Tropical Storm Karen Forms in the Gulf of Mexico

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:09 PM GMT on October 03, 2013

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Hurricane Watches are flying along the U.S. Gulf Coast as Tropical Storm Karen heads north-northwest into the Gulf of Mexico. Karen, the eleventh named storm of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, formed about 8 am EDT Thursday in the Southeast Gulf of Mexico. It's not often that one sees a new storm start out with 60 mph sustained winds, but that's what an Air Force hurricane hunter plane found this morning near 7:30 am EDT, when they sampled the northern portion of the storm. A ship located about 50 miles northeast of the northeast tip of the Yucatan Peninsula measured sustained winds of 51 mph near the same time. Satellite loops show that Karen is a medium-sized storm with an area of very intense thunderstorms along its northern and eastern flanks. Wind shear has risen since Wednesday, and is now a moderately high 20 knots, thanks to strong upper-level winds out of the west-southwest. These strong winds are keeping any heavy thunderstorms from developing on the west side of Karen's center of circulation, by driving dry air that is over the Yucatan Peninsula and Western Gulf of Mexico into Karen's core. As a result, Karen has a lopsided comma-shape on satellite imagery. Karen has a strong upper-level outflow channel to its north that is helping ventilate the storm, though, and ocean temperatures are a very warm 29°C (84°F). Between 7 am and 9:30 am EDT the Hurricane Hunters made three passes though the center of Karen, and the central pressure stayed roughly constant at 1004 mb, so Karen is not undergoing much change.


Figure 1. Odds of receiving more than 4" of rain over a five-day period beginning at 2 am EDT Thursday October 3, 2013, as predicted by the experimental GFDL ensemble model.

Forecast for Karen
Wind shear will steadily increase as the storm heads north-northwest, and shear will reach a high 25 knots by Saturday morning as Karen closes in on the U.S. Gulf Coast, according to the latest SHIPS model forecast. The atmosphere will grow drier as Karen moves into the Northern Gulf of Mexico, and the drier air combined with increasing wind shear will retard development, making only slow intensification likely through Friday. A trough of low pressure and an associated cold front will be moving through Louisiana on Saturday, and the associated upper-level westerly winds will be able to turn Karen more to the northeast as it approaches the coast on Friday evening and Saturday morning. The higher shear at that time should be able to induce weakening, and the 8 am EDT Thursday wind probability forecast from NHC gave a 28% chance Karen will be a hurricane at 2 am EDT Saturday, down from 44% on Friday afternoon. Most of the models predict landfall will occur along the western Florida Panhandle Saturday afternoon or evening. The usually reliable European model has Karen making landfall over Eastern Louisiana, though. If Karen does follow this more westerly path, the storm will be weaker, since there is more dry air and higher wind shear to the west. Since almost all of Karen's heavy thunderstorms will be displaced to the east by high wind shear, there will be relatively low rainfall totals of 1 - 3" to the immediate west of where the center makes landfall. Much higher rainfall totals of 4 - 8" can be expected to the east. To judge the possibilities of receiving tropical storm-force winds at your location, I recommend using the NHC wind probability forecast. The highest odds of tropical storm-force winds (45 - 55%) are along the coast from Buras, Louisiana, to Pensacola, Florida.

I'll have a new post this afternoon.

Jeff Masters

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Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9884
Lordy, info is like jello sometimes.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130367
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130367
Incident over...lockdown lifted....1 capital police officer taken to hospital. Woman got out of her car with gun and shots exchanged with Capital police. Unknown condition of shooter.
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720. VR46L
Quoting 700. WalkingInTheSun:
Well, it has been so long, and now we get a RETARDED storm. Hey, the Doc said it himself, TS Karen is going to be retarded.
Quote: "...the drier air combined with increasing wind shear will retard development..."Well, wouldn't it be LMAO hilarious if after all the wait for something to watch this year,....it decided to run off through the straits of FL and become a mere... ..... .... FISH STORM!!!   (Haha, that would be great!)Well, what else could a RETARD storm do?  Maybe it would somehow take a run at Houston, TX -- it could probably actually reach it before that cold front makes it through, and if stalling out against it could maybe add a bit more rain to it all.  Have fun.  Been busy lately in RL, so might tend to skip out on this one, here.



