Sandy the 11th U.S. billion-dollar disaster of 2012

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:26 PM GMT on November 09, 2012

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Devastating Hurricane Sandy was the eleventh billion-dollar weather-related disaster in the U.S. so far this year, and the most expensive, said insurance broker AON Benfield in their November 8, 2012 Catastrophe Report. This puts 2012 in second place for most U.S. billion-dollar weather disasters behind 2011, when NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) counted fourteen such disasters. AON Benfield rated seventeen events as billion-dollar weather disasters in 2011, so the actual number of such disasters has considerable uncertainty depending upon who is doing the estimates. NCDC has not yet released their official figures for 2012's billion-dollar weather disasters, and we might expect that their total could be 20% lower than AON Benfield's, judging by what happened in 2011. This would give 2012 nine billion-dollar weather disasters, which would still put 2011 in second place for most billion-dollar weather disasters. Although damages due to weather-related disasters are increasing, we cannot yet say climate change is to partially to blame. There are too many other complicating factors such as increases in wealth and population that may be responsible for the rise in damages, and there is too much noise in the data to see the signal of climate change, as I explain in my January 2012 post, "Damage losses and climate change". We are better off looking at the atmosphere itself to find evidence of climate change, and there are plenty of examples of that--such as the record loss of Arctic sea ice this summer.


Figure 1. The escalators down to the South Ferry subway station in Lower Manhattan's Financial District lie flooded in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's storm surge on October 29, 2012. Total economic damage from Hurricane Sandy has been estimated at $30 - $50 billion by EQECAT. Image credit: New York MTA and Associated Press.


Figure 2. The U.S. has experienced eleven weather-related disasters costing at least $1 billion in 2012, according to data taken from the AON Benfield October 2012 Catastrophe Report. AON Benfield has not made a damage estimate for the 2012 Midwest drought, but according to National Crop Insurance Services, crop insurance losses alone will total $20 billion. The total cost of the drought could be more than $77 billion, said Purdue University economist Chris Hurt in August. As Nick Sundt of the WWF summarizes in a nice blog post, this year will probably be the second most costly year since 1980 in terms of billion-dollar weather-related disasters.


Figure 3. Number of weather-related U.S. billion-dollar disasters per year (blue bars) from 1980 - 2012, and the total cost of these disasters (red and dark blue lines, with the red line showing the inflation-adjusted costs.) Image credit: NOAA's National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)

Winter Storm Brutus bringing blizzard conditions to Montana
Winter Storm Brutus is bringing blizzard conditions to Northeast Montana, with heavy snow and high winds that have gusted to 45 mph. Brutus has dumped a widespread area of 4 - 6 inches of snow over large portions of Montana since Thursday afternoon, with 7 - 10 inches reported in the Great Falls area and 17" in the mountains near Glacier National Park. According to the Glasgow, MT NWS Facebook page, the current storm has the potential to be a top-ten snowfall event for the area, with records going back 115 years. The storm will affect Montana and western North Dakota through Saturday morning, then push north-northeastwards into Canada.

Top ten 2-day snow events in Glasgow, Montana history:

1 15.0" 4/18/1896
2 14.3" 12/27/2003
3 14.1" 4/ 3/1940, 4/ 2/1940
5 14.0" 11/19/1941
6 13.4" 10/13/2008
7 13.3" 11/ 6/2000
8 13.0" 10/12/2008, 4/ 9/1995, 1/26/1916

The Atlantic hurricane season is not over yet
There are still three weeks left in the Atlantic hurricane season, and the way this year has gone, I wouldn't be surprised to see the season's 20th named storm--Tropical Storm Valerie--sometime this month. One potential candidate is a concentrated area of heavy thunderstorms that has developed about 800 miles west-northwest of the Cape Verde Islands, off the coast of Africa. However, wind shear is a high 20 - 30 knots over the disturbance, and any development should be slow. Our two most reliable models, the GFS and ECMWF, do not develop the disturbance, and show it drifting slowly to the northwest over the next few days. In their 7 am EST Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the disturbance just a 20% chance of developing into a tropical cyclone by Sunday morning.

A better candidate to become Valerie is an area of low pressure that is predicted to develop between Bermuda and Puerto Rico by the middle of next week. The GFS model shows this low becoming a subtropical cyclone as it gets pulled to the north or north-northeast late next week.

