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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1981. pottery
Gator23 and Will45...
Those vids are not showing the top of the BOP or the cap.
The cameras have pulled back, and are showing the front end of the ROV.
The cap was LOWERED from the surface on a string of pipe. The cap is in place, with a pipe to the surface. There is still oil leaking out around the cap, and sometime tomorrow, when (if) the oil is flowing up the pipe, we will be able to see if it was successful.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23080
when these storms come ashore in pinellis expect come ashore expect a isolated severe report or two,imo.....
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Quoting errantlythought:


In my experience, that means we'll be fine.

Love ya bob. :P


I agree, I get worried when he says it will not bother us at all. Like he did for Katrina when it was on the east coast of Florida.
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RE post 1972. I suppose it makes sense, get the cap seated as best can be done without having to also deal with a pipe that extends a mile above you, then once you know the cap is seated as best as possible, then attach the riser and pray that it works...somewhat.
Patience, I guess. But we've all run out of that a LONG time ago.
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Quoting xcool:
Bob Breck's just mentioned tx low have to watch


In my experience, that means we'll be fine.

Love ya bob. :P
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1976. xcool
tropical weather
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1975. xcool
TropicalWave hey and rob
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BP = Bad People
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1970. gator23 3:37 AM GMT on June 04, 2010
Quoting Nolehead:
whatever that 1 cam is that's on cnn shows the whole thing and it's just a flowin out the top....sides...hell everywhere it seems


thats not live that was from before click my link



um..no i'm watching it live right now on cnn ac360...turn and look 4 yourself
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1972. will45
My understanding is that the pressure would be too strong. i guess they want the cap to be in place a while before they attatch the riser to it
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1971. Patrap
President Obama returns to Louisiana on Friday to see Gulf oil spill work
By Bruce Alpert, Times-Picayune
June 03, 2010, 7:45PM


Facing growing criticism that he has not shown enough urgency or passion about the 46-day-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, President Barack Obama will on Friday make his third visit to Louisiana since the disaster began, and administration officials said he is likely to be back.

The visit, his second in a week, comes as the president and members of his administration are turning up the rhetorical heat on BP, the operator of the damaged deepwater rig that is spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf.

"I would love to just spend a lot of my time venting and yelling at people, but that's not the job I was hired to do," Obama said on CNN's Larry King show Thursday night. "My job is to solve this problem and ultimately this isn't about me and how angry I am. Ultimately this is about the people down in the Gulf who are being impacted and what am I doing to make sure that they're able to salvage their way of life."

But just because the public hasn't seen his anger, Obama said, doesn't mean he doesn't feel outrage.

"You know, I am furious at this entire situation because this is an example where somebody didn't think through the consequences of their actions," Obama told King. "It's imperiling not just a handful of people. This is imperiling an entire way of life and an entire region for potentially years."

The criticism of the president has come from supporters and opponents alike.

On Sunday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who backed Obama's presidential campaign, said the president should have been more assertive during in the first days after the accident.

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, said,"We are tired of them talking like John Wayne and acting like Pee-Wee Herman."

Robert Gibbs, Obama's spokesman, said he expects that the president will meet with state and local officials, residents affected by the spill and get updates from Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, who is directing the administration's response to the spill.

Gibbs said the president considered his trip to Louisiana last week successful because he was able to hear directly from officials about what they needed to deal with the spill.

"The president believed it was a productive atmosphere in ensuring that everybody's causes and concerns were heard, and ultimately met," Gibbs said.

Gibbs was asked about the other crises facing the president, including the harsh international reaction to Israel's flotilla raid, the controversy about the White House trying to induce two Democrats to drop primary races with the possibility of federal jobs, the ongoing problems with North Korea and Iran and the continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"No White House, at any time, has the luxury of picking the events that it deals with, both on a domestic and an international ... and on the international scene," Gibbs said. "That's part of the job."
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125592
1970. gator23
Quoting Nolehead:
whatever that 1 cam is that's on cnn shows the whole thing and it's just a flowin out the top....sides...hell everywhere it seems


thats not live that was from before click my link
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1969. Patrap

BP's intellectual dishonesty: An editorial
By Editorial page staff, The Times-Picayune
June 03, 2010, 6:30AM


Anyone who trusted BP to be honest in the public debate about the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and its impact should have those notions dispelled by now. The company's intellectual dishonesty could hardly be more evident.



Just this past weekend, BP claimed it did not expect its latest strategy of cutting the riser pipe atop the blowout preventer to significantly increase the flow of oil while a new pipe was connected.

