Bertha may pose a long-range threat to the U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12:43 PM GMT on July 05, 2008

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Tropical Storm Bertha has maintained it's strength overnight, but is having trouble with Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) of 25°C--one degree below the threshold of 26°C considered beneficial for tropical storms. This morning's QuikSCAT pass missed Bertha, but last night's pass confirmed winds of at least 40mph. Satellite estimates of Bertha's strength have consistently put the storm's strength at 50 mph over the past day. The storm is under about 10-15 knots of wind shear.


Figure 1. Latest satellite image of Bertha.

The forecast
The models are now more confident that Bertha will not take a turn to the north east of Bermuda, with two models--the UKMET and NOGAPS--calling for the storm to pass very near the northern Lesser Antilles Islands by Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. These islands should anticipate the possibility of tropical storm conditions as early as Tuesday night, even though the current official track keeps Bertha well north of the islands. Bertha may be large enough to bring tropical storm force winds 100-200 miles from the center by Tuesday. A threat to the East Coast of the U.S. is now possible, with such an event most likely to occur about 7-10 days from now. It is also possible that high wind shear will tear apart Bertha (as predicted by the ECMWF model), or that the storm will recurve to the north just east of North Carolina, missing the U.S. The long range track of Bertha is highly uncertain, and it is too early to speculate how likely each of these scenarios is.

By Sunday morning, Bertha will be over SSTs of 26°C, which will warm to 27°C by Monday and 28°C Tuesday. this should allow Bertha to intensify to near Category 1 hurricane strength. However, by Tuesday, wind shear is expected to increase to 20 knots and remain high for several days, as Bertha encounters a branch of the subtropical jet stream. The higher shear should weaken the storm.

Elsewhere in the tropics
There are no threat areas to discuss in the tropical Atlantic, and none of the models are forecasting tropical storm formation in the next seven days.

I'll post an update by Sunday afternoon.
Jeff Masters

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2268. Bobbyweather
3:25 PM KST on July 06, 2008
000
AXNT20 KNHC 060622
TWDAT

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
205 AM EDT SUN JUL 06 2008

TROPICAL WEATHER DISCUSSION FOR NORTH AMERICA...CENTRAL
AMERICA...GULF OF MEXICO...CARIBBEAN SEA...NORTHERN SECTIONS
OF SOUTH AMERICA...AND ATLANTIC OCEAN TO THE AFRICAN COAST
FROM THE EQUATOR TO 32N. THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS BASED
ON SATELLITE IMAGERY...METEOROLOGICAL ANALYSIS...WEATHER
OBSERVATIONS...AND RADAR.

BASED ON 0000 UTC SURFACE ANALYSIS AND SATELLITE IMAGERY
THROUGH 0545 UTC.

...SPECIAL FEATURE....

THE CENTER OF TROPICAL STORM BERTHA IS NEAR 17.0N 41.2W AT
06/0300 UTC MOVING WEST 18 KT. THIS POSITION ALSO IS ABOUT
1835 KM WEST OF THE CAPE VERDE ISLANDS/2325 KM EAST OF THE
NORTHERN LEEWARD ISLANDS. THE ESTIMATED MINIMUM CENTRAL
PRESSURE IS 1000 MB. THE MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WIND SPEED IS
45 KT WITH GUSTS TO 55 KT. PLEASE READ THE LATEST NHC
FORECAST/ADVISORY UNDER AWIPS/WMO HEADERS MIATCMAT2/
WTNT22 KNHC AND THE LATEST PUBLIC ADVISORY UNDER MIATCPAT2/
WTNT32 FOR MORE DETAILS. SCATTERED STRONG SHOWERS AND
THUNDERSTORMS WITHIN A 30 NM RADIUS OF 17N42W. POSSIBLE
SHOWERS ELSEWHERE FROM 16N TO 20N BETWEEN 38W AND 45W. THE
LONG-TERM FORECAST FOR BERTHA IS TO MOVE WEST-NORTHWEST DURING
THE FORECAST PERIOD...AND POSSIBLY BECOME A HURRICANE AFTER
THE NEXT TREE DAYS.

...TROPICAL WAVES...

