Hurricane Paula sets a rapid intensification record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 13:54 (GMT)

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Hurricane warnings are flying along the coast of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula for Hurricane Paula, the 16th named storm and 9th hurricane of this very active 2010 Atlantic hurricane season. Paula intensified remarkably quickly, setting a modern record for the fastest intensification from the issuance of the first advisory to hurricane strength. The first advisory for Paula was issued at 5pm EDT yesterday, and Paula strengthened into a hurricane just twelve hours later, at 5am EDT this morning. Since reliable record keeping of intensification rates of Atlantic hurricanes began in 1970, when regular satellite coverage became available, no storm has ever intensified into a hurricane that quickly. Hurricane Humberto of 2007 held the previous record for fastest intensification from first advisory issued to hurricane strength--18 hours. However, there is one caveat to keep in mind. The final Atlantic hurricane data base (HURDAT) stores points every six hours--at 00, 06, 12, and 18 UTC. It is likely that Paula will be recognized as having been a tropical depression at 12 UTC (8am EDT) or 18Z (2pm EDT) yesterday, 3 - 9 hours before the first advisory was issued. Even though Paula met the criteria for being named a tropical depression yesterday morning, NHC elected not to do so, since it was unclear whether or not passage over land would disrupt the nascent tropical depression (a new tropical depression must demonstrate some staying power before it will get recognized, typically.) In the final HURDAT data base, it may turn out that Paula will be recognized as intensifying from first advisory to a hurricane in eighteen hours, tying Humberto's record. There have been six storms that accomplished the feat in 24 hours.


Figure 1. Microwave image of Paula taken at 6:35am EDT 10/12/10 shows that Paula is a small hurricane, with heavy rains confined to a small area near the center. Though the images are not radar images, one can think of these images as similar to having a radar in space that can provide images of where heavy rain is occurring. Image credit: Navy Research Lab, Monterey.

Fortunately for Mexico, Paula has not been able to maintain its rapid intensification rate. Satellite intensity estimates show that Paula has leveled off in intensity this morning. Microwave satellite images (Figure 1) and traditional satellite imagery reveal that Paula is small hurricane with a limited amount of heavy thunderstorms. Water vapor satellite loops indicate that the atmosphere in the Western Caribbean is moist enough to support further development, but moderate wind shear of 15 knots due to strong upper-level winds out of the south are hampering Paula's intensification. Radar from Belize and Cancun shows that Paula's outer spiral bands are still well offshore. The next hurricane hunter mission is scheduled for 2pm EDT this afternoon; there has been no airplane in the storm since about 4am this morning.


Figure 2. Total accumulated rainfall for the 5.25 day period beginning at 2am EDT today, October 12, 2010, as predicted by the 2am EDT runs of the HWRF model (top) and GFDL model (bottom.) The HWRF model predicts Paula will stay trapped in the Western Caribbean, causing very high rainfall totals. Image credit: Morris Bender, NOAA/GFDL.

Forecast for Paula
Tropical storm force winds of 39+ mph extend out from Paula's center about 60 miles to the north, and are forecast to expand to 100 miles by early Wednesday morning. Paula's current northwest motion of 10 mph means that tropical storm force winds should reach the coast of Mexico near Cozumel between 8pm - 2am local time tonight. A good way to visualize this is to use our wundermap with the "hurricane" layer turned on, and click on the "forecast" and "wind radius" boxes. Hurricane force winds extend out just ten miles from the center, so only a very small region of coast will receive Paula's strongest winds. The 5am EDT wind probability product from NHC predicts a 91% chance that Cozumel will receive tropical storm force winds, and a 31% chance of getting hurricane force winds of 74+ mph. The main threat from the storm will be heavy rain, particularly over western Cuba and the northeastern tip of Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, if Paula stalls as expected and wanders in the region for many days. Rainfall forecasts from the HWRF and GFDL models (Figure 2) suggest that Paula will be capable of dumping more than a foot of rain in isolated regions over the next five days. The latest SHIPS model forecast calls for wind shear to rise to the high range, 20 - 25 knots, tonight through the end of the week. This high shear, combined with the dry atmosphere to the north of Paula, should keep the hurricane from becoming a major hurricane. NHC is giving Paula just a 6% chance of becoming a major hurricane. The shear and dry air may even weaken the storm below hurricane strength later this week, as suggested by most of the intensity forecast models. Paula is a small storm, so is fairly vulnerable to shear and dry air.

