Tropical Storm Gordon forms; 5th earliest appearance a season's 7th storm

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:10 PM GMT on August 16, 2012

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Tropical Storm Gordon is here, born out of a tropical wave that emerged from the coast of Africa last week. Gordon's formation puts the hurricane season of 2012 in fifth place for the earliest date of formation of the season's seventh storm, going back to 1851. Only 2005, 1936, 2011, and 1995 had earlier formation dates of the season's seventh storm. Satellite loops show Gordon has developed a Central Dense Overcast (CDO)--a large and expanding area of high cirrus clouds over the center, due to a build-up of heavy thunderstorms. This is characteristic of intensifying tropical storms. Wind shear is light, but ocean temperatures are on the cool side, near 27°C. Water vapor satellite loops show that Gordon has moistened its environment considerably, but a large region of dry air lurks on three sides of the storm, ready to barge in and disrupt Gordon when wind shear rises on Saturday. The 8 am EDT run of the SHIPS model predicts that wind shear will remain light to moderate through Friday, then rise steeply to 25 - 40 knots over the weekend. At the same time, ocean temperatures will drop to 26°C. By Sunday, the combined effects of high wind shear, dry air, and cooler waters will likely act to weaken Gordon and make it no longer tropical, but Gordon will probably still be strong enough Sunday night to potentially bring damaging winds and heavy rain to the Azores Islands.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Gordon.

Gordon's place in history
The 2012 version of Gordon is the fourth storm that has been given that name. Previous incarnations of Gordon appeared in 1994, 2000, and 2006. It's pretty unlikely that the 2012 version of Gordon will get its name retired, but the name Gordon should have been retired long ago. During the first appearance of Gordon in November 1994, the storm moved very slowly over Eastern Cuba, and dropped prodigious rains over Haiti. The resulting flash flooding killed over 1,100 people. Unquestionably, the 1994 version of Gordon should have had its name retired, due to the devastating impact it had on Haiti. However, after the 1994 hurricane season, Haiti did not send a representative to the annual World Meteorological Organization meeting that decides retirement of hurricane names, and no other country affected by Gordon requested that the name be retired.


Figure 2. Track of the 1994 version of Hurricane Gordon. The storm killed over 1100 people in Haiti.

Elsewhere in the tropics
In the Gulf of Mexico, a fall-like cold front is expected to stall out early next week. Wind shear is predicted to be low to moderate, and cold fronts stalled out over the Gulf of Mexico often serve as the seed for tropical storms. The most likely formation location of such a storm would be off the Texas coast, or off the Mexican coast south of Texas.

A large tropical wave is emerging from the coast of Africa today, and the GFS and ECMWF models predict this wave will develop into a tropical depression 4 - 5 days from now. Preliminary indications are that this new storm will follow a path similar to Gordon's, recurving to the east of Bermuda, but it is too early to be confident of this.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting VR46L:


There's actually something nice about him when he is changing his whites top to ordinary shirt..lol ...I dont know if you get Ramseys kitchen nightmeres..

Anyway the other Gordon in rainbow



I saw it one time and he seemed tamer in the UK version than the American version which is "bleep..bleep..you donkey..bleep"..LOL..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14418
Quoting jascott1967:


What's really pathetic is that Ike arrived after K...K...Ka..., the K storm that devastated NOLA, Alabama, MS, and parts of Florida.
I think the Rita "fiasco" made some in the Galveston bay area feel differently about Ike's approach. Also remember by that time that a lot of the media "hype" had turned to blaming NOLA's unique geography, a bowl-shaped city, as the cause of the many negative impacts of Katrina. There was extensive downplaying or overlooking of the storm surge impacts on the MS coast, which is what Galveston Bay residents SHOULD have been thinking about.

But hindsight is 20/20....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21458
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

That's none of your business, lol.

Im on my lunch break.😄


Haha, oh i remember lunch... the trouble that was caused...

12z GFS shows the wave forming again.
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Huge amounts of moisture headed for the gulf.
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Pretty strong system showing up on the GFS east of the islands. Better hope it stays strong and doesn't encounter southwesterly shear as it will have a better chance at recurving.

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Quoting Patrap:
I believe it was during Ike's Landfall that this Blog had the Highest number of page Views ever.


Dr. Jeff Masters mentioned it a few days later in a entry.

with respect to Gordo,
CMC takes it up toward the Emerald Isle. No fine summer weather for the Irish...

