Transcript of the NHC press conference; QuikSCAT science

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 8:27 PM GMT on July 06, 2007

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The National Hurricane Center political controversy continues today. In an Associated Press story released this morning, Senior Hurricane Specialist James Franklin of the National Hurricane Center commented on Bill Proenza's QuikSCAT claims, saying:

"He has been very loudly saying if it failed our forecasts for landfalling storms would be degraded, that warning areas would need to be expanded. None of that is the case, and he knows that we feel that way. The science is not there to back up the claims that he's making."

This was the same case I made in my blog yesterday. However, in comments published in the Miami Herald today, Dr. Bob Atlas, a QuikSCAT scientist who runs NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory on Virginia Key, rose to defend Proenza. To quote from the Herald:

He said the report challenged by Masters, even if not yet published, appears to be a "rigorous study" that provides the "most comprehensive study of QuikSCAT data related to hurricane predictions."

Atlas said nothing he has heard Proenza say about QuikSCAT has made him wince, though Atlas added that NOAA is developing ways to mitigate the loss of QuikSCAT data.

In addition, he said, Proenza's estimates of 16 percent and 10 percent have been misunderstood: They apply to the accuracy of one of many computerized forecast models rather than actual, end-result predictions by hurricane forecasters.

"Bill's worked very hard and very well to position the hurricane center to interact well with researchers," Atlas said.


Dr. Atlas was mis-quoted by Time Magazine, who printed this:

Bob Atlas, director of NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, insist that Proenza's concerns "are very well founded. QuickScat is the most valuable forecasting tool." Atlas says he applauds Proenza's outspokenness, predicting it will "accelerate the effort to replace QuickScat with an even better scatterometer satellite."

I talked with Dr. Atlas this morning, and what he actually said is that "NCEP's Ocean Prediction Center (OPC) have referred to QuikSCAT as the most valuable tool they have." OPC issues the high seas marine forecasts and warnings for the North Atlantic and North Pacific. Dr. Atlas did not say QuickSCAT is the most valuable forecasting tool for hurricane forecasting which it is not. Dr. Atlas and I both agree on what the science says about QuikSCAT. I respect his support for Proenza, and hope that Proenza's superiors in Washington take into account all the facts in the case. I did my best to present what I know of the science in my blog yesterday. No one knows the full story of what's going on at NHC, but this morning's press conference, done by staff members at NHC who oppose Proenza, will help clarify things. A transcript was sent to me by WTVJ, the NBC Station in Miami.

Transcript of this morning's press conference

Senior Hurricane Specialist James Franklin
We have been a family here, we are a small group of about 50 people. When things are really happening, we've got a Katrina out there or a Rita type of storms, everybody needs to stop what they're doing and pull together and make sure our message gets out and that we're doing the best job that we can to make the best forecast. We've got a lot of people pulling together to do that. That takes a certain amount of teamwork and appreciation of sense of family and he's destroying that, he's destroying that.

He's divided the staff, and it's hard to know how we're going to be able to come together with him here. One thing that happened yesterday when the staff met, and talked about these issues and a lot of people learned for the first time about some of the issues going on yesterday, and that brought a lot of the staff together. You saw a number of people speaking out both in terms of 3 to 23 yesterday. We found out what was really going on here. and I think you're going to see more later on.

I was very very gratified, we had a wonderful meeting with staff, including those who have been prior supporters of Bill. And we're learning a lot of things for the very first time. There we're a number of people who agreed with us, didn't like the idea of going to the press, but felt he needed to go, there are a fair number of people who didn't sign the letter for that reason. They wanted to keep it in house, and I certainly understand that. About 70-percent of the people who were in the discussion yesterday, put their names on the paper.

I think we've learned an awful lot about Bill here, during the last six months that maybe we didn't know.

We would have liked to have seen Bill realize that he didn't have the support of the staff and step down. That's not going to happen apparently. The process, the Dept. of Commerce process, I imagine needs to go forward. I think it would be nice if they could take him out of the office while that process goes on, those are not decisions we can make.

