94L still disorganized; Hurricane Gordon bearing down on the Azores

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:44 PM GMT on August 19, 2012

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A tropical wave (Invest 94L) located midway between the Lesser Antilles Islands and the coast of Africa is headed west at 20 - 25 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 light wind shear of 5 - 10 knots, and is over waters of 27°C. A large area of dry air lies just to the north of 94L, as seen on the latest Saharan Air Layer (SAL) analysis and water vapor satellite loops. This dry air is interfering with development, and this morning's visible satellite loop shows that 94L's heavy thunderstorm activity is a bit sparse. The storm does have an impressive amount of spin at middle levels of the atmosphere, though. A pass from the Indian OceanSAT-2 satellite Saturday night at 10:06 pm EDT noted a broad, elongated center of nearly calm winds several hundred miles in diameter at the surface, and nothing resembling a well-organized closed surface circulation. 94L will pass near buoy 41041 on Monday morning. The first hurricane hunter mission into 94L is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Invest 94L.

Forecast for 94L
The latest 8 am EDT run of the SHIPS model predicts that wind shear will be low, 5 - 10 knots, and ocean temperatures will be near 27°C through Monday, then warm to 28°C by Tuesday night. 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 on Wednesday. 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. Our two best performing models--the GFS and ECMWF--have both been taking 94L through the Lesser Antilles with every run for the past 36 hours. Both models continue to 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 showing a track just north of 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 8 am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 94L a 60% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Tuesday morning. The GFS model has backed off on its forecast that 94L will develop into a hurricane before reaching the islands, and is now predicting 94L will be a tropical storm with 40 - 50 mph winds at that time. The ECMWF model does not develop 94L. It is unlikely that 94L will be able to organize quickly enough to become anything stronger than a Category 1 hurricane before reaching the islands, given the storm's current struggles with dry air, and the lack of model support for intensification. With 94L staying relatively weak and disorganized, the chances of it turning to the northwest and missing the Lesser Antilles, as the NOGAPS model has been predicting, are diminishing. The GFS model predicts that 94L will go on to hit the Dominican Republic as a strong tropical storm on Friday, though the storm could also miss the island, passing just to the north or the south. At longer ranges, the storm is capable of going anywhere from Canada to Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula; it's too early to tell.


Figure 2. The 00Z (8 pm EDT) run of the GFS model from August 18, 2012, was done 20 different times at low resolution using slightly different initial conditions to generate an ensemble of forecasts (pink lines.) The high-resolution operational GFS forecast is shown in white. The GFS ensemble forecast is showing decreasing risk to the U.S. East Coast at long ranges, and an increasing risk to the Gulf Coast.

Gordon bears down on the Azores
Hurricane warnings are flying for the central and eastern Azores Islands as Hurricane Gordon barrels eastwards at 21 mph. Gordon's peak 110 mph winds it had last night made it the strongest hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season so far. Latest visible satellite loops show that cold water and high wind shear are taking a toll on Gordon, with the southern portion of the storm deteriorating and the eye beginning to open up. However, Gordon will still be a Category 1 hurricane or strong tropical storm when it passes through the Azores Monday morning. Winds at Ponta Delgada were 11 mph out of the east at 10 am EDT this morning, but will rise through the day as Gordon approaches.

Gordon is not a threat to any other land areas, and the extratropical remnants of Gordon will not bring any strong winds or significant rain to Europe. The last time the Azores were affected by a tropical storm was in 2009, when Tropical Storm Grace brought 65 mph winds on October 4. No significant damage was reported. Ironically, the last hurricane to affect the Azores was the 2006 version of Hurricane Gordon, which caused minor damage in the Azores, consisting of mostly fallen trees and power outages. However, after Gordon became an extratropical low, four injuries due to falling debris from high wind were reported in Spain, and Gordon brought high winds and rain that affected practice rounds at the Ryder Cup golf tournament in Ireland.


