Leslie near hurricane strength; Son of Isaac (90L) emerges in the Gulf

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:05 PM GMT on September 05, 2012

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Tropical Storm Leslie is growing more organized and is approaching hurricane strength on its slow voyage northwards at 2 mph towards the island of Bermuda. Moderately high wind shear of 15 - 20 knots due to strong upper-level winds out of the northwest continues to keep most of Leslie's heavy thunderstorms pushed to the east side of the storm, but satellite loops show that Leslie now has an impressive blow-up of heavy thunderstorms with cold cloud tops near its center. Leslie's slow forward speed means that the storm is staying over the cold water stirred up by the storm's winds, inhibiting intensification, but the waters underneath Leslie are warm to great depth, making this less of a factor than usual. According to the latest SHIPS model forecast, the shear is expected to fall steadily today, reaching the low category, 5 - 10 knots, by Thursday afternoon. Leslie is over warm ocean waters of 29 - 30°C, and the reduction in shear and warm waters should aid intensification, and potentially allow Leslie to be at Category 2 strength at its closest pass by Bermuda Saturday night and early Sunday morning, as indicated by the official NHC forecast. The latest 11 am EDT NHC wind probability forecast calls for a 48% chance that Leslie will be a Category 2 or stronger hurricane Sunday morning at 8 am EDT. Leslie is a huge storm, and tropical storm-force winds are expected to extend outward from its center 250 miles by Friday. Bermuda is likely to see a 42-hour period of tropical storm-force winds beginning Saturday morning near 2 am AST, and lasting until 8 pm AST Sunday night. The official NHC forecast shows Leslie nearly making a direct hit on Bermuda, and Leslie will be capable of bringing an extended period of hurricane-force winds lasting six or more hours to Bermuda Saturday night through Sunday morning, should a direct hit materialize. NHC is predicting that hurricane-force winds will extend outwards from the center of Leslie by 35 miles on Thursday night, and I expect this will increase to at least 60 miles by early Sunday morning, when Leslie will be making its closest pass by Bermuda.


Figure 1. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Leslie. Heavy thunderstorms have built near the center of the storm, and Leslie is near hurricane strength.

Leslie's impact on Canada
Leslie will stay stuck in a weak steering current environment until a strong trough of low pressure approaches the U.S. East Coast on Saturday. The timing of this trough is such that Leslie will be pulled northwards and then north-northeastwards over the weekend. There are still significant differences among the models in the timing and speed of Leslie's track over the weekend, but we can now dismiss the threat of Leslie making a direct hit on New England. The storm is likely to make landfall in Nova Scotia or Newfoundland, though there are significant differences in the models' predictions of the timing of Leslie's arrival in Canada. The GFS model predicts an early Tuesday landfall in Newfoundland, but the ECMWF model is much faster and farther west, predicting a Monday afternoon landfall in Nova Scotia. Large swells from Leslie are pounding the entire Eastern Seaboard, and these waves will increase in size as Leslie grows in strength this week. The Hurricane Hunters are scheduled to make their first flight into Leslie on Thursday afternoon.


Figure 2. Morning radar image of Invest 90L off the coast of the Florida Panhandle.

Son of Isaac: Invest 90L emerges in the Gulf of Mexico
During Tropical Depression Isaac's trek across the center of the U.S. during the Labor Day weekend, the storm was ripped in half. One portion of the storm moved over the Northeast U.S., bringing heavy rains there, and another portion sank southwards over Alabama. You can see this split by studying an animation of the vorticity at 850 mb (the amount of spin at low levels of the atmosphere, near 5,000 feet above sea level) from the University of Wisconsin. This remnant of Isaac, which still maintained some of Isaac's spin, brought heavy rains of 5 - 10 inches that caused flooding problems over portions of Alabama on Tuesday. The storm has now emerged over the Gulf of Mexico near the Florida Panhandle, and was designated Invest 90L this morning by NHC. In their 8 am Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 90L a 20% chance of developing into a tropical depression by Friday morning. According to NHC naming rules, "if the remnant of a tropical cyclone redevelops into a tropical cyclone, it is assigned its original number or name". Since "the remnant" refers to the primary remnant, and 90L does not fit the definition of a "primary remnant", the storm will be given a new name should it develop into a tropical storm, according to information posted on the NHC Facebook page. Esau or Jacob--the names of the sons of the biblical Isaac--would be fitting names for 90L, but the next storm on the list of Atlantic storms is Nadine.

