July 2012: Earth's 4th warmest; update on 94L--a threat to the Antilles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 7:19 PM GMT on August 18, 2012

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July 2012 was the globe's 4th warmest July on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC). NASA rated it the 12th warmest. July 2012 global land temperatures were the 3rd warmest on record, breaking a streak of three months (April, May, and June) when global land temperatures were the warmest on record. July 2012 global ocean temperatures were the 7th warmest on record, and it was the 329th consecutive month with global temperatures warmer than the 20th century average. The last time global temperatures were below average was February 1985. Global satellite-measured temperatures in July for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were 7th or 5th warmest in the 34-year record, according to Remote Sensing Systems and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH). Wunderground's weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, has a comprehensive post on the notable weather events of July in his July 2012 Global Weather Extremes Summary.



Figure 1. Departure of temperature from average for July 2012. Most areas of the world experienced much higher-than-average monthly temperatures, including most of the United States and Canada. Meanwhile, Australia, northern and western Europe, eastern Russia, Alaska, and southern South America were notably cooler than average. Image credit: National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) .

El Niño watch continues
Sea surface temperatures increased to 0.8°C above average as of August 13 in the equatorial Pacific off the coast of South America. Ocean temperatures have been near or above the 0.5°C above average threshold needed for a weak El Niño event since the beginning of July. However, winds, pressures, and cloud cover over the region have not responded in the fashion typically associated with an El Niño, and NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said that "The lack of a clear atmospheric response to the positive oceanic anomalies indicates ongoing ENSO-neutral conditions," in their August 9 El Niño discussion. They have issued an El Niño watch, and give a 71% chance that an El Niño event will be in place by September. El Niño conditions tend to decrease Atlantic hurricane activity, by increasing wind shear over the tropical Atlantic. Wind shear has been close to average over the tropical Atlantic since the beginning of hurricane season in June, though.


Figure 2. Arctic sea ice extent in 2012 (black line) compared to the previous record low year of 2007 (blue line) shows that 2012 is fast approaching all-time record territory. A big Arctic storm with a central pressure of 963 mb affected the ice during the first two weeks of August, causing a temporary downward spike in sea ice extent. Image credit: Danish Meteorological Institute.


Figure 3. View of the North Pole on August 17, 2012 from the North Pole Environmental Observatory shows plenty of melt water pools from the warm summer the North Pole has had.

Arctic sea ice falls to 2nd lowest extent in July, nears all-time record low during August
July 2012 Arctic sea ice extent reached its 2nd lowest July extent in the 35-year satellite record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). During the first half of August, sea ice has undergone a spectacular decline, and we are on pace to break the all-time lowest sea ice extent record set in September 2007. As of August 17, the University of Bremen was showing that sea ice extent has already broken the all-time record; the Danish Meteorological Institute put the ice loss in 2nd place behind September 2007; and the National Snow and Ice Data Center put Arctic ice loss in 3rd place behind September of 2007 and 2011.

Update on 94L
A large tropical wave (Invest 94L) located a few hundred miles southwest of the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa is headed west at 15 - 20 mph. This storm is a threat to develop into a tropical storm that will affect the Lesser Antilles Islands as early as Wednesday. The storm is under moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots, and is over waters of 28°C. A large area of dry air lies just to the north of 94L, as seen on the latest Saharan Air Layer (SAL) analysis. Satellite loops show that 94L has increased in organization this afternoon, with a growing amount of heavy thunderstorm activity and spin at middle levels of the atmosphere.


Figure 4. Afternoon satellite image of Invest 94L.

