Cyclopsychic research breakthrough proves hurricanes/global warming connection

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:16 PM GMT on April 01, 2008

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A stunning new breakthrough in hurricane research has conclusively settled the matter: global warming is making Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms more frequent. The new research, accepted for publication later this millennium in The Journal of Irreproducible Results, offers incontrovertible proof that global warming has increased Atlantic named storms by 57-67% over the past century. Using the pioneering new techniques of cyclopsychic storm detection and psychomortorodentiatempestology, the researchers, Professors Peter Webcaster and Judith Flurryfury of the Georgia Institute of Technophobia, and Dr. Greg Hallmonitor of the Colorado Association for Research and Modeling of the Atmosphere (CARMA), showed unequivocally that the lack of satellite measurements and aircraft reconnaissance in the early part of the hurricane record led to only a modest undercount of Atlantic tropical storms. Thus, more than half of the observed increase in named storms in the past century can be attributed to global warming.

"It's well-known that the number of Atlantic named storms has risen from 7-9 per year 100 years ago to 14-15 per year during the present active hurricane period that began in 1995," commented Professor Webcaster in an interview today. "Some MEEAT-loving hurricane researchers (Measure Everything, Everywhere, All the Time) have claimed that this rise was not real, since satellites and reconnaissance aircraft were not around to detect storms early in the hurricane record. We've made efforts in the past to quantify the number of 'missed' historical Atlantic storms using estimates of historical shipping traffic density, and computer regression models that compare recent well-observed storm activity to past storm activity. However, these studies have been pooh-poohed by the MEEAT men, who refuse to believe any science that comes out of a model. So, I began thinking about how we could actually go about observing historical Atlantic storms that were 'missed'. I began thinking the problem in a new light after watching my favorite episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Timescape", where subspace entity mistakenly lays her eggs in the warp core singularity of a Romulan warship, creating a temporal anomaly that forces time to flow backwards. This inspired me to think outside the box, and it occurred to me that paranormal methods might offer a way to see back in time and make actual observations of past storms--and offer a technophobic solution to the problem, as encouraged by the charter of my university, the Georgia Institute of Technophobia."



Figure 1. Cyclopsychic observations of "missing" Atlantic tropical storms during the 20th century. All observations were performed by trained cyclopsychic Madame Cyclotropia. Note the significant drop in "missed" storms beginning in the 1940s, corresponding to the advent of aircraft reconnaissance, and in the 1970s, when satellite coverage of the Atlantic Ocean began.

Webcaster teamed with Hallmonitor and Flurryfury to experiment with a variety of paranormal techniques to make actual observations of past "missing" storms, using Ouija Boards, crystal ball gazing, the Magic Eight Ball, and channeling of restless dead spirits. Initial experiments proved discouraging, though, when the researchers attempted to perform the study themselves. "We were feeling depressed about how the research was going, having just stayed up late one Friday night in Greg's lab in Boulder trying to get the dang Magic Eight Ball to say something other than just REPLY HAZY, TRY AGAIN LATER," related Dr. Webcaster. "So, we decided to give up for the night and down a few shots of grape jello spiked with grain alcohol and delve into Greg's extensive collection of Zippy the Pinhead comic books. After a few jello shots and Zippy comics, we got feeling pretty loose, and, Yow! Decided to trek down to Pearl Street to check out the weekend psychic fair. Well, we got to staggering around the tents of the psychic fair, belting out the sorrowful lyrics of our own version of "Somewhere over the rainbow" we made up:

Somewhere, over the ocean
Back in time
Cyclones formed and decayed
Unseen by humankind

Somehow, we'll find out how many
Before we die
But it doesn't look good
'Cause the Magic Eight Ball lies!

