Gulf of Mexico Disturbance 92L Less Organized; Erin No Threat to Land

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:30 PM GMT on August 17, 2013

Tropical disturbance 92L over the South-Central Gulf of Mexico is looking less organized today due to dry air from an upper-level low pressure system over the Gulf. Satellite loops show that 92L has lost the well-developed surface circulation it had Friday, and its heavy thunderstorms are elongated and not well-organized, even though wind shear is a moderate 10 - 20 knots over the the wave, and ocean temperatures are a very warm 29 - 30°C. The hurricane hunter flight scheduled for today has been cancelled and re-scheduled for Sunday afternoon.


Figure 1. Visible satellite image of 92L taken at 10:30 am EDT Saturday August 17, 2013. Image credit: NASA/GSFC.

Forecast for 92L
The 12Z Saturday SHIPS model forecast predicts that 92L will remain in an area of low to moderate wind shear through Monday, and ocean temperatures will be a favorable 29 - 30°C. However, the dry air due to the upper-level low over the Gulf will continue to keep any development slow. A trough of low pressure is over the northern Gulf of Mexico and is bringing high wind shear values of 20 - 30 knots just to the north of 92L. This trough may also be able to pull the storm northwestwards to a landfall in Louisiana, Texas, or Northern Mexico on Monday of Tuesday, as suggested by all of our top models. The farther north 92L penetrates, the more difficult intensification becomes, due to higher wind shear values to the north. Regardless of 92L's track, a flow of moist tropical air along the storm's eastern flank will form an atmospheric river of moisture that will bring a swath of 5+ inches of rain to the Gulf Coast from Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle over the next few days. In their 8 am EDT Saturday Tropical Weather Outlook, NHC gave 92L a 40% of developing by Monday, and a 50% chance of developing by Thursday.


Figure 2. Predicted precipitation for the 7-day period ending on Saturday, August 24, 2013. Tropical moisture flowing north and northeastwards from 92L over the Southeast U.S. is expected to create a swath of 5+ inches of rain along the coast. Image credit: NOAA/HPC.

Tropical Storm Erin
Tropical Storm Erin over the Eastern Atlantic is small and weak and has lost nearly all of its heavy thunderstorms, as seen on satellite loops. This is due, in part, to the 25.5 - 26°C waters the storm is traversing, which is a marginal water temperature for tropical cyclones. Erin is also having trouble with dry air from the Saharan Air Layer (SAL), and the storm's northwest motion has begun to cut Erin off from a moist source of air to its south--the semi-permanent band of tropical thunderstorms called the ITCZ (Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone.) Several of the major global computer models call for Erin to dissipate over the next few days, and it is unlikely that the storm will ever threaten any land areas.


Figure 3. MODIS satellite image of Tropical Storm Erin taken at 10:30 am EDT Saturday August 17, 2013. At the time, Erin had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. Image credit: NASA.

The tropical wave that spawned Erin began over East Africa on August 9, dumping 0.83" of rain on Khartoum, Sudan, worsening a devastating flooding situation there. Periodic torrential rains in Sudan that began on August 2 have triggered flash flooding that has killed 53 people. More rain is on the way for the waterlogged nation, as a series of strong tropical waves associated with an unusually active African monsoon parade across the continent. Several of these tropical waves have the potential to grow into tropical storms once they exit the coast, but the latest 06Z run of the GFS model and 00Z run of the ECMWF model are not calling for any new tropical waves to develop off of the coast of Africa over the next seven days.

Wunderblogger Lee Grenci just posted this excellent analysis of Typhoon Utor's eyewall replacement cycle before the storm made landfall in the Philippines last week.


Video 1. Debris flies as Typhoon Utor hits Zhapo, China on 14th August 2013. Video taken by storm chaser James Reynolds, and brought to my attention by wunderground member Robert Speta.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Jeff Masters


The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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1777. vis0
1:04 AM GMT on August 19, 2013
92L's moisture plums in BWWB
benefit (CLUEs):

the darkest in WV images has the "thickest" vapor.

IMPORTANT keep in mind the Z time as to sunrise or sunset. As any visible SAT image if its too dark i push it to present max detail. If that's misread one thinks cloud tops are higher than they really are.

by reading the speed of the to N fro W-B-W-B B-W-B-W gives one a more precise progression of the clouds/cloud tops.

