Cyclopsychic research breakthrough proves hurricanes/global warming connection

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

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

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

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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1208. atmoaggie
2:52 PM GMT on April 06, 2008
I thought just by the look of the satellite photos they were showing that Hurricane Katrina still was a cat-4.Especially when they announced how high the storm surge was.I wonder if Katrina was undergoing an eye wall regeneration phase right before landfall.

Absolutely was. See here for a power point we presented at last years Interdepartmental Hurricane Conference about the evolution of Katrina's eyewalls and observations supporting a double eyewall behavior. This has a lot do to with the extensive coverage of hurricane force winds and the amount of coastline devistated by the surge from a cat 3 (wink,tongue in cheek).
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1206. moonlightcowboy
10:33 PM CDT on April 05, 2008
YEP, new blog!
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1205. sebastianjer
11:31 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
There is a new blog more ice stuff, lol
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1204. sullivanweather
11:23 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
I don't have the link at hand, but Germany is scrapping their bio-fuel plan. I think the world is starting to catch on that bio-fuels aren't the solution.

Developing electric cars with hydrogen batteries is a much better solution. Either way one slices it, burning fuel is not the answer when there's much better alternatives out there.
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1203. sebastianjer
11:21 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
From the San Francisco Chronicle

Fuel or folly?
Ethanol and the law of unintended consequences
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1202. hahaguy
10:11 PM EST on April 05, 2008
oh yes me and my g/f have made sure we have everything we need ,our shutters, and everything else. how about you jfv
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1201. SouthDadeFish
3:13 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
Speaking of the 08 season... I just took a look at the names scheduled for the storms this year and I must say... they don't sound intimidating at all.
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1200. moonlightcowboy
9:52 PM CDT on April 05, 2008

Our evening blob is a bit close to the equator for coriolis.

: Once air has been set in motion by the pressure gradient force, it undergoes an apparent deflection from its path, as seen by an observer on the earth. This apparent deflection is called the "Coriolis force" and is a result of the earth's rotation.

As air moves from high to low pressure in the northern hemisphere, it is deflected to the right by the Coriolis force. In the southern hemisphere, air moving from high to low pressure is deflected to the left by the Coriolis force.

The amount of deflection the air makes is directly related to both the speed at which the air is moving and its latitude. Therefore, slowly blowing winds will be deflected only a small amount, while stronger winds will be deflected more. Likewise, winds blowing closer to the poles will be deflected more than winds at the same speed closer to the equator. The Coriolis force is zero right at the equator.

This process is further demonstrated by this movie.
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1198. hahaguy
9:58 PM EST on April 05, 2008
getting quiet in here
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1197. SouthDadeFish
2:40 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
456, I'm pretty sure it was intentional. Dr M. just switched the first letters of his name around. I've seen it done in other humorous writings. Either that or he was a little confused lol
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1196. JLPR
2:42 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
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1195. pottery
10:36 PM AST on April 05, 2008
Flora did a major destructive job on Tobago. Wiped out the coconut and cocoa plantations and blew entire villages away. Loss of life here was very low fortunately. A good friend of mine in Charlotteville on Tobago, says he held onto a concrete collumn and watched his entire wooden house fly away around him.
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1194. hahaguy
9:39 PM EST on April 05, 2008
i love it jlpr
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1193. JLPR
2:38 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
lol guys what do you of my new avatar =P
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1192. hydrus
2:28 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
POTTERY-I remember reading on 1963,s Flora.It was very deadly for eastern Cuba and Haiti.Some areas had almost 80 inches of rain in less than 4 days.
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1190. Weather456
10:28 PM AST on April 05, 2008
I know its a little late but was this intentional (at the bottom of Jeffs blog entry.)

April Fools!
Meff Jasters
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1189. Weather456
10:26 PM AST on April 05, 2008
1183. KEEPEROFTHEGATE 10:19 PM AST on April 05, 2008
456 i've been noticing a se flow coming up over madagascar feeding in cen africa isn't that flow there surpose to be a more e slighly ne flow into cen africa and i beleive this flow is the reason for the activy over east atl/africa

NE from Northern Africa and SE/S from southern africa/madagascar.
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1187. pottery
10:24 PM AST on April 05, 2008
.".... reminds me of Olga in December "
Oh yeah that reminds me, of PeggySue in the, sorry. Wrong blog.
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1185. Weather456
10:23 PM AST on April 05, 2008
1179. JFV 10:10 PM AST on April 05, 2008
Please elaborate further in regards to what you just said with 'its only a matter of time'
Weather456? Thanks!