Lixion Avila-Senior Hurricane Forecaster
-Been here longer than any other forecaster
-Worked for 5-hurricane directors

I was Bill's stronger supporter, I went with him to the Caribbean with the hurricane hunter plane. To develop the hurricane hunter plan, like I did with all the directors. And I'm very upset (loud truck drives by) that he's been misrepresenting the views of the National Hurricane Center, and the hurricane plan. That plan was developed by the previous five hurricane directors, it's a jewel, it's the best in the world and it's been something that Neil Frank, Bob Sheets and Jerry Jarrel and developed for 20-years in six months he wants to destroy that plan.

For example he, I'm a scientist not a manager, and I don't know anything about management, but I can tell you that he came to my office telling me that he wants my advice, that he can not work here if he doesn't hear my advice.. very helpful with the previous directors, and he asked me, and I said the first thing you need to do is quit talking about that QuikSCAT and tell him that is out of line, will help all the problems. And he says he will do that, instead he goes back to the media, and you don't publish that you only publish the good things he said.

He said that we don't want to work with him, because he brings many good ideas, and we don't want to do that. I want you to know that he has not made a hurricane forecast since 1964.

That satellite, I gave that example to many people here. There are many things more important than that satellite. Of course I want that someone to have that satellite. The example I gave everybody is like having a BMW with leather seats. If you don't have leather seats that BMW is going to ruin, and we are going to make a very damn good forecast this year, with Bill or without Bill, and I think. I'm being very emotional, because I was his strongest supporter and I feel betrayed.

I was the last forecaster to join the group. They were smarter than me, I was giving him one more chance. Two day's ago when he came to my office and said please, what should I do to solve this problem? And I was very naive and I told him you need to stop fighting, pretending you're David against Goliath, and all those things with NOAA. The public thinks you're a hero, but you're not. You just need to develop your time and saving the hurricane program that your predecessor developed so nicely, this castle that has been done here. and he went back and said he was going to do that, he went to the media and said the opposite, and that's the end, thank you.

James Franklin
I want to say something about the QuikSCAT issue because, because that's important. The QuikSCAT satellite, is important to us, it does a lot of good things for us. We want a next generation advanced instrument, however there are a lot of things that current instrument cannot do, and by misrepresenting the case for that satellite, he has made it seem so urgent and so important. That what we're afraid of, that we'll get a quick fix, a copy of the kind of thing with existing technology. And within a couple of years we'll be in exactly the same position same situation. QuikSCAT is not a tool to help us improve track forecasts, that's how it's been misrepresented. Bill waves this NOAA report that some of my colleagues worked on and said look this is it. That report did not address track forecast accuracy, that is another one of the misrepresentations.

QuikSCAT is important to help us understand the size of the wind field, the strength, the current instrument has a lot of trouble with rain, a lot of rain in tropical cyclones. We need to move forward if we take the time develop the technology further and in a few more years get at the technology that really helps us get at the intensity problem, that's where our forecast problem really is. We've made great strides with track, as you know we're having a lot more problems with intensity, and doing the QuikSCAT problem correctly, taking our time, developing new technology is one of the tools that we need to help solve the intensity problem. But because of the way it's been portrayed we're afraid that there's going to be a quick fix that's not going to address the track problem, and it doesn't address the track problem and it isn't going to end up helping us with what the forecasters really know will help us.

We've see members of the Congress talking about how the information from the recognizance aircraft are inferior to QuikSCAT, we're afraid that somebody might get it in their heads to fund a stopgap QuikSCAT to take funds from recon aircraft. There is no comparison, there is not a forecaster here who believes QuikSCAT is more important than recon aircraft or other tools we have. But because this issue has been misreported we're afraid we might lose what we have.