That prompted an immediate rebuke from the Obama administration, which said the unobstructed oil flow could rise by 20 percent. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Tuesday said BP was not forthcoming on the matter and that he was not comfortable with BP's statements.

That was not BP's only troubling assertion recently.

On Sunday, BP's CEO Tony Hayward denied that dispersants applied at the oil source are creating underwater plumes that could eventually threaten marine life. Mr. Hayward, who complained over the weekend that he would "like my life back," said BP has found "no evidence" of such plumes and that oil rises to the ocean's surface anyway.

That contradicts several independent scientists, who have collected samples of dispersed oil under water. Mr. Hayward's assertion also contradicted some of his company's previous statements, saying dispersants were preventing the oil from reaching the surface.

A study released in 2001 by the Minerals Management Service and oil companies -- including BP -- looked at how oil and gas combine at certain depths and stay in the water instead of rising to the surface, according to an ABC News report.

U.S. Rep. Edward Markey this week demanded that the company turn over measurements and other supporting material on which Mr. Hayward based his conclusion. The company should do so. On Tuesday, BP said it was awaiting analysis of water samples before making a final determination on whether there are underwater plumes.

These incidents come after BP repeatedly low-balled estimates of the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf and also sought to minimize the potential of pollution from its copious use of dispersants.

Evidently fed up with BP's efforts to minimize the spill's impact, the Obama administration on Tuesday decided not to have any more joint press briefings with the company. As Mr. Gibbs put it, BP has a "financial incentive to keep a lower number" on the spill's impact. For one thing, the company faces fines based on how much oil is flowing into the Gulf.

That's why the government, not BP, needs to determine how best to collect the spilled oil and protect our shores.

The Obama administration needs to work with scientists to quickly assess how much oil or oil residue is underwater and devise a prompt and effective way to collect it.
The public clearly realizes that BP can't be trusted, and the government needs to be more skeptical of the company's assertions as well.
Member Since: July 3, 2005 Posts: 414 Comments: 125592
whatever that 1 cam is that's on cnn shows the whole thing and it's just a flowin out the top....sides...hell everywhere it seems
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Quoting pottery:

Have you any idea how many people work, directly and indirectly, for BP?
And how many suppliers, contractors, etc etc depend to a large degree on them?


Yeah, some folks have a hard time thinking in larger terms...BP isn't the Mom&Pop Italian joint down the street...they're a large portion of the GDP of many states and even countries

That's what makes this so hard; they were criminal in their failure to plan for this eventuality; it's an amazing oversight on their part...wait, let me restate that: we're talking about BP here, afterall...their amazing ability to ignore this eventuality is mind boggling. Someone in their organization, someone whose job it is to think about nightmare scenarios came up with this little vignette and someone in a position above him (or her) ignored it...

It's highly unlikely that a company as big as BP will go bankrupt but they will be prime for a take-over before this is all done
Member Since: August 2, 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 9922
1966. will45
Quoting pottery:

What?? Can you explain what was said? I missed it.


LinkLink well from this link you can plainly see no pipe is connected to it to take the oil to the top.
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pottery

on anderson cooper they had a college guy that was explaining what was going on and he said which is true that they just put the sleeve on and will attache the pipe at a later time...why noone knows except for bp who is gone for the night...
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1964. gator23
Quoting pottery:

What?? Can you explain what was said? I missed it.

looks like the got it capped no oil is coming out as per this video

Link
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1962. pottery
Quoting Nolehead:
ok let me get this straight....they got the cap on without the line being attatched?? lmao wtf?? this is just unreal...oh a what a bunch of bs from the coast guard pr guy....wow..

What?? Can you explain what was said? I missed it.
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23080
the white flame is the dispurts (spell it's late) and there is no pipe atatched to the cover sleeve..according to a college guy, since bp won't have the balls enough to explain squat to us..
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If it had not been a BP owned Platform then, sooner or later, it would have been another Company's Platform.
I suspect (and fear) that this type of incident will occur more frequently as an oil greedy world looks further,wider and deeper for a shrinking commodity - all too often, perhaps, cutting corners (even when at the extremities of known, safe engineering science)in the haste to come "on line" and make money.

This is perhaps the Chernobyl of the GOM???
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Quoting JamesSA:
Where are you hearing that? Wouldn't surprise me!


Anderson Cooper
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1950. 850Realtor 3:25 AM GMT on June 04, 2010
Is the cap in place with no pipe attached to take the oil up to a ship?
Action: Quote | Ignore User


yep...
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This Armageddon of Oil will be yet a further catalyst propelling humans towards alternative sources of energy and fuel, and one might also say with a certain degree of understatement, a significant one at that.