Jeff Masters

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Quoting MontanaZephyr:


So, it sounds like it upsets you that it gets noticed that your civic leaders try to legislate awareness of rising sea levels out of existence?

Pff!~ That explains alot!

Please, though, don't whine here when the next ten year event sea storm glubs your coast like a thousand year event!

You have a nice day too.


I could care less about climate change..Ice melting ANYWHERE is not going to convince me..NC has a lot to work on in coming around to a changing america that I can agree with..its the name calling that I cant stand on this blog..my priority along with the national exit polls show that climate change or GW is NOT a priority on most american minds..60% of americans are worried about our economy..10 years from now? heck tomorrow isnt promised to anyone..its sad that people live in this world and worry about a fictional hollywood movie tidal wave taking them out instead of focusing on their families and how to provide for them now in the present sense..you have a good day as well!
Member Since: August 19, 2006 Posts: 13 Comments: 16223
Looks like some mild weather on tap for us here in North Jersey--hopefully we can enjoy that as the snow melts and the cleanup continues. My thoughts are with all the workers out there shoveling out mud, repairing train tracks, working on utility poles, and otherwise assisting with the restoration efforts.

My mass transit situation is still a real mess. My area fared pretty well during the nor'easter and the snow is melting quickly, though, so hopefully we'll continue to see some good progress.
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Quoting Grothar:
I think Global warming is over. It is only 70 here today in Fort Lauderdale. I have noticed the temperatures dropping the past few weeks now.



LOL.

One thing I noticed with this snowstorm here in Montana these last couple 'a days: It seems to have taken an unusual amount of time for the ground beneath the snow to freeze ... this made for a misery of slush beneath the snow. Just one observation, but still, the question in the offing is "Why so much?"

Well, pretty duh: There is more heat content in the ground on this occasion.

Then it becomes natural enough to wonder if the global warming models take into consideration the heat capacity of the ground.
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Quoting wxchaser97:

I was too young to remember details about that winter. I can't forget the president's day snowstorm I had in 2011, about a foot of snow fell.
We here at my house got 17".The kids were happy they got a extra day off of school while me and hubby had to shovel out the cars and stair way.That was back when I didn't really need the avil like that.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17801
Quoting ncstorm:


you got nothing else better to do on a saturday morning but wake up and get on a weather board and call people you have never met in your life stupid on account of a group called the "Geological Society of America"..good thing the "Bridge Players Of North America" didn't vote down the new rule of 5 hand draw or you will be going after them too and calling them stupid..everyone else living above the bridge have a good day!


So, it sounds like it upsets you that it gets noticed that your civic leaders try to legislate awareness of rising sea levels out of existence?

Pff!~ That explains alot!

Please, though, don't whine here when the next ten year event sea storm glubs your coast like a thousand year event!

You have a nice day too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
M 4.3 - EASTERN KENTUCKY - 2012-11-10 17:08:12 UTC http://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php ?id=291986
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Quoting washingtonian115:
I think this winter will remind me more of 02-03(ironically).That winter had its moments.February was quite snowy for us here.I can't forget the president's day blizzard we had that month as well.

I was too young to remember details about that winter. I can't forget the president's day snowstorm I had in 2011, about a foot of snow fell.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
I saw a contrail this morning.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 27208
Quoting hydrus:
I dont think it will plummet.

Well it was shown doing it earlier... It does go negative though.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting wxchaser97:

That is what I thought but I wasn't a 100% sure. I still got more snow that winter than 2011-2012. Also this winter won't be an el nino one but more neutral.
I think this winter will remind me more of 02-03(ironically).That winter had its moments.February was quite snowy for us here.I can't forget the president's day blizzard we had that month as well.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17801
In case someone might be feeling a bit off-kilter this morning: Link

Mercury has been found to a happy planet.

And I guess the wave in the eastern Atlantic is history, what a waste of a well-defined circulation. Buuut we still may be getting a V storm soon, according to the reliable models.
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I dont think it will plummet.
Quoting wxchaser97:

If that solution somehow happens, you and I would get accumulating snow. The NAO is expected to plummet negative so it isn't impossible to get a big storm.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22589
The new GFS has something near Bermuda. It looks like a sub-tropical storm.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 22589
The GFS and ECMWF agree that the tail-end of this frontal boundary across the Central Atlantic will break off and retrograde westward while slowly developing. It's barely noticeable at hours 24 and 48 on the GFS, but by 72 hours we've got a well-defined wave signature south-southeast of Bermuda, and by 96 hours we've got an intensifying tropical cyclone to the north of the island. It's relatively short-lived though, as it completes extratropical transition by 144 hours.

