The new hottest place on Earth: Death Valley, California

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:18 PM GMT on September 13, 2012

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As any weather aficionado can avow, Earth's most iconic weather record has long been the legendary all-time hottest temperature of 58°C (136.4°F) measured 90 years ago today at El Azizia, Libya on September 13, 1922. One hundred thirty six degrees! It's difficult to comprehend that heat like that could exist on our planet. For 90 years, no place on Earth has come close to beating the unbelievable 136 degree reading from Al Azizia, and for good reason--the record is simply not believable. But Earth's mightiest weather record has been officially cast down. Today, the official arbiter of Earth's weather records, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), announced that the all-time heat record held for exactly 90 years by El Azizia in Libya "is invalid because of an error in recording the temperature." The WMO committee found five major problems with the measurement. Most seriously, the temperature was measured in a paved courtyard over a black, asphalt-like material by a new and inexperienced observer, not trained in the use of an unsuitable replacement instrument that could be easily misread. The observer improperly recorded the observation, which was consequently in error by about 7°C (12.6°F.) The new official highest hottest place on the planet is now Death Valley, California. A remarkable high temperature of 56.7°C (134°F) was measured there on 10 July 1913, at Greenland Ranch.


Figure 1. The trading post at Al Azizia, Libya in 1923. The photo was taken from the Italian military fort located on a small hill just south of the trading post. It was at this fort that the temperature of 58°C (136.4°F) was observed on Sept. 13, 1922 (used with permission from the family of Gen. Enrico Pezzi).

The story behind the overturning of Earth's most hallowed weather record
Today's announcement is the culmination of a 3-year research effort begun by wunderground weather historian, Christopher C. Burt. His blog post today, World Heat Record Overturned--A Personal Account, provides a fascinating detective story on how the record came to be cast down--and how the Libyan revolution of 2012 almost prevented this from happening.


Figure 2. The new official hottest place on the planet: Death Valley, California. Wide open spaces, infinite views, intensely salty water, mind-boggling heat. What's not to love about this place? Image credit: Wunderphotographer SonomaCountyRAF.

Dead Heat: The Video
Don't miss the 25-minute wunderground video, Dead Heat, a detective story on how the El Azizia record was overturned.

Atlantic tropical update
Tropical Storm Nadine is recurving to the northwest and north well east of the Lesser Antilles Islands, on a track that would likely keep this storm far out at sea away from any land areas. However, Nadine may eventually threaten the Azores Islands or Newfoundland; the models are divided on how the steering currents will evolve next week, and we cannot be sure which way Nadine will go during the middle of next week.

The models predict that a trough of low pressure off the U.S. East Coast may serve as the focus for development of a non-tropical low pressure system on Sunday or Monday, but this low will likely form too far to the north to become a tropical storm. The GFS model has been predicting a tropical wave coming off the coast of Africa may develop next week, but has not been consistent with the timing or location of the development.

In the Western Pacific, Super Typhoon Sanba is an impressive top-end Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds, and is headed north-northwest towards a possible landfall in Korea early next week.

Given the importance of the new world record all-time high temperature, I'll leave this post up until Saturday afternoon, when I'll post an update on the tropics.

Jeff Masters

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1047. MTWX
Quoting goosegirl1:


We call them "blizzard babies".


gotta stay warm somehow... Right???
Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1391
Quoting TomballTXPride:

Still think she'll be a major...

I don't think we will see a major but a cat1- maybe cat2 hurricane is likely.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7885
Convection is still expanding over Nadine but Kristy's is falling apart.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7885
Quoting kwgirl:
Lack of electricity. Nothing to do but ....!


We call them "blizzard babies".
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
I can't believe that with all these recurving storm this wave isn't even able to bring us rain. Hope the forecast is wrong

A DOWNWARD TREND IN ACTIVITY/COVERAGE IS EXPECTED ACROSS THE
FORECAST AREA TOMORROW THROUGH MONDAY...AS TUTT CONTINUES TO MOVE
AWAY FROM THE AREA. HOWEVER...AVAILABLE MOISTURE...DIURNAL HEATING
AND LOCAL EFFECTS WILL COMBINE TO PRODUCE AFTERNOON SHOWERS ACROSS
PORTIONS OF PUERTO RICO EACH AFTERNOON. NEXT TROPICAL WAVE IS
EXPECTED TO REACH THE LOCAL ISLANDS TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY. AT
THIS TIME...MODEL GUIDANCE SUGGESTS THE BULK OF THE CONVECTION
SOUTH OF THE AREA...HOWEVER MOISTURE ON THE NORTHERN FRINGES WILL
RESULT IN SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE
LOCAL ISLANDS TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY AND PROBABLY THURSDAY.
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5589
Quoting wxchaser97:
Sanba isn't looking so good or at least not as good as 8:00am.