(i quoted the wrong Patrap note..meant to quote Plaza Red)
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Quoting ncstorm:
I have no problems with people posting about Florida..I dont know why we have to police the blog in telling people what they can or shouldnt post..its weather..
..yes I agree, i do it all the time but..i also post about other area's as well, just seems like there are alot of floridians posting here and its natural for them to post about florida..now there are alot of texans here also who post about Their weather etc..maybe we could use more northerners and westeners posting here too, i notice several californians post here later in the evenings as goes the time differences..but its up to the people who LIVE in those other area's of the country to post huh..we have alot of islanders who post in here as well dont we..not much anyone can do, its up to the people to post about their weather, its that simple...for me I post what i want to, mostly about the weather, florida and otherwise, i try to post the warnings all over as i have the time to do so as well..and others do that also and im sure doc appreciates it all that everyone is doing here, keeping mostly on topic and keeping the post count high..its all we can do.
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Quoting BahaHurican:
Was it N FL during Ivan where the pple walking door to door were telling pple to write their SS#s on their torsos and forearms in indelible marker so their bodies could be IDed after the storm?




That is the normal proceedure for all law enforcement and Emergency workes now when a evac has been ordered and they go through for a final clearing. People tell them they are going to stay and the next questions is Next of Kin ph# and S/S and write it on your arm.
Member Since: August 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 255
269. VR46L
Quoting ncstorm:


Love that show..LOL!! "SHUT IT DOWN!"


There's actually something nice about him when he is changing his whites top to ordinary shirt..lol ...I dont know if you get Ramseys kitchen nightmeres over there..

Anyway the other Gordon in rainbow

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Member Since: Posts: Comments:
12z GFS

114 hours
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14418
Quoting MississippiWx:


Someone should really call your parents and your school and tell them that you are on a blog during class. Hmmmm...What school do you attend again?

That's none of your business, lol.

Im on my lunch break.😄
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Quoting DavidHOUTX:


Lol me too


That was before smart phones? at least I didn't have one, I could use it during and after storm to see wth is going on, but can't be using cell phone battery for that when in a hurricane situation and need battery life for making emergency calls to contacts,etc...
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
Can someone post the rest of the model runs of the GFS?.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16383
Quoting pmzqqzmp:


After experiencing Andrew at its worst (I used to live in Cutler Ridge) I know what a storm can do, and the lives it can kill & destroy. I lost my house and neighbors lost they lives.

Its the cheerleading on this blog that is totally sick.
This would not be a problem if the person u named was a cheerleader. I know we do have a few here. But mostly not. And not seer.

And if u lived in Cutler, u prolly talked already to Grothar...

Don't feel we don't understand. Andrew was no picnic in the Bahamas, either. We lost 5 out of 250,000. First hurricane related deaths in a generation. Even if others don't get it, I do.

Quoting NativeSun:
Hurricanes are a part of life if you live on or near the coast from Texas to Canada. Hurricanes are part of nature and help clean up the enviorment and we as people who live in the hurricane prone areas need to deal with this fact of life. I've been trough many magor hurricanes including Donna, Betsy and Andrew, it is quite exciting while there happening but the aftermath,destruction and clean up are hard on everyone affected. But iI would rather live in an area affected by Hurricanes than Tornadoes,Fires,Eartquakes or Ice Storms just to name a few of natures other killers.
Word.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21458
Mandatory evacuation laws are always problematic. The Texas law allows a plice officer to arrest you and take you into custody if you refuse a mandatory evacuation order. This works if only a few are not following the order, but you can't arrest an entire town. The key is good public information, so people know the chances are greater that they will die than not if they refuse to leave. We used a form that had to be filled out for people that refused to leave flood evacuation areas. It included things like next of kin information and identifying information like birthmarks and tattoos. When asked why they had to fill out the form, we told the person it would make it easier to identify their body when we recovered it and allow us to notify next of kin more quickly. Most people took the hint pretty fast when the probability of death was staring them in the face. The NWS can really help with this by issuing strongly worded warnings, like the famous one issued just before Katrina's landfall.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Shut up, nobody asked you.

Lol jk.


Someone should really call your parents and your school and tell them that you are on a blog during class. Hmmmm...What school do you attend again?
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Quoting RitaEvac:


I missed out as it was lights out for me


Lol me too
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I remember when Klotzbatch team released their outlook in April calling for only 10 named storms 4 of those hurricanes and only 2 majors(we have yet to see one).It's August and we're quickly catching up to that original forecast.Glad they revised it though as it was to conservative.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16383
Quoting BahaHurican:
My big problems are

1. extensive posting of non-wx topics.

2. wrangling and bickering over non-wx posts / topics.

