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About HurricaneJosh

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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. Oh, hey. My latest YouTube channel ad. A lot of my recent chaseporn crammed into a minute. Enjoy!
  2. 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.
  3. Hurricane Maria

    ODILE is not in my Top 3. MARIA was worse!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Hurricane Maria

    Hey, guys! Hope you're all well. I know I'm not here much these days, but I saw y'all were discussing my chase, so I thought I'd pop in and say hey. Now that I've had time to process it, I'd say MARIA is a Top-3 chase for me in terms of the quality/violence of the eyewall. It helped that I was in the perfect spot: at the coast, just a few miles right of the exact landfall point. I got totally right-front-quadded. The NHC's verdict (high-end Cat 4) felt right to me-- that is, not quite a Cat 5 but harsher than other Cat 4s I've been in. (Yes, that's a subjective take, not a scientific opinion.) I'd say MARIA was in the neighborhood of PATRICIA, but much larger and longer-lasting. (PATRICIA was a total microcane-- the extreme winds lasted about 17 minutes in my location-- whereas MARIA was pretty large and the extreme winds went on for over an hour.) My lowest pressure was 929.4 mb. (Actually, that's my lowest *recorded* pressure. I saw the barometer dip below 929, but the 1-min sampling didn't catch the absolute extreme.) Below is my video. It's long, so if you want to skip to the daytime Cat-4 eyewall porn, the red-meat stuff goes from 6:18 to 6:21 am (timestamp in lower left), then there's a brightening/calming as I apparently graze the edge of the eye (although the lowest pressure did not happen at that time), and then the really severe sh*t starts around 6:56 am. By 7:15 am you can't see a damn thing, and I'd say it's the most extreme eyewall whiteout I've experienced in my decades of chasing (with the single possible exception of PATRICIA). The worst of it was over before 8 am. Oh, one point: Be careful of trying to estimate peaks winds based on the damage to buildings-- especially in the town where I was (Palmas Del Mar). Two points: 1) Puerto Rico builds for hurricane winds and 2) this is a very affluent area. All of the buildings there are **solid concrete**. (Actually, this applies to a lot of these tropical islands, American and not. They don't have mobile homes and where they have means they don't build wood houses like we do on the mainland. They know better.) Damage to roofs and windows was heavy. Enjoy!
  13. Newton

    Hey, how's it going? NEWTON was actually a much stronger hurricane than HERMINE. For one thing, the official landfall intensity of NEWTON was 80 kt, whereas it was 70 kt for HERMINE. And on the ground, there was no comparison. HERMINE felt very mild. I actually drove through its E eyewall into the eye and was pretty underwhelmed by it. NEWTON had some kick to it-- those winds really cranked when we got in the core. So while the central pressures may have been comparable, that's not the whole story. NEWTON was way more of a hurricane.
  14. Super Typhoon Nepartak

    Been doing some post-storm nerding out. For this sexy infographic, I reconstructed the typhoon's track across Taiwan through a detailed, frame-by-frame analysis of the radar. It was especially challenging to find the center once it moved over the high mountains of Taiwan and the cyclone's core turned into scrambled eggs. (It was a tedious process, but now it's done!) This track shows the typhoon's center passing within 12 n mi (22 km) of downtown Taitung City—a track that brought the max winds of the N eyewall right over the city! One strange thing I noticed: the max winds and lowest pressure in Taitung City seemed to happen a little earlier than you'd expect from the hourly center positions—but it is what it is.
  15. Super Typhoon Nepartak

    The power was out. The building was on a generator.