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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

    Lol, Josh! I appreciate the words of encouragement, and surprisingly, I’ve actually begun the arduous process of editing down all those hours of footage. Realistically, my goal is to get it complete and uploaded within the next couple of months. Between work committments, family, and a wife that’s 27 weeks pregnant-I’m totally overwhelmed. Just saw your “Willa” footage a few hours ago. As usual, it’s great footage and very well done!! Going to try to get a short nap. Been up all night. Please let me know when you complete the Michael report. Hope you get a little zzz’s, yourself.
  2. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Look forward to reading your report and seeing all the data you collected during the chase! Speaking of pressure gradients, it appears that the USGS measured a lowest pressure around 925 mb at the Mexico Beach pier. Simon Brewer and Justin Drake were positioned 1.5 nm to the ENE and recorded a pressure of 944 mb. If the 925 mb reading is correct, that’s a pressure gradient of 12.7/nm. Trying to obtain the full data from USGS as I’m very interested in analyzing that data, myself.
  3. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Like Josh, I much prefer to chase by myself. Mainly because there are no limitations as to where and when I chase. Such as if my chase partner and I were to conceivably disagree on repositioning to a different location; possibly at the last minute. Josh does an excellent job on his chases and I look to continue to do the same, myself...while expanding on the collection of data. Disappointing that I left my Kestrel 4500 in my SUV, as I got too focused on filming with two separate cameras, and realized I had done so when I saw my car floating in the storm surge!
  4. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    You’re absolutely right to point that out, for I used a poor choice of words by stating they “strictly” (as in always) determine a TC intensity estimate based on Recon, satellite, and Doppler radar data. Should’ve said those are the predominant data used to do so. In the case of Claudette from 2003, they performed the damage evaluations to resolve the conflicting reports from a couple of anemometers that registered Cat 2 equivalent winds and the obs from both Recon and radar velocity data that supported only 75-80 kt MSW. Ultimately, the intensity estimate from the objective data via Recon and radar was the official conclusion. Thus, the main point remains that, unlike the case of Claudette, all of the available scientific data derived from Recon, satellite, and radar unequivocally supports a landfalling intensity estimate of 140 kt for hurricane Michael. Of course, we can agree to disagree about this, and I do so with the utmost respect!
  5. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Thanks, Josh, for the very kind words; greatly appreciated! My encounter with hurricane Michael was literally a breathtaking experience. Very much looking forward to sharing the video, as mere words just aren’t adequate enough to truly convey what I witnessed that fateful day. Very well articulated reasoning behind your point of view that the NHC should maintain the operational intensity estimate of 135 kt. Definitely respect your past experiences with powerful Hurricanes and Typhoons, of a similar magnitude, such as Haiyan, Mangkhut, Maria, and Patricia. Among those five (including “Michael”), the cumulative data certainly puts both Haiyan and Mangkhut at the very top of the list and in a separate category of their own, so to speak. Then, they’d be followed by Michael, Maria, and Patricia, respectively. That’s an impressive top 5, there!! Irrespective of the severity of damage that might be inflicted upon an area of landfall, the intensity estimate of a TC is determined strictly by the in-situ data obtained via Recon, satellite, and/or Doppler radar. All of this data strongly contends that “Michael” was no less than a 140 kt category-five hurricane when it barreled ashore. Regarding the tree damage visible in the RMW at Mexico Beach, not only did I observe astonishing damage to the long-leaf pines and decideous species, but also a lot of palms that were snapped at the trunks and de-crowned. Then again, I’ve seen it occur in winds of far less ferocity (Harvey in Refugio); albeit on a much smaller scale, geographically. It’s important to note that the Sable Palm (which is the most prominent in Florida) is one of the highest wind-resistent types of trees in the world. Even so, soil conditions, quality of ongoing care, and how it was planted can affect how well specific trees are able to handle such adverse conditions. These are just a few significant reasons why attempting to make accurate comparisons between hurricanes of similar potency, based on tree and structural damage, aren’t the best indicators of its actual MSW. It may seem like semantics to some, but it’s implausible to me that the NHC could conduct a very thorough, exhaustive, and objective examination of all the available scientific evidence and ultimately retain the current operational intensity estimate of 135 Kt.