There is considerable doubt about the future path of Paula. Steering currents in the Western Caribbean will collapse on Wednesday, potentially allowing Paula to wander in the region for many days, as predicted by the GFS and HWRF models. It is also possible that Paula will push far enough inland over Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula that the storm will dissipate. Finally, if Paula grows large enough and strong enough, it could get caught up a strong trough of low pressure predicted to traverse the U.S. this week (and spawn a Nor'easter for New England this weekend.) In this scenario, offered by the GFDL model, Paula would make a sharp turn to the east-northeast, hit western Cuba, bring tropical storm-force finds to the Florida Keys on Friday, then move into the Bahama Islands by Saturday morning. NHC is making the reasonable forecast of sticking with what the majority of models are saying, but residents of South Florida, Central Cuba, and the Bahamas should be prepared for Paula to come their way as a strong tropical storm.

"Hurricane Haven" airing this afternoon
My live Internet radio show, "Hurricane Haven", will be airing again today at 4pm EDT. The call in number is 415-983-2634, or you can post a question to broadcast@wunderground.com. Be sure to include "Hurricane Haven question" in the subject line.

Today's show will be about 30 minutes, and you can tune in at http://www.wunderground.com/wxradio/wubroadcast.h tml. The show will be recorded and stored as a podcast.

Jeff Masters

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620. stillwaiting
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 23:48 (GMT)
test
Member Since: 5.10.2007 Posts: 20 Comments: 4970
619. sunlinepr
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 20:28 (GMT)
Member Since: 2.08.2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9648
618. sunlinepr
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 20:17 (GMT)
Some annular Hurricanes


Luis


Isabel


Edouard


Alberto


Daniel (Pacific)
Member Since: 2.08.2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9648
617. sunlinepr
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 20:04 (GMT)
Isabel - Annular hurricane

A NOAA Hurricane Hunter Reconnaissance Aircraft flying into the hurricane launched a dropsonde which measured an instantaneous wind speed of 233 mph (375 km/h), the strongest instantaneous wind speed recorded in an Atlantic hurricane.[

Quoting Seastep:


Maybe it's has one more side and is pentagonal? j/k... I think. :/

Isabel:



Link
Member Since: 2.08.2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9648
616. rmbjoe1954
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 20:04 (GMT)
Quoting Seastep:


Or, how about a rectangle.

Ivan from the ISS:



Now that looks like a buzz saw.
Member Since: 16.06.2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1015
615. padirescu
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 20:01 (GMT)
Regular lurker, but have a quick question with Paula that I'm not figuring out just yet. Looking at the computer models there's a split between a NE track and a circular stall track once she makes her turn. However, looking at the Ensemble models, which as I understand are more sophisticated, they are mostly in concensus on the NE track either through the Florida straights or toward South Florida. Is this just a result of the Ensemble tracks being more sophisticated and reflecting the NE trend based on her strengthening or should more credence be given to the Ensembles at this point compared to the computers?

I know there's still a ton of uncertainty and we'll know more in the next 24-48 hours but I'm trying to understand why the computer models are significantly more variable compared to the ensemble members which seem to be more in concensus.
Member Since: 2.09.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 56
614. sunlinepr
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 20:00 (GMT)
Yahoo post:


Paula becomes Cat. 2 hurricane, threatens Cancun

NOAA CLOUDS AP – This NOAA satellite image taken Tuesday, October 12, 2010 at 1:00 a.m. EDT shows Tropical Storm Paula …


CANCUN, Mexico – A strengthening Hurricane Paula roared toward Mexico's resort-dotted Yucatan Peninsula on Tuesday.

The hurricane smashed homes and forced schools to cancel classes in Honduras early Tuesday, then grew into a Category 2 storm with top sustained winds of 100 miles per hour (160 kph) on it way to the Yucatan, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said.
Member Since: 2.08.2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9648
613. Seastep
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:56 (GMT)
Quoting MahFL:
A square eye, lol, now I have heard it all.


Or, how about a rectangle.

Ivan from the ISS:

Member Since: 9.09.2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3412
612. GoodOleBudSir
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:48 (GMT)
NEW BLOG.....if anybody cares
Member Since: 30.07.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 261
611. alvarig1263
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:48 (GMT)
Quoting RadarRich:
602. kmanislander 7:34 PM GMT on October 12, 2010
The models are responding to the intensity in the move to a more Northerly track off to the ENE. If the hurricane ramps down as fast as it ramped up the models will swing South again.