Forecast for 94L
The latest 2 pm EDT run of the SHIPS model predicts that wind shear will be low, 5 - 10 knots, and ocean temperatures will fluctuate around 28°C over the next five days, as 94L tracks westwards towards the Lesser Antilles. As is typical with storms making the crossing from Africa to the Antilles, dry air to the north will likely interfere with development, and the SHIPS model predicts increased dry air as 94L approaches the Lesser Antilles. However, with shear expected to be low, dry air may be less of an issue for 94L than it was for Ernesto or TD 7. The storm should maintain a nearly due west track through Monday night, to a point near 50°W, about 700 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. At that point, a trough of low pressure passing to the north of 94L may be able to pull the storm to the northwest well to the northeast of the Lesser Antilles, as suggested by the latest 12Z (8 am EDT) run of the NOGAPS model. The 12Z UKMET model shows a more west-northwesterly motion resulting in a near miss of the Lesser Antilles on Thursday. Our two best performing models--the GFS and ECMWF--have both been taking 94L through the Lesser Antilles with every run for the past 24 hours, though. The latest 12Z run of both models now agree on the timing, with 94L arriving Wednesday night or Thursday morning. The BAMM model, which performed as well as the ECMWF and GFS at 5-day forecasts in 2011, is also showing a track through the Lesser Antilles. Given this agreement among our top three models for long-range forecasts, I give a 60% chance that 94L will pass through the Lesser Antilles. In their 2 pm EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 94L a 50% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Monday afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting sar2401:


Looks to me like Gordon is starting to lose organization as it enters a more hostile enviroment. An eyewall replacement cycle seems unlikey, but everything about Gordon has seemed unlikely. :)

I don't think it is as unlikely as you think. However, you are correct about Gordon losing organization. Every hurricane will at least temporarily lose organization during eyewall replacement, and this loss of organization leaves the hurricane in a more vulnerable state, allowing other factors such as shear or dry air to have a greater impact on it than it would when not in eyewall replacement, and causes the hurricane to lose even more organization, interrupting eyewall replacement. That is what I think we are possibly seeing right now, and we should know for sure by tomorrow morning.

I have personally spent a great deal of time studying hurricane eyewalls and eyewall replacement. This is many years down the road yet, but if all goes well, I would like to write my doctorate about eyewall replacement.
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Gordon is a perfect example of why AGW is gonna suck for Europe.

They will aquire a hurricane season in force, with a new "secondary MDR" across the Atlantic between 35N and 40N.
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Quoting sar2401:


It is, but, as I understand it, the southern quadrants have the worst winds in a far north latitude storm. Of course, I could be wrong. :)
Hmmmm... I hadn't heard that before... certainly something to read up on, since I'd like to understand the dynamics of that.
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
Quoting sar2401:


OK, missed this before. Please check out the geology of the Azores and especially San Miguel Island. The many landslides are Lahar type slides, still mainly caused by earthquakes, although some slides in the basaltic cinder cones were caused by rain. None of this has anything to do with the main population centers of the island, which are on the coast and away from the volcanic cinder cones.

How many times have you been to the Azores? I've been there four times. My minor is in geology, so I do know a little bit about what I'm talking about. However, wait until Gordon passes and then come back and let us know how many homes were affected by landslides if you'd like to prove me wrong.


Mt Pinatubo had major lahar flows as there was a TS passing at the same time as the eruption was occurring.
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Quoting GetReal:


Nice development of convection directly over the top of the center of the spin that was Helene.... Check out the loop... It is defianately not moving NW as NHC last advised, but drifting SE about to come back over water.


Link


I agree... won't be long before we see the NHC circle it again, once it emerges over water.
She must have been pissed that she was downgraded to a remnant low.
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Quoting Methurricanes:
Not according to the European Geophysical Society
and I quote
Landslides
were triggered by rainfall episodes
, earthquakes and
volcanic eruptions and occurred with special incidence at the
main central volcanoes and at the old basaltic volcanic complex
http://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/2/51/20 02/nhess-2-51-2002.pdf


I don't agree. If a volcanic island is made up of volcanic ash and Magma, then any landslide should be classified as a lahar flow.


A lahar is a type of mudflow or debris flow composed of a slurry of pyroclastic material, rocky debris, and water. The material flows down from a volcano, typically along a river valley.
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1299. sar2401
Quoting BahaHurican:
Why did I think the NE quadrant of a storm in our area is the worst?