Suddenly, we saw a mysterious shadowy figure beckoning to us from the entrance of a nearby tent, which was emblazoned with the words, Madame Cyclotropia: Psychic Readings for Troubled Atmospheric Scientists. 'I can help you find your missing storms', the seer in the shadows croaked, 'for I know much that is hidden. Come into my lair, and I will reveal the key to unlocking the mysteries of storms long past'. Greg and I looked at each other, shrugged, walked in her tent, and the rest is history."

Once in Madame Cyclotropia's tent, the researchers quickly realized that their limited scientific training could not hope to allow them to conduct rigorous paranormal research. Only a true cyclopsychic with "The Gift" could see back into the dim mists of time to divine the existence of heretofore unknown tropical cyclones. Using her cyclopsychic gift, Madame Cyclotropia correctly divined the past tracks of numerous known storms the scientists challenged her with. However, when asked to divine the existence of "missing" Atlantic storms that had not made it into the official database, she prophesied that she would only be able to do so if the scientists would write her into their latest grant proposal. This grant proposal would surely get funded, she predicted. The scientists eagerly agreed, and headed back to the lab to work on the new proposal.

Webcaster, Hallmonitor, and Flurryfury's proposal, titled, "Using a Trained Cyclopsychic to Divine Past Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Activity", was submitted to the Foundation for Atmospheric Research for Science and Education (FARSE) in early 2007 and accepted later that year. After receiving their grant money, the scientists began spending long nights in Madame Cyclotropia's tent, documenting her revelations from the four primary cyclopsychic techniques: Ouija Board, crystal ball gazing, the Magic Eight Ball, and channeling of restless dead spirits. According to Dr. Hallmonitor, "We were thrilled when the first three techniques we tried all yielded virtually identical results, showing the robustness of our experimental methodology. The three techniques all showed a noticeable drop in the number of "missed" storms in the 1940s, when aircraft reconnaissance became available, and in the 1970s, when satellites coverage began over the Atlantic Ocean. However, when we tried to channel restless dead spirits, we ran into a roadblock. We couldn't find any restless dead spirits with an interest or knowledge of historical Atlantic hurricanes. We happily attributed this to the propensity of dead meteorologists to wind up inside Heaven's Pearly Gates, but were sad that our research would lack this crucial final proof of its validity. We were about to give up when Peter then hit upon the idea of contacting the spirits of groundhogs, who are known for their weather prognosticating ability. Some of these prognosticating rodents might have unfinished business that would keep their restless souls adrift in the ether, available for consultation on weather-related matters. We coined word psychomortorodentiatempestology to describe this exciting new branch of hurricane science, and set off in search of gifted groundhogs spirits with this special skill."



Figure 2. Wee Willy One and Chucky before their departure into the hereafter. Which rodent's spirit would you trust to get accurate weather information from?

Indeed, Madame Cyclotropia was able to contact the spirit of "Wee Willy One", a famed albino groundhog that had once burrowed under the fair gardens of Wiarton, Ontario, and provided weather forecasts each Groundhog's Day up until his death in 2006. Wee Willy One proved to be testy and uncooperative, though, deliberately delivering incorrect storm information. The researchers sought out help from cyclotherapy experts from the Center for Disease Control's Weather Related Illness Division to determine if cyclotherapy might help Wee Willy One overcome his bad attitude. Cyclotherapist Dr. Sandy Chirpchuckle diagnosed Wee Willy One as a cyclopath suffering from rare form of cyclopsychosis. Ordinarily, cyclopsychosis manifests itself only in hurricane scientists and weather enthusiasts during the long, dull months prior to hurricane season. The despondent victims of cyclopsychosis spend long hours in front of flickering computer monitors in dark, gloomy rooms, obsessively poring over maps and statistics of hurricanes long gone by. The victims tend to become highly antisocial but never violent, and can be successfully treated with cycloactive drugs. However, Dr. Chirpchuckle diagnosed Wee Willy One with an extremely rare case of "shadow" cyclopsychosis, brought on by the cyclological trauma being rudely hauled out of his burrow each February 2 so that a bunch of cockamaimie humans could see whether he saw his shadow or not. "Shadow" cyclopsychosis is incurable, both in this world and the hereafter, so Madame Cyclotropia was forced to seek out other groundhog spirits. After months of effort, she finally found the spirit of "Chucky", a friendly groundhog that had once burrowed under the gardens of Nashville, Tennessee. Chucky eagerly provided accurate information on the "missing" Atlantic tropical storms that was precisely in agreement with the data collected from the other cyclopsychic techniques. "We were ecstatic," exclaimed Dr. Hallmonitor. "More jello shots!"