Long-range radar out of Mobile, Alabama shows a large area of heavy rainfall along the coast due to 90L. The echoes do show some spiral banding behavior, but there is only a slight evidence of rotation to the storm. Infrared satellite loops show that the thunderstorms associated with 90L are not that vigorous and do not have particularly cold cloud tops, and the area covered by the thunderstorms is relatively small. Wind shear is a high 20 - 30 knots over the northern Gulf of Mexico, but is predicted to fall to the moderate range, 10 - 20 knots, by Thursday afternoon. Ocean temperatures in the Gulf have been cooled down considerably by the passage of Hurricane Isaac last week, and are 28 - 28.5°C. This is still plenty warm enough to support formation of a tropical storm, and I expect 90L will increase in organization on Thursday and Friday as it moves slowly south or south-southwest. 90L could become a tropical depression as early as Thursday, though Friday is more likely. A hurricane hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate 90L on Thursday afternoon. A trough of low pressure and an associated surface cold front will move southeastwards over the northern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, and this trough should be capable of pulling 90L to the northeast to a landfall along the Florida Panhandle or west coast of Florida on Sunday.


Figure 3. Morning satellite image of Tropical Storm Michael.

Tropical Storm Michael in the Central Atlantic
Tropical Storm Michael has strengthened to 50 mph winds, and appears to have a favorable enough environment to become a hurricane later this week. Satellite loops show that this is a small tropical cyclone, far out over the open Atlantic, and none of the models show that Michael will threaten any land areas.

Elsewhere in the Atlantic
The GFS and ECMWF models are predicting that a new tropical wave due to move off the coast of Africa on Friday will develop into a tropical depression by the middle of next week. It's too early to tell if this system might threaten the Lesser Antilles Islands.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting LargoFl:
yes im expecting alot of rain, cool front and 90L together..would be nice if it cooled us down some for a few days..cant wait til fall comes..if we get fall this year lol

with the way things are going, fall will be winter, winter spring, etc.
if we get past winter
2012 doomcanes lolololol
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Quoting HurricaneDean07:

My conclusion is that 2010-2012 will go down as the most active 3 year run of Hurricane activity in Hurricane Tracking History.
I think '03 - '05 bests it. 2012 would have to have 21 storms to match.

2003: 16
2004: 15
2005: 28

Total: 59

2010: 19
2011: 19
2012: 19?

Total: 57
Member Since: August 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 436
722. JLPR2
Jeez, the CMC likes 90L.

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Quoting Grothar:
This is the model for 9/20. Look familiar?



wow ships really wants to bring it up close to cat-1 huh
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33389
Quoting indianrivguy:


I lived in Port St. Lucie then and we got the eye.. even heard, but did not see, a P-3. It was my first eye.. always wanted to see blue sky in an eye so I was disappointed that it was cloudy and occluded. Francis, Jeanne and Wilma gave me all the clear eye I have ever wanted.. someone else can have the fun now.. :)


See, be careful what you ask for :)
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
LOL, truth.

I'm surprised they raised the percentage on 90L despite the waning convection.

yep
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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Regardless of development, 90L will be causing plenty of rain across portions of central and southern Florida come the start of next week. Unlikely that it becomes anything more than a weak tropical cyclone before getting absorbed by a troughing feature, but nevertheless should be enough to knock out another name.
yes im expecting alot of rain, cool front and 90L together..would be nice if it cooled us down some for a few days..cant wait til fall comes..if we get fall this year lol
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33389
This is the model for 9/20. Look familiar?


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Quoting MiamiHurricanes09:
Regardless of development, 90L will be causing plenty of rain across portions of central and southern Florida come the start of next week. Unlikely that it becomes anything more than a weak tropical cyclone before getting absorbed by a troughing feature, but nevertheless should be enough to knock out another name.


Yea but it wont completely get picked up by the trough as the high might build back and defect it towards S. Florida once it emerges back over the Atlantic.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


This list finally redeems itself.

Redemption at last!
Can't believe it... It appears we will pull off with at least 16 Named storms, and possibly reach 19 Named storms...

