Category 5 Phailin Nears India; Category 3 Nari Hits the Philippines

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 9:35 PM GMT on October 11, 2013

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Extremely dangerous Tropical Cyclone Phailin has maintained Category 5 strength for six hours, and is expected to remain a Category 5 storm until it is just a few hours from landfall on the northeast coast of India on the Bay of Bengal, according to the 5 pm EDT Friday advisory from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Phailin put on a phenomenal burst of rapid intensification on Thursday, going from a tropical storm with 65 mph winds to a top-end Category 4 storm with 155 mph winds in just 24 hours, and is now at peak strength of 160 mph, tying it with Super Typhoon Usagi as Earth's strongest tropical cyclone of 2013. Satellite images show that Phailin maintained very intense thunderstorms with cold cloud tops in its eyewall, with the 5 pm EDT Friday satellite estimate of Phailin's central pressure at 911 mb. This makes Phailin equal in strength to the great 1999 Odisha Cyclone, which killed 9,658 people in India's Odisha province. Radar out of Visakhapanam, India shows that heavy rains from the outer bands of Phailin are already affecting the coast, and these bands were bringing rainfall rates of over an inch per hour, as estimated by microwave data from 18 UTC Friday. Phailin is over ocean waters that have warmed since Thursday, and are now 29 - 30°C. These warm waters extend to a lesser depth than before, and ocean heat content has dropped to a moderate 20 - 40 kJ/cm^2. Wind shear remains low, 5 - 10 knots, and Phailin has strong upper-level outflow, thanks to an anticyclone positioned in the upper atmosphere over the cyclone.


Figure 1. Microwave satellite image overlaid on an infrared satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Phailin, taken at approximately 18 UTC on October 11, 2013. At the time, Phailin was a Category 5 storm with winds of 160 mph. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Forecast for Phailin
Phailin is likely to be the strongest tropical cyclone to affect India in fourteen years, since the great 1999 Odisha Cyclone. The models are in tight agreement that Phailin will make landfall in Northeast India on Saturday between 09 - 15 UTC about 100 miles to the southwest of where the 1999 cyclone hit. The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is predicting that a storm surge of up to 3.5 meters (eleven feet) will hit along a swath a coast to the right of where the center makes landfall. I expect that this is an underestimate, since the 1999 Odisha Cyclone brought a storm surge of 5.9 meters (19 feet) to the coast, and Phailin is larger in areal extent and just as strong. The region of the coast where Phailin is expected to hit is not as low-lying, though, which should keep the death toll due to storm surge much lower compared to the 1999 Odisha Cyclone, where more than 70% of the deaths occurred due to the storm surge. Deforestation of the coastal mangroves in the storm surge zone was associated with increased death toll in that storm, according to Das and Vincent (2009), who concluded, "villages with wider mangroves between them and the coast experienced significantly fewer deaths than ones with narrower or no mangroves.". I expect that Phailin will weaken slightly before hitting the coast, due to interaction with land, and hit as a Category 4 storm with winds of 145 - 155 mph. The 1999 Odisha Cyclone hit land with top winds of 155 mph.


Figure 2. Elevation of the Odisha region of India, with the track of the 1999 Odisha cyclone and forecast track of Phailin overlaid. Phailin is predicted to hit a region of the coast about 100 miles to the southwest of where the 1999 cyclone hit. The coast is not as low-lying to the southwest, which should result in a lower storm surge death toll. The greatest storm surge occurs along the coast to the right of where the center crosses. Image credit: http://www.globalwarmingart.com

Phailin's heavy rains will be capable of causing very destructive flooding; the 00Z Friday rainfall forecast from the HWRF model (Figure 3) calls for a significant swath of 8 - 16" of rain along the path of Phailin inland. Rains from the 1999 Odisha cyclone killed more than 2,000 people in the town of Padmapur, located more than 150 miles from the coast. Deforestation was cited as a contributing cause to these destructive floods that killed 36% of the town's population.


Figure 3. The 00Z Friday rainfall forecast from the HWRF model calls for a significant swath of 8 - 16" of rain along the path of Phailin inland. Image credit: NOAA/NCEP/GFDL.

