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ncforecaster89

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About ncforecaster89

  • Birthday 05/03/1970

Profile Information

  • Four Letter Airport Code For Weather Obs (Such as KDCA)
    KILM
  • Gender
    Male
  • Location:
    Wilmington, NC
  • Interests
    Hurricanes and blizzards are my primary interests relative to a specific atmospheric phenomenon. Tropical meteorology was, and has been, my focus since my first hurricane experience at the impressionable age of 14. It was this fateful encounter that led me to pursue a degree in atmospheric sciences. While in college, I was most fortunate to have interned at the NHC (by way of a student internship) with the late Bob Case as a mentor. Although I no longer work in the meterological field professionally, I still enjoy helping others by sharing the knowledge others have so generously given me. Thus, one is most likely to see the vast majority of my posts being centered on tropical meterology.

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  1. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    I agree that technically the SFMR is the only data that specifically correlates to category-five intensity. That said, I worry the NHC will continue to fall back on their operational decision to discount it due to the “assumption” that shoaling inflated that figure...as Todd Kimberlain suggested is most probable. Baring any other data not yet publicly released, the 152 kt FLW is the next best piece of emperical data supporting a 140 kt cat 5 reclassification. Although, it does round down to 135 kt when converting to a 1-min surface wind estimate without taking into account the exceedingly high likelihood that there were slightly higher winds Recon didn’t measure, and/or the fact Michael was still offshore and intensifying when it was taken. It’s also conceivable that IF the much higher storm surge estimates (provided by the USGS post-storm surveys) are determined to be legit, the NHC might perform another hind-cast SLOSH model run containing the adjusted surge data to estimate Michael’s MSW, as they’ve often done in the reanalysis of past hurricanes. Albeit, it would carry much less weight in any present day reanalysis considering all the in-situ data they do have for Michael, obviously. Since it’s likely they’ll determine the central pressure continued to drop below their operational 919 mb estimate, that too further argues for the upgrade. In short, and to your point, if the NHC continues to discount the validity of the 138 kt SFMR measurement, a little well-reasoned subjectivity will be required in order for the current operational assessment to be modified. Of course, and as the Reddit poster so well articulated, I’d argue that the entirety of all the data makes low-end category five the most reasonable intensity estimate.
  2. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    That was an excellent listing of data, outlined above, arguing for an upgrade to category-five intensity. There was also alot of debate and discussion about this topic on Twitter...for which I participated...and included former NHC forecaster Todd Kimberlain. As shown in the link below, It was mainly a debate where chasers Simon Brewer and Justin Drake were arguing for the upgrade while Todd suggested that the NHC will be very reluctant to modifying their operational landfall intensity; baring any other significant data becoming available. https://mobile.twitter.com/tbrite89/status/1052748706670399490 Considering that some subjectivity will be involved in the final landfall intensity estimate produced by the NHC (in the TCR), it's essentially a 50/50 proposition as to whether hurricane Michael will be upgraded to a category-five. All things being equal, the 152 kt flight-level-wind (FLW) measured in the SE quadrant of the eyewall is the strongest data point in support of category-five classification. The standard 90% ratio of FLW to surface wind estimate (for an intensifying hurricane) equates to 137 kts. Even though it's rounded to the nearest 5 kt interval (135 kt), one must take into account that it's highly unlikely Recon was able to measure the absolute peak wind velocity contained anywhere else within the eyewall. This alone argues for an intensity of no less than 140 kts. It is also the most objective data available; the 138 kt SFMR reading, notwithstanding. Given that the central pressure dropped at least another 3 mb after the aforementioned FLW was obtained, one could even make a plausible argument for 145 kt...but 140 kts. would be my choice. All the rest of the data and factors, listed in the Reddit post, provides further substantiation of the in-situ data measured by Recon just prior to landfall.
  3. ncforecaster89

    Michael Banter Thread

    Absolutely agree with everything you wrote. I'll add that I presumed SENC was referring to a portable anemometer tower rather than a hand-held device (like a Kestrel)... which I do carry with me. As you noted, no anemometers are generally able to survive/register winds of such extreme intensity...as I observed in the RMW of hurricane Michael.
  4. ncforecaster89

