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Smoke, heat, and air pollution across much of the U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:41 PM GMT on June 08, 2011

Smoke from Arizona's second largest fire on record, the massive Wallow fire near the New Mexico border, has now blown downwind over 1,500 miles to the Northeast U.S. The fire, which is 0% contained, is expected to rage full-force for at least another day due to unfavorable weather. Hot, dry, and windy weather is predicted again today over Eastern Arizona, where NOAA has issued red flag warnings for critical fire conditions. A large trough of low pressure is anchored over the Southwest, and a disturbance rippling along this trough will bring strong southwesterly surface winds of 20 - 25 mph, with gusts near 35 mph today to eastern Arizona. Extremely low humidities of 5 - 15% and hot summer temperatures are also expected, creating a dangerous fire weather situation. Yesterday, Luna, New Mexico, located about 50 miles northeast of the fire, had wind gusts in excess of 20 mph for 9 hours, temperatures near 80°F, and humidities as low as 7%. The fire grew from 300 square miles on Sunday to 365 square miles on Monday and 487 square miles Tuesday--about 40% of the size of Rhode Island. A separate fire burning in Southeast Arizona, the 166-square-mile Horseshoe Two fire, is the state's 5th largest fire on record. Winds are expected to diminish for Thursday and Friday, which should allow firefighters to make headway controlling the blazes. According to the Interagency Fire Center, 3.5 million acres have burned in the U.S. so far this year, the most on record for this early in the year--and more than double the 10-year average from 2001 - 2010 of 1.4 million acres. Extreme to exceptional drought conditions over most of Texas, New Mexico, and Eastern Arizona are largely responsible for the record fire season.


Figure 1. Active wildfires and smoke as visualized at 9am EDT June 8, 2011 using our wundermap for the U.S. with the Fire layer turned on. Smoke from the Wallow fire and Horseshoe Two fire in Arizona extended more than 1,500 miles, and was pushing into the Northeast U.S.


Figure 2. Smoke billows from the rapidly growing Wallow fire in Eastern Arizona in this image taken by NASA's Aqua satellite on June 7, 2011. Heavy smoke from the fire covers large portions of New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Nebraska in this image. Image credit: NASA.

Unusual June heat wave
An intense blast of heat set new daily high temperature marks in 14 states from Texas to Minnesota Tuesday, including a remarkable 103°F in Minneapolis. It was the hottest day in the city in nearly 23 years, since 105°F was recorded on July 31, 1988, and the second earliest date the city had ever hit 100°. Minneapolis' earliest 100° day came on May 31, 1934, when the mercury also hit 103°. Yesterday was the 5th consecutive day that the Austin, Texas Bergstrom Airport tied or set a new daily temperature record. On Monday, June 6, the airport hit 103°F, the earliest in the year that location had ever hit 103°. Record keeping began there in 1942, and the last time Austin was so warm so early in the year was on June 14, 1998, when the mercury hit 109°.


Figure 3. Air pollution forecast for Wednesday, June 8, 2011, calls for a large-spread region of pollution that is Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG), over the eastern third of the nation. Image credit: EPA Airnow.

Significant air pollution episode today
The heat will continue today for much of the eastern half of the country, and heat advisories are posted in fourteen states. The high heat, combined with abundant sunshine and very stagnant air, is expected to bring the most severe large-scale air pollution event of the year to the nation. Adding to the hazard is the presence of fine smoke particles from the fires in Arizona, which have blown downwind to cover most of the eastern 2/3 of the country. Air quality on Wednesday is expected to be Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (Code Orange, or over 100 on the Air Quality Index), in more than 80 cities, including Baton Rouge, La., Indianapolis, Detroit, Nashville, Tenn., Columbus, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Newark, N.J., Richmond, Va., and Atlanta. If you live in these areas, cut back on strenuous outdoor exercise today if you have asthma or other respiratory problems.

Caribbean disturbance 94L no threat to develop
The large, disorganized tropical disturbance (Invest 94L) in the Northwestern to North Central Caribbean Sea near Jamaica is very disorganized this morning, but is still capable of bringing heavy rains as it pushes slowly northwards at less than 5 mph. I heard from wunderground user Anthony Zed in the Kingston, Jamaica suburb of Norbrook, and he reported that his rain gauge received 11.27" of rain from 94L from June 1 - 7, which is more rain than had fallen all year. The big rain day was yesterday, with 3.47". Satellite loops show a few disorganized clumps of thunderstorms in the region, and NHC has downgraded 94L's chances of development by Friday to 0%. Wind shear is very high, 30 - 50 knots, making development very unlikely.

