The Big Thompson Disaster: Reverberations of a Flash Flood, 40 Years Later

By: Bob Henson, 10:20 PM GMT on July 29, 2016

What began as a celebratory Saturday in the mountains ended in tragedy 40 years ago this weekend, when a catastrophic flash flood ripped through the narrow Big Thompson Canyon of Colorado’s Front Range. A total of 144 people were killed on that Saturday evening, July 31, 1976--the eve of the 100th anniversary of Colorado’s statehood. On just about any summer weekend, the canyons northwest of Denver are packed with vacationers and day-trippers. With the state’s...

Flood

Updated: 10:41 PM GMT on July 29, 2016

Twin Invests 96L and 97L Worth Watching in the Atlantic

By: Jeff Masters, 2:41 PM GMT on July 29, 2016

There's a new threat area to discuss today in the Atlantic: a tropical wave midway between the Lesser Antilles Islands and the Cabo Verde Islands that is headed west to west-northwest at 25 mph. This disturbance was designated Invest 97L on Thursday afternoon by NHC, and should arrive in the northern Lesser Antilles by late Saturday night. The Hurricane Hunters are on call to investigate the storm on Sunday, if needed. Satellite loops on Friday morning showed 97L ha...

Hurricane

96L Off the Coast of Africa Growing More Organized

By: Jeff Masters, 2:01 PM GMT on July 28, 2016

A strong tropical wave that moved off the coast of Africa on Wednesday morning has become more organized over the far eastern Atlantic, and has the potential to develop into a tropical depression in the coming days as it tracks west-northwestward at 10 - 15 mph into the middle Atlantic. NHC designated this disturbance Invest 96L on Wednesday morning--the first "Invest" of the year for an African tropical wave. Satellite loops on Thursday morning showed 96L had a com...

Hurricane

Updated: 7:04 PM GMT on July 28, 2016

First African Tropical Wave of the Year to Get Designated an 'Invest': 96L

By: Jeff Masters, 3:21 PM GMT on July 27, 2016

One of the strongest tropical waves of the 2016 African monsoon season moved off the coast of Africa on Wednesday morning, and has the potential to develop into a tropical depression in the coming days as it tracks westwards at 15 - 20 mph into the middle Atlantic. NHC designated this disturbance Invest 96L on Wednesday morning--the first "Invest" of the year for an African tropical wave, and something we'll see a lot more of as once the Atlantic hurricane season hi...

Hurricane

Updated: 7:55 PM GMT on July 27, 2016

Extreme 'Grey Swan' Hurricanes in Tampa Bay: a Potential Future Catastrophe

By: Jeff Masters, 3:54 PM GMT on July 26, 2016

A “black swan” hurricane—a storm so extreme and wholly unprecedented that no one could have expected it—hit the Lesser Antilles Islands in October 1780. Deservedly called The Great Hurricane of 1780, no Atlantic hurricane in history has matched its death toll of 22,000. So intense were the winds of the Great Hurricane that it peeled the bark off of trees--something only EF5 tornadoes with winds in excess of 200 mph have been known to do. However, hurricanes ...

Hurricane

Updated: 11:36 PM GMT on July 26, 2016

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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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