An occasional OT post about a member's Olympic team win or something like what RitaEvac posted re. Israel / Iran this a.m. is not going to kill the blog.

It's the overkill and personal attacks that make things nasty in here.

Shut up, nobody asked you.

Lol jk.
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Quoting Patrap:
I believe it was during Ike's Landfall that this Blog had the Highest number of page Views ever.


Dr. Jeff Masters mentioned it a few days later in a entry.


I missed out as it was lights out for me
Member Since: July 14, 2008 Posts: 1 Comments: 9628
Quoting ncstorm:


Love that show..LOL!! "SHUT IT DOWN!"


Kitchen Nightmares UK version is better, IMO.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 605
The 12Z GFS develops the EATL Wave. We should have a 20% circle at 2PM and invest 94L.
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Quoting Patrap:
Ike images








Ike from the ISS





Ike was bad all the way up into Ohio..Another shot from the ISS..
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
My big problems are

1. extensive posting of non-wx topics.

2. wrangling and bickering over non-wx posts / topics.

An occasional OT post about a member's Olympic team win or something like what RitaEvac posted re. Israel / Iran this a.m. is not going to kill the blog.

It's the overkill and personal attacks that make things nasty in here.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21458
I'll leave you with these....

Long-term patterns in tropical storm activity revealed.

Arctic sea ice heads for record low.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting AussieStorm:
Enjoy your day watching Gordon continue to get better looking.



This is the only Gordon I know and he's fugly.

Give me this Gordon any day.



Goodnight all. Stay well, stay safe.


Love that show..LOL!! "SHUT IT DOWN!"
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14418
Quoting AtHomeInTX:


What I found telling and sad was the amount of videos on youtube of Coast Guard rescues before the storm. Ike was huge and pushing a lot of water.

I think there's a law in TX now where they can bodily remove you from an evacuation area?

Lol. Sorry NOW the link works. :)


What's really pathetic is that Ike arrived after K...K...Ka..., the K storm that devastated NOLA, Alabama, MS, and parts of Florida.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 605
Quoting BahaHurican:
Was it N FL during Ivan where the pple walking door to door were telling pple to write their SS#s on their torsos and forearms in indelible marker so their bodies could be IDed after the storm?



Yeah, Im not sure about the storm but I remember some bloggers posting that..sometimes people need to hear that to see how serious it is..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14418
If Gordon becomes a hurricane(Which is more than likely) we will have 8-7-3-0.Pretty impressive for just another dead beat El nino year right?.In terms of hurricanes this is certainly surpassing 2011 so far....
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16383
I have no problems with people posting about Florida..I dont know why we have to police the blog in telling people what they can or shouldnt post..its weather..
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 14418
Quoting AussieStorm:
Enjoy your day watching Gordon continue to get better looking.



This is the only Gordon I know and he's fugly.

Give me this Gordon any day.



Goodnight all. Stay well, stay safe.

Good night
Im going to bed as well.
Member Since: September 7, 2006 Posts: 89 Comments: 2653
Quoting AussieStorm:
Enjoy your day watching Gordon continue to get better looking.



This is the only Gordon I know and he's fugly.

Give me this Gordon any day.



Goodnight all. Stay well, stay safe.
Haha Chef Gordon Ramsey on Hell's Kitchen. Enjoy your day Aussie.
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Quoting WxGeekVA:
Gordon is likely going to be stronger than I forecasted yesterday... And I went on the high end on intensity with my forecast... So I thought!



According to that sketch you posted of the suspected track of Gordon, you have it with more or less certainty hitting some part of the coast of Morocco.
Now to say the least, that would be very interesting.
Has anybody got a good up to date trajectory chart for Gordon?
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I believe it was during Ike's Landfall that this Blog had the Highest number of page Views ever.


Dr. Jeff Masters mentioned it a few days later in a entry.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
Enjoy your day watching Gordon continue to get better looking.



This is the only Gordon I know and he's fugly.

Give me this Gordon any day.



Goodnight all. Stay well, stay safe.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting ncstorm:


Okay great..glad to hear Texas is doing that..NC should follow suit..
Was it N FL during Ivan where the pple walking door to door were telling pple to write their SS#s on their torsos and forearms in indelible marker so their bodies could be IDed after the storm?

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21458
Quoting CybrTeddy:
Regarding Florida weather being boring or repetitive to talk about - yesterday at around 4pm or so a barrel shaped funnel cloud nearly touched down in my neighborhood. I was shocked at just how quiet it was, everything was still. The radar showed no sign of any vortex, but it was there. Florida thunderstorms can be extremely dangerous only because people become complacent with them, used to them. I just wish I had thought to get a picture of this funnel, I wonder if anyone in the Brandon/Plant City area saw it, I certainly did. We could see the swirl in the clouds after it had lifted.