First tropical cyclone of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season forms
Tropical Storm Adrian, the first named storm of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, formed last night off the coast of Mexico. Adrian is in an ideal environment for intensification, with light wind shear and ocean temperatures of 30°C (86°), and will likely become a hurricane on Thursday. Adrian is expected to remain far enough offshore the coast of Mexico to not pose a threat to that country, at least for the next three days. June hurricanes in the Eastern Pacific are much more common than in the Atlantic.

NOAA's pre-season prediction of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, issued on May 16, calls for below average activity, with 12 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes, with an ACE index 75% of the median. The 1981-2010 averages for the Eastern Pacific hurricane season are 15 - 16 named storms, 8 - 9 hurricanes, and 4 major hurricanes.

Amazing solar flare erupts
In recent months, the sun has awakened from its longest and quietest period since the satellite era bgan in the late 1970s. An increasing number of sunspots, solar flares, and Coronal Mass Ejections have occurred, as solar activity builds towards a peak expected in 2013. Yesterday, the sun unleased the most spectacular solar flare ever captured on video, highlighted in the Youtube link below.


Video 1. A spectacular solar flare erupted at 06:41 UTC on June 6, 2011, when magnetic fields above sunspot complex 1226-1227 became unstable. The blast produced a massive Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that was not aimed directly at Earth, but fringes of the blast may cause aurora activity on June 8 and 9. This is probably the most dramatic and beautiful solar flare captured by the cameras on NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO.) Additional movies and information are available at spaceweather.com, and additional information on the latest solar activity is available from NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center.

Jeff Masters

Wallow Fire (azmtnmama)
the dots are ash
Wallow Fire
New Mexico Smoke Emergency (darnold)
A sickening orange glow looks like sunset but it is heavy smoke from forest fires in Arizona. Air quality alert in effect, warnings to stay indoors. Zuni mountains, just a few miles off in this view, cannot even be seen. Grants, NM, 2.5 hours pre-sunset
New Mexico Smoke Emergency
()

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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Evening all.

1. What is that twisty thing outon the other side of Mexico? Lol... can't believe I turned my back for 5 minutes and we get Adrian, at hurricane already!

2. In contrast, I see 94L seems to have gone bust formation-wise. While I don't begrudge my SErn compatriots the rain they are likely to get by the weekend, it would be really great if some of it would come this way. I saw a couple interesting clouds this afternoon, and drove through enough rain to need one windshield wipe on the way home. That's all. Here's hoping 94L does bring more moisture to the entire Bahamas, and not just to Inagua, Mayaguana and Acklins...
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomTaylor:
wait till grothar posts his years lolol


I'm not sure how long Aristotle taught though.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
000
WTPZ41 KNHC 090250
TCDEP1

HURRICANE ADRIAN DISCUSSION NUMBER 7
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL EP012011
800 PM PDT WED JUN 08 2011

ADRIAN HAS DEVELOPED A CENTRAL DENSE OVERCAST PATTERN AND A RAGGED
EYE ON THE LATEST INFRARED SATELLITE IMAGES...WITH SUBSTANTIALLY
DEEPER CONVECTION AROUND THE CENTER THAN EARLIER TODAY. IN
ADDITION...A 37 GHZ WINDSAT MICROWAVE PASS AT 0020 UTC INDICATES A
CLOSED RING AND INCREASED ORGANIZATION TO THE EYEWALL. SATELLITE
CLASSIFICATIONS AT 0000 UTC WERE NEAR HURRICANE STRENGTH...BUT
SINCE THAT TIME THE EYE HAS BECOME MORE DISTINCT. THE INITIAL
INTENSITY IS SET CONSERVATIVELY TO 70 KT.

THE HURRICANE HAS TURNED TOWARD THE LEFT AND HAS BEEN MOVING BETWEEN
WEST-NORTHWEST AND NORTHWEST AT ABOUT 7 KT. THE GLOBAL MODELS ARE
IN REASONABLE AGREEMENT THAT A RIDGE OVER MEXICO WILL STEER ADRIAN
ON THIS GENERAL TRACK FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS. THERE HAS BEEN
ANOTHER LEFTWARD SHIFT IN THE GUIDANCE DURING THE PAST SIX
HOURS...LED BY THE NOGAPS AND GFS MODELS. THE OFFICIAL NHC TRACK IS
SHIFTED IN THAT DIRECTION BUT IS STILL TO THE EAST OF MOST OF THE
GLOBAL MODELS. WHILE THE HWRF/GFDL/GFDN MODELS ARE WELL TO THE
NORTHEAST OF THE OFFICIAL FORECAST...THEY ARE CONSIDERED HIGHLY
UNLIKELY SOLUTIONS AT THIS TIME.

