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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

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    Although apparently misunderstood when I previously asked this question, does anyone know of any data available that provides a good estimate of the MSW experienced in places such as Marsh Harbor or Elbow Cay? Know that both of those locations got into the eye, but were at least 10 nm S of the 160 kt/185 estimated MSW. Know they each got into Cat 5 winds, but also recognize neither of those rather populous towns experienced winds close to 160 kt, either. Already shared my best educated guess based solely on all the available data I've seen, to date. However, there may be additional data I'm unaware of and if so, I'd love to see it. Even though some misconstrue my wholly scientific interest in these observations as somehow being relevant to any chasers who happened to be there, that makes zero difference to me, nor should that affect anyone else's objectivity. After every single major hurricane event, I have always sought to obtain the most reasonable estimate of the max winds to impact a particular location. In the case of hurricane Michael, for example, all of the available data strongly suggested that the western-most portion of Mexico Beach received the highest wind speeds from that particular storm. The fact I just happened to be at that location had no influence on my own objectivity, much less the unbiased data. In hurricane Harvey, for a different example, I missed my connecting flight into Houston and was unable to get all the way to my predetermined intercept location at Fulton, Tx. Instead, I made it to the east side of Refugio. Although I technically got into the eyewall of Harvey when it was still a Cat 4, it doesn't change the fact that Refugio didn't get those MSWs of 115 kt. The same applies to my intercept of Irma in S Naples later that same year. Got almost directly into the eye while it was a 100 kt/115 mph Cat 3, but those peak winds were about 5 nm away to the SSE of me. I could say that I experienced those max winds in both cases, as I got almost into the absolute center of both eyes, but I objectively know that wasn't the case. In short, I genuinely care about the scientific accuracy in such instances. Always have since years before I got my degree in the field and always will! It's a no brainier to me. As such, it's quite frustrating and truly annoying when some want to attribute a completely inaccurate motive (or "agenda") to such unbiased analysis.
  2. ncforecaster89

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    Excellent explanation and response to that question. In my case, I know I damaged my hearing somewhat by exposing myself to the full effect of Cat 5 winds in Michael. The intense pain I felt is truly indescribable and the thing I will always remember most are far as what I personally experienced aside from the incredible devastation and the hardship brought to the residents in the area. It wasn't simply just the rapid pressure drop. As a result, my wife is still pissed as she noticed the difference in my hearing immediately thereafter and it continues to this day. When I intercept the next Cat 5, I will use ear plugs to mitigate the deafening roar of the wind.
  3. ncforecaster89

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    Great job of deflection. So, do you think Marsh Harbor experienced 160 kt maximum sustained winds? Do you think the winds Michael delivered to Panama City and/or Callaway were equal to those I witnessed in Mexico Beach? It seems you might be confusing my genuine interest in an accurate estimation of the peak winds at a given location to be somehow relevant to who was the chaser that captured those winds on film. No offense but I don't have a "deep and ongoing interest" in your work...any more than that of any other chaser. For me, I mainly want to be in the position of the most intense winds to show their immense power on video to others in hopes they will evacuate. The second goal is to capture data. That's followed by the desire to simply experience the storm, itself. And, lastly, help residents recover from the aftermath by devoting my own time and physical labor. It's all about the storm. It's not about the chaser (i.e., myself). To reiterate, it's ALL about the science to me and its effects on people.
  4. ncforecaster89

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    Got meteorology degree from NCSU (NC State University) in 1992. Thanks for asking. Also was a student intern at the NHC under the mentorship of the late Robert (Bob) Case. Never got a second degree in engineering nor did I desire one. It was all about working for the NHC one day. Spent less than two years working in the field before I realized I didn't enjoy working a desk job and gave up on that original dream job. I wanted to actually be free to chase/intercept hurricanes. So, no regrets here.
  5. ncforecaster89

