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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.

Reader Comments

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258. Patrap
9:03 AM CDT on April 02, 2008
FEMA allows report deadline to pass
Post-disaster housing strategy unfinished

Wednesday, April 02, 2008
By Bill Walsh

WASHINGTON -- FEMA on Tuesday missed a second deadline for producing its plan, in the works since the 2005 hurricanes, for housing displaced victims of the next major American disaster.

The congressionally mandated report was supposed to be finished last June. Criticized for the delay, a top FEMA official promised at a hearing last month that it would be ready by April 1. It is now unclear when it will be done.

The overdue housing report is the latest in a string of busted deadlines that had been imposed by Congress in landmark disaster legislation passed in 2006. The law was designed to remake the nation's disaster response and prevent a repeat of the mistakes exposed by Hurricane Katrina.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
257. biff4ugo
1:45 PM GMT on April 02, 2008
cyclopsychic references on google is at 146!
Will it get higher? "yes definitely"M8B
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255. TampaSpin
9:23 AM EDT on April 02, 2008
Ivan you are correct the only thing missing is 90deg. temp.
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254. Ivansrvivr
1:05 PM GMT on April 02, 2008
Storm, seabreeeze storms are already well developed and headed for the Lake. If it were June this line would be well formed. Looks like Lake O will get another good rain. Dare I say that everyday it is looking like the rainy season is upon us
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253. TampaSpin
9:03 AM EDT on April 02, 2008
Wow, the Florida weather in Tampa is like June already. We have the Burmda high set and get that ESE breeze and its creating Late afternoon showers on the West coast, typical of June not April.
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251. biff4ugo
12:20 PM GMT on April 02, 2008

I made it to Figure 2 of the "Con Job" before the number of errors got too many to tolerate.
Apart from needing a spell chck before publishing this.(:-)) He shows a graph of 3 decades where the graph average rises from about -7.5 to -4 degrees Celcius and says he can't see a .5 degree per decade warming. (It is almost twice that rate of warming on the graph he published!)

What is the validity to the claims that warmer sea temps raise atmospheric moisture and increase snowfall down there?
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250. Altestic
12:30 PM GMT on April 02, 2008
I asked my M8B tropical model will there be more than 3 tropical storms this year...It said outlook not so good...I also asked would there be less than 3, it said the same thing...

So there will be 3 tropical storms this hurricane season.

I also asked the M8B model would there be any hurricanes this season...it said "very doubtful". So there we have it, the total stats on the 2008 hurricane season will be:

3 TS, 0 Hurricanes
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249. biff4ugo
11:58 AM GMT on April 02, 2008
LOVE it!
Especially the links to the real scientist's names.
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248. Weather456
8:05 AM AST on April 02, 2008
cannot modify comments,

This should be added onto the Caribbean header.

Higher winds and seas expected in scattered showers and thunderstorms west of 75W.
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247. Weather456
7:25 AM AST on April 02, 2008
GM to all,



An upper ridge centered over the Eastern Pacific Ocean continues to build further with its axis extending from 10N/101W to a crest over the Northern Plains at 43N/100W. This ridge is supporting anticyclonic flow and stable air across much of the area between 120W and 90W with scattered mid-upper clouds and embedded showers advecting over Northern Mexico and into Texas and the Southern Plains. Surface observations continue to show a weak cold front extending along the Coast of Texas and across the Deep South to the Atlantic Coast. Due to the stable flow dominating at 200 mb, the front remains void of any significant shower activity with low clouds and fog with isolated showers instead.

Meanwhile, fair weather is seen over the Gulf of Mexico where a stable flow within the right exit region of the upper ridge is supporting surface ridging. This surface ridge is also providing a gentle to moderate easterly flow across area with less than 5 ft seas everywhere.

