Tropical Storm Lee moving ashore; Katia continues northwest

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 1:53 PM GMT on September 03, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee is marching steadily northwards towards landfall in Louisiana, and continues to slowly intensify. The storm's central pressure is now down to 993 mb, as measured by an Air Force hurricane hunter aircraft at 7am CDT. However, the center of Lee is now very close to the coast, and the storm doesn't have much time to intensify further before the center moves over land. The main impact from the storm on the coast thus far has been heavy rains. At New Orleans Lakefront Airport, 5.88" inches of rain had fallen from Lee as of 8 am CDT this morning. Top winds were 35 mph, gusting to 55 mph. Though Lee's top winds are rated as being 60 mph, it is difficult to find any land stations that have reported sustained winds of tropical storm force, 39 mph or greater. One station that has is at the tip of the Mississippi River Delta, where Southwest Pass measured sustained winds of 40 mph, gusting to 58 mph, at 7:03 am CDT. Upper-level winds out of the southwest are creating a moderate 10 - 20 knots of wind shear over Lee, keeping the storm's heavy thunderstorms pushed to the east side of the storm. Latest satelllite loops show Lee is becoming increasingly organized.


Figure 1. Radar-estimated rainfall from Lee from the New Orleans radar. Lee has dumped a large region of 4 - 8 inches so far (orange colors.)


Figure 2. Predicted rainfall for the 5-day period ending at 8 am EDT Thursday Sep 8, 2011. Lee is expected to bring a large swath of 4+ inches of rain all the way to New England. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

Forecast for Lee
Lee's large size, ill-formed circulation center, and the presence of dry air on its west side due to an upper-level trough of low pressure make Lee look a lot like a subtropical storm on satellite imagery, with a broad center and the majority of the heavy thunderstorms in a broad band well removed from the center. Subtropical storms can undergo only relatively modest rates of intensification, and Lee is unlikely to become a hurricane. Also tending to slow intensification will be the fact that much of its circulation is over land. Damages from Lee are likely to be less than $100 - $200 million, with the greatest threats being fresh water flooding from heavy rains. Given that much of the region Lee will traverse over the next few days is under moderate to severe drought, the storm's rains may cause more economic benefit than damage. Since Texas is on the dry side of the storm, that state will see very little rainfall from Lee, except very close to the border with Louisiana. The rains from Lee appear to have mostly ended across extreme southern Louisiana, so the feared 10 - 15 inches of rain does not look like it will materialize there. One possible concern for Lee's rains will be the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, where recovery efforts from the devastating flooding due to Hurricane Irene may be hampered by the additional 2 - 4 inches that may fall from Lee's remnants by the middle of the week.Tornadoes from Lee are potential hazard today, as NOAA's Storm Prediction Center is highlighting the Northern Gulf Coast in their "slight risk" area for severe weather. A tornado watch is posted for the region, but no tornadoes have been reported as of 8 am CDT.

Lee is the 12th named storm this year, and came eight days before the half-way point of the Atlantic hurricane season. Climatologically, September 10 marks the half-way point. A typical hurricane season has just 10 - 11 named storms, so we've already had more than a whole season's worth of storms before reaching the half-way point. At this rate, 2011 will see 24 - 26 named storms, making it the 2nd busiest season on record, behind 2005. Lee's formation date of September 2 puts 2011 in 5th place for earliest date of arrival of the season's 12th storm. Only 2005, 1995, 1936, and 1933 had an earlier 12th storm.

Hurricane Katia
The latest set of model runs show very little change in the outlook for Hurricane Katia. Katia will continue its long trek across the Atlantic Ocean, and will not pose a danger to any land areas over the next five days. Katia is still struggling with dry air and wind shear that has risen to a high 20 - 25 knots. Latest satellite loops show a lopsided hurricane that is suffering from the impacts of dry air and wind shear on its southwest side.