Hurricane experts world-wide are hailing the new findings. "These exciting results conclusively prove that even us blind squirrels can find some nuts," enthused renown hurricane expert, Dr. Kerry Readthemanual of the Massachusetts Institute of Technophobia. Dr. Readthemanual has been a leading proponent of the global warming/Atlantic hurricane link. Even former critics are praising the new findings. Dr. William Graymatter, Professor Über-Emeritus of Colorado State University's Center for Hurricane Observation, Measurement, and Prediction (CHOMP), said in an interview: "I've been in the hurricane business for 113 years, and I know good research when I see it. The findings of Webcaster, Hallmonitor, and Flurryfury are based on solid observational evidence and white magic. There's no black magic involved, such as the use of a computer model, so their results are impregnable."

Dr. Chris Blandsee, Chief Scientist of the Natural Hurricane Center's division of Global Warming Isn't Responsible for the Recent Upswing in Atlantic Hurricane Activity, and Even If It Was, We Wouldn't be Able to Tell, Since the Quality of the Atlantic Hurricane Database is Too Poor to Use for Such Purposes (NHC/GWIRRUAHAEIIWWWATSQAHDTPUSP), has also been critical of past research showing a link between hurricanes and global warming, maintaining that global warming isn't responsible for the recent upswing in Atlantic hurricane activity, and even if it was, we wouldn't be able to tell, since the quality of the Atlantic hurricane database is too poor to use for such purposes. It was his Congressional testimony, along with that of former NHC director Max Minefield, which inspired President Bushwhacker's administration to rename the National Hurricane Center the "Natural Hurricane Center" last year. (This action was also urged by the Government Anagram Accountability Office (GAAO), which found that the letters in "National Hurricane Center" could be rearranged to spell the ominous phrase, "Errant Herculean Inaction"--and also the disturbing, "Teenier Charlatan Unicorn", and the clearly unacceptable, "Inhale Cocaine, Errant Runt!", while the letters in "Natural Hurricane Center" could be rearranged to form phrases much more in harmony with the NHC mission, such as "Natural, Neater, Crunchier.")

Dr. Blandsee grudgingly gave ground in his comments today. "It looks like Webcaster, Hallmonitor, and Flurryfury (and don't try to say her name three times fast) have done some pretty rigorous scientific work," he conceded. "But they've written what is probably the longest and most excruciatingly dull hurricane science paper of all time. All those old storms and their analyzed tracks that they talk about, on and on and on, year by year by year. Ugh! A lot of good trees died to publish that paper. It was even duller than some of my clunkers!"

What's next for the pioneering researchers? "Well, CARMA and the Georgia Institute of Technophobia are collaborating on a grant proposal with Dr. Graymatter and Phil Flossblack of CHOMP to apply cyclopsychic methods in a new way--improvement of seasonal hurricane forecasts," said Dr. Flurryfury. "We've submitted a proposal to FARSE titled, 'Gray Magic: Using Cyclopsychic Methods to Improve Seasonal Hurricane Forecasts'. Lord knows, the forecast busts of the past two hurricane seasons have shown that Flossblack and Dr. Graymatter could use some supernatural help with their predictions."