It is, but, as I understand it, the southern quadrants have the worst winds in a far north latitude storm. Of course, I could be wrong. :)
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Gordon is a perfect Doughnut  right now and the center is locked and
shielded from any dry air. excellent outflow in all 4 quadrants a true
sign of a rapid intensifying Hurricane. This is a true textbook image
IMO. what do you guys think.
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Quoting sar2401:


Indeed, but the vast majority of landslides shown occured in volcanic cinder domes far away from populated areas. The vast majority of these landslides were caused by earthquakes, not rain.
On 31 October 1997, nearly 1000 landslides occurred
on S. Miguel Island, a few of them killing 29 people who
were living in the Ribeira Quente village (Fig. 5). Povoac¸ ˜ao
and Nordeste counties were particularly affected during this
event (Gaspar et al., 1997; Gaspar and Guest, 1998). Several
houses and bridges were partially or totally destroyed,
communications, transportation and the energy supply system
were disrupted and areas of fertile land became covered
by mud (Fig. 6). Ribeira Quente village was isolated for
more than 12 h (Fig. 7).
The main cause of this large-scale phenomenon was a local
and catastrophic rainstorm. The strong SE winds that
accompanied the heavy rain and the vulnerability of the volcanic
soils,
already saturated as a result of long periods of
continuous precipitation, certainly contributed to the magnitude
of the event (Gaspar and Guest, 1998).
Thank you European Geophysical Society and now we know your orginal statment did not have grounds in facts
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1296. sar2401
Quoting Methurricanes:
He does not know what he was talking about, there was 2818 landlslides on 1 island in 500 years.


OK, missed this before. Please check out the geology of the Azores and especially San Miguel Island. The many landslides are Lahar type slides, still mainly caused by earthquakes, although some slides in the basaltic cinder cones were caused by rain. None of this has anything to do with the main population centers of the island, which are on the coast and away from the volcanic cinder cones.

How many times have you been to the Azores? I've been there four times. My minor is in geology, so I do know a little bit about what I'm talking about. However, wait until Gordon passes and then come back and let us know how many homes were affected by landslides if you'd like to prove me wrong.
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here we go

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Quoting JLPR2:


A 20 minute nap? :P
Lol... after I realized it's almost 11:30, I just decided to stay up... lol

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
1293. GetReal


Nice development of convection directly over the top of the center of the spin that was Helene.... Check out the loop... It is defianately not moving NW as NHC last advised, but drifting ESE about to come back over water.


Link
Member Since: July 4, 2005 Posts: 204 Comments: 8898
Quoting AussieStorm:


What about Lahar's then. you do no the difference.


?
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Quoting AussieStorm:

If they are volcanic Islands then they would be Lahar slides, not landslides.
Not according to the European Geophysical Society
and I quote
Landslides
were triggered by rainfall episodes
, earthquakes and
volcanic eruptions and occurred with special incidence at the
main central volcanoes and at the old basaltic volcanic complex
http://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/2/51/20 02/nhess-2-51-2002.pdf
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sar2401:


Gordon should be down to about 65-70 mph by then. San Miguel is surrounded by fairly high mountains, and should be in the north quadrant of Gordon, so they should experience lesser effects. The hurricane history of the Azores is that they tend to suffer minimal damage with the passage of a hurricane.
Why did I think the NE quadrant of a storm in our area is the worst?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
Quoting skycycle:
Wow, latest Gordon track is right on top of San Miguel, the most heavily populated of the Azores. The islands haven't been hit by a hurricane since 97 I think, so it should be interesting to see how prepared people are..
Hurricane Gordon hit them in '06.

Don't think they got a direct strike, though, more like a brush about 50 miles south, IIRC...

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
1288. sar2401
Quoting Methurricanes:


Indeed, but the vast majority of landslides shown occured in volcanic cinder domes far away from populated areas. The vast majority of these landslides were caused by earthquakes, not rain.
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Quoting Methurricanes:
He does not know what he was talking about, there was 2818 landlslides on 1 island in 500 years.

If they are volcanic Islands then they would be Lahar slides, not landslides.
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Quoting 1900hurricane:
I wonder if Gordon may be going through eyewall replacement. It looks like there may have been at least part of a second eyewall on the last microwave pass a few hours ago.



It would make sense with the somewhat inconsistent convection along with the expansion of the eye.