No one said it was boring. I think the original post was about having to know every time there is a thunderstorm or not one there.

The blog is dominated by Florida residents for obvious reasons. I'll admit that it gets old at times having to sift through Florida weather posts, unless it's something fairly significant. StormTracker posted some great photos of weather from Florida that happened yesterday. That stuff is interesting. Even if it does get old, it sure beats any political or climate change talk. So please, Floridians, post away about your weather. If the worst thing you can do is post about weather on a weather blog then that is okay with me.
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169 Bobbyweather: The NHC can't send HH there, can they?

Don't know why not. The USAirForce had been flying C-130 TalkingBirds outta Bermuda well nigh forever.
So unless they've quit, and pulled out ground support, HurricaneHunters shouldn't have a problem.
Member Since: August 21, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4860
12z GFS 42 hrs.

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Quoting Msdrown:


Thats how barrier Islands get formed. From big storms. Good Advice you have there.
Agreed... same kinda stuff happens here. It's just that most islands have "sand dune" hills that have built up over time to not be shifted by wind / wave action. Most islands have at least one ridge of hills over 50 ft. acting almost like a "spine", usually oriented towards the edge of the nearest bank. It makes a big difference.

Of course the higher elevation often also means greater exposure to the 10m winds...

Quoting reedzone:
Lets remember that we do have people that live in the Azores, this isn't a pretty picture for them..
It would be very interesting if Gordon remains a hurricane when it gets there. Even extratropical Gordon would bring some impacts, though, and I'm sure they will be bracing for some bad weather.

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 21458
Quoting AussieStorm:

The NHC has a very good archive which goes back to 1958.


Here's the link to that archive Aussie mentioned:
NHC Storm Archive
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
Regarding Florida weather being boring or repetitive to talk about - yesterday at around 4pm or so a barrel shaped funnel cloud nearly touched down in my neighborhood. I was shocked at just how quiet it was, everything was still. The radar showed no sign of any vortex, but it was there. Florida thunderstorms can be extremely dangerous only because people become complacent with them, used to them. I just wish I had thought to get a picture of this funnel, I wonder if anyone in the Brandon/Plant City area saw it, I certainly did. We could see the swirl in the clouds after it had lifted.


NWS Miami %u200F@NWSMiami
Shwrs & T-Strms popping across S FL especially from Homestead to Aventura! Use caution while driving!! http://www.srh.noaa.gov/mfl/hazards/ #flwx#swfl
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting CybrTeddy:


Not really no, unless you're over 60 and love Strawberries.
Blah, ha, ha, ha! That's all of Florida except the coastal areas.
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Oh wow.... this is bad...



Latest Seasonal Assessment - Drought covered over 60 percent of the contiguous 48 states as of mid-August 2012, although significant expansion finally halted during the last couple of weeks. Still, almost one-quarter of the country was experiencing extreme to exceptional drought (D3 – D4 on the Drought Monitor), primarily in a large swath generally extending from the central Rockies eastward through the Mississippi and Ohio River Valleys. Many locations from Indiana, the western reaches of Tennessee and Kentucky, and Arkansas westward through parts of Iowa, central Kansas, and eastern Oklahoma received 8 to 12 inches less precipitation than normal April 1 – August 14, 2012, with a few areas reporting deficits exceeding one foot. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 51 percent of the corn crop was in poor or very poor condition across the 18 primary corn-producing states, as was 48 percent of sorghum (11 primary producing states) and 38 percent of soybeans (18 states). For the contiguous 48 states as a whole, 59 percent of pastures and rangelands were in poor or very poor condition, with 4 states reporting more than 90 percent of their pastures and rangelands in poor or very poor condition (Missouri 98 percent, Illinois 94 percent, Nebraska 92 percent, Kansas 90 percent) and another 6 states topping 85 percent. The Drought Outlook valid through the end of November 2012 indicates drought conditions will remain essentially unchanged in large sections of the central Mississippi Valley, the central and southwestern Great Plains, most of the High Plains, the central Rockies, the Great Basin, and parts of the Far West, though the seasonal declines in temperatures, evaporative moisture loss, and water demand should preclude any widespread worsening of conditions. At least some improvement is forecast for much of the central Rockies, the Southwest, the southern Great Plains, the Ohio Valley, the Great Lakes region, the upper Midwest, and the eastern tier of states. In Hawaii, the odds favor cooler- and drier-than-normal conditions through the rest of the year as a whole, which should cause drought to persist and expand through most of the state except for eastern sections of the Big Island. The developing El Niño episode, expected to last through the winter, could begin to bring above-normal precipitation to parts of the southern and eastern states late in the period.
Member Since: September 30, 2007 Posts: 9 Comments: 15932
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Quoting AussieStorm:

I guess, perfect conditions allow systems to bomb out big time.


