Rare January tornadoes rip the Midwest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:39 PM GMT on January 08, 2008

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Wild spring-like severe weather swept through the Midwestern U.S. last night, unleashing tornadoes, baseball-sized hail, flooding, and extreme wind gusts. Up to 37 tornadoes ripped through Missouri, Oklahoma, Illinois, Arkansas, and Wisconsin. Two people were killed and three critically injured in southern Missouri near the town of Marshfield, northeast of Springfield, when a tornado smashed through a mobile home park. In Wheatland, Wisconsin, in Kenosha County, just north of the Illinois border, a strong or possibly violent tornado damaged or destroyed 55 buildings and injured 13 people. Twelve homes were demolished down to their foundations. The Wheatland tornado was only the second January tornado on record in Wisconsin. The only other one was a long-track F3 in Green and Rock counties on 24 January 1967. A radar animation of the Wheatland tornado is at right, and more detailed imagery and analysis of this tornado are available from the CIMSS Satellite Blog.

Record warm temperatures helped fuel yesterday's severe weather outbreak. The 63° F reading in Milwaukee was the warmest temperature ever recorded there in the month of January. Many locations in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Illinois posted record highs within three degrees of their warmest-ever January readings. The record warmth will continue to fuel more severe thunderstorms today from northern Louisiana to Ohio, and the Storm Prediction Center has already issued a Tornado Watch for portions of Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Kentucky. Severe thunderstorms have already been reported in Arkansas this morning.

Last night's severe thunderstorm I observed from my house was the first I've ever experienced in my 40 years living in Michigan. One thunderstorm, 100 miles north of where I live, covered the ground up to two inches deep with hail (Midland, Michigan). Michigan has had three consecutive Januarys with record warmth and spring-like thunderstorms. Northern Illinois recorded its first January tornado since 1950 last night, and Wisconsin its second January tornado on record. Is it global warming? Well, one can't blame a single weather event on climate change. Also, it was eight below zero here just five days ago, so there has been some very normal winter weather this year. Furthermore, the 37 tornadoes reported yesterday don't come close to the 102 twisters recorded during the huge January 17-22, 1999 tornado outbreak across Arkansas and Tennessee. But the string of unusual January warmth in three straight years, accompanied by severe thunderstorms far to the north, is broadly consistent with what one would expect to see in a warming climate. Expect to see a lot more spring-like weather in January in coming years.

Jeff Masters

Kenosha, WI Tornado (luvken88)
This tornado was caught at approx. 4:30 pm 1/7/08. North-east side of Kenosha County, in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Kenosha, WI Tornado
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207. NEwxguy
4:51 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
did we enter the black hole again?
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
206. LakeShadow
4:27 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
Link

and here's another about glowing pigs
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
205. NEwxguy
4:34 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
first I was talking to myself,then I wasn't even talking to myself
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
204. LakeShadow
4:22 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
wow. that was weird.

Here's a funny story...
Link

Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
203. medicroc
4:21 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
whatever it was, i didn't like it.
Member Since: September 14, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 457
202. Bonedog
4:14 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
that was wierd.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
201. MisterPerfect
4:28 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
that was weird...did we just enter and leave a worm hole?
Member Since: November 1, 2006 Posts: 71 Comments: 20139
200. Bonedog
4:26 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
are we back in action?
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
199. NEwxguy
3:10 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
lol,if I was a pessimist,I guess I would be preparing for the end of the world at this point.
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
198. NEwxguy
3:09 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
Looking at reports out of syracuse winds from the west at 40mph with gusts to 60
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197. Bonedog
3:08 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
sorry NE thats happening too :(


also a 3.1 eq this morning in Lake Erie!



