Typhoon Utor Pounds Phiippines, Heads for China

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:51 PM GMT on August 12, 2013

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Typhoon Utor powered ashore on the northern Philippine Island of Luzon on Monday near 3 am local time (3 pm EDT Sunday) as a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds. Damage was heavy in Casiguran (population 24,000) near where the typhoon made landfall, with 80% of the infrastructure of the town reportedly destroyed, and all roads into the city blocked. Utor is being blamed for two deaths so far, and 44 fishermen are reported as missing.


Figure 1. MODIS satellite image of Typhoon Utor taken at approximately 02:30 UTC on Monday, August 12. At the time, Utor was a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds. Image credit: NASA.

Passage over Luzon disrupted the inner core of Utor, reducing the storm to Category 2 strength with winds of 100 mph. Satellite imagery shows that the typhoon is re-organizing, and a new eyewall is forming. Ocean temperatures are very warm, about 30°C (86°F), which is approximately 0.5 - 1.0°C above average. These warm waters extend to tremendous depth, giving Utor a huge source of energy to tap into. Wind shear is low, 5 - 10 knots. These favorable conditions for intensification will last until the typhoon gets midway between the Philippines and China, where wind shear will rise to the moderate range and ocean waters will cool to 29°C with a much lower heat content. I expect Utor will intensify into a Category 3 storm today, and make landfall in China as a Category 2 or 3 storm about 200 hundred miles southwest of Hong Kong about 06 UTC on Wednesday. Utor is a very wet storm, and will likely bring a large swath of 8+ inches of rain across Southeast China on Wednesday. These rains will cause dangerous flash flooding and mudslides.

Utor is a Marshallese word for squall line, and has been used for three tropical cyclones in the Western Pacific--in 2001, 2006, and 2013. Utor reached super typhoon status with 150 mph winds on Sunday, making it the strongest tropical cyclone globally so far in 2013. Earth's previous most powerful tropical cyclone of 2013 was Typhoon Soulik, which reached Category 4 strength with 145 mph winds on July 10. Soulik weakened to a Category 2 storm before hitting Taiwan on July 12.


Video 1. News video of the damage from Typhoon Utor in Casiguran in the Philippines. Utor is being called Typhoon Labuyo locally in the Philippines. Thanks to wunderground member AussieStorm for posting this in my blog comments.

The Philippines no stranger to powerful typhoons
The Philippines lie in the most tropical cyclone-prone waters on Earth, and rarely escape a year without experiencing a devastating typhoon. Usually, these storms impact the northern Philippine island of Luzon, but last year, Earth's deadliest weather disaster of 2012 occurred on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, where Super Typhoon Bopha struck as a Category 5 super typhoon with winds of 160 mph (260 km/h), on December 3. Bopha made two additional landfalls in the Philippines, on central Visayas and on Palawan, on December 4. The typhoon left 1901 people dead, mostly on the island of Mindanao, making Bopha the 2nd deadliest typhoon in Philippine history. Bopha affected over 5.4 million people and left over 700,000 people homeless. With damages estimated at $1.7 billion, Bopha was the costliest natural disaster in Philippines history.


Figure 2. December 7, 2012: rescuers and residents look for missing victims amongst toppled tree trunks and coconut shells after flash floods caused by Super Typhoon Bopha hit Compostela Valley on Mindanao Island in the Philippines on December 3 - 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Jay Morales, Malacanang Photo Bureau, HO)

Activity possible late this week in the Gulf of Mexico
A tropical wave in the Central to Eastern Caribbean is kicking up disorganized heavy thunderstorms as it heads westwards. Wind shear is a very high 40 knots over the region, and the wave is not a threat to develop for the next two days. However, once the wave reaches the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, some of the models are suggesting that the wave will find a region with lower wind shear, and a strong tropical disturbance capable of becoming a tropical storm could form near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula or farther north in the Gulf of Mexico. If it penetrates far enough into the northern Gulf of Mexico, the tropical wave could interact with a stalled cold front expected to push off the Southeast U.S. coast late this week. This interaction could produce a hybrid low pressure system that might be partially tropical, and capable of bringing heavy rains to the Southeast U.S. on Saturday and Sunday. In their 8 am EDT Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave the system a 20% of developing by Saturday, and a 0% chance of developing by Wednesday.

