Sunday, October 31, 2010

Not Haiti...

Boy was I off with the intensity of Tomas! I really thought it had a good shot at obtaining major hurricane strength, and while it did get to 100mph, it has weakened a lot today! There is a lot more shear/dry air then I expected or any model really showed... Unfortunately, a path towards Haiti is looking more likely! While Tomas is now a 65mph tropical storm, it "should" regain hurricane strength again before striking somewhere near Haiti Thursday/Friday! The rain is what worries me most for Haiti... The mountainous terrain is NOT going to help matters with mud slides and such! Also, because so many people are living in tents after the disastrous earthquake earlier this year, even minimal hurricane conditions will cause big problems! This is a bad situation unfolding, and I hope somehow Tomas can miss! Not trying to wish this on anyone else, but Haiti doesn't need/deserve this!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hurricane Tomas!

Tomas is now a hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 90mph (982mb)... Today it went through the windward islands as weak hurricane, causing some moderate to minor damage... The future of Hurricane Tomas is extremely tough to forecast! The model trend has Tomas missing the strong trough next week, almost stalling out and turning more north/east over time... It could still easily phase with the trough, but the models have backed off a lot on that idea! Unfortunately, the trend has been more toward Haiti, which of course is BAD NEWS! NO ONE wants to see that! Again though, even at this point, the long range forecast is difficult at best! It's really anyone's guess as to exactly where Tomas will go? Just being honest with you! It could still go to Jamaica, or it could stall, or it could hit Hispaniola, or it could hit Puerto Rico??? Hopefully, by tomorrow the models/forecasters alike will have a better grasp on Tomas's future track! I will say, I do still expect Tomas to become a major hurricane (or very close) by Monday! Here is the latest model guidance...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Soon to be Hurricane Tomas!

The envelope of soon to be Hurricane Tomas is HUGE! I know Joe Bastardi compared the size of Tomas this morning to the envelope of Hurricane Gilbert (pre development) as it entered the Caribbean back in September of 1988... Also, I was shocked at how long it took Tomas to get named! I personally feel it was a tropical storm late last night/early this morning, and you kinda saw that with the NHC going from a high risk for development, to a 40mph tropical storm, to a 60mph tropical storm so quickly!

Tropical Storm Tomas is most likely going to become a large and powerful hurricane! The NHC has Tomas becoming a major hurricane by 8pm Sunday, and I agree 100%... The overall environment is becoming primed for fairly rapid development, even considering that it is late October! I'm REALLY tempted to chase Tomas in Jamaica! It is forecasted to be near Jamaica in about 5 days, but it's still way to far out to make any firm decisions! I will say I have been told my a few fellow chasers that Jamaica is not the place you want to be during a hurricane, so of course I'll keep their advice in mind... I may roll the dice though, but again I have plenty of time to make a decision... It will really depend on how close Tomas gets to Jamaica, and whether it will be a daytime landfall... Not going to spend a lot of money on a night chase if I can help it!

Beyond 5 days, the forecast is tough! It really is going to depend on how/if Tomas phases with a strong trough digging across the US later next week... If Tomas can move far enough west, there is a chance it could impact the US... Even if Tomas phases with the tough and becomes extra-tropical, this would be one heck of a storm for the eastern seaboard! Of course it could just as easily move more north/east, phasing with the trough well off the eastern seaboard... It's just too early to say much! If you live in the Windward Islands/Caribbean, I would watch Tomas VERY CLOSEY! This is not going to be a storm to mess with! Currently, the center has reformed north, but I expect the westward motion to continue overall... Subtle shifts like this can/do make a difference in the long rang track! I'll be watching soon to be Hurricane Tomas very closely, as you can expect many more updates this weekend!

Hurricane Watches in effect for Barbados, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, & Martinique!

This visible image was saved 4 hours before Tomas was even named! Crazy???

Thursday, October 28, 2010

State of the Tropics...

Not really been feeling the best, but I did want to leave a link on the state of the tropics... The link is from and Mark Sudduth... Mark always does a great job discussing the tropics without the hype! I personally agree 100% that 91L is the one to watch in the long range! Oh, and while writing this blog post, 92L is now tropical storm Shary... Scary Shary! lol... Actually, it won't be scary at all, but Bermuda should see tropical storm conditions out of it! This season just won't end, even though I personally fully expected it to continue well into early-mid November! However, all these numbers mean NOTHING without impact! I'll always judge a season on impact, not the overall numbers! With a strong La Nina in place, I'm sure we'll get a couple more named storms this season, but impact is a whole different story! It's becoming more and more difficult with deep troughs digging across the continental US...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A couple of great write-ups!