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196. LakeShadow
3:07 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
wow...seismic activity! just 1 today and the others were over a day ago? seems odd..
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
195. NEwxguy
3:02 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
Tornadoes,severe storms in January,earthquakes,whats next volcanoes erupting
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
194. Bonedog
3:00 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
Yea lake noticed that storm report this AM. One hell of a wind gust to move a 737!!
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
193. Bonedog
3:00 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
wow bunch of big shakers off British Columbia past few days. Most recently 4 minutes ago 6.2!!


look at this map

Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
192. LakeShadow
2:56 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
here's some interesting storm damage that was reported:
737 aircraft blown into jetway. Apparent Wing damage.
Reported by weather observer.
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
191. LakeShadow
2:50 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
Morning, getting blown away here! We had the squall line pass through at about 4:20 am and with it came hail and 65 mph winds. Rattled the house! Theres a bunch of power lines and trees down and the kids got a day off of school! They've been waiting for a snow day..who knew it would be a severe TS that would cancel the schools!
Member Since: August 10, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 2134
190. Bonedog
2:54 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
sure would. hopefully the severe isnt so severe :/
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188. Bonedog
2:40 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
yea NE it just came through here. Nothing to write home about. Waiting for the wind to come and make my day a mess.

Trying my damnedest to get ahead of the wind and keep the container field in order.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
187. NEwxguy
2:35 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
Yeh,it was nice coming out this morning,but we both know it will come to an end,watching a band of showers approaching me,nothing serious,quick downpour.
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186. Bonedog
2:16 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
morning NE. Gotta love these warm Apri... errr january mornings :)
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
185. Bonedog
2:10 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
nice. the NAM is getting a face lift!!!


FROM: PAUL HIRSCHBERG

SCIENCE PLANS BRANCH CHIEF

OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY /OST/



SUBJECT: AMENDED: NORTH AMERICAN MESOSCALE MODEL CHANGES:

EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 19 2008



REFER TO: TECHNICAL IMPLEMENTATION NOTICE /TIN/ 07-96 TRANSMITTED

ON DECEMBER 6 2007



AMENDED TO CLARIFY AND EMPHASIZE THAT FIELDS NORMALLY CONSIDERED FIXED SUCH AS TERRAIN...BIT-MAP AND ESPECIALLY LAND-SEA MASK WILL BE DIFFERENT IN ALL NAM OUTPUT GRIDS DUE TO EXPANDED NAM COMPUTATIONAL DOMAIN.



EFFECTIVE TUESDAY 19 FEBRUARY 2008...BEGINNING WITH THE 1200 COORDINATED UNIVERSAL TIME /UTC/ RUN...SEVERAL CHANGES WILL BE MADE TO:

- WEATHER RESEARCH FORECAST NON-HYDROSTATIC MESOSCALE MODEL

/WRF-NMM/ RUNNING IN THE NORTH AMERICAN MESOSCALE MODEL /NAM/

- NAM DATA ASSIMILATION SYSTEM /NDAS/

- DOWNSCALED GLOBAL FORECAST SYSTEM /GFS/ WITH ETA EXTENSION

/DGEX/.

- GRIDPOINT STATISTICAL INTERPOLATION /GSI/ ANALYSIS WHICH

PROVIDES INITIAL CONDITIONS TO THE NDAS AND NAM FORECASTS.



THESE CHANGES ARE BEING MADE TO IMPROVE MODEL PERFORMANCE.

THE MODEL CHANGES INCLUDE:



1. THE COMPUTATIONAL DOMAIN OF THE NAM WILL BE INCREASED BY

18 PERCENT. TO SEE A COMPARISON OF THE CURRENT OPERATIONAL AND EXPANDED NAM DOMAINS, GO TO:


BECAUSE THE NAM MODEL DOMAIN IS BEING ENLARGED BY 18 PERCENT ...THE BIT DEFINITION SECTION /BIT-MAP/ OF NAM OUTPUT GRIDS...

WHICH OVERLAP THE NAM INTEGRATION DOMAIN... WILL BE REDUCED OR ELIMINATED. THIS CHANGE IS OCCURRING BECAUSE VALID MODEL DATA WILL BE AVAILABLE OVER A LARGER AREA. WHEN NCEP CENTRAL OPERATIONS BEGINS RUNNING THE PARALLEL NAM....SAMPLE NAM GRIB OUTPUT WITH THE MODIFIED BIT-MAP REPRESENTATION WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE NCEP FTP SERVER. THIS NOTICE WILL BE UPDATED AT THAT TIME TO REFLECT THE LOCATION OF THE DATA.