Jeff Masters

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Viewing: 1989 - 1939

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1989. gator23
Quoting 1934. LargoFl:
have no idea,what im looking at..but these runs take it a charleys path..
3

That is quite a bit higher than charley.
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Quoting 1967. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Someone mentioned models aren't accurate 300+ hours out? Well we are about to find out. :D


They are and they aren't.
At 5-7 days I've seen the GFS do really well. But when you start getting in the 7-10+ days out, models (including the GFS) have a poor track record.

But a few years ago, I do remember the GFS predicting a hurricane hitting South Florida 10 days out. And in about 10-12 days, a cat 1 hurricane went across S. Florida. So every once in a while they get it right. But most of the time, the models are not accurate past 7 days or so.
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Quoting 1975. 69Viking:


Ugh, those storms need to stay offshore!


Yeah, but they're not. There goes any chance of getting this lawn cut. Going on 5 weeks now. Ugh.
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Quoting 1952. Jedkins01:


Actually, the high is going to quickly become "water contaminated" as it sits over Florida due to effective evapotranspiration since Florida is the sunshine state, I mean erhhmm, the water state.

It is also going to break down and essentially split apart away from Florida soon, allowing a weaknesses to develop in the gulf, and deep tropical moisture to spread across Florida completely by Wednesday.


Well said!
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1984. FOREX
Quoting 1982. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Yes, imagine that happened over a course of 1-2 days. My street which typically doesn't flood since we are on higher ground, flooded when Debby came through. Actually Debby was well offshore, but the rain band from here set up right on top of us and we had training.


It's pouring in Panama City Beach right now. Hope the models are wrong for the weekend.
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1983. Drakoen
Convection more concentrated than yesterday but not much better organized due to the lack of a surface circulation. The Panama low is still southwest of the convection, but the circulation to watch is farther east along the wave axis generally along 77W just northwest of Columbia.
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Quoting 1961. StormTrackerScott:


It is looking like FL maybe in for TS Debby type set up rainfall wise as Debby was very lopsided. I believe Tampa got 12 to 13" from Debby. So something similar maybe in the offing.


Yes, imagine that happened over a course of 1-2 days. My street which typically doesn't flood since we are on higher ground, flooded when Debby came through. Actually Debby was well offshore, but the rain band from her set up right on top of us and we had training.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8311
1981. MahFL
Oh oh, big blow up on the blob.....
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1979. scott39
Quoting 1931. moonlightcowboy:


Respect, Scott. Three or four days ago this would have been a good post. I made a similar post then, too, but today, it's hype. We have nothing but a marginal surface low in proximity to land and running out of room, and under considerable shear.
Cowboy, I wanted to post this again, to show the first word that you used, as an example of class and respect for my opinion :)
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Quoting 1926. LargoFl:
what is..supercell consensus?...........


This is what supercell composite means per SPC:

"A multiple ingredient, composite index that includes effective storm-relative helicity (ESRH, based on Bunkers right supercell motion), most unstable parcel CAPE (muCAPE), and effective bulk wind difference (EBWD). Each ingredient is normalized to supercell "threshold" values, and larger values of SCP denote greater "overlap" in the three supercell ingredients. Only positive values of SCP are displayed, which correspond to environments favoring right-moving (cyclonic) supercells."

This index is formulated as follows:

SCP = (muCAPE / 1000 J kg-1) * (ESRH / 50 m2 s-2) * (EBWD / 20 m s-1)

EBWD is divided by 20 m s-1 in the range of 10-20 m s-1. EBWD less than 10 m s-1 is set to zero, and EBWD greater than 20 m s-1 is set to one.


Or if you want me to put it simply, its basically a good value to sum up multiple parameters for super cell formation :)



That's telling you that supercell formation chances will be greater over Central Florida in the coming days, not great, but relatively greater than usual.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7446
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Quoting 1971. CaribBoy:
The center of cat 1 Debby passed directly over us, but the storm only left ONE INCH of rain. That was the most ridiculous hurricane I've ever seen!