All the Hype she must be reminding folk of Bonnie .......

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There was no shooter,

Woman tried to ram the White House gate with her Auto. She then hit a DC Police Officer , and then was Killed near the Hart Senate Office Bldg by pursuing officers.
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Reports indicate the shooter was a woman! Hell hath no fury.......
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Quoting 607. yonzabam:
That's three seasons in a row that we've had storms that failed to ramp up as expected. I'm not convinced that all the 'usual suspects' suppressing factors, such as shear, dry air etc are to blame.

I've a feeling the recent change in jet stream activity may be behind it.


Actually, I have spent a lot of time this season watching the windshear on storms. Shear has been tremendous in action against the storms this season, time after time. Therefore, that factor cannot lightly be tossed aside. Not sure what it was like last year or the year before that too much now.
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Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 429 Comments: 130367
LSU Low Cloud Imagery
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Quoting 653. Patrap:


I can see the Storm Tops overlooking the Superdome outside, looking South, S east too.

A change is in the air here, has gone very August like.

U can smell it.


That is the shrimp fleet returning to port, Pat. :)
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Quoting 702. sunlinepr:
vanishing convection.... gone...


It's trying...

*loop
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3798
That lower level "outflow" on the vis loops is actually the storm trying to eject the dry air being en-trained into the circulation. Same process going on as yesterday; trying to fight off and eject the the dry air. It's a delicate balancing act right now between the dry air and attempts to re-fire convection and create a more symmetrical moisture bubble around the coc.
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Product: Air Force High Density (HDOB) Message (URNT15 KNHC)
Transmitted: 3rd day of the month at 18:50Z
Date: October 3, 2013
Aircraft: Air Force Aircraft (Last 3 digits of the tail number are 306)
Storm Number: 12
Storm Name: Karen (flight in the North Atlantic basin)

Mission Number: 3

Observation Number: 17

18:50:30Z 22.200N 87.550W 959.3 mb
(~ 28.33 inHg) 441 meters
(~ 1,447 feet) 1008.9 mb
(~ 29.79 inHg) - From 203° at 23 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 26.4 mph) 22.7°C
(~ 72.9°F) 20.5°C
(~ 68.9°F) 25 knots
(~ 28.7 mph) 22 knots
(~ 25.3 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 20.2 knots (~ 23.3 mph)
88.0%
Time Coordinates Aircraft
Static Air Pressure Aircraft
Geopotential Height Extrapolated
Surface Pressure D-value Flight Level Wind (30 sec. Avg.) Air Temp. Dew Point Peak (10 sec. Avg.)
Flight Level Wind SFMR
Peak (10s Avg.) Sfc. Wind SFMR
Rain Rate Estimated Surface Wind (30 sec. Avg.)
Using Estimated Reduction Factor Peak Wind at Flight Level to
Est. Surface Reduction Factor

HDOB Observations

Independent Calculations from Tropical Atlantic

At 18:41:00Z (first observation), the observation was 117 miles (188 km) between the NW and NNW (326°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.

At 18:50:30Z (last observation), the observation was 86 miles (139 km) to the NNW (328°) from Cancún, Quintana Roo, México.
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Karen is trying to create some new convection near the COC.
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Quoting 607. yonzabam:
That's three seasons in a row that we've had storms that failed to ramp up as expected. I'm not convinced that all the 'usual suspects' suppressing factors, such as shear, dry air etc are to blame.

