Barbara Nearing Mexico at Hurricane Strength; Midwest Tornado Outbreak Today

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:02 PM GMT on May 29, 2013

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Hurricane warnings are flying for the Pacific coast of Mexico, where Tropical Storm Barbara is rapidly intensifying as it makes landfall. Barbara should be ashore by 2 pm EDT (11 am PDT), and is expected to intensify to a Category 1 hurricane with 75 mph winds before landfall. Barbara formed on Tuesday night (May 28), an unusually early date for the formation of the Eastern Pacific's second storm of the year. The record earliest second storm of the year occurred just last year, on May 21 (Tropical Storm Bud.) The previous record was set in 1984, when the second named storm (Boris) formed on May 29. Reliable records of Eastern Pacific hurricanes go back to 1949. Barbara wasted no time getting organized, and is gathering strength in impressive fashion as it nears landfall in Mexico's Bay of Tehuantepec area. The storm's main threat is very heavy rains of up to a foot, which will be capable of causing dangerous flash floods and mudslides over the next 2 - 3 days. However, wind damage and the expected 3 - 5 foot storm surge are also a concern, since the area of the coast it is hitting, though not heavily populated, has very little hurricane experience. According to NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks website, only one Eastern Pacific hurricane has ever hit the Bay of Tehuantepec--Category 1 Hurricane Rick of 1997. Radar out of Puerto Angel, Mexico shows that Barbara has built a partial eyewall, and the storm has already spread heavy rains ashore along portions of the Mexican coast. Satellite loops show that Barbara is a relatively small storm, with a modest area of heavy thunderstorms.


Figure 1. Radar image of Barbara from Puerto Angel, Mexico, taken at 9:30 am EDT (6:30 am PDT) May 29, 2013. Image credit: CONAGUA.

May tropical storm landfalls are rare in the Eastern Pacific
Only eight named storms that formed in May have hit land in the Eastern Pacific since accurate hurricane records began in 1949--an average of one storm every eight years, according to NOAA's Historical Hurricane Tracks website. Just one of these May storms made landfall as a hurricane--Category 1 Hurricane Agatha of 1971, which hit Mexico west of Acapulco. But one of the deadliest and most destructive Eastern Pacific tropical cyclones of all-time was a May storm that never reached hurricane strength--Tropical Storm Agatha of May 29, 2010, which had top winds of only 45 mph at landfall. Agatha dissipated just one day after making landfall, but its remnants lingered over Central America for six days, dumping torrential rains that triggered deadly flash floods and landslides; Mazatenango, Guatemala, reported 22.27 inches of rain from May 25 - 30, 2010. At least 190 people died, mostly in Guatemala, making Agatha the 7th deadliest Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone in history. Agatha's $1.2 billion in damage made it the 6th most expensive Eastern Pacific tropical cyclone on record. Fortunately, Barbara is hitting a region of the coast that is relatively sparsely populated compared to where Agatha hit, and Barbara is not likely to cause anywhere close to the devastation that Agatha wrought.


Figure 2. Journey to the center of the Earth: a massive sinkhole 66 feet (20 m) across and 100 ft (30 m) deep opened up on May 29, 2010 in Guatemala City after heavy rains from Tropical Storm Agatha. The sinkhole collapsed suddenly, taking a three-story house that was used as factory, claiming fifteen lives. The sinkhole formed because Guatemala City is built upon volcanic pumice deposits, which are unconsolidated and of low density, allowing easy erosion. According to Sam Bonis, a geologist at Dartmouth College, because of lax city zoning regulations and building codes, leaking pipes went unfixed long enough to create the conditions necessary for this hole to form (it technically wasn't a sinkhole, since sinkholes form in limestone rock.) How do you patch something like this?

Tropical cyclone development unlikely in the Atlantic during the coming seven days
Barbara is expected to push northwards and cross into the Gulf of Mexico by Friday, but the storm is small enough and moving slowly enough that Barbara will likely dissipate before reaching the Gulf. If the storm were able to maintain at least tropical depression status and cross into the Gulf, it would keep the name Barbara. If Barbara were to dissipate before reaching the Gulf, then regenerate into a tropical storm in the Gulf, it would be named Andrea. However, conditions do not favor redevelopment of Barbara's remnants into an Atlantic tropical depression, since wind shear is expected to be quite high over the Gulf late this week. None of the reliable computer models is calling for tropical cyclone development in the Atlantic during the next seven days.