Here are two great write-ups on yesterday's historic storm! The first link is from Duluth, MN, and the second link is from Grand Forks, ND... Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Well it looks like it has bottomed out at about 955mb, 28.20"! 955mb (28.20") breaks the US land-based non-tropical pressure record of 958mb (28.28") on January 26th, 1978 in Cleveland, Ohio! This is the lower 48 states all time record though, as I saw an amazing tweet by Stu Ostro! The US record occurred during a storm in Dutch Harbor, Alaska on October 25th, 1977... The pressure dropped to an astounding 925mb (27.32")! That's just INSANE!

Below is some surface charts I saved from HPC when it got to 955mb! Also, I'll leave a great link my friend Mark Sudduth ( wrote on today's amazing storm... He compares this historic storm to many strong historic hurricanes of the past! Also, I'll leave a link by Mark Schnackenburg on today's historic "weather bomb" compared to other "weather bombs" from the past! Enjoy!


DOWN TO 957mb! ~957mb (28.24") breaks the US (Lower 48) land-based not-tropical pressure record of ~958mb (28.28") on January 26th, 1978 in Cleveland, Ohio!


UPDATE: The SPC's Moderate 45% hatched, is now a High Risk! 15% hatch tornado (Most of Indiana), 15% hail (MS/AL), and 60% hatched wind (Most of Indiana)! Yes, 60% hatched wind! Remember, 60% hatched is as high as SPC goes, so if you live in Indiana especially, take this seriously! If you live anywhere from Minnesota to Kentucky to Ohio and north (filling in the rest of the areas in-between!), tomorrow is a day to be very aware of the weather! Keep an eye to the sky and follow all warnings very seriously! I'll have more updates to come!

Monday, October 25, 2010


Maybe/Somehow you are not aware of this, but a BEAST of a system is going to move through Minnesota/Great Lakes tomorrow! This storm may rival the great storms of 11/10/98 & 11/10/75 (Day the Edmond Fitzgerald sank!)... Kinda scary/weird how both of these storms were on November 10th? The all time record low pressure for Minnesota is 962.6mb set on 11/10/98... There is no doubt this is a BEAST of a storm, and it's possible the pressure could reach the 962.6mb mark tomorrow! Probably more in the 965mb range, bur regardless, still incredible for Minnesota! A storm for the record books without a doubt! Currently the SPC has a moderate risk for severe weather across Illinois, and a moderate risk 45% hatched out for northern Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and southern Michigan tomorrow! I would stay far away from Lake Superior tomorrow! Hopefully, no one will be out on the water like the Edmond Fitzgerald was in 1975! Again, BAD IDEA!!! Let's look at some of the model forecasts...

0z GFS - 960mb in NW Minnesota (7pm Tuesday)...

0z NAM - 964mb NE Minnesota (7pm Tuesday)...

12z ECMWF - 964mb NE Minnesota (7pm Tuesday)...

12 CMC - 960mb N Minnesota (7pm Tuesday)...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hurricane Wilma, 5 Years Later!

Before I get to Hurricane Wilma, I did want to say Hurricane Richard made landfall just south of Belize City with maximum sustained winds of 90mph... I really wish I could have gone after Richard, but in fairness, it was such a tricky forecast! It was strengthening all the way to landfall, so it turned out to be a decent hurricane! Don't forget that strengthening hurricanes at landfall produce/verify higher surface wind speeds (more readily mix higher winds aloft to the surface)... The satellite images you see are of Hurricane Richard shortly before landfall this late afternoon/early evening!

Hurricane Wilma made landfall on the SW coast of Florida (Cape Romano) during the morning of October 24th with maximum sustained winds of 125mph (950mb)... The eye was massive, easily 50 miles wide at landfall! The highest offical winds during Wilma's landfall in Florida were 121mph at the Collier County EOC near Naples, 117mph at the Belle Glade SFWMD station, and 113mph at Loxahatchee... I have to say, that this is probably my biggest regret ever when it comes to chasing! I was a poor college student at the time, and I was worried about the chase terrain/avaibality in the Everglades, but regardless I should have made it happen! Everytime I watch video from Hurricane Wilma, it honestly pains me a little! lol...

Anyways, two of my friends did chase Hurricane Wilma, and they both shot some FANTASTIC video! The first link is video shot by Michael Laca ( on the SW coast of Florida (Belle Meade), and the second video is shot by Mike Theiss ( in Miami Beach... Enjoy!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Two Great Websites!