That is excactly what is happening with the models at this time.....
Now that Paula is a distinguished strong Tropical Cyclone (Hurricane) there is inevitably a more poleward response in the computer models. The speed of Paula is very critical also, moreso, than her intensity, IMO, at this time. The quicker and further she can get Northward before the trough influence, or lack of, is so crucial. The faster she moves, the more of a threat to South Florida, So, the next 12 hours are going to be very important to watch in regards to her speed....


What speed would it have to maintain to get there in time. 10mph or faster.
Member Since: 2.09.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 744
610. hydrus
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:47 (GMT)
Quoting sunlinepr:
Talking about Galveston: Effects of Hurricane Ike in Texas
Amazing how that one huge building survived almost intact, while every other is demolished...Obviously superior construction was a player.. Jeanne in 04, smack dab over Florida.. That was a really bad day..
Member Since: 27.09.2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19521
609. RadarRich
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:46 (GMT)
602. kmanislander 7:34 PM GMT on October 12, 2010
The models are responding to the intensity in the move to a more Northerly track off to the ENE. If the hurricane ramps down as fast as it ramped up the models will swing South again.



That is excactly what is happening with the models at this time.....
Now that Paula is a distinguished strong Tropical Cyclone (Hurricane) there is inevitably a more poleward response in the computer models. The speed of Paula is very critical also, moreso, than her intensity, IMO, at this time. The quicker and further she can get Northward before the trough influence, or lack of, is so crucial. The faster she moves, the more of a threat to South Florida, So, the next 12 hours are going to be very important to watch in regards to her speed....
Member Since: 28.06.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 406
608. Seastep
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:40 (GMT)
Quoting MahFL:
A square eye, lol, now I have heard it all.


Maybe it's has one more side and is pentagonal? j/k... I think. :/

Isabel:



Link
Member Since: 9.09.2008 Posts: 6 Comments: 3412
607. chrisdscane
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:37 (GMT)
Quoting kmanislander:
The models are responding to the intensity in the move to a more Northerly track off to the ENE. If the hurricane ramps down as fast as it ramped up the models will swing South again.


thx good piont i just dont see it ramping down rofl
Member Since: 21.07.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 1052
606. hydrus
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:36 (GMT)
Sea surface as seen from NOAA P-3 at 5000 feet during Hurricane Hugo. Seas were driven by over 100-knot winds and were 60-80 feet high.
Member Since: 27.09.2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19521
604. katadman
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:34 (GMT)
Quoting Inactivity:


Alex was a cat 2 with 947mb...



Alex would have become a much stronger hurricane had he more time over water to allow his winds to catch up with the pressure.
Member Since: 7.09.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 1081
603. hydrus
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:34 (GMT)
Screaming winds over the Pacific in 1979..
Member Since: 27.09.2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19521
602. kmanislander
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:34 (GMT)
The models are responding to the intensity in the move to a more Northerly track off to the ENE. If the hurricane ramps down as fast as it ramped up the models will swing South again.
Member Since: 19.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
600. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:32 (GMT)
Quoting FFtrombi:
Dropsonde winds at sea surface were 989mb (29.21 inHg) Sea Level (Surface) 25.6°C (78.1°F) 25.4°C (77.7°F) 95° (from the E) 79 knots (91 mph) so not that far off cat 2. It's probably a 95mph hurricane at the moment, so cat1/2. The small size will cause quick intensity fluctuations.
maybe its a cat 1 3/4
Member Since: 15.07.2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
599. hydrus
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:31 (GMT)
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


There's a NOAA site that has every weather map ever published from 1871 on.
I will check it out..:) This looks rather vicious...Hurricane eye wall.. Which storm, UNK..
Member Since: 27.09.2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19521
598. GeoffreyWPB
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:31 (GMT)
Member Since: 10.09.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 10578
597. sunlinepr
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:31 (GMT)
Talking about Galveston: Effects of Hurricane Ike in Texas
Member Since: 2.08.2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9648
596. kmanislander
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:31 (GMT)
Quoting CyclonicVoyage:


Somewhere, down in Bedrock.


lol


Fred or Wilma would have been great names for this hurricane LOL

Well, maybe not Wilma !
Member Since: 19.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
595. PalmBeachWeather
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:30 (GMT)
jonelu......The back half of Wilma scared the crap out of me.I heard noises that I had never heard before
Member Since: 3.10.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 5750
594. 1900hurricane
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:30 (GMT)
Microwave structure looks less impressive than earlier:

Member Since: 2.08.2006 Posts: 45 Comments: 11556
593. Inactivity
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:30 (GMT)
Quoting cat5hurricane:

True....but I think with a system this tiny, it could be right. Afterall, wasn't massive Igor only a two with like a 960mb something pressure for a while.


