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 CosmicEvents:
Before the NHC names this spawn of Isaac, if it does get a name...maybe we can call it something else....in honor of the 5 cute but totally off-topic(as a hurricane makes landfall) puppies.
How about Isaac Part Doux-Doux?
Ha! I was thinking "Mini Me" but like yours better.
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Quoting BDADUDE:

Not according to you. I meen according to aspectre.

Read the map. He drew a straightline projection. The current motion is NE, but the long term motion is NW/NNW... You need to accept the fact that a powerful hurricane will be passing directly over or very near the island in 3-4 days.
Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 7948
Quoting BDADUDE:

Not according to you. I meen according to aspectre.



aspectre is vary worng you are not in the clear you will be looking at for a cat 2 at lest with 100mph winds
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Quoting BDADUDE:

Not according to you. I meen according to aspectre.

You are right in the problem Bro..
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Quoting BDADUDE:

Not according to you. I meen according to aspectre.

...HURRICANE LESLIE DRIFTING ERRATICALLY NORTHWARD...


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Quoting Tazmanian:



you are not in the clear

Not according to you. I meen according to aspectre.
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126 Hr
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Quoting BDADUDE:


Looks like we are in the clear according to you.



you are not in the clear
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138 hours:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 7948
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Fabian was Bermuda's worst time in history and it caused quite a bit of damage.


No, Hurricane 10 of 1926 was much worse. Measured winds of 138 mph and several ships sunk, one with the loss of 85 crew. 14 were killed on the island. Hurricane Arlene was no fun for Bermudians either. I'm not saying there won't be damage, but Bermuda is well used to hurricanes and is well prepared, since it knows help has to come from a long way off. Bermuda is not a third world country, and does have some of the best building codes in the world when it comes to hurricane resistance. If I had a choice of Bermuda or NOLA to be in cat 2 hurricane, it would certainly be Bermuda.
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114 HR
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Quoting aspectre:
Derived from NHC_ATCF data for HurricaneLeslie for 5Sept12pmGMT
All times in GMT. BDA is Bermuda
The southernmost dot on the connected lines is Leslie's position starting its 6th day as a TropicalStorm
The southernmost dot on the longest line is where TS.Leslie's became HurricaneLeslie, and its most recently reported position

The longest line is a straightline projection through TS.Leslie's 2 most recent positions to it's closest approach to Bermuda
4Sept.06pm: TS.Leslie had been headed for passage 86miles(139kilometres)WSWest of Bermuda
5Sept.12am: TS.Leslie had been headed for passage 238miles(383kilometres)SWest of Bermuda
5Sept.06am: TS.Leslie had been for passage 88miles(141kilometres)WSWest of Bermuda
5Sept.12pm: TS.Leslie had been headed for passage 108miles(174kilometres)East of Bermuda
5Sept.06pm: H.Leslie was heading for passage 290miles(467kilometres)ESE of Bermuda

Copy&paste 31.7323n66.211w, 29.885n67.781w,31.729n66.233w, 32.382n62.8w, 32.281n64.887w-bda-32.368n64.647w, 24.8n62.5w-25.0n62.6w, 25.0n62.6w-25.1n62.7w, 25.1n62.7w-25.3n62.8w, 25.3n62.8w-25.6n62.8w, 25.6n62.8w-25.8n62.7w, 25.6n62.8w-30.628n60.166w, 32.368n64.647w-30.6278n60.166w into the GreatCircleMapper for a larger map and other information
The previous mapping for comparison


Looks like we are in the clear according to you.
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Michael's a BIG MAN!
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108 Hr
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Looks like a collision on the way:

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90 hr
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Quoting sar2401:


You mean like they withstood the cat 3 winds of Fabian in 2003? I'm pretty sure they are. Bermuda is one of the most hurricane prepared places I've visited.

Fabian was Bermuda's worst storm in history and it caused quite a bit of damage.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32528
90L looks to be evaporating at the moment. Poofage?
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18 z

30 Hr

opical850mbVortSLP030.gif">
54 Hr

72 Hr
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Derived from NHC_ATCF data for HurricaneLeslie for 5Sept12pmGMT
All times in GMT. BDA is Bermuda
The southernmost dot on the connected lines is Leslie's position starting its 6th day as a TropicalStorm
The southernmost dot on the longest line is where TS.Leslie's became HurricaneLeslie, and its most recently reported position

The longest line is a straightline projection through TS.Leslie's 2 most recent positions to it's closest approach to Bermuda
4Sept.06pm: TS.Leslie had been headed for passage 86miles(139kilometres)WSWest of Bermuda
5Sept.12am: TS.Leslie had been headed for passage 238miles(383kilometres)SWest of Bermuda
5Sept.06am: TS.Leslie had been for passage 88miles(141kilometres)WSWest of Bermuda
5Sept.12pm: TS.Leslie had been headed for passage 108miles(174kilometres)East of Bermuda
5Sept.06pm: H.Leslie was heading for passage 290miles(467kilometres)ESEast of Bermuda

Copy&paste 31.7323n66.211w, 29.885n67.781w,31.729n66.233w, 32.382n62.8w, 32.281n64.887w-bda-32.368n64.647w, 24.8n62.5w-25.0n62.6w, 25.0n62.6w-25.1n62.7w, 25.1n62.7w-25.3n62.8w, 25.3n62.8w-25.6n62.8w, 25.6n62.8w-25.8n62.7w, 25.6n62.8w-30.628n60.166w, 32.368n64.647w-30.6278n60.166w into the GreatCircleMapper for a larger map and other information
The previous mapping for comparison
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Is Bermuda prepared for Category 2 force sustained winds?


You mean like they withstood the cat 3 winds of Fabian in 2003? I'm pretty sure they are. Bermuda is one of the most hurricane prepared places I've visited.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

Is Bermuda prepared for Category 2 force sustained winds?
They have some of the strongest building codes in the world over there, IIRC. Most new buildings are rated for 150mph.
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Quoting Jstn568:

HA! That's pretty amazing. ;D


More amazingly, it's not true. Winds in the Virgin Islands are now 7 mph, have never reached tropical storm force, and are not likely to, at least not from Leslie.
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Quoting BDADUDE:
All is O>K> in Bermuda. I have just done some investigations and the bars on Front Street in Hamilton will remain open as long as they have power.

Is Bermuda prepared for Category 2 force sustained winds?
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Quoting BDADUDE:
All is O>K> in Bermuda. I have just done some investigations and the bars on Front Street in Hamilton will remain open as long as they have power.

Ha, stay safe and I hope everything will be ok.
You could get up too a cat2/3 depending how things go.
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Quoting NovaScotia33:


Actually here in Halifax my wife and I took in 5 Americans who were stranded at our aiprot on 9/11.To this day I am not sure where we put them! LOL They were from Virginia and awesome folks. We still stay in touch and plan a visit down there soon.. We were happy to do it because i know you folks would do the same for us.


True, there were several airports where the Canadian people responded magnificently. I didn't mean to leave Halifax out. Indeed, there is no doubt in my mind that Americans would respond the same way if Canada suffered such a misfortune.
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HA! That's pretty amazing. ;D
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453 Thing342: I think there should be an auxiliary list of names, used in the same capacity as the Greek list. If a name from the auxiliary list merited retirement, it would be replaced as normal.

First they should include'Q', "X', and 'Y' names: there ain't nothin' wrong with Quahog, Xena, or Yggdrasil.
When that list if finished, they should use Etruscan names.
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Quoting BDADUDE:
All is O>K> in Bermuda. I have just done some investigations and the bars on Front Street in Hamilton will remain open as long as they have power.

haha ok :D
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Quoting BDADUDE:
All is O>K> in Bermuda. I have just done some investigations and the bars on Front Street in Hamilton will remain open as long as they have power.


Hey bro stay safe with Leslie
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
Before the NHC names this spawn of Isaac, if it does get a name...maybe we can call it something else....in honor of the 5 cute but totally off-topic(as a hurricane makes landfall) puppies.
How about Isaac Part Doux-Doux?


Isaac Redux?
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Warning from Canada Hurricane Center.

N31 CWHX 051745
TROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION STATEMENT UPDATED BY THE CANADIAN
HURRICANE CENTRE OF ENVIRONMENT CANADA AT 3:10 PM ADT WEDNESDAY
5 SEPTEMBER 2012.
------------------------------------------------- --------------------
TROPICAL CYCLONE INFORMATION STATEMENT FOR:
ATLANTIC PROVINCES.

FOR HURRICANE LESLIE.

THE NEXT STATEMENT WILL BE ISSUED AT 9:00 AM ADT THURSDAY.

GENERAL DISCUSSION REGARDING RECENTLY-UPGRADED HURRICANE LESLIE
AND POSSIBLE INFLUENCE IN EASTERN CANADA.