AP will be doing a hurricane twitter chat on Thursday at 1 p.m. EDT: #APStormChat

The National Hurricane Center is doing a hurricane chat on Thursday at 2 pm EDT: #HurriChat


Figure 3. Large tornado on the ground near Corning, Kansas, at 4:32 CDT May 28, 2013. Image credit: Ron Heinen, via twitter.


Figure 4. Radar reflectivity image of the tornado that hit Corning, Kansas at 4:32 pm CDT May 28, 2013.


Figure 5. Severe weather outlook for Wednesday, May 29, calls for a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather over much of Oklahoma and Kansas, plus portions of the Texas Panhandle. You can follow today's severe weather outbreak from our Severe Weather page.

Multi-day severe weather outbreak in the Midwest continues today
It was an active day for tornadoes in the Midwest on Tuesday, with NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC) logging eighteen preliminary tornado reports, with twisters touching down in Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. No injuries were reported from these tornadoes, but damage was reported near Corning, Kansas, and Fenton, Michigan. The latest forecasts from NOAA's Storm Prediction Center call for a "Moderate Risk" of severe weather today (Wednesday), with the possibility of a significant tornado outbreak over much of Oklahoma and Kansas, plus portions of the Texas Panhandle.

Wunderblogger Lee Grenci has a post, The Moore Tornado, describing how the rapid intensification of the May 20, 2013 Moore, Oklahoma tornado occurred.

Jeff Masters

Overhead Clouds at Sunset (Nikongranny)
Overhead Clouds at Sunset

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1086. SLU
Quoting SLU:
WARNING: For entertainment purposes ONLY.





I wonder how much the GOES-13 satellite failure is hampering the models from accurately resolving their forecasts because both the CMC and now the GFS are showing MDR "development" in early June and that's just crazy.
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Canadian Model


Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 1 Comments: 913
1082. SLU
Quoting daddyjames:


Apparently it did . . .

The ability to track and determine the tropical characteristics of storms has vastly improved over the decades, also. So, why not incorporate this improvement in the artificially created "naming" system? For centuries, storms were not given designated names. So, because of this historical context, should we return to a simple numbering system?


Ok. I just don't like the idea of seeing:

Barbara
Andrea
Barry

as our 1st three names. Just a personal preference.
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Quoting washingtonian115:
Even though now one cares it is currently 77 degrees outside at my location with muggy and humid conditions..looking for a high around 93 today.Friday it gets worse.


Stay cool! By the way I care.
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 1 Comments: 913
Even though now one cares it is currently 77 degrees outside at my location with muggy and humid conditions..looking for a high around 93 today.Friday it gets worse.
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06Z GFS. Yikes!
Member Since: February 28, 2013 Posts: 1 Comments: 913
Quoting SLU:


Well that's been the case for decades can it didn't seem to pose much of a problem ...


Apparently it did . . .

The ability to track and determine the tropical characteristics of storms has vastly improved over the decades, also. So, why not incorporate this improvement in the artificially created "naming" system? For centuries, storms were not given designated names. So, because of this historical context, should we return to a simple numbering system?
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3731
1075. SLU
WARNING: For entertainment purposes ONLY.



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1074. VR46L
Looks like she is nearly in the Gulf with a bit of her left
Good Morning Folks



/02E.BARBARA/ir/geo/1km


Quite interesting depth of convection in the northern area

NorthAmerica-CONUS-East/vap_images/goes

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Quoting Skyepony:
Barbara on MIMIC.


Interesting that her entry/track/exit was exactly over the most narrow stretch of land between the Pacific and BOC
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Quoting Torito:
Barbara looks somewhat organized still, but it took a hit last night. i think it has a 30% chance of regeneration once it goes into the carribbean, up to a max of 50mph winds.

Conditions don't look very favorable for strengthening of Barbara, but wether she survives or dissipates and briefly regenerates, at least we'll get our first storm. If it's center holds up, we might get one or two good advisories for her after she emerges into the BOC, I'd say with a max of 35mph.
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1071. SLU
Quoting daddyjames:


Ah, but the naming system is for designating storms that form in each basin. If Barbara retains tropical characteristics, it maintains continuity for the actual weather system.