We've got forecasters still back at there desks doing their jobs and they'll continue doing that. But there's a lot of people losing sleep over this, and as we get into august September, October, I don't think you want a bunch of tired sick, forecasters working the forecast desk. I think it takes a full effort. It's not just about doing our jobs, we need to go over and beyond when those storms are coming, and that's becoming harder to do.

I think when things get busy, it's going to be harder for us to work effectively with the situation we have here.

Vivian Jorge, Administrative Officer
As far as myself in the administration, since Bill got here, is the turmoil in the administration, because in my sense, bill(sat breakup) likes controversy. And I myself have been asked to do things that I know are not procedure but have been asked to do because that's the way he wants things done, and I've worked at hurricane center since 1985.

Unfortunately I think a director needs to unite his staff and he needs to be a calming person. It doesn't need to be a no new ideas. All the directors have different ideas.. from Neil on down to Max, they were different, they were not the same, their management styles were not the same, but they united the staff, the listened to the staff, especially the folks who have been here for so many years. .. and I think in the case of bill he doesn't feel that's necessary, he always feels he knows best. And that again in our case, there's never been so many closed doors, so much intrigue at the hurricane center as now and that's really unfortunate. I can't tell you how proud I am to work here.

--End of Press Conference

QuikSCAT science
Enough of politics, let's talk science! I've communicated several times over the past few weeks with Dr. Paul Chang, a NOAA QuikSCAT scientist whose QuikSCAT web page I've linked to hundreds of times in my blogs over the past two years. He did not want to comment on the politics of the QuikSCAT issue (smart man!), but did ask me print these comments:

The need for an operational ocean surface vector wind satellite system like QuikSCAT (or actually better) goes much further than the hurricane issue, and the push for it started long before Bill Proenza became the NHC director. NHC actually wants/needs something better so that it can provide them with reliable and accurate information (intensity and structure) within all hurricanes. A few other users of QuikSCAT data include: The Department of Defense's Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Pearl Harbor, which has a much larger area to forecast for. They have no Hurricane Hunter data and much less surface and upper air data to work with, and thus use QuikSCAT winds quite a bit. This is a similar situation for NOAA's Central Pacific Hurricane Center located in Hawaii. QuikSCAT has also had significant positive impacts at the Ocean Prediction Center, which issues the high seas marine forecasts and warnings for the North Atlantic and North Pacific. This has led to the introduction of a warning category for hurricane force winds for the most dangerous extratropical cyclones. I know of at least a few private marine weather companies that routinely use QuikSCAT. The Australians, French and many others use QuikSCAT routinely for tropical storm forecast/analysis, and for marine weather in general.

The track degradation impact numbers that Bill Proenza has been stating publicly come from a limited data study for the 2003 season in the Atlantic with the GFS model only. I believe Bob Atlas did some earlier work studying the impact of QuikSCAT on Hurricane Cindy using an earlier version of the NCEP global model. Both of these studies did show promising positive impacts. They are of course limited studies, and a more in-depth study is warranted.

The GFS model hurricane track forecasts are just one piece of guidance that the NHC human forecasters use to generate the official track forecast, so the impact in a particular model guidance package does not directly translate to the same impact in the actual NHC officially issued track forecast. Additionally, QuikSCAT data are also used directly by forecasters at NHC and elsewhere, but this impact tends to be more difficult to quantify.

The aircraft are a very important hurricane operational and research tool, and no one involved in the QuikSCAT follow-on effort has ever said QuikSCAT (or its successor) should or could replace the role of the hurricane aircraft flights, just as no one has said that aircraft could replace the role of satellites. They are very complementary platforms, but they fulfill different roles.


It would be a shame if in the hubbub over Bill Proenza's push to get a replacement for the QuikSCAT satellite we lose sight of what all the scientists agree on--QuikSCAT is a vital tool in weather prediction that needs to be replaced with a better satellite. Both Dr. Atlas and Dr. Chang are working on research specifically designed to study just how much impact QuikSCAT has on landfalling hurricanes in the Atlantic, which no studies have yet quantified.