If true, that would be amazing... that it lasted as a hurricane long enough to attempt an EWRC... that far NE in the ATL...
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
Quoting AussieStorm:

Lahar flows then. you do no the difference.
He does not know what he was talking about, there was 2818 landlslides on 1 island in 500 years.
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Quoting tropicfreak:


They frequently get earthquakes so their structures are well built and can withstand those winds easily. And I don't think it will be that weak once it gets there.


What about Lahar's then. you do no the difference.
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Quoting sar2401:


The islands are volcanic and the soil structure is very competent. Landslides should not be a problem.
S. Miguel Island, Azores archipelago.
Each green dot represents one landslide.
A total of 2818 events are shown.ckquote>
which is approximatly 4 per year on that island, assuming they start at European colinzation in the 1500s.
http://www.nat-hazards-earth-syst-sci.net/2/51/20 02/nhess-2-51-2002.pdf
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1282. sar2401
Quoting 1900hurricane:
I wonder if Gordon may be going through eyewall replacement. It looks like there may have been at least part of a second eyewall on the last microwave pass a few hours ago.



It would make sense with the somewhat inconsistent convection along with the expansion of the eye.



Looks to me like Gordon is starting to lose organization as it enters a more hostile enviroment. An eyewall replacement cycle seems unlikey, but everything about Gordon has seemed unlikely. :)
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Hmmm... new NHC track looks to go right over Santa Maria...

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
1280. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Philippines Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services and Administration
Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #1
TROPICAL DEPRESSION IGME (TEMBIN)
11:00 AM PhST August 19 2012
================================

The active low pressure area east of northern Luzon has developed into a tropical depression and was named "IGME".

At 10:00 AM PhST, Tropical Depression Igme (Tembin) located at 18.0N 124.6E or 280 km east southeast of Aparri, Cagayan has 10 minute sustained winds of 30 knots. The depression is reported as moving west slowly.

Signal Warnings
===============

Signal Warning #1
-----------------

Luzon Region
=============
1. Isabela
2. Cagayan

Additional Information
=========================

Estimated rainfall amount is from 5-15 mm per hour (moderate to heavy) within the 400 km diameter of the tropical depression.

Tropical Depression "IGME" is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon that will bring rains over central and southern Luzon especially the western section.

Residents living in Northern Luzon especially in low lying and mountainous areas are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides.

Fishing boats and other small seacrafts are advised not to venture out into the eastern seaboards of central and southern Luzon due to Tropical Depression "IGME" and the surge of southwest monsoon.

The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions and watch for the next bulletin to be issued at 5 PM today.
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Quoting JLPR2:


No, but considering it just formed today and doesn't have model support I'm not surprised.


True...well maybe some rain will work it's way in my direction over the next couple of days....thats always welcome!
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1278. JLPR2
Quoting BahaHurican:
I think I'm going to take a nap... may get up in time to catch the 00Z GFS play by play...



A 20 minute nap? :P
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
1277. JLPR2
Quoting Saltydogbwi1:


looks like some nice banding in the mid level cloud patterns and an anticyclone on top of it looking at upper levels...but we shall have to wait and see if it works its way down to the surface I dont think any of the models or the NHC have given the area much interest for development potential have they?


No, but considering it just formed today and doesn't have model support I'm not surprised.
Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
I think I'm going to take a nap... may get up in time to catch the 00Z GFS play by play...

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22725
Quoting Methurricanes:
How about Mudslides?


I haven't heard of that but if they are surrounded by mountainous terrain then I would guess they would see mudslides.
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1274. sar2401
Quoting Methurricanes:
How about Mudslides?


The islands are volcanic and the soil structure is very competent. Landslides should not be a problem.
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Quoting JLPR2:


Yep, purely mid level. But it seems to be moving N/NW, maybe it'll try to dig down to the surface.



looks like some nice banding in the mid level cloud patterns and an anticyclone on top of it looking at upper levels...but we shall have to wait and see if it works its way down to the surface I dont think any of the models or the NHC have given the area much interest for development potential have they?
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1272. sar2401
Quoting PensacolaNative:
To anyone who might want to answer, I noticed some rotation way south of Jamaica. Look suspect to anyone?