Plus, it eliminates confusion regarding reporting on the system and subsequently analyzing the data for the system. If a tropical system travels into an adjacent basin, and the name is changed, imagine the confusion regarding updates/reporting to the general public. And, maintaining the data over time.

Edit: So, the symmetry of the naming system is actually preserved by not renaming the system if barbara survives.

Edit2: Sorry for the edits, too early for me, off to get more coffee.


Well that's been the case for decades can it didn't seem to pose much of a problem ...
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Quoting Torito:


Yea you know what i mean, i call GOM, anything SW of FL the carribbean, force of habit. i blame my earth science teacher.

No I don't know what you mean. The Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean sea are pretty much two separate entities. They are connected at the Yucatan strait(don't know if that's what it's called), but the names are definitely not interchangeable.
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1069. Torito
Barbara still maintaining tropical characteristics :D

Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4203
1068. Torito
Quoting wxchaser97:

It would be more of the central/southern Mexican coast. If it goes too far north it gets blasted by shear and is carried to away from the western gulf.


I hope you mean GOM/BOC.


Yea you know what i mean, i call GOM, anything SW of FL the carribbean, force of habit. i blame my earth science teacher.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4203
1067. Torito
Barbara still has a chance, look at the bold writing.

BARBARA CONTINUES TO WEAKEN AS THE CENTER MOVES NORTHWARD OVER
SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO. BASED ON THE TIME SPENT OVER LAND AND THE
LACK OF ANY REPORTS OF TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS FOR SEVERAL
HOURS...THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS LOWERED TO 30 KT FOR THIS ADVISORY.

GLOBAL MODEL FIELDS SHOW THE LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION DISSIPATING
SOON...AND THE NEW NHC FORECAST CONTINUES TO FOLLOW THAT
REASONING. A REMNANT LOW IS FORECAST AT 12 HOURS OVER THE EXTREME
SOUTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO WITH DISSIPATION SHOWN AT 24 HOURS.

HOWEVER...THERE HAS BEEN A NEW BURST OF CONVECTION NORTH OF
THE CENTER IN THE PAST COUPLE OF HOURS. IF ORGANIZED DEEP
CONVECTION AND A WELL-DEFINED CIRCULATION ARE MAINTAINED...BARBARA
COULD EMERGE INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO AS A TROPICAL CYCLONE LATER
THIS MORNING. PLEASE NOTE THAT IF THIS OCCURS...THE NEXT ADVISORY
WOULD BE ISSUED WITH ATLANTIC BASIN TROPICAL CYCLONE PRODUCTS AND
HEADERS.


DESPITE THE WEAKENING OF THE CYCLONE...THE MAIN CONCERN CONTINUES TO
BE HEAVY RAIN OVER PORTIONS OF SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO. DISTURBED
WEATHER ASSOCIATED WITH THE REMNANTS OF BARBARA IS LIKELY
TO PERSIST OVER SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO AND PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AMERICA
FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS...AND A HEIGHTENED RISK OF DANGEROUS
FLOODING AND MUD SLIDES WILL CONTINUE OVER THIS REGION.


Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4203
1066. Torito
Quoting BahaHurican:
If Barbara does survive, am I correct in thinking we would be seeing a track towards the central TX coast?


Model data: IGNORE BAMM, as it has been wrong for the entire forcast so far..



Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4203
Quoting BahaHurican:
If Barbara does survive, am I correct in thinking we would be seeing a track towards the central TX coast?

It would be more of the central/southern Mexican coast. If it goes too far north it gets blasted by shear and is carried to away from the western gulf.

Quoting Torito:
Barbara looks somewhat organized still, but it took a hit last night. i think it has a 30% chance of regeneration once it goes into the carribbean.