  6. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Hi Josh! First and foremost, let me commend you on yet another fantastic and highly successful chase. Very rare, to say the least, to be in the eye of arguably a Cat 5 hurricane and measure a pressure as low as 923 mb! While I genuinely respect your opinion regarding the ongoing debate pertaining to Michael’s landfalling intensity estimate, I can only speak for myself and express that it matters a great deal to me from a wholly scientific perspective. As has been discussed rather extensively on the current page of this thread, the totality of the available data strongly suggests Michael was no less than a 140 kt Cat 5 hurricane when it crossed the coastline; which is precisely the reasoning the NHC should upgrade it in the forthcoming TCR (not that I necessarily think they will). In comarison with the 135 kt hurricane Maria, you even stated previously that “it felt more violent” in the eyewall of Michael. I trust/respect that observation immediately following your own personal encounter with hurricane Michael. The comparative Recon data, between the two storms, also supports that conclusion. Just for the record, I personally don’t agree with some who are encouraging a Cat 5 designation based on emotion and/or for any presumed political purposes. Nothing short of a very thorough, objective, and purely scientific examination of the available data should be the ultimate basis of the NHC’s final landfall intensity estimate. To reiterate, the totality of the available data (Recon, SFMR (?), satellite estimates, wind-pressure relationships, incredible tree damage, and Doppler radar velocity estimates) strongly argues in favor of a 140 kt Cat 5 reclassification. For that reason, I feel that maintenance of the operational 135 kt intensity would, in fact, sell Michael short of its rightful place as a legitimate category-five hurricane.
  7. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Was just up late (not too usual) when it occurred to me that it might be beneficial to review the last Recon VDM for both Maria (2017) and Michael (2018), prior to their respective landfalls in Puerto Rico and the Florida Panhandle. Especially, given they were each designated as 135 kt high-end category-four hurricanes when they came ashore, operationally. Hurricane Maria (9/20/2017): 000 URNT12 KNHC 200831 VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL152017 A. 20/08:04:10Z B. 17 deg 51 min N 065 deg 28 min W C. 700 mb 2365 m D. 116 kt E. 212 deg 11 nm F. 330 deg 108 kt G. 221 deg 14 nm H. 917 mb I. 10 C / 3055 m J. 18 C / 3041 m K. NA / NA L. CLOSED M. CO10-28 N. 12345 / 7 O. 0.02 / 1 nm P. AF302 0715A MARIA OB 27 MAX OUTBOUND AND MAX FL WIND 146 KT 032 / 16 NM 08:11:00Z CNTR DROPSONDE SFC WIND 165 / 5 KT ; https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/recon/2017/REPNT2/ Hurricane Michael (10/10/2018): 000 URNT12 KNHC 101752 VORTEX DATA MESSAGE AL142018 A. 10/17:09:50Z B. 29.97 deg N 085.64 deg W C. 700 mb 2402 m D. EXTRAP 922 mb E. NA F. CLOSED G. C18 H. 138 kt I. 186 deg 12 nm 17:06:00Z J. 287 deg 129 kt K. 187 deg 9 nm 17:07:00Z L. 133 kt M. 117 deg 15 nm 17:23:30Z N. 224 deg 152 kt O. 117 deg 12 nm 17:22:30Z P. 14 C / 2962 m Q. 19 C / 3048 m R. 10 C / NA S. 12345 / 7 T. 0.02 / 1 nm U. AF301 1514A MICHAEL OB 22 MAX FL WIND 152 KT 117 / 12 NM 17:22:30Z SLP EXTRAP FROM 700 MB https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/recon/2018/REPNT2/ The Comparison: 1) Hurricane Maria made landfall at 1015z; two hours after the last Recon obs, above. It had begun an eyewall replacement cycle shortly after the 0310z VDM provided by Recon, seven hours earlier, when the eye measured 10 nm and contained a minimum central pressure of 910 mb. During that interval, the eye had expanded to 28 nm and the pressure rose to 917 mb. The pressure is presumed (by the NHC) to have continued to fill to an estimated 920 mb by the time it crossed the Puerto Rican shoreline. The highest flight-level wind (FLW) of 157 kt was observed at 2221z on the 19th (roughly 12 hours preceding landfall). By the time of the last pre-landfall mission, max FLWs were down to 146 kt. Since Maria was continuing to weaken during the subsequent two hours, it’s highly likely max winds had decreased, as well. 2) Hurricane Michael made landfall at 1730z; less than thirty minutes after the last Recon obs, above. In contrast to Maria, hurricane Michael was rapidly intensifying all the way up to and through landfall. At 0904z, only 8.5 hours prior to blasting ashore, the eye measured 20 nm with a minimum central pressure of 937 mb. By the time of the aforementioned last VDM, the eye had contracted to less than 18 nm and the pressure had fallen to 919 mb. As can be seen by examining the radar imagery, the eye had shrunken even further, and it’s presumed that the central pressure deepened a little more, as well, during the period between the last VDM and the center crossing the coastline. The highest FLW of 152 kt was measured just prior to the center pushing onshore. At 0900z, 8.5 hours earlier, the maximum FLWs were measured at 130 kt. As noted above, Michael was still undergoing a period of rapid intensification, and it’s most probable that there were even stronger winds that Recon didn’t sample. NHC Post Storm Report (TCR): The NHC chose to retain their operational landfalling intensity estimate of 135 kt for hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. In it, the authors stated that they based their conclusions on the extrapolation of the weakening trend noted by Recon, following the ERC. https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/AL152017_Maria.pdf If the NHC felt justified in retaining the 135 kt operational intensity estimate for Maria, based primarily on the Recon data, it provides even greater emphasis that hurricane Michael had achieved 140 kt category-five strength at landfall. Comparatively, Michael had higher observed flight-level winds and a lower barometric pressure. Maria was weakening significantly, while Michael was rapidly intensifying. I won’t go through and reiterate all the other data points that strongly support Michael’s upgrade, but simply wanted to provide this quick examination of the Recon data between the two storms.
  8. ncforecaster89

