CSU predicts highly active hurricane season; Cyclone Phet approaching Oman

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 2:00 PM GMT on June 03, 2010

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A very active Atlantic hurricane season is on tap for 2010, according to the seasonal hurricane forecast issued June 2 by Dr. Phil Klotzbach and Dr. Bill Gray of Colorado State University (CSU). The CSU team is calling for 18 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes, and an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) 185% of average. Between 1950 - 2000, the average season had 10 named storms, 6 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes. But since 1995, the beginning of an active hurricane period in the Atlantic, we've averaged 14 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes per year. The new forecast is a step up from their April forecast, which called for 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, and 4 intense hurricanes. The new forecast calls for a much above-average chance of a major hurricane hitting the U.S., both along the East Coast (51% chance, 31% chance is average) and the Gulf Coast (50% chance, 30% chance is average). The risk of a major hurricane in the Caribbean is also high, at 65% (42% is average.) This is the most aggressive early June forecast ever issued by the CSU group; the previous most aggressive such forecasts were for the 2006 and 2007 seasons, when the CSU team predicted 17 named storms, 9 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes. Both of these forecasts did poorly, particularly the 2006 forecast, as only 10 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 intense hurricanes were observed.

The forecasters cited four main reasons for an active season:

1) Weak La Niña conditions should develop by the most active portion of this year's hurricane season (August-October). The expected trend towards weak La Niña conditions should lead to reduced levels of vertical wind shear compared with what was witnessed in 2009.

2) Current SST anomalies are running at near-record warm levels. These very warm waters are associated with dynamic and thermodynamic factors that are very conducive for an active Atlantic hurricane season.

3) A weaker-than-normal Azores High prevailed during April-May. Weaker high pressure typically results in weaker trade winds that are commonly associated with more active hurricane seasons.

4) We are in the midst of a multi-decadal era of major hurricane activity, which began in 1995. Major hurricanes cause 80-85 percent of normalized hurricane damage.

Analogue years
The CSU team picked four previous years when atmospheric and oceanic conditions were similar to what we are seeing this year: weak El Niño to neutral conditions, well above-average tropical Atlantic SSTs, and above-average far North Atlantic SSTs during April - May. Those four years were 2005, the worst hurricane season of all time; 1969, the 3rd worst hurricane season of all time, featuring Category 5 Hurricane Camille which hit Mississippi; 1966, a relatively average year that featured Category 4 Inez that killed 1,000 people in Haiti; and 1958, a severe season with 5 major hurricanes. The mean activity for these five years was 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes, and 5 intense hurricanes, almost the same as the 2009 CSU forecast.

How accurate are the June forecasts?
The June forecasts by the CSU team over the past 12 years have had a skill 19% - 30% higher than a "no-skill" climatology forecast for number of named storms, number of hurricanes, and the ACE index (Figure 1). This is a decent amount of skill for a seasonal forecast, and these June forecasts can be useful to businesses such as the insurance industry and oil and gas industry that need to make bets on how active the coming hurricane season will be. Unfortunately, the CSU June 1 forecasts do poorly at forecasting the number of major hurricanes (only 3% skill), and major hurricanes are what do 80 - 85% of all hurricane damage (normalized to current population and wealth levels.) This year's June forecast uses the same formula as the past two years, which did quite well predicting the 2008 hurricane season (prediction: 15 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 4 intense hurricanes; observed: 16 named storms, 8 hurricanes, 5 intense hurricanes) and 2009 hurricane season (prediction: 11 named storms, 5 hurricanes, 2 intense hurricanes; observed: 9 named storms, 3 hurricanes, 2 intense hurricanes.) An Excel spreadsheet of their forecast skill (expressed as a mathematical correlation coefficient) show values from 0.44 to 0.58 for their June forecasts, which is respectable.


Figure 1. Comparison of the percent improvement over climatology for May and August seasonal hurricane forecasts for the Atlantic from NOAA, CSU and TSR from 1999-2009 (May) and 1998-2009 (August), using the Mean Squared Error. The British firm Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) will issue their outlook for the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season on June 4. Image credit: Verification of 12 years of NOAA seasonal hurricane forecasts, National Hurricane Center.

