Tropical Storm Rafael drenching the Lesser Antilles

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:15 PM GMT on October 13, 2012

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Tropical Storm Rafael formed late yesterday afternoon over the Lesser Antilles Islands, and is bringing gusty winds and very heavy rains to the islands today. Two-day rainfall amounts of 1 - 3" have been common over the Leeward Islands from Rafael, but the winds have stayed below tropical storm-force so far. Here are some of the peak gusts from Rafael as of noon EDT on Saturday:

Antigua: 37 mph
Martinique: 28 mph
St. Lucia: 39 mph
St. Martin: 26 mph

Satellite loops and radar loops show that Rafael has a large area of heavy thunderstorms to the east and southeast of the center. These thunderstorms are poorly organized, but were beginning to show a more organized spiral banding look late this morning. An upper-level low centered a few hundred miles south of the eastern Dominican Republic is pumping dry air into the west side of Rafael, and is creating a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear.


Figure 1. Radar image out of Martinique from 11:45 am EDT Saturday, October 13, 2012 showed a large area of heavy rain over nearly the entire Lesser Antilles Island chain due to Tropical Storm Rafael. Image credit: Meteo France.

Forecast for Rafael
The shear has dropped since Friday, and is is expected to remain in the moderate range through Monday, which should allow for some slow intensification of Rafael over the next few days. Heavy rains will continue over the entire Lesser Antilles Island chain, plus the Virgin Islands, today through Sunday. Puerto Rico can expect heavy rains on Sunday, but the dry air on the west side of Rafael should keep the Dominican Republic from seeing heavy rains. Rafael's strongest winds will be to the right of the center, and islands of Barbuda, Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Barthelemy, St. Eustatis, Anguilla, St. Martin, and Saba may see sustained winds as high as 45 mph Saturday night through Sunday as the strongest bands of Rafael move through. The only island at risk of seeing hurricane-force winds from Rafael is Bermuda. The 11 am EDT wind probability forecast from NHC gave Bermuda a 3% chance of experiencing hurricane-force winds on Tuesday, and a 27% chance of experiencing tropical storm-force winds.

Rafael's place in history
Rafael is the seventeenth named storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, putting this year in eighth place for busiest Atlantic season since record keeping began in 1851. Here are the busiest Atlantic hurricane seasons on record:

2005 (28 named storms)
1933 (20 named storms, according to a new re-analysis)
1887 (19 named storms)
2010 (19 named storms)
2011 (19 named storms)
1995 (19 named storms)
1969 (18 named storms)
2012 (17 named storms)

There are two weak and short-lived storms from 2012 that stayed far out sea, and would likely have gone unnoticed in the pre-satellite era (before 1960): Tropical Storm Joyce and Tropical Storm Oscar. And while this season has been very busy for total number of named storms, we've had a below-average number of major hurricanes (just Hurricane Michael), and the total destructive power of the 2012 hurricane season as measured by the Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) is only about 20% above average. See our newly-launched Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) page for a storm-by-storm breakdown of this years ACE, plus historical ACE stats for each ocean basin. Thanks go to Angela Fritz for putting this together!


Figure 2. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Patty taken at 1:30 pm EDT Friday, October 12, 2012. At the time, Patty had top winds of 40 mph. High wind shear had exposed the lower-level circulation to view. Late on Saturday morning, wind shear had ripped Patty apart and the storm was declared dead. Image credit: NASA.

Jeff Masters

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One of the GFS Ensemble Members shows a Major Hurricane in the Gulf on the 29th, of course this in fantasy land, but just want to bring it to you guys attention that something might get going towards the end of the month.

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Quoting Gearsts:
There it goes living me dry with no drop of rain :(


Naturally. You are on the back side of the system.
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There it goes living me dry with no drop of rain :(
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The rain is down here... I was wondering if we would get out of this whole Patty-trough-TUTT-Rafael thing without a drop.... lol

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510. Skyepony (Mod)
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509. Skyepony (Mod)
Average model error for Rafael.
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Got to get some rest after a long day. Good night all.
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Quoting KoritheMan:


You changed your avatar?