I'd say upper level conditions may play the largest factor in these scenarios. Didn't humberto have a trough to his west as well that lifted him off in a northeast direction.

Gordon does seem to be experiencing some southwest shear right now too, this is why we don't see any cirrus outflow to his west and south.
Member Since: February 2, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1456
Quoting washingtonian115:
"Plant city" that sounds like a interesting city.


Not really no, unless you're over 60 and love Strawberries.
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Consequences of the X factor inspired Drought Nationally.


Salt water encroaching low Mississippi River, threatening New Orleans drinking water

Published: Thursday, August 16, 2012, 7:04 AM Updated: Thursday, August 16, 2012, 7:17 AM



NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana -- Gov. Bobby Jindal on Wednesday declared a state of emergency for Plaquemines Parish as it deals with encroaching salt water that's threatening drinking water in the New Orleans area.

The declaration clears the way for state agencies to offer help to the parish as it deals with its water supply issues. Due to the Mississippi River's low water levels, salt water has been moving far upriver and was at the outskirts of New Orleans by Wednesday, nearly 90 miles north of the mouth of the Mississippi. Also Wednesday, Plaquemines Parish issued an advisory to parish residents that high levels of sodium and chloride were being measured in drinking water.

The river was closed temporarily to shipping traffic as contractors began building an underwater barrier that the Army Corps of Engineers says will stop the advance of salt water. Many communities along the river draw freshwater from the Mississippi with freshwater intakes and water treatment facilities that are incompatible with saltwater caused by the current intrusion.

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is providing 30,000 bottles of water to the parish over the next several days, at the parish's request. The Louisiana National Guard will deploy a truck that contains 4,000 gallons of water to the parish Thursday and will continue to provide this same supply for five days, officials said.

River traffic had to be closed for about three miles while the Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co., installed a pipeline needed to build the massive underwater sill. The river was expected to reopen Wednesday evening.
The company will dredge sediment to build up the barrier at a point near Myrtle Grove in Plaquemines. The company was given an $8.1 million contract to do the work. The barrier is expected to be done in 45 days.

Ricky Boyett, a corps spokesman, said the sill will begin pushing the salt water back into the Gulf of Mexico in about two weeks. The salt water is expected to be stopped by the sill and then pushed out by the flow of the river. The corps says underwater sills have stopped salt water intrusion in the past. Sills were constructed in 1988 and 1999.

Typically the rush of freshwater down the Mississippi River keeps salt water contained to the southernmost portions of the river. But in times of drought the Gulf's salt water can move farther inland. The river's stage has been a couple feet below the mean average at New Orleans.

During the construction of the barrier, river traffic will be reduced to one lane as it passes the construction zone, Boyett said.
Matt Gresham, a spokesman for the Port of New Orleans, said the port's operations would not be slowed down by the sill work. He said Wednesday's temporary closing had left shippers mostly unaffected.

The sodium and chloride levels being measured in Plaquemines were not considered a health threat but people on dialysis, on low-sodium diets, with high-blood pressure and suffering from kidney diseases were being advised to consult with their doctors.
Caitlin Campbell, a Plaquemines spokeswoman, said the parish was pumping water from Belle Chasse to southern parts of the parish to dilute the sodium and chloride. The parish also was ready to bring drinking water downriver by barge, she said.
"We're not going to let our citizens go without drinking water," Campbell said.

Related topics: Mississippi River

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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 420 Comments: 127536
"Plant city" that sounds like a interesting city.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 16383
Regarding Florida weather being boring or repetitive to talk about - yesterday at around 4pm or so a barrel shaped funnel cloud nearly touched down in my neighborhood. I was shocked at just how quiet it was, everything was still. The radar showed no sign of any vortex, but it was there. Florida thunderstorms can be extremely dangerous only because people become complacent with them, used to them. I just wish I had thought to get a picture of this funnel, I wonder if anyone in the Brandon/Plant City area saw it, I certainly did. We could see the swirl in the clouds after it had lifted.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

I guess, perfect conditions allow systems to bomb out big time.


That could be but sometimes conditions are perfect and a storm doesn't intensify as much as expected. Intensity forecast are still the most difficult.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 676

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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.