You are right, but I think it's starting to re-organize itself again, we will not see another CAT 5, maybe a minimal CAT 4 again, but I'm thinking it won't be any stronger than a CAT 3 when it races by Okinawa, in fact it could even be weaker. Taiwan has been hit 3 times this year, twice by the same storm and Okinawa has already seen a CAT 4 earlier this season. Just unreal...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
She is trying to get a good eyewall going, I think we will see hurricane Nadine at sometime.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7885
Quoting ILwthrfan:
What a terrible year for Western Asia. Seems like anywhere from Hong Kong to Korea got hammered at one time or another this year, with many places receiving double whammies. Just a very bad year for land falling storms over there.

Only three of the storms seen below did not make a landfall. Unreal. Could image that happening to the United States?



img src="">
The blog would've gone mad!!.I wonder what would happen on the blog if we had a 2004 repeat o_0?
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15707
What a terrible year for Western Asia. Seems like anywhere from Hong Kong to Korea got hammered at one time or another this year, with many places receiving double whammies. Just a very bad year for land falling storms over there.

Only three of the storms seen below did not make a landfall. Unreal. Could you image that happening to the United States?




Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting ILwthrfan:


Samba appears to be weakening rather steadily today. This might only be a CAT 3 at most right now, maybe not even that. Wonder if it was a bit of dry air that it ingested that triggered the weakening sequence, causing an eye wall replacement cycle. It appears to be stabilizing, but again this is probably only about 120 mph typhoon right now.



Click for loop.
I'm happy he/she is weakening for the people in it's path.Was a monster yesterday now only seems to be a former shadow of it's self.Well most cat 5's do anyway..
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15707
Sanba isn't looking so good or at least not as good as 8:00am.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7885
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:



Ehhh, dont expect much...
Anyway, gtg 2 swim practice.


Swim swim swim that's all you do, bye GA. Nadine can only really strengthen when the shear relaxes more.
I'll go back and fix my grammatical errors from earlier.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7885
Quoting washingtonian115:
I want to talk about tropics..



but I have no one to discuss it with..


Samba appears to be weakening rather steadily today. This might only be a CAT 3 at most right now, maybe not even that. Wonder if it was a bit of dry air that it ingested that triggered the weakening sequence, causing an eye wall replacement cycle. It appears to be stabilizing, but again this is probably only about 120 mph typhoon right now.



Click for loop.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Nadine looking decent.


Yes she is, I'm starting to get a little tired of coming home and seeing 70mph.
I'm back from school.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 123 Comments: 7885
Quoting washingtonian115:
I want Nadine to pull a few surprises on us.I mean storms in that area that she's going into like Kirk,Gordon,Micheal did.Leslie stayed ugly.



Ehhh, dont expect much...
Anyway, gtg 2 swim practice.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting GeorgiaStormz:


Lol, water out my nose after my reaction was "THAT'S ALL?!?!?!"

anyway, tropics ARE boring right now.... lol
you should join us in chat tonight Washintonian115
I want Nadine to pull a few surprises on us.I mean storms in that area that she's going into like Kirk,Gordon,Micheal did.Leslie stayed ugly.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15707
Quoting RetiredChiefP:


Thanks for the info KW! I didn't consider septic seepage...sounds rational. Good luck with infastructure improvements...be patient...lol...traffic will return to normal one day.


Septic seepage on many of the Caribbean etc Islands is possibly a lurking problem that has not been fully revealed, The potential horror of it is sometimes revealed, albeit it in a concentrated way, during hurricane surge and flooding.
When I built my house, I ensured that the french drain from septic system passed through - in U shaped runs - a deep gravel bed of about 200' x 20' x 8' - I am still curious just how effective it really is! - The beautiful blue ocean is only 100' away and the foreshore is a still a place of wonder for small fry and whelks and other forms of marine life.
We are helped because our islands have no rivers with run-off to the ocean but I wonder how long it is before public waste dumps and septic systems start to affect the ocean - they may well affect the potable water "lenses" before that.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
It looks like Tropical Wave will bring at least some rain to PR/VI by Tuesday/Wednesday.

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE SAN JUAN PR
300 PM AST FRI SEP 14 2012

.SYNOPSIS...TUTT LOW ACROSS THE LOCAL AREA TO THE EASTERN CARIBBEAN
WILL CONTINUE TO SLOWLY MOVE NORTH AS RIDGE PATTERN BUILDS FROM THE
EAST. NEXT TROPICAL WAVE IS EXPECTED TO REACH THE LOCAL ISLANDS ON
TUESDAY.