Purposefully remove NASA symbol & country highlighters for the water vapor slides in case one decides to pause VID one can tell Vis from WV slides.

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1776. Abacosurf
5:51 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Link

Still winds gusting over 40 MPH in the gulf just south of AL. and FL. pan handle.. Over 10 hours winds from 25 to 45 MPH.

Fairly potent!!
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1775. CaribBoy
5:47 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1774. CaribBoy:
12Z GFS XD XD XD .... FANTASY LAND THOUGH
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1774. CaribBoy
5:47 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
12 GFS XD XD XD .... FANTASY LAND THOUGH
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1773. allancalderini
5:15 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1741. Grothar:


Elongated blob.

Wouldn`t it be colfronted blob?
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1772. midgulfmom
4:32 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Thanks Pat for the, "Why NOLA matters" post. Was about to respond to that when my 87yr old Mamma rang me on the phone. Just getting back here....
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1771. daddyjames
4:32 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1770. Levi32:
With high pressures over the SE US for the next week, a couple of these waves coming through the Caribbean and north of the Caribbean are making the pattern look "fishy" in the Gulf of Mexico region again about a week from now, at least on the GFS. The pattern will at least remain unstable there, meaning a wary eye should be kept on these waves. I think this one here is actually the ITCZ low that the CMC was taking north of the Caribbean, but won't actually go north.



New blog folks!
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1770. Levi32
4:31 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
With high pressures over the SE US for the next week, a couple of these waves coming through the Caribbean and north of the Caribbean are making the pattern look "fishy" in the Gulf of Mexico region again about a week from now, at least on the GFS. The pattern will at least remain unstable there, meaning a wary eye should be kept on these waves. I think this one here coming into the southern gulf is actually the ITCZ low that the CMC was taking north of the Caribbean, but won't actually go north.

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1769. moonlightcowboy
4:29 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1699. CybrTeddy:
19N81W, I think this season is interesting at how often people are jumping to conclusions without looking back on previous seasonal activity in August in similar years. Before we should jump to the conclusion that the experts are wrong,  one should consider the following:

  • We're already on five named storms, although none were hurricanes, they were nonetheless tropical cyclones and we're above average from where we should be. Also unlike 2012, none of them were non-tropical in nature. Recall 2010's activity at this point. After Hurricane Alex, nothing major formed with the exception of a few weak tropical cyclones. Then Danielle formed on August 21st and the season simply didn't stop and we had 19 named storms.

  • We are NOT experiencing above average SAL, this is a conclusion based on observation and not evidence. This is supported by the CIMSS Saharan analysis. What we are experiencing is below average vertical instability as the result of the lack of the Madden-Julian Oscillation phase (MJO). The MJO is forecasted to return with a vengeance to our basin by all climate models and the GFS, in return, has been showing consistenty the possibility of the Atlantic basin featuring numerous hurricanes by late-August/early September. Here's the latest SAL analysis.

  • The Atlantic basin also does not have much in the way of above average wind shear, this is yet another observation without evidence. Indeed, when looking at the NOAA TCFP page, one discovers that wind shear across the Atlantic has been trending average-below average, most noticeably being in the Gulf of Mexico.

  • Dr. Masters said the same thing around this time in 2010. If we look back to Dr. Masters' blogs then, we discover that the mindset you're taking about this season existed in abundance then too as well as that season was "hyped up to be super-active" and by this time in August we had nothing. However, like 2010 at this point, the models are indeed beginning to sniff out development and an insane amount of it. You must also consider the fact that Dr. Masters' never forecasts beyond 7 days, as error for beyond that is quite large. The GFS is beginning to sniff out a pattern shift. Although 2013 won't ignite quite around the same time 2010 did, we should consider the possibility that it will ignite with the same vigor.
In conclusion you should really use evidence to support your claims. None of the storms this year have fallen victim to dry air or shear. It's been lack of vertical instability and bad timing that's killed these systems. Dorian and Erin both formed as the result of a Kelvin wave and had virtually no chance of becoming anything significant. As the MJO returns to our basin, vertical instability will become more prudent. I think 15-16 named storms this season is a reasonable expectation.