I've a feeling the recent change in jet stream activity may be behind it.
Expect to see more blogging and commenting on this pattern change in the "post-season." We laypersons, or even the lower-level non-research mets are unlikely to figure it out, but Dr. Masters and the other research-oriented climate and meteorology scientists will take on the challenge. (Of course there will be at least a couple of super-egos here claiming that they found the answers before the experts!)

Then the we can bicker and squabble over differences of opinions between the "experts" in the this comments section.

Actually, I'm curious as to what the climate and met research scientists will come up with, and what the evidence will be.
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windspeed calculator
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18:41:00Z 22.550N 87.850W 959.3 mb
(~ 28.33 inHg) 431 meters
(~ 1,414 feet) 1007.6 mb
(~ 29.75 inHg) - From 200° at 41 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 47.1 mph) 22.4°C
(~ 72.3°F) 21.9°C
(~ 71.4°F) 42 knots
(~ 48.3 mph) 37 knots
(~ 42.5 mph) 2 mm/hr
(~ 0.08 in/hr) 36.1 knots (~ 41.5 mph)
Tropical Storm 88.1%
18:41:30Z 22.533N 87.833W 959.4 mb
(~ 28.33 inHg) 430 meters
(~ 1,411 feet) 1007.7 mb
(~ 29.76 inHg) - From 201° at 41 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 47.1 mph) 22.2°C
(~ 72.0°F) 21.8°C
(~ 71.2°F) 42 knots
(~ 48.3 mph) 37 knots
(~ 42.5 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 36.1 knots (~ 41.5 mph)
Tropical Storm 88.1%
18:42:00Z 22.517N 87.817W 959.7 mb
(~ 28.34 inHg) 429 meters
(~ 1,407 feet) 1007.9 mb
(~ 29.76 inHg) - From 200° at 41 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 47.1 mph) 22.2°C
(~ 72.0°F) 21.5°C
(~ 70.7°F) 41 knots
(~ 47.1 mph) 37 knots*
(~ 42.5 mph*) 2 mm/hr*
(~ 0.08 in/hr*) 37.0 knots* (~ 42.5 mph*)
Tropical Storm* 90.2%*
18:42:30Z 22.500N 87.800W 958.9 mb
(~ 28.32 inHg) 439 meters
(~ 1,440 feet) 1008.1 mb
(~ 29.77 inHg) - From 197° at 40 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 46.0 mph) 22.1°C
(~ 71.8°F) 21.3°C
(~ 70.3°F) 40 knots
(~ 46.0 mph) 37 knots
(~ 42.5 mph) 1 mm/hr
(~ 0.04 in/hr) 37.0 knots (~ 42.5 mph)
Tropical Storm 92.5%
18:43:00Z 22.483N 87.783W 959.0 mb
(~ 28.32 inHg) 438 meters
(~ 1,437 feet) 1008.3 mb
(~ 29.78 inHg) - From 198° at 39 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 44.8 mph) 22.1°C
(~ 71.8°F) 21.2°C
(~ 70.2°F) 40 knots
(~ 46.0 mph) 36 knots
(~ 41.4 mph) 2 mm/hr
(~ 0.08 in/hr) 35.1 knots (~ 40.4 mph)
Tropical Storm 90.0%
18:43:30Z 22.467N 87.767W 959.4 mb
(~ 28.33 inHg) 437 meters
(~ 1,434 feet) 1008.5 mb
(~ 29.78 inHg) - From 200° at 38 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 43.7 mph) 22.0°C
(~ 71.6°F) 21.2°C
(~ 70.2°F) 38 knots
(~ 43.7 mph) 36 knots
(~ 41.4 mph) 2 mm/hr
(~ 0.08 in/hr) 36.0 knots (~ 41.4 mph)
Tropical Storm 94.7%
18:44:00Z 22.450N 87.750W 959.6 mb
(~ 28.34 inHg) 435 meters
(~ 1,427 feet) 1008.6 mb