THIS SYSTEM HAS BEEN RAPIDLY INTENSIFYING DURING ITS ENTIRE LIFE
CYCLE...AND THERE IS NOT A LOT OF REASON TO THINK THIS WILL STOP
ANYTIME SOON. THE UPPER-AIR PATTERN IS VERY CONDUCIVE FOR FURTHER
INTENSIFICATION...AND SSTS ALONG THE FORECAST TRACK SHOULD STAY
ABOVE 29C FOR THE NEXT DAY OR SO. THE NHC INTENSITY FORECAST SHOWS
ANOTHER 24H PERIOD OF RAPID INTENSIFICATION...WITH A GRADUAL
WEAKENING BEGINNING OVER THE WEEKEND DUE TO DECREASING SSTS AND
INCREASING DRY AIR ENTRAINMENT. THE NEW FORECAST IS A LITTLE HIGHER
THAN THE STATISTICAL MODELS AND THE FLORIDA STATE SUPERENSEMBLE...
BOTH OF WHICH SHOW ADRIAN AS A MAJOR HURRICANE WITHIN 36 HOURS. THE
HURRICANE WILL LIKELY ENCOUNTER VERY COOL WATERS IN ABOUT 3 DAYS...
WHICH SHOULD ACCELERATE THE WEAKENING PROCESS.

AS A RESULT OF THE LEFTWARD SHIFT IN THE DYNAMICAL MODEL GUIDANCE...
THE OFFICIAL NHC FORECAST TRACK...AND A SUBSEQUENT DECREASE IN THE
ASSOCIATED WIND SPEED PROBABILITIES...THE GOVERNMENT OF MEXICO HAS
DISCONTINUED THE TROPICAL STORM WATCH.


FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 09/0300Z 13.8N 102.4W 70 KT 80 MPH
12H 09/1200Z 14.4N 103.2W 85 KT 100 MPH
24H 10/0000Z 15.1N 104.3W 100 KT 115 MPH
36H 10/1200Z 15.6N 105.4W 105 KT 120 MPH
48H 11/0000Z 16.1N 106.6W 100 KT 115 MPH
72H 12/0000Z 17.0N 109.0W 85 KT 100 MPH
96H 13/0000Z 17.5N 111.0W 60 KT 70 MPH
120H 14/0000Z 18.5N 113.5W 35 KT 40 MPH

$$
FORECASTER BLAKE
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting OrchidGrower:
SW Florida here .... Every afternoon for the past two weeks at least, a stiff dry wind has begun blowing and continues well on into the night. Every morning I get up hoping the rainy season will start "today", but tonight as I'm winding down, that dry, insistent breeze is whipping through here and I'm starting to feel like whatever's causing it is never going away.

BTW, I was mighty interested a couple days ago in those two maps of the drought conditions over Florida. One was much more detailed than the other one. On the really detailed one, you could clearly see how sea breezes had robbed the coastal areas - mine, at least - of recent rains that have fallen just a few miles inland.

The water vapor loop tonight looks more promising, but at this point I'm with Doubting Thomas -- I'll believe it (is raining) when I see it!


See posts 758 and 803. There's hope yet.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting TomTaylor:
wait till grothar posts his years lolol

Tom I have been waiting for that
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting AussieStorm:

I wasn't even born then.


crap
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:

Quoting FLdewey:
Would have been funny if the lmao was in the ACTUAL Miami office discussion!
I actually looked to see if it was.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:


Is this Possible? :

CMC:



I though ex-94L is going to miss florida to the east...



Still possible depending on how quickly the high moves out to the east and the trough lifts north.