I wanted to bring attention to a couple of great websites run by my friend Mike Theiss... I have always admired Mike's passion/work, especially with Hurricane Charley/Katrina, and it was great to finally meet him face to face during the Hurricane Igor chase on Bermuda! He has shot so many great videos/photos over the years, which I know everyone will enjoy! I'll leave two links... The first one is to his stock video page (, which again has so many amazing videos! The second one is to his stock photography page (, which is great as well... Enjoy!

Friday, October 22, 2010

TS Richard...

This may be one of my shortest posts of all time! Obviously, tropical storm Richard is not going to track through the eastern part of the Yucatan Penisula! The western trend looks to verify as Richard should make landfall in Belize... Also, with Richard crossing so much land now & with eventual interaction with a strong cold front, there won't be much left of Richard when it gets back into the Gulf of Mexico! So close, yet so far!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Here is episode - 17 of THE WEATHERVEIN... Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Something Important to Consider with Tropical Depression #19...

Right now I really don't have much to say about tropical depression #19... This is a tricky forecast, and I would like to give it a day or two to develop before I say much... Just look at the model spread right now! Even though it is starting to cluster more over the Yucatan/Belize... There is no doubt that what should become Richard is a legitimate threat to eventually get into the Gulf of Mexico... Let's say that TD #19 does go into the Yucatan, the key is going to be the strength at landfall... If Richard becomes a decent/strong hurricane (well defined inner core), then it will be torn to pieces as it crosses into the Gulf... This will not allow "Richard" to regain its original intensity! However, if Richard stays at a strong TS/weak hurricane tops (not a defined inner core), then it is MUCH MORE likely to intensify once it gets into the Gulf! This is HUGE in my eyes!

Tropical Tip: Strong/Major hurricanes (well defined inner core) that moves across land often do not regain their intensity once back over water while weaker storms may intensify rapidly once back over water... The land disrupts the inner core of the hurricane causing it to weaken, while outer bands over water continue to have healthy convection, which will prevent inflow from getting to the surface of the storm (inner core) once back over water!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

More Great Hurricane Igor Video!

I'm going to leave a link to some GREAT video Michael Laca ( shot during Hurricane Igor in Bermuda! The quality is amazing! I'll also leave a link to many other amazing storm chasing videos Mike has shot over the years! It looks like Hurricane Igor was the storm of the year in the Atlantic basin from a storm chasing perspective... I'm very glad I made the decision to go chase Hurricane Igor! It was an amazing experience and it was great to meet fellow chasers like Mike L., Mike T., Tim M., George K., Mark R., Rob J., and Devin T.... I'll definitely go back to Bermuda to chase again someday! Hopefully this time, the eye will go right over my head! lol...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Insane Comparison!

Wanted to show an insane comparison between Super Typhoon Iliang (Zei) vs. Super Typhoon Megi (Juan)... Thanks to Michael Laca ( for this, as he posted this on his facebook wall yesterday! Just look at those visible images! It's really uncanny how close both Super Typhoon Iliang and Megi hit the Philippines almost exactly 12 years apart (October 14th, 1998 vs. October 18th, 2010)! Anyways, I just thought this was an amazing comparison that everyone would find fascinating!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Super Typhoon Megi's Landfall...

Words really can't describe the beauty/strength involved with Super Typhoon Megi! Bottom line, it's a MONSTER Category-5 Super Tyhphoon, with maximum sustained winds of 145 knots (166mph), and gusts to 175 knots (201mph)! I would give almost anything to be in the eye of this storm! It was just impossible from a money/time standpoint! Someday, I'll make it happen! Even though missing a storm like this, especially considering the fact that it's making landfall during the day, is very tough to take... I'll leave some satellite images/loops of Megi for you below! Oh, by the way, reports are that Super Typhoon Megi made landfall at 885mb, which would be a world record low pressure at landfall (1935 Labor Day-892mb)... INSANE!!! Keep in mind though, the 1935 Labor Hurricane was a very small/compact hurricane, and likely produced higher maximum sustained surface winds!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Super Typhoon Megi...

In case you didn't know, there is currently a Super Typhoon in the Pacific! Super Typhoon Megi is a beast, with maximum sustained winds of 140 knots (161mph), and a surface pressure of 914mb! That is category-5 strength! Super Typhoon Megi is forecasted to strike the northern Philippines Sunday night (Daytime Monday Philippines time) as a continued monster category-5 Super Typhoon, with maximum sustained winds around 140 knots (161mph)... If I had the money/resources, I would have been on a plane yesterday for the Philippines! I hope the worst can somehow miss the Philippines, but honestly, that looks very unlikely at this point! Even if Megi were to "weaken" to a strong category-4 Super Typhoon, the effects will still be devastating for the northern Philippines! Anyways, I just wanted everyone to be aware of this amazing storm, since we typically only focus on what is affecting us in the US... For additional information, I highly recommend everyone checking out Crown Weather's West Pacific tropical weather page! I'll leave a link below, as Rob Lightbown runs an excellent site for any tropical weather lover like me!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Nor' Easter...