April Fools!
Meff Jasters

References
Hallmonitor, G.J., and P.J. Webcaster, 2007, "Heightened tropical cyclone activity in the North Atlantic: natural variability or climate trend?" Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A 365, Number 1860, 15 November 2007, Pages: 26952716 DOI: 10.1098/rsta.2007.2083

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1107. Stormchaser2007
7:15 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
Hey JFV how are you tonight??
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1105. Stormchaser2007
7:07 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
Dang the blogging is slow tonight.
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1104. atmoaggie
10:19 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Ummm this is kind of off-topic but I'm interested in persuing a meteorology degree and i guess specifically one that specializes in tropical meteorology. Does anyone know of any good programs?

For an undergrad program, you will be hard pressed to specialize in much of anything, but it can be done. I chose to take extra electives such as atmospheric chem, numerical modeling, air pollution meteorology, and tropical meteorology. None of them were required for a NWS or TV job, so they were not required for the undergrad degree at A&M. I think some of them are required now, though. I did talk to students at an internship I went on and found out that some of these specialised courses were simply not available to undergrads at many schools, only for grad students.

Texas A&M has a good all around program, but not much of a TC guru on staff last I heard.

Of course, you could go to Colorado State and take some extra electives under one of Bill Gray's underlings.

Believe it or not, U South Alabama in Mobile has an up and coming program with more than a couple of TC researchers. I know for a fact that they have a new supercomputer going in there of 144 processors to run H-WRF very soon. (As in hardware delivery should be any week now...I am involved in the installation of the Infiniband cluster software and the installation of compilers, libraries, and ultimately, the models themselves, along with testing all of the above.) They also have researchers presenting findings at conferences alongside such notables at Chris Landsea, Mark Powell, Bill Gray, Greg Holland, and Kerry Emmanuel. I have been a bit of a participant in that and been involved and coauthored for the conference presentations.

You cannot go wrong with a degree from UWisconsin in this field. UWashington is up there too, but both of them are difficult to get into.

FSU was already mentioned and does have a little more of a TC component than Texas A&M.

Mississippi State has a growing TC component. I know a couple of TC researchers heavily involved in Journal Publications, conference presentations, and the like at MSU. I have been involved with their work and presentations as well.

U Alabama - Huntsville also has an excellent program (almost went there rather than A&M). I expect they have some TC courses, but cannot be sure.

Best of luck. The 2 things I can impart on a potential student is to not shirk away from taking any course, required or not, if it will give you something over other applicants AND do apply for and go on an internship sponsored by NOAA, NASA, Department of Energy after your junior year, especially one that will give you some good experience (resume material) and contacts in multiple agencies. Field campaigns are particularly good for this.
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1103. atmoaggie
9:49 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
UM has met program too i think.