India's tropical cyclone history
There is good reason to be concerned when a major tropical cyclone forms in the Bay of Bengal. Twenty-six of the thirty-five deadliest tropical cyclones in world history have been Bay of Bengal storms. During the past two centuries, 42% of Earth's tropical cyclone-associated deaths have occurred in Bangladesh, and 27% have occurred in India (Nicholls et al., 1995.) Wunderground's weather historian Christopher C. Burt has a detailed post on India's tropical cyclone history.

References
Kalsi, S.R., N. Jayanthi N, and S.K. Roy Bhowmik, 2004, "A Review of Different Storm Surge Models and Estimated Storm Surge Height in Respect of Orissa Supercyclonic Storm of 29 October, 1999," New Delhi: Indian Meteorological Department.

Nicholls, R.J.N., N. Mimura, J.C. Topping, 1995, "Climate change in south and south-east Asia: some implications for coastal areas," J Glob Environ Eng 1995;1:137–54.

Das, S., and J.R. Vincent, 2009, "Mangroves protected villages and reduced death toll during Indian super cyclone", Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 May 5; 106(18): 7357–7360. Published online 2009 April 20. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0810440106


Figure 4. Radar image of Typhoon Nari over Luzon Island in the Philippines, taken at 12:53 am local time on October 12, 2013. Image credit: DOST - Project NOAH

Major Typhoon Nari hits the Philippines
Typhoon Nari hit the main Philippine island of Luzon Friday night local time as a Category 3 typhoon with 115 mph winds. The core of the storm passed about 80 miles north of the capital of Manila, and the storm dumped torrential rains in excess of ten inches to the northeast of Manilla, according to satellite estimates. Passage over Luzon weakened Nari, and the typhoon is now emerging into the South China Sea between the Philippines and Vietnam as a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds. Nari has about two days over water to re-intensify before making a second landfall in Vietnam around 18 UTC on Monday. The 5 pm EDT Friday Joint Typhoon Warning Center advisory predicts that Nari will re-intensify to 110 mph winds, just below Category 3 strength.

Jeff Masters

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792. sunlinepr
5:47 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 767. hydrus:
I am glad this year is a disappointment.


True,,,,If we were in the Pac, would we be posting here "What a wonderfull season we are having"?

Really, this year leaving out the BOC systems, this is one of the best seasons ever in the Atl...
Member Since: August 2, 2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9656
791. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:45 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
getting cooler and cooler now

as each system moves along

Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
790. barbamz
5:45 PM GMT on October 12, 2013

One heck of waves. I'm seasick from looking at this RAW video about Phailin earlier.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 45 Comments: 5036
789. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
5:44 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
788. nwobilderburg
5:44 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Im gonna go out on a limb and say that there will be less than 1000 deaths
Member Since: October 6, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 546
787. FunnelVortex
5:42 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 783. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
season compare maps







At least 86 had some majors.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2866
786. GainesvilleGator
5:42 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
I took this from Yahoo.com page:

'The storm, though, remained exceedingly strong and dangerous. A few hours before it hit land, the eye of the storm collapsed, spreading the hurricane force winds out over a larger area and giving it a "bigger damage footprint," said Jeff Masters, meteorology director at the U.S.-based private Weather Underground.

"It's probably a bad thing it was doing this when it made landfall. Much of the housing in India is unable to withstand even a much weaker hurricane," Masters said.

He also said coasts would not be alone in suffering heavy damage. "This is a remarkably strong storm. It's going to carry hurricane-force winds inland for about 12 hours, which is quite unusual," Masters said.'
Member Since: September 11, 2005 Posts: 4 Comments: 744
785. Stormwatch247
5:38 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 783. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
season compare maps





WOW, 1986 and 2013 Atlantic hurricane seasons maps do look similar! After the wild and crazy hurricane season of 1985 along the Gulf Coast, 1986 seemed unusually quiet, except for Bonnie, and she hit TX.
Member Since: September 25, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 53
784. barbamz
5:35 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Subcutaneous battle between the Indian weather service and other forecasters (from US f.e.) is going on in their statements. Seems the IMD was quite right about Phailin.