(~ 29.78 inHg) - From 201° at 38 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 43.7 mph) 22.0°C
(~ 71.6°F) 21.0°C
(~ 69.8°F) 39 knots
(~ 44.8 mph) 36 knots
(~ 41.4 mph) 1 mm/hr
(~ 0.04 in/hr) 35.1 knots (~ 40.3 mph)
Tropical Storm 92.3%
18:44:30Z 22.433N 87.733W 959.7 mb
(~ 28.34 inHg) 435 meters
(~ 1,427 feet) 1008.7 mb
(~ 29.79 inHg) - From 202° at 37 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 42.5 mph) 22.0°C
(~ 71.6°F) 20.8°C
(~ 69.4°F) 38 knots
(~ 43.7 mph) 35 knots
(~ 40.2 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 34.1 knots (~ 39.2 mph)
Tropical Storm 92.1%
18:45:00Z 22.417N 87.717W 959.2 mb
(~ 28.33 inHg) 441 meters
(~ 1,447 feet) 1008.8 mb
(~ 29.79 inHg) - From 203° at 37 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 42.5 mph) 22.2°C
(~ 72.0°F) 20.4°C
(~ 68.7°F) 37 knots
(~ 42.5 mph) 35 knots
(~ 40.2 mph) 2 mm/hr
(~ 0.08 in/hr) 35.0 knots (~ 40.2 mph)
Tropical Storm 94.6%
18:45:30Z 22.400N 87.700W 958.9 mb
(~ 28.32 inHg) 446 meters
(~ 1,463 feet) 1009.1 mb
(~ 29.80 inHg) - From 200° at 37 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 42.5 mph) 22.1°C
(~ 71.8°F) 20.4°C
(~ 68.7°F) 37 knots
(~ 42.5 mph) 34 knots
(~ 39.1 mph) 2 mm/hr
(~ 0.08 in/hr) 34.0 knots (~ 39.1 mph)
Tropical Storm 91.9%
18:46:00Z 22.383N 87.683W 959.3 mb
(~ 28.33 inHg) 443 meters
(~ 1,453 feet) 1009.2 mb
(~ 29.80 inHg) - From 199° at 35 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 40.2 mph) 22.3°C
(~ 72.1°F) 20.2°C
(~ 68.4°F) 36 knots
(~ 41.4 mph) 33 knots
(~ 37.9 mph) 4 mm/hr
(~ 0.16 in/hr) 32.1 knots (~ 36.9 mph)
91.7%
18:46:30Z 22.367N 87.667W 959.7 mb
(~ 28.34 inHg) 442 meters
(~ 1,450 feet) 1009.3 mb
(~ 29.80 inHg) - From 197° at 35 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 40.2 mph) 22.5°C
(~ 72.5°F) 19.5°C
(~ 67.1°F) 35 knots
(~ 40.2 mph) 32 knots
(~ 36.8 mph) 1 mm/hr
(~ 0.04 in/hr) 32.0 knots (~ 36.8 mph)
91.4%
18:47:00Z 22.350N 87.650W 959.4 mb
(~ 28.33 inHg) 445 meters
(~ 1,460 feet) 1009.3 mb
(~ 29.80 inHg) - From 196° at 36 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 41.4 mph) 22.6°C
(~ 72.7°F) 18.8°C
(~ 65.8°F) 36 knots
(~ 41.4 mph) 30 knots
(~ 34.5 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 30.0 knots (~ 34.5 mph)
83.3%
18:47:30Z 22.333N 87.633W 959.4 mb
(~ 28.33 inHg) 446 meters
(~ 1,463 feet) 1009.2 mb
(~ 29.80 inHg) - From 195° at 35 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 40.2 mph) 22.8°C
(~ 73.0°F) 19.3°C
(~ 66.7°F) 36 knots
(~ 41.4 mph) 30 knots
(~ 34.5 mph) 2 mm/hr
(~ 0.08 in/hr) 29.2 knots (~ 33.5 mph)
83.3%
18:48:00Z 22.317N 87.617W 959.2 mb
(~ 28.33 inHg) 448 meters
(~ 1,470 feet) 1009.0 mb
(~ 29.80 inHg) - From 193° at 33 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 37.9 mph) 23.4°C
(~ 74.1°F) 18.6°C
(~ 65.5°F) 34 knots
(~ 39.1 mph) 30 knots
(~ 34.5 mph) 5 mm/hr
(~ 0.20 in/hr) 29.1 knots (~ 33.5 mph)
88.2%
18:48:30Z 22.283N 87.600W 958.9 mb
(~ 28.32 inHg) 440 meters
(~ 1,444 feet) 1008.8 mb