&&

.DISCUSSION...AFOREMENTIONED TUTT LOW WILL CONTINUE TO ENHANCE
CONVECTIVE INSTABILITY ACROSS THE LOCAL ISLANDS. AS A RESULT...
CONTINUE TO EXPECT SCATTERED TO NUMEROUS SHOWERS WITH STRONG
THUNDERSTORMS ACROSS THE CORDILLERA CENTRAL DRIFTING NORTH AND
NORTHWEST. THIS ACTIVITY IS EXPECTED TO DISSIPATE AFTER SUNSET...
LEAVING PARTLY CLOUDY SKIES WITH PASSING SHOWERS MAINLY ACROSS
THE EAST COASTAL AREAS OF PUERTO RICO AS WELL AS THE USVI.

A DOWNWARD TREND IN ACTIVITY/COVERAGE IS EXPECTED ACROSS THE
FORECAST AREA TOMORROW THROUGH MONDAY...AS TUTT CONTINUES TO MOVE
AWAY FROM THE AREA. HOWEVER...AVAILABLE MOISTURE...DIURNAL HEATING
AND LOCAL EFFECTS WILL COMBINE TO PRODUCE AFTERNOON SHOWERS ACROSS
PORTIONS OF PUERTO RICO EACH AFTERNOON. NEXT TROPICAL WAVE IS
EXPECTED TO REACH THE LOCAL ISLANDS TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY. AT
THIS TIME...MODEL GUIDANCE SUGGESTS THE BULK OF THE CONVECTION
SOUTH OF THE AREA...HOWEVER MOISTURE ON THE NORTHERN FRINGES WILL
RESULT IN SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE
LOCAL ISLANDS TUESDAY INTO WEDNESDAY AND PROBABLY THURSDAY.

&&

.AVIATION...VCSH/VCTS LIKELY ACROSS TJMZ AND TJBQ UNTIL 14/23Z. A
FEW AREAS OF SHRA/TSRA WILL CAUSE MVFR/IFR CONDITIONS AND MOUNTAIN
OBSCURATIONS. AFTER 14/23Z CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO IMPROVE...
LEAVING VFR CONDITIONS FOR THE REST OF THE NIGHT. WINDS WILL BE
MAINLY FROM THE SOUTHEAST WITH SEA BREEZE VARIATIONS...BECOMING
LIGHT AND VARIABLE DURING THE NIGHT.

&&

.MARINE...A LIGHT TO MODERATE WIND FLOW WILL CONTINUE TO PREVAIL
WITH SEAS OF UP TO 6 FEET THROUGH AT LEAST TOMORROW NIGHT. AS A
RESULT...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY SHOULD EXERCISE CAUTION ACROSS MOST
OF THE WATERS.

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
SJU 77 89 78 89 / 20 30 20 20
STT 78 88 80 88 / 20 20 20 20
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13278
Quoting washingtonian115:
Seems September is going to be a dud.But I've notice that when one month is active the other one is quite.August was active now it looks like September will not generate as much activity.So if that's true October could be active...


Lol, water out my nose after my reaction was "THAT'S ALL?!?!?!"

anyway, tropics ARE boring right now.... lol
you should join us in chat tonight Washintonian115
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1026. MTWX
Quoting washingtonian115:
I could never understand why people would buy/waste their money on cars like that that go up to 200mph?.It's stupidity really.I have a truck only because I have a large family and I don't see us all fitting in a hybrid.I don't drive it on week days unless necessary.I mostly drive it around on weekends when I have errands to do.


Have a large family too... We have a van for mass transit purposes. I also have a pickup for towing and large cargo transport, and a car for my commuter/ errand running.

Point being, I use each vehicle for their intended purpose.

Member Since: July 20, 2009 Posts: 23 Comments: 1391
Nadine looking decent.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 108 Comments: 30243
Quoting Cat5hit:
What is on your mind, Tropically, Washingtonian?
Seems September is going to be a dud.But I've notice that when one month is active the other one is quite.August was active now it looks like September will not generate as much activity.So if that's true October could be active...
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15707
Quoting kwgirl:
I think it all depends on where the water comes from vs how the waste is disposed. Here in the Keys scientists have found that the Conch (sea snail) cannot reproduce close to our shores. After a certain distance into shore a Conch is unable to reproduce because of the high levels of estrogen in the near shore waters. Well, we have been using septic tanks in the keys for a long time. We are just now sewering the keys at a huge expense. But it will decrease the estrogen in the water as well as get rid of the polio virus they have found in the canals. So if they use septic and the water source is ground water with seepage from the septic, it could very well be affecting fertility. But I like the latter answer, evolution due to over population. Kinda natural that way :)



Population is not the problem, its the human heart that's the problem, population is a problem only because what's inside us that is the problem, just like hunger, poverty, climate change, destruction of ecology and so on. No, I don't mean the organ heart. I'm talking your psyche, soul, depths of the mind, etc. whatever you may call it.

