Arizona's fire danger to increase Saturday; Adrian hits Category 4

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:06 PM GMT on June 10, 2011

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The powerful winds that have fanned Arizona's massive Wallow fire into the state's second largest fire on record will remain relatively modest on Friday, and the forecast for Eastern Arizona calls for afternoon winds of just 10 - 15 mph. On Thursday, Luna, New Mexico, located about 50 miles northeast of the fire, had sustained winds that peaked at just 12 mph, with gusts to 22. These are the lightest afternoon winds the fire region has seen all week, though firefighting efforts were hindered by very low relative humidities that reached 5% on Thursday. Firefighters were able to make progress Thursday, and the Wallow fire is now 5% contained. Unfortunately, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center forecasts that critical fire conditions will return on Saturday and Sunday, with strong southwest winds of 15 - 20 mph, gusting to 35 mph. The return of critical fire conditions this weekend means that the Wallow fire will likely become Arizona's largest wildfire in history, a distinction currently held by the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski fire (732 square miles.) The Wallow fire has grown steadily from 300 square miles on Sunday to 603 square miles on Thursday--about 50% of the size of Rhode Island.


Figure 1. Smoke from Arizona fires, including the Wallow Fire, continued traveling toward the northeast on June 8, 2011. As the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite acquired this natural-color image at 12:10 Central Daylight Time, thick smoke stretched from New Mexico and Texas northeastward to Illinois. Image credit: NASA Earth Observatory.

94L bringing heavy rains to the Bahamas
The large, disorganized tropical disturbance (94L) that brought heavy rains to Jamaica, Cuba, and Haiti early this week reorganized slightly overnight, and is now bringing heavy rains to the Bahama Islands. The storm killed at least 23 people in Haiti earlier this week, due to torrential flooding rains. Satellite-estimated rainfall amounts indicate 8 -10 inches of rain fell over Haiti's southwestern peninsula this week. None of the reliable computer models is showing development of 94L into a tropical depression, and NHC is giving the disturbance a 10% chance of developing by Sunday. Wind shear is a high 20 - 30 knots in the region between Cuba and South Carolina, making development unlikely. Elsewhere in the Atlantic, none of the reliable computer models is predicting tropical cyclone development over the next seven days.


Figure 2. Morning satellite image of Hurricane Adrian taken at 10:15am EDT June 10, 2011.

Annular Adrian becomes the first major hurricane of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season
Hurricane Adrian put on an impressive bout of rapid intensification Thursday, intensifying into the season's first major hurricane in the Eastern Pacific. Adrian is the globe's 6th Category 4 or stronger tropical cyclone of the year. Adrian is expected to remain far enough offshore the coast of Mexico to not pose a threat to that country. Gradual weakening is likely through the weekend, since Adrian will be tracking over cooler ocean waters. Adrian's decay will be slower than usual for a hurricane, since it has become what is called an annular hurricane. Annular hurricanes feature a large eye surrounded by a very thick eyewall, with no spiral rain bands. The very thick eyewall makes annular hurricanes resistant to weakening due to wind shear, dry air, or cool waters. Annular hurricanes are rare; only 3% of all Eastern Pacific tropical cyclones become annular, and 1% of all Atlantic ones.

A record 100-year flood on the Missouri River
The greatest flood in recorded history is occurring along sections of the Missouri River, which runs from Montana to St. Louis, Missouri. On Thursday, the river hit 28.0' feet at Williston, North Dakota, surpassing the record flood height set in 1912. The river is expected to continue to rise to 1.4' above the 1912 mark by Tuesday. This week, the Missouri River at Omaha, Nebraska surpassed the level set during the great 1993 flood, and the river's height is currently the 2nd greatest on record, 9' below the mark set in 1952. Water releases at the six flood control dams on the Missouri River are now at more than double their previous all-time highs; these dams were built between 1940 and 1964. This great 100-year flood on the Missouri River is just beginning, and is likely to cause major damage over the next few weeks.

Have a great weekend everyone, and I'll be back Monday with a new post.