Quoting sammywammybamy:
000
FXUS62 KMFL 090212
AFDMFL

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
1012 PM EDT WED JUN 8 2011

.UPDATE...WE FINALLY HAVE MORE SHOWER ACTIVITY OCCURRING!
OKAY...WON`T GET TOO EXCITED AS ACTIVITY IS ONLY ISOLATED
BUT...HEY...AT LEAST IT`S A START.
(lmfao) FOR THE REST OF THE
NIGHT...MAINTAINED ISOLATED SHOWERS ALONG THE ATLANTIC COAST WITH
DRY CONDITIONS INTERIOR/GULF COAST. THE EVENING MIAMI SOUNDING
SHOWED PW AT 1.49 INCHES (FOR THE 3RD SOUNDING IN A ROW!) AND THIS
WILL BE ON A SLOW INCREASE OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS...LEADING TO A
SLIGHT UP-TICK IN ACTIVITY. WIDESPREAD RAINS ARE NOT
EXPECTED...BUT AT LEAST THERE WILL BE SOME SHOWERS AND STORMS
AROUND. BUT GIVEN THE DROUGHT...CONCERN FOR LIGHTNING STRIKES
IGNITING NEW FIRES IS HIGH.

THE "PRARIE" WILDFIRE OVER RURAL MIAMI-DADE COUNTY WILL CONTINUE
TO SPREAD SMOKE ACROSS THE EVERGLADES AND AWAY FROM THE EAST COAST
METRO AREAS THROUGH FRIDAY. HOWEVER...WINDS CHANGES SIGNIFICANTLY
BY SATURDAY MORNING...WITH WINDS BECOMING SOUTHWESTERLY. THIS
WOULD SEND THE SMOKE PLUME INTO THE MIAMI/FT. LAUDERDALE METRO
AREA...
DEPENDING ON THE STATUS OF THE FIRE THEN. /GREGORIA

&&


Link


Thats awesome to see their personality and to see some isolated showers back again.
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Quoting sammywammybamy:



I Know right? rarely happens.

I'm going back to bed to warm up. brrrrrrrr
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Adrian up to 80, predicted to peak at 120.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
TS Dodong will be here within the next 24hrs.
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Quoting emcf30:

I'm in good company then. Does not feel as bad now
wait till grothar posts his years lolol
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Quoting sammywammybamy:
All right guys.. im out.. gonna go do something..


Go to weather chat. I'll be there.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
SW Florida here .... Every afternoon for the past two weeks at least, a stiff dry wind has begun blowing and continues well on into the night. Every morning I get up hoping the rainy season will start "today", but tonight as I'm winding down, that dry, insistent breeze is whipping through here and I'm starting to feel like whatever's causing it is never going away.

BTW, I was mighty interested a couple days ago in those two maps of the drought conditions over Florida. One was much more detailed than the other one. On the really detailed one, you could clearly see how sea breezes had robbed the coastal areas - mine, at least - of recent rains that have fallen just a few miles inland.

The water vapor loop tonight looks more promising, but at this point I'm with Doubting Thomas -- I'll believe it (is raining) when I see it!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting sammywammybamy:
000
FXUS62 KMFL 090212
AFDMFL

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
1012 PM EDT WED JUN 8 2011

.UPDATE...WE FINALLY HAVE MORE SHOWER ACTIVITY OCCURRING!
OKAY...WON`T GET TOO EXCITED AS ACTIVITY IS ONLY ISOLATED
BUT...HEY...AT LEAST IT`S A START.
(lmfao) FOR THE REST OF THE
NIGHT...MAINTAINED ISOLATED SHOWERS ALONG THE ATLANTIC COAST WITH
DRY CONDITIONS INTERIOR/GULF COAST. THE EVENING MIAMI SOUNDING
SHOWED PW AT 1.49 INCHES (FOR THE 3RD SOUNDING IN A ROW!) AND THIS
WILL BE ON A SLOW INCREASE OVER THE NEXT FEW DAYS..
Link

NWS forecaster with a sense of humor. lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PcolaDan:


And me in 1972, 1973, 1974...

I wasn't even born then.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting caneswatch:


Then why are you calling me a troll? You said you wanted me to have a taste of my own medicine. That to me screams troll.

I have e-mails saying that I am preoccupied with the word and I use it like i'm bullying someone. I use it once, and you belittle me.
Give over you two. No one cares. Take this to WU-email plz
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PcolaDan:


And me in 1972, 1973, 1974...

I'm in good company then. Does not feel as bad now
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


I'm highly allergic to them also. They say you aren't supposed to run from them, but I really can't help it.

They also tell you not to run from a bear when your in a forest and see one coming at you. But I mean, come on, do you really think someone is going to stand still so the bear can get them? Uh-Uh, not me.


True. But if you and I were in the woods, and a bear was coming, I don't have to outrun the bear.

I have to outrun you.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting PcolaDan:


And me in 1972, 1973, 1974...
lol, lol, lol
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting emcf30:

Oh my, how do you think I feel. That was me in 1978.


And me in 1972, 1973, 1974...
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
805. JLPR2
Quoting emcf30:

Oh my, how do you think I feel. That was me in 1978.


Yikes!

My apologies. :P
Time goes by rather quickly.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting txjac:



Best of luck to you ...reach for the stars!


"second star to the right, and straight on till morning"
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting Chicklit:
LinkWVLoopWATL

Evening, I don't get what is going to take remnant of 94L over Florida. It seems like it would go ENE like everything else has for the past week.


Its expected that the ridge that has been locked down over the SE United States will move eastward and out into the Atlantic. This will turn the flow out over Florida, the Bahamas, and the Western Caribbean from the southwest to out from the south and southeast. This will move moisture north and northwestward out from the region including the remnants of Invest 94L towards Cuba and Florida by the weekend.
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Quoting JLPR2:


Ah! you guys made me feel old. XD
Finishing my Second year of College.

Oh my, how do you think I feel. That was me in 1978.
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I have remediation tomorrow..Failed my test by one point! one point!

At least if I am going to fail a test, its going to be a test that is three school years above the grade I am in (I'm in 8th, and took the 11th grade US History test).

Failing by one point didn't make me too happy though.

woah 13?

My fascination for weather started young as well, but I didn't know hardly anything for the longest time. Wasn't till about three months ago when I finally figured out what a temp inversion was.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
800. txjac
Quoting txjac:


Wow, thats great. I love that you "kids" are soon off to college ...both of mine are currently IN college and will be happy when they are out



Best of luck to you ...reach for the stars!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CanesfanatUT:
Why don't the storms in the Pacific get investigated by Hurricane/Typhoon hunters like in the Atlantic???

(Or if they do get investigated - where can I read the reports. All the storm discussions only list sat estimates for wind - not like the AB 'canes.)
less of a threat toward land and less of a threat toward the United States (which is significant since we are the ones flying the plane...not mexico or some other central american nation).
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting CanesfanatUT:
Why don't the storms in the Pacific get investigated by Hurricane/Typhoon hunters like in the Atlantic???

(Or if they do get investigated - where can I read the reports. All the storm discussions only list sat estimates for wind - not like the AB 'canes.)


EPAC storms do when they are forecasted to threaten land

Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Why don't the storms in the Pacific get investigated by Hurricane/Typhoon hunters like in the Atlantic???

(Or if they do get investigated - where can I read the reports. All the storm discussions only list sat estimates for wind - not like the AB 'canes.)
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
T.C.F.W.
01E/H/A/C1
MARK
13.60N/102.36W
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
794. JLPR2
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Your in 8th Grade? your words of wisdom make you sound much older.

For me:

1 More year.. then im off to college


Ah! you guys made me feel old. XD
Finishing my Second year of College.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Your in 8th Grade? your words of wisdom make you sound much older.

For me:

1 More year.. then im off to college
me too
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Quoting Grothar:
Biggest in the world.



Hey gro, mine is bigger than yours. To bad the ice is melting due to the excessive heat.

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791. beell
Not much difference in the dry air intrusion apparent on the Total Precipitable Water product.

First frame from 18Z today. Second frame, 00Z 06/09.

Photobucket

18Z 06/08

Photobucket

00Z 06/09
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
LinkWVLoopWATL

Evening, I don't get what is going to take remnant of 94L over Florida. It seems like it would go ENE like everything else has for the past week.
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789. txjac
Quoting sammywammybamy:


Your in 8th Grade? your words of wisdom make you sound much older.

For me:

1 More year.. then im off to college


Wow, thats great. I love that you "kids" are soon off to college ...both of mine are currently IN college and will be happy when they are out
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Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:
I have remediation tomorrow..Failed my test by one point! one point!

At least if I am going to fail a test, its going to be a test that is three school years above the grade I am in (I'm in 8th, and took the 11th grade US History test).

Failing by one point didn't make me too happy though.


Sorry to hear that. Couldn't find Florida on a map, was it?

Here, I hope this makes you feel better. Nice presentation of the waves coming off Africa.

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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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