Should be named "Valerie".

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Quoting Jedkins01:

Post 226, that always happens with my math tests-__-
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
If that solution on post #279 came true, we would get rain along the East Coast. That storm is over the Great Lakes, there by putting the East Coast in strong Southwesterly winds, so no snow. It has to be just off the East coast for us to get major snow.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
That would be the winter of 09-10.The mid-Atlantic had all the snow while the mid-west an onward had a no show winter.It was also a el ni%uFFFDo.

That is what I thought but I wasn't a 100% sure. I still got more snow that winter than 2011-2012. Also this winter won't be an el nino one but more neutral.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting wxchaser97:

I forget if the winter of 08-09 or 09-10 was the one where it was an el nino winter with less snow for me. No matter what negative NAO does help.
That would be the winter of 09-10.The mid-Atlantic had all the snow while the mid-west an onward had a no show winter.It was also a el niņo.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17801
Quoting washingtonian115:
Yes If memory serves me correctly the winter of 09-10 had a relatively negative NAO most of the winter.

I forget if the winter of 08-09 or 09-10 was the one where it was an el nino winter with less snow for me. No matter what negative NAO does help.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting wxchaser97:

If that solution somehow happens, you and I would get accumulating snow. The NAO is expected to plummet negative so it isn't impossible to get a big storm.
Yes If memory serves me correctly the winter of 09-10 had a relatively negative NAO most of the winter.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17801
Follow on to post #282


The solubility of CO2 in water is dependent on two main factors, temperature and the amount of CO2 already dissolved in it. Cold water absorbs CO2 from the air more readily than warm water, but cold water that already has a lot of CO2 dissolved in it doesn't take it up as readily as cold water with relatively low amounts of dissolved CO2.

Most of the absorption takes place in the colder regions of the ocean, while the warmer tropical ocean outgasses CO2. Up until recently, this has resuled in about half of man made CO2 emissions being absorbed with the other half (about 1.5 ppm) remaining in the atmosphere, but this is beginning to change.

Below is a table going back to 1980. The first column is the global sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly for that year (positive since 1977). The second column is the amount by which atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased in that year. There's a close match between the size of the anomaly and the amount of extra CO2. Of particular interest is the 'rebound' effect. If you get a particularly warm year followed by a particularly cool year, more CO2 than usual gets absorbed because the water is not only relatively cool, but also has a relatively low concentration of CO2 due to the previous year having been warm. Obviously, the opposite is true. A particularly cool year followed by a particularly warm year usually results in a surge in annual CO2 levels. The correlation is quite rough, but definite, nonetheless.

This rebound effect is most noticeable when two cool years are followed by a warm year or two warm years are followed by a cool year. For example, the relatively cool years of '81 and '82 were followed by a rebound in '83 which saw the highest annual CO2 rise recorded until then. This was followed by three relatively cool years, then the warm year of '87 saw the record broken with an extra 2.3 ppm of CO2 being added to the atmosphere. The two warm years of '90 and '91, were followed by a cool year when only 0.49 ppm of CO2 was added to the atmosphere. The warmest SST year on record coincided with the record EL Nino of 1998. That year saw a record 2.93 ppm of CO2 being added to the atmosphere, equivalent to almost all the CO2 produced by man in that year.


1979 0.115C 1.16 ppm
1980 0.106C 1.84 ppm
1981 0.083C 1.41 ppm
1982 0.085C 0.71 ppm
1983 0.180C 2.18 ppm
1984 0.068C 1.39 ppm
1985 0.024C 1.23 ppm
1986 0.066C 1.51 ppm
1987 0.223C 2.30 ppm
1988 0.202C 2.14 ppm
1989 0.148C 1.24 ppm
1990 0.248C 1.32 ppm
1991 0.219C 1.00 ppm
1992 0.121C 0.49 ppm
1993 0.129C 1.26 ppm
1994 0.187C 1.96 ppm
1995 0.257C 1.98 ppm
1996 0.188C 1.19 ppm
1997 0.362C 1.93 ppm
1998 0.474C 2.93 ppm
1999 0.258C 1.35 ppm
2000 0.278C 1.24 ppm
2001 0.382C 1.85 ppm
2002 0.410C 2.39 ppm
2003 0.445C 2.21 ppm
2004 0.434C 1.61 ppm
2005 0.424C 2.41 ppm
2006 0.347C 1.79 ppm

I don't have SST figures for the last two years, but atmospheric CO2 increased by 2.17 ppm in 2007 and 2.28 ppm in 2008. It's clear the rate of warming has increased a lot in the past ten years and the amount of CO2 that stays in the atmosphere has also increased significantly. The strong 'rebound' correlations leave me in little doubt where the atmospheric CO2 surge is coming from and it isn't China.

