foward speed.
Now the convection will be able to keep up with the COC which is good for the system and bad for those in the path. Which country do you reside in again?
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Ernesto's center is continuing to wobble around per recon observations.
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man he is annoyning to track. i have a headache from him :( im going to miss florence
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1505. yoboi
Quoting reedzone:
Evening everyone, looks like Ernesto is getting his act together.


yeah looks like he drank some 5 hr energy...
Member Since: August 25, 2010 Posts: 7 Comments: 2328

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 06/0300Z 15.0N 79.7W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 06/1200Z 15.3N 81.3W 50 KT 60 MPH
24H 07/0000Z 16.1N 83.3W 55 KT 65 MPH
36H 07/1200Z 17.1N 85.1W 60 KT 70 MPH
48H 08/0000Z 17.9N 87.5W 65 KT 75 MPH
72H 09/0000Z 19.0N 91.4W 35 KT 40 MPH...INLAND
96H 10/0000Z 20.0N 95.2W 50 KT 60 MPH...OVER WATER
120H 11/0000Z 20.5N 98.5W 55 KT 65 MPH...INLAND

$$
FORECASTER STEWART

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TROPICAL STORM ERNESTO DISCUSSION NUMBER 18
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL052012
1100 PM EDT SUN AUG 05 2012

A BURST OF DEEP CONVECTION WITH CLOUD TOPS COLDER THAN -85C HAS
DEVELOPED OVER THE PREVIOUSLY EXPOSED LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION CENTER.
HOWEVER...DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RESERVE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT
INDICATE THAT THIS HAS NOT YET TRANSLATED INTO A STRENGTHENING
TREND DESPITE THE SURFACE PRESSURE HAVING DECREASED TO ABOUT 1003
MB. THE STRONGEST 850 MB FLIGHT-LEVEL WIND REPORTED WAS 42 KT AND
THE HIGHEST ADJUSTED-SFMR SURFACE WIND HAS BEEN AROUND 44 KT. BASED
ON THIS INFORMATION...THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS MAINTAINED AT 45
KT...WHICH COULD BE GENEROUS.

ERNESTO HAS CONTINUED TO DECELERATE AND THE INITIAL MOTION ESTIMATE
IS NOW 270/13 KT. THE DECOUPLED MID- AND UPPER-LEVEL VORTEX HAS
DISPLACED THE DEEP CONVECTION TO THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE LOW-LEVEL
VORTEX...WHICH HAS RESULTED IN A SLIGHT JOG TO THE WEST-SOUTHWEST.
HOWEVER...THIS IS EXPECTED TO BE A TEMPORARY MOTION AND ERNESTO
SHOULD TURN TOWARD THE WEST-NORTHWEST WITHIN 12-24 HOURS...AND
CONTINUE THAT MOTION FOR THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AFTER WHICH A TURN
TOWARD THE WEST IS EXPECTED. OTHERWISE...THERE IS NO SIGNIFICANT
CHANGE TO THE PREVIOUS TRACK FORECAST OR REASONING. THE OFFICIAL
FORECAST TRACK IS SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY TRACK AND LIES
CLOSE TO THE CONSENSUS MODELS TCVA AND TV15.

THE GFS AND ECMWF MODELS HAVE DONE A SUPERB JOB IN FORECASTING THE
RECENT SHORT-TERM WOBBLE TO THE WEST-SOUTHWEST OWING TO THE
NORTHERLY SHEAR CREATED BY THE MID-LEVEL VORTEX BEING DISPLACED
MORE THAN 60 NMI TO THE EAST OF THE LOW-LEVEL CENTER. THOSE MODELS
ARE ALSO FORECASTING THE LOW-LEVEL AND MID-/UPPER-LEVEL
CIRCULATIONS TO RE-COUPLE AND BECOME VERTICALLY ALIGNED AGAIN IN
ABOUT 24 HOURS OR SO...WHICH SHOULD ALLOW FOR MORE SIGNIFICANT
STRENGTHENING TO OCCUR. UNTIL THAT TIME...HOWEVER...ERNESTO IS
EXPECTED TO STRENGTHEN LITTLE. THE OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS
SIMILAR TO THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY AND FOLLOWS THE TREND OF THE
INTENSITY CONSENSUS MODEL IV15 UNTIL LANDFALL IN ABOUT 48
HOURS...AND FOLLOWS THE DECAY-SHIPS MODEL AFTER THAT.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 06/0300Z 15.0N 79.7W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 06/1200Z 15.3N 81.3W 50 KT 60 MPH
24H 07/0000Z 16.1N 83.3W 55 KT 65 MPH
36H 07/1200Z 17.1N 85.1W 60 KT 70 MPH
48H 08/0000Z 17.9N 87.5W 65 KT 75 MPH
72H 09/0000Z 19.0N 91.4W 35 KT 40 MPH...INLAND
96H 10/0000Z 20.0N 95.2W 50 KT 60 MPH...OVER WATER
120H 11/0000Z 20.5N 98.5W 55 KT 65 MPH...INLAND