Quick post tonight, as things are very quiet in the tropics! However, the Northeast is getting hammered with a strong Nor' Easter tonight... Heavy snows have been falling across the ski areas of New England tonight... Also, combine that with some gusty winds (50mph +), and you got a nice Nor' Easter on your hands right now... 988mb surface low! You can see an "eye" like feature on radar just south of Augusta, Maine! Pretty awesome if you ask me! I'm a huge fan of Nor' Easters, as the Superstorm of 1993 turned my love for weather into a passion! I may actually like Nor' Easters more than tornadoes, but not hurricanes! lol... I recommend everyone checking out radars/satellites and other weather data from this storm! I know I'm a huge weather geek, but I love this stuff!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Peace Out Paula!

Tropical Storm Paula is dying quickly! Interaction with Cuba and strong wind shear is ripping her apart... The NHC has Paula saying goodbye Saturday night! With continued land interaction over Cuba/wind shear, I agree 100% with the NHC's forecast! Peace Out Paula! Elsewhere in the tropics, the NHC has outline a low risk (10%) area for development in the SW Caribbean... Of course it's something to watch closely, as the Caribbean is the last region in the Atlantic basin where I expect a few more storms to develop this season... I guess it's still possible to reach 20 named storms, especially when you look at the MJO pulse movement over the next two weeks... A lot of upward motion is forecasted to be in the Caribbean in the next 15 days... Add in the fact that we are in a strong La Nina season, and I expect the hurricane season to last well into early November... Whether any storm that forms can directly affect the US coast is up for debate, but again, I expect at least 2/3 more developments in the Caribbean before the season ends! We'll see what happens?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Storm Chasers"

Watched "Storm Chasers" tonight on the discovery channel, and I have a few comments:

"Coming down here to Mississippi, there is no other storm chasers out here..."

I have to say without a doubt that I have chased in Mississippi more than 99% of the people out there... Not saying that in an arrogant way at all, but myself and LDCT has be chasing hardcore though the Deep South since 2001... Was chasing on April 24th, and came very close to the Yazoo, MS tornado... Couldn't see a thing though! Completely rain wrapped... Also, there were several chasers from Mississippi State out there that day!

"We're not in the Plains anymore"

Welcome to the Deep South! Land of pine trees, small roads, and HP long track beasts at night! Not for the weak! Been doing it since February 24th, 2001...

Here is a link to some video I shot during the Yazoo, MS EF-4 1.75 mile wide monster wedge (On the ground for 149 miles)... There is a link off the video to my chase account that day! By the way, the forecasts/warnings that day were EXCELLENT! Everyone involved with that should be commended, as I have no doubt they saved many lives!

Yazoo, MS Video (April 24th, 2010)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hurricane Paula...

Hurricane Paula has been strengthening all day across the NW Caribbean! Currently, Hurricane Paula has maximum sustained winds of 100mph, which is most likely close to the peak intensity we'll see with Paula... I commented about this earlier today on facebook, but I sure do wish I was in Cozumel/Cancun so I could attempt to intercept Paula! Now I wish I was on the western tip of Cuba! lol... Hurricane Paula looks to strike the western tip of Cuba late Wednesday/early Thursday as a Category-1 hurricane... From there, Paula's future gets tricky! It looks to spend enough time over Cuba that it will fall apart... Also, shear will be increasing steadily! Even if Paula does survive in the long run, "eventually" a trough will swing in and pick up what's left of Paula... After Paula, the Caribbean is still fairly primed for another development or two, so all eyes should still watch this region over the next couple of weeks... That seems to be the last region in the Atlantic basin where development could occur! Time will tell...

Monday, October 11, 2010


Here is episode - 16 of THE WEATHERVEIN... Enjoy!

Sunday, October 10, 2010


The NHC has lowered development in the Caribbean to 50%... Honestly, it's not looking as good tonight, and the models are not showing as much development anymore... 98L looks to stay close to Central America over the next few days, and possibly dissipate... Of course it is still something to watch, but it is looking less and less like a threat according to the models... How far over land 98L goes is key to future development! The rest of the tropics is quiet, so 98L is pretty much all there is to watch right now! We'll see what happens?