(~ 29.79 inHg) - From 201° at 31 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 35.6 mph) 22.9°C
(~ 73.2°F) 19.2°C
(~ 66.6°F) 33 knots
(~ 37.9 mph) 30 knots
(~ 34.5 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 28.2 knots (~ 32.4 mph)
90.9%
18:49:00Z 22.267N 87.583W 960.1 mb
(~ 28.35 inHg) 442 meters
(~ 1,450 feet) 1009.3 mb
(~ 29.80 inHg) - From 206° at 28 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 32.2 mph) 21.8°C
(~ 71.2°F) 20.5°C
(~ 68.9°F) 31 knots
(~ 35.6 mph) 28 knots
(~ 32.2 mph) 6 mm/hr
(~ 0.24 in/hr) 25.3 knots (~ 29.1 mph)
90.3%
18:49:30Z 22.250N 87.567W 959.6 mb
(~ 28.34 inHg) 437 meters
(~ 1,434 feet) 1009.3 mb
(~ 29.80 inHg) - From 206° at 26 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 29.9 mph) 22.6°C
(~ 72.7°F) 20.0°C
(~ 68.0°F) 28 knots
(~ 32.2 mph) 24 knots
(~ 27.6 mph) 5 mm/hr
(~ 0.20 in/hr) 22.3 knots (~ 25.6 mph)
85.7%
18:50:00Z 22.233N 87.550W 959.1 mb
(~ 28.32 inHg) 442 meters
(~ 1,450 feet) 1008.9 mb
(~ 29.79 inHg) - From 203° at 25 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 28.7 mph) 22.6°C
(~ 72.7°F) 20.4°C
(~ 68.7°F) 27 knots
(~ 31.0 mph) 25 knots
(~ 28.7 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 23.1 knots (~ 26.6 mph)
92.6%
18:50:30Z 22.200N 87.550W 959.3 mb
(~ 28.33 inHg) 441 meters
(~ 1,447 feet) 1008.9 mb
(~ 29.79 inHg) - From 203° at 23 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 26.4 mph) 22.7°C
(~ 72.9°F) 20.5°C
(~ 68.9°F) 25 knots
(~ 28.7 mph) 22 knots
(~ 25.3 mph) 3 mm/hr
(~ 0.12 in/hr) 20.2 knots (~ 23.3 mph)
88.0%
Time Coordinates Aircraft
Static Air Pressure Aircraft
Geopotential Height Extrapolated
Surface Pressure D-value Flight Level Wind (30 sec. Avg.) Air Temp. Dew Point Peak (10 sec. Avg.)
Flight Level Wind SFMR
Peak (10s Avg.) Sfc. Wind SFMR
Rain Rate Estimated Surface Wind (30 sec. Avg.)
Using Estimated Reduction Factor Peak Wind at Flight Level to
Est. Surface Reduction Factor
HDOB Observations
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Quoting 694. GatorWX:
vanishing convection.... gone...
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9884
Parting is such sweet sorrow! Adieu Karen... Maybe next time....
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Well, it has been so long, and now we get a RETARDED storm. Hey, the Doc said it himself, TS Karen is going to be retarded.
Quote: "...the drier air combined with increasing wind shear will retard development..."Well, wouldn't it be LMAO hilarious if after all the wait for something to watch this year,....it decided to run off through the straits of FL and become a mere... ..... .... FISH STORM!!!   (Haha, that would be great!)Well, what else could a RETARD storm do?  Maybe it would somehow take a run at Houston, TX -- it could probably actually reach it before that cold front makes it through, and if stalling out against it could maybe add a bit more rain to it all.  Have fun.  Been busy lately in RL, so might tend to skip out on this one, here.