Hear! Hear! Very aptly said. Nice, CT. Thanks.
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1768. Grothar
4:25 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Giant flareup of Erin taking place.


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1767. sugahcane
4:24 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
PatTrap

Thank you for your post @ NOLA
Counting on you to give the heads up...should we need to run for dear life... have elderly folks here. Exhausted from being hyperviligant on the tropics. Citzens just raised wind and hail again...contemplating a move north of da lake
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1766. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
4:22 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
JeffMasters has created a new entry.
1765. Grothar
4:22 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Well, at the moment it looks like Erin is going to dip south and west and 94L want to go NW. We may have a Fujiyama effect soon.
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1764. Gearsts
4:22 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Is alive!
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1762. seminolesfan
4:18 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1749. TylerStanfield:

Yes, I do agree the Positive NAO has really done a Number on the pattern and conditions for storms this year. But with a Positive NAO, you also have the danger of Long-Tracking storms making it all the way across the Atlantic During Peak Season.

Yes and yes. I agree totally with both.

Despite the thermodynamic issues with the season thus far, I still think we will see a hyper-active period (or two!) where a large chunk of names will be issued.
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1761. Grothar
4:18 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1758. Dakster:
I've noticed things like that Skyepony. Especially the birds - they seem leave well in advance. The other subtle things about plants, us city folk have a hard time noticing.

Thanks for the posts of the GFS Gearsts.


For every hurricane I can remember, the birds all left the day before. Other animals get very quiet. Ducks especially, will all hover together.
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1760. TylerStanfield
4:16 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
144 Hours out, the GFS says "SAL Who?"
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1759. Gearsts
4:14 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
144hr
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1758. Dakster
4:14 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
I've noticed things like that Skyepony. Especially the birds - they seem leave well in advance. The other subtle things about plants, us city folk have a hard time noticing.

Thanks for the posts of the GFS Gearsts.
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1757. Grothar
4:12 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1752. CybrTeddy:

Does she think the season's a bust too? :)



The only thing she ever asks me about is if it's going to rain. Other than that she could care less. She has, on occasion, called me a blob.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1756. Gearsts
4:12 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
138hr
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1755. Skyepony (Mod)
4:11 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1730. Envoirment:


T... by the time the animals react and the skies take a turn for the worst, it's too late for you to do anything and there's the potential that not only you, but your friends, family and many others would be in real danger.


If a big storm is coming nature reacts in the 2-3 days before & not just animals but plants..certain things in swamps will bloom, struggling pines die. Even the Seminole Indians managed to flee the glades before those storms in the late 1920's. They knew what was happening because they were a part & an observer of nature.

That's one great thing about this community. Between the blogs, PWS & the photo side you get a unique look at conditions or nature around and beyond your door or travels..plus nexrad and colorful graphics..
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1754. Dakster
4:11 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1751. Grothar:


No he presents an argument so well, it might take some of the heat off of me.


Gotcha... (Btw, not that there is anything wrong with that)

Looking like we might be biting our nails in early September.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1753. Gearsts
4:10 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
132hr
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1752. CybrTeddy
4:07 PM GMT on August 18, 2013

Quoting 1735. Grothar:


Hey Teddy, the next time I have an argument with Mrs. Grothar, you want to come over?
Does she think the season's a bust too? :)
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1751. Grothar
4:07 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1745. Dakster:


Gro- Are you two going to have a bromance?


No he presents an argument so well, it might take some of the heat off of me.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1750. Gearsts
4:07 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
123hr
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1749. TylerStanfield
4:06 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1737. seminolesfan:


I was speaking of the season in totality to this point.

At different times we have seen each of these 'symptoms' affect waves/pouches/cyclones this year.

I was simply pointing out that both 'symptoms' are tied to the 'cause' of significant atl ridging.
Which is also a frequent blog conversation topic relating to general storm tracking patterns for the season in general.


Yes, I do agree the Positive NAO has really done a Number on the pattern and conditions for storms this year. But with a Positive NAO, you also have the danger of Long-Tracking storms making it all the way across the Atlantic During Peak Season.
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1748. Grothar
4:06 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
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1747. TylerStanfield
4:04 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1738. AussieStorm:
Goodnight all. Stay dry, cool and calm.
Catch ya'll in the morning

Goodnight Aussie.
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1746. TylerStanfield
4:03 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
The GFS has this system developing in the next 3-5 days...




