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

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  1. Hey, thanks, Mike! I'm flattered that you have such a firm belief in my ability to pull that off again-- or top it. If I go to my grave with DORIAN being my biggest score, I'll feel like I did what I was put on this earth to do. But, hey, it's always worth striving for that next level. Anyhoo, thanks for watching the video. Hope you're well, man.
  2. Hey, thanks man-- appreciate it. The death toll does sound way too low to me based on what I experienced (whole neighborhoods flattened and the stench of death in the air) and heard from folks I was talking to while there (many reports of bodies everywhere). I won't hazard a guess-- this just isn't my area of expertise-- but I would've guessed a death toll well into the hundreds or even four figures. The destruction is at the level of Super Typhoon HAIYAN. Whereas HAIYAN directly struck a large city (Tacloban City - pop. ~220K), DORIAN struck a small town (Marsh Harbour - pop. ~6K), so I highly doubt we'll see a HAIYAN-like death toll (6K - 10K) in DORIAN-- but I know in my heart it is way beyond that 53 figure.
  3. Thanks, Tony. I appreciate it. Have a good night.
  4. Thanks for your interest in my work, Tony. I appreciate it.
  5. Sorry this conversation is irritating you. I don't see how it was a jab to observe you're into a certain cyclone. I'm really, really into DORIAN-- like, I'm obsessed with it and will be for years to come. And if someone pointed that out, I'd say, "F*ck yeah, I am." Anyhoo, at some point they'll reassess MICHAEL. I was never personally totally sold on the Cat-5 thing, but as always, I accept the NHC verdict as "the word," even on the rare occasions when I personally feel somewhat differently (examples: ODILE 2014 and CAMILLE 1969). And, anyhoo, most of the time I'm totally with them, even with big postanalysis changes (examples: KATRINA 2005, PATRICIA 2015).
  6. I wasn't talking specifically about MICHAEL (your favorite cyclone ever ), but this bit from the MICHAEL TCR explicitly ties a future intensity reassessment to the SFMR research findings: "It should be noted that future revisions to the Florida landfall intensity are possible, as additional re-assessment is expected once the research on the reliability of the SFMR at these high wind speeds is complete."
  7. Wow, that is really interesting to hear the perspective of non-weather-nerds. But, yeah, I personally found the winds scary-- they were way beyond anything I've seen before. Just nuts.
  8. Wow, that is a huge compliment-- when non-weather-nerds dig my footage. So, thank you for very much for letting me know! And please tell your girlfriend Hurricane Man is glad she was so riveted! It's a great question but a tough one, because the terrains and building standards in both places are so different. I feel like I can't answer. Both were truly great cyclones, and both were way beyond anything else I've observed. Very true. Live by SFMR, die by SFMR. If new research shows that the SFMR data are generally too "hot," a few big-name hurricanes are gonna get a rude awakening (i.e., downgrades) in reanalysis.
  9. That was a different Cat 5, Super Typhoon HAIYAN in the Philippines!
  10. You are right-- DEAN was the first of my five Cat 5s! I lost my Cat-5 "virginity" to that one. I just grazed the S eyewall, but it was just enough to give me a taste of that awesome power. I was scared but I was so hooked. God. Twelve years ago, but it seems like a lifetime. I'm a totally different person-- and different chaserdude-- now.
  11. I decided to nerd out and list all known Category-5 hurricane landfalls in N America. Events are listed by windspeed, then central pressure, then date. This list puts Hurricane DORIAN in perspective and shows how cataclysmic it was—tied for 1st place as strongest landfalling hurricane. Wow! (I feel a weird honor to have been inside that eye.) The list gives the false impression that Cat-5 landfalls are a modern phenomenon. Nope. Undoubtedly there were more Cat-5 landfalls in earlier decades that can't be properly categorized because there aren't enough data. Notice that all Cat-5 landfalls in N America have been on the Atlantic side. There's no known instance of a Cat 5 striking N America from the Pacific. The strongest known landfall on that side is PATRICIA 2015, which struck Mexico as a high-end Cat 4, with winds of 130 knots (150 mph).