I hope you mean GOM/BOC.
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1064. Torito
1. SHOWER AND THUNDERSTORM ACTIVITY REMAINS DISORGANIZED IN ASSOCIATION
WITH AN AREA OF LOW PRESSURE LOCATED ABOUT 650 MILES SOUTH-
SOUTHWEST OF THE SOUTHERN TIP OF THE BAJA CALIFORNIA PENINSULA.
WHILE ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS DO NOT FAVOR SIGNIFICANT
STRENGTHENING...THERE IS STILL SOME POTENTIAL FOR THIS SYSTEM TO
BECOME A TROPICAL DEPRESSION OVERNIGHT OR THURSDAY AS IT MOVES
NORTHEASTWARD AT ABOUT 10 MPH. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...40
PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS.

ELSEWHERE...TROPICAL CYCLONE FORMATION IS NOT EXPECTED DURING THE
NEXT 48 HOURS.

Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4203
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1062. pcola57
Good Morning All..
Looks like Barbara has made it to the GOM/BOC..
It's a small system that looks to bounce around a couple of days..
She may flatten out and cover more area..
But in the end I believe wind shear will be too much for her..
JMO..

77 degrees here with 84%rh and dew at 72..
Mostly cloudy with winds 17 ENE..
Rip Current Advisory..
Red Flags flying..
Surf at the beach looks choppy to rough..

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1061. Torito
Barbara looks somewhat organized still, but it took a hit last night. i think it has a 30% chance of regeneration once it goes into the carribbean, up to a max of 50mph winds.
Member Since: April 30, 2013 Posts: 5 Comments: 4203
If Barbara does survive, am I correct in thinking we would be seeing a track towards the central TX coast?
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
Morning all.
Quoting Civicane49:
Barbara is about to enter into the Bay of Campeche with a new burst of convection.

I was looking at the loops just before bed last night and thinking Barbara would be in the water fairly early this morning. It also seemed to me that it was pulling storm cells in to it from the BoH side of the Yucatan. I'm going to be quite interested to see how this little system holds up against the adverse conditions in the Gulf....
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 20686
Quoting SLU:


For the sake of the symmetry of the naming system, I hope she doesn't survive to be honest.


Ah, but the naming system is for designating storms that form in each basin. If Barbara retains tropical characteristics, it maintains continuity for the actual weather system.

Plus, it eliminates confusion regarding reporting on the system and subsequently analyzing the data for the system. If a tropical system travels into an adjacent basin, and the name is changed, imagine the confusion regarding updates/reporting to the general public. And, maintaining the data over time.

Edit: So, the symmetry of the naming system is actually preserved by not renaming the system if barbara survives.

Edit2: Sorry for the edits, too early for me, off to get more coffee.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3731
1057. SLU
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Good morning to all,evening Aussie.

NHC is saying if Barbara remains a tropical cyclone, then it would still be Barbara as it enters the gulf. That is yet to be known, though. Forecasts say that the shear will be too high and Barbara will be an open wave soon but who knows. It would be cool to see a crossover storm in the Atlantic region without changing its name.


For the sake of the symmetry of the naming system, I hope she doesn't survive to be honest.
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Conditions might not be favorable for strengthening of Barbara in the BOC like the doc said, but if Barbara can barely survive the cross, we'd at least have our first depression.
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Good morning. 6z GFS 216-228 hours:





Barbara had a rough night, obviously, but it could've gone worse. Nice little burst of convection this morning.

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Quoting jamesrainier:


A person might find an error with their post, or see that the person right before them posted the same thing. They might put a dot to signify their post was deleted, as opposed to not displaying properly. I got the idea from other people doing it here.


Thanks! I've seen it and have always wondered . . .
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3731
Quoting daddyjames:
Ok, question. Why post a period (for example jamesrainier)? I see this often - what is it supposed to convey?


A person might find an error with their post, or see that the person right before them posted the same thing. They might put a dot to signify their post was deleted, as opposed to not displaying properly. I got the idea from other people doing it here.
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 144
Quoting jamesrainier:
"So, we may have Barbara in the Atlantic before Andrea." http://www.crownweather.com/?p=7366

maybe maybe not next advisory look like it could be the last
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9548
burst of convection over very warm water boc barbara hanging on
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burst of convection is dissipating hardly much LLCOC left still have a stronger mid level spin though that is also becoming weak Barbara soon gone
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9548
Ok, question. Why post a period (for example jamesrainier)? I see this often - what is it supposed to convey?
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3731
Good morning to all,evening Aussie.