Yeah, I thought it would be appropriate. :)
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5082
TROPICAL STORM PAUL DISCUSSION NUMBER 2
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP162012
800 PM PDT SAT OCT 13 2012

THE CONVECTIVE STRUCTURE OF PAUL IS BECOMING MORE ORGANIZED RATHER
QUICKLY THIS EVENING. A TIGHTLY CURVED AND COLD CONVECTIVE BAND ON
THE WESTERN SEMICIRCLE INDICATES THAT PAUL HAS FURTHER INTENSIFIED.
BOTH TAFB AND SAB DVORAK ESTIMATES ARE AT 45 KT...A CURRENT
INTENSITY NUMBER OF 3.0...WHILE A 2215Z AMSU INTENSITY ANALYSIS
FROM CIMSS WAS SLIGHTLY HIGHER. THE CURRENT INTENSITY IS SET AT 45
KT.

THE MOVEMENT OF THE SYSTEM IS AN UNCERTAIN 270/11...AS MICROWAVE
IMAGERY WAS SOMEWHAT AMBIGUOUS AS TO THE INITIAL POSITION OF THE
STORM. PAUL IS ON THE SOUTHWESTERN PERIPHERY OF A SUBTROPICAL
RIDGE EXTENDING WESTWARD FROM MEXICO. A DEEP SHORT-WAVE TROUGH
WEST OF BAJA CALIFORNIA SHOULD REMAIN IN PLACE OVER THE NEXT FEW
DAYS. THE CYCLONE SHOULD TURN TO THE NORTH BY MONDAY DUE TO THE
COMBINED STEERING INFLUENCES OF THE RIDGE AND THE SHORT-WAVE
TROUGH. THE SHORT-WAVE TROUGH SHOULD CAUSE PAUL TO COME OVER OR
NEAR BAJA CALIFORNIA IN ABOUT FOUR DAYS. BY DAY FIVE...THE
WEAKENING REMNANT LOW OF PAUL IS PROJECTED TO TURN WESTWARD IN THE
LOWER TROPOSPHERIC FLOW. THE OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST IS SLIGHTLY
TO THE RIGHT AND FASTER THAN THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY AND IS SLIGHTLY
TO THE LEFT OF THE MULTI-MODEL CONSENSUS MINUS THE HWRF MODEL.

PAUL IS QUICKLY INTENSIFYING DUE TO THE COMBINED INFLUENCE OF WARM
28C WATERS...VERY LOW VERTICAL SHEAR...AND A MOIST ENVIRONMENT.
THESE CONDITIONS SHOULD REMAIN IN PLACE THROUGH MONDAY BEFORE
BECOMING MORE HOSTILE. BY TUESDAY...THE CYCLONE SHOULD ENCOUNTER
SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASED SHEAR...SOMEWHAT COOLER SSTS...AND A MUCH
DRIER ATMOSPHERE. THE INTENSITY PREDICTION IS A BLEND OF THE LGEM
AND SHIPS STATISTICAL MODELS AND THE GFDL DYNAMICAL MODEL...AND IT
IS SOMEWHAT ABOVE THE PREVIOUS ADVISORY. IT IS OF NOTE THAT THE
RAPID INTENSIFICATION INDEX SUGGESTS A 66% CHANCE OF AT LEAST 30 KT
INTENSITY INCREASE DURING THE NEXT DAY...WHICH IS POSSIBLE IF THE
INNER CORE DEVELOPS.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 14/0300Z 14.2N 114.1W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 14/1200Z 14.6N 114.8W 55 KT 65 MPH
24H 15/0000Z 15.8N 115.1W 65 KT 75 MPH
36H 15/1200Z 17.7N 115.4W 75 KT 85 MPH
48H 16/0000Z 19.9N 114.9W 75 KT 85 MPH
72H 17/0000Z 24.6N 114.2W 60 KT 70 MPH
96H 18/0000Z 27.5N 114.5W 40 KT 45 MPH...OVER LAND
120H 19/0000Z 29.0N 116.0W 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW

$$
FORECASTER LANDSEA/SARDI
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting Ameister12:
Raphael, err... Rafael is looking good.

Avatar change to a ninja turtle huh..
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Tropical Storm Rafael:

Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting Ameister12:
Raphael, err... Rafael is looking good.


You changed your avatar?
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event on going
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 178 Comments: 55972
Raphael, err... Rafael is looking good.
Member Since: August 9, 2009 Posts: 10 Comments: 5082
Till now the best  models performer are the CMC  and the ECMWF with Rafael.
Since 4-5 days ago this two models were the only ones consistently forecasting Rafael entering the Caribbean. The CMC was the more accurate with the development.. The Canadian model got one wright this time. Not bad for being one of the worst performers.