We always blame problems on influence, and circumstance, but, circumstance and influence are only influence. Where did the bad influence come from, more bad influence? That argument goes nowhere and is thus illogical. We have been told wrong. All human problems have a source in the human, bad influences may nurture and grow already a tendency for problems. However it's human nature that is the source of our problems. I'm not being cynical at all here. In fact, the reason we don't what to admit it's our nature to do wrong that is self destructive and counter productive.

The only way to grow is to encourage one other and ignore the lies that humans are good and they just need to be educated properly. Education helps but it doesn't trump human nature and stubborn will. There's a reason why child raising is so difficult, it takes 500% effort to make good progress with a child but it takes only a second for a child to be pulled/deceived in the wrong direction.

The saying "we're only human" really is a great place to start, but it can't end there, human life is a battle, a battle with ourselves, but we need to to do at as a team in order to overcome. Being a loner/exile makes the mind go nuts. We all have a nature bent towards problems, and we will face them all our life, but it's a mindset and a choice to overcome with the help of others that is the key.
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Quoting jeffs713:

I think we should give a moment of silence to those who have died already as a result of the violence, too. I actually knew one of the people killed, and not only was he a genuinely good guy... he also left behind a wife and two kids. Very tragic. RIP Sean Smith.


Hopefully us as Americans and citizens of the world can all agree this is a tragic thing....
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1021. kwgirl
Quoting RetiredChiefP:


Thanks for the info KW! I didn't consider septic seepage...sounds rational. Good luck with infastructure improvements...be patient...lol...traffic will return to normal one day.

From your mouth to God's ear. Thank you for your service. Reading your handle I thought you were a Chief Petty office in the US Navy. I am a daughter of one, so when I see Chief, that's what I think. Have a great day and Congrats on your daughter graduating. Great accomplishment on her part as well as yours.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I want to talk about tropics..



but I have no one to discuss it with..


You can read the CSU two week forecast of below normal next two weeks in Atlantic.

Link
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13278
Here's my new Editorial Post; "Information Hijacking" Link
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Quoting kwgirl:
I think it all depends on where the water comes from vs how the waste is disposed. Here in the Keys scientists have found that the Conch (sea snail) cannot reproduce close to our shores. After a certain distance into shore a Conch is unable to reproduce because of the high levels of estrogen in the near shore waters. Well, we have been using septic tanks in the keys for a long time. We are just now sewering the keys at a huge expense. But it will decrease the estrogen in the water as well as get rid of the polio virus they have found in the canals. So if they use septic and the water source is ground water with seepage from the septic, it could very well be affecting fertility. But I like the latter answer, evolution due to over population. Kinda natural that way :)


Thanks for the info KW! I didn't consider septic seepage...sounds rational. Good luck with infastructure improvements...be patient...lol...traffic will return to normal one day.

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Thanks for the great discussion, everyone!

Gotta blow out of here and accomplish something today or my family will be quite upset with me later.

Have a good weekend.
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I salute fallen comrades, salute fallen strangers who served and with whom I shared (and still share) a common bond. To serve one's nation is an honour, to go in harm's way becomes an attendant duty more and more - to die for one's country is an ultimate sacrifice that none want but many are counted.
My moment of silence is over again but the respect is always there.
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Quoting HurrMichaelOrl:


I did some calculating based on the assertion that 40 trillion Liters of CO2 are released by man-made sources per day. This would equal approximately 1,412,580,518,400 (trillion) cubic feet of pure CO2 gas or 9.5965 cubic miles per day.

According to one online source, the total volume of the earth's atmosphere is 3,947,000,000 cubic miles.

Based on this, man is contributing about 1/411,295,785th of the total volume of the earth's atmosphere in CO2 emissions each day. How trace of an amount this is over time and its significance, I have no idea.