NOAA's 2010 hurricane season forecast
NOAA issued their forecast for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season last week. As I discussed in my post on their forecast, NOAA is calling for very active and possibly hyperactive season. They give an 85% chance of an above-normal season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season, and just a 5% chance of a below-normal season. NOAA predicts a 70% chance that there will be 14 - 23 named storms, 8 - 14 hurricanes, and 3 - 7 major hurricanes, with an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) in the 155% - 270% of normal range. If we take the midpoint of these numbers, NOAA is calling for 18.5 named storms, 11 hurricanes, 5 major hurricanes, and an ACE index 210% of normal. A season with an ACE index over 175% is considered "hyperactive."


Figure 2. Visible satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Phet on Thursday, June 3, 2010.

Tropical Cyclone Phet the 2nd strongest Arabian Sea storm on record
Record heat over southern Asia in May has helped heat up the Arabian Sea to 2°C above normal, and the exceptionally warm SSTs helped fuel Tropical Cyclone Phet into the second strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Arabian Sea. Phet peaked at Category 4 strength with 145 mph winds yesterday, and has weakened slightly to 135 mph winds this morning. Only Category 5 Cyclone Gonu of 2007, which devastated Oman, was a stronger Arabian Sea cyclone.

Phet is over very warm waters of 30 - 31°C, and is under moderate wind shear of 10 - 20 knots. However, the storm is wrapping in dry air from the Arabian Peninsula, which has caused weakening. Visible satellite imagery from this morning (Figure 2) shows that the heavy thunderstorms on the north side of Phet have been eroded away by dry air. Phet is a small storm, and could fall apart fairly quickly if dry air can penetrate into its core. This should happen later today, since wind shear is on the increase, and the shearing winds should be able to disrupt the circulation enough that dry air can force its way into Phet's eyewall. Phet is fairly small, will miss the most heavily populated areas of Oman, and will likely undergo significant weakening before landfall, so the storm is unlikely to cause the kind of catastrophic flooding that Category 5 Cyclone Gonu of 2007 brought to Oman. Gonu killed 50 people and did $4.2 billion in damage. Phet's heaviest rains will be confined to a relatively sparsely populated region of Oman's coast. Rainfall amounts in excess of 6 inches in 18 hours (Figure 3) can be expected along Oman's coast today, which will likely cause extreme flooding.

After Phet's encounter with Oman, the storm will probably be at tropical storm strength when it makes its second landfall in Pakistan. Heavy rains from Phet will be the major danger for Pakistan, and serious flooding can be expected over southern Pakistan.


Figure 3. Forecast rain amounts for the 18-hour period ending at 2am EDT June 3, 2010. Image credit: NOAA/NESDIS.

Oil spill update
Onshore winds out of the south, southwest, or west are expected to blow over the northern Gulf of Mexico over most of the next week, resulting increased threats of oil to Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle, according to the latest trajectory forecasts from the State of Louisiana. The latest ocean current forecasts from the NOAA HYCOM model show that these winds will generate a 0.5 - 1 mph current flowing from west to east along the Florida Panhandle coast Sunday and Monday. If this current develops as predicted, it will be capable of bringing light amounts of oil as far east as Fort Walton Beach, Florida, by Monday. If you spot oil, send in your report to http://www.gulfcoastspill.com/, whose mission is to help the Gulf Coast recovery by creating a daily record of the oil spill.

Oil spill resources
My post, What a hurricane would do the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
My post Wednesday with answers to some of the common questions I get about the spill
My post on the Southwest Florida "Forbidden Zone" where surface oil will rarely go
My post on what oil might do to a hurricane
Gulf Oil Blog from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences
Oil Spill Academic Task Force
University of South Florida Ocean Circulation Group oil spill forecasts
ROFFS Deepwater Horizon page
Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) imagery from the University of Miami

I'll be back Friday with an analysis of the new TSR hurricane forecast and a new forecast by a promising Florida State University model.

Jeff Masters

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On a lighter note what is your favorite beatles,paul mccarthy song?They had a big whitehouse gala last night honoring Paul mccarthy,with many other celeberities there.
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afternoon,when this gets area(feature over east tx) in the GOM its going to make the spill come ashore 10X what we've seen thus far,its got good vorticity at850mb and needs to be watched,as sheer in the extreme north GOM may go below20kts
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12z GFS still showing some piece of mid-upper energy coming into the BOC from the eastern Pacific. It dissipates the Texas upper disturbance faster than the last run.