Cyclone Phailin makes landfall at 200 kmph but not a super storm, says IMD
First Post India by FP Staff 59 mins ago

The Indian MeT department has confirmed that Cyclone Phailin has made landfall near the coast of Gopalpur, Odisha. “The very severe cyclonic storm has touched land near Gopalpur at around 200km per hour”, said LS Rathore of the IMD.

Rathore told reporters that wind speeds had intensified slightly since the system hit land. He added that the storm was bringing heavy to very heavy rain in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, adding that the ‘serious’ situation would continue for the next six hours. “Landfall has started happening near Gopalpur, it will take about an hour for the eye of the storm to pass”, Rathore said, adding that winds would intensify in speed when that happened. Rathore also said that Phailin was in line with IMD predictions that it would be a ‘level 6′ storm. He added that it was still not a ‘super storm’. “Technically the maximum winds have to be in excess of 220 kmph for it to be classified as a super storm”, he said. ...


Whole article see link above.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 45 Comments: 5036
783. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:33 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
season compare maps





Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
782. sar2401
5:32 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting PanhandleChuck:
This season has been a huge disappointment. Looking forward to next season.

This has been about the best season I've seen in SE Alabama. Enough sort of tropical activity to give us rain when we need it, no hurricanes, almost no tornadoes, not too hot, no one's home or town got flattened....except for losing a big branch on my pear tree during a wimpy windstorm, it's hard to see how it could have been a batter season.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 9957
781. CaribBoy
5:31 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 756. beell:


similar to
your posts.
;-)


I know.
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5605
780. TropicalAnalystwx13
5:30 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Since the era of reconnaissance aircraft has ended in the West Pacific, it's not 100% certain that Tip remains the strongest. For example, both typhoons Gay '92 and Angela '95 maintained cooler cloudtops near their eyes and accordingly a T8.0/196 mph Dvorak estimate for at least 9 hours. This correlates to a pressure of 858mb in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. We'll never know for sure.


Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30291
779. Tropicsweatherpr
5:29 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Down to 30%.

TROPICAL WEATHER OUTLOOK
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
200 PM EDT SAT OCT 12 2013

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

1. A LARGE AREA OF DISORGANIZED CLOUDINESS AND SHOWERS LOCATED ABOUT
MIDWAY BETWEEN THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS AND THE LESSER ANTILLES IS
ASSOCIATED WITH AN ELONGATED AREA OF LOW PRESSURE. UPPER-LEVEL
WINDS ARE STEADILY BECOMING UNFAVORABLE...AND DEVELOPMENT IS
BECOMING LESS LIKELY. THIS SYSTEM HAS A MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT
OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING THE NEXT 48 HOURS...AND A
MEDIUM CHANCE...30 PERCENT...OF BECOMING A TROPICAL CYCLONE DURING
THE NEXT 5 DAYS WHILE IT MOVES WESTWARD TO WEST-NORTHWESTWARD AT 10
TO 15 MPH. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM CAN
BE FOUND IN HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER
SERVICE.

HIGH SEAS FORECASTS ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CAN BE
FOUND UNDER AWIPS HEADER NFDHSFAT1 AND WMO HEADER FZNT01 KWBC.

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

HTTP://WWW.NWS.NOAA.GOV/SURVEY/NWS-SURVEY.PHP?COD E=ETWO

FORECASTER STEWART

Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13334
778. FunnelVortex
5:29 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 777. KEEPEROFTHEGATE:
2013 best season almost tops 1986


We saw some neat monsters, didn't we? :)
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2866
777. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:26 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 767. hydrus:
I am glad this year is a disappointment.
2013 best season almost tops 1986
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
776. sar2401
5:26 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Below is a great source for information about what is going on in the area impacted by Pahilin. Made landfall.