Looks like a weak tropical wave. They form this time of the year. The whole Gulf and eastern Carribean is full of areas of convection from a variety of sources, but none look threatening right now.
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Quoting tropicfreak:


They frequently get earthquakes so their structures are well built and can withstand those winds easily.
How about Mudslides?
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Sorry guys and gals i see someone already asked!
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Quoting sar2401:


Gordon should be down to about 65-70 mph by then. San Miguel is surrounded by fairly high mountains, and should be in the north quadrant of Gordon, so they should experience lesser effects. The hurricane history of the Azores is that they tend to suffer minimal damage with the passage of a hurricane.


They frequently get earthquakes so their structures are well built and can withstand those winds easily. And I don't think it will be that weak once it gets there.
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1268. JLPR2
Quoting Saltydogbwi1:


nothing at the 850mb level yet though looking at Chicklits post.


Yep, purely mid level. But it seems to be moving N/NW, maybe it'll try to dig down to the surface.

Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
Quoting Felix2007:
Very odd season so far. 2 storms in May, Chris becoming a hurricane so far north with ice cold water, earliest D storm ever, and now Gordon becoming almost major/major right by the Azores. Will Isaac add its possible legacy to the list?
Member Since: July 12, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 383
Quoting Felix2007:


No because it wouldn't have been named yet, so the one behind it would be Isaac. :P


Just what I was thinking LOL Would be unhappier if 94L became Isaac and was a dud...she'd be willing to wait for a lovely Isaac
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Very odd season so far. 2 storms in May, Chris becoming a hurricane so far north with ice cold water, earliest D storm ever, and now Gordon becoming almost major/major right by the Azores. Will Isaac add its possible legacy to the list?
Member Since: July 12, 2008 Posts: 7 Comments: 383
1264. sar2401
Quoting skycycle:
Wow, latest Gordon track is right on top of San Miguel, the most heavily populated of the Azores. The islands haven't been hit by a hurricane since 97 I think, so it should be interesting to see how prepared people are..


Gordon should be down to about 65-70 mph by then. San Miguel is surrounded by fairly high mountains, and should be in the north quadrant of Gordon, so they should experience lesser effects. The hurricane history of the Azores is that they tend to suffer minimal damage with the passage of a hurricane.
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Quoting sunlinepr:

Gordon has a very large eye to be that far north. Impressive! By the end of the NHC track model guidance he is almost to Portugal.
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Quoting AussieStorm:

98W looks like TD7 before it became Helene



Yep



Sent from ipad
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115453
Lots of dry air in the Atlantic at this time...Should keep 94L in check for now.

But Caribbean looks rather moist compared to when Ernesto and TD 7 passed through.

If 94L has a chance it will be closer to land, unfortunately.
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Thank You Felix 2007.I have that link. Im looking for the one that shows gray lines out from the initialization point of each member. Anyone? This is for the GFS Model.
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Wow, latest Gordon track is right on top of San Miguel, the most heavily populated of the Azores. The islands haven't been hit by a hurricane since 97 I think, so it should be interesting to see how prepared people are..
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1258. JLPR2
Quoting sunlinepr:


Just joking.... What's your opinion on 94L... Don't you see it quite high in the N?

Seems like GFS keeps it without development until near the islands, thats why it takes a W path, then NW...


I'm sticking with what I though yesterday. Moves mostly west/WNW until the NE Caribbean islands brushing them and then turns NW passing to our NE, how far exactly? I don't know. Similar to Earl from 2010 until it reached the NE islands.

Member Since: September 4, 2007 Posts: 7 Comments: 8747
Quoting 1900hurricane:
I wonder if Gordon may be going through eyewall replacement. It looks like there may have been at least part of a second eyewall on the last microwave pass a few hours ago.



It would make sense with the somewhat inconsistent convection along with the expansion of the eye.



That eye is looking quiet ragged.
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To anyone who might want to answer, I noticed some rotation way south of Jamaica. Look suspect to anyone?
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1255. aerojad
Gordon's got to be knocking on the door of the strongest hurricane that far north and east in the Atlantic basin by now, isn't it? Incredible stuff.
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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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