2. TWO MINOR CHANGES WILL BE MADE TO THE WRF-NMM MODEL RADIATION PARAMETERIZATION.



3. CHANGES WILL BE MADE TO THE WRF-NMM OROGRAPHY AND LAND-SEA MASK INCLUDING A MORE REALISTIC DEPICTION OF THE GREAT SALT LAKE AND THE CHANNEL ISLANDS OFF THE CALIFORNIA COAST...SMOOTHER NAM SURFACE HEIGHT AND REMOVAL OF SPURIOUS ELEVATED WATER POINTS.



4. DURING THE NDAS FORECAST...THE 12-36 HOUR FORECAST PRECIPITATION FROM THE 00Z OPS NAM RUN WILL BE USED TO FILL IN FOR THE CONUS-BASED STAGE II/IV ANALYSIS AS A DRIVER FOR NDAS SOIL MOISTURE OUTSIDE OF THE CONUS /OCONUS/.



5. THE NEW /UNIFIED/ LAND-SURFACE PHYSICS MODULE WILL BE USED.



6. A MODIFIED HORIZONTAL ADVECTION ALGORITHM FOR CLOUD WATER...SPECIFIC HUMIDITY...AND TURBULENT KINETIC ENERGY WILL BE USED.



7. THE WRF-NMM MODEL DYNAMICS WILL BE MODIFIED TO INCLUDE THE EFFECTS OF GRAVITY-WAVE DRAG AND MOUNTAIN BLOCKING.



THE ANALYSIS CHANGES INCLUDE:



1. ASSIMILATION OF NEW OBSERVATION TYPES...INCLUDING AIRS AND GOES 1X1 RADIANCE DATA...ADDITIONAL SATELLITE WIND DATA...AND SURFACE MESONET WIND DATA.



2. REVISED BACKGROUND ERROR COVARIANCES TO IMPROVE THE ANALYSIS FIT TO THE OBSERVATIONS.



ALL WRF-NMM MODEL CHANGES WILL BE SIMULTANEOUSLY IMPLEMENTED INTO THE DGEX.



IN ADDITION TO THE CHANGES TO THE NAM OUTPUT GRIDS BIT-DEFINITION SECTION...OTHER OUTPUT CHANGES INCLUDE:



1. ADDING FIVE NEW FIELDS TO THE NAM 32KM OUTPUT GRID #221 /AWIP32/ AND 12KM OUTPUT GRID #218 /AWIP12/: THE FIRST FOUR FIELDS ARE TOTAL COLUMN-INTEGRATED HEATING RATES:

CONVECTIVE...GRID-SCALE... LONGWAVE...AND SHORTWAVE. THE FIFTH ADDED FIELD WILL BE TOTAL COLUMN-INTEGRATED MOISTURE DIVERGENCE.



2. THE NAM HOURLY PROFILE DATA IN BUFR FORMAT HAS GAINED 17 NEW STATIONS.



THE COMBINED IMPACT OF THESE CHANGES HAS LED TO:



1. IMPROVED NAM FORECAST PERFORMANCE BASED ON QUANTITATIVE SKILL SCORES FOR HEIGHTS AND TEMPERATURE /RMS ERROR AND BIAS/ OVER BOTH THE CONUS AND ALASKA...SPECIFICALLY IN REDUCING LOWER TROPOSPHERIC/850/700 MB/ COLD BIAS AND IMPROVED 10-M WIND FORECASTS.



2. IMPROVED NDAS/NAM SOIL MOISTURE STATES IN REGIONS OUTSIDE OF THE CONUS.



MORE DETAILS ABOUT THESE CHANGES CAN BE SEEN AT:

WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE...A COPY OF THE BRIEFING PACKAGE FOR THE NCEP DIRECTOR CAN BE FOUND AT:


DATA DELIVERY TIMING WILL NOT BE IMPACTED BY THIS IMPLEMENTATION.

THE NAM DELIVERY TIME WILL NOT CHANGE.



