CSU predicts highly active hurricane season; Cyclone Phet approaching Oman

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 14:00 GMT le 03 juin 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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.."Calamity..either Natural or Man made knows no borders, only men's minds and Maps do"..

This Oil-Zilla is a National Emergency of the Highest Priority.

The well will leak and flow until the relief well,or wells can bottom Kill the darn thing.

But Drilling a relief well is not a easy thing.
Folks inadvertently say Itox was only in 200 ft of Water,yes,,it was..but the well was way down in the earth. It took 4 attempts to hit the Leaking well then,31 years ago.

IN drilling a relief well,,one has to hit a foot wide shaft 12,000 ft down from the Sea Floor..with another 1 ft wide drill bit.
Not a easy task in itself.

Were in this for the long haul, together as Americans.


And expect 2-3 weather delays which each will cause a one week delay.,between now and Mid-August.

Dem Canes wont care whats going on in the GOM.

Oil Zilla is Lurking,..

Time to jump in a do something collectively where one can.

We at Portlight are gonna feed folks helping out.

Thats the best way we can help for now.

We may need volunteers to Help in that task.

Even if were just passing out Water and such,..we aim to make a differnce.






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Met Service of Jamaica website

June 3, 2010 at 5:00 a.m.

LOCAL WEATHER FORECAST

SIGNIFICANT FEATURE…High Pressure Ridge across the northern Caribbean.

Comment…
High pressure ridge is expected to linger across the region for the remainder of the period.

TODAY'S FORECAST
This Morning… Mainly sunny.
This Afternoon… Scattered showers and thunderstorms across sections of western and central parishes and inland areas of most parishes.
Tonight… Becoming fair.

3-DAYS FORECAST (starting tomorrow)
Fri-Sun… Mainly sunny mornings with isolated afternoon showers mainly across central and western parishes.

Regionally… An area of Low Pressure persist over the southwestern, while Tropical Waves continue to migrate across the southern Caribbean.

nch/kjb
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Quoting Dakster:
Hmnmm. I know all we want is the oil gusher stopped. But if you are the Feds, apparently you are damned if you do and damned if you do not get involved.

Which way does everyone want it? Should the gov't be running the show or not. People are critical of Obama for not taking action, now that they are taking action they are critical of that...

(btw - I don't care whether Obama is a democrat or republican as I doubt these comments would be different regardless)

Hopefully this latest attempt will work - which is all I care about. This oil disaster has the capability of bringing the US back into a depression (or recession) if it continues.It is defiently going to affect the gulf coast state economies and more importantly millions of PEOPLE'S LIVES.

Correct!
You cannot have More Regulation, and Less Gov. Involvement at the same time.
The problem will always be the failure of the Regulator to do his job on the ground. And that failure is most often caused by 'pressure' exerted from outside the room.
Who is guarding the guards??
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They are bring in the diamond saw now to make a more finished cut.
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there having the press conference as we write...but i still don't see how they are going to be able to cap that with the amount of pressure that is coming out..i'm sure that there are some experts on here that can answer that....anyone have any idea??
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Quoting Dakster:
Hmnmm. I know all we want is the oil gusher stopped. But if you are the Feds, apparently you are damned if you do and damned if you do not get involved.

Which way does everyone want it? Should the gov't be running the show or not. People are critical of Obama for not taking action, now that they are taking action they are critical of that...

(btw - I don't care whether Obama is a democrat or republican as I doubt these comments would be different regardless)

Hopefully this latest attempt will work - which is all I care about. This oil disaster has the capability of bringing the US back into a depression (or recession) if it continues.It is defiently going to affect the gulf coast state economies and more importantly millions of PEOPLE'S LIVES.


It is already heavily impacting the Tampa Bay area and we aren't anywhere near the oil. I can't imagine what it must be like on the coast in areas that actually have oil.
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Quoting TampaTom:
Can't tell exactly what I'm looking at, but the activity on the CNN live feed looks like something (the top hat?) is being prepared for a move.


There is a selection of ROVs to look at on this page
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morning everybody, thanks Dr Masters
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Hmnmm. I know all we want is the oil gusher stopped. But if you are the Feds, apparently you are damned if you do and damned if you do not get involved.

Which way does everyone want it? Should the gov't be running the show or not. People are critical of Obama for not taking action, now that they are taking action they are critical of that...

(btw - I don't care whether Obama is a democrat or republican as I doubt these comments would be different regardless)

Hopefully this latest attempt will work - which is all I care about. This oil disaster has the capability of bringing the US back into a depression (or recession) if it continues.It is defiently going to affect the gulf coast state economies and more importantly millions of PEOPLE'S LIVES.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:



Maybe it was too risky and BP wasn't confident enough in the cut and cap's success? 20% more oil over the past 45 days is a TON.