Figure 3. MODIS satellite image of Hurricane Gordon taken on Saturday August 18, 2012, at 11:50 am EDT. At the time, Gordon was a Category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting weatherman12345:
gfs images anyone.. plz?

here's 850mb vort at 144 hours. This isn't a very good looking path for us...
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2562. Skyepony (Mod)
Quoting uncwhurricane85:


im saying! you don't ever see possible landfall from vietnam to north korea one week out from the landfall in the pacific like they are saying mexico to nova scotia in the atlantic. They basically have it narrowed down to say for instance the southeastern part of china or the northern phillipeans most of the time 5 or more days out! and its so much more accurate than atlantic storms. Sorry im being difficult..it just baffles me being i live in hurricane prone Wilmington, N.C.


KIA-TAK was so far left of forecast last week. Just about ran the N Philippines over when it was suppose to go way around. Crazy flooding again.
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2561. 7544
so fla again
'?
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2560. Patrap
Georges 98





Ivan 04

(Ghost Of Ivan included)

Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 428 Comments: 129906
144, landfall in Cuba
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Quoting StormJunkie:


Wouldn't much matter with the track it is showing on this run. A little reminiscent of 2006 Ernesto.

At this point, I take that comment back. Instead it looks like it's going to take a grand tour of Cuba.
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2554. sar2401
Quoting HoustonTxGal:


Well that is clear as mud...lol


Not the best written paragraph in the history of the English language. :)
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132hrs

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Quoting 7544:
we nned pics pla but looks like another fl run lol


Time for bed-bye.
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Quoting trHUrrIXC5MMX:
FINALLY FINISHED IT...
________________________

Here is my version of what the path could most likely be... the farther out the greater the uncertainty.

Hurricane Gordon is also noted in the top right hand corner...

Summary:
I have Isaac reaching the Antilles as a weak/moderate tropical storm, them becoming a hurricane little after...If it stays south of Hispaniola he could intensify more but if not..then probably back as a storm but for now it could remain down enough to keep its intensity or strengthen slowly. They with PR could feel (indirectly) the impacts of the storm, specially Haiti.
Then hitting hard Jamaica and the Cayman Islands as a cat 2 hurricane...maybe a cat 3 hitting the Yucatan or Cuba and eventually Florida and not sure if Isaac could enter the GOM or not... if it does not recurves out...it could be a big danger for the Gulf states..OR hit severely the Yucatan and then east Mexico OR recurve north and impact as a big US East coast storm...many things could happen...

Notice the timing and intensity...it might be off if you think otherwise.
TELL ME YOUR POINT OF VIEW...FEEDBACK...COMMENTS ETC..

here it is...


if you want a bigger pic for yourself click here: Link
I favor the righthand sight of the cone.I see the h.p. ridge moving further east and the trailing trough dropping done and drawing the storm northward.This has been my guesstimate since about Tues..
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2549. 7544
Quoting 7544:
we need pics plz but looks like another fl run lol
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2547. 7544
we need pics plz but looks like another fl run lol
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Quoting bappit:
From the Brownsville forecast discussion:

ANOTHER SIZEABLE FLY IN THE OINTMENT IS THE MCV/TROUGH
OVER THE NORTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO ABOUT 150 MILES TO THE SOUTH SOUTHEAST OF BROWNSVILLE. A FLARE UP OF CONVECTION NEAR THIS STORM DURING THE OVERNIGHT DIURNAL MAXIMUM COULD PLAY A ROLE IN EITHER PULLING THE WINDS MORE TOWARDS THE NORTH...USHERING IN DRY AIR FASTER...OR PERHAPS BLOCKING THE FRONTAL PASSAGE FURTHER SOUTH. IT COULD ALSO SEND OUTFLOW BOUNDARIES NORTHWEST INTO THE AREA HELPING INITIATE CONVECTION. BASED ON ITS APPEARANCE AT THE MOMENT WILL ASSUME FOR NOW ITS INFLUENCE WILL BE MINIMAL.


Well that is clear as mud...lol
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Quoting Levi32:


I'm not sure what you mean by "pressure readings at 500mb". At the 500mb level, the pressure is always 500mb, by definition. If you mean 500mb heights, you should clarify what you're asking.