My forecast for 2012:
19 Named Storms
9 Hurricanes
4 Major Hurricanes

3 seasons in a row with 19 Named Storms...


...(adding my predictions onto the 2010-11 numbers)
3 season totals:
57( 12) Named Storms
28( 7) Hurricanes
13( 4) Major Hurricanes


Average 3 season totals:
45 Named Storms
21 Hurricanes
9 Major Hurricanes


My conclusion is that 2010-2012 will go down as the most active 3 year run of Hurricane activity in Hurricane Tracking History.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
Quoting KoritheMan:


Stewart's not in the house. Won't happen.

Why is he not there? Anyway I think they should declare this a hurricane.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7887
Quoting indianrivguy:


I recall Donna, Cleo, and Betsy, but not Alma...Dad wasn't worried or he would have put the shutters up because he had to work.. He was a South Miami copper.


Our house was on the icw in boca back then.. My dad was retired nypd.. Fort apache. So he had time on his hands. My sister and I thought it was all great fun..
Member Since: August 30, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 173
Quoting KoritheMan:


Stewart's not in the house. Won't happen.
LOL, truth.

I'm surprised they raised the percentage on 90L despite the waning convection.
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anyone else having problems getting in the blog today, like its soooo slow loading etc?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33389
Quoting caneswatch:


Not again. GFS shows the AB High bridging, not good.


There are some signals that the troughing this year is not as strong as in recent years. I think another 1 - 3 US hits is a good bet.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19128
Quoting CybrTeddy:
I think Hurricane Michael at 11pm is a good bet, perhaps even sooner if the NHC wants to do what they did with Leslie and issue a special advisory.

Today we post the same picture at the same time, once again we thought alike.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7887
Regardless of development, 90L will be causing plenty of rain across portions of central and southern Florida come the start of next week. Unlikely that it becomes anything more than a weak tropical cyclone before getting absorbed by a troughing feature, but nevertheless should be enough to knock out another name.
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Quoting stormchaser19:
At least Leslie is going to pass over Greenland


Does this run show the subtropical bridging or stronger than it was for Leslie/Michael. Means it could be a threat to the lesser Antilles!
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Quoting CybrTeddy:
I think Hurricane Michael at 11pm is a good bet, perhaps even sooner if the NHC wants to do what they did with Leslie and issue a special advisory.


Stewart's not in the house. Won't happen.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19128
Quoting allancalderini:
the most we have come down in this list is Nadine if we pass Nadine it would a record for this list.


Eh... kinda. We saw a 15th storm in 2000 after Nadine. They didn't name subtropical storms then, so it didn't get the name 'Oscar'. But technically speaking, we still have to reach Patty for it to be a "first" on this list.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19128
I think Hurricane Michael at 11pm is a good bet, perhaps even sooner if the NHC wants to do what they did with Leslie and issue a special advisory.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 23014
Quoting washingtonian115:
We will likely achieve 3 of those in the next few days.I wouldn't be surprised if we had Tony by the end of the month.
the most we have come down in this list is Nadine if we pass Nadine it would a record for this list.
Member Since: October 15, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 3707
As some have said the eye is becoming easier to see, should be another high latitude cat1-2 hurricane. I think it is a hurricane but will have to wait for the NHC.
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701. MAweatherboy1
11:54 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
There's a pretty good chance we see an upgrade to hurricane at the ATCF update:

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700. indianrivguy
11:54 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting Pirate999:


I seem to recall a couple of pre 1965 storms... Alma, Cleo and Betsy if memory serves. I remember my parents pulling down the sun awning over the jalousie (sp) windows and putting up the shutters on the all brick house. Filing the bath tub with water and getting the candles ready. All fun when your kid.