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Man, no kidding, that's a monster LTO (low level thunderstorm outflow) boundary racing out to the N / NW as tstms collapse from dry air ingestion.

Ain't breaking my heart seeing it struggle!
Under TS Watch here and while Karen bears close watching, from my SE LA perspective so far appears far less a threat than we've experienced in multitude of October storms. Today's Oct 3rd date alone marks anniversary of destructive strikes on Louisiana by both Hurricane Lili 2002 and far worse Cat 3 Hurricane Hilda in 1964. The latter was the first time I recall trees completely stripped of leaves, agricultural crops totally flattened, widespread structural damage... Only to be repeated a year later with Betsy, which garnered more attention with NOLA impact. Hilda's wrath was virtually forgotten.
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Quoting 694. GatorWX:
sure looks like its being blown towards florida
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42864
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Quoting 692. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
68.35 mph
TY keeper
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42864
Where is the protective anticyclone? Shear is making itself known right now
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Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3798
White House not on lock down but Pennsylvania Avenue barricaded and closed.
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Quoting 686. LargoFl:
whats 110 km?
68.35 mph
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House and Senate locked down and members told to "hunker down". Reports of multiple shots fired. Reports that this started at the White House. A car tried to breach the perimeter and then car headed to capital hill.
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like a molting cicada..



..see if she can rebuild her exo
Member Since: January 1, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 3798
Quoting 669. NOLALawyer:


I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has posted these same words on this forum.


Great Avatar,
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Do not take your eye off of ol' Jerry. Karen's a cutie...but Jerry!!!!!!!!
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img src="">
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Quoting 682. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:



wind speeds are in KM/HR
whats 110 km?
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42864
Quoting 670. hurricanehanna:
seems to be firing new storms near the center....HH finding lower pressures....


I thought this might happen. I mentioned earlier that she might re-group once she starts to move away from land. She made a pretty good job North at the last advisory so now we'll see what happens.
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Quoting 679. sunlinepr:
Reports of multiple shots fired on Capitol Hill in Washington near the Senate Hart Building, police say.

Unconfirmed shooter in custody and one police officer injured.
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Quoting 673. 7544:


bams not given in even turning karen to the right further south lol
yeah and its october when its supposed to make that righthand turn which is why im watching it closely.
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 42864



wind speeds are in KM/HR
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Quoting 669. NOLALawyer:


I wish I had a dollar for every time someone has posted these same words on this forum.


This year especially. I think it'll briefly be a 'cane, but agree with others that this will be nothing but a blustery fall day on the Gulf coast - with a little associated wave action in the ocean.

Nothing that anyone living in a coastal region would expect to experience every now and then.
Member Since: June 25, 2011 Posts: 2 Comments: 3733
Quoting 671. washingaway:
Dang, Karen in that loop looks like a slug that someone put salt on. The entire season has been that way. Thankfully. Although it would have been nice to get a TS into central Texas.
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While we observe Karem:

Reports of multiple shots fired on Capitol Hill in Washington near the Senate Hart Building, police say.

There are unconfirmed reports of an officer injured.


Dry air closing on Karem

Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9884
18:36:00Z 22.717N 88.033W 960.1 mb
(~ 28.35 inHg) 402 meters
(~ 1,319 feet) 1005.2 mb
(~ 29.68 inHg) - From 208° at 45 knots
(From the SSW at ~ 51.7 mph)
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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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