LOL...how did you all fare during Georges? I know he ripped through the Greater Antilles.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8311
Quoting 1881. pcola57:


Morning Kristina40..
Looks like your gonna get even more rain..
As am I.. :(



Ugh, those storms need to stay offshore!
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Quoting 1954. CybrTeddy:


I don't know how much more plainer to put it:

240+ GFS runs are useless, always have been, always will be. He keeps on hyping up the conditions not being favorable, yet the GFS is showing favorable conditions, such as low shear and low MSLP. However it's rubbish with pickup storms because the GFS loses resolution. The moment the GFS shows a hurricane beyond 240 hours he keeps on acting like it's set in stone, and when the GFS drops it he also acts like it's set in stone.
Yes, I agree with you on that. We still have a long way to go on this season. He is talking as if it is ending next week!
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Quoting 1962. GTstormChaserCaleb:
I want to show you guys something. This was the FIM-8 ran on 12z on the 1st. It's almost spot on dead accurate.



Its getting better. I'd say we're relatively close to 90% accuracy in the next few years. remarkable..come such a long way. the training wheels are coming off soon.
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Quoting 1963. Jedkins01:


You are correct, I expect a good shot at much heavier precip over the Peninsula than the models are advertising because of this. The models often fail to accurately depict systems that will be lopsided. The westerlies induced by the trough will possibly displace much of the deep convective growth well east of the center.

Also, the models do indicate PW's over 2 inches spreading over the state combining with atmospheric conditions very favorable for convective support, so I don't see why rainfall won't be at least fairly heavy and widespread anyway.





Yep, here comes the moisture.

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The center of cat 1 Debby passed directly over us, but the storm only left ONE INCH of rain. This is the most ridiculous hurricane I've ever seen!





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Quoting 1949. Grothar:


My best guess at this time is two miles east of Destin and moving right over De Funiak Springs.


De Funiak Springs reminds me of my taste buds. Used to drive over from Destin and go up Hwy 83 from Santa Rosa. There was always a roadside vendor there (his name was Cotton) that had the best Silver Queen white corn. Delicious served with fresh fish, boiled shrimp, taters, tomatoes, and cucumbers. ;)
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
Quoting 1949. Grothar:


My best guess at this time is two miles east of Destin and moving right over De Funiak Springs.


My guess would be over my house in Blue Mountain Beach, hanging out for a couple of days enjoying tea and crumpets, then lollygagging NE through Dothan and up to the Carolinas...
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I am expecting some strong thunderstorms near the I-4 corridor this evening so if you are in Orlando west keep an eye to the sky as the storms should form rapidly from about 6 to 8pm today.

Hot Across The Interior; Isolated Storms Later

High pressure parked over central Florida will lead to another hot day across east central Florida, especially across inland counties. High temperatures should top out at around 90 degrees along the coast, and between 92 and 95 degrees inland.

Isolated thunderstorms are expected to form this afternoon across the interior as the sea breeze pushes west across our inland counties. The best chance for thunderstorms will be across Okeechobee County and near and west of the interstate 4 corridor where boundary collisions are more likely. Gusty winds, frequent lightning, and heavy downpours will be possible in some of the stronger storms that do form.

At the coast, a low to moderate rip current threat is expected. Remember to swim near a lifeguard and ask about any ocean hazards when you arrive at the beach.

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Someone mentioned models aren't accurate 300+ hours out? Well we are about to find out. :D
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8311
1966. FOREX
Quoting 1962. GTstormChaserCaleb:
I want to show you guys something. This was the FIM-8 ran on 12z on the 1st. It's almost spot on dead accurate.



sure is. Wow.
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1965. Matt74
Quoting 1916. RitaEvac:
Yawwwwwwn, looks at tropics......Nuttin
I hear crickets chirping.
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Quoting 1944. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Eventually it will it is just a matter of time now. The lull can only last so long and once one storm forms they will come in bunches.


Yeah :-)
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Quoting 1951. GTstormChaserCaleb:
A lopsided system with convection weighted to the east on a track like that would bring high moisture content over the Tampa Bay area.


You are correct, I expect a good shot at much heavier precip over the Peninsula than the models are advertising because of this. The models often fail to accurately depict systems that will be lopsided. The westerlies induced by the trough will possibly displace much of the deep convective growth well east of the center.

Also, the models do indicate PW's over 2 inches spreading over the state combining with atmospheric conditions very favorable for convective support, so I don't see why rainfall won't be at least fairly heavy and widespread anyway.



Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7446
I want to show you guys something. This was the FIM-8 ran on 12z on the 1st. It's almost spot on dead accurate.

Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8311
Quoting 1951. GTstormChaserCaleb:
A lopsided system with convection weighted to the east on a track like that would bring high moisture content over the Tampa Bay area.