$$
FORECASTER STEWART
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 31451
Quoting stormchaser19:
I will be not surprised if ernesto relocate again far to the north. xp


Good to see others have that feeling. ;)
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Quoting ncstorm:
odd that tropics chat is empty?

Wasn't yesterday, probably will fill up later.
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Quoting ClevelandBob:
Ernesto is running out of time to strengthen before his first landfall


Well, now it's moving at 15 instead of clocking at 20mph.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23565
Quoting ClevelandBob:
Ernesto is running out of time to strengthen before his first landfall
where Belize?
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Evening everyone, looks like Ernesto is getting his act together.
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1495. ncstorm
odd that tropics chat is empty?
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14439
He is now moving at 15mph he really has decrease in his foward speed.
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Ernesto is running out of time to strengthen before his first landfall
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Quoting wxchaser97:
Supposed to be a 75mph cane when he makes landfall at the Yucatan.
That goes a long with what I've been predicting today. We'll see how that plays out.
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1490. nigel20
...RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT FINDS ERNESTO MOVING SLOWER TOWARD THE WEST WITH NO CHANGE IN STRENGTH...
11:00 PM EDT Sun Aug 5
Location: 15.0°N 79.7°W
Moving: W at 15 mph
Min pressure: 1003 mb
Max sustained: 50 mph
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1489. Skyepony (Mod)
Product: Air Force Vortex Message (URNT12 KNHC)
Transmitted: 6th day of the month at 02:47Z
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 309)
Storm Number & Year: 05L in 2012
Storm Name: Ernesto (flight in the North Atlantic basin)
Mission Number: 7
Observation Number: 17
A. Time of Center Fix: 6th day of the month at 2:34:20Z
B. Center Fix Coordinates: 14°44'N 79°26'W (14.7333N 79.4333W)
B. Center Fix Location: 286 miles (460 km) to the SW (218°) from Kingston, Jamaica.
C. Minimum Height at Standard Level: 1,482m (4,862ft) at 850mb
D. Estimated (by SFMR or visually) Maximum Surface Wind: 29kts (~ 33.4mph)
E. Location of the Estimated Maximum Surface Wind: 40 nautical miles (46 statute miles) to the WNW (287°) of center fix
F. Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: From 356° at 33kts (From the N at ~ 38.0mph)
G. Location of Maximum Flight Level Wind Inbound: 13 nautical miles (15 statute miles) to the WNW (302°) of center fix
H. Minimum Sea Level Pressure: 1005mb (29.68 inHg)
I. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Outside Eye: 20°C (68°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,526m (5,007ft)
J. Maximum Flight Level Temp & Pressure Altitude Inside Eye: 21°C (70°F) at a pressure alt. of 1,525m (5,003ft)
K. Dewpoint Temp (collected at same location as temp inside eye): 17°C (63°F)
K. 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 Level: 850mb
O. Navigation Fix Accuracy: 0.02 nautical miles
O. Meteorological Accuracy: 2.5 nautical miles
Remarks Section:
Maximum Flight Level Wind: 42kts (~ 48.3mph) in the northwest quadrant at 1:31:30Z
Maximum Flight Level Temp: 22°C (72°F) which was observed 9 nautical miles to the NW (309°) from the flight level center
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
hey is possible that the LLCOC could get sucked N into the center of that ball of convection
Good catch you can see from when it transitions from visible to enhanced color infrared the thunderstorms move towards the center.

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...RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT FINDS ERNESTO MOVING SLOWER TOWARD THE WEST WITH NO CHANGE IN STRENGTH...
11:00 PM EDT Sun Aug 5
Location: 15.0°N 79.7°W
Moving: W at 15 mph
Min pressure: 1003 mb
Max sustained: 50 mph
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Supposed to be a 75mph cane when he makes landfall at the Yucatan.
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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.