Jeff Masters

Volunteers (dhennem)
Filling sandbags at the Hamburg, IA elementery school.
Volunteers
Albuquerque Smoke-Free for Now (olzab2)
Arizona's Wallow fire blankets Albuquerque in smoke for days, but we got a real "breather" at last on 6/8/11
Albuquerque Smoke-Free for Now
Sun Setting on Heavy Smoke (gilg72)
814 PM. Sun slipped down lower than the heavy clouds, but very heavy smoke. Almost didn't see it. Smoke comes from an over 100,000 acre fire in SW Az.
Sun Setting on Heavy Smoke

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1079. alfabob
Quoting Hurrykane:


A Kevin wave however, is the cause for the warming in the Equatorial Pacific. Generally induced by a strong downward motion burst of the MJO, inducing a strong westerly wind burst (west to east). The Kelvin wave then travels eastward in the subsurface, and hits the coast of South America, then ricochets back toward the west at the surface.

Hmm well looking at Link it looks like the first kelvin wave developed when the westerlies were weak and was associated with MJO activity. Then MJO activity decreased when the wave moved towards the eastern pacific and stayed there, I think below the surface also. What remains in the western pacific is much more weak than the initial anomaly, and will probably be assisted with MJO activity.
Member Since: July 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1347
Quoting pottery:

I have no Brownies...
But I did break into a bar of 70% Dark Chocolate just now.
Food of The Gods!
That's good too. Especially if the other 30% is raisins, or rum, or both.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5644
1077. pottery
Quoting CosmicEvents:
I agree. But we can talk about other things, like brownies.
Aqua, you mentioned marshmallows yesterday. You just throw some of the little ones into the batter? This sounds like it could be good.

I have no Brownies...
But I did break into a bar of 70% Dark Chocolate just now.
Food of The Gods!
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1076. Levi32
Quoting pottery:
The Indian Monsoon arrived today!
5 days EARLY !!!
There is Great Celebration in India, at the onset of the Monsoon, but this early one caused some problems because people were not prepared.

Thousands of people were without umbrellas and slippers...

from BBC.


I thought it was late? Based on this:

Compare the normal June 10th line to the actual June 5-11 line.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
1074. pottery
The Indian Monsoon arrived today!
5 days EARLY !!!
There is Great Celebration in India, at the onset of the Monsoon, but this early one caused some problems because people were not prepared.

Thousands of people were without umbrellas and slippers...

from BBC.
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Quoting Chicklit:
I have no confidence that anything tropical-storm-wise will happen for at least a week.
I agree. But we can talk about other things, like brownies.
Aqua, you mentioned marshmallows yesterday. You just throw some of the little ones into the batter? This sounds like it could be good.
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5644
Quoting alfabob:
No el nino because la nina was so strong last year, I think another kelvin wave will be moving across which will induce upwelling and some cooling. Don't know a lot about atmospheric/ocean coupling though, but MJO is also involved. I think 10 - 12 days out there will be an upward trend in activity, and the increased shear from this cold front should be gone by then.



A Kelvin wave however, is the cause for the warming in the Equatorial Pacific. Generally induced by a strong downward motion burst of the MJO, inducing a strong westerly wind burst (west to east). The Kelvin wave then travels eastward in the subsurface, and hits the coast of South America, then ricochets back toward the west at the surface.
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1071. pottery
Quoting bohonkweatherman:
Where are you located? Do you need the rain? If so I am happy for you. I wish I could take alot of the Flood Waters and put them in the drought areas.
From the map he posted, I think around Macon, Georgia.
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I have no confidence that anything tropical-storm-wise will happen for at least a week.
Time to catch up on those old projects or at least some sleep because who knows what this season will bring.
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Quoting aquak9:
At the end of the day, I guess the confounding nature of Weather and Climate is what keeps grown men here on a Saturday night discussing the weather...

Brownies work, too.
Yes, they do.
Are they done yet?
Member Since: August 3, 2005 Posts: 10 Comments: 5644
1068. alfabob
No el nino because la nina was so strong last year, I think another kelvin wave will be moving across which will induce upwelling and some cooling. Don't know a lot about atmospheric/ocean coupling though, but MJO is also involved. I think 10 - 12 days out there will be an upward trend in activity, and the increased shear from this cold front should be gone by then.

Member Since: July 5, 2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1347
Quoting RTLSNK:
It started raining here about 2015 hrs and has rained heavy and continuous for the last 45 minutes. I wish I could send all of you some of it.
Where are you located? Do you need the rain? If so I am happy for you. I wish I could take alot of the Flood Waters and put them in the drought areas.
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Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:


Especially, if the Gulf of Guinea is cold, that helps too. Thanks Levi for the whole explanation.


Yeah...gonna be interesting if that monsoon trof continues to hang out where it's at.
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Quoting Hurrykane:


Thanks Levi...think I understand it now. Because at the peak of the season, the waves that exit Africa are strong enough, and are pretty much on their way to developing...minus the MJO. Basically getting their instability from over Africa, then over the warm ocean...kind of like CISK (per se)


Especially, if the Gulf of Guinea is cold, that helps too. Thanks Levi for the whole explanation.
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Quoting Levi32:


Statistically, a very small percentage of early-season storms develop without the support of the MJO (having the upward motion phase over the Atlantic). In the peak months of the season, that percentage increases. The majority of storms still develop when the MJO is favorable, but a greater percentage is able to develop without the MJO's direct support. I believe this is because overall conditions are much more fragile for development in the early season, and thus taking away the support of the MJO generally shuts down all possibilities for tropical development. During the peak of the season, taking away the MJO isn't as much of a problem, though it still greatly reduces tropical activity.


Thanks Levi...think I understand it now. Because at the peak of the season, the waves that exit Africa are strong enough, and are pretty much on their way to developing...minus the MJO. Basically getting their instability from over Africa, then over the warm ocean...kind of like CISK (per se)
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1063. Levi32
Quoting TropicalAnalystwx13:


What do you think of the wave near 45W?


It's always nice to see an inverted-V signature like that, but it won't be able to do anything outside of the Caribbean. Once it gets west of 75W in 4-6 days, it may be in a marginally favorable environment, but if the overall pattern is not favorable for supporting convection, it won't have much of a chance to cause mischief.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
After a big tumble that started around mid-April, when the index was at positive 30, it went down to almost negative territory,the 30 day SOI index has stopped that trend and now is inching upwards for the past few days. That means El Nino will not appear anytime soon.

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Quoting Levi32:


Statistically, a very small percentage of early-season storms develop without the support of the MJO, having the upward motion phase over the Atlantic. In the peak months of the season, that percentage increases. The majority of storms still develop when the MJO is favorable, but a greater percentage is able to develop without the MJO's direct support. I believe this is because overall conditions are much more fragile for development in the early season, and thus taking away the support of the MJO generally shuts down all possibilities for tropical development. In the peak of the season, taking away the MJO isn't as much of a problem, though it still greatly reduces tropical activity.


Sorry to change the subject a minute, but what do you think of the wave near 45W?
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32524
1060. Levi32
Quoting Hurrykane:


Could you clarify for my education please? I mean , I know it is not impossible to get storms in a downward phase, but not easy. TIA


Statistically, a very small percentage of early-season storms develop without the support of the MJO (having the upward motion phase over the Atlantic). In the peak months of the season, that percentage increases. The majority of storms still develop when the MJO is favorable, but a greater percentage is able to develop without the MJO's direct support. I believe this is because overall conditions are much more fragile for development in the early season, and thus taking away the support of the MJO generally shuts down all possibilities for tropical development. During the peak of the season, taking away the MJO isn't as much of a problem, though it still greatly reduces tropical activity.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
Atlantic climatology for July (My own image):

Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32524
1058. SLU
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Quoting Levi32:


More frequently than in the early season, I meant. Sorry, it was a relative sentence.


Could you clarify for my education please? I mean , I know it is not impossible to get storms in a downward phase, but not easy. TIA
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then and now 3 hours later
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1055. Levi32
Quoting Hurrykane:


More frequently in the downward motion phase?


More frequently than in the early season, I meant. Sorry, it was a relative sentence.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
Quoting aquak9:
tell us how you REALLY feel, bohonk...

ok well our ground is not cracking here in Fla, not yet. Yikes.
Florida Temps did not seem bad today but your humidity seems kind of high to me, at least the humidity here has been pretty low. I don't want any humidity unless I am going to get rain. I would rather it be 100 to 105 with no humidity than 98 with higher humidity. I think the weather pattern will change for Texas and Florida soon with something tropical helping both states. All this heat has to lead to something building up is the way I look at it. Hearing there could be a minor El Nino building? When there is La Nina we get like No rain forever or so it seems. To me it gets depressing when the farmers get hurt and i also feel for the animals during a drought.
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Quoting Levi32:


The MJO remains a strong modulator of Atlantic tropical activity all season long, but storms develop more frequently in the downward motion phase of the MJO during the peak of the season. The fragile conditions in the early and late parts of the season make it much more difficult for storms to form without the MJO's support.