The models now agree that the upper-level trough of low pressure bringing the wind shear to Katia will move away by Sunday, putting Katia in an environment with low to moderate wind shear. At the same time, ocean temperatures will warm to 29°C, a full 0.5°C over what Katia is experiencing today. These effects should allow Katia to intensify to a Category 2 hurricane by Monday. It is still unclear how much of a threat Katia may pose to the U.S., as this depends on the strength and timing of a trough of low pressure predicted to move off the U.S. East Coast 5 - 7 days from now. Our models do not have enough skill to predict how the steering currents will behave that far into the future. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, part of the problem is due to the inability of the computer models to agree on what will happen to Tropical Storm Talas in the Western Pacific. Talas hit Japan early on Saturday as a strong tropical storm, and is racing northwestwards towards Alaska. Talas is expected to transition into a powerful extratropical storm in the waters south of Alaska early next week. This extratropical storm will create a ripple effect downstream in the jet stream, all the way to North America, affecting the trough of low pressure off the U.S. East Coast expected to potentially recurve Katia when it approaches the U.S. The computer models are not very good at handling these sorts of interactions, leading to more than the usual amount of uncertainty in the long-range outlook for Katia. It will probably be another two days before the models will converge on a solution for the long-term fate of Katia. It's a good bet that locations on the U.S. coast south of North Carolina are in the clear, but residents from North Carolina to New England need to watch Katia. Dr. Bob Hart's Historical Tropical Cyclone Probability web page suggests shows that tropical storms in Katia's current position have a 15% chance of hitting North Carolina, a 22% chance of hitting Canada, a 12% chance of hitting New England, and a 58% chance of never hitting land. One almost certain impact of Katia on the U.S. will be large waves. Long period swells from Katia will begin affecting the Bahamas on Sunday night, then reach the Southeast U.S. by Monday morning. By Tuesday morning, the entire U.S. East Coast will see high surf from Katia, and these waves will increase in size and power as the storm grows closer. Given the slow movement of Katia as it approaches the coast, plus its expected Category 1 to 3 strength as it approaches, the storm will probably cause extensive beach erosion and dangerous rip tides for many days.


Figure 3. Satellite image of Tropical Storm Talas taken September 2, 2011, as the storm approached Japan. Image credit: NASA.

Jeff Masters

So far 4 (minou)
We're in a Lee-lull at the moment but winds have been strong and gusty this morning with blowing rain at times. I had to don my gullashes and wander around the overhang!
So far 4

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Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5726
1170. beell
Would have to admit, calling anything "hybrid-like" may suggest some confusion with word choice on the part of the user, lol.
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TROPICAL STORM KATIA DISCUSSION NUMBER 23
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL122011
500 PM AST SAT SEP 03 2011

DVORAK INTENSITY ESTIMATES HAVE FALLEN THROUGH THE DAY AND ARE NOW
T3.0/4.0 FROM TAFB AND T3.5/3.5 FROM SAB. BASED ON THE STRUCTURE
NOTED IN EARLIER MICROWAVE DATA...IT APPEARS THAT KATIA HAS
WEAKENED SOME AND AGAIN IS A TROPICAL STORM. FLUCTUATIONS IN
INTENSITY BY 5 TO 10 KT ARE POSSIBLE OVER THE NEXT DAY OR SO...BUT
THIS FACT WILL ONLY BE MORE APPARENT THAN USUAL SINCE THE INTENSITY
WOULD BE OSCILLATING AROUND THE 65-KT HURRICANE THRESHOLD.

IT CANNOT BE STRESSED ENOUGH THAT THERE IS CONSIDERABLE UNCERTAINTY
IN THE TRACK FORECAST...WHICH IS EXTREMELY SENSITIVE TO THE
EVOLUTION OF TROPICAL STORM LEE AND ITS INTERACTION WITH A MID-
TO UPPER-LEVEL LOW OVER THE EASTERN UNITED STATES. THE MODEL
GUIDANCE IS IN PRETTY GOOD AGREEMENT DURING THE FIRST 36 HOURS OR
SO...BUT THE DIVERGENCE ONLY GROWS FROM THERE. COMPARED TO THE
PREVIOUS FORECAST CYCLE...THE UKMET HAS SHIFTED TO THE NORTH AND
THE GFS HAS SLOWED DOWN...WHICH NORMALLY WOULD HAVE INCREASED
CONFIDENCE IN THE FORECAST. FURTHERMORE...THE ECMWF...WHICH IS
NORMALLY RELIABLE...SWUNG FROM THE NORTH AND EAST SIDE OF THE
GUIDANCE TO THE SOUTH AND WEST SIDE...SHOWING A MORE WESTWARD
MOTION BY DAY 5. THE OFFICIAL TRACK FORECAST HAS BEEN NUDGED A BIT
TO THE WEST TOWARDS THE VARIOUS CONSENSUS MODELS...BUT WE WOULD
RATHER SEE SOME STABILITY IN THE MODELS BEFORE MAKING A LARGER
SHIFT.

NEEDLESS TO SAY...THE INTENSITY FORECAST IS ALSO COMPLEX. KATIA HAS
NOT BEEN STRENGTHENING AS ANTICIPATED...AND UPPER-LEVEL WINDS DO
NOT APPEAR AS THOUGH THEY WILL BE CONDUCIVE FOR SIGNIFICANT
INTENSIFICATION FOR THE NEXT 24 TO 48 HOURS. THE UPPER-LEVEL
ENVIRONMENT AROUND KATIA BECOMES MORE UNCERTAIN AFTER
THAT TIME DEPENDING ON THE POSITIONING OF THE EASTERN U.S.
MID-/UPPER-LEVEL LOW. THE STATISTICAL SHIPS AND LGEM MODELS DO NOT
STRENGTHEN KATIA BEYOND CATEGORY 1 STATUS WHEREAS THE GFDL AND HWRF
STILL SHOW THE STORM REACHING MAJOR HURRICANE STRENGTH. THE
OFFICIAL INTENSITY FORECAST IS STILL NEAR OR JUST ABOVE THE
INTENSITY CONSENSUS...ESPECIALLY AT DAYS 4 AND 5.

FORECAST POSITIONS AND MAX WINDS

INIT 03/2100Z 19.9N 56.8W 60 KT 70 MPH
12H 04/0600Z 20.7N 58.1W 65 KT 75 MPH
24H 04/1800Z 21.8N 59.8W 65 KT 75 MPH
36H 05/0600Z 23.1N 61.5W 70 KT 80 MPH
48H 05/1800Z 24.3N 63.2W 75 KT 85 MPH
72H 06/1800Z 27.0N 66.0W 85 KT 100 MPH
96H 07/1800Z 29.5N 69.0W 90 KT 105 MPH
120H 08/1800Z 31.5N 70.5W 85 KT 100 MPH

$$
FORECASTER BERG

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 128 Comments: 35715
Quoting BaltimoreBrian:
988.5 mb /29.19" at this station now. Almost like a hurricane.


It definitely has the looks of a hurricane too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
lol, love it...

BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM KATIA ADVISORY NUMBER 23
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL122011
500 PM AST SAT SEP 03 2011

...KATIA SPARRING WITH STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS...KNOCKED DOWN TO A
TROPICAL STORM FOR THE SECOND TIME...



SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...19.9N 56.8W
ABOUT 430 MI...690 KM ENE OF THE NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...70 MPH...110 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 300 DEGREES AT 10 MPH...17 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...993 MB...29.32 INCHES
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 128 Comments: 35715
...KATIA SPARRING WITH STRONG UPPER-LEVEL WINDS...KNOCKED DOWN TO A TROPICAL STORM FOR THE SECOND TIME...
5:00 PM AST Sat Sep 3
Location: 19.9°N 56.8°W
Max sustained: 70 mph
Moving: WNW at 10 mph
Min pressure: 993 mb
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5726
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Before BRET.


July 13...July 13...Oh, I remember now. I was on vacation, and didn't have access to the computer. :P
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 128 Comments: 35715
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


What? We had an invest in the BOC a while ago? Where was I?

Before BRET.
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5726
1162. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting Jedkins01:


Yeah like I said, we are getting some weird systems this year aren't we! Irene, now Lee, both are somewhat anomalous.

Nothing is probably as weird as hurricane Hazel though, lol.
hazel don't say nothing bad about her
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
988.5 mb /29.19" at this station now. Almost like a hurricane.
Member Since: August 9, 2011 Posts: 27 Comments: 14309
Quoting Tazmanian:



and plzs dont Quote him lol


Sorry taz, had to use some of my sarcasm.
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1159. beell
Quoting Hurlo:


A jellyfish may be the best thing that blows out of the lake.


We take our pleasures as we find them.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting redwagon:

Yes! You can see them now. It's like two skaters spinning holding hands and then letting go! C force.
Looks a little like mitosis, too.


Haha yeah it does!
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting Patrap:
Cindy is a good example of a Strong TS going Cat 1 at Landfall,,and knocked down trees and power to 230,000 in July 05,,weeks before k and before folks evacuated for Dennis.

Cindy spawned many inland nadoes as well and one ripped the Roof off the Atlanta Motor Speedway




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Just west of Baytown. The winds are picking up and the gusts are higher. I would guess 25-30 mph gusts. Nearly solid cloud cover. Occasional light rains.
Member Since: August 24, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5226
Quoting P451:


I was also wondering about that entity that skirted through the BOC into Mexico quite a while back. Had all the looks of at least a tropical depression. Was a very small system.



What? We had an invest in the BOC a while ago? Where was I?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 128 Comments: 35715
1154. scott39
Quoting Patrap:
Cindy is a good example of a Strong TS going Cat 1 at Landfall,,and knocked down trees and power to 230,000 in July 05,,weeks before k and before folks evacuated for Dennis.

Cindy spawned many inland nadoes as well and one ripped the Roof off the Atlanta Motor Speedway


You expecting more things to come from Lee? Thanks for the reality post of what TS and Cat 1 hurricanes are capable of.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
...SOGGY LEE LUMBERING NORTHWARD TOWARD SOUTHERN LOUISIANA... TROPICAL STORM WARNING EXTENDED EASTWARD...
4:00 PM CDT Sat Sep 3
Location: 29.4°N 92.1°W
Max sustained: 60 mph
Moving: N at 4 mph
Min pressure: 989 mb
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5726
BULLETIN
TROPICAL STORM LEE ADVISORY NUMBER 9
NWS NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL AL132011
400 PM CDT SAT SEP 03 2011

...SOGGY LEE LUMBERING NORTHWARD TOWARD SOUTHERN LOUISIANA...
TROPICAL STORM WARNING EXTENDED EASTWARD...


SUMMARY OF 400 PM CDT...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...29.4N 92.1W
ABOUT 60 MI...95 KM WSW OF MORGAN CITY LOUISIANA
ABOUT 55 MI...90 KM S OF LAFAYETTE LOUISIANA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...60 MPH...95 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...N OR 360 DEGREES AT 4 MPH...6 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...989 MB...29.21 INCHES
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 128 Comments: 35715
Quoting tropicfreak:


I CAN'T HEAR YOU NOSTORMINFLORIDA!!!



and plzs dont Quote him lol
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Quoting Walshy:


Landfall Similar
Intensity Similar
Inland Track Similar
Appearance Somewhat Similar

Oh. Lol
Member Since: July 7, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 5726
Quoting trackawaytosea:
LIKE THE MODELS REALLY KNOW ANYTHING HA


I CAN'T HEAR YOU NOSTORMINFLORIDA!!!
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Quoting P451:


Depending on the model... it's shallow to slightly moderate in depth. Borderline symmetric to borderline asymmetric. All modeling heads borderline asymmetric and towards deep cold core from their initialization points.

These things are always a grey area.

It's a tropical storm with hybrid tendencies...but the appearance of an extratropical system.

Does that work? lol.

Bottom line is it's breezy and rainy in LA.

Yet it is of great interest to be picky about exactly what we are dealing with structure wise.





Yeah like I said, we are getting some weird systems this year aren't we! Irene, now Lee, both are somewhat anomalous.

Nothing is probably as weird as hurricane Hazel though, lol.
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I have the COC of Katia at 19.7N/57W
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1143. Walshy
Quoting WeatherNerdPR:

Why has that storm gained so much fame in this blog?


Landfall Similar
Intensity Similar
Inland Track Similar
Appearance Somewhat Similar
Tornado Threat Similar
Member Since: May 17, 2009 Posts: 2 Comments: 1006
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1138. scott39
Quoting mrsalagranny:
Hey Scott39 how are you doing today?Hope you arent getting flooded at your place.Has Lee made landfall yet?
Just wet here. Lee is stationary, hanging out in the water and land over S central La. Will we see what he has planned next.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
class='blogquote'>Quoting P451:


Three feet of snow in the Mid-Atlantic region.


Sadly, I wouldn't mind that. Even though I've been getting nice weather up north here, and a week of 70/50 on tap next week, I'm just done with summer.

Can only imagine what those from Florida to Texas think of summer at this point.



Does that help??
Member Since: September 6, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 49
1135. Patrap
692
WGUS54 KLIX 032042
FFWLIX
MSC059-032345-
/O.NEW.KLIX.FF.W.0025.110903T2042Z-110903T2345Z/
/00000.0.ER.000000T0000Z.000000T0000Z.000000T0000 Z.OO/

BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
FLASH FLOOD WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
342 PM CDT SAT SEP 3 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NEW ORLEANS HAS ISSUED A

* FLASH FLOOD WARNING FOR...
SOUTHERN JACKSON COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI...
THIS INCLUDES THE CITIES OF...ST. MARTIN...PASCAGOULA...OCEAN
SPRINGS...MOSS POINT...ESCATAWPA...

* UNTIL 645 PM CDT

* AT 339 PM CDT...LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS REPORTED
FLASH FLOODING FROM SQUALL LINES MOVING OVER THE WARNED AREA.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A FLASH FLOOD WARNING MEANS THAT FLOODING IS IMMINENT OR OCCURRING.
IF YOU ARE IN THE WARNING AREA MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND IMMEDIATELY.
RESIDENTS LIVING ALONG STREAMS AND CREEKS SHOULD TAKE IMMEDIATE
PRECAUTIONS TO PROTECT LIFE AND PROPERTY. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CROSS
SWIFTLY FLOWING WATERS OR WATERS OF UNKNOWN DEPTH BY FOOT OR BY
AUTOMOBILE.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 450 Comments: 143066
Quoting Patrap:
One can ZOOM in here on the Loop and see the 2 Centers spin out from earlier and the overall remain behind.

Cool stuff

Floater - RGB Color Infrared Loop

Yes! You can see them now. It's like two skaters spinning holding hands and then letting go! C force.
Looks a little like mitosis, too.
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
1133. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
Quoting P451:


Hmm. Up to 19.6N now apparently from 19.2N 6 hours prior.

Keep on going, Katia, north you go, it's a good thing. Just spare the good folks in Bermuda and the Canadian Maritimes if you choose this route.
Quoting Tazmanian:



this is better


into the water it goes lets wait watch and see
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
12z CMC

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Quoting RitaEvac:
Have a 995mb pressure here in Galveston county in SE TX

Hey Rita you getting any rain yet...wow its raining sideways here at my house!!!
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1130. Patrap
Cindy is a good example of a Strong TS going Cat 1 at Landfall,,and knocked down trees and power to 230,000 in July 05,,weeks before k and before folks evacuated for Dennis.

Cindy spawned many inland nadoes as well and one ripped the Roof off the Atlanta Motor Speedway


Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 450 Comments: 143066
Quoting tropicfreak:


Hey mrsalagrany, not quite at landfall, but almost there...
Thanks tropick.how are you doing today?
Member Since: Posts: Comments:
Quoting P451:


Three feet of snow in the Mid-Atlantic region.


Sadly, I wouldn't mind that. Even though I've been getting nice weather up north here, and a week of 70/50 on tap next week, I'm just done with summer.

Can only imagine what those from Florida to Texas think of summer at this point.


LOL you guys sure get sick of warm weather fast up there don't you? I live in Central Florida, and nope, I'm not sick of the heat. I'm used to it, and it would be sad to see it go, because when the heat goes, so does the humidity. You're probably thinking I'm crazy right? Well yeah a little lol, but with the humidity gone and heat gone, the rain season goes away with it, and Florida just gets frontal systems for the next several months. I hate frontal weather. I love the consistent humid tropical weather with daily buildup of heavy storms to track. This is my favorite time of year, so later October into November is a sad time for me, I know its gone again till June.

I would much rather endure humid and hot weather, if it means lots of showers and thunderstorms, than breeze dry weather any day.

We have been getting a lot of rain here as we normally do, over 35 inches in the last 10 weeks, which is even above normal for us compared to what is normally stormy time. But after a drought last year, I'm glad to see above normal this rain season. And I love it, its sad we only got another month left typically lol.
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Quoting Termite3344:
Only Louisiana would get a storm with 2 centers.

We know how to have fun and we like to dance - with partners.
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Quoting Patrap:
One can ZOOM in here on the Loop and see the 2 Centers spin out from earlier and the overall remain behind.

Cool stuff

Floater - RGB Color Infrared Loop


That is pretty cool!
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Quoting mrsalagranny:
Hey Scott39 how are you doing today?Hope you arent getting flooded at your place.Has Lee made landfall yet?


Hey mrsalagrany, not quite at landfall, but almost there...
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1122. scott39
Quoting scott39:
The ECMWF 12Z has Lee strengthening in 24 hours.
The GFDL 12Z has Lee strengthening in 24 hours.
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post season is going too be fun i wounder if they will upgrade 94L and 96L at post season
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Dr. Masters co-founded wunderground in 1995. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990. Co-blogging with him: Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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