And it's already happening. Have you heard of the "Bloom Box"? 60 Minutes did a story on it.



That's no doubt only one of other exciting possibilities.

There are many very smart people all over the world working on a better way. I believe we are on the cusp of a quantum-leap in the advancement of civilization. And as uncomfortable as it is to say, it's tragedies like this that make those changes possible.

Bloom Energy
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1953. pottery
Quoting viman:
Tropical wave east of Trinidad seems to be starting a little spin... could be mid level though...

OY! VincyMan!!
Looks like we will get some rains from that for sure.
Showers here this afternoon, and thunder around to the east and south earlier.
Hope you have a quiet season....
Member Since: October 24, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 23080
1952. JamesSA
Quoting 850Realtor:
Is the cap in place with no pipe attached to take the oil up to a ship?
Where are you hearing that? Wouldn't surprise me!
Member Since: August 17, 2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 579
1951. beell
May be the cause of the white "flame" seen in the plume from time to time.

Dispersant Ops
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Is the cap in place with no pipe attached to take the oil up to a ship?
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ok let me get this straight....they got the cap on without the line being attatched?? lmao wtf?? this is just unreal...oh a what a bunch of bs from the coast guard pr guy....wow..
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storms charging towards swfl,expect some isolated severe wx possible in pasco,pinellis,manatee,sarasota,charlotte and lee counties over the next 3hrs:pea sized hail,torrential rains w/localized street flooding,dangerous cloud to ground lightning and gusty winds up to 40mph all possible w/stronger storms.....
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Does anyone know what percentage of BP is owned by American Corporations or Americans?
Quoting pottery:

BP is not a British company. It's head office is in England. But it is a Global Company.
They pay taxes on everything they do, even in America.
Not defending them, but there are a lot of wrong statements being made...
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1946. xcool
Bob Breck's just mentioned tx low have to watch
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1945. Drakoen
Quoting TropicalWave:


that's groovy, so that's sorta of like using the past to indicate the future? or im I wrong?


Close, it is using the past to see how well the model performs- testing its accuracy.
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1943. Zhills
Wow! If that hat is considered successful...what would unsuccessful be?
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The pictures of those birds is gut wrenching!
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1941. viman
Tropical wave east of Trinidad seems to be starting a little spin... could be mid level though...
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Quoting mikatnight:
Hi Pat (#1740) -

It seems to me that no President since Harry Truman has had so much on his plate.


Please tell me you are joking. I sincerely hope you or anyone else isn't seriously suggesting that this President has been too busy with other important issues that He couldn't have already done...and still be doing more during this crisis. If that isn't what you meant in the above "quote", I apologize for the misunderstanding.

If that is what you meant, may i ask if you do actually think that playing numerous rounds of Golf and making political speeches for more than a week before he even talked publicly about the "spill" is justifiable?

If you do, we will just have to agree to disagree on that. If people weren't blinded by their personal political beliefs, then I would suspect that any fair minded individual would have to attest that this President has shown no more leadership during this crisis than Bush did during Katrina. Simply put, they both screwed up during the early stages of both disasters.

For me, I don't allow my own political leanings to excuse the serious lack of leadership they both showed during each Gulf Coast disaster.

Just for informational purposes, here is what our current President was actually doing during the first 19 days of the disaster that was caused by the Oil company that contributed heavily to his campaign. These are all FACTS...not our various random opinions.
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1939. Drakoen
Quoting TropicalWave:
evening, drak. what's hindcast skill, by the way?


When past data is put back into the model to see how well it projects out what actually happened.
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1938. xcool
tropical weather plz
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1937. xcool
btwntx08 thanks you alot
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1936. IKE
Quoting Nolehead:
give them hell anderson cooper...yes why isn't there a rep from bp explaining to the people wth is going on??? everyone is watching the damn cams so a little input would go a long way....geez!! bunch of dumb ass's


There are aren't they.
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1934. Ossqss
The visuals from some of the Sat's and radar's lead me to believe we have actually had some Derecho events today. Let's see what the reports end up like. Over the Western Gulf earlier was quite amazing... Out.
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http://www.bp.com/liveassets/bp_internet/globalbp/globalbp_uk_english/homepage/STAGING/local_assets/b p_homepage/html/rov_stream.html
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pat:"el derachio"??????,nasty wx building offshore my area,gunna go look off the balcony,see if i can see any lightning!
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About JeffMasters

Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.