It is looking like FL maybe in for TS Debby type set up rainfall wise as Debby was very lopsided. I believe Tampa got 12 to 13" from Debby. So something similar maybe in the offing.


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Quoting 1956. Drakoen:


Exactly Gro. The models, including the ECMWF , which has been showing this for the past couple of runs btw, a large weakness in the Gulf of Mexico, due to a cut off low level disturbance preventing the subtropical ridge from extending far west into the GOM. Should a system develop it would likely move more poleward as it rounds the low level high.


Gro is the master, of course he's right. :)
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24029
From the New Orleans Fcst Discussion:

NOW WE HAVE BEEN KEEPING AN EYE ON THIS WAVE IN THE CNTRL CARIBBEAN
AND LATEST GFS CONTINUES TO HOLD ONTO A SFC REFLECTION...ALBEIT
WEAK...DRIFTING TO THE N AND THEN RE-CURVING TO THE NORTH AND NE
WHILE IN THE ERN GULF. WITH A STALLED BNDRY AND BEING JUST
DOWNSTREAM OF THE TROUGH AXIS IT MERGES WITH A WEAK WAVE ALONG THE
STALLED FRONT AND TRIES TO SPIN UP A SFC LOW...THIS IS NOT
COMPLETELY TROPICAL IN NATURE BUT IT IS SOMETHING. GOOD NEWS IS IT
LOOKS LIKE IF THAT HAPPENS IT WILL BE EAST OF OUR AREA. AS FOR THE
ECMWF IT CONTINUES TO NOT LIKE THE SYSTEM AND SHOWS AN OPEN WAVE
MOVING INTO THE YUCATAN. GIVEN HOW WEAK THE SYSTEM IS AND HOW FAR
SOUTH IT CURRENTLY IS THE ECMWF MAKES MORE SINCE. NOW WITH THAT ALL
SAID GOOD THING FOR US IS BOTH OF THE MDLS STILL SHOWED MOSTLY THE
SAME SENSIBLE WEATHER FOR OUR AREA AND THUS HAVE STUCK TO THE MEX
GUI. ONE SMALL ISSUE IS THE GFS IS DRIER AND SLIGHTLY COOLER FOR OUR
AREA AND THIS COULD BE AN INDIRECT IMPACT OF IT TRYING TO SPIN UP A
LOW IN THE GULF. WE WILL CONTINUE TO WATCH AND SEE. /CAB/

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1958. scott39
Quoting 1931. moonlightcowboy:


Respect, Scott. Three or four days ago this would have been a good post. I made a similar post then, too, but today, it's hype. We have nothing but a marginal surface low in proximity to land and running out of room, and under considerable shear.
The NHC and models are sniffing something out, other than a surface low close to land. Causes me to have a more wait and see mindset, and see if something is simmering elsewhere.
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1957. NCstu
Quoting 1955. GeoffreyWPB:


So my house behind the Publix in Palm Springs will be okay?


Only the north side of your house. I predict exactly 5 shingles to blow off the south side of your roof with a margin of error of 1 shingle.
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1956. Drakoen
Quoting 1919. Grothar:
At this time, it is very unlikely that the system would move west, even once it is in the Gulf. The high in 3 days will not extend that far east and a trough should be in place which would draw any system to the North and East.





The GFS has the faster solution of moving it North, but I am hesitant to follow that at this time until the system gets stronger.



Exactly Gro. The models, including the ECMWF , which has been showing this for the past couple of runs btw, a large weakness in the Gulf of Mexico, due to a cut off low level disturbance preventing the subtropical ridge from extending far west into the GOM. Should a system develop it would likely move more poleward as it rounds the low level high.
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Quoting 1949. Grothar:


My best guess at this time is two miles east of Destin and moving right over De Funiak Springs.


So my house behind the Publix in Palm Springs will be okay?
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Quoting 1935. Waltanater:
...and how many days in a row?


I don't know how much more plainer to put it:

240 hour runs from GFS runs are useless, always have been, always will be. It makes the CMC look like god. He keeps on hyping up the conditions not being favorable, yet the GFS is showing favorable conditions, such as low shear and low a low environmental pressure. However it's rubbish with pickup storms because the GFS loses resolution and is unable to really sniff out storms. The moment the GFS shows a hurricane beyond 240 hours he keeps on acting like it's set in stone, and when the GFS drops it he also acts like it's set in stone.
Member Since: July 8, 2005 Posts: 259 Comments: 24029
1953. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38515
Quoting 1854. moonlightcowboy:
Good morning, weathergeeks! ;)

P16L obs: sfc low with competing vorticity still, proximity to land narrowing, 30/40 kts shear, anticyclone near the mouth of the Yucatan, potent GoM high pressure, lateral CONUS trough.