More frequently in the downward motion phase?
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1052. Levi32
It turns out that Tropical Storm Ana in 1979 also formed without the direct support of the MJO, which was in phase 3 on her date of formation. She is the only named storm to date to form east of the Caribbean in June.

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
1051. aquak9
At the end of the day, I guess the confounding nature of Weather and Climate is what keeps grown men here on a Saturday night discussing the weather...

Brownies work, too.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 26263
1050. Levi32
Quoting Tropicsweatherpr:
Levi, when the peak of the season (August,September and October) arrive, the MJO is still important, or systems can develop without wet MJO in that period?


The MJO remains a strong modulator of Atlantic tropical activity all season long, but storms can develop more frequently in the downward motion phase of the MJO during the peak of the season than early in the season. The fragile conditions in the early and late parts of the season make it much more difficult for storms to form without the MJO's support.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED
TORNADO WARNING
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NORMAN OK
757 PM CDT SAT JUN 11 2011

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NORMAN HAS ISSUED A

* TORNADO WARNING FOR...
NORTHWESTERN ELLIS COUNTY IN NORTHWEST OKLAHOMA...

* UNTIL 845 PM CDT

* AT 757 PM CDT...STORM SPOTTERS REPORTED A TORNADO 3 MILES
NORTHWEST OF FOLLETT... MOVING EAST AT 15 MPH.
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1048. RTLSNK
It started raining here about 2015 hrs and has rained heavy and continuous for the last 45 minutes. I wish I could send all of you some of it.
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1047. Levi32
Quoting Hurricanes101:


what were the storms that formed without the MJO?



Hurricane Alberto in 1982:

Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
Can someone help me please . I removed my avatar and I can't remember how to put another one on.
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1045. Levi32
I should point out that my figure of one June formation without MJO support in 32 years only applies to Caribbean and southern Gulf of Mexico storms that develop out of truly tropical processes. Frontal and subtropical developments further north are not included in that analysis.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
Quoting Levi32:


I posted this a couple days ago:

When you hear me speak of the Atlantic being unlikely to see another tropical disturbance in June until the MJO comes back, I have good reason to trust that it will be difficult to get a storm without the MJO over our part of the world. I went back and found the MJO phases on the formation dates of every May and June tropical storm that formed in the western Caribbean or southern Gulf of Mexico since 1978. One can see that the vast majority are clustered near the dividing line of phases 1 and 2, with only two outliers. Phases 1 and 2 both bring upward motion to the tropical Atlantic. While storms can form in the Atlantic without the MJO, the fragile conditions in the early season make the MJO probably the strongest modulator of early-season development.

MJO Formation Phases for May-June WCARIB and southern GOM storms:





what were the storms that formed without the MJO?

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Quoting TomTaylor:
you sure you want my 24/7 cloudy, non rainy, 60 degree weather?

Is be happy to swap with you though


Hi Tom,

I don't know what part of Southern California you're in, but I'm certainly not complaining. I haven't had to run the air conditioner yet. I'm in Colton.

Afternoons are barely reaching 80 thus far, though that's been warm enough to hit the water park today with my kids. It's been an awesome day! It looks like we'll hit 90 by Tuesday. Hopefully it doesn't last...

Tropics look quiet except for Adrian... I'm all for a trough picking up his remnants next week and sending some rain into the desert Southwest... Gro, can you make that happen for us, you know, put it a good word with our maker, since you were around when he made it?
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Levi, when the peak of the season (August,September and October) arrive, the MJO is still important, or systems can develop without wet MJO in that period?
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Link
Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
1040. Levi32
Quoting KoritheMan:

Curious.


