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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Ignition 12z Euro starting

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Quoting 377. TropicalAnalystwx13:
The GFS developed a tropical storm and sent it into Mexico over a week ago, while the system was in the long range; it later dropped it. While specifics shouldn't have been taken to heart, it was showing tropical cyclone development was a distinct possibility in the Gulf and Caribbean in mid-August. Over the past few days, the GFS and others have picked the system back up. That's the nature of the model.


Looking at 0z and 12z runs since August 4th, the GFS did not show any kind of tropical cyclone in the gulf until 12z August 7th and 12z August 8th, and since then on and off development has been portrayed. It didn't show anything before 4 days ago, and the FIM showed nothing before about 5 days ago.

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The GFS developed a tropical storm and sent it into Mexico over a week ago



what...and it didn't come to fruition?????.....this just can't be...i mean...i had it a cat 5 storm...wiping out most of houston....


now i sound like today's bloggers :-) i was feeling old and not cool for awhile there
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Quoting 377. TropicalAnalystwx13:
The GFS developed a tropical storm and sent it into Mexico over a week ago, while the system was in the long range; it later dropped it. While specifics shouldn't have been taken to heart, it was showing tropical cyclone development was a distinct possibility in the Gulf and Caribbean in mid-August. Over the past few days, the GFS and others have picked the system back up. That's the nature of the model.


Somewhat similar with the CV system that a few days ago it had a hurricane but then dropped it for 4 days until the Monday August 12 12z run that has it again.
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Quoting 355. ncstorm:
I hope everyone finger hasnt gotten rusty with that recent lull--here are some helpful hints..






Massage the top and palm of your hand
Bend each finger back until you feel a slight stretching. Then bend each finger forward. Note that this should not be done to the point of pain!



Lift and lower each finger one by one.

Last step: paint each fingernail a different color, as the photos suggest.
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I'm glad the area north of Columbia finally gets a circle.

Mmmm, Corvus pie!
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Quoting 370. Drakoen:
The upper level synoptic-scale pattern depicted by the models should be quite conducive for development if the model consensus holds. The subequatorial ridge expands northward as the TUTT lifts. The ECMWF seems to refuse to break down the shear axis and leaves the TUTT in place which appears to be in conjunction with drier conditions.

The Euro model should be correct. This not going to be a big tropical cyclone season due to the TUTT and drier conditions remaining in place for most of the tropical season this year across the MDR and adjacent waters. Winds are extremely hostile for development and will remain. Nothing is expected of the central Carribean system as it plows into the Yucatan/Central America and disapates.
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Quoting StormTrackerScott:


I think in all honesty we will be dealing with a much stronger storm come this weekend. Gulf is virtually untapped right now. Get your popcorn ready folks as we are about to be in for a ride.


SMH, its a mass of clouds right now, and 10% chance of forming. Calm down, and give NWS Melbourne a call.
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TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT MON AUG 12 2013

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

1. CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS EXTENDING FROM THE SOUTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA
NORTHEASTWARD TO NEAR HISPANIOLA ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A WESTWARD
MOVING TROPICAL WAVE AND A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE. UPPER-LEVEL
WINDS ARE FORECAST TO BECOME A LITTLE MORE CONDUCIVE FOR
DEVELOPMENT DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS AS THE DISTURBANCE MOVES
TOWARD THE YUCATAN PENINSULA AND THE SOUTHERN GULF OF MEXICO. THIS
SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANGE...NEAR 10 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...
OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS.

Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 11058
Quoting 358. GetReal:


Went on a fishing trip that took us 5 miles out into the GOM this past Sunday. We were unable to find ANY blue water. The waters in the bays and coastal areas from Gulf Shores, Al to Pensacola are brown or red in color due to all the rain run-off this past month.