------------------------------------------------- --------------------
==DISCUSSION==
THE CANADIAN HURRICANE CENTRE IS MONITORING THE DEVELOPMENT OF
HURRICANE LESLIE. THE STORM IS EXPECTED TO MOVE VERY SLOWLY AND
INTENSIFY GRADUALLY OVER THE NEXT 3 DAYS. COMPUTER MODELS ARE
PREDICTING LESLIE TO ONLY TRAVEL 250 KILOMETRES OVER THE NEXT 2 DAYS
WHICH IS BASICALLY A PERSON'S AVERAGE SPEED OF WALKING. WITH SUCH A
SLOW SPEED OF TRAVEL AND THE FACT THAT THE STORM IS STILL IN ITS
ORGANIZING STAGE, THERE IS MUCH (MORE THAN USUAL) UNCERTAINTY IN THE
PREDICTED PATH AND INTENSITY.

COMPUTER MODELS INDICATE THAT LESLIE SHOULD EVENTUALLY PUSH THROUGH
THE LARGE 'BERMUDA HIGH' AND ACCELERATE TOWARD EASTERN CANADA WITH A
RANGE OF TRACK SCENARIOS SPANNING NOVA SCOTIA AND NEWFOUNDLAND.
THE MIDDLE OF THESE TRACK FORECASTS CROSSES THROUGH NEWFOUNDLAND -
BUT EVEN THAT 'AVERAGE' WILL LIKELY SHIFT SEVERAL TIMES WITH EACH NEW
RUN OF SIMULATIONS. IF LESLIE MAKES IT TO EASTERN CANADA, IT WOULD
NOT LIKELY DO SO UNTIL EARLY NEXT WEEK. THERE ARE OTHER FACTORS SUCH
AS 'COLD-WATER UPWELLING' AND 'HIGH PRESSURE BUILDING' RESULTING FROM
THE HURRICANE ITSELF THAT THE COMPUTER MODELS CAN SOMETIMES FAIL TO
PREDICT. THUS, THE RANGE OF SCENARIOS MAY BE EVEN BROADER THAN THOSE
MODELS INDICATE NOW.

THE CANADIAN HURRICANE CENTRE WILL CONTINUE ISSUING THESE GENERAL
INFORMATION STATEMENTS ON THURSDAY WITH MORE DETAILED TRACK
INFORMATION FORECASTS LIKELY BEGINNING ON FRIDAY.

VISIT WWW.WEATHEROFFICE.GC.CA/HURRICANE/TRACK_E.HTML (ALL IN LOWER
CASE) FOR THE LATEST HURRICANE TRACK MAP.

END/FOGARTY
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Quoting BDADUDE:
All is O>K> in Bermuda. I have just done some investigations and the bars on Front Street in Hamilton will remain open as long as they have power.

Kind of like Bourbon Street in NOLA, eh? :)
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Quoting TomballTXPride:

Rough weather shifted well to your south today it looks like.
Yes it did, was speaking of this weekend's forecast in this post, however. We got an inch and 50 mph gusts when came through this morning as mentioned in earlier posts. Doppler indicated rotation just to east of me, haven't seen any reports of touchdown though. (Said that Sat about Issac, then found out later in the day one did hit Franklin IL)
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Quoting CosmicEvents:
Before the NHC names this spawn of Isaac, if it does get a name...maybe we can call it something else....in honor of the 5 cute but totally off-topic(as a hurricane makes landfall) puppies.
How about Isaac Part Doux-Doux?


That would require the NHC, a branch of the US Government, to have a sense of humor. I think they get that beaten out them early on in their careers.
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489. VR46L
Quoting CosmicEvents:
Before the NHC names this spawn of Isaac, if it does get a name...maybe we can call it something else....in honor of the 5 cute but totally off-topic(as a hurricane makes landfall) puppies.
How about Isaac Part Doux-Doux?


I like that Cosmic LOL
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All is O>K> in Bermuda. I have just done some investigations and the bars on Front Street in Hamilton will remain open as long as they have power.
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Quoting NovaScotia33:
So the 6pm cone seems to have shifted a bit West or am I seeing things? If so do you guys feel this may be a trend?


Nope, I've been saying for days it goes about 100 miles west of Bermuda. This is not good news for the future track up to Nova Scotia. However, a lot depends on how big Leslie gets and how well she holds tgether in the cooler waters up there. I'm hoping she will fade rapidly once she gets past Bermuda and will be nothing more than an extra-tropical low when she gets up your way.
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come on people... no matter from Canada or the US Leslie will be dangerous and i feel bad for whoever is in its path.. and btw Canada is awesome just like the USA... i love them both and want respect for them both...
Yours truly, friendly american
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Before the NHC names this spawn of Isaac, if it does get a name...maybe we can call it something else....in honor of the 5 cute but totally off-topic(as a hurricane makes landfall) puppies.
How about Isaac Part Doux-Doux?
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Quoting washingtonian115:
What part of Virginia?.Because if they live in northern V.A you might have time to visit D.C :).