Read Margie' Kieper's View From the Surface Blog for more on the QuikSCAT/Bill Proenza matter.

Jeff Masters

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1986. Patrap
7:11 AM CDT on July 09, 2007
Foo-fighter
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1985. groundman
12:01 PM GMT on July 09, 2007
Haven't caught up on what is going on this morn but wanted to say great story Baha, thanks.
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1984. IKE
6:58 AM CDT on July 09, 2007
I still see a spin at 10.5N,55.5W.
Member Since: June 9, 2005 Posts: 23 Comments: 37858
1983. Thundercloud01221991
11:21 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
Posted By: Dodabear at 11:17 AM GMT on July 09, 2007.

Thundercloud01221991, thanks for loading all those wonderful graphics, now it only takes those of us on dial-up half a hour to load the damn page!

sorry
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
1982. Dodabear
7:01 AM EDT on July 09, 2007
Thundercloud01221991, thanks for loading all those wonderful graphics, now it only takes those of us on dial-up half a hour to load the damn page!
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1981. Rainman32
7:07 AM EDT on July 09, 2007
Good Morning! so who sees Inverted-V Signature, ermm.. Curvature today?

Hint: if you can't find it today, go to The TWD for directions. However it was issued quite early for some reason so coords may be off, plus no lat/lon on this image.. Yes, it's a Monday Morning extra-credit eye-puzzle!

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1979. Altestic87
6:20 AM EDT on July 09, 2007
could this be as bad as saomai last year?
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1978. Altestic87
6:17 AM EDT on July 09, 2007
manyi up to 65 mph
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1977. Thundercloud01221991
10:17 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
eye is forming
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
1976. Thundercloud01221991
9:19 AM GMT on July 09, 2007












Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
1975. Thundercloud01221991
9:07 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
GOOD MORNING TIME TO GET UP
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
1974. moonlightcowboy
5:29 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
Tip = 1350 miles, largest Pacific storm
US storm = ? miles, largest US storm
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1973. moonlightcowboy
5:10 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
Sorry, RL -- just thought since we've been talking about this new Pac storm being compared to TIP as in size, which was the largest-sized storm to hit the US. I guess it could've been Katrina...just haven't read it I don't think, certainly can't recall it being called the largest. Stands to reason if it is though.
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1972. RL3AO
12:09 AM CDT on July 09, 2007
Last update before landfall for Katrina.

34 KT.......200NE 200SE 150SW 180NW.
1971. RL3AO
12:09 AM CDT on July 09, 2007
Oh, I thought it was trivia.
1970. moonlightcowboy
5:06 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
dunno, Carla was a guess of mine. Trying to find out.

Katrina cut a swarth of 90,000 miles, but I can't find records of windfield for some reason. Brain must be tired...lol.
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1969. RL3AO
12:05 AM CDT on July 09, 2007
Is it Hurricane Carla MLC?
1968. RL3AO
12:00 AM CDT on July 09, 2007
Can you tell us which decade MMC?
1967. moonlightcowboy
4:58 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
Okay, so we know Tip was the mother of all storms; but what is the "largest" not strongest storm to EVER hit the CONUS?

I've even googled it and can't find a solid answer. tia
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1966. RL3AO
11:46 PM CDT on July 08, 2007
Check this out.

Typhoon Tip had gale force winds (17 m/s [34 kt, 39 mph]) which extended out for 1100 km [675 mi]in radius in the Northwest Pacific on 12 October, 1979 -- Source

So that is where the 1350 mi figure comes from. 675 x 2.

1965. stormybil
4:42 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
new waves in the atlantic at this hour Link and more coming off africa
1963. RL3AO
11:40 PM CDT on July 08, 2007
It must be measured on how far the tropical storm force winds extend because Tip was 1380 miles wide.
1962. KoritheMan
11:41 PM CDT on July 08, 2007
I don't normally update my tropical blog unless something is brewing in the Atlantic and East Pacific, but I'll make an exception in this case, and blog about Man-yi tommorow. The East Pacific also has the potential for a tropical cyclone, although if organization of that area that could develop doesn't get any better, it probably won't occur.
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1961. KoritheMan
11:40 PM CDT on July 08, 2007
All I can say is...wow. Japan better be praying for their safety with this one!