For mature tropical cyclones, the GFS won't always resolve the lowest central pressure due to an insufficient grid resolution.
Thanks, meant to say heights at that level, still learning as you can see, but at least you understood where I was coming from.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
2544. sar2401
Quoting uncwhurricane85:


im saying! you don't ever see possible landfall from vietnam to north korea one week out from the landfall in the pacific like they are saying mexico to nova scotia in the atlantic. They basically have it narrowed down to say for instance the southeastern part of china or the northern phillipeans most of the time 5 or more days out! and its so much more accurate than atlantic storms. Sorry im being difficult..it just baffles me being i live in hurricane prone Wilmington, N.C.


I think what Levi is saying that Atlantic storms follow a relatively short path to a large land mass with many different weather systems going on at the same time. There are also chains of island for a good part of the path of a Atlantic storm, and they all interact with a storm in different and, often times, unpredictable ways.

Pacific storms follow a very long path and tend to become strong storms while still far from any land mass. Except for some tiny islands in the Pacific, there are no continental influences until a Pacific storm is generally stronger and closer to a large landmass. Pacific strom also tend to follow very similar tracks for an entire season, while Atlantic storms can and do follow very different tracks, even when all other things we know about storms seem to be the same. Predicting track and ntensity of an Atlantic storm is more difficult compared to a Pacific storm for the reasons I've exlained, plus probably a lot of other things that we don't yet understand about tropical cyclone behavior.

Levi, feel free to correct me if I've gotten anything wrong.
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2543. bappit
From the Brownsville forecast discussion:

ANOTHER SIZEABLE FLY IN THE OINTMENT IS THE MCV/TROUGH
OVER THE NORTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO ABOUT 150 MILES TO THE SOUTH SOUTHEAST OF BROWNSVILLE. A FLARE UP OF CONVECTION NEAR THIS STORM DURING THE OVERNIGHT DIURNAL MAXIMUM COULD PLAY A ROLE IN EITHER PULLING THE WINDS MORE TOWARDS THE NORTH...USHERING IN DRY AIR FASTER...OR PERHAPS BLOCKING THE FRONTAL PASSAGE FURTHER SOUTH. IT COULD ALSO SEND OUTFLOW BOUNDARIES NORTHWEST INTO THE AREA HELPING INITIATE CONVECTION. BASED ON ITS APPEARANCE AT THE MOMENT WILL ASSUME FOR NOW ITS INFLUENCE WILL BE MINIMAL.
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117 hrs.

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Quoting CothranRoss:
Something tells me 94L is going to scrape the entire eastern Florida coastline with this GFS run


Wouldn't much matter with the track it is showing on this run. A little reminiscent of 2006 Ernesto.
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2540. Levi32
Quoting GTcooliebai:
Hey Levi, I want to make sure I'm right about this before the I misinform the blog, but it's about the pressure readings by the GFS at the 500 mb. layer for example, if it shows 1008 mb. does it mean the surface pressures will be lower and how accurate is the GFS when it comes to getting the pressure readings right?


I'm not sure what you mean by "pressure readings at 500mb". At the 500mb level, the pressure is always 500mb, by definition. If you mean 500mb heights, you should clarify what you're asking.

For mature tropical cyclones, the GFS won't always resolve the lowest central pressure due to an insufficient grid resolution.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


For one thing, warmer water is spread out over a wider area in those basins, which essentially creates semipermanent high pressure ridges (similar to what you know in the Atlantic as the Bermuda-Azores ridge). Simply put, the orientation of the subtropical ridge in those basins is less arbitrary and capricious than in the Atlantic.


that makes sense
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The GFS is really fast with 94L this run, it takes 102 hrs. to get where it is at now to reach the longitude of Haiti where it was still south of DR.
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Hey rg, good to see ya! It may. Still a day or so away from being fairly certain on it's track to/through the islands.

With this run in particular though, it seems to show it going from PR/DR straight to Cuba. Hard for any systems, large/small - weak/strong to handle that kind of terrain.
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Something tells me 94L is going to scrape the entire eastern Florida coastline with this GFS run
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FINALLY FINISHED IT...
________________________

Here is my version of what the path could most likely be... the farther out the greater the uncertainty.

