Christmas weather books and Storm Chaser book review

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 4:54 PM GMT on December 18, 2007

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Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey ($23.10 from Amazon) takes the reader on a spectacular photographic journey through the U.S., documenting four seasons of our beautiful and violent weather. Author Jim Reed makes a business of weather photography, and has spent over 15 years chasing storms and documenting their awesome beauty and violent destructive power. The 191-page book would make a perfect Christmas coffee table book for that weather enthusiast (yourself?) in the family, and has great photos of tornadoes, hurricanes, hailstorms, blizzards, sunsets, and lightning. The book is mostly photos, but there are several riveting stories Reed tells. Most captivating is the story of his encounter with Category 4 Hurricane Charley as it pounded Punta Gorda, Florida in 2004. Reed miscalculated his time needed to get to shelter, and got caught in his vehicle on the road in the eyewall. Luckily, his videotaped farewell for mother and friends done during the height of the storm was not needed, as he was able to find shelter during the 4-minute passage of the eye. Reed also braved Hurricane Katrina from the beach front, and tells an abbreviated version of his dramatic encounter with the hurricane from Gulfport, Mississippi. I also recommend Hurricane Katrina Through the Eyes of Storm Chasers ($14.96 from Amazon) to read the full tale of his Katrina experience.

Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey has a few flaws. The quality of the writing is not quite as high as that of my favorite storm chaser book, the now dated 1996 Warren Faidley book, Storm Chaser: In pursuit of untamed skies (no longer in print, but available used). Reed's text doesn't match up with the photos presented on the pages in places, and he makes a number of unwarranted connections between global warming and extreme weather events. For example, he blames the June 22, 2003 fall of volley ball-sized hailstones in Aurora, Kansas on global warming. No single weather event can be attributed to climate change--all we can say is that the probabilities of some extreme weather events have increased. For example, the incidence of extreme precipitation events (the heaviest 1% of rain storms) has increased 20% over the U.S. in recent decades. No scientific papers have been published showing a link between tornadoes or hailstorms and climate change. That quibble aside, I heartily recommend Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey. The photos are fantastic. Three and a half stars out of four.

Best weather books published in 2007

Weather Photography:
Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey ($23.10 from Amazon).

Climate change:
Storm World: Hurricanes, Politics, and the Battle Over Global Warming by Chris Mooney ($17.16 from Amazon). See the realclimate.org review. I'll be posting a review of my own at some point.

General Weather:
Extreme Weather: A Guide and Record Book by Christopher Burt ($17.13 from Amazon). I hope to review this book soon.

Hurricanes:
Hurricane Almanac by Bryan Norcross ($11.04 from Amazon). See my review of the book.

Tornadoes:
Storm Warning: the Story of a Killer Tornado by Nancy Mathis ($16.32 from Amazon). See my review of the book.

Jeff Masters

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227. cchsweatherman
11:01 AM EST on December 20, 2007
226. NEwxguy 10:53 AM EST on December 20, 2007
224. cchsweatherman 3:47 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
222. NEwxguy 10:36 AM EST on December 20, 2007
29 and light snow/fog

I see your 29 degrees and light snow and I raise you 46 degrees to 75 degrees under partly cloudy skies here in Cooper City.


icy roads beat warm dry roads everytime


LOL
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226. NEwxguy
3:51 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
224. cchsweatherman 3:47 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
222. NEwxguy 10:36 AM EST on December 20, 2007
29 and light snow/fog

I see your 29 degrees and light snow and I raise you 46 degrees to 75 degrees under partly cloudy skies here in Cooper City.


icy roads beat warm dry roads everytime
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225. cchsweatherman
10:47 AM EST on December 20, 2007
By the way, extreme, my Dvorak estimate for now Dama is around 3.5 as well, but of course, I have only begun to learn this method.
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224. cchsweatherman
10:44 AM EST on December 20, 2007
222. NEwxguy 10:36 AM EST on December 20, 2007
29 and light snow/fog