Tip was the largest and *officially* the strongest.

Thought so. Thanks.
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1960. Thundercloud01221991
4:37 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
Posted By: MichaelSTL at 4:29 AM GMT on July 09, 2007.
You can also determine the size of a storm using an image that shows latitude/longitude like this one; 1 degree of longitude is about 70 miles at the equator (same for 1 degree of latitude, except anywhere) so this image is about 1,800 miles across:



From Taz's blog
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
1959. RL3AO
11:36 PM CDT on July 08, 2007
Tip was the largest and *officially* the strongest.
1958. KoritheMan
11:32 PM CDT on July 08, 2007
Also, Man-yi may actually make it into the top five list for the largest tropical cyclones on record worldwide. Tip was 1,300 miles wide, I believe (correct me if I'm wrong, please :), and it became the largest typhoon on record, and also the most intense (I THINK, but not sure on this) with a pressure of 870 mb, 12 mb lower than Wilma's incredible pressure of 882 mb.

Man-yi looks to be developing a very large circulation, and I would estimate that it may actually be around 700 miles long right now.
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1957. RL3AO
11:30 PM CDT on July 08, 2007
09/0233 UTC...10.4N...141.7E...T3.5/3.5...MAN-TI
1956. KoritheMan
11:28 PM CDT on July 08, 2007
STL, I KNEW it wasn't just me about the waters cooling down. They are really beginning to propogate westward now.

As for Japan, I fear for their safety with this monstrous tropical cyclone. I think if nothing goes against it, rapid intensification will ensue within the next 24 hours, and Man-yi will be a Category 4 with 140-150 mph winds. I give it about a 30% chance of making to super typhoon status, assuming nothing gets in the way to prohibit development. 155-160 mph is in the realm of possibility, although like I said, I think a super typhoon has only a 30% chance of occuring. Remember, before anyone gets mad, this is what I THINK; it doesn't mean it's right.

I also think the pressure could fall to about 930-910 mb.
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1955. moonlightcowboy
4:24 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
The storm raged over the island for hours, and then slowly headed out to sea; then it doubled back, and two days later howled in from the ocean to hit the island again.

...unbelievable, Baha. Good read, thanks!
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1954. fsumet
4:21 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
Posted By: BahaHurican at 4:08 AM GMT on July 09, 2007.

The more important factor is that instead of a warm Gulf stream running along their shores they get a cool Japan Current. So storms basically run out of fuel water-wise.


They have the Kuroshio current. It is a warm current just like the Gulf Stream so what are you talking about?

From Wiki:
The Kuroshio Current (Japanese 黒潮) is the world's second-largest (after the Gulf Stream) ocean current found in the western Pacific Ocean off the east coast of Taiwan and flowing northeastward past Japan, where it merges with the easterly drift of the North Pacific Current. It is analogous to the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean, transporting warm, tropical water northward towards the polar region. It's also sometimes known as the Black Stream — the English translation of kuroshio , and an allusion to the deep blue of its water; or also as Japan Current.

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1953. BahaHurican
12:12 AM EDT on July 09, 2007
Another interesting story about Typhoon Louise, which devastated Okinawa in 1945:

In October, Bruckner Bay, on the east coasts of the island, was still jammed with vessels of all kinds, from Victory ships to landing craft. On the island itself, 150,000 soldiers lived under miles of canvas, in what were referred to as "Tent Cities." All over the island, hundreds of tons of food, equipment and supplies stacked in immense piles lay out in the open.