Times of India up to the minute information

BTW, when see references to "Lakh" in Indian news articles, one Lakh is the same as 100,000. South Asian languages don't have any easy way to refer to large numbers, so words like "lakh" will be commonly seen. Even more confusingly, in scientific notation, it's written as "1,00,000", so don't get that confused with one million if you see it in an article from India.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 9957
775. TropicalAnalystwx13
5:25 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 770. FunnelVortex:


But Wilma is the most intense storm in the Atlantic during the satellite era, right?

Yes.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30291
774. whitewabit (Mod)
5:25 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 773. FunnelVortex:
What I've always wondered is why some bloggers posts are automatically hidden.


its how you set your filter ..
Member Since: August 17, 2005 Posts: 358 Comments: 30194
773. FunnelVortex
5:22 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
What I've always wondered is why some bloggers posts are automatically hidden.
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2866
772. Tazmanian
5:21 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
98L rip
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5089 Comments: 114072
771. PanhandleChuck
5:21 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 767. hydrus:
I am glad this year is a disappointment.


LOL
Member Since: May 13, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1402
770. FunnelVortex
5:21 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 766. TropicalAnalystwx13:

Wilma bottomed out at 882 millibars, though there's a possibility it could have been a little lower. The recon plane left a few hours before peak intensity.


But Wilma is the most intense storm in the Atlantic during the satellite era, right?
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2866
769. PanhandleChuck
5:20 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 765. FunnelVortex:


Well, am el ninio could form....


Exactly, probably will defy the odds LOL
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768. thunderfrance
5:20 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Minimal pressure : 937.4 mb in Gopalpur .
Member Since: July 22, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 17
767. hydrus
5:19 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 763. PanhandleChuck:
This season has been a huge disappointment. Looking forward to next season.
I am glad this year is a disappointment.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19606
766. TropicalAnalystwx13
5:19 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 762. FunnelVortex:


Didn't Wilma come close to that minimum pressure?

Wilma bottomed out at 882 millibars, though there's a possibility it could have been a little lower. The recon plane left a few hours before peak intensity.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30291
765. FunnelVortex
5:18 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 763. PanhandleChuck:
This season has been a huge disappointment. Looking forward to next season.


Well, am el ninio could form....
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2866
764. hydrus
5:18 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 759. TropicalAnalystwx13:
It is on this day that Typhoon Tip attained its peak intensity. Winds reached 190 mph and the minimum barometric pressure as measured by recon bottomed out at 870 millibars, a worldwide record low that stands to this day.

I always wondered what the gusts might have been.:)...And what it must have been like flying into that monster to take readings..Wow.
Member Since: September 27, 2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19606
763. PanhandleChuck
5:17 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
This season has been a huge disappointment. Looking forward to next season.
Member Since: May 13, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1402
762. FunnelVortex
5:16 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 759. TropicalAnalystwx13:
It is on this day that Typhoon Tip attained its peak intensity. Winds reached 190 mph and the minimum barometric pressure as measured by recon bottomed out at 870 millibars, a worldwide record low that stands to this day.



Didn't Wilma come close to that minimum pressure?
Member Since: October 20, 2012 Posts: 7 Comments: 2866
761. Tropicsweatherpr
5:15 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
English TV Coverage in India
Member Since: April 29, 2009 Posts: 75 Comments: 13334
760. hurricanes2018
5:12 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
invest 98L wind shear going up to 30 knows.
Member Since: March 12, 2013 Posts: 7 Comments: 11096
759. TropicalAnalystwx13
5:08 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
It is on this day that Typhoon Tip attained its peak intensity. Winds reached 190 mph and the minimum barometric pressure as measured by recon bottomed out at 870 millibars, a worldwide record low that stands to this day.

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30291
758. sar2401
5:05 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting Doppler22:


Good. It deffinitly (I never spell that word right) shows that India is much better prepared this time.