Low level speed convergence combined with a slit in the 200 mb jet is producing a line showers and thunderstorms within 80 nmi of 30N/80W 35N/73W 37N/65W. Meanwhile, a strong 1031 mb high is analyzed further east at 33N/56W supporting fresh to strong easterly flow across the entire Western Atlantic with cold air stratocumulus seen rotating in and around the influence of this high east of 70W and north of 20N.

An upper trough continues to interact with its low level reflection – a surface trough over the Caribbean to produce scattered showers and thunderstorms over the Bahamas, Southeast Cuba, Jamaica and Hispaniola. This feature is discussed more in detailed under the Caribbean header.


Very stable conditions over the Western Caribbean and Central America as a result of strong confluent flow between the upper ridge over the Eastern Pacific and an upper trough across the Central Caribbean. Meanwhile, a pronounce upper trough continues to dig and amplify across the Atlantic and into the Caribbean to 10N/80W. The divergence ahead of the trough is supporting scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms over the Southern Bahamas, Southeast Cuba and Hispaniola. The most prevalent thundershowers lie across the Caribbean between 72W and the Leeward Islands where the trough is interacting with a surface trough along 72W. Surface trades should remain on the breezy side across the Eastern Caribbean due to the pressure gradient between the Atlantic high and Caribbean surface trough. Light to moderate trades elsewhere. Mariners should expected easterly swells of 6-8 ft towards 80W, decreasing to 3-4 ft beyond.

by W456
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246. bear55
8:00 AM EDT on April 02, 2008
The Wilkins Ice Shelf Con Job
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245. pottery
7:41 AM AST on April 02, 2008
Trinidad weather now-
73 F
Cloudy, showers
Humidity 88 %
Dew pt. 70 F
Press. 1013 Falling

This feels like June today. Its great weather for me !
Have a busy one, everyone.
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243. FLWeatherFreak91
5:47 AM EDT on April 02, 2008
ivan, it is very strange how the pattern in Fl changed enough in the past week to allow for all these seabreezes, but I don't believe this is the actual change in prevailing winds just yet... there's a cold front coming over the weekend that will briefly bring back the winter and spring flow. But this summer does look wet if that sort of thing happens every day
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242. hahaguy
11:37 PM EST on April 01, 2008
oh magic 8 ball will i get hit this year.... idk i on my break....dam thing...throws it against the wall lmao.
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241. Michfan
4:29 AM GMT on April 02, 2008
Rev up the Magic 8 Balls.
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4:10 AM GMT on April 02, 2008
t minus
59 days 23hrs 44 mins edt
start of
2008 atlantic hurricane season
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239. moonlightcowboy
11:13 PM CDT on April 01, 2008
EXCELLENT tip, STL! Thanks, that looks TONS better!
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238. Ivansrvivr
4:03 AM GMT on April 02, 2008
It is Interesting that the prevailing winds over S.Florida have already shifted to SE. The prevailing winds usually remain NE until mid may. The Shift to a southeasterly flow is usually then followed a few weeks later by the rain season. Inland areas, Lake O and the Gulf side of the peninsula got large heavy afternoon storms from the southeasterly flow and seabreeze. If this wind pattern continues, the rainy season is here. Gulfstream temps are close to 80. It is also possible that the sumer steering pattern has appeared and if so, It may be a long wild summer along the S.E. US coast. I have the flu and it is very hard for me to type so BBL. Ivan & Mo!
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237. moonlightcowboy
11:05 PM CDT on April 01, 2008
Thanks, STL - I'll give it a shot now - yeah, it looks bad now, but without the tabs - yuck! Thanks, maybe I can do it!
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235. hahaguy
10:59 PM EST on April 01, 2008
it is good to see that cowboy
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234. moonlightcowboy
10:54 PM CDT on April 01, 2008
--- good to see this!