During the early part of October, to the southwest of Okinawa just northeast of the Marianas, the seas were growing restless and the winds began to blow. The ocean skies slowly turned black and the large swells that were developing began to turn the Pacific Ocean white with froth. In a matter of only a few days, a gigantic typhoon had somehow out of season, sprung to life and began sweeping past Saipan and into the Philippine Sea. As the storm grew more violent, it raced northward and kicked up waves 60 feet high.

Navy Meteorologists eventually became aware of the storm, but they expected it to pass well between Formosa and Okinawa, and to disappear into then East China Sea.

Unexplainably, on the evening of October 8th, the storm changed direction and abruptly veered to the east. When it did do, there was insufficient warning to allow ships in the harbor to get under way in order to escape the typhoon's terrible violence. By late morning on the 9th, rain was coming down in torrents, the seas were rising and visibility was zero. Winds, now over 80 miles per hour blowing from the east and northeast, caused small crafts in Bruckner Bay to drag their anchors.

By early afternoon, the wind had risen to over 100 miles per hour, the rain coming in horizontally now was more salt than fresh, and even the larger vessels began dragging anchor under the pounding of 50 foot seas.

As the winds continued to increase and the storm unleased its fury, the entire Bay became a scene of devastation. Ships dragging their anchors collided with one another; hundreds of vessels were blown ashore. Vessels in groups of two's and three's were washed ashore into masses of wreckage that began to accumulate on the beaches.

Numerous ships had to be abandoned, while their crews were precariously transferred between ships.

By midafternoon, the typhoon had reached its raging peak with winds, now coming from the north and northeast, blowing up to 150 miles per hour. Ships initially grounded by the storm were now blown off the reefs and back across the bay to the south shore, dragging their anchors the entire way. More collisions occurred between the wind-blown ships and shattered hulks.

Gigantic waves swamped small vessels and engulfed larger ones. Liberty ships lost their propellers, while men in transports, destroyers and Victory ships were swept off the decks by 60 foot waves that reached the tops of the masts of their vessels.

On shore, the typhoon was devastating the island. Twenty hours of torrential rain washed out roads and ruined the islands stores of rations and supplies. Aircraft were picked up and catapulted off the airfields; huge Quonset huts went sailing into the air, metal hangers were ripped to shreds, and the "Tent Cities," housing 150,000 troops on the island, ceased to exist.

Almost the entire food supply on the island was blown away. Americans on the island had nowhere to go, but into caves, trenches and ditches of the island in order to survive. All over the island were tents, boards and sections of galvanized iron being hurled through the air at over 100 miles per hour.

The storm raged over the island for hours, and then slowly headed out to sea; then it doubled back, and two days later howled in from the ocean to hit the island again. On the following day, when the typhoon had finally passed, dazed men crawled out of holes and caves to count the losses.

Countless aircraft had been destroyed, all power was gone, communications and supplies were nonexistent. B-29's were requisitioned to rush in tons of supplies from the Marianas. General Joseph Stillwell, the 10th Army Commander, asked for immediate plans to evacuate all hospital cases from the island. The harbor facilities were useless.

After the typhoon roared out into the Sea of Japan and started to die its slow death, the bodies began to wash ashore. The toll on ships was staggering. Almost 270 ships were sunk, grounded or damaged beyond repair. Fifty-three ships in too bad a state to be restored were decommissioned, stripped and abandoned. Out of 90 ships which needed major repair, the Navy decided only 10 were even worthy of complete salvage, and so the remaining 80 were scrapped.

According to Samuel Eliot Morrison, the famous Naval historian, "Typhoon Louise" was the most furious and lethal storm ever encountered by the United States Navy in its entire History. Hundreds of Americans were killed, injured and missing, ships were sunk and the island of Okinawa was in havoc.


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1951. BahaHurican
12:08 AM EDT on July 09, 2007
Here's an interesting anecdote I found at
http://www.navy.mil/search/displaybbs.asp?bbs_id=986.