What is worrisome for me at the present time is how Low Instability has been in the World's Oceans in general for the past couple of years. There has been a serious lack of Strong, Violent Storms (Not to say that it's a bad thing) which leads me to believe that there has to be some kind of balance to this phenomenon. Basically, if were experiencing low instability now in the World's oceans, there has to be some way for the Earth to be able to release this heat and distribute it. I find it just strange for us to be in this predicament without some kind of resolution yet to be seen, meaning we may see something happen globally in the coming years where we see higher amounts of instability globally, or see strong Heat waves or massive floods.
Whether you believe in Global Warming or not, the Climate is out of wack right now.




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1745. Dakster
4:03 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1735. Grothar:


Hey Teddy, the next time I have an argument with Mrs. Grothar, you want to come over?


Gro- Are you two going to have a bromance?
Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1744. Gearsts
4:02 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
111hr
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1743. 62901IL
3:57 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1741. Grothar:


Elongated blob.


This is, by my definition of a blob. a blobulous blob. What do you say, Grothar?
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1742. Gearsts
3:56 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
96hr
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1741. Grothar
3:56 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1734. TylerStanfield:

Any other blob news you got for us today, Gro?


Elongated blob.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1740. OhNoLa
3:55 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1721. TylerStanfield:

Good to know. I'll make sure to email the National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center, and tell them to shut down everything and burn all the records and erase the database, I'm sure that should help save more lives.


I think he's the same doofus who went by a name that had buzzard (buzzardsbreath?) and who kept going on about how he could tell what was going to happen based on ants.
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1739. 62901IL
3:55 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1738. AussieStorm:
Goodnight all. Stay dry, cool and calm.
Catch ya'll in the morning

Buh-bye!
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1738. AussieStorm
3:53 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Goodnight all. Stay dry, cool and calm.
Catch ya'll in the morning
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1737. seminolesfan
3:52 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1724. TylerStanfield:

It hasn't necessarily been the Trade winds hampering the development and further intensification of systems, for example, Tropical Storm Dorian actually was able to intensify and develop a Mid-level Eyewall for a brief time as it had the Trade winds further to the north enhancing vorticity around in the Deep tropics. Though the biggest issue by far this season has been the Low Instability across the basin due to the same, strong high pressure system which went from Aiding Dorian to killing Dorian.
This Low Instability should be much less of an Issue as the MJO Returns for Peak season. We could see us some pretty Long-tracking Major Cape Verde Hurricanes this season if we hit a sweet spot in conditions across the basin.


I was speaking of the season in totality to this point.

At different times we have seen each of these 'symptoms' affect waves/pouches/cyclones this year.

I was simply pointing out that both 'symptoms' are tied to the 'cause' of significant atl ridging.
Which is also a frequent blog conversation topic relating to general storm tracking patterns for the season in general.

Member Since: December 31, 1969 Posts: Comments:
1736. Gearsts
3:52 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
78hr
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1735. Grothar
3:51 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1723. CybrTeddy:

*Looks* like it's either 94L, more likely, a piece of energy that develops from the ITCZ in front of 94L as you can see the weak surface trough that'll be 94L if one believes the GFS.


Hey Teddy, the next time I have an argument with Mrs. Grothar, you want to come over?
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1734. TylerStanfield
3:51 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1733. Grothar:


Yes, but I'm not saying a word anymore. Let them fight it out on the blog. I'm finished giving hints and being insulted. :)

Any other blob news you got for us today, Gro?
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1733. Grothar
3:49 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1719. GeoffreyWPB:


Is you thinking what eyes thinking?