Norfolk. It was a family and their son was in the Navy.
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So the 6pm cone seems to have shifted a bit West or am I seeing things? If so do you guys feel this may be a trend?
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Quoting NovaScotia33:


Actually here in Halifax my wife and I took in 5 Americans who were stranded at our aiprot on 9/11.To this day I am not sure where we put them! LOL They were from Virginia and awesome folks. We still stay in touch and plan a visit down there soon.. We were happy to do it because i know you folks would do the same for us.
What part of Virginia?.Because if they live in northern V.A you might have time to visit D.C :).
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2012 ACE - Total: 51.2

1 9.47 Isaac
2 8.19 Gordon
3 7.71 Ernesto
4 7.55 Leslie*
5 7.51 Kirk
6 2.72 Chris
7 2.45 Debby
8 1.46 Michael*
9 1.44 Florence
10 1.38 Alberto
11 0.865 Beryl
12 0.245 Helene
13 0.245 Joyce

*Currently Active

Leslie abouto pass Ernesto in ACE.
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Quoting sar2401:


Not to mention the amazing help the people of Gander, Newfoundland gave passengers from planes from around the world after 9/11. That alone leaves me with a soft spot in my heart for our Canadian brothers and sisters. Just ignore people with outrageous posts like that. I'll be praying that Canada is sparred any damage from Leslie the same way I prayed those of us on the Gulf would escape as unscathed as possible.


Actually here in Halifax my wife and I took in 5 Americans who were stranded at our aiprot on 9/11.To this day I am not sure where we put them! LOL They were from Virginia and awesome folks. We still stay in touch and plan a visit down there soon.. We were happy to do it because i know you folks would do the same for us.
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Quoting sar2401:

I think it's the centuries of data he has stored in his cranial hard disk. :) Gro's blog is one of the first things I read. He's not a wishcaster, doomcaster, or downcaster, doesn't even claim to be a forecaster, but he has some amazingly prescient observations.

Wow! Grothar: "prescient observations". I am impressed. :>)
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Quoting clwstmchasr:


Joe B. ripped the NHC for designating it TD. He's not saying much now.
There goes his ego.Crashing down on him again.Maybe he's upset that they don't have the cone pointing to someone on the east coast...
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Quoting number4steel:
my appologizes to nova scotia, i have a global warming question/ the artic has not always been frozen has it? if so how did all that plant matter that makes up the perma frost grow ?


Going way back, there have been a lot of warm periods in the Earth's history where there wasn't really consistent ice, in fact the earth was way warmer if you go back far enough. But it has certainly been there for the development of human civilization (agriculture, etc.)

There may have been periods of little sea ice during the last several million years, but it's debated when and how little.
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Michael reminds me of Danny from either '97 or '98 -- a hurricane so tiny, he had fit himself into Mobile Bay and was able to stay there for something like 3 days.
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Quoting LostTomorrows:


...I'm Canadian, and I'm not a fan of your Nationalist inferiority complex. This is a US blog, sure, and no one says they should care about storms that won't directly effect their soil. Heck, they have and have had a bunch of infighting when it came to the areas affected by Isaac vs. Katrina vs. Andrew. But, still, there are many that do care, because hurricanes and tropical storms in general are dangerous forces of nature and can cause a lot of grief wherever they land. Besides, there are people from all over the world, who come here because they find the tropics as fascinating as everything else.

If you want to be pessimistic about whether or not people care about a hurricane's potential damage on a country, especially when it is far from set in stone. Go pine about it somewhere else, because some people want to actually keep track of these systems.

Granted, I'm not speaking for everyone, as aforementioned, there is infighting here as in any other forum. There is trolling. There is political and sensationalist crap. I'm not sure which category you fall into, but it's either one or a mix of those. And also, I think we (Canadians) are quite capable of taking care of themselves, Igor set a precedent and so did Juan: the world is changing, the frequency of hurricanes/TS's hitting Canada is increased. We know, they know, and people are responding to that.

By the way, I'm totes a Michael fan. And Leslie is super dangerous... I've warned my friends in Bermuda about her and they are paying attention.


Not to mention the amazing help the people of Gander, Newfoundland gave passengers from planes from around the world after 9/11. That alone leaves me with a soft spot in my heart for our Canadian brothers and sisters. Just ignore people with outrageous posts like that. I'll be praying that Canada is sparred any damage from Leslie the same way I prayed those of us on the Gulf would escape as unscathed as possible.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

You should have seen Igor as it was undergoing its rapid intensification phase...

I did, and that's actually what it reminded me of.
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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.