Alex was a cat 2 with 947mb...
Member Since: 23.06.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 264
590. CyclonicVoyage
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:29 (GMT)
NHC is making the reasonable forecast of sticking with what the majority of models are saying, but residents of South Florida, Central Cuba, and the Bahamas should be prepared for Paula to come their way as a strong tropical storm.

Jeff Masters

Member Since: 30.01.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
589. FFtrombi
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:29 (GMT)
Dropsonde winds at sea surface were 989mb (29.21 inHg) Sea Level (Surface) 25.6°C (78.1°F) 25.4°C (77.7°F) 95° (from the E) 79 knots (91 mph) so not that far off cat 2. It's probably a 95mph hurricane at the moment, so cat1/2. The small size will cause quick intensity fluctuations.
Member Since: 6.11.2009 Posts: 0 Comments: 165
588. jonelu
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:29 (GMT)
Quoting npalmwatcher:


Me! North Palm 15 yrs......stomach turned and did a flip today over Paula.....Wilma still haunts me - worst one for me. Made Franny & Jeanne a walk in the park. Grew up in NY - Yonkers. Don't remember the year or the named storm, it was the ealry 60's - and I remember a huge sailboat up a tree on City Island.

25 years in Palm Beach County and Wilma was worsed one I experienced. But this is no Wilma...Its probably going to track south of us and it will be shredded instead of strengthening if is come close to us. IMO
Member Since: 31.10.2007 Posts: 2 Comments: 882
587. nocaneindy
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:28 (GMT)
Quoting StSimonsIslandGAGuy:


There's a NOAA site that has every weather map ever published from 1871 on.


Do you happen to have the link?
Member Since: 21.09.2007 Posts: 34 Comments: 515
585. CyclonicVoyage
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:27 (GMT)
Quoting kmanislander:
A square eye ??

No wonder the winds came down. Ever try to drive a car with square tires ?.


Somewhere, down in Bedrock.


lol
Member Since: 30.01.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
584. KEEPEROFTHEGATE (Mod)
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:27 (GMT)
763

URNT12 KNHC 121911

VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL182010

A. 12/18:54:40Z

B. 18 deg 55 min N

085 deg 55 min W

C. 850 mb 1265 m

D. 70 kt

E. 245 deg 5 nm

F. 342 deg 69 kt

G. 242 deg 7 nm

H. 981 mb

I. 18 C / 1517 m

J. 23 C / 1533 m

K. 12 C / NA

L. CLOSED WALL

M. C12

N. 12345 / 8

O. 0.02 / 1 nm

P. AF302 0318A PAULA OB 16

MAX OUTBOUND AND MAX FL WIND 94 KT NE QUAD 18:57:00Z

EYE SHAPE CLOSER TO SQUARE THAN CIRCULAR

;
Member Since: 15.07.2006 Posts: 163 Comments: 52257
583. hydrus
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:27 (GMT)
Signal Tower for Storm Warning Flags used by day, lanterns by night. Used to warn mariners : "The Boy and the U.S. Weather Men", 1917
Member Since: 27.09.2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19521
582. kmanislander
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:26 (GMT)
Quoting MahFL:
A square eye, lol, now I have heard it all.


You certainly wouldn't want to get caught in the sharp corners of the eyewall LOL
Member Since: 19.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
581. CyclonicVoyage
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:26 (GMT)
Quoting Grothar:
Dynamic Models.




They're creeping Grother, WHAT DID YOU DO TO THEM?
Member Since: 30.01.2010 Posts: 0 Comments: 3259
579. MahFL
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:25 (GMT)
A square eye, lol, now I have heard it all.
Member Since: 9.06.2004 Posts: 0 Comments: 2906
578. kmanislander
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:25 (GMT)
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


yes. but flight level winds continue to increase, not mixing well down to the surface yet.