A NEW ATLANTIC OCEAN TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 23W/24W SOUTH
OF 20N MOVING WEST 10 TO 15 KT. NEARBY ITCZ PRECIPITATION.

AN ATLANTIC OCEAN TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 65W/66 SOUTH OF 24N
MOVING WEST 20 TO 25 KT. LOW CLOUDS ARE MOVING CYCLONICALLY
AROUND THE WAVE NO DEEP CONVECTIVE PRECIPITATION.

A CARIBBEAN SEA TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 81W SOUTH OF 25N MOVING
WEST 15 KT. THIS WAVE STRETCHES FROM THE FLORIDA KEYS TO CUBA
TO PANAMA. PRECIPITATION IS WEAKENING AS THE CLOUD TOP
TEMPERATURES ARE BECOMING WARMER.

A WESTERN CARIBBEAN SEA TROPICAL WAVE IS ALONG 93W/94W SOUTH
OF 17N MOVING WEST 15 TO 20 KT. THIS WAVE STRETCHES FROM THE
ISTHMUS OF TEHUANTEPEC INTO THE EASTERN PACIFIC OCEAN.
SCATTERED MODERATE SHOWERS TO ISOLATED STRONG THUNDERSTORMS ARE
SOUTH OF 22N BETWEEN THE YUCATAN PENINSULA AND 93W/94W. STRONG
SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE IN THE ISTHMUS OF TEHUANTEPEC.

...THE ITCZ...
12N16W 8N25W 17N36W 14N39W 6N50W 5N56W. SCATTERED MODERATE
SHOWERS TO ISOLATED STRONG THUNDERSTORMS FROM 5N TO 10N BETWEEN
THE AFRICA COAST AND 22W...AND FROM 1N TO 11N BETWEEN 34W AND
54W. ISOLATED MODERATE SHOWERS ARE ELSEWHERE FROM THE EQUATOR
TO 12N BETWEEN 22W AND 32W.

...DISCUSSION...

THE GULF OF MEXICO...

A MIDDLE TO UPPER LEVEL CYCLONIC CIRCULATION CENTER IS IN
NORTHERN MEXICO SPREADING CYCLONIC FLOW ACROSS MEXICO NORTH OF
23N. SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE FROM 20N TO 23N AND ALONG THE
MEXICO WEST COAST NORTH OF 23N. AN UPPER LEVEL RIDGE FROM THE
UPPER TEXAS COAST/SOUTHWESTERN LOUISIANA BORDER INTO THE
SOUTHWESTERN CORNER OF THE GULF OF MEXICO IS SENDING UPPER LEVEL
ANTICYCLONIC FLOW ACROSS PRACTICALLY THE ENTIRE GULF OF MEXICO.
THE FLOW DOES NOT BECOME CYCLONIC UNTIL REACHING 84W FROM WEST
TO EAST. A MIDDLE TO UPPER LEVEL TROUGH PASSES THROUGH 30N80W
TO A CYCLONIC CIRCULATION CENTER NEAR 28N80W JUST OFF THE
FLORIDA EAST COAST...TO THE CUBA COAST ALONG 80W...INTO THE
CARIBBEAN SEA NEAR 17N79W. POSSIBLE SHOWERS IN THE ATLANTIC
OCEAN AND THE CARIBBEAN SEA NORTH OF 17N WEST OF 77W.

THE CARIBBEAN SEA...

UPPER LEVEL ANTICYCLONIC FLOW FROM A FEW SOURCES COVERS THE WEST
OF 70W. SOME ANTICYCLONIC FLOW COMES FROM A WESTERN GULF OF
MEXICO RIDGE...SOME COMES FROM A SEPARATE SMALL UPPER LEVEL
RIDGE IN THE SOUTHWESTERN CORNER OF THE AREA. AN INVERTED MIDDLE
TO UPPER LEVEL RIDGE IS ALONG 78W/79W IN DRY AIR/SUBSIDENCE.
CONVECTIVE DEBRIS CLOUDS AND MOSTLY LINGERING SHOWERS ARE WEST
OF 75W.

THE ATLANTIC OCEAN...