DATA VOLUMES ARE EXPECTED TO CHANGE FOR SOME NAM OUTPUT GRIDS DUE TO GRIB BIT-MAP CHANGES CAUSED BY THE 18% INCREASE IN DOMAIN

SIZE...SPECIFICALLY:


1. OUTPUT FILES ON THE NAM NATIVE E-GRID WILL BE 18% BIGGER


2. OUTPUT GRIDS THAT NO LONGER HAVE A BITMAP FROM THE EXPANDED

NAM WILL BE 8-10 PERCENT SMALLER

3. OUTPUT GRIDS WITH SMALLER BITMAPS FROM THE EXPANDED NAM WILL

BE 1-8 PERCENT BIGGER

SIGNIFICANT DATA CONTENT CHANGES ARE EXPECTED AS MENTIONED EARLIER. THESE CONTENT CHANGES WILL IMPACT ALL DISSEMINATION ROUTES WHICH INCLUDE NOAAPORT...THE NWS PUBLIC FTP SERVER AND THE NCEP PUBLIC FTP SERVER. A CONSISTENT PARALLEL FEED OF DATA WILL BECOME AVAILABLE ON THE NCEP FTP SERVER ONCE THE MODEL IS RUNNING IN PARALLEL ON THE NCEP CENTRAL COMPUTING SYSTEM. NCEP WILL SEND ANOTHER NOTICE ALERTING USERS TO THE LOCATION OF THESE DATA SETS ONCE THEY BECOME AVAILABLE.

NCEP ENCOURAGES ALL USERS TO ENSURE THEIR DECODERS ARE FLEXIBLE AND ARE ABLE TO ADEQUATELY HANDLE CHANGES IN CONTENT ORDER...

PARAMETER FIELDS CHANGING ORDER...CHANGES IN THE SCALING FACTOR COMPONENT WITHIN THE PDS OF THE GRIB FILES AND ALSO ANY VOLUME CHANGES WHICH MAY BE FORTHCOMING. THESE ELEMENTS MAY CHANGE WITH FUTURE NCEP MODEL IMPLEMENTATIONS. NCEP WILL MAKE EVERY ATTEMPT TO ALERT USERS TO THESE CHANGES BEFORE IMPLEMENTATION.


Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
184. NEwxguy
1:24 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
Good Morning,nice spring morning,oh,wait a minute its Jan.9th
Member Since: September 6, 2007 Posts: 881 Comments: 15840
183. Bonedog
1:28 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
wow Storm!! Thats a cold pacific. Definatley going to be a large influence this winter as far as patterns go. Also with the models showing La Nina untill autumn 2008 could be a wrench in the upcoming hurricane season
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
180. Bonedog
12:55 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
goign to have blow out conditions along the coast today. Look for departures anywhere from 1 to 2.5 feet below normal.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
179. biff4ugo
12:56 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
Wow, what a day! Spring weather up in Michigan in January, You all are posting WalMart banner pages, And it's the big chili cookoff at work.
Signs and Miracles!
The end is nigh!
(after this chili, I'll wish it was)
LOTS of fog down here and forecasts for the weekend are filling up with RAIN.
Member Since: December 28, 2006 Posts: 115 Comments: 1579
178. Bonedog
12:40 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
WOW!!

0925 UNK CHEEKTOWAGA ERIE NY 737 AIRCRAFT BLOWN INTO JETWAY. APPARENT WING DAMAGE. REPORTED BY WEATHER OBSERVER. (BUF)

1005 75knt gust ROCHESTER MONROE NY ROCHESTER AIRPORT MEASURED 60 MPH SUSTAINED AS WELL. (BUF)
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
176. Bonedog
12:32 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
2 seperate bows now.

N of Utica and W of Watertown.

suns starting to come up now. Still have to watch, especially with warm overnight temps.

:(
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
175. Thundercloud01221991
12:19 PM GMT on January 09, 2008
I live just east of Rochester and we had a very strong storm move through thousands are without power
Member Since: August 1, 2006 Posts: 28 Comments: 3716
174. Bonedog
10:59 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
Looking at a mean Bow Echo right now NE of Geneva, NY. Heading Twords the north end of Syracuse at 48knts

This front still has some punch left to it :/

Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
173. franck
10:00 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
64 degrees in Rochester, NY, 5:00AM, 09/01/08.
Member Since: August 30, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1150
172. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
5:37 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
Bureau of Meteorology - Northern Territory

Tropical Cyclone Outlook (09Jan)
=================================
A developing Tropical Low [1000 hPa] near Kowanyama on the west coast of Cape York Peninsula in north Queensland. It is expected to drift into the southeastern Gulf of Carpentaria over the next day or so.