Really all speculation anyways, and I'm not one to speculate so, how about them Cubbies?
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:



Maybe it was too risky and BP wasn't confident enough in the cut and cap's success? 20% more oil over the past 45 days is a TON.


Yep...but the fact remains that the pipe is cut now. And actually, it had to be cut in the 1st place. We all saw the pictures of the bent, leaking pipes. Trying to kill the flow with that mess of leaking pipes down there was madness.
Member Since: 26 août 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4020
Quoting CycloneOz:


I get this point, and I realized it immediately once I discovered that it was their #1 method going into all this.

Still...look where we are today. A 20% increase (48 hours) vs. day after day of millions of gallons.

The bottom line is that the government shouldn't have been telling BP how to stop the gusher, and they have been...actually ordering them.

Now with the "in receivership" (gag) thing, the government wants to control the whole thing.

The big question is: Do you trust the current administration in Washington to get the hole plugged?

Personally, I do not. Their "experts" are now 0-3 on this disaster.


Again, where do you see that cut-and-cap was BP's number one solution? It seems to me that BP's primary safety plan consisted of everyone crossing their fingers...
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Quoting CycloneOz:


I get this point, and I realized it immediately once I discovered that it was their #1 method going into all this.

Still...look where we are today. A 20% increase (48 hours) vs. day after day of millions of gallons.

The bottom line is that the government shouldn't have been telling BP how to stop the gusher, and they have been...actually ordering them.

Now with the "in receivership" (gag) thing, the government wants to control the whole thing.

The big question is: Do you trust the current administration in Washington to get the hole plugged?

Personally, I do not. Their "experts" are now 0-3 on this disaster.



Maybe it was too risky and BP wasn't confident enough in the cut and cap's success? 20% more oil over the past 45 days is a TON.
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Quoting CycloneOz:


I get this point, and I realized it immediately once I discovered that it was their #1 method going into all this.

Still...look where we are today. A 20% increase (48 hours) vs. day after day of millions of gallons.

The bottom line is that the government shouldn't have been telling BP how to stop the gusher, and they have been...actually ordering them.

Now with the "in receivership" (gag) thing, the government wants to control the whole thing.

The big question is: Do you trust the current administration in Washington to get the hole plugged?

Personally, I do not. Their "experts" are now 0-3 on this disaster.


The government needs to let BP fix the mess. We can then fine the heck out of them for cleanup. The government needs to get out of the business community, and allow companies to act independently again. The same goes for their involvement in the banking industry, but that's another topic for another blog.
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Quoting Dakster:
Clinton was really good at plugging holes - maybe they should contract him to help out.



Sure was,,specially Plugging that deficit the Guy before him ran up..

Just saying..
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Can't tell exactly what I'm looking at, but the activity on the CNN live feed looks like something (the top hat?) is being prepared for a move.
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Quoting JeffMasters:
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.


Is this a typo? The 2009 CSU forecast at this time was 11-5-2. Or is he talking about the Dec. 2009 CSU forecast for the 2010 hurricane season?
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
From previous blog


Quoting CycloneOz:
LOL...This Just In:

The current effort by BP to stop the gusher was the #1 method on their "to do list" after the Deep Horizon took the deep six.

But guess what?

The U.S. government said "NO! Try other methods before you cut that pipe!"

BP told the U.S. Government (and this is all in memos and will be released shortly) that the other methods available had low odds of success.

The U.S. government did not care about the odds.

Now, there's talk of the U.S. Government taking control of BP "in receivership!"

LOL!!! Unbelievable!

Sure there is blame to be put on BP for the accident even happening in the first place, but with these new revelations...who do you blame for ALL THESE DAYS (almost 60 now) of oil gushing from the Gulf floor?

If this latest attempt to stop the leak works, again...it was the #1 idea proposed by BP early on in this disaster, then the U.S. government is totally to be blamed for all the "extra oil" that's out there right now.




I would assume that this was the cause for concern on the Government side of things, a valid one too seeing how this cut and cap isn't going so well. 20% is a large increase in oil. The govt. made the right call, IMO.

The latest attempt to control the spill, the so-called cut-and-cap method, is considered risky because slicing away a section of the 20-inch-wide riser could remove kinks in the pipe and temporarily increase the flow of oil by as much as 20 percent.

A 20% increase is a big increase. But in context (and providing the dam thing works), 20% more for a week (say) is less than the existing flow for a month.
The point is, that the oil industry has more expertise than anyone
else in these matters.
And all the froth about BP somehow benefitting from this situation, is pure horse-manure. From a cow.
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Now yer talking,,hit um where it hurts the most!!

Credit agency drops ratings for BP
By The Associated Press
June 03, 2010, 8:33AM


BP America Chairman Lamar McKay leaves the Interior Department in Washington, after a closed door meeting in MayFitch became the first credit ratings agency to downgrade BP, noting the extreme financial risks tied to the ongoing Gulf oil spill.