Our twave is going to run out of liquid real estate underneath the GoM high pressure if it doesn't get something started soon. West is the word for now, not FL.


Actually, the high is going to quickly become "water contaminated" as it sits over Florida due to effective evapotranspiration since Florida is the sunshine state, I mean erhhmm, the water state.

It is also going to break down and essentially split apart away from Florida soon, allowing a weaknesses to develop in the gulf, and deep tropical moisture to spread across Florida completely by Wednesday.
Member Since: August 21, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 7446
Quoting 1939. StormTrackerScott:


Basically all of the ensemble members are forecasting a track of whatever this mess in the Caribbean becomes on a path similar to that of Andrea which is track over the FL Big Bend area while just missing Tampa to the west.
A lopsided system with convection weighted to the east on a track like that would bring high moisture content over the Tampa Bay area.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8311
Quoting 1930. CybrTeddy:
Wunderweatherman123, how many times a day are you going to ask that question?


Keep Calm and Enjoy the Blog :-) We are all different, tolerance is key.
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1949. Grothar
Quoting 1939. StormTrackerScott:


Basically all of the ensemble members are forecasting a track of whatever this mess in the Caribbean becomes on a path similar to that of Andrea which is track over the FL Big Bend area while just missing Tampa to the west.


My best guess at this time is two miles east of Destin and moving right over De Funiak Springs.
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26148
1948. LargoFl
Quoting 1939. StormTrackerScott:


Basically all of the ensemble members are forecasting a track of whatever this mess in the Caribbean becomes on a path similar to that of Andrea which is track over the FL Big Bend area while just missing Tampa to the west.
ok ty
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38515
Link

That ULL SW of Florida looks to be bringing dry air into the GOM - possible limiter to development later?
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Quoting 1927. GTstormChaserCaleb:
It is just his opinion and he gives very good reasoning of the current situation and what he expects to happen. I have my reasons as to why I think it will develop and take a track more into the GOM and then turn towards the Northeast. I said earlier that the ULL over the Yucatan would begin to slide off to the west another ULL is east of the Bahamas and will also move in tandem with this system. In actuality both ULL's one to the east and one to the west could provide very good ventilation for the system to have good outflow. On top of that the GFS is showing an anti-cyclone developing over it.


GT, that would make perfect sense IF we had a system. We don't. ;) And, models can hardly discern track if there's nothing to initialize - we don't. Right now, if we had something, I can tell you it would not go north. It would slide into the Yucatan coastline, maybe emerge in the southern BoC, and still track more westerly, northwesterly towards Mexico, possibly TX.

Prevailing steering:



Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
Big time Sad Trombone Chorus now for the Caribbean thing that wasn't.

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Quoting 1913. CaribBoy:


I hope the fantasy will turn true XD
Eventually it will it is just a matter of time now. The lull can only last so long and once one storm forms they will come in bunches.
Member Since: June 30, 2013 Posts: 12 Comments: 8311
1943. Grothar
Quoting 1929. GTstormChaserCaleb:
wnw/nw/n/nne/ne that's how systems round the ridge.


Please, you're getting me dizzy. :)
Member Since: July 17, 2009 Posts: 71 Comments: 26148
Quoting 1932. Jedkins01:


Dr. Steve Lyons is a cool guy, how many people who have doctorates in a physical science like to surf?


Not many:)
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1941. LargoFl
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 38515
1940. scott39
Quoting 1924. Waltanater:
Hmmm...can you find any info as to what the SST and windshear was like back then in the GOM ahead of Camille? Would be intersting to compare those conditions.
Yes it would. I dont know hot to check those conditions from that year. Maybe someone on here does, and will do it. Thats back in the ole days, so probably not the easily gotten. What concerns me is the GFS has a poleward track. This usually indicates a stronger storm.
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Quoting 1934. LargoFl:
have no idea,what im looking at..but these runs take it a charleys path..


Basically all of the ensemble members are forecasting a track of whatever this mess in the Caribbean becomes on a path similar to that of Andrea which is track over the FL Big Bend area while just missing Tampa to the west.
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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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