Tropical Cyclone Development Potential
====================================
Thursday: Low
Friday-Saturday: Moderate
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 45628
171. Cavin Rawlins
4:25 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
later
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
170. Tazmanian
4:06 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
this is some in sould the temps in Antarctica be like -50 at this time of year ??? what are they doing in the lower 30s at this time of year


Link
Member Since: May 21, 2006 Posts: 5091 Comments: 115243
169. Cavin Rawlins
3:48 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
This image was taken earlier of the naked swirl (in conjunction with a surface trof) north of Hispaniola and PR.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
168. Cavin Rawlins
2:56 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
Tropical Depression 07F Update 3

Issued 0200 UTC JAN 08 2008 by W456

Tropical Depression 07F centered near 19.56N-175.5W moving slowly towards thr south. Position and movement based QuikSCAT and visible imagery. Surface winds measured by QuikSCAT is 35 knots. Estimated surface pressure is around 1003-1004 hpa based on synoptic reports.

Visible imagery along with microwave data showed the well-defined LLCC of 07F remains expose due to northerly vertical wind shear induced by an upper low to its northwest. A recent QuikSCAT pass showed an excellent circulation with associated uncontiminated wind barbs of 35 knots. SSTs are 26-28F. Global models take this towards the southeast around the influence of a transitory anticyclone and are persistent on developing the depression further.

by W456

JTWC Stats:
0000 UTC 25kts-1004mb-194S-1756W

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
167. Cavin Rawlins
2:21 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
WV
I see a spin with the one near 60W-55W

the other one near 45W-40W has some other spin but not as pornounce. I also notice its drifting towards the NE.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
166. Cavin Rawlins
2:14 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
StormW,

thank you so much for ur expertise on something that was bugging me for years. I'm going to the WV loop right now.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
164. BajaALemt
1:26 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
Storm!! (Nice seein' ya!) Happy New Year and all that :)
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
162. BajaALemt
1:20 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
Take care, Bone
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533
161. Bonedog
1:16 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
well time for me to head home. see you all in the AM
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
160. Bonedog
1:16 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
yea we do 456.
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
159. Cavin Rawlins
1:16 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
Evening Baja
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
158. Bonedog
1:15 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tornado Warning

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE JACKSON MS
708 PM CST TUE JAN 8 2008

MSC061-090130-
/O.CON.KJAN.TO.W.0004.000000T0000Z-080109T0130Z/
JASPER MS-
708 PM CST TUE JAN 8 2008

...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 730 PM CST FOR
NORTHWESTERN JASPER COUNTY...

AT 708 PM CST...NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE METEOROLOGISTS WERE TRACKING
A TORNADO. THIS TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR LOUIN. ...MOVING EAST AT
35 MPH.

THE TORNADO WILL BE NEAR...
MONTROSE AND TURNERVILLE BY 715 PM CST...

THE SAFEST PLACE TO BE DURING A TORNADO IS IN A BASEMENT. GET UNDER A
WORKBENCH OR OTHER PIECE OF STURDY FURNITURE. IF NO BASEMENT IS
AVAILABLE...SEEK SHELTER ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF THE BUILDING IN AN
INTERIOR HALLWAY OR ROOM SUCH AS A CLOSET. USE BLANKETS OR PILLOWS TO
COVER YOUR BODY AND ALWAYS STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS.

IF IN MOBILE HOMES OR VEHICLES...EVACUATE THEM AND GET INSIDE A
SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER. IF NO SHELTER IS AVAILABLE...LIE FLAT IN THE
NEAREST DITCH OR OTHER LOW SPOT AND COVER YOUR HEAD WITH YOUR HANDS
Member Since: July 14, 2005 Posts: 14 Comments: 7418
157. BajaALemt
1:13 AM GMT on January 09, 2008
Evenin 456 (nice to see you, as well)
Member Since: September 25, 2007 Posts: 53 Comments: 8533

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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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