Hurricane Gordon is also noted in the top right hand corner...

Summary:
I have Isaac reaching the Antilles as a weak/moderate tropical storm, them becoming a hurricane little after...If it stays south of Hispaniola he could intensify more but if not..then probably back as a storm but for now it could remain down enough to keep its intensity or strengthen slowly. They with PR could feel (indirectly) the impacts of the storm, specially Haiti.
Then hitting hard Jamaica and the Cayman Islands as a cat 2 hurricane...maybe a cat 3 hitting the Yucatan or Cuba and eventually Florida and not sure if Isaac could enter the GOM or not... if it does not recurves out...it could be a big danger for the Gulf states..OR hit severely the Yucatan and then east Mexico OR recurve north and impact as a big US East coast storm...many things could happen...

Notice the timing and intensity...it might be off if you think otherwise.
TELL ME YOUR POINT OF VIEW...FEEDBACK...COMMENTS ETC..

here it is...


if you want a bigger pic for yourself click here: Link
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Quoting CaribBoy:
The blog is dead. I'm no surprised as 94L is dying :(


I agree. See you next season. Bye.
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The blog is dead. I'm no surprised as 94L is dying :(
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Quoting Levi32:


I know the NHC publicly talks about how at least the eastern Pacific is far easier to predict in due to the much simpler dynamic environment. The biggest difference from the Atlantic that they mention is that the EPAC is not commonly invaded by mid-latitude troughs. Rather, a tropical deep-layer easterly flow dominates, making track forecasts "easy" in comparison to the Atlantic.

I don't know what the forecast verification is like for the JTWC in the western Pacific. It's an interesting question actually.
Hey Levi, I want to make sure I'm right about this before the I misinform the blog, but it's about the pressure readings by the GFS at the 500 mb. layer for example, if it shows 1008 mb. does it mean the surface pressures will be lower and how accurate is the GFS when it comes to getting the pressure readings right?
Member Since: August 31, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 5628
Quoting unknowncomic:
Looks like 94L to the hispanola Hurricane Mountain graveyard.
Or will it survive.


The GFS will say it survives...Should it take a course right over the island; I have serious doubts. Especially if it continues on to Eastern Cuba.
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Hey Storm Junkie.. Been awhile! I am thinking it may split DR /PR heading for the bahamas...

Being that it is at 14n at 40 w, I am thinking it is gonna strengthen and gain some latitude.
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Quoting RTSplayer:


LOL.

If his theory was true we could just send the real data from our own future into another past, and they could send the data from their future into our past, and as long as the time lines are relatively "close" to one another, it would still be better than any model we could construct.
You're blowing my mind, man. Stop
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Quoting unknowncomic:
Looks like 94L to the hispanola Hurricane Mountain graveyard.
Or will it survive.


Believe it or not, weak systems are actually less prone to sudden death over Hispaniola, as there is less of an upper tropospheric circulation to disrupt. This is why Emily was able to come back last year after hitting it, while much more powerful storms like David struggle.
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Quoting Levi32:


I know the NHC publicly talks about how at least the eastern Pacific is far easier to predict in due to the much simpler dynamic environment. The biggest difference from the Atlantic that they mention is that the EPAC is not commonly invaded by mid-latitude troughs. Rather, a tropical deep-layer easterly flow dominates, making track forecasts "easy" in comparison to the Atlantic.

I don't know what the forecast verification is like for the JTWC in the western Pacific. It's an interesting question actually.


im saying! you don't ever see possible landfall from vietnam to north korea one week out from the landfall in the pacific like they are saying mexico to nova scotia in the atlantic. They basically have it narrowed down to say for instance the southeastern part of china or the northern phillipeans most of the time 5 or more days out! and its so much more accurate than atlantic storms. Sorry im being difficult..it just baffles me being i live in hurricane prone Wilmington, N.C.
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


None different from anyone else I'm afraid. Still watching how things go down the road. Definitely something to be aware of for now. But not worried. Might keep an eye on 95l too.

same here
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Quoting CaribBoy:
GFS IS FASTER AND FASTER!! WE NEED A TROUGH TO ALLOW STRENGHTENING AND LOWER SPEED! What a year is it!!!!!! Bust


lol, somebody has no patience.
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Looks like 94L to the hispanola Hurricane Mountain graveyard.
Or will it survive.
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Quoting bappit:

Dr. M took time in a previous blog to point out that we are not in an el nino. You can check out the CPC web site for the latest. I think they issue updates on Monday.