Time: 18:57:00Z
Coordinates: 19.0N 85.8167W
Acft. Static Air Press: 843.9 mb (~ 24.92 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,407 meters (~ 4,616 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 993.6 mb (~ 29.34 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 136° at 90 knots (From the SE at ~ 103.5 mph)
Air Temp: 14.6°C* (~ 58.3°F*)
Dew Pt: -*
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 94 knots (~ 108.1 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 72 knots (~ 82.8 mph)

SFMR Rain Rate: 15 mm/hr (~ 0.59 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

highest yet


Could be but this is the most ragged CAT 2 I have seen in a long time. Certainly the satellite presentation does not support a CAT 2 classification nor do current winds.
Member Since: 19.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
577. PalmBeachWeather
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:23 (GMT)
hydrus.I did.I was a very young girl in school. I will never forget it. April 3rd, 1974, 3:40 pm. Luckily school was out but many students and teachers were still in the high school. The only school left standing was my grade school. 35 people killed. Many friends. A few were killed at the local A&W Root Beer stand. I was slightly injured but not too bad. I walked around like hundreds of others trying to get home. A train had flipped over on US35 (Main St.) blocking fire trucks and ambulances.. Total panic. I finally got to my parents hom on North West st. near the fairgrounds. They were all ok, but it was many days until I found out if my friends were ok. That was my first experience with the death of friends.I will never forget that day.
Member Since: 3.10.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 5750
575. npalmwatcher
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:22 (GMT)
Quoting PalmBeachWeather:
Living in Palm Beach county for nearly 27 years now, does anyone else get chills, and feel squeesy in the tummy when hurricane season is upon us? I need to leave, But..I grew up in Xenia Ohio and experienced a terrible tornado April 3, 1974... I tell my freinds, "Don't follow me"


Me! North Palm 15 yrs......stomach turned and did a flip today over Paula.....Wilma still haunts me - worst one for me. Made Franny & Jeanne a walk in the park. Grew up in NY - Yonkers. Don't remember the year or the named storm, it was the ealry 60's - and I remember a huge sailboat up a tree on City Island.
Member Since: 16.08.2008 Posts: 0 Comments: 10
574. sunlinepr
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:22 (GMT)
This was Galveston after the 1900
Member Since: 2.08.2010 Posts: 21 Comments: 9648
573. VAbeachhurricanes
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:22 (GMT)
Quoting kmanislander:
Only seeing CAT 1 winds out there. I wonder how reliable the 100/105 mph measurment was ?

20 mph is a significant drop off in such a short period of time.



yes. but flight level winds continue to increase, not mixing well down to the surface yet.

Time: 18:57:00Z
Coordinates: 19.0N 85.8167W
Acft. Static Air Press: 843.9 mb (~ 24.92 inHg)
Acft. Geopotential Hgt: 1,407 meters (~ 4,616 feet)
Extrap. Sfc. Press: 993.6 mb (~ 29.34 inHg)
D-value: -
Flt. Lvl. Wind (30s): From 136° at 90 knots (From the SE at ~ 103.5 mph)
Air Temp: 14.6°C* (~ 58.3°F*)
Dew Pt: -*
Peak (10s) Flt. Lvl. Wind: 94 knots (~ 108.1 mph)
SFMR Peak (10s) Sfc. Wind: 72 knots (~ 82.8 mph)

SFMR Rain Rate: 15 mm/hr (~ 0.59 in/hr)
(*) Denotes suspect data

highest yet
Member Since: 6.09.2007 Posts: 0 Comments: 5695
572. Grothar
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:22 (GMT)
Dynamic Models.

Member Since: 17.07.2009 Posts: 63 Comments: 23710
571. kmanislander
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:21 (GMT)
A square eye ??

No wonder the winds came down. Ever try to drive a car with square tires ?.
Member Since: 19.08.2006 Posts: 0 Comments: 15671
570. hydrus
12. lokakuuta 2010 klo 19:20 (GMT)
Quoting Grothar:


Hey, hydrus, I still have the original. Like the images you've been posting, by the way.
Gracias. I like to post them..They are cool to look at, and educational too... Here is how they posted the hurricane warnings on the Florida west coast...This pic from the 30,s..
Member Since: 27.09.2007 Posts: 1 Comments: 19521

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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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