    January 19-20th Winter Storm Threat

    Yes, except I documented that one from Washington, DC to Frederick, MD and up to Lancaster, PA. Didn't travel to NYC for that one, as I was focused on the Mid-AtlantIc.
  9. ncforecaster89

    January 19-20th Winter Storm Threat

    Thanks, Eric. On phone, at stop lights, while on my way home. Hadn't seen the 18z products, yet. We'll see if it all comes together to produce. Too early, still, to know. IF it does, and hoping it does so, I'm leaning towards chasing in this particular sub-forum region. Reason I might be posting in here, time to time. Last winter storm chase was in NYC and on LI, back in late March 2018. Love to do it, again!
  10. ncforecaster89

    January 19-20th Winter Storm Threat

    Ratios alone won't produce "big-time" snow drifts. Will need "big-time" winds, as well.
  11. ncforecaster89

    January 19-20th Winter Storm Threat

    Irresponsible to be putting out specific totals at long-range. Of course, it's the "Weenie" channel (TWC)...so no surprise; all about those ratings. Hype train has already left the station, there.
  12. ncforecaster89

    Age Survey

    Hi Mark. I'll be 49 in May, and my wife is 26 weeks pregnant. Our baby girl is due in April. I understand the apprehension, but I feel so incredibly blessed to have another opportunity to care for and raise another baby.... especially, since it will be the first with my second, and truly wonderful wife, unlike my ex! Good luck to you with whatever you may decide. If you do have one at a more advanced age, it will have been the right time, regardless, considering any other moment, and that particular baby/child wouldn't exist.
  13. ncforecaster89

    January 2019 Discussion

    Happy New Year’s Eve, everyone! As most know, it takes a MECS or HECS to persuade me to travel to the region to document such an event. That said, I fully anticipate that (those) event (s) to materialize at some point between 1/25 & 3/15. Don’t expect a significant region-wide event prior to 1/25 as there will likely be a lag in the atmospheric response to the forthcoming pattern change, as the major teleconnections move towards a far more favorable pattern by the beginning of February. Patience is key. Give the atmosphere time to build it, and it will come! Edit: removed reference to Mid-Atlantic region. Irrelevant in this sub forum.
  14. ncforecaster89

    December 8-10, 2018 Winter Storm

    Thanks... greatly appreciate the kind words! And, your own appreciation for the gift of a child. Eagerly look forward to each opportunity to see our baby girl, inside the womb, via ultrasound. Given the developing El Nino, the probability of another significant winter storm in the SE, this winter, is certainly elevated. Will always choose my family over a prospective major weather event. That said, and as you articulated, there will be many more opportunities; especially since I'm willing to document them as far north as Maine. Would share local storm effects from here in Wilmington, but SENC has got that covered, and the highlights consist of a very cold, wind-driven rain.
  15. ncforecaster89

    December 8-10, 2018 Winter Storm

    For those who might be interested, here's the link to a list of the current record snowfall event for each individual county in NC: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/snow-and-ice/snowfall-extremes/NC/3 For instance, Lenoir holds the record for Caldwell county at 17". Morganton is the record holder for Burke county with 19.3". On a personal note, I opted not to chase this event as it would cause me to miss an ultrasound appointment for my wife who's 21.5 weeks pregnant. Lastly, I'm wishing everyone luck and hope all your weenie dreams come to fruition!
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