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Quoting washingtonian115:
Pleaseeee I hope this holds true this winter as I really want to see snow this winter.Sorry N.J and N.Y someone's got to suffer.

If that solution somehow happens, you and I would get accumulating snow. The NAO is expected to plummet negative so it isn't impossible to get a big storm.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting allancalderini:
Sandra is also in use in the Eastern Pacific.

Ahhh yes it is, so then we wouldn't have it as an Atlantic name.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting MAweatherboy1:
Big storm over the US on the 12z GFS in 11-12 days:



Pleaseeee I hope this holds true this winter as I really want to see snow.Sorry N.J and N.Y someone's got to suffer.
Member Since: August 14, 2010 Posts: 10 Comments: 17801
Quoting pcola57:


I hope so too..
Well gotta get going..
I'll look for your update later..
BBL

Bye pcola.
The update is about the AOI and "Brutus".
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting wxchaser97:

I am definitely watching college football today. I am actually going to the Michigan vs Iowa game next week so I am hoping for good weather then.


I hope so too..
Well gotta get going..
I'll look for your update later..
BBL
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6915
It's not that long since the average annual rise in atmospheric CO2 was 1.5 ppm. That was the figure that was, and often still is, quoted in the literature.

However, for the past ten years the average annual rise has been 2.1 ppm. This is a hugely important development which is largely being ignored. Maybe scientists don't want to be accused of scaremongering. The annual increase fluctuates a lot, and ten years isn't that long, so maybe they think it might be a 'blip'.

Those scientists who have drawn attention to it, have suggested increased industrialization and affluence in the east, particularly China, is the cause. While that will contribute, my own theory is that warming oceans are becoming less efficient carbon sinks.

The record year for high SSTs is the record El Nino year of 1998. Atmospheric CO2 surged by almost 3 ppm that year, another record. 3 ppm would have been equivalent to all anthropogenic CO2 for 1998.

The colder regions of the ocean absorb CO2, while the warmer regions outgas it. So, as the ocean warms, it will absorb a diminishing fraction of man made CO2. But, it gets scarier. There is no reason why the ocean would not warm to the point where it became a net emitter of CO2. This is a nightmare scenario. I have no idea to what extent the models factor this in, but it wouldn't surprise me if they ignore it completely due to the uncertainties involved.

There is a good correlation between global SSTs and annual rises in CO2. I posted a table illustrating the correlation on a local Internet forum a few years ago. I'll see if I can find it and repost it here, but as it's in tabular form, it might not cut and paste.
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Quoting wxchaser97:

Sananda or Sara sounds cool to me. Also isn't Sandra just the longer version of Sandy?
Sandra is also in use in the Eastern Pacific.
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Quoting pcola57:


I bet those temps won't last too awful long..
You watching football today?

I am definitely watching college football today. I am actually going to the Michigan vs Iowa game next week so I am hoping for good weather then.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Big storm over the US on the 12z GFS in 11-12 days:



Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8034
Not good for me... There would be some snow with this.
288hrs
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting wxchaser97:

It may be cloudy right now in MI, but it is warm(54F) here. It should get near 60F today which is really warm for November.


I bet those temps won't last too awful long..
You watching football today?
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6915
SPC put in a 30% wind risk for today... they had 30% on the Day 2 outlook yesterday morning, then they took it out and now it's back in:

Member Since: February 11, 2012 Posts: 84 Comments: 8034
Quoting pcola57:
Wonderful day for football in the Southeast..


It may be cloudy right now in MI, but it is warm(54F) here. It should get near 60F today which is really warm for November.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
196 AussieStorm: So the 1st line of Dr Masters Blog should read.... Devastating Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy was the eleventh billion-dollar weather-related disaster in the U.S. so far this year, and the most expensive, said insurance broker AON Benfield in their November 8, 2012 Catastrophe Report.