This is exactly what I was pointing out before. People will talk about trace amounts and then dismiss the potency of that trace amount. What percentage of solution do you need of sulphuric acid for it to burn your skin? How many drops, at this concentration, does it take to burn your skin? 1 drop? 10 drops? 1,000 drops? Potency is more relevant than is the quantity. Since you stated that you do not how significant this trace amount of CO2 will prove to be over time, then this should offer you some perspective on that. ... Yes, potency does matter.
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1012. LargoFl
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1011. kwgirl
Quoting RetiredChiefP:


I am not an expert, nor am I a scientist (opening qualifier...lol). However, working in the water/wastewater industry, I find it hard to believe that women taking BC, then voiding, would return BC to our public water system. Wastewater treatment is a comprehensive process that takes raw waste and processes it (aerobically, in most cases), then treats the remaining effluent either chemically or through UV radiation before discharging it back into our watershed, thus destroying most (if not all) impurities.

Maybe the increase in infertility is due to evolution (stop please...not wanting to start a global war on evolution vs. Creation...lol), and the human species naturally slowing down the fertility rate due to overpopulation of our great Earth?

Just a few thoughts from a college dropout, owns-his-own business, retired fireman kind of guy.

Peace out...Chief P
I think it all depends on where the water comes from vs how the waste is disposed. Here in the Keys scientists have found that the Conch (sea snail) cannot reproduce close to our shores. After a certain distance into shore a Conch is unable to reproduce because of the high levels of estrogen in the near shore waters. Well, we have been using septic tanks in the keys for a long time. We are just now sewering the keys at a huge expense. But it will decrease the estrogen in the water as well as get rid of the polio virus they have found in the canals. So if they use septic and the water source is ground water with seepage from the septic, it could very well be affecting fertility. But I like the latter answer, evolution due to over population. Kinda natural that way :)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1010. BVI
Quoting washingtonian115:
well the wave nearing the islands look interesting....but conditions like shear and dry air is a huge problem..


We just need it to bring us some rain, hate having to pay for water trucks to come fill the cisterns!!
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1009. LargoFl
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Quoting jeffs713:

I think we should give a moment of silence to those who have died already as a result of the violence, too. I actually knew one of the people killed, and not only was he a genuinely good guy... he also left behind a wife and two kids. Very tragic. RIP Sean Smith.


RIP for your friend. I pray for his family, You and yours, and all the people affected during these trying times.
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Quoting txjac:


Throw something out there wash ...surely someone will respond
well the wave nearing the islands look interesting....but conditions like shear and dry air is a huge problem..
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 15707
Quoting MNhockeymama:


Thank you for your service.

This will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis


You are quite welcome. Lurking on this blog for years and only recently starting to post, I feel an affinity (proper use of the word?) for everyone here. I am glad the free and civilized world allows us to communicate, and pray it is never quashed.

Humbly,
Chief P
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1005. LargoFl
Yep Monday 6am that blob comes over tampa bay with this model..................
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Quoting LargoFl:
wow, copy cats you think?

No idea. I heard about them at the same time, so I'm not sure if one happened before the other or what.
Quoting txjac:


Texas evacuated too ...crazy. I was sitting here at work, heard about the bomb threats and knew that my daughter was on her way to school at U of H ...made me worry/wonder if more school would receive threats


Hoping that my daughter picks a school here in the Midwest (she grads this yr) - watching current events makes me want to keep her nearby.


Any idea if the blobs in/near the GOM will actually turn into something interesting?
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I want to talk about tropics..



but I have no one to discuss it with..


ugggg for reals?... the tropics are so passé
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1002. LargoFl
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Quoting aspectre:
Oh good grief, an SUV is a gas-hog cuz it ain't designed for transportation. It's designed so that wimps can pretend to be MadMax RoadWarriors.
'bout like owning a Veyron. The world highest speed limit is 140km/h (87mph). Buying a 400km/h vehicle merely proves that one is a complete&utter IDIOT and can afford the consequences.


You are wrong about speed limits - try parts of the German Autobahn system - roads purposely built - and built well - for high speeds.

A Bugatti Veyron is an extreme example - very few on the roads anywhere and few people with the capability (skill, courage, money) to drive them to their full potential anyway. A Veyron probably emits less harmful pollution than some 1990s Ford, Cadillac etc clunker.

Power does not mean heavy consumption - and a little investigation will prove that there are many high performance cars out of Europe that actually return relatively good mileage - mainly because of modern engine technologies.

And it is called freedom of choice within existing laws in many places in the world and when was there anything wrong in being able to "afford the consequences"?
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Quoting jeffs713:

Outflows are setting up, convective temps (mid 80s) are being reached, moisture is rich... anyone want to guess what happens next?
lol watching and waiting for sure
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Quoting Grothar:


Looks like it's moving back east a little.
sure does
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Quoting LargoFl:
looks like that gulf blob has our name on it Gro..well around me we could use a lil rain


Looks like it's moving back east a little.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23700

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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.

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