I see your 29 degrees and light snow and I raise you 46 degrees to 75 degrees under partly cloudy skies here in Cooper City.
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223. NEwxguy
3:37 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Lake I have your snow this morning
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222. NEwxguy
3:35 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
29 and light snow/fog
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221. LakeShadow
3:27 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
morning! I got robbed of my snow last night.:(
It snowed to the north and to the south but skipped over my house completely. Maybe Santa will bring me snow #11. Mets around here all all a tizzy because the GFS is wacky and they have to depend on the UKMET and the NAM which they normally hate... (they are GFS junkies)
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220. extreme236
3:24 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
.
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
219. extreme236
3:23 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Thats what I was thinking W456....and looking at that link you gave me, 0.80 arc-1.00 arc is a T3.5
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
218. Weather456
3:22 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
but ur on the right track
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
217. Weather456
3:21 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
215. extreme236 3:02 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
so W456 would that be about a 0.75 arc/0.80 arc or so?


more like 0.80
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
216. extreme236
3:04 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
So with the curved band I see, I would give a dvorak estimate of 3.5
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
215. extreme236
3:00 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
so W456 would that be about a 0.75 arc/0.80 arc or so?
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214. NEwxguy
2:52 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
GM all,what a surprise its snowing again.
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213. cchsweatherman
9:39 AM EST on December 20, 2007
Almost forgot, good morning all. Where did my manners go?
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212. Weather456
2:38 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
GM StormW
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
211. Weather456
2:34 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
209. cchsweatherman 2:34 PM GMT on December 20, 2007

I found it easier to learn when someone explains the difficulties
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
210. Weather456
2:30 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
This is the most define curve band pattern I have seen with this system. I think it is safe to establish CI 3.5

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
209. cchsweatherman
9:30 AM EST on December 20, 2007
Thank you for helping bout extreme and I to learn the Dvorak technique. This is going to be of great assistance as I try and further my meteorology career. Taking a look at the information you provided yesterday, I now see why you said that learning the Dvorak technique can be quite a headache. So many different variables go into determining tropical cyclone intensity just from satellite imagery. It must have taken you quite some time to learn this. Thank you for making this much easier to understand.
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207. Weather456
2:12 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Extreme or CCH here's an infrared image showing an excellent example of curved band patterns indicated in shades of red and yellow. Classic comma band. This pattern is typically of CI 3.5. If the bands continue to coil then CI 4.0 can be reached in 12 hrs or so.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
206. Weather456
2:09 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
05R has been upgraded to Dama
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
205. Weather456
12:28 PM GMT on December 20, 2007
Tropical Depression 05R

1200 UTC DEC 20 2007

Pattern: Uniform CDO cloud region with a curved band about 0.55 arc

Current Intensity: CI 3.4

Adjustments and Remarks: Met agrees with an intensity of 3.5 but is lowered a bit to 3.4.

Final Estimate: CI 3.4

To check to see if the estimate was right, CDO pattern was perform.

The CDO is about 1 to 1.25 degree lat in diameter - CI 2.9

Banding is half way around the CDO for a small tropical cyclone - BF 0.5

CDO Pattern = 2.9 plus 0.5 equals 3.4

Adjustments: None

Final CI 3.4

Dvorak Trends:
0030 UTC DEC 17 - CI 1.5
1030 UTC DEC 17 - CI 1.7
1500 UTC DEC 17 - CI 2.2
2300 UTC DEC 17 - CI 2.5
1030 UTC DEC 18 - CI 2.5
1430 UTC DEC 18 - CI 2.5
1955 UTC DEC 18 - CI 2.5
0100 UTC DEC 19 - CI 2.7
0830 UTC DEC 19 - CI 3.0
1630 UTC DEC 19 - CI 3.5
2200 UTC DEC 19 - CI 3.0
1200 UTC DEC 20 - CI 3.4





Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
204. BahaHurican
7:26 AM EST on December 20, 2007
How depressing to have to get ready for work today . . . at least after tomorrow I have some days off.

Hopefully the weather won't warm up TOO much before Christmas . . .
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22561
203. BahaHurican
7:25 AM EST on December 20, 2007
I know they are glad to have a little rain again . . .
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22561
202. Weather456
8:03 AM AST on December 20, 2007
hey Baha....yeah...Here's the storm that pounded them last evening.

BRB

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
201. BahaHurican
11:56 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
Hey, 456,

Great shots! Especially the Miranda one with the storm clouds . . .
Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22561
200. Cavin Rawlins
11:52 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
WEBCAM ROMANTIK HOTEL VIVENDA MIRANDA GENERAL VIEW, Portugal

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
199. BahaHurican
11:51 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
Morning everyone,

There's a saying, "One swallow doth not a summer make".

In the midst of all the cheering and booing, we need to remember that global warming is a MACRO trend whose effects are to be measured in the centuries, not the annums, as the writer of that article posted by lin (165. lindenii 8:00 PM EST on December 19, 2007) seems to suggest. I don't think an increase in hurricanes or cold snaps in any given year can reasonably be considered evidence for OR against global warming. Lin's article also shows a fearfully ethnocentric US bias as well as some potentially faulty reasoning; telling me that no storms hit the US, for example, is not evidence that global warming isn't occuring.

I'd love someone to prove that GW isn't taking place. However, I'm not any likelier to believe GW antagonists who are talking foolishness than I am to believe GW proponents who are talking foolishness.

Member Since: October 25, 2005 Posts: 19 Comments: 22561
198. Cavin Rawlins
11:41 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
GM,

Atlantic View of Madeira Island, Portugal


Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
197. Finnmet
10:29 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
I have something to say about the "above" temperatures here in Europe.Here is a map with temperatures anomaly this autumn.Most of Europe has below average or near average temperatures.This happen of course after the warmest autumn(2006),winter,spring and summer in Europe history.Most central and eastern European countries had a lot of snow in october and november and very cold temperatures.In Alps and Carpathians was the snowiest november in the last 3 decades.We don't have a delayed winter start.Now,the first half of december was a little warmer,but not "hot",and started with 15 december winter comes back here in eastern and south-east Europe with snow and cold temperatures even in Greece.
196. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
7:07 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
TROPICAL CYCLONE CELINA ADVISORY NUMBER THIRTY-TWO - Issued at 6:00 AM UTC
============================================

As of 0600 AM UTC, Tropical Disturbance, Ex Celina [999 hPa] located near 22.1S 55.5E or 75 kms south of the coast of Reunion has 10 min sustained winds of 25 knots with gusts up to 35 knots. The former depression is reported as moving west-northwest at 10 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.0

Gale Force Winds
================
30 NM radius from the center
90 NM from the center in southern semi-circle

Additional Information
======================
This weak intensity system is tracking south of Reunion Island. The track is west-northwestward over the last hours due to the rebuilding subtropical high pressures. It should keep an intensity close to its actual stage during the next days in a neutral environment with strongest winds located in the southern semi-circle.

------

TROPICAL CYCLONE 05R ALERT NUMBER EIGHT - ISSUED AT 6:00 AM UTC
==============================================

As of 0600 AM UTC, Tropical Depression [996 hPa] located near 16.0S 82.8E or 2895 kms east of the coast of Reunion has 10 min sustained winds of 30 knots with gusts up to 45 knots. The depression is reported as moving south-southeast at 6 knots.

Dvorak Intensity: T2.5

Gale Warning Area
=====================
30 NM radius from the center
90 NM from the center in southern semi-circle

Forecast and Intensity
========================
12 HRS: 17.0S 84.2E - 30 knots (Depression Tropicale)
24 HRS: 18.0S 85.7E - 25 knots (Perturbation Tropicale)

Additional Information
======================
The system has tracked south-southeastward over the last hours. Environment is not favorable for intensification and the system should keep on tracking towards the southern latitudes becoming extratropical. Strong winds mainly exist in the southern semi-circle due to the gradient with the subtropical ridge.
Member Since: May 24, 2006 Posts: 51 Comments: 46133
195. KoritheMan
6:30 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
Already there have been three reports of hail; one in north-central LA, two in east Texas.

Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
194. KoritheMan
4:33 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
Nevermind... there are ways to take care of people like you... it is even listed at the bottom of your comments and I just have to click it... like now

Great decision there, Mike. ;)

Also, it looks as if severe weather might impact my area tonight into this morning, although judging by the current conditions and the mesoscale discussion just released from the SPC, I'm not expecting much in the way of any severe weather down here (I live in Ascension Parish, Louisiana). However, if all the ingredients come into play when the sun comes up down here, then I would imagine some of the storms could reach the severe category, especially with dewpoints in the low to mid 60s.

Eastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana needs to look out though. If anyone here lives in those areas, be prepared for a possible weather watch, along with some possibly damaging winds and some hail.
Member Since: March 7, 2007 Posts: 596 Comments: 21013
193. watchingnva
4:30 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
its gotten very quiet.
Member Since: September 7, 2005 Posts: 7 Comments: 1516
192. MichaelSTL
3:52 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
.
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
191. lindenii
3:52 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
189. MichaelSTL 3:41 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
That said, I bet that you think that this map (from NOAA's CDC) is fake and a blatant lie and that the yellow/red areas should be colored blue/purple...


A fake and blatant lie? Not at all.

It is simply one small piece of a great big puzzle.

Notice, however, the little word 'reanalysis' and all those other slippery words like 'smoothed by'. All those words are traces of potential tampering with the interpreation through the use of possibly flawed modeling. Which is why it is but one small piece of the puzzle.
190. lindenii
3:43 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
New Study Explodes Human-Global Warming Story

Monday, December 10, 2007 9:55 AM

By: Philip V. Brennan

As much of the U.S. is being blasted by vicious ice storms, a blockbuster report published in a prestigious scientific journal insists that the evidence shows that climate warming is both natural and unstoppable and that carbon dioxide (CO2) is not a pollutant.

Writing in the International Journal of Climatology of the Royal Meteorological Society, professor David H. Douglass (of the University of Rochester), professor John R. Christy (of the University of Alabama), Benjamin D. Pearson and professor S. Fred Singer (of the University of Virginia) report that observed patterns of temperature changes ("fingerprints") over the last 30 years disagree with what greenhouse models predict and can better be explained by natural factors, such as solar variability.

The conclusion is that climate change is "unstoppable" and cannot be affected or modified by controlling the emission of greenhouse gases, such as CO2, as is proposed in current legislation.

According to Dr. Douglass: “The observed pattern of warming, comparing surface and atmospheric temperature trends, does not show the characteristic fingerprint associated with greenhouse warming. The inescapable conclusion is that the human contribution is not significant and that observed increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases make only a negligible contribution to climate warming.”

One of his co-authors, Dr. John Christy, added: “Satellite data and independent balloon data agree that atmospheric warming trends do not exceed those of the surface. Greenhouse models, on the other hand, demand that atmospheric trend values be 2-3 times greater.

"We have good reason, therefore, to believe that current climate models greatly overestimate the effects of greenhouse gases. Satellite observations suggest that GH models ignore negative feedbacks, produced by clouds and by water vapor, that diminish the warming effects of carbon dioxide.”

And the third co-author, Dr. S. Fred Singer, said: “The current warming trend is simply part of a natural cycle of climate warming and cooling that has been seen in ice cores, deep-sea sediments, stalagmites, etc., and published in hundreds of papers in peer-reviewed journals.

"The mechanism for producing such cyclical climate changes is still under discussion; but they are most likely caused by variations in the solar wind and associated magnetic fields that affect the flux of cosmic rays incident on the earth’s atmosphere.

"In turn, such cosmic rays are believed to influence cloudiness and thereby control the amount of sunlight reaching the earth’s surface­ and thus the climate.

"Our research demonstrates that the ongoing rise of atmospheric CO2 has only a minor influence on climate change. We must conclude, therefore, that attempts to control CO2 emissions are ineffective and pointless — but very costly."

© 2007 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

*****************
Comment...

Current weather models are seriously flawed as the 2007 Hurricane season proved so conclusively. Yes the 'number' of storms was there...only problem was...the ACE was way out of kilter. Until scientists can reconcile the disconnect, depending on models is foolhardy at best and very unscientific.
189. MichaelSTL
3:41 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
That said, I bet that you think that this map (from NOAA's CDC) is fake and a blatant lie and that the yellow/red areas should be colored blue/purple...

Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
188. MichaelSTL
3:38 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
In 2005, a Canadian Greenpeace representative explained “global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter.” In other words, all weather variations are evidence for global warming. I can't make this stuff up.

ROTFLMAO!

Well, I think what he is saying is crap as well... and don't try to make it sound as if I am saying something that goes against global warming...
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
187. lindenii
3:11 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
185. MichaelSTL 2:37 AM GMT on December 20, 2007

165. lindenii 12:59 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
Article published Dec 19, 2007
Year of global cooling



That article is crap... that is like saying that the heat wave in August and other heat waves this year are proof of global warming.