BROAD UPPER LEVEL ANTICYCLONIC WIND FLOW COVERS THE AREA NORTH
OF 25N BETWEEN 60W AND 74W. MIDDLE LEVEL CYCLONIC FLOW IS CUTTING
INTO THE NORTHEASTERN CORNER OF THE SECTION OF UPPER LEVEL
ANTICYCLONIC FLOW. AN UPPER LEVEL TROUGH PASSES THROUGH 32N49W
TO 27N55W TO 22N60W. NO DEEP CONVECTIVE PRECIPITATION ACCOMPANIES
THIS TROUGH. A MIDDLE TO UPPER LEVEL TROUGH EXTENDS THROUGH
32N24W TO 26N36W. A SURFACE RIDGE EXTENDS FROM A 1026 MB HIGH
PRESSURE CENTER NEAR 33N56W TO BERMUDA TO 29N72W TO THE FLORIDA
EAST COAST NEAR 28N/29N.

$$

MT
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2266. TheWeatherMan504
6:22 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
they got 90l in the North central pacific lol!

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2265. BahaHurican
2:22 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
2257. howarjo1943 2:16 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
I dunno, that's definitely the best outflow Bertha has had since she moved by the Cape Verde's.


It's prolly effects of Dmax. Personally I think she could look a bit better. I'm going to look at the vis shots in a couple hours to see we are really observing improved conformation or not.
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2264. moonlightcowboy
1:16 AM CDT on July 06, 2008
Have a good sleep, Fire.

2254. Baha, I thought we'd get a 2:05, too. But, honestly, there was something earlier that said the next update would be at 5. As far as the OPC, they must be seeing something that many of the models aren't seeing, too.

This time tomorrow evening we'll know about where and when Bertha is gonna cross 20n. 45-50w? Still a chance to be a fish maybe. 50-55w? Landfall more likely.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
2263. BahaHurican
2:18 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
2258. weatherblog 2:17 AM EDT on July 06, 2008

Did u look at the OPC forecast of the high location by Thursday? It's no longer as far-fetched as it seemed even 24-36 hours ago that Bertha, or some semblance of her, might end up in the NE GoM.

I still think we will get a trough that moves her north and around the ridge before she gets all the way to Florida, but the way that ridge is building back, all bets are looking to be off.
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2262. SDWeatherCam
6:20 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
I agree, looking at that last animation, it seems like she's about to start being sucked a couple degrees south, while continuing her westward march.
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2261. TheWeatherMan504
6:20 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
2259. TampaSpin 6:19 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
It actually appears to me Bertha is moving now just South of due West. I think the South push is starting....could be wrong.


I noticed that too.
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2260. TheWeatherMan504
6:18 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
bertha is starting to show her colors.
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2259. TampaSpin
2:16 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
It actually appears to me Bertha is moving now just South of due West. I think the South push is starting....could be wrong.
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2258. weatherblog
6:11 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
At the rate she's moving, we may have a Gulf storm by the end of next week.

While I may have thought you were crazy a few days ago, it now looks there is a possibility. A small one though...very small.

For it to enter the GOM, I'd be considering the possibilities of Bertha hitting Florida first, because as of now that would be the only entrance for her. And, I give the chance of that happening now raised to 5%.
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2257. howarjo1943
6:09 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
I dunno, that's definitely the best outflow Bertha has had since she moved by the Cape Verde's. And the last infrared shows tstorms building throughout the circulation. Overall the circulation is expanding. Even if she strengthens to a cane I don't think it will affect the track short term. I see due west through at least tomorrow. Then all bets are off.
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2256. moonlightcowboy
1:14 AM CDT on July 06, 2008
2249. That speaks volumes, Baha!
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
2255. TampaSpin
2:12 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
If you all look at this loop you can see that the high is building West and North West you can see the push. The exit is closing and she will not make it as a fish storm with this small opening in my opinion. Link
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2254. BahaHurican
2:12 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
MLC, I meant the regular Tropical Weather Discussion that they do all the time regardless of whether there is a storm or not. I thought that updated at 8 and 2. But do u see the OPC take on the high and Bertha's track as a result? They see what we see . . .
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2253. fire831rescue
6:13 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
Well, all, I'm out for the night. Catch ya'll later.
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2252. moonlightcowboy
6:09 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
UW - CIMSS
ADVANCED DVORAK TECHNIQUE
ADT-Version 7.2.3
Tropical Cyclone Intensity Algorithm