NHC is saying if Barbara remains a tropical cyclone, then it would still be Barbara as it enters the gulf. That is yet to be known, though. Forecasts say that the shear will be too high and Barbara will be an open wave soon but who knows. It would be cool to see a crossover storm in the Atlantic region without changing its name.
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"So, we may have Barbara in the Atlantic before Andrea." http://www.crownweather.com/?p=7366
Member Since: June 1, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 144
Quoting Civicane49:
Barbara is about to enter into the Bay of Campeche with a new burst of convection.


nothing much left of it that new burst is dissipating and the circulation is also starting to fade
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9548
Quoting anotherwrongyear:
Well thats what all the weather channels have been saying will happen since yesterday so you heard right

no I told the weather channels to say that
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9548
91E is not looking good as convection decreases.

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Barbara is about to enter into the Bay of Campeche with a new burst of convection.

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I believe the flair up of convection was just because it had felt the shear to its N and W
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9548
although at the last minute Barbara shot some convection I don't think this will last plus it already dying and also LLCOC is becoming weaker and starting to defuse Barb is just sliding in to the BOC to fall in her grave
Member Since: June 13, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 9548
TROPICAL DEPRESSION BARBARA DISCUSSION NUMBER 8
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP022013
200 AM PDT THU MAY 30 2013

BARBARA CONTINUES TO WEAKEN AS THE CENTER MOVES NORTHWARD OVER
SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO. BASED ON THE TIME SPENT OVER LAND AND THE
LACK OF ANY REPORTS OF TROPICAL STORM FORCE WINDS FOR SEVERAL
HOURS...THE INITIAL INTENSITY IS LOWERED TO 30 KT FOR THIS ADVISORY.

GLOBAL MODEL FIELDS SHOW THE LOW-LEVEL CIRCULATION DISSIPATING
SOON...AND THE NEW NHC FORECAST CONTINUES TO FOLLOW THAT
REASONING. A REMNANT LOW IS FORECAST AT 12 HOURS OVER THE EXTREME
SOUTHWESTERN GULF OF MEXICO WITH DISSIPATION SHOWN AT 24 HOURS.
HOWEVER...THERE HAS BEEN A NEW BURST OF CONVECTION NORTH OF
THE CENTER IN THE PAST COUPLE OF HOURS. IF ORGANIZED DEEP
CONVECTION AND A WELL-DEFINED CIRCULATION ARE MAINTAINED...BARBARA
COULD EMERGE INTO THE GULF OF MEXICO AS A TROPICAL CYCLONE LATER
THIS MORNING. PLEASE NOTE THAT IF THIS OCCURS...THE NEXT ADVISORY
WOULD BE ISSUED WITH ATLANTIC BASIN TROPICAL CYCLONE PRODUCTS AND
HEADERS.

DESPITE THE WEAKENING OF THE CYCLONE...THE MAIN CONCERN CONTINUES TO
BE HEAVY RAIN OVER PORTIONS OF SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO. DISTURBED
WEATHER ASSOCIATED WITH THE REMNANTS OF BARBARA IS LIKELY
TO PERSIST OVER SOUTHEASTERN MEXICO AND PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AMERICA
FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS...AND A HEIGHTENED RISK OF DANGEROUS
FLOODING AND MUD SLIDES WILL CONTINUE OVER THIS REGION.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 30/0900Z 17.8N 93.9W 30 KT 35 MPH
12H 30/1800Z 18.7N 94.0W 25 KT 30 MPH...POST-TROP/REMNT LOW
24H 31/0600Z...DISSIPATED

$$
FORECASTER BRENNAN
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BULLETIN
TROPICAL DEPRESSION BARBARA ADVISORY NUMBER 8
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP022013
200 AM PDT THU MAY 30 2013

...BARBARA WEAKENS TO A DEPRESSION AS HEAVY RAINS CONTINUE...


SUMMARY OF 200 AM PDT...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...17.8N 93.9W
ABOUT 40 MI...60 KM SE OF COATZACOALCOS MEXICO
ABOUT 70 MI...115 KM W OF VILLAHERMOSA MEXICO
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...35 MPH...55 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 360 DEGREES AT 8 MPH...13 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...1000 MB...29.53 INCHES
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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.