"The company has so far repeatedly failed to stop the resultant oil leak and has instead reverted to containment methods that are yet to be fully implemented and are subject to potential weather-related disruption," the ratings agency says.

Fitch says further downgrades are possible.

Fitch estimates that BP's efforts to plug the well and clean up the oil will cost between $2 billion and $3 billion this year.
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I actually agree with the Government's approach if they did tell them to try other methods.

Damage to the blowout preventer could make the leak significantly worse.
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Quoting barbamz:
Cutting the riser has been successful, it seems!



Seems like it with the blackout of oil visible.
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Quoting CyclonicVoyage:
From previous blog


Quoting CycloneOz:
LOL...This Just In:

The current effort by BP to stop the gusher was the #1 method on their "to do list" after the Deep Horizon took the deep six.

But guess what?

The U.S. government said "NO! Try other methods before you cut that pipe!"

BP told the U.S. Government (and this is all in memos and will be released shortly) that the other methods available had low odds of success.

The U.S. government did not care about the odds.

Now, there's talk of the U.S. Government taking control of BP "in receivership!"

LOL!!! Unbelievable!

Sure there is blame to be put on BP for the accident even happening in the first place, but with these new revelations...who do you blame for ALL THESE DAYS (almost 60 now) of oil gushing from the Gulf floor?

If this latest attempt to stop the leak works, again...it was the #1 idea proposed by BP early on in this disaster, then the U.S. government is totally to be blamed for all the "extra oil" that's out there right now.




I would assume that this was the cause for concern on the Government side of things, a valid one too seeing how this cut and cap isn't going so well. 20% is a large increase in oil. The govt. made the right call, IMO.

The latest attempt to control the spill, the so-called cut-and-cap method, is considered risky because slicing away a section of the 20-inch-wide riser could remove kinks in the pipe and temporarily increase the flow of oil by as much as 20 percent.


I get this point, and I realized it immediately once I discovered that it was their #1 method going into all this.

Still...look where we are today. A 20% increase (48 hours) vs. day after day of millions of gallons.

The bottom line is that the government shouldn't have been telling BP how to stop the gusher, and they have been...actually ordering them.

Now with the "in receivership" (gag) thing, the government wants to control the whole thing.

The big question is: Do you trust the current administration in Washington to get the hole plugged?

Personally, I do not. Their "experts" are now 0-3 on this disaster.
Member Since: 26 août 2006 Posts: 10 Comments: 4020
Cutting the riser has been successful, it seems!
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Thanks Dr. Masters!
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from previous blog:
ncstorm 2:06 PM GMT on June 03, 2010
Quoting hercj:


Yeah Im with you, if this is going to be solved and it will be I am confident of this it will be done by engineers who will work on the fly and get this thing caped. It will NOT be by politicians making speeches or threats of prosecution. We can talk about all that later cap the damn hole.

the SO CALLED ENGINEERS havent done anything but INCREASE the flow of oil into the gulf..yall act like we should leave this up to BP but they havent accomplished a dang thang but killing more wildlife..destroying the barrier islands, and devastate the economy and people's way of life along the gulf coast..its easy to sit behind a computer and blame the government for everything (fox news) but the buck stops at BP..not the government..

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From previous blog


Quoting CycloneOz:
LOL...This Just In:

The current effort by BP to stop the gusher was the #1 method on their "to do list" after the Deep Horizon took the deep six.

But guess what?

The U.S. government said "NO! Try other methods before you cut that pipe!"

BP told the U.S. Government (and this is all in memos and will be released shortly) that the other methods available had low odds of success.

The U.S. government did not care about the odds.

Now, there's talk of the U.S. Government taking control of BP "in receivership!"

LOL!!! Unbelievable!

Sure there is blame to be put on BP for the accident even happening in the first place, but with these new revelations...who do you blame for ALL THESE DAYS (almost 60 now) of oil gushing from the Gulf floor?

If this latest attempt to stop the leak works, again...it was the #1 idea proposed by BP early on in this disaster, then the U.S. government is totally to be blamed for all the "extra oil" that's out there right now.




I would assume that this was the cause for concern on the Government side of things, a valid one too seeing how this cut and cap isn't going so well. 20% is a large increase in oil. The govt. made the right call, IMO.

The latest attempt to control the spill, the so-called cut-and-cap method, is considered risky because slicing away a section of the 20-inch-wide riser could remove kinks in the pipe and temporarily increase the flow of oil by as much as 20 percent.
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Lennox Head hit by tornado
Link
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Enhanced Infrared (IR) Imagery (4 km Mercator)
IO032010 - Tropical Cyclone PHET




Storm Relative 1km Geostationary Visible Imagery


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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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