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Quoting jpritch:


Mine just says "Yes we can!" ;)


Mine says......WE WILL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER......LOL
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Quoting CycloneOz:


I wonder what that plume of oil would look like if it were on dry land.


It would look like Hedorah!

Just my take :P



Member Since: June 12, 2005 Posts: 6 Comments: 8188
Quoting beell:


It was there on Sunday. Been looking for anything that would bring us some rain in SE TX. Been watching it all the way in. I can understand why it was not front and center on your radar screen!


Lol, not that I don't care about you guys in Texas :)
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316. TampaTom 9:48 AM PDT on June 03, 2010
Sigh...



hey now, hey now, don't dream it's over.....


:)
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Quoting rainingnimbus:
Quoting CyclonOz, #255


I've got junky in this one, though. He's the perfect height for my reaching left hook to the jaw!

I've read this blog a long time and never seen anyone threaten another like that. Completely wrong.


CycloneOZ and Junky are friends if you read the blog like u say you would know this. Take it easy it'll be alright.
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Quoting pottery:

I think it is INCREDIBLE that a voter's card would say anything at all, about that.
How very strange.


It's mainly for primary elections. I do not get to vote in them. I do get to vote in general elections, though.
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321. beell
Quoting Levi32:


I know, I just don't remember seeing any surface reflection on the models. Now that I look at old runs I guess the GFS had something there on the 18z run yesterday:



It was there on Sunday. Been looking for anything that would bring us some rain in SE TX. Been watching it all the way in. I can understand why it was not front and center on your radar screen!
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Watching those robots is truly amazing.
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


They seemed to agree with you about that not moving much. Showed over 9 inches of rain over the next couple of days.


Ya...yucky for sure.
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Quoting reedzone:
My voters card says Republican, but I don't always vote that way, I vote on who matches my personal beliefs and has my values.

I think it is INCREDIBLE that a voter's card would say anything at all, about that.
How very strange.
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Sigh...
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Quoting CycloneOz:


My voter registration card says under "Party" DTS which means (Declined To State.)


Mine just says "Yes we can!" ;)
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Quoting NRAamy:
294. gordydunnot 9:39 AM PDT on June 03, 2010
Pottery whats that sneaking up on you from the west.



a pissed off, hungry, purple hippo from Southern Calif.....

You finished the Bubbly already?
Hand in there, Lobster Bisque (the Lob is oil-free, it's West Indian ) is simmering nicely
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Quoting srada:
The initial oil disaster, todays ruining the gulf disaster and many years from now health and financial disaster are all the SAME disaster..it all could have been avoidable..BP is SOLELY responsible for destroying the gulf..the government didnt build those rigs..try telling the families who lost their lives on that rig and the people in the gulf whose way of living has been turned upside down that the government is responsible for this chaos..only two letters come to those people lips and thats BP


This same rig was given Government Commendations for Saftey earlier this year . The MMS was clearly not up to par and possibly corrupt and it goes back past the current or the previous admin. No on party is to blame but the government agency that was supposed to monitor this stuff was not doing its job.

That being said BP is not a toddler whose parents have not properly disciplined. BP should have been on top of this REGARDLESS if the Government Agencys in charge were counting there gifts, kickbacks instead of properly inspecting and checking these rigs.

Ultimately it IS BP, but this is one of the places WE really NEED government REGULATION AND INTERVENTION to keep the people enviroment and economy safe.
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My voters card says Republican, but I don't always vote that way, I vote on who matches my personal beliefs and has my values.
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Quoting Levi32:


I know, I just don't remember seeing any surface reflection on the models. Now that I look at old runs I guess the GFS had something there on the 18z run yesterday:



They seemed to agree with you about that not moving much. Showed over 9 inches of rain over the next couple of days.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Pottery whats that sneaking up on you from the west.

WHAT?? OH LORD!!
And here I was, looking EAST all morning..........
LOL
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294. gordydunnot 9:39 AM PDT on June 03, 2010
Pottery whats that sneaking up on you from the west.



a pissed off, hungry, purple hippo from Southern Calif.....
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Quoting reedzone:
I'm young, and very conservative, not republican, nor democrat. I have lots of conservative values because of who I believe in, a God who loves me very much that he sent his only son to die for me. I don't think I should get banned for voicing my beliefs :)



My voter registration card says under "Party" DTS which means (Declined To State.)
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Quoting DestinJeff:


i think it is pretty evenly distibuted


Everyone right now, Dems/Reps/Indies, are all praying that the Cap will work......... :)
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Quoting Levi32:


I know, I just don't remember seeing any surface reflection on the models. Now that I look at old runs I guess the GFS had something there on the 18z run yesterday:



I left a comment on your blog, I hope you consider it
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Quoting StormJunkie:
Think they are cleaning up the jagged edges now Oz...At least that's what I assume that saw is doing.


I wonder what that plume of oil would look like if it were on dry land.
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I'm young, and very conservative, not republican, nor democrat. I have lots of conservative values because of who I believe in, a God who loves me very much that he sent his only son to die for me. I don't think I should get banned for voicing my beliefs :)

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Quoting CycloneOz:


*foot taps, looks at watch...tap tap tap...waiting on the mainstream to do the right thing here.****

OK>>>>>>>>
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:


Would someone please direct this poor, misguided soul to a weather blog? (Just messin' with you, Sarah.)

Gosh, I've missed this place.

lol!
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IT roared in from the ocean, a swirling funnel of fury. In less than 60 seconds, parts of Lennox Head were gone - wiped out by a freak force of nature rarely seen in this country.

Residents and tourists cowered in terror as homes and caravans exploded around them when the tornado tore through the picturesque northern NSW coastal town just south of Byron Bay just before 7.30am yesterday.

They told of the twister roaring "like a train" as it demolished homes, flipped and smashed caravans, snapped large trees and sent deadly debris including steel girders and street signs flying through the air as missiles.

Within a minute, the tornado - which had roared ashore after starting as a water spout out to sea - had destroyed 12 homes, severely damaged another 30 and caused millions of dollars worth of damage.

Thankfully, only six people were injured, none seriously.

Among the injured were Monique Buzzolan, whose first instinct was to cradle her "miracle baby" Liliana, who she had to late fiance Jesse, killed last year in a car crash.

With her in-laws' house falling in around her, Ms Buzzolan, 27, was thrown to the floor and hit by shards of glass as she struggled to protect her daughter.

"The glass door just exploded into my back," she said. "I got up to try to get to the stairs and then the front doors blew open. At some stage I looked up and saw the roof lifting off."

Cradling Liliana in her arms, Ms Buzzolan used her mobile phone to call an ambulance before fleeing to a neighbour's house to shelter in their basement.

"It ripped through in a matter of seconds. It hit before we knew it and then it was gone," she said.

A shaken Ms Buzzolan was treated at Ballina Hospital with her daughter.

"Liliana's her miracle baby. She didn't even know she was pregnant to my son Jesse," said mother-in-law Sue Kelly as she surveyed her devastated Stewart St home.

Highlighting the cruel hit-and-miss carnage unleashed by the storm cell, some homes, including the old fibro and corrugated shed next door, were spared.

Graham Ellis, 73, who lives on the Lennox Head beachfront with his wife Pam, was watching the French Open tennis on TV when the twister hit his Pacific Pde house.

"I heard the roar but before I could get out I heard the [debris] missiles hitting the house ... that's when I knew it was on," he said. "I said to the wife, 'Just stay here, don't move until it's over'. It was absolutely horrifying."

When Mr Ellis dared to look outside, he saw his caravan - his pride and joy - flipped onto its side, destroyed.

"I've lived here for 26 years and I've never experienced anything like this," he said. "It was absolutely a twister."

Melbourne visitors Ida Gurman and Allan Farver were spending their second morning in a beachfront home owned by friends when "all hell broke loose".

"The rain was pelting down but there was no warning," Mr Farver said. "There was an almighty crash, the windows blew in downstairs and the wall behind us cracked and opened up.

"I could hear glass and everything shattering and came upstairs to see utter destruction."

The top floor of the two-storey house had been demolished. A boat parked at the side was blown about 50m around the corner and speared through the front fence.

"The whole place is devastated," Ms Gurman said.

"Our friends who own the house are in Europe. We sent them a text to tell them what happened but haven't been able to talk to them. They'll be mortified."

Sydney tourists David and Allana Baigent were staying in a tent in the local caravan park when the twister came through. Caravans and mobile homes were picked up and smashed but, miraculously, their tent stayed up.

"It was like something out of a Hollywood movie," said Mrs Baigent, of Cronulla.

"David was hanging onto the tent and there was debris flying everywhere. I came out and saw it [the twister] turn and hit the caravans. I couldn't believe the power of it - they were just mangled."

There were unconfirmed reports of looting in the caravan park and police sealed it off.

"If that's true, it's absolutely diabolical," Ballina Shire Mayor Phillip Silver said.

Town powerlines were brought down and by late yesterday about 80 people had visited an emergency evacuation centre set up at the Lennox Head Bowls Club.

State Emergency Service area controller Scott Hanckel said SES crews would be in Lennox for days.
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We really need some tropical development soon

It appears now that no one can even talk about the oil spill without bringing politics into it, politics have no place on this blog

After the way the blog has been the last few days, I am not so sure I will be using it during the heart of the season
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Think they are cleaning up the jagged edges now Oz...At least that's what I assume that saw is doing.
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Quoting reedzone:
Wow, so much democrats in this blog, it's amazing...


indeed, what a sad predicament, huh?
Pottery whats that sneaking up on you from the west.
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Quoting beell:


The MCV is a result of the small upper level low that was on the model several days ago. Still there over TX.


I know, I just don't remember seeing any surface reflection on the models. Now that I look at old runs I guess the GFS had something there on the 18z run yesterday:

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Looking at the pipe, it looks like that "jaws of death" did a pretty decent job. It's not that ragged.
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Wow, so much democrats in this blog, it's amazing...
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Quoting srada:
The initial oil disaster, todays ruining the gulf disaster and many years from now health and financial disaster are all the SAME disaster..it all could have been avoidable..BP is SOLELY responsible for destroying the gulf..the government didnt build those rigs..try telling the families who lost their lives on that rig and the people in the gulf whose way of living has been turned upside down that the government is responsible for this chaos..only two letters come to those people lips and thats BP
Ummm BP didn't build the rig either.
Member Since: February 27, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1125
Quoting frostynugs:
why is bp censoring the video stream? it was color bars last night, now just a blank screen with "no video". they don't want us to see exactly how much more oil is gushing out now that they cut the pipe...


They aren't censoring it. They have a whole bunch of equipment down there and not all of it is broadcasting all the time. Here is the cam list.

And here's where the action is right now. Unless you want to watch the dispersant operation, which is here.

All I know is that is a lot of oil coming out of that thing now that it's been cut.
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287. beell
Quoting Levi32:


Well I don't want to give the GFS that much credit lol. No model detected this surface low before the MCV formed, because it was a mesoscale feature.


The MCV is a result of the small upper level low that was on the model several days ago. Still there over TX.
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Quoting Dakster:


1st round in the room on me...

---


You;'re a good man, Dakster, and no mistake!
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
Quoting DestinJeff:


comments have sponsors now...




ROFLMAO! Day two of A-Game! You're pitching perfect games, man!
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Quoting pottery:

We dont KNOW that yet...


*foot taps, looks at watch...tap tap tap...waiting on the mainstream to do the right thing here.****
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Quoting homelesswanderer:


Well I can at least enjoy the lower temps. :)

FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE LAKE CHARLES LA
1033 AM CDT THU JUN 3 2010

.UPDATE...
LARGE MCC OVER TX OVERNIGHT GENERATED A LARGE LINE OF SHRA/TSRA TO MOVE
THRU THE REGION EARLIER THIS MORNING...NOW FROM ALEXANDRIA THRU JUST
E OF LAFAYETTE TO MORGAN CITY. FURTHER WEST...THE UPPER TROF THAT
HAS BEEN AFFECTING THE REGION HAS CUT OFF INTO AN LOW...SPINNING
ACROSS SE TX. SCT SHRA/TSRA CONTINUES ACROSS THIS REGION AS WELL.
WITH THIS LOW NOT EXPECTED TO MOVE MUCH...INCREASED INSTABILITY
ALOFT WILL CONTINUE A BETTER THAN AVERAGE (50-60%) CHANCE OF
SHRA/TSRA OVER ALL OF THE REGION. WITH ALMOST TOTAL CLOUD COVER
EXPECTED TO CONTINUE TODAY...TEMPS WILL NOT LIKELY RISE PAST THE
LOWER 80S. UPDATED FORECAST ALREADY OUT.


I wonder if the thing will be able to spark more t-storms this evening even if it's still over land. Interesting that it reached MCC status overnight.
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271, then it's different and not as bad as I thought but that still doesn't belong on Dr. Master's blog.
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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