We'll see what happens after the news starts coming out now that the typhoon has made landfall. The government should have been able to do a better job of it, since the coast there is not as low lying and swampy as it is further north. However, the Indian government is both incompetent and corrupt when it comes to disaster response. I'll certainly hope it's better this time, but I'm not holding my breath.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 9957
757. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:04 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
02B/H/P/C2
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
756. beell
5:03 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 754. CaribBoy:
B-O-R-I-N-G


similar to
your posts.
;-)
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 137 Comments: 15353
755. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
5:03 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 747. barbamz:
In NDTV-live coverage it was just mentioned that 700.000 people moved into safety because of Phailin - a record number.
that's good they were listening and watching
Member Since: July 15, 2006 Posts: 165 Comments: 52383
754. CaribBoy
5:02 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
B-O-R-I-N-G
Member Since: October 6, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5605
753. TropicalAnalystwx13
5:01 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
The 18z run of the GFS from October 5 was the first to pick up on the potential of Phailin...taking it down to 975 millibars. Every run got increasingly bullish. Good job to it.


Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 109 Comments: 30291
752. NCstu
5:00 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
I heard this storm had sustained 175 mph winds about 12 hours before landfall. How is that consistent with any less than a 20 ft surge?
Member Since: August 7, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 407
751. sar2401
5:00 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting fragileuk:
Hi I hardly ever post but I am hoping you knowledgeable lot will be able to give me your opinions on whether or not 98L will impact my up and coming cruise. We leave to fly to puerto rico on thrusday 17th and then go on the cruise (20th oct) to st thomas, barbados, st lucia and st maarten. If this sort of question should not be asked on here then I apologies.

Forecasts for 7-10 days out are nearly worthless when it come to track and intensity, so take that into account with what I'm going to write. 98L is not predicted to develop into more than tropical depression by any of the major models. It should get turned more northwest over the next few days and then north, following a path similar to Jerry of a few weeks ago. If that occurs, your cruise should have no problems. The best thing to do is keep in touch with your cruise company on a daily basis. The major companies have good tropical mets on staff, and they don't like to endanger customers or lose revenue. If 98L does develop and moves toward the Antilles, the company will probably reposition the ship to some place like Fort Lauderdale or New Orleans and change the itinerary to the Western Caribbean and Mexico. Between the cruise ship company and the the NHC, you'll get the best information on both the weather and the effects on your cruise.
Member Since: October 2, 2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 9957
750. LargoFl
4:58 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33465
749. Doppler22
4:56 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 747. barbamz:
In NDTV-live coverage it was just mentioned that 700.000 people moved into safety because of Phailin - a record number.


Good. It deffinitly (I never spell that word right) shows that India is much better prepared this time.
Member Since: February 13, 2012 Posts: 10 Comments: 3269
748. unknowncomic
4:52 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
But wait, MJO still coming?

Member Since: August 2, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 1722
747. barbamz
4:52 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
In NDTV-live coverage it was just mentioned that 700.000 people moved into safety because of Phailin - a record number.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 45 Comments: 5036
746. SLU
4:51 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 731. fragileuk:
Hi I hardly ever post but I am hoping you knowledgeable lot will be able to give me your opinions on whether or not 98L will impact my up and coming cruise. We leave to fly to puerto rico on thrusday 17th and then go on the cruise (20th oct) to st thomas, barbados, st lucia and st maarten. If this sort of question should not be asked on here then I apologies.


You will be just fine.
Member Since: July 13, 2006 Posts: 12 Comments: 4734
745. LargoFl
4:49 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Member Since: August 6, 2011 Posts: 4 Comments: 33465
744. Sfloridacat5
4:49 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 741. barbamz:

Radar of Visakhapatnam is now confirming landfall.
Quoting 741. barbamz:

Radar of Visakhapatnam is now confirming landfall.


And that radar image is 50 minutes old.
Member Since: September 16, 2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 4805
743. beell
4:47 PM GMT on October 12, 2013


The beach at Gopalpur. Perhaps most of the town is above 20' msl. The exception would be along the rivers drainages that meet the sea-which don't appear to be densely populated. A fairly easy evac for authorities with good cooperation.
Member Since: September 11, 2007 Posts: 137 Comments: 15353
742. Articuno
4:46 PM GMT on October 12, 2013
Quoting 739. HuracanTaino:
If the Atlantic shear forecast is correct, shear should go down in 24 hours...,

There's still dry air.
Member Since: October 22, 2011 Posts: 0 Comments: 2179

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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.