Its only a matter of time before the ATL SSTs begin to warm over the ATL and the reason why I said so becuz of climatology and the fact that the sub ridge become more centralised (shift eastward) and weaken.
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1184. JLPR
2:18 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
This week in PR was interesting with high winds we got to the point of 32mph sustained winds and a 38mph gust it kinda remind me of Olga in December =P
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2:14 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
456 i've been noticing a se flow coming up over madagascar feeding in cen africa isn't that flow there surpose to be a more e slighly ne flow into cen africa and i beleive this flow is the reason for the activy over east atl/africa
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1182. JLPR
2:12 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
I see JFK I hope this season ends up with many fish storms =)
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1180. pottery
10:01 PM AST on April 05, 2008
I've been looking at some history, and see that Trinidad/Tobago was impacted by 7 storms since 1950.

1961 TS Anna
1963 H Flora
1974 TS Alma
1990 TS Fran
1993 TS Brett
2000 TS Debby
2002 TS Isidore
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1178. Weather456
10:01 PM AST on April 05, 2008
Remember, that information is for the winter...the SST anomalies in the Eastern Atlantic are growing further west in time. Its only a matter of time.
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1177. JLPR
2:02 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
the last hurricane to hit PR was Georges in 98
so 10 years without a cane I fear that we may get unlucky this year =(
but we had
Jeanne - 70mph in 2004
Olga - 40mph in 2007
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1176. Weather456
9:40 PM AST on April 05, 2008
Distinct difference between 2004 and 2008.

Negative indices of the NAO and AO resulted in warmer SSTs during the winter of 2003-2004. That was not the case for the winter of 2007-2008 which showed more or less postive NAO indices contributing below normal SSTs over a greater portion of the Atlantic.

2004 Summary

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1175. JLPR
2:00 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
In Puerto Rico
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1174. pottery
9:55 PM AST on April 05, 2008
Hyrdus, indeed earthquakes are interesting phenomena, and I have read a lot about them as well.
I just wish they would shake someplace else !! It is so disconcerting to have Terra Firma start feeling unstable underfoot...........
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1172. JLPR
1:54 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
yes JFK =P I hope the itcz to shut down =P or it could be very active this year with an aggressive cape Verde season with the pool of water off the Africa coast which equals red warning for the Caribbean islands =(
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1170. Patrap
9:50 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
During the other extreme of the Oscillation, the eastern tropical Pacific is cold and heavy rainfall and flooding is observed over the areas usually affected by drought during El Nino events. This phenomenon is now called La Nina. La Nina means "the little girl" in Spanish. It is also sometimes called El Viejo. La Nina is characterized by unusually cold ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific, as compared to El Nino, which is characterized by unusually warm ocean temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. Global climate anomalies associated with La Nina tend to be opposite those of El Nino.Link
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1169. moonlightcowboy
8:45 PM CDT on April 05, 2008
LOL, JLPR - yeah, **poof** it has to - not far enough north to coriolis. Just the ITCZ firing, beginning its climitalogical climb. Blob watching will come soon enough!
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1168. hydrus
1:46 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
I can even learn something from April blobs.
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1167. hahaguy
8:45 PM EST on April 05, 2008
anyone here seen that noaa is testing out a remote controlled drone aircraft to help get more info on tropical systems.Link
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1166. Greyelf
8:39 PM CDT on April 05, 2008
I wanted to post an update regarding my last posts asking for a long term forecast for the Ohio area. I picked up and drove the car home this week and didn't even run into a raindrop. I did see a lot of standing water and high rivers/streams in Indiana and Illinois, but never had to do any detouring.

Anyway, thanks again to those who helped.
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1165. Patrap
9:45 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
I'd expect we will see the Sw GOM or the BOC fire up First this year.Seems to be the early breeding spot Historically.
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1164. hydrus
1:30 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
what is el viejo?
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1163. JLPR
1:43 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
the NHC sat shows it =)

lol Pat im bored obviously the blob is going to poof =P lol
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1162. hydrus
1:34 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
POTTERY-I have never experienced an earthquake and i hope i never do.I have studied them and all the science involved is fascinating to me.
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1161. Patrap
9:39 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
WAVETRAK 10-day JAVA Loop N Atlantic sector.Link

850 hPa Relative VorticityLink

Toggle the Latest Available
Lower Level Winds
East Atlantic Link
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1160. Patrap
9:35 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
Impacts of the ENSO

The most severe El Niño of the century occurred in the winter of 1982 and 1983. Disastrous effects and meteorological changes occurred around the world. Total damages were estimated at over $8 billion. Link
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1159. Patrap
9:34 PM EDT on April 05, 2008
Im not talking about no Blob. LOL..Its April 5
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1158. hydrus
1:30 AM GMT on April 06, 2008
what is el viejo?
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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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