I know, it's been that way since the end of June. Gone are our Emerald Green waters. Any system in the Gulf that comes our way will kill any chance that we get our Emerald Green waters back before the summer is over.
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last time I checked, 10% was nothing to lay your chips on
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Looks like 10% from NHC on P16L... I wouldn't go anything higher than 30% in the next 48 to 72hrs.
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The GFS developed a tropical storm and sent it into Mexico over a week ago, while the system was in the long range; it later dropped it. While specifics shouldn't have been taken to heart, it was showing tropical cyclone development was a distinct possibility in the Gulf and Caribbean in mid-August. Over the past few days, the GFS and others have picked the system back up. That's the nature of the model.
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Because of the upper level steering currents, whatever develops will more than likely be steered towards the Florida Panhandle.

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Just wondering what you guys think the chances for galvaston tx??



WIPED OUT...OBLITERATED.....JUST ANOTHER MEMORY OF DAYS GON BY THAT ARE NO LONGER THERE....

give me the storm first...and then we can worry about where's she's going


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Quoting 332. GTstormChaserCaleb:
Agree with your accessment and the Western Caribbean from right around 20 N and 85 W will be the best spot for it to develop as the water temperatures are the warmest there and have the highest TCHP in the basin. If it waits to develop in the GOM it will likely run out of time and be a weak TS or TD at best as the latest GFS is showing. Plus it will have other influences from the baroclinic process.


I wouldn't sell anything short that waits until it gets into the Gulf and develops. The waters are plenty warm for something to develop rapidly and it has happened many times before.
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Just wondering what you guys think the chances for galvaston tx??
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This will become Invest 92L most likely today.
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Quoting 361. Levi32:


Some humans even beat the FIM.... :)


Thanks Levi. The first time you've ever given me credit for posting this two weeks ago. You're a nice young man.
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The upper level synoptic-scale pattern depicted by the models should be quite conducive for development if the model consensus holds. The subequatorial ridge expands northward as the TUTT lifts. The ECMWF seems to refuse to break down the shear axis and leaves the TUTT in place which appears to be in conjunction with drier conditions.
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Looks like Erin is forming.
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Quoting 346. rmbjoe1954:


I think he meant Harpo, lol. There was also Chico, Groucho, Zeppo and Karl, the black sheep of the family.


What about Gummo? (who do you think you're dealing with here LOL)
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Quoting 317. StormTrackerScott:


Why is that? Everything is in place a a very strong system in the Gulf. No shear, no dry air, and very warm SST's. I would watch this system very close if I lived from Tampa to Panama City.


I think until this thing develops if it develops and we have a better idea on where it might go everyone in the Gulf should keep an eye on it.
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Quoting 355. ncstorm:
I hope everyone finger hasnt gotten rusty with that recent lull--here are some helpful hints..






Massage the top and palm of your hand
Bend each finger back until you feel a slight stretching. Then bend each finger forward. Note that this should not be done to the point of pain!



Lift and lower each finger one by one.
LOL
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10%/20% yellow on map

000
ABNT20 KNHC 121734
TWOAT

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT MON AUG 12 2013

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS EXTENDING FROM THE SOUTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA
NORTHEASTWARD TO NEAR HISPANIOLA ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A WESTWARD
MOVING TROPICAL WAVE AND A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE. UPPER-LEVEL
WINDS ARE FORECAST TO BECOME A LITTLE MORE CONDUCIVE FOR
DEVELOPMENT DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS AS THE DISTURBANCE MOVES
TOWARD THE YUCATAN PENINSULA AND THE SOUTHERN GULF OF MEXICO. THIS
SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANGE...NEAR 10 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...
OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS.

&&
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10%..invest.soon.
Member Since: September 11, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 4018
Quoting 309. CybrTeddy:
If the system materializes in the GOMEX, I'll definitely give kudos for the FIM models for sniffing this out first.


Some humans even beat the FIM.... :)
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Quoting 337. CybrTeddy:
I'll admit though the CMC is showing what be the absolute worst case scenario - the system in the Caribbean really taps into that high TCHP in the western Caribbean, becomes a tropical depression before making landfall in the Yucatan, and really taking off in the Gulf. If it can close off a surface low before hitting the Yucatan then I'll be more open to a higher forecast, if not then it'll only have 48 hours to organize.
I do not like what I am seeing, and that goes for the whole basin.
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TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT MON AUG 12 2013

FOR THE NORTH ATLANTIC...CARIBBEAN SEA AND THE GULF OF MEXICO...

CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS EXTENDING FROM THE SOUTHWESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA
NORTHEASTWARD TO NEAR HISPANIOLA ARE ASSOCIATED WITH A WESTWARD
MOVING TROPICAL WAVE AND A BROAD AREA OF LOW PRESSURE. UPPER-LEVEL
WINDS ARE FORECAST TO BECOME A LITTLE MORE CONDUCIVE FOR
DEVELOPMENT DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS AS THE DISTURBANCE MOVES
TOWARD THE YUCATAN PENINSULA AND THE SOUTHERN GULF OF MEXICO. THIS
SYSTEM HAS A LOW CHANGE...NEAR 10 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL
CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND A LOW CHANCE...20 PERCENT...
OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 5 DAYS.

&&

FIVE-DAY FORMATION PROBABILITIES ARE EXPERIMENTAL IN 2013. COMMENTS
ON THE EXPERIMENTAL FORECASTS CAN BE PROVIDED AT...

WWW.NWS.NOAA.GOV/SURVEY/NWS-SURVEY.PHP?CODE=ETWO

$$
FORECASTER AVILA
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Quoting 349. 69Viking:


Dang IKE, not looking good for our area with all the rain we've already had this summer. Not to mention it will put a damper on Boat Week and the Emerald Coast Poker Run this Saturday.


Went on a fishing trip that took us 5 miles out into the GOM this past Sunday. We were unable to find ANY blue water. The waters in the bays and coastal areas from Gulf Shores, Al to Pensacola are brown or red in color due to all the rain run-off this past month.
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Upon watching the weird weather series on TWC last night, I was most amazed with the ice bombs phenomena.

Now they calculated with the vertical wind tunnel that it requires an updraft exceeding 160mph to build and maintain a man-sized ice bomb, yet reportedly an elephant sized ice bomb has been observed.

I think it's pretty clear wind is not sustaining the development of these objects to build them as hail stones. Further, one of the objects was very dirty ice. An ordinary hail stone should not be THAT dirty.


I've developed a working theory on where the ice is coming from, and I say "theory" because there is already supporting evidence. I'd say they are comet fragments from outer space.

Let's say there's cometary debris from the cast off as it approached the Sun, or from a collision, and it explodes out spherically. Some of this debris matches Earth orbit roughly, so it's not moving very fast relative to the Earth. As it approaches the Earth on roughly a tangent line to the upper atmosphere, it slows down due to friction, and then begins to free-fall under gravity.

This is quite unlike a head-on collision. Under free fall, it is limited to terminal velocity. The fragment won't burn up as much, and it could conceivably be small enough to totally evade radar and telescope detection, while still surviving as a man-sized or car sized block of ice. This would also explain why some of the fragments were very dirty ice, instead of the much cleaner ice that usually makes up hail stones.


Alternative hypothesis.

Wind might not be able to hold up the ice, but electric charge might. Suppose there's dust in the thunderstorm, and ice starts to form on these dust particles to begin making hail stones. Now if the dust has a negative charge, and the top of the clouds have a positive charge, then the charge could levitate the ice through the electromagnetic force, which is ridiculously more powerful than wind. One problem with this hypothesis is I certainly haven't got the facilities to test it. Another problem is most of the ice bombs discussed appear to have happened with clear skies, so you'd still need an explanation of how the ice bomb gets ejected from the hypothetical thunderstorm or charge phenomena that made it, and tossed dozens or hundreds of miles away where it hits the ground. This hypothesis could be tested in a lab, but I admit it's bordering on pure conjecture.I'd be interested to see someone with the computer resources to model this concept, or someone with the laboratory resources, such as NHC or NASA, to actually try to replicate it in the physical world. Again, the idea is that negatively charged dust in the ice causes the electric potential from the positive charge at the top of the clouds to levitate the ice via the electromagnetic force, which is many orders of magnitude more powerful than Gravity.

The comet theory above is much more plausible, but if you're looking for an atmospheric explanation, electricity is the best I can come up with.