I posted this a couple days ago:

When you hear me speak of the Atlantic being unlikely to see another tropical disturbance in June until the MJO comes back, I have good reason to trust that it will be difficult to get a storm without the MJO over our part of the world. I went back and found the MJO phases on the formation dates of every May and June tropical storm that formed in the western Caribbean or southern Gulf of Mexico since 1978. One can see that the vast majority are clustered near the dividing line of phases 1 and 2, with only two outliers. Phases 1 and 2 both bring upward motion to the tropical Atlantic. While storms can form in the Atlantic without the MJO, the fragile conditions in the early season make the MJO probably the strongest modulator of early-season development.

MJO Formation Phases for May-June WCARIB and southern GOM storms:



Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
Here is alittle info some might find intreasting I know I did.

The plots show the odds of a wet/dry or warm/cold season with ENSO conditions preceding the season. ENSO conditions are defined from the SOI index. The lead time is 3 seasons to concurrent. Results are based on the US climate division dasaset for 1896-1995. Extreme is defined as being in the highest or lowest 20% of the 100 year record. ENSO is defined as the top 20 SOI years (La Niña) and the lowest 20 SOI years (El Niño). Four extreme events would be expected by chance. A decrease number of years to zero or one year would be significant at the 99.3% and 95.7% level, respectively. An increase to seven, eight or nine years would be significant at the 95.4%, 98.6% and 99.9% levels. Actual significance is probably less due to the number of tests run and time/space correlations in the dataset.



Member Since: August 23, 2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 1918
1038. Levi32
Quoting stormwatcherCI:
LOL, Levi. I am not disagreeing with you but as you say rare but not impossible.


I'm just pointing it out. As you say it's not impossible, but I think it will be more likely when the MJO is supporting the Atlantic again.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
1037. pottery
Quoting TomTaylor:
yes, the atmosphere is definitely changing. And also our ability to observe the atmosphere is very poor. Upper air soundings are only done twice a day over very tiny selected locations. Other than that we have satellites, which are very useful for observing the atmosphere, but they still only give a limited view of the atmosphere, and surface observations.

So we are quite limited in our ability to accurately observe the atmosphere

True.
At the end of the day, I guess the confounding nature of Weather and Climate is what keeps grown men here on a Saturday night discussing the weather...
:)
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1036. aquak9
tell us how you REALLY feel, bohonk...

ok well our ground is not cracking here in Fla, not yet. Yikes.
Member Since: August 13, 2005 Posts: 171 Comments: 26263
Quoting stormwatcherCI:



Tiniest bit of purple beginning to show up in the SW Caribbean.

Been watching that area from this morning, even though that area has been labelled as semi-permanent low or Colombian low, that is the area where most June and Novemeber storms usually originate if I remember correctly, BTW Have you ever felt it this hot in June in Grand Cayman, heat indexwise that is?
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I am not hoping for development. 94L was great. Brought us some much needed rain but I know that will not be the case in the near future.
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Quoting Levi32:
It's only happened once in the last 32 years.
Curious.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 597 Comments: 21090
Quoting Levi32:
Our next chance for development likely won't be until after June 20th, and possibly not until the 25th. That's when the MJO comes back to our area of the world, and it is very rare to get a June named storm without the support of the MJO. It's only happened once in the last 32 years.
LOL, Levi. I am not disagreeing with you but as you say rare but not impossible.
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Quoting bohonkweatherman:
60 degrees? We wont see that until October if we are lucky. Let me see everything is dead around here, all ponds are just about dryed up, animals dont have anything to drink, farmers have lost everything, have had several wildfires around past few months, cracks in the ground big enough to get your foot stuck in. I have had 12 days of over 100 with 30 other days of 95 plus. Ok I guess I will trade with you. :) In Texas the darn Sun can be beyond Brutal.
ok I guess hat does sound worse. Idk if I wanna trade anymore lol
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1030. Levi32
Our next chance for development likely won't be until after June 20th, and possibly not until the 25th. That's when the MJO comes back to our area of the world, and it is very rare to get a June named storm without the support of the MJO. It's only happened once in the last 32 years.
Member Since: November 24, 2005 Posts: 635 Comments: 26684
Quoting KoritheMan:


Oh I know. But in this case, as alluded to previously, wind shear is forecast to remain strong throughout the next week. Pre-94L conditions were actually forecast to be very favorable for tropical cyclogenesis after the first few days, and before that, what shear there was did not affect it too much because it did not move.
I am not saying it is probable but this time of year I still think it is possible. Stranger things have happened without model support.
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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.