----- Current Analysis -----
Date : 06 JUL 2008 Time : 054500 UTC
Lat : 17:09:14 N Lon : 42:02:22 W


CI# /Pressure/ Vmax
2.9 /1003.1mb/ 43.0kt


Final T# Adj T# Raw T#
(3hr avg)
2.5 2.7 2.7

Latitude bias adjustment to MSLP : +2.1mb

Center Temp : -53.0C Cloud Region Temp : -47.5C

Scene Type : CURVED BAND with 0.46 ARC in LT GRAY

Positioning Method : FORECAST INTERPOLATION

Ocean Basin : ATLANTIC
Dvorak CI > MSLP Conversion Used : ATLANTIC

Tno/CI Rules : Constraint Limits : NO LIMIT
Weakening Flag : ON
Rapid Dissipation Flag : FLAG
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
2251. fire831rescue
6:10 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
Baha, looks like the high to the North is going to keep Bertha South. The question is, for how long? And in that time will it continue moving West or wil it turn WSW or maybe WNW?
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2250. catfuraplenty
6:11 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
Bertha's biggest threat.
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2249. BahaHurican
2:10 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
And look at the 4 day forecast!!!!

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2248. SDWeatherCam
6:11 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
There does appear to be some banding forming in the N quadrant.
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2247. BahaHurican
2:03 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
Here's the latest surface analysis (0600 UTC) from OPC:

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2246. hurricanealley
6:07 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
is it moving w or wnw right now?
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2245. moonlightcowboy
1:06 AM CDT on July 06, 2008
Baha, at the ll advisory it said next update at 5 a.m.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
2244. TampaSpin
2:05 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
2241. howarjo1943 2:03 AM EDT on July 06, 2008

Nope the cloud tops have warmed its weakening.
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2243. fire831rescue
6:05 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
I think one thing we all forget is that we need to step back and look at all the variables building and affecting this storm. We may be in for a big surprise. This is going to be one of those watch as see type systems that we will need to keep a close eye on for the next few weeks.
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2242. fire831rescue
6:02 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
Ditto on the blog you put up, Tampa. It looks as if Bertha's moving to fast to gain strength and shows no signs really of slwing down. At the rate she's moving, we may have a Gulf storm by the end of next week.
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2241. howarjo1943
5:40 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
Anyone else think that Bertha is starting to rapidly strengthen? Its getting that buzzsaw look from inc outflow and that new burst of convection formed directly over the center while the last burst has not dissipated. I think if this continues we will have the first cane tomorrow afternoon.
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2240. druseljic
6:01 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
Appreciate the info and insight all. Will be watching this one closely!
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2239. BahaHurican
1:53 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
Isn't there supposed to be a 2:05 TWD? I'm still seeing the old 8:05 one on NHC.
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2238. fire831rescue
5:58 AM GMT on July 06, 2008


I HAVE THE KEY!!!
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2237. TampaSpin
1:52 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
2235. fire831rescue 1:52 AM EDT on July 06, 2008

Read my blog for the past 2 days...its a dido
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2236. weatherboykris
5:53 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
00z GFDL shifted slightly west.
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2235. fire831rescue
5:50 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
Looks that way to me, Tampa. From what I can tell, what I've been saying is happening. Scary, isn't it?
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2234. TampaSpin
1:42 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
Just found a good one look at the 3 hour difference in Steering. Does it appear to you that 3hours the high is stronger.....i looked at all steering flows and the high is getting stronger.

-3hrs

3hrs
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2233. weatherblog
5:43 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
Ok, nevermind, the impressive wave following Bertha dissipated. The wave train has came to a halt for now.
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2232. fire831rescue
5:45 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
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2231. fire831rescue
5:40 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
Well, Baha, everytime I make a forecast, I get knocked down in here. Figured I'd keep my score up this season, too. By God, I hope I'm wrong as well. But looking at everything I've seen, it's not that far fetched if you think about it.
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2230. moonlightcowboy
12:39 AM CDT on July 06, 2008
2227. Absolutely! Best to be prepared! Plan A and Plan B!
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
2229. BahaHurican
1:39 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
Hey fire.