Okay, so those are my two attempts to explain ice bombs.
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Quoting 303. GTstormChaserCaleb:
The GEM is showing bombgenesis this run, but it does have support from the FIM which has been showing the stronger system as opposed to the GFS and NAVGEM. I also said don't rule out Erin becoming our first hurricane of the season I wouldn't expect anything more than a Cat. 1 hurricane though.



Erin is not a good name for a Hurricane around NW Florida. In August of 95 Erin came in as a 85 mph Cat 1 and took out a lot of big trees which damaged a lot of houses and took out a lot of powerlines. Took a long time to get power back in a lot of areas.
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I hope everyone finger hasnt gotten rusty with that recent lull--here are some helpful hints..






Massage the top and palm of your hand
Bend each finger back until you feel a slight stretching. Then bend each finger forward. Note that this should not be done to the point of pain!



Lift and lower each finger one by one.
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I think we may find that we could have a TS before the Yucatan
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After all, this is tropical weather we are trying to predict,


my hat is off to an honest blogger...they're not trying to forecast...they're predicting...thank you
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Big spin with vorticity heading west might be something in a few days if it can generate thunderstorms over the warmer SSTs ahead of it.

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OK..help me out here....we're already arguing over intensity of a non - existant storm?

before we worry about that...how about we wait a few days for conditions to come together...how about we wait for the blob to form....then....we can start arguing track and intensity.....whew..reminds me of the other day i talked to this kid that was heading off to college....i asked him what he was studying for and he replied...my doctorate...i said great...what did you get your masters in...he said..oh...this will be my freshman year....i busted up laughing....good luck guys
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Quoting 330. CybrTeddy:


I'll admit I ate crow on that one.


We all eat crow at times. - Like I did last week? Lol. After all, this is tropical weather we are trying to predict, and it does not always fit our ideas of what it should do, will or won't do, or can or cannot do.

I also prefer caution to the lack of it, personally, though I can indeed see arguments for not scaring people needlessly, too. If and when something gets into the GOM, things are capable of changing very rapidly at times, becoming very erratic, etc. When a storm is conceivably able to reach shore somewhere within a day or two (sometimes less), there becomes a need for suspicion on its movements and ability to change its movements.
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Quoting 299. IKE:
12Z GFS @ 129 hours.....




Dang IKE, not looking good for our area with all the rain we've already had this summer. Not to mention it will put a damper on Boat Week and the Emerald Coast Poker Run this Saturday.
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Good Monday everyone! Still quiet in the Atlantic but probably not going to stay that way for much longer. I have now gone from zero days without rain to 1 day without rain. Received half an inch of rain on Saturday but surprisingly none yesterday! Today and tomorrow look like we might make it to day two and three without rain but Wed. we are back up to 60% chance of rain which almost means 100% for my area of NW Florida this year!
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Quoting 342. reedzone:
The models are starting to sense life in the Atlantic. During the end of this lull, it would be a very good time to review your hurricane preparations... The pattern is still looking quite different from the past couple of years. Hope everyone is ready for an active Hurricane season.


+1 for the sensible post (and believe me, we've had few of those in the last couple weeks).
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Quoting 329. Grothar:


Was that one of the Marx brothers?


I think he meant Harpo, lol. There was also Chico, Groucho, Zeppo and Karl, the black sheep of the family.
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Quoting 341. Grothar:


Cheeching and Chonging!
*cough cough*
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Quoting 334. IKE:
Timing on the CMC is very near what the 12Z GFS shows....


That leaves us only 5 days, the hurricane hunter mission tomorrow is definitely warranted if the system continues to organize.
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I fixed it for you ncstorm. :)
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The models are starting to sense life in the Atlantic. During the end of this lull, it would be a very good time to review your hurricane preparations... The pattern is still looking quite different from the past couple of years. Hope everyone is ready for an active Hurricane season.
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Quoting 335. HurricaneHunterJoe:
Good Morning Class


Cheeching and Chonging!
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Quoting 260. scottsvb:
Anything over 120hrs out is not worth looking at.


How are your "associates" at the NHC doing 168 hour forecasts? Are they just guessing, not using any model input to help their forecast?
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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.