K thanks i skimmed over it and sounds like it's basically neutral right now
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Quoting uncwhurricane85:
it seems to me that pacific (eastern/western) are so much easier to predict track wise! They have fronts/troughs from china/asia, high pressure systems over the ocean, upper level lows in place just like the atlantic, so why is it so hard to predict the movement in the atlantic?


For one thing, warmer water is spread out over a wider area in those basins, which essentially creates semipermanent high pressure ridges (similar to what you know in the Atlantic as the Bermuda-Azores ridge). Simply put, the orientation of the subtropical ridge in those basins is less arbitrary and capricious than in the Atlantic.
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Quoting Stormchaser121:

What are your thoughts on 94L?


None different from anyone else I'm afraid. Still watching how things go down the road. Definitely something to be aware of for now. But not worried. Might keep an eye on 95l too.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 254
This run is hinting at the old death tangle with DR/PR...
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Quoting AtHomeInTX:


Lol. A lot of us are hooked on it. :)

What are your thoughts on 94L?
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2517. Levi32
Quoting uncwhurricane85:
it seems to me that pacific (eastern/western) are so much easier to predict track wise! They have fronts/troughs from china/asia, high pressure systems over the ocean, upper level lows in place just like the atlantic, so why is it so hard to predict the movement in the atlantic?


I know the NHC publicly talks about how at least the eastern Pacific is far easier to predict in due to the much simpler dynamic environment. The biggest difference from the Atlantic that they mention is that the EPAC is not commonly invaded by mid-latitude troughs. Rather, a tropical deep-layer easterly flow dominates, making track forecasts "easy" in comparison to the Atlantic.

I don't know what the forecast verification is like for the JTWC in the western Pacific. It's an interesting question actually.
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Oh yes I know I'm crazy tonight. lol I'm a bit drunk
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Quoting GTcooliebai:
1010 mb. for the Lesser Antilles, most likely a weak tropical storm because of the difference of pressure at the 500 mb. and surface levels.





You can see the trough digging down in the plains.
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GFS IS FASTER AND FASTER!! WE NEED A TROUGH TO ALLOW STRENGHTENING AND LOWER SPEED! What a year is it!!!!!! Bust
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Well done, sir. Well done.

(This is the kind of discussion & reasoning we encountered in my Philosophy of Computation course when I was working on my MS.)


Quoting RTSplayer:
IN response to my post 2448, I actually disagree with the logic behind that argument, because there is actually no good reason higher and higher levels of reality couldn't or wouldn't exist.

Regardless of coordinate system, you can always build a matrix with one extra dimension, and fill it with an infinite number of matrices of the known number of dimensions.

So you can neither prove nor refute n 1 dimensions having knowledge of only n dimensions.

There's no logical reason for an arbitrary cut-off in a theory without actual knowledge/observation of that limit.

Further "All possibilities of all possible universes" is a no-limits fallacy.

Once you hypothesis multiple universes, or a "multi-verse," then why not multiple multi-verses?

The implication is there could be universes which are not nested within the same multi-verse matrix as our own.


Another fallacy is the assumption that laws exist at all in other universes.

Another fallacy is the assumption that all laws that exist here exist there. there may be no gravity, or no light, or no nuclear force, etc.


Another fallacy is the assumption that a "alternate possibility" is the same as a "reality" that you could actually travel to.


If I have a 6 sided die and I roll it, there are six possibilities, but once rolled, only one of them is "real". There is no good reason to believe that there is any "alternate timeline" where a different number was the result; it cannot be falsified with the knowledge or technology we have today.
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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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