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...CENTER OF RAFAEL PASSES WEST OF ST. MARTIN...
11:00 PM AST Sat Oct 13
Location: 18.4°N 63.6°W
Moving: N at 14 mph
Min pressure: 1004 mb
Max sustained: 50 mph

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 14/0300Z 18.4N 63.6W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 14/1200Z 19.9N 64.2W 55 KT 65 MPH
24H 15/0000Z 21.6N 65.4W 60 KT 70 MPH
36H 15/1200Z 23.4N 66.4W 65 KT 75 MPH
48H 16/0000Z 25.8N 66.5W 70 KT 80 MPH
72H 17/0000Z 33.5N 62.5W 70 KT 80 MPH
96H 18/0000Z 44.5N 55.0W 55 KT 65 MPH
120H 19/0000Z 50.0N 46.0W 50 KT 60 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
TROPICAL STORM RAFAEL DISCUSSION NUMBER 6
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL172012
1100 PM AST SAT OCT 13 2012

SATELLITE IMAGERY...RADAR DATA...AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE
THERE HAS BEEN LITTLE CHANGE IN THE STRUCTURE AND INTENSITY OF
RAFAEL DURING THE PAST FEW HOURS. STRONG CONVECTIVE BANDS WITH
CLOUD TOPS COLDER THAN -80C ARE OCCURRING OVER THE EASTERN
SEMICIRCLE. HOWEVER...THESE REMAIN RATHER LOOSELY ORGANIZED
NEAR THE CENTER. THE CENTRAL PRESSURE IS 1004 MB BASED ON DATA
FROM ST. MARTIN...WHICH IS UNCHANGED FROM THE LAST HURRICANE HUNTER
AIRCRAFT FIX. BASED ON THESE DATA AND A 45 KT SATELLITE INTENSITY
FROM TAFB...THE INITIAL INTENSITY REMAINS 45 KT.

THE CENTER HAS JUMPED AROUND SOME DURING THE PAST SEVERAL HOURS.
HOWEVER...THE OVERALL MOTION IS NORTHWARD AT ABOUT 12 KT. RAFAEL
SHOULD TURN TOWARD THE NORTH-NORTHWEST OR NORTHWEST DURING THE NEXT
24-36 HOURS AS A LOW/MID-LEVEL RIDGE BUILDS TO THE NORTH OF THE
CYCLONE. AFTER THAT...A STRONG DEEP-LAYER TROUGH AND ASSOCIATED
SURFACE COLD FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH THE EASTERN UNITED STATES
INTO THE WESTERN ATLANTIC. THIS WILL BREAK THE RIDGE AND ALLOW
RAFAEL TO RECURVE INTO THE WESTERLIES. WHILE ALL THE MODELS AGREE
WITH THIS SCENARIO...THERE REMAIN SOME DIFFERENCES IN THE DETAILS...
ESPECIALLY IN REGARDS TO THE FORWARD SPEED AFTER RECURVATURE. THE
ECMWF...WHICH HAS THE WEAKEST DEPICTION OF THE STORM...REMAINS THE
SLOWEST AND FARTHEST SOUTH OF THE GUIDANCE. THE GFS AND THE
CANADIAN MODELS...WHICH FORECAST A MUCH STRONGER RAFAEL...REMAIN
THE FASTEST AND MOST NORTHERLY. THE NEW FORECAST TRACK IS SIMILAR
TO THE PREVIOUS TRACK IN COMPROMISING BETWEEN THESE EXTREMES AND IT
LIES NEAR...BUT SOMEWHAT FASTER THAN...THE CONSENSUS MODELS.

RAFAEL IS IN AN ENVIRONMENT OF MODERATE SOUTHWESTERLY VERTICAL WIND
SHEAR...AND THIS SHOULD CONTINUE FOR THE NEXT 36-48 HR. THE
INTENSITY FORECAST CALLS FOR STRENGTHENING DURING THIS TIME IN BEST
AGREEMENT WITH THE SHIPS MODEL AND THE INTENSITY CONSENSUS. AFTER
THAT...RAFAEL SHOULD ENCOUNTER INCREASING SHEAR WHICH SHOULD HALT
STRENGTHENING AND START A WEAKENING TREND. THE CYCLONE IS FORECAST
TO BE EXTRATROPICAL BY 120 HR...AND THIS COULD HAPPEN EARLIER IF
THE FASTER AND MORE NORTHERLY MOTION OF THE GFS AND CANADIAN MODELS
OCCURS.

USERS ARE REMINDED NOT TO FOCUS ON THE EXACT TRACK OF THE CENTER
DURING THE NEXT DAY OR SO...SINCE HEAVY RAIN AND WIND IMPACTS
EXTEND WELL EAST AND SOUTHEAST OF THE CENTER.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 14/0300Z 18.4N 63.6W 45 KT 50 MPH
12H 14/1200Z 19.9N 64.2W 55 KT 65 MPH
24H 15/0000Z 21.6N 65.4W 60 KT 70 MPH
36H 15/1200Z 23.4N 66.4W 65 KT 75 MPH
48H 16/0000Z 25.8N 66.5W 70 KT 80 MPH
72H 17/0000Z 33.5N 62.5W 70 KT 80 MPH
96H 18/0000Z 44.5N 55.0W 55 KT 65 MPH
120H 19/0000Z 50.0N 46.0W 50 KT 60 MPH...POST-TROP/EXTRATROP

$$
FORECASTER BEVEN
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM RAFAEL ADVISORY NUMBER 6
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL172012
1100 PM AST SAT OCT 13 2012

...CENTER OF RAFAEL PASSES WEST OF ST. MARTIN...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...18.4N 63.6W
ABOUT 40 MI...60 KM WNW OF ST. MARTIN
ABOUT 95 MI...150 KM ENE OF ST. CROIX
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 355 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1004 MB...29.65 INCHES
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167


event detected
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No change with Rafael for now.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM PAUL ADVISORY NUMBER 2
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP162012
800 PM PDT SAT OCT 13 2012

...TROPICAL STORM PAUL INTENSIFYING SOUTH-SOUTHWEST OF BAJA
CALIFORNIA MEXICO...


SUMMARY OF 800 PM PDT...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...14.2N 114.1W
ABOUT 660 MI...1065 KM SSW OF THE SOUTHERN TIP OF BAJA CALIFORNIA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...50 MPH...85 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1001 MB...29.56 INCHES
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting luigi18:

be save here in pr nothing yet


Rafael is on the move hope it does not bring any surprises your way. In any event, I wish you all the best.
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Clean skies up to now....

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Quoting wxchaser97:

At first I thought it was65, then I saw. You're welcome.


I kinda got mixed up.
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485. Skyepony (Mod)
Fresh ASCAT RAFAEL
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Quoting Civicane49:

My bad. Thanks for correcting. It's fixed.

At first I thought it was65, then I saw. You're welcome.
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Quoting wxchaser97:

Sustained winds are 50mph and gusts are 65mph.

My bad. Thanks for correcting. It's fixed.
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Quoting islandgirls:
Heavy showers are pounding on my roof. There's a bit of flooding on my street and my driveway is already under water. No worries though, I'm safe.

That's good to know!
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Quoting Civicane49:
Paul is up to 65 mph.

Sustained winds are 50mph and gusts are 65mph.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Paul is up to 50 mph.
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167
Paul is up to 45 knots (50 mph), expected to peak at 75 knots (85 mph).

TROPICAL STORM PAUL FORECAST/ADVISORY NUMBER 2
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP162012
0300 UTC SUN OCT 14 2012

THERE ARE NO COASTAL WATCHES OR WARNINGS IN EFFECT.

TROPICAL STORM CENTER LOCATED NEAR 14.2N 114.1W AT 14/0300Z
POSITION ACCURATE WITHIN 20 NM

PRESENT MOVEMENT TOWARD THE WEST OR 270 DEGREES AT 11 KT

ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE 1001 MB
MAX SUSTAINED WINDS 45 KT WITH GUSTS TO 55 KT.
34 KT....... 60NE 30SE 30SW 60NW.
12 FT SEAS.. 60NE 30SE 30SW 60NW.
WINDS AND SEAS VARY GREATLY IN EACH QUADRANT. RADII IN NAUTICAL
MILES ARE THE LARGEST RADII EXPECTED ANYWHERE IN THAT QUADRANT.

REPEAT...CENTER LOCATED NEAR 14.2N 114.1W AT 14/0300Z
AT 14/0000Z CENTER WAS LOCATED NEAR 14.1N 113.7W

FORECAST VALID 14/1200Z 14.6N 114.8W
MAX WIND 55 KT...GUSTS 65 KT.
50 KT... 30NE 0SE 0SW 30NW.
34 KT... 60NE 30SE 30SW 60NW.

FORECAST VALID 15/0000Z 15.8N 115.1W
MAX WIND 65 KT...GUSTS 80 KT.
64 KT... 20NE 0SE 0SW 0NW.
50 KT... 40NE 30SE 0SW 30NW.
34 KT... 80NE 60SE 40SW 60NW.

FORECAST VALID 15/1200Z 17.7N 115.4W
MAX WIND 75 KT...GUSTS 90 KT.
64 KT... 30NE 30SE 0SW 0NW.
50 KT... 50NE 50SE 30SW 30NW.
34 KT...100NE 100SE 60SW 60NW.

FORECAST VALID 16/0000Z 19.9N 114.9W
MAX WIND 75 KT...GUSTS 90 KT.
50 KT... 60NE 60SE 40SW 40NW.
34 KT...110NE 110SE 70SW 70NW.

FORECAST VALID 17/0000Z 24.6N 114.2W
MAX WIND 60 KT...GUSTS 75 KT.
50 KT... 50NE 50SE 40SW 40NW.
34 KT...100NE 100SE 70SW 70NW.

EXTENDED OUTLOOK. NOTE...ERRORS FOR TRACK HAVE AVERAGED NEAR 150 NM
ON DAY 4 AND 200 NM ON DAY 5...AND FOR INTENSITY NEAR 20 KT EACH DAY

OUTLOOK VALID 18/0000Z 27.5N 114.5W...OVER LAND
MAX WIND 40 KT...GUSTS 50 KT.

OUTLOOK VALID 19/0000Z 29.0N 116.0W...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
MAX WIND 25 KT...GUSTS 35 KT.

REQUEST FOR 3 HOURLY SHIP REPORTS WITHIN 300 MILES OF 14.2N 114.1W

NEXT ADVISORY AT 14/0900Z

$$
FORECASTER LANDSEA/SARDI
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Member Since: July 21, 2011 Posts: 83 Comments: 7167



missed...
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Quoting islandgirls:
Heavy showers are pounding on my roof. There's a bit of flooding on my street and my driveway is already under water. No worries though, I'm safe.

be save here in pr nothing yet
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
Isaac is back and recon is in the storm, apparently.


When did I ever leave, jk. There is an error with recon data as I have that too.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting KoritheMan:

You and Cody want my secret, don't you? younguns.


You're secret, LOL.

Rain has been coming down hard for a while, really poring right now.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Isaac is back and recon is in the storm, apparently.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Heavy showers are pounding on my roof. There's a bit of flooding on my street and my driveway is already under water. No worries though, I'm safe.
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.
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Quoting KoritheMan:

I know right?
Lol popular huh?
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Quoting wxchaser97:

Yeah.... right.... sure.....

You and Cody want my secret, don't you? Damn younguns.
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Quoting KoritheMan:
Also:


Yeah, all the girls at work seem to think so too. ;)

Yeah.... right.... sure.....


Rafael is really looking good, he may go up to 60mph.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting KoritheMan:

While good in theory, water temperatures aren't everything. Besides, I don't know how much such a device would be able to warm the subsurface, which is what really counts.
Ahhh...the SUBSURFACE!!! back to the drawing board...

Both Eureka and Electrolux are very close to developing supervacuum cleaners. The govt could buy one for every family in the Southern US. They could be activated and pointed towards a developing system on command, thereby pulling the system to us.
Member Since: June 28, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 127
Quoting allancalderini:
Neither they develop Patty.not saying this will develop though.

Patty was small and developed from a front. The models have a hard time recognizing these types of storms. This includes Michael.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32802
Quoting kwgirl:
Good evening. I hope the Islands that needed the rain are getting some from Rafael. It has been cooler and dry here in the Florida Keys. Lovely weather.

Yeah, with little or no flooding.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:

LOL. Right.
I know right?
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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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