*********

And to quote David Deming... geophysicist, adjunct scholar with the National Center for Policy Analysis, and associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma

"If you think any of the preceding facts can falsify global warming, you're hopelessly naive. Nothing creates cognitive dissonance in the mind of a true believer. In 2005, a Canadian Greenpeace representative explained “global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter.” In other words, all weather variations are evidence for global warming. I can't make this stuff up.

Global warming has long since passed from scientific hypothesis to the realm of pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo."

Thanks go to MichaelSTL, for proving the professors' point so well.
186. MichaelSTL
2:53 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
Dr. Masters' previous blog is also a very good example of why the near average temperatures so far this month in North America (below average where I live) are not proof of global cooling:

When this year's record sea ice melt in the Arctic occurred, I predicted another late arrival to winter over the Northern Hemisphere, because of all the extra heat and moisture the loss of sea ice would provide to the polar atmosphere. Well, winter arrived pretty much on time over North America. We've seen temperatures near average during the first half of December (Figure 1). However, almost all of Europe and Asia have seen a delayed start to winter. First half of December temperatures have been 3-6°C (5-10°F) above average across most of Europe, and even warmer over much of Asia. While the ski areas of the Alps have gotten much more bountiful snow than last winter, the lack of cold temperatures and snow is hurting the tourist industry in many regions, such as Finland. In Eastern Siberia, the lack of usual sea ice has led to temperatures up to 15°C (27°F above average) during the first half of December.


We should be lucky (if you like cold weather and live in North America) that the current pattern is roasting Europe and Asia and not the U.S. - that could change though. And Europe and Asia are a LOT bigger than North America (in other words, there is a lot more land that is warmer than average - and up to 27*F, which is just nuts, I can probably count the number of days that I have seen that were that much above average on one hand, much less for a couple weeks straight, than there is that is near to below average).

Oh, the NCDC says that every single one of the last 10 years is one of the 10 warmest years on record now (before it was 10 out of the last 11 years); the next strong El Nino will likely send temperatures through the roof (lets hope that the CFS is correct on its "super La Nina" forecast, reaching an incredible -3 in March, to help hold global warming at bay)...
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
185. MichaelSTL
2:37 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
165. lindenii 12:59 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
Article published Dec 19, 2007
Year of global cooling



That article is crap... that is like saying that the heat wave in August and other heat waves this year are proof of global warming... here is the real proof of what is happening:



Compare the cold areas to warm areas (over the last 365 days)... which is more widespread and more intense? Just looking at the poles makes my eyes bug out... and of course there will ALWAYS be cold snaps, just not as often as they used to be and outweighed by heat waves (except in a few areas, as you can see above, but not if you look at longer timescales, which results in more smoothing out of anomalies).
Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
184. MichaelSTL
2:23 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
The CMC is doing it again:



Member Since: February 22, 2006 Posts: 94 Comments: 32744
183. Cavin Rawlins
1:39 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
thats the hardest technique to learn. But if u are not sure look at steps 3 - 9 for model expected T-no MET. MET is used "when pattern is difficult to interpret.

All the rest techniques are clear cut as it easy to indentify a cyclone that is sheared, one that has a CDO, and one that has an eye.

Anyways....Gnight all
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
182. extreme236
1:39 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
Well im taking off for now...cya
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
181. CatastrophicDL
1:36 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
Hi everyone! I noticed the GFS has a little something developing in the GOM on the 28th. Are any of the other models showing this?
Member Since: September 3, 2007 Posts: 3 Comments: 1519
180. extreme236
1:34 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
Ok, that helps a bit more...thanks...I guess I will just have to practice it a bit more to get a feel for the arc stuff lol
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
179. Cavin Rawlins
1:31 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
ok....well if the curve half way round thats a 0.50 arc. If they curve 3/4 around thats a 0.75 arc and they curve all they around thats a 1.0 arc. Typically hurricane intensity is reached once the band coils once around but it can go further on that pattern.
Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076
178. extreme236
1:28 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
Ah, I see how they curve now....but im still a little confused on exactly how that is 0.60...I recognize the curved band thing much better now tho
Member Since: August 2, 2007 Posts: 19 Comments: 19234
177. Cavin Rawlins
1:26 AM GMT on December 20, 2007
Hope this helps...look at the extent to which bands curve around the CSC.

Member Since: July 24, 2005 Posts: 407 Comments: 19076

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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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