    Michael Banter Thread

    Hi SENC! Yes, I document all USA landfalling hurrricanes; Michael was no exception. The damage caused by Florence to my home had no relevance to it. It's important to note that I don't simply chase hurricanes for fun, but to help in the aftermath. I always devote at least one full day to help those in need. Have stated numerous times that I believe all of us chasers should do the same, and has been something I've committed to since observing the devastation following hurricane Katrina in 2005. I don't possess a portable anemometer. Not that it'd done much good, anyway. Not like it was a more common category-two hurricane, or anything! You know?
  5. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    A 19' storm surge verified in Mexico Beach, FL by USGS! Yet more incredible images and data being obtained, exemplifing the severity of hurricane Michael's impact along the NE Florida panhandle (especially, Mexico Beach)!
  6. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Thanks for the kind words, Roger! I was most fortunate and am exceedingly grateful that the condo I sought for refuge didn’t suffer the same fate as so many others on the beach. Like, for instance, the two houses that were lifted completely off their foundations and carried across hwy 98 to be slammed against the condo where I was filming the onslought. Or the beach-front home that was lifted up by the surge and blown apart by the extreme winds, whose owner was found two days later hidden underneath the large mounds of wreckage in front of our condo. When those, like myself and other chasers, willingly put ourselves in the direct path of such violent storms, and survive the experience without personal injury, it’s easy to forget just how fortunate we truly were. No matter how much experience we have or the various precautions we may take, it’s not a given that the structure we choose to endure the core of such ferocity will not collapse upon us. Going through such an event is a stark reminder of how easily ones life can be snuffed out by a tempest of such magnitude! Here’s the way I described the experience to a local news reporter less than 24 hours after the horrific calamity had befallen Mexico Beach (please keep in mind, had only slept 4.5 hours over the preceeding 3 days): https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=2263377383885830&id=121026441243349
  7. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Here's the RMS Hwind estimated 3-second wind gust map for Hurricane Michael; following their extensive ground surveys of the hardest hit areas in Florida and SW Georgia. As expected, their highest estimated winds were centered on Mexico Beach; at 170-180 mph! I can certainly believe it based on what I observed, there, first-hand. Not sure what the peak values really were, but I'm confident they were no less than 155 mph. Likely, much higher. With velocities of such extreme intensity, it was virtually impossible to see much of anything. The ear-piercing screams of the wind will be something I'll never be able to forget!
  8. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Those estimated wind gusts of 130-140 mph on that map isn't representative of what I saw and experienced first-hand in Mexico Beach, either. As mentioned above, and previously, I've documented wind gusts of 130-140 mph on three preceding occasions (Katrina, Harvey, Irma), and the extreme winds I encountered during hurricane Michael far exceeded anything I had seen, beforehand! Not to mention, the map is also inconsistent with actual wind obs taken prior to instrument failure in places like Panama City and Tyndall Air Force Base... before the peak winds even arrived. Only wind gusts of 120 mph in PC produced all that tremendous tree and structural damage? No way!
  9. ncforecaster89

    Michael Banter Thread

    Just spent some time pursuing this thread, and feel inclined to offer my own two cents regarding the debate on the landfalling intensity of hurricane Michael. This intercept was my 31st hurricane experience dating back to 1984. Been in 10 different “major” hurricanes, and encountered confirmed 140 mph wind gusts during hurricane Irma in Naples, just last year. All that said, the indescribable ferocity of the winds I observed within the RMW, in Mexico Beach, was beyond anything I had ever witnessed or had conceived was possible, beforehand; meaning how can one adequately estimate the wind velocity of such extreme winds when they’d never seen anything close to it, previously?! The only genuine meteorological debate that merits such discussion (related to Michael’s landfall intensity) should center around whether it was truly a high-end category four or actually achieved category-five strength. Personally, I’m in the camp that argues for a 140 kt post-storm upgrade. P.S. Despite all my chase experience, I was one who underestimated just how high the surge would get where I positioned myself, and in doing so, lost my car and phone in the process. Based on google maps, it appeared I was at an elevation that was sufficient. My vehicle wasn’t!
  10. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    So sorry I was unable to post in this thread during my most recent hurricane intercept. Ended up documenting this indescribable event from ground zero in Mexico Beach, FL. Most fortunate to be able to, but lost my car, phone, and some clothes in the process. Got a lot of incredible video, but will take some time to edit and upload to my YouTube channel. That said, I did share some of it with a news crew down from Jacksonville, who posted it online. Can be viewed on my Twitter account @tbrite89. Hope all are doing well and I'll post more and share more video in the near future.
  11. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    I have been aware of this disturbance, myself, but in its current broad and very disorganized state, there's not much to say...without a more defined and consolidated low. For instance, the possibility exists that the current low being tracked may not be the one that ultimately develops into a TC (i.e. another area of vorticity could spin down to the surface under an area of deep convection within the gyre). As such, I have always taken a more conservative approach to TC observation and forecasting than many of my peers, who often times were/are in a rush to be "first"...when patience was/is more prudent. Edit: Wanted to clarify that the second paragraph is not, in any way, directed to WxWatcher or anyone else on this board.
  12. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Florence: STORM MODE THREAD

    Hi Frank! Thanks for the kind words and thoughts. Drove into Scotts Hill to document the absolute brunt of the eyewall. From there, drove into the center of the eye near Wrightsville beach. Been really busy posting updates and damage pics on Twitter. Now, I just got a tornado warning alert on my phone.
  13. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Florence: STORM MODE THREAD

    I'm in North Topsail Beach. Too busy to post much. If interested in updates every 1-2 hours...with video snapshots and pressure readings, please consider following me on Twitter @tbrite89. Pressure at 986.8 mb and continuing to drop.
  14. ncforecaster89

    Hurricane Florence

    Hurricane Diana of 9/11/1984 to 9/13/1984 was the reason I pursued my meteorology degree at NC State and became obsessed with hurricanes.
  15. ncforecaster89

    Hurricane Florence

    I just secured a hotel room in Beaufort, for Wednesday pm until Friday at noon, so I'm hoping they don't close it.
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