Not for undergrads, only graduate level and is on Virginia Key, not in Coral Gables. (I got offered a job there once upon a time)
Member Since: August 16, 2007 Posts: 6 Comments: 12463
1102. weathermanwannabe
5:32 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
Well, I'm off to track down the family and get some grub.....Have a Nice Evening All and I do hope that the rest of Florida gets some much needed rain...........
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1101. FLWeatherFreak91
5:23 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
Wow, I was hoping all of that was mod. rain... guess not. Well, maybe I'll be lucky enough to get some heavier stuff. The nws is predicting .5-.75" tonight and another .25-.5 tomorrow followed by .5-.75 tomorrow night so they must be seeing something I'm not.
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3634
1100. weathermanwannabe
5:16 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
Also; don't be fooled by some of the returns on the radar; my local radar has us in the "yellow" right now, but, I'm sitting high and dry right now with a very light drizzle...
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1099. weathermanwannabe
5:13 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
In the Tallahassee area, a severe storm warning never materilized when it came through; there was one tornado warning south of Tallahassee (Crawfordville) but I am not aware of any reported damage....It basically "steady drizzle" rained for about 2-3 hours....
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1098. FLWeatherFreak91
5:11 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
I'm looking at the line with long range radar from Tampa, and the leading edge doesn't look very strong to me just yet (maybe just due to the range) but the area of rain behind the front is immense. Did you have any warnings as the front came through weather?
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3634
1097. weathermanwannabe
5:09 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
Nice night to stay home and order in some food in Florida.........
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1096. FLWeatherFreak91
5:07 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
Thanks weather
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1095. weathermanwannabe
5:01 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
Sitting here in Tallahassee, the front/squall line came through over the last few hours and it was pretty moderate (with a few stronger cells South of me) but plenty of steady rain.....I'd say that the line headed towards the Peninsulla is just going to bring a little wind and some prolonged rain...Local flooding will probably be the biggest issue when it hits the West coast of FL...
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1094. Chicklit
8:58 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
There's a line of thunderstorms, maybe hail heading for East Central Florida and thought of you guys...Glad to see you're holding down the fort until hurricane season begins!
The Doc's April Fool's Blog is pretty cute...
chicklit
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1093. FLWeatherFreak91
4:54 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
The squall line in the gulf doesn't seem to me letting up at all as it slowly moves toward the fl pen... Can someone tell me how strong it will be when it arrives here in Tampa?
Member Since: December 1, 2006 Posts: 2 Comments: 3634
1092. Ivansrvivr
8:40 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
If one like that is able to build, I'm thinking if something doesnt move that one. There are alot of indicators setting up early this season. That may be another. Carrib SSTs will likely hold the season up a bit early but the E.ATL is a can of worms for somebody later this season.
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1091. Ivansrvivr
8:35 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
P. thank you for encouraging good debate. It makes it worth fighting the Flu to sit up knowing someone is getting something out of it.
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1090. Drakoen
8:36 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
1088. Ivansrvivr 8:35 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Drak is it me or does the right half of that satellite pic look like aug of 04(From Florida East.)


LOL yea. I get what you are saying. We'll see if a ridge like that is able to build in for the season. If so then the Gulf and Southeast would be in trouble.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30813
1088. Ivansrvivr
8:31 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Drak is it me or does the right half of that satellite pic look like aug of 04(From Florida East.)
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1087. Drakoen
8:24 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
A surface cold front along with a shortwave trough continues to push into the southeast. Numerous thunderstorms are developing with the pre-frontal trough. A progressive low level jet will act to draw up moisture from the Gulf with increasing instability and warm air advection into the developing thunderstorms. 500mb analysis shows a shortwave trough positive vorticity advection is leading to much upper level divergence and fuel for active activity across the Southeast. The front is currently pushing through a low to mid level ridge that is out in the Atlantic east of Bermuda. High pressure dominates most of the Central U.S. however another cold front is entering the northern plains.
vis
Figure 1. Cold front.

shortwave
Figure 2. 500mb analysis: shortwave which is the kink in the isohypse.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30813
1086. pottery
4:02 PM AST on April 05, 2008
Just settin' here, enjoying a cold one, and reading the discussion from the past couple hours.

Thanks all, for a very informative and educational debate.

Respect.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 24871
1085. Ivansrvivr
8:03 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
JFV, I dont talk to dade fish much. Just kidding, I don't know what u mean but it doesnt sound good.
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1084. SouthDadeFish
8:03 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Ok thanks a bunch =]
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1083. Ivansrvivr
8:00 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Take into account storm size(area of hurricane force winds) forward motion and possibly have ratings for different parts of a storm rather than just rating the storm.
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1082. Ivansrvivr
7:57 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Go to StormW's blog and ask him. He will give u met 101 test and lots of need to know stuff. Storm loves helping out young folks who want to learn. The best in state is FSU. UM has met program too i think.
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1081. Weather456
3:51 PM AST on April 05, 2008
Thats a good argument put forward Ivan, What u proposed they do?
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1079. Ivansrvivr
7:55 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Thank Mo. She remembered. Mo is very thoughtful respectful cat as long as she always gets her way. Then she becomes angry wild animal.
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1078. SouthDadeFish
7:54 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Ummm this is kind of off-topic but I'm interested in persuing a meteorology degree and i guess specifically one that specializes in tropical meteorology. Does anyone know of any good programs?
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1076. Ivansrvivr
7:53 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
No problem MLC. Mo said RRDDRROORRWWW(thats have a safe tip in Asian leopard.
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1075. moonlightcowboy
2:50 PM CDT on April 05, 2008
Good discussion in here today, and quite gentlemen-like, too! Refreshing and informative! Thanks, ya'll! I've got some errands to make, bbl! Enjoy your Saturday afternoon and weekend. :)
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610
1074. Ivansrvivr
7:51 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Mo said hello to JFV while I was busy running my big mouth.
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1073. Ivansrvivr
7:42 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
There is not always ridge north of storm. Sometimes is trough. Irene was one like that. Formed on old frontal trough and ULL pushed it NNE. Every tropical system is different. What I can say from experiencing both weak and strong sides of hurricanes is forecasters dont explain how much more violent the strong side is. Winds are much gustier and gusts are stronger rather than steady. Rains are usually heavier too. Forecasters do good job of warning of tornadoes that are far more likely in rfq and also associated highest surge. What is not forecasted well is windfield size and the effects of longer duration systems.
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1070. Drakoen
7:41 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
1068. JFV 7:41 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Hey Drak, how has life been treating you lately?


Pretty good.
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30813
1069. Weather456
3:41 PM AST on April 05, 2008
afternoon JFV
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1066. Weather456
3:39 PM AST on April 05, 2008
From what I have heard, the forward motion is already accounted for; after all, the NHC uses the maximum sustained wind, which is the highest wind anywhere in the storm relative to an observer on the ground. This usually means the right hand side (northern side in a westward moving storm, eastern side in a northward moving storm; the northern side also usually has the highest winds due to higher pressure/the subtropical ridge to the north as well, even in storms moving eastwards).

Good point....interaction with the subridge.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1065. Weather456
3:37 PM AST on April 05, 2008
1060. Ivansrvivr 3:33 PM AST on April 05, 2008
456, i was only pointing out that NHC uses average of wind on either side of eye. Motion is figured in when folks in RFQ are warned that higher gusts are possible. Believe me 456, I give you far more cred than that. I am saying the NHC and NOAA need to change how they rate storms even farther. That's all. 456 you are asking good questions. Making fun blog today


Seen
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1064. Drakoen
7:37 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
1063. Ivansrvivr 7:35 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Mo and Ivan said what's up Drakoen.


Nothing much..
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30813
1063. Ivansrvivr
7:35 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Mo and Ivan said what's up Drakoen.
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1062. Ivansrvivr
7:33 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Mokee(the cat) has had fun answering your questions too.
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1061. Drakoen
7:34 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
Good afternoon everyone!
Member Since: October 28, 2006 Posts: 57 Comments: 30813
1060. Ivansrvivr
7:29 PM GMT on April 05, 2008
456, i was only pointing out that NHC uses average of wind on either side of eye. Motion is figured in when folks in RFQ are warned that higher gusts are possible. Believe me 456, I give you far more cred than that. I am saying the NHC and NOAA need to change how they rate storms even farther. That's all. 456 you are asking good questions. Making fun blog today.
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1059. Weather456
3:09 PM AST on April 05, 2008
1056. Ivansrvivr 2:54 PM AST on April 05, 2008
456 remember that a hurricane's winds go around and into the storm. The highest sustained winds (in the eyewall) aren't going in a straight line. The winds are circulating which means that sustained wind for 1 minute would go around at least half the eyewall and would not just be on one side of the storm.


I know that...i didnt stated otherwise.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
1058. moonlightcowboy
2:05 PM CDT on April 05, 2008
Apparently, HCS is only being used in a "post storm analysis" form in the present. And, according to the report I was just browsing, has no significant plans to replace the SSS. Yet, I can't help but wonder that some new classification could help save lives and assist emergency management with various protocols, etc.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29610

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