  12. Ooops, though even @ 175 kts Pat would have held the record regardless. Jeez 185 kts sustained is just insane. Hell, Dorian's 160 kts is insane. As for the school, I'm glad you moved man. Don't second guess safety when all hell is breaking lose. If you go against your gut in situations as dangerous as that, you may end up critically injured or dead. You made the right choice. Thanks. I've obsessed over it a little, but I agree it was the right thing to do. Hey, thanks! I really appreciate it. It's a very good point you make-- and it's why you can't just visually compare damage pics between hurricanes-- because building quality is so different from region to region. And, yes, the Bahamas have very strict codes, so to see most houses and buildings having major damage after DORIAN was something. TO ANDREW's defense... One thing that impresses me about it was the tree damage. The totally shredded and denuded trees are part of what make the aftermath photos look so hardcore.
  13. A side of me wishes I stayed in the school, because when I left I had to cut my data collection, so my air-pressure trace ends in the eye. That bums me out a little. But three dudes were counting on me for a ride to the safer building-- my car was one of the few that still worked-- so I had to do the right thing and put people before data. The wind damage was freaky in this one-- way worse than anything I've seen in the aftermath of any other hurricane or typhoon, with the single possible exception of HAIYAN. I was in HAIYAN's eyewall, but the absolute peak winds passed a couple of miles S of me, and some of the damage down there and in a town called Guiuan (which I saw afterward) was DORIAN-level crazy. One thing I especially noticed in DORIAN's aftermath was the cars. They weren't just thrown-- something which can happen in a Cat 3. They were mutilated. The other Cat-5 cores I've punched-- DEAN, MANGKHUT, and the marginal MICHAEL-- didn't hold a candle to it. ANDREW actually might have-- I believe ANDREW might still be underestimated, despite its 2002 upgrade-- but I can't say because I'm just judging from pictures. I did not chase ANDREW or see its aftermath firsthand. But, anyhoo, DORIAN was a special, special beast. I don't expect to so perfectly sample another specimen of that rare quality for the rest of my career. By "perfectly sample," I mean squarely nailing the eye, on a small island, with very little land friction. By "that rare quality," I mean a cyclone that has an official estimated intensity of 160 knots while I'm inside the eye collecting data. For a chaserdude, that is storybook shit. Yes, I would have chased it, whatever the wind speed. Remember, when I was chasing PATRICIA 2015, the estimated winds were 175 knots (200 mph) before it weakened. I was a little scared, of course, but I still chased it. It's just in my blood-- a compulsion that I can't deny. It's a good question and I can't answer it, since I really got a much, much better look at the frontside. Thanks so much, Eric. And, yeah, a direct, Cat-5 hit on Freeport would have been a whole other level of disaster. Just.... yikes. No, the local people were totally nice. They appreciated that an outsider was there taking an interest in their experiences and getting the story out to the rest of the world. The aid comes when folks in faraway places-- who might not even understand what a hurricane is-- see these harrowing images. Thank you so much-- I am delighted you found the video so interesting and feel it's such a rare document of truly extreme winds. I was doing my best and I appreciate it. Re: the engineering stuff, I am no expert, but 1) yeah, anything made of wood got shredded in this cyclone's core and 2) I definitely noticed that there are different levels of concrete buildings, and some perform well while others fail. All concrete structures are not created equal! I don't expect to surpass DORIAN for the rest of my career. I feel this is my peak. I don't see how I can realistically expect to surpass it. By the way, I don't believe WPAC typhoons get much stronger than the most extreme Atlantic/EPAC 'canes. Yeah, they have colder cloud tops and lower pressures, but there's no evidence the winds are any stronger than what happens around N America. There was no glass on those windows. I agree with your general point-- that typhoon winds actually don't get any stronger than the winds in hurricanes around N America. (See my previous point, above.) By the way, PATRICIA's official peak was 185 knots-- not 175. Yes, it was incredible.
  14. Thanks, Gene! I am so glad you liked the first episode of "Hurricane Man." Re: the death toll and the complications and politics around getting a real number... That is way outside my expertise, but I will say that I personally expect it to shoot way up, well into the hundreds, if not more.