I recall Donna, Cleo, and Betsy, but not Alma...Dad wasn't worried or he would have put the shutters up because he had to work.. He was a South Miami copper.
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2428
699. KoritheMan
11:53 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting indianrivguy:


I lived in Port St. Lucie then and we got the eye.. even heard, but did not see, a P-3. It was my first eye.. always wanted to see blue sky in an eye so I was disappointed that it was cloudy and occluded. Francis, Jeanne and Wilma gave me all the clear eye I have ever wanted.. someone else can have the fun now.. :)


I want to be in a clear eye someday. I got the eye with Gustav and came close to getting it with Isaac. Neither were clear, though. I wanna see that at least once before I die.
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698. allancalderini
11:52 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

GFS shows Oscar and little Sis, Patty at 168 Hours... This is one heck of a season, I must say.
And its more amazing with the quiet August we have.
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697. washingtonian115
11:52 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting Thing342:

Remaining Names:

Nadine
Oscar
Patty
Rafael
Sandy
Tony
Valerie
William
We will likely achieve 3 of those in the next few days.I wouldn't be surprised if we had Tony by the end of the month.
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696. allancalderini
11:51 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
90L better be Nadine.
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695. unknowncomic
11:50 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
90L looks horrid to me.
Give it time.
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694. caneswatch
11:50 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting KoritheMan:


GFS develops another Cape Verde storm in about four or five days and makes it a hurricane.


Not again. GFS shows the AB High bridging, not good.
Member Since: October 8, 2008 Posts: 14 Comments: 4553
693. Thing342
11:50 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting KoritheMan:


This list finally redeems itself.

Remaining Names:

Nadine
Oscar
Patty
Rafael
Sandy
Tony
Valerie
William
Member Since: August 1, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 436
692. StormHype
11:49 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting washingtonian115:
90L looks horrid to me.


It certainly looks the worst it has in the last 36 hours convection wise. There is better convection over S FL from that upper low than around 90L.
Member Since: May 31, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 1189
691. indianrivguy
11:49 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting Grothar:


No, I didn't forget. It barely touched the coast at Palm Beach but made another close Landfall near New Smyrna Beach while hugging most of the coast. We were still living in Miami then and even though it came close it barely gave us Tropical Storm force winds.


I lived in Port St. Lucie then and we got the eye.. even heard, but did not see, a P-3. It was my first eye.. always wanted to see blue sky in an eye so I was disappointed that it was cloudy and occluded. Francis, Jeanne and Wilma gave me all the clear eye I have ever wanted.. someone else can have the fun now.. :)
Member Since: September 23, 2006 Posts: 1 Comments: 2428
690. LargoFl
11:49 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting LesBonsTemps:


Just up the road 25 miles, Hobe Sound received only about 9 inches of rain in August and is still below average for the year.
yes it sure was funny with that feeder band from isaac..some places got 20 inches, others just a few inches..around my area we didnt get much either, blustery winds and some showers..nothing like say palm beach county got.
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689. wxchaser97
11:49 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

GFS shows Oscar and little Sis, Patty at 168 Hours... This is one heck of a season, I must say.

Especially for what was forecasted to be an average season. We still have a couple more months to go and with more storms forecasted, its gonna be interesting.
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688. hurricanehunter27
11:49 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Eye is really starting to clear out with Michael.

Member Since: July 22, 2010 Posts: 1 Comments: 3813
687. LesBonsTemps
11:47 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting LargoFl:
RECORD BREAKING WET-AUGUST............After a mixed-bag of rainfall for much of the summer, the month of August was characterized by
periods of widespread heavy rainfall. Most of the eastern metro region of South Florida received
anywhere from 10 to 20 inches of rain, with another area of over 10 inches over western sections of
Collier and Hendry counties (Figure 1).
Of the 31 sites that report daily rainfall over mainland South Florida, all but five reported monthly
rainfall in excess of 10 inches. Two locations, Palm Beach Gardens and West Palm Beach, exceeded 20
inches for the month. Tropical Storm Isaac was responsible for much of this rainfall (Figure 2), but
heavy rain fell on several other days in August as South Florida was under a predominantly moist
southerly wind flow resulting from lower atmospheric pressure over the eastern half of the United
States (Figures 3 and 4). According to the South Florida Water Management District, it was the 5
th
wettest August for the district since 1932 (Note: the district includes areas north and northeast of Lake
Okeechobee not covered by NWS Miami).
In areas where summer rainfall was copious even before August, particularly over the east coast
metro, year-to-date rainfall is on pace to break the all-time record for a calendar year. These locations
include Miami International Airport (68.48 inches as of 8/31), Miami Beach (48.34 inches) and The
Redland (63.54 inches). West Palm Beach is on pace for their second-wettest year on record (61.47
inches).


Just up the road 25 miles from WPB, Hobe Sound received only about 9 inches of rain in August and is still below average for the year.
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686. TreasureCoastFl
11:47 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting hunkerdown:

Yup, won the Superbowl in '72 season (game played in 1973) and '73 season (game played in 1974)...and if you want to go back a year to the '71 season (game played in 1972), while they made it to the super bowl they got trounced by the Cowboys.
killer B's!
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685. KoritheMan
11:47 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting HurricaneDean07:

GFS shows Oscar and little Sis, Patty at 168 Hours... This is one heck of a season, I must say.


This list finally redeems itself.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19128
684. Tazmanian
11:47 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Since it hasn't been posted yet...90L is up to 50%.



TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
800 PM EDT WED SEP 5 2012

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER IS ISSUING ADVISORIES ON HURRICANE
LESLIE...LOCATED ABOUT 460 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF BERMUDA...AND
ON TROPICAL STORM MICHAEL...LOCATED ABOUT 1105 MILES WEST-SOUTHWEST
OF THE AZORES.

A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED NEAR THE ALABAMA COAST CONTINUES TO
PRODUCE SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS MAINLY TO THE SOUTH AND SOUTHWEST
OF THE CENTER OF CIRCULATION. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO BE
MARGINALLY CONDUCIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE OVER THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS IT MOVES SLOWLY SOUTH-SOUTHWESTWARD. THIS
SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...50 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE
RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE THE SYSTEM
THURSDAY AFTERNOON...IF NECESSARY.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114068
683. LargoFl
11:47 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
A LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM LOCATED NEAR THE ALABAMA COAST CONTINUES TO
PRODUCE SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS MAINLY TO THE SOUTH AND SOUTHWEST
OF THE CENTER OF CIRCULATION. UPPER-LEVEL WINDS ARE EXPECTED TO BE
MARGINALLY CONDUCIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THIS DISTURBANCE OVER THE
NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS AS IT MOVES SLOWLY SOUTH-SOUTHWESTWARD. THIS
SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...50 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS. AN AIR FORCE RESERVE
RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT IS SCHEDULED TO INVESTIGATE THE SYSTEM
THURSDAY AFTERNOON...IF NECESSARY.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33389
682. hunkerdown
11:46 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting windshear1993:
lmao didnt know the dolphins was that good back in the day never heard of back to back superbowl champs wow

Yup, won the Superbowl in '72 season (game played in 1973) and '73 season (game played in 1974)...and if you want to go back a year to the '71 season (game played in 1972), while they made it to the super bowl they got trounced by the Cowboys.
Member Since: August 15, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 2515
681. HurricaneDean07
11:46 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting stormchaser19:
At least Leslie is going to pass over Greenland

GFS shows Oscar and little Sis, Patty at 168 Hours... This is one heck of a season, I must say.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
680. washingtonian115
11:46 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
90L looks horrid to me.
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679. wxchaser97
11:45 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting Charmeck:
This is sure an impressive picture - - I'm still wondering if there is some unknow force affecting all of this??? Link


What do you mean by that, it is peak hurricane season so this is expected.
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678. BDADUDE
11:45 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Bermuda being mentioned on the weather channel.
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677. KoritheMan
11:45 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting Charmeck:


Not sure - but you have to wonder!


What do you find is being guided by an "unknown force"? What about this picture seems odd to you? That's what I'm asking.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 521 Comments: 19128
676. HurricaneDean07
11:44 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting lobdelse81:
Any threats on the horizon besides 90L, Leslie, or Mike that we need to keep an eye on past this weekend?

A tropical wave that will be emerging off of Africa. (Oscar) should be interesting to track across the Atlantic.
Member Since: October 3, 2010 Posts: 40 Comments: 4129
675. StormHype
11:44 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting Charmeck:
This is sure an impressive picture - - I'm still wondering if there is some unknow force affecting all of this??? Link



Not *that* unusual. I recall one time in the last 10 years where there was 5 simultaneous named storms in the Atlantic basin.
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674. Bielle
11:44 PM GMT on September 05, 2012
Quoting bappit:

Yep, I feel more like I do today than I did yesterday.

:>)
Member Since: September 18, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 613

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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.