Typhoon season is here and I remember clearly the events that are described on the Camp Fuji Fire Memorial.
The following is paraphrased from Marine Corps Base Camp Fuji Web site:
On 1979, Typhoon Tip, the strongest typhoon to hit mainland Japan in 13 years, brought 115 mph (185 kph) winds and a torrential downpour with it. More than 1,250 Marines of Battalion Landing Team 2/4 from Camp Schwab, Okinawa, assigned here for training, were housed in Quonset huts in upper Camp Fuji. The fuel farm, which consisted of two rubber storage bladders secured by a retaining wall, was located up the hill above the Quonset huts. The rains from Typhoon Tip eroded the wall and allowed a bladder to break free. Hoses were torn away from the bladder, releasing 5,000 gallons of gasoline. Skimming the surface of the water, the gasoline ran across upper Camp Fuji into the Quonset huts. Then, around 1:40 p.m., one of the Quonset hut heaters ignited the fuel. Fifty-One Marines and 3 Japanese nationals were injured while 15 Quonset huts were destroyed and several other buildings were damaged. Of the 54 people injured, 13 Marines died.
Most of these injuries were caused by the Marines themselves in that they had nailed their doors shut because the typhoon’s high winds were ripping the doors off.
Don’t end up like those Marines.
Be prepared for this typhoon season . . .
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1950. BahaHurican
11:58 PM EDT on July 08, 2007
Regarding typhoon strikes in Japan, keep in mind that Japan is mostly located between 30 and 40 N, which is the equivalent of the US east coast from about Jacksonville to central New Jersey. So location alone is not enough to rule out storms. The more important factor is that instead of a warm Gulf stream running along their shores they get a cool Japan Current. So storms basically run out of fuel water-wise.

Mind you, they still get some bad storms from time to time. However, these tend to be more cat 3 strength than cat 5 when they get to Japan. Also consider that the wide coastal shelf and flood plain which are an intrinsic feature of the GOM and East Coast US do not exist in Japan. It is relatively easier in a general sense to get above the storm surge, even though their large cities suffer from the same dilemmas in terms of evacuation that large cities in the US do. Also, as someone has said, the Japanese have a longer history and more experience with both tsunami and storm surge, so they have a greater sense of how to get away, almost to the point of tradition, I'd suppose.

So it's a different story in many ways for modern Japanese.
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1949. moonlightcowboy
3:55 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
Not sure, prolly wrong, but I'm going to guess, Carla maybe, 1961?
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1948. sfranz
3:43 AM GMT on July 09, 2007

Another picture:

http://www.goes.noaa.gov/FULLDISK/MTVS.JPG
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1947. moonlightcowboy
3:36 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
Good nite, Michael!
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1944. MrNiceville
3:31 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
Yeah - the SSTs around Japan are in the 76 - 80 F range

Link
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1943. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
3:25 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
yup storm loses its warm waters..
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1942. jake436
9:22 PM CST on July 08, 2007
That's because we have freedom here...freedom to stay or leave. I happen to like it.
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1941. RL3AO
10:22 PM CDT on July 08, 2007
Normally storms weaken before they get to Japan.
1940. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
3:21 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
Japan Meteorological Agency

TROPICAL STORM MAN-YI
9.1ºN 143.0ºE - 40 knots 994 hPa

Tropical Cyclone Advisory #13
==============================
Tropical Storm T0704 (Man-yi) has 10 min sustained winds of 40 knots with wind gusts up to 60 knots, the tropical storm is moving west-northwest at 15 knots.

sustained winds near the center in 24 hours is 55 knots.

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latest advisory from JMA (3 hrs old) next advisory is at 3:50am UTC.
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1938. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
3:19 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
Japan Meteorological Agency, Michael
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1937. MrNiceville
3:16 AM GMT on July 09, 2007
I give, MLC...

The most intense was the '35 Keys hurricane followed by Camille and Andrew...

Don't know about volume-wise, tho...
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1936. RL3AO
10:20 PM CDT on July 08, 2007

Viewing: 1986 - 1936

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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.