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About HurricaneJosh

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    Hardcore hurricane chaser. Southern Californian. Hurricane Man.
  • Birthday 01/21/1970

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  • Location:
    Southern California USA
  • Interests
    A.k.a. iCyclone. Obsessed with severe, deep-tropical cyclones. Nothing else matters.

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  1. HurricaneJosh

    2018 E. Pacific Hurricane Season

    Wow, I want to say thanks to all you guys for posting all the WILLA porn as it came ashore. This was a pedal-the-metal kind of chase and I didn't have much time to collect any imagery-- so it's awesome to find the treasure trove of stuff in this here thread. WILLA was my best chase of the year-- the one I'm most proud of. Chasing without radar is a bitch-- it's like chasing blindfolded, because IR images are so coarse and there's major parallax displacement-- so punching the eye requires more skill, more finesse. I deployed sensors (and collected high-quality data) at three locations along the landfall zone, and managed to perfectly nail the eye with a final, risky position adjustment that had me driving into the eyewall. (Yeah, yeah, it was stupid-- whatever.) WILLA's core was surprisingly violent-- with frequent lightning and the sound of a train. This here infographic summarizes my work on WILLA. I deployed the sensors at Locations B and C in advance, then rode out the cyclone's core at Location A. (That's why the data trace for Location A is shortest-- I got there last.) Notice I was able to estimate the eye dimensions (12 n mi diameter) and boundaries via eyewitness interviews afterward. P.S. I should be releasing my WILLA video in the next week or so.
  2. HurricaneJosh

    Michael Banter Thread

    Hey, thanks! I felt good about my work on MICHAEL: got in the eye, collected quality-controlled data from two locations in the core (one in the eye, one in the inner eyewall), got some crazy video, and got out in one piece. It wasn't my strongest cyclone of the season (that honor goes to Super Typhoon MANGKHUT in the Philippines), nor was it my favorite chase of the season (that would be Hurricane WILLA in Mexico), but it was definitely one of my top chases of 2018.
  3. The calm intro shots of L.A. are licensed stock footage! I don't do that kinda fancy photography!
  4. Hey, thanks! Glad you liked it! Agreed-- it would be nice to see less human impact this coming season-- the last was a bit much.
  5. Oh, hey. My latest YouTube channel ad. A lot of my recent chaseporn crammed into a minute. Enjoy!
  6. HurricaneJosh

    Hurricane Maria

    Sorry to be responding three months later! Anyhoo, you're clearly very familiar with my work, because yeah, those are my Top 3 (in chronological order): HAIYAN, PATRICIA, and MARIA. They're kind of in their own special category in terms of how violent and just OMG they were. ODILE would be a solid and undisputed No. 4. In some ways maybe it deserves to be in the Top 3. It was just a really intense, edgy hurricane. The classification as Cat 3 doesn't do it justice. That sh*t was vicious.
  7. HurricaneJosh

    Hurricane Maria

    ODILE is not in my Top 3. MARIA was worse!
  8. HurricaneJosh

    Hurricane Maria

    My complete MARIA report: http://icyclone.com/upload/chases/maria/iCyclone_Chase_Report_MARIA2017.pdf I was on the SE coast of Puerto Rico, just a few miles N of the landfall point—a perfect location to get totally right-front-quadded. Needless to say, the conditions were ferocious. The most distinctive thing about this chase? Concentric eyewalls that brought two distinct wind maxima—separated by a marked lull—on the ground. This aside, I calculated air-pressure gradients up to ~7 mb/n mi in the inner core—among the highest I’ve measured. (PATRICIA still holds the crown: I calculated gradients well over 10 mb/n mi in that one). In terms of intensity, data, and just wow-factor, MARIA is one of my greatest chases—maybe Top 3.
  9. HurricaneJosh

    Hurricane Maria

    Yeah, he mentioned to me he's going down to Marathon to get that station. I'm excited to see what he got. I love his work-- it's very cool.
  10. HurricaneJosh

    Hurricane Maria

    Yeah, I was commenting about this on Twitter today. The wind data from the Keys in IRMA was really blah across the board. Just not impressed.
  11. HurricaneJosh

    Hurricane Maria

    Max winds in a hurricane happen in narrow streaks. Winds will vary greatly even within one city. (See CELIA 1970 in Corpus Christi for good example of this.) Whether or not folks can stand on downwind balconies or in parking structures is not a good way of assessing wind speeds. In Cat-5 Super Typhoon HAIYAN, I stood on a balcony during the worst of it. (It was stupid and I almost got killed, but I did it.) Thank you so much, Steve! I really appreciate that. I was really tortured about the length, and in the end, I'm glad I included those elements. I'm psyched you feel like they add to it. Awesome.
  12. HurricaneJosh

    Hurricane Maria

    Yeah, to be clear, I'm talking about where I was: Palmas Del Mar. Nothing there is wood. P.S. I added clarification to my original post to say "where they have means" they don't build with wood.
  13. HurricaneJosh

    Hurricane Maria

    Exactly. ANDREW was a stronger hurricane than MARIA (Cat 5 versus Cat 4), so it inflicted heavier wind damage. I'm not sure why you're arguing that point, since it's to be expected. But, yes, the type of structure *is* relevant. A shopping center can be constructed well or constructed badly. Pre-ANDREW, a lot of Florida was constructed like crap. Now it's much better. The minimal damage in Naples after IRMA (during which the city had officially measured gusts over 120 knots) is a good indicator of how far Florida has come.
  14. HurricaneJosh

    Hurricane Maria

    P.S. To add to my point... The damage caused by HARVEY in Rockport and Aransas Pass looked much more dramatic than the damage caused by MARIA in Palmas Del Mar. In HARVEY I saw complete building failures, whereas I did not see that in MARIA. But guess what? MARIA's winds were much stronger than HARVEY's. It's just that Rockport and Aransas Pass have lots of older, wood-frame or lightweight-metal industrial buildings-- and lots of mobile homes-- whereas in Palmas Del Mar, everything is solid concrete.
  15. HurricaneJosh

    Hurricane Maria

    Thanks! The drive from Humacao to San Juan was pure hell and I was sure I wouldn't make it-- I was planning to sleep in the car on the side of the highway-- but somehow I did make it. Re: your wind estimate... I don't want to belabor the point, but this is important to address: On what basis do you say the damage looked like Cat 3? Like I said above, everything there is solid concrete, so these buildings will survive even Cat-5 winds. The trees where I rode out the cyclone were 100% defoliated and in many cases debarked, and there were (as you saw in my video) many palms decrowned or snapped mid-trunk, which suggests really extreme winds. Really, only structural engineers-- guys like Tim Marshall-- are qualified to look at buildings and say, "This is Cat-4 damage," and "This is Cat-3 damage." The rest of us (me included, despite having been in the cores of 36 hurricanes/typhoons) are just kinda making it up. That point aside, thanks for your very kind words. I appreciate it.