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233. moonlightcowboy
10:35 PM CDT on April 01, 2008

1032 mb high pressure centered about smack dab in the middle of the cAtl.
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232. moonlightcowboy
10:27 PM CDT on April 01, 2008
Yeah, I'm out, too. Have good sleep, Jer, Haha, Quasi, Charley - all!
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231. quasigeostropic
3:24 AM GMT on April 02, 2008
The whole blog entry was meant to be an April fools joke guys......We cant account for a majority of the past historical cyclones over the ocean. Before satellites, we only knew they were there if there was a ship/sea report or the cane struck land(this goes for the whole world BTW)......Good night=)
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230. hahaguy
10:26 PM EST on April 01, 2008
nice one jer lol
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229. sebastianjer
11:23 PM EDT on April 01, 2008
I don't know haha stupid is as stupid does :)

Good night all
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228. moonlightcowboy
10:23 PM CDT on April 01, 2008
Yep, Pottery! U2, have a good sleep! I'm not far behind you.
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227. sebastianjer
11:22 PM EDT on April 01, 2008
LOL Charley 11, They don't, except the ones some one saw I reckon
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226. moonlightcowboy
10:20 PM CDT on April 01, 2008
Helluva good plan, Jer! Preparedness is the name of the game! Just a thought, though I know you're on top of things - always good to have a second, intermediary plan, too! Like Pottery says, "crap happens! Have a plan "B" - be safe!
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225. pottery
11:21 PM AST on April 01, 2008
anyway guys, its been good. see you all anon. Bed is calling loudly.........
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224. hahaguy
10:21 PM EST on April 01, 2008
you must be stupid if you have a ride out of town when a cat 5 hits u run lol
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223. charley11
3:00 AM GMT on April 02, 2008
Sebastian, in your graph, how do they know the number of canes before satellites in 1966? Ouija board or Magic 8 ball?? LOL
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222. sebastianjer
11:16 PM EDT on April 01, 2008
Always prepared MLC,

CAT 1 shutter up

Cat 2 Shutter up and extra supplies

Cat 3 Shutter up, extra supplies and gas

Cat 4 shutter up and leave town

cat 5 shutter up so I can collect the insurance without arguments head to North Carolina and hope it don't follow lol
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221. pottery
11:18 PM AST on April 01, 2008
Its cool, I took it with a smile haha.
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220. hahaguy
10:17 PM EST on April 01, 2008
pottery you know i didn't mean it that way lol.
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219. pottery
11:16 PM AST on April 01, 2008
Sleep sound, Kman.
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218. pottery
11:11 PM AST on April 01, 2008
I dont think I want to be the first line of defense, thanks.
Hopefully, I'm still 3 or 5 degrees too far south ! But crap happens......
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217. moonlightcowboy
10:14 PM CDT on April 01, 2008
JER, sounds like you and Kman, others are getting prepared! That's a good thing!
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216. sebastianjer
11:12 PM EDT on April 01, 2008
Nite Kman
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215. kmanislander
3:09 AM GMT on April 02, 2008
So long MLC, Pottery, Haha and others

Great to CU
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214. Bonz
2:39 AM GMT on April 02, 2008
LOL. I love the chart.
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11:00 PM EDT on April 01, 2008
Re: the new WU Poll - the observer effect caused by the poll may throw off the count.

Our "summer" thunderstorm (with hail) today came out of the SE. Woo Hoo!

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212. sebastianjer
11:06 PM EDT on April 01, 2008
Just moved into new house here. Code requires shutters which is nice. After Francis and Jeanne everything here has new roofs to the new codes. Actually it was kind of like cleaning the underbrush in a forest, kind of got us cleaned up for the next fire, let's hope, lol.

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211. moonlightcowboy
10:09 PM CDT on April 01, 2008
Good to see you, Kman. Have a good sleep!
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210. GatorWX
2:51 AM GMT on April 02, 2008
anyone else have a problem uploading and getting approval of your blog photo??
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209. kmanislander
3:07 AM GMT on April 02, 2008
Well time to bid you all adieu for tonight.

Great to see the blog starting up again

Will be back

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208. hahaguy
10:08 PM EST on April 01, 2008
pottery is like the first line of defense for hurricanes
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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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