Using the BS that the NWS pulled as the criteria, one would also have to have previously headlined "Hurricane Sandy Misses the Bahamas..." followed by the first line of "...except for the southwestern and northwestern tips of Cat Island and northern Elbow Cay."
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Wonderful day for football in the Southeast..

Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6915
Quoting CybrTeddy:


And I think you're a creep. Welcome to ignore.

You're not the only one who thinks that.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting Dragod66:


Samantha or Sapphire :P

I know about 5 Samantha's or Sam's but no Sapphire's, lol.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting eyeofbetsy:


I don't believe there is any empirical evidence that CO2 drives climate.


Greenhouses with extra CO2 get hotter than greenhouses without. It's your job to rebut that presumption.
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Quoting CybrTeddy:


2 billion in Cuba, a good 2-3 billion in Jamaica, 20 billion in New Jersey, 10 billion elsewhere. So, I think around 63 billion sounds right.

Anyone got a good replacement name for Sandy btw?

Thinking Sandra would be fine.


Samantha or Sapphire :P
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Quoting wxchaser97:

Working for me now and one is in progress.


I'll be looking forward to it..
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6915
Quoting pcola57:


Ok..just was looking forward to it..
Possibly today may be better for it.. :)

Working for me now and one is in progress.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
Quoting wxchaser97:

I had problems with WU last night so I wasn't able to complete it...


Ok..just was looking forward to it..
Possibly today may be better for it.. :)
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6915
Quoting eyeofbetsy:


What's stacking the deck is that big burning ball of nuclear fusion hurling the solar winds at us. The magnectic field determines how much solar particles gets thru that affect the rate of water vapor production and thusly cloud cover. I don't believe there is any empirical evidence that CO2 drives climate. Many of the scientist producing that data say there are uncertainties, which pretty much means keep the grants coming for further study.


This is not true. The sunspot level might've caused the warming trend to look like it did in the past but they can't fight today's more powerful CO2 levels. We had monster sunspots in 1957-1958 and the record low sea ice is now. And if the trend continues, the Maunder minimum will come back (as soon as 2015), the sunspots will disappear, and we'll still have most of the global warming. Decades of Litle Ice Age occured the last time that happened, causing extemely dense wood and Stradivarius violins that will never be reproduced (though volcanoes might've greatly helped).

They use supercomputers with tens of terabytes of RAM and thousands of terabytes of storage and still can't get grid cells smaller than tens of kilometers (or at least, not small enough to predict the number of tornados. That's why there are uncertainties. (maybe not enough measurements too) And I think scientists have incentive to avoid uncertainties as much as they can to: 1. find more than their colleagues and get more grants, 2. intellectual curiosity, 3. uncertainty (and any discovered lying) hurts the warmists ability to convince wacko or self-interested deniers and their sheeple about reality, 4. the sooner enough do something about it the less harm to humans, 5. I bet a lot genuinely care and have some empathy for humanity, unlike the selfish oil companies, wealthier folks and the like that probably pull most of the real strings of the denialist movement, even going so far as intentionally spreading uncertainty and doubt by doing the same biased non-peer reviewed studies that tobacco companies did to show that their product was "safe", and 6. No one goes into science for the money, scientists are very smart and would've made millions more in finance if they were Machievelian and self-interested enough to lie. 7. there's peer review and experiments get repeated (independently), 8. grant money can only be used for more research, not for spending, 9. they probably do it cause they like it. People that like finding out what has never been known before like doing research and finding out as much as they can, "not keeping some of it in reserve" (and if some did this they would fall behind on usefulness of giving them grant money), 10. I guess they could always go into weather forecasting if we ever find out "too much", i.e. "more than we need" and climatology funding gets smaller. (and that won't happen for a while) And that willl never run out. The butterfly effect ensures that we will never have weather predictions longer ramge than is useful.
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Quoting pcola57:
G'morning wxchaser97,
Did you post a new blog update on "Brutus"?
If you did I don't see it..

I had problems with WU last night so I wasn't able to complete it...
You can even see on the last page in the 180s I said test a couple times as my posts weren't appearing. I also wasn't able to preview my entry when I was making it so I just decided to go to bed then.
Member Since: March 16, 2012 Posts: 127 Comments: 7972
G'morning wxchaser97,
Did you post a new blog update on "Brutus"?
If you did I don't see it..
Member Since: August 13, 2009 Posts: 13 Comments: 6915

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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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