Yes, but I'm not saying a word anymore. Let them fight it out on the blog. I'm finished giving hints and being insulted. :)
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1732. 954FtLCane
3:48 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1725. AussieStorm:
The FIM 9 Zeus brings the same Bahamas disturbance over Florida and into the GOM



FIM 7 has an interesting feature off the La/MS coast



Bahamas feature as seen by the FIM 7


It almost looks like a BAMS, BAMM & BAMD scenario with the BAMD being more poleward and going thru the Bahamas, BAMM a bit weaker and heading further west and BAMS weaker yet and heading even further westbound. Of course this is just a quick interpretation on my end and doesn't take into account the high in the ATL and where it would.
Does that sound kinda right to you?
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1731. mrmombq
3:48 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1695. Tazmanian:



There is no freaking 92L I will have two re post this
BEGIN
NHC_ATCF
invest_DEACTIVATE_al922013.ren
FSTDA
R
U
040
010
0000
201308180627
NONE
NOTIFY=ATRP
END
INVEST, AL, L, , , , , 92, 2013, DB, O, 2013081318, 9999999999, , , , , , WARNING, 2, AL922013
AL, 92, 2013081312, , BEST, 0, 162N, 802W, 20, 1010, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 92, 2013081318, , BEST, 0, 163N, 811W, 20, 1010, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0,
AL, 92, 2013081400, , BEST, 0, 165N, 818W, 20, 1010, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1012, 200, 180, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
AL, 92, 2013081406, , BEST, 0, 168N, 827W, 20, 1010, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1012, 200, 180, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
AL, 92, 2013081412, , BEST, 0, 171N, 837W, 25, 1009, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1012, 200, 180, 35, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 92, 2013081418, , BEST, 0, 174N, 848W, 30, 1008, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1011, 200, 180, 40, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 92, 2013081500, , BEST, 0, 178N, 859W, 30, 1007, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1011, 200, 80, 40, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 92, 2013081506, , BEST, 0, 183N, 868W, 30, 1008, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1010, 200, 80, 35, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 92, 2013081512, , BEST, 0, 188N, 876W, 30, 1008, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1010, 200, 80, 35, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 92, 2013081518, , BEST, 0, 193N, 884W, 30, 1009, DB, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1012, 200, 80, 35, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 92, 2013081600, , BEST, 0, 198N, 891W, 25, 1009, LO, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1012, 200, 80, 35, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 92, 2013081606, , BEST, 0, 215N, 905W, 25, 1010, LO, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1013, 200, 80, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 92, 2013081612, , BEST, 0, 214N, 913W, 25, 1009, LO, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1012, 200, 80, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 92, 2013081618, , BEST, 0, 215N, 915W, 25, 1009, LO, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1012, 200, 90, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, M,
AL, 92, 2013081700, , BEST, 0, 210N, 917W, 25, 1009, LO, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1011, 150, 120, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
AL, 92, 2013081706, , BEST, 0, 206N, 926W, 25, 1010, LO, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1013, 150, 120, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
AL, 92, 2013081712, , BEST, 0, 207N, 929W, 25, 1010, LO, 0, , 0, 0, 0, 0, 1012, 150, 120, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
AL, 92, 2013081718, , BEST, 0, 208N, 932W, 25, 1010, LO, 34, NEQ, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1012, 150, 120, 0, 0, L, 0, , 0, 0, INVEST, S,
true
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1730. Envoirment
3:48 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Quoting 1710. bieaxbillybob:
My uncle flip always ses that it doesnt matter if your one of those weather experts or just someone like in here. NO one knows what will happen on any given day or month. we dont live here by forcasts. we look to the shies and animals.. when the crawdads are active its gonna be nice when they go into hiding watch out.


That may be a good way to look at perhaps short-term weather, but if you have a hurricane a few hundred miles off the coast from you and heading in your direction, by the time the animals react and the skies take a turn for the worst, it's too late for you to do anything and there's the potential that not only you, but your friends, family and many others would be in real danger.

Weather experts and their computing power have helped notify people of extreme weather events and saved many lives by doing so. And they're good enough to know what will happen in about a 24 hour period of time. There's still more work to do though in getting more accurate forecasts, especially in the long term. But so far I think we've been heading in the right direction and hope that we will continue to do so!
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1729. stormchaser19
3:47 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
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1728. Gearsts
3:47 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
69hr 12z


6z
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1727. wunderkidcayman
3:43 PM GMT on August 18, 2013
Hey guys here here I have arrived just checking in anyway should be back home by 5 or 6 pm so see 94L is up and Erin is moving W with maybe SW jogs but still W our AOI near 50W still going its expect to be in the SE Carib soon
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Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather