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 wunderkidcayman:
they have the center at 15.0N 79.1W

wow


they are right, wind shift and lowest pressure at that location

Ernesto is certainly still a TS, but he is moving West or even south of west the last hour or so
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


system is still mainly moving westward, the wobble in the last few frames to me is just south of due west



with the center at 15N i wonder how this will change with the track
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114757
they have the center at 15.0N 79.1W

wow
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Quoting wunderkidcayman:
possible center fix at

15.0N 79.1W

huh


system is still mainly moving westward, the wobble in the last few frames to me is just south of due west
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3 mb drop since the 8Pm advisory from NHC
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So far it looks like we have a much lower pressure 1003mb but the winds are not strong at all as of yet
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possible center fix at

15.0N 79.1W

huh
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Dropsonde Location: Dropped in eye.

Splash Location: 15.01N 79.14W
Splash Time: 0:15Z

Release Location: 15N 79.14W View map)
Release Time: 0:12:33Z

Splash Location: 15.01N 79.14W (
Splash Time: 0:15:01Z

Mean Boundary Level Wind (mean wind in the lowest 500 geopotential meters of the sounding):
- Wind Direction: 185° (from the S)
- Wind Speed: 14 knots (16 mph)

Deep Layer Mean Wind (average wind over the depth of the sounding):
- Wind Direction: 195° (from the SSW)
- Wind Speed: 12 knots (14 mph)
- Depth of Sounding: From 843mb to 1004mb

Average Wind Over Lowest Available 150 geopotential meters (gpm) of the sounding:
- Lowest 150m: 159 gpm - 9 gpm (522 geo. feet - 30 geo. feet)
- Wind Direction: 180° (from the S)
- Wind Speed: 16 knots (18 mph)

Sounding Software Version: AEV 20802


Part B: Data For Significant Levels...
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
dropsonde measures 1005
1004
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1123. JLPR2
Quoting Tazmanian:
AL, 06, 2012080600, , BEST, 0, 162N, 372W, 35, 1008, TS,


No surprise there.

Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8503
dropsonde measures 1005
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
A lot farther south than NHC has center though, interesting.


any coordinate estimate???
NHC has him at 15.4 N
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Quoting GeorgiaStormz:
why the huge gap in recon data?

it was a big one before it came back
i am assuming technical malfunction
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AL, 06, 2012080600, , BEST, 0, 162N, 372W, 35, 1008, TS,
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 114757
Quoting BahaHurican:


http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/matrix.htm

http://www.stormcarib.com/guide.htm

Hope this helps. And welcome 2 the blog.....


Thank you as well!
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why the huge gap in recon data?

it was a big one before it came back
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1003 Mlb and Falling Very intresting
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hmm interesting 1003 last obs at 15.2N 79.2W and no circulation further S could be


odd
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Quoting STXHurricanes2012:
1045: please remove that now!!! Don't be threatening others as well now lets get back to ernesto.


We cross?
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
Quoting VermontStorms:
Hi there,

While we are all waiting for the next recon info, I want to introduce myself and ask for some info. I am Kate, long-time lurker in Vermont (and really appreciated all the info here in the run-up to Irene last year).

Can you all point me to some good sites for learning meteorology basics, beyond the limited FAQ links above? I have learned loads just lurking here over the years, but would love to know more about stuff like the physics of why stronger storms tend to veer poleward, etc, that get talked about here.

And one quick question: What is ACE?

Thank you all!


http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/matrix.htm

http://www.stormcarib.com/guide.htm

Hope this helps. And welcome 2 the blog.....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21516
Time: 00:10:30Z
Coordinates: 15.1167N 79.1667W
Acft. Static Air Press: 843.2 mb (~ 24.90 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,531 meters (~ 5,023 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1003.3 mb (~ 29.63 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 89° at 18 knots (From the E at ~ 20.7 mph)
Air Temp: 20.8°C (~ 69.4°F)
Dew Pt: 13.8°C (~ 56.8°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 22 knots (~ 25.3 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 15 knots (~ 17.2 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 3 mm/hr (~ 0.12 in/hr)
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A lot farther south than NHC has center though, interesting.
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1110. gator23
Quoting Doppler22:

The shield is protecting against Major Hurricanes... Irene was a hurricane yes... Debby was a TS yes... But no Major Hurricanes in a while... Thats the so called shield which im hoping still holds but time may have run out... idk none of us do


Thats a lot of qualifiers a way from his original statement and it assumes Ernesto was 1)going to threaten the US and 2) become a mjor storm.

His statement would have made more sense if a major recurved.
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Quoting Levi32:
Makes sense that the pressure should be lower now. The plane is still not at the center and pressure is down to 1003mb.


Agreed. Circulation looks much better.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
Quoting Levi32:
Makes sense that the pressure should be lower now. The plane is still not at the center and pressure is down to 1003mb.


What do you think pressure/winds will be in the center?
Member Since: June 18, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 528
in the central pacific

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS CENTRAL PACIFIC HURRICANE CENTER HONOLULU HI
200 PM HST SUN AUG 5 2012

FOR THE CENTRAL NORTH PACIFIC...BETWEEN 140W AND 180

A SURFACE LOW PRESSURE NEAR THE ISLAND OF LISIANSKI...OR ABOUT 1000
MILES WEST NORTHWEST OF KAUAI...IS NEARLY STATIONARY. THIS LOW WILL
LIKELY PRODUCE GALE FORCE WINDS OVER THE NEXT TWO DAYS...BUT
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS ARE NOT CONDUCIVE FOR TROPICAL CYCLONE
DEVELOPMENT. THERE IS A LOW CHANCE...NEAR 0 PERCENT...OF THIS SYSTEM
BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...NO TROPICAL CYCLONES ARE EXPECTED THROUGH TUESDAY
AFTERNOON.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:
oh wow...

Time: 00:10:30Z
Coordinates: 15.1167N 79.1667W
Acft. Static Air Press: 843.2 mb (~ 24.90 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,531 meters (~ 5,023 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1003.3 mb (~ 29.63 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 89° at 18 knots (From the E at ~ 20.7 mph)
Air Temp: 20.8°C (~ 69.4°F)
Dew Pt: 13.8°C (~ 56.8°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 22 knots (~ 25.3 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 15 knots (~ 17.2 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 3 mm/hr (~ 0.12 in/hr)

How far away are they from the center?
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Quoting LostTomorrows:
Boy, does Ernesto have to Wilmafy himself for people to quit talking about trolls? It's a fact of life that they exist on every blog, and people who come to blogs such as these for informative updates and talk of tropical activity (like me), and are fascinated and willing to learn more on it (like me), do not particularly enjoy troll-talk. It's like crying wolf, to me.

If you want trolls to go away, simply stop talking about them.

Then again, Ernesto's pretty close to the area where some cyclones tend to explode in intensification. But I highly doubt he can.


If one was schizophrenic, one might invent trolls to control the blog when the blog seems to get out of ones' schizophrenic control.
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Pressure down to 1003 millibars at not at the center yet. Ernesto is beginning to strengthen.
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1102. Levi32
Makes sense that the pressure should be lower now. The plane is still not at the center and pressure is down to 1003mb.
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Quoting mitthbevnuruodo:


I love these recon graphics!

You know, I think it's all a bit more interesting when it's difficult to forecast the storms. Obviously, better for landmasses if forecasting were better though. But where I live, they can't seem to forecast right the day before most of the time (though UK forcasters nothing as talented as NHC forecasters! :D ) so def more difficult with the tropics.

For the poll about Ernesto, I say B


I love the graphics, too. I hope bloggers will keep posting them and all the RECON info.

B.
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242
still not at the center yet either based on the winds
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oh wow...

Time: 00:10:30Z
Coordinates: 15.1167N 79.1667W
Acft. Static Air Press: 843.2 mb (~ 24.90 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,531 meters (~ 5,023 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 1003.3 mb (~ 29.63 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 89° at 18 knots (From the E at ~ 20.7 mph)
Air Temp: 20.8°C (~ 69.4°F)
Dew Pt: 13.8°C (~ 56.8°F)
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 22 knots (~ 25.3 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 15 knots (~ 17.2 mph)
SFMR Rain Rate: 3 mm/hr (~ 0.12 in/hr)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1098. Gino99
Quoting LostTomorrows:
Boy, does Ernesto have to Wilmafy himself for people to quit talking about trolls? It's a fact of life that they exist on every blog, and people who come to blogs such as these for informative updates and talk of tropical activity (like me), and are fascinated and willing to learn more on it (like me), do not particularly enjoy troll-talk. It's like crying wolf, to me.

If you want trolls to go away, simply stop talking about them.

Then again, Ernesto's pretty close to the area where some cyclones tend to explode in intensification. But I highly doubt he can.

I agree with that. Ernesto still looks rather disorganized, and he will skim just off the coast of Honduras, so I don't think that he can even reach hurricane strength before going inland the first time.
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Quoting stormpetrol:


Look like an "eye" around 14.9N/78.8W , just sayin "looks like an eye" not sayin it is!

yeah cloud top ar high

I think the LLCOC is around 15.9N 77.8W moving WNW
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
Latest location of plane


I love these recon graphics!

You know, I think it's all a bit more interesting when it's difficult to forecast the storms. Obviously, better for landmasses if forecasting were better though. But where I live, they can't seem to forecast right the day before most of the time (though UK forcasters nothing as talented as NHC forecasters! :D ) so def more difficult with the tropics.

For the poll about Ernesto, I say B
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Quoting MississippiWx:


Center is around 15.6N 79.4W.


Totally agree , just a dry gap!
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what is going on with Recon no new info has come in ??? hope they are not having technical issues
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Quoting galvestonhurricane:


There was no threat in post 1045. Please actually read it before you pass judgement.

still it was off topic
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Quoting galvestonhurricane:


So what do you think they are going to find?


I think they will find a more organized circulation. Strength-wise, I don't expect much difference yet. If it continues to organize, they might start finding stronger winds and lower pressures towards the end of the flight.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
Quoting OracleDeAtlantis:


About 3 A.M. I'll be looking for the tops of those covered wagons, and counting their number. I'm betting the Indians have about run out of ammunition, and the smart thing to do is head away from the jungles of Honduras.


you and your cryptic forecasts....
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Quoting Seflhurricane:
Wish he was the director but he is not he is the hurricane specialist at the weather channel


He's still good, though.

I want to hear about conditions in Jamaica. Where's kman?
Member Since: July 17, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1242
Quoting stormpetrol:


Look like an "eye" around 14.9N/78.8W , just sayin "looks like an eye" not sayin it is!

It's just the shadow from some overshooting cloudtops.
Good evening.
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Boy, does Ernesto have to Wilmafy himself for people to quit talking about trolls? It's a fact of life that they exist on every blog, and people who come to blogs such as these for informative updates and talk of tropical activity (like me), and are fascinated and willing to learn more on it (like me), do not particularly enjoy troll-talk. It's like crying wolf, to me.

If you want trolls to go away, simply stop talking about them.

Then again, Ernesto's pretty close to the area where some cyclones tend to explode in intensification. But I highly doubt he can.
Member Since: August 26, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 564
TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 PM PDT SUN AUG 5 2012

FOR THE EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC...EAST OF 140 DEGREES WEST LONGITUDE..

1. SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ASSOCIATED WITH A LOW PRESSURE AREA
LOCATED ABOUT 500 MILES SOUTHWEST OF ACAPULCO HAVE BECOME BETTER
ORGANIZED DURING THE LAST SEVERAL HOURS. ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS
ARE CONDUCIVE FOR FURTHER DEVELOPMENT...AND THIS DISTURBANCE COULD
BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION DURING THE NEXT DAY OR TWO. THIS
SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...50 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE AS IT MOVES NORTHWESTWARD AT 10 TO 15 MPH DURING THE NEXT
48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.
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Quoting stormpetrol:


Look like an "eye" around 14.9N/78.8W , just sayin "looks like an eye" not sayin it is!


Center is around 15.6N 79.4W.
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 17 Comments: 10159
Quoting Seflhurricane:
he is a real professional hurricane forecaster he is from my home town in Miami,fl he is very loved here in South Florida


i know i meant he is not the head of the NHC
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Quoting Hurricanes101:


???

They haven't even made it into the storm yet
thats why i said SO FAR , i know we still have info to get but thats my observations thus far
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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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