I'm really REALLY hoping u are wrong . . . LOL
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2228. TampaSpin
1:35 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
2222. BahaHurican 1:34 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
TS, is that why somebody earlier was suggesting a SW jog of Bertha? That shear looks to be an outcropping of the ridge . . .


I do expect Bertha to go WSW! Bertha is on the SE side of the high..look at this pic....The high is building West at about the same speed as Bertha. If the high stops building West Bertha must go around the high which would take her WSW then West then WNW.


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2227. BahaHurican
1:36 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
2223. moonlightcowboy 1:36 AM EDT on July 06, 2008

Yeah, that's what's been making my belly ache. Especially since I notice the UKMET is holding the same line. How can I feel I'm out in left field when it's right out there with me????

I'd be much happier too if it were flip-flopping like the other models. But it's the one that hasn't changed much in the last 3 days.

Spooky. Let's put it this way. Tomorrow I think I make a spare grocery run and gas up my car early. I just want to not have to be dealing with the equivalent of "panic mode" later this week if this westward move doesn't moderate.
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2226. fire831rescue
5:36 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
I'm still here and I still hold on to my forecast... As crazy as it may be... Florida's gonna get this one... And I wouldn't be surprised if it continued into the GOM and landed elsewhere. It's happened before and it can happen again. My two cents again... BTW, read all the previous posts. Some of those pics in there were hilarious...
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2225. moonlightcowboy
12:38 AM CDT on July 06, 2008
Have a good sleep, Pottery!

.....uuuuuummm, that darn PRESS. He's got me wanting donuts! I'm out for some Krispy Kremes! At least I'm focusing! LOL, bbl ;P
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
2224. pottery
1:32 AM AST on July 06, 2008
Glad to hear that Baha. Thought you were being a little outlandish there. Or suffering from Accute Anxt. LOL
Got to sleep now all. Its late.......
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2223. moonlightcowboy
12:31 AM CDT on July 06, 2008
2219. Gotcha, Baha! Good take on two scenarios! Unfortunately, I've been leaning to the latter.

There's a few of us that have thought she might continue to go west simply because cooler water, dry air, steering all keep her weak and westerly. She'd have to ramp up fairly quickly to feel the effects of any trough imo. But, hey, I'm so novice here and this thing could very well be a fish. I certainly respect Drak's take!

But, I can also observe and draw conclusions, albeit, wrong sometimes. I just don't see it getting considerably stronger and if it did, present steering still seems to indicate a westerly flow.
Member Since: July 9, 2006 Posts: 184 Comments: 29594
2222. BahaHurican
1:33 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
TS, is that why somebody earlier was suggesting a SW jog of Bertha? That shear looks to be an outcropping of the ridge . . .
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2221. BahaHurican
1:31 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
Ya'll do realize I was playing with ya'll on the admin notice posting. . . . right?

I was just pointing out the REAL reason 456 didn't get answers to his questions; not like we don't know the answers or anything . . . just didn't want to "break the rules", you know. . . .

LOL
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2220. TampaSpin
1:25 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
The latest shear map shows Bertha is about to enter into 20kts of shear......don't see her getting stronger.....South she goes.

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2219. BahaHurican
1:23 AM EDT on July 06, 2008
2207. moonlightcowboy 1:22 AM EDT on July 06, 2008

On a serious note . . . LOL

I'm watching this very closely. I'm having a bad feeling about this, but hopefully that is indigestion from eating too much pizza too fast. . .

I am very interested in how much Bertha strengthens once she gets over some slightly warmer waters. If we see considerable strengthening, we may get lucky and see Drak's scenario play out. Given the models' leaning toward the turn out to sea, there's obviously a possibility.

OTOH, a weaker storm would be more driven by the ATL high, and that high has been consistent in the last few weeks in keeping a ridge out towards the west, sometimes extending as far as the eastern GoM. If we don't see that curve beginning tomorrow, we could be in for a nail-biting 48 hours . . .
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2218. TheWeatherMan504
5:28 AM GMT on July 06, 2008
night 456
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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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