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    I'll clarify my post further and provide additional humor for you, I suppose. It's not debatable that Dorian was a much more intense Cat 5 than Michael, but those 160 kt maximum sustained winds did not pass over Marsh Harbor (MH), thankfully. No doubt MH got Cat 5 winds (possibly up to 145 kt) and a devastating storm surge that exceeded what Mexico Beach (MB) endured from Michael. I realize you still believe MB didn't see winds any higher than locations to the west (as you made clear, previously), but all the objective in-situ data clearly suggests otherwise. Based on that misguided belief, and your own experience with substantially less peak winds in Michael, I can understand why you might feel as though MH had Cat 5 winds greater than I estimate. Honestly, I hate that we've consistently had these type of disagreements with past hurricanes on here. First, you took exception when I stated all of the available data suggested Patricia was not a Cat 5 at landfall and estimated the max intensity at 130 kt. Subsequently, the NHC report comes out and sets the Best Track at precisely 130 kt. Then, you disagreed with my objective opinion that all the available data argued that MB had Cat 5 winds during Michael. Instead of appreciating all the kind words and compliments conveyed in my post regarding the fabulous job you did getting into the eye, recording one of the lowest pressures ever measured on the ground, and the excellent job you did telling the story via your video...you apparently take exception with my wholly unbiased and objective opinion that the winds in MH didn't exceed 145 kt. You are welcome to believe otherwise, and assume you experienced a genuine 160 kt MSW, but I feel it's important that people aren't misled to believe that such winds were experienced in MH. Why? Not simply because I care foremost about accuracy of the scientific data, but also that someone might see your video and think, "I can ride out a 185 mph Cat 5 hurricane, too!" I'll conclude by yet again congratulating you on an exceptional job documenting Cat 5 Dorian. More importantly, I'm so thankful you survived this event unharmed. Live to chase another day, my friend!
  6. ncforecaster89

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    Not sure what that implies, but there's nothing in that post that's inaccurate.
  7. ncforecaster89

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    Hi Eyewall! To be honest, I'm not exactly sure which one it might be or both? At first, I thought it was due to the deafening roar of the Cat 5 winds as it had increased to an unfathomable level (both in sound and speed). My best guess is it was the sound as I can definitely tell it's damaged my hearing since that life-altering experience.
  8. ncforecaster89

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    Based on the video of the peak winds, damage footage in the aftermath, and the Recon data...my first best guess estimate of 140 kt (maybe 145 kt) Cat 5 MSW appears about right for the precise location where Josh filmed this. He did a fabulous job of documenting the event and a great job editing the footage to best tell the story! If I remember correctly, and I might not, I think he relocated from a position to the N of where he subsequently filmed. This put him into the core of the S eyewall and the eye. 913 mb is a truly remarkable pressure measurement! Given the estimated MSW of 160 kt was located roughly 10 nm NNW of the center, that relocation may very well have saved his life. Although, I have no idea what the storm surge or wind did to that initial chase building. Edit: This video is also very rare footage of legitimate Cat 5 winds. The intense white-out conditions and the ear pain he described brings back vivid memories of my own experience with Cat 5 winds in Michael. P.S. I'll add that Josh didn't experience Cat 5 winds during hurricane Michael so he can't adequately compare the two, from a Cat 5 wind to Cat 5 wind, standpoint. So, when he says Dorian's winds were much worse, it's important to keep that distinction in mind. The Cat 5 winds of Michael were strictly confined to the unobstructed, onshore winds at Mexico Beach, where I documented the event. The winds in his video don't look any more intense than what I saw and can be seen in my video. Regardless, they were definitely Cat 5 intensity! Both hurricanes caused debarking of trees in MH and at MB, respectively.
  9. ncforecaster89

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    I'm so truly sorry to hear the loss that some of your family members endured as a result of this catastrophic hurricane! Will be keeping them in my most heartfelt thoughts and prayers as I have for all who've suffered through that calamity. As I stated in my original post, I too believe strongly that legitimate Cat 5 MSW was experienced there, as well.
  10. ncforecaster89

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    On a slightly different subject; the NC landfall of Dorian: Im curious as to others opinions regarding whether Dorian might have actually struck the NC Outer Banks as a Cat 2 hurricane? The official operational estimate was set at the upper-end of category-one on the SSHWS (80 kt). Based on all the available data, it appears the MSW stayed just offshore to the S & E of the coast...so that it's unlikely any potential Cat 2 MSWs actually struck the area, regardless. On a personal note, I intercepted Dorian on the eastern-most portion of Harkers Island and right at the Cape Lookout National Seashore. Given its NE movement and the highest Recon obs being found in the E to SE eyewall, I was unable to get into the peak winds. Nonetheless, the western-most portion of the eye did pass over my location and I measured a lowest BP of 961.0 mb (albeit it might have been slightly lower given I was logging the data at 30 second intervals). Highest wind gusts at my location were in the 90-100 mph range and the surge reached 3 feet deep on the roadway. Of course, these conditions were nothing remotely close to what the guys experienced in the NW Bahamas or my own experience in the absolute brunt of hurricane Michael last season!
  11. ncforecaster89

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    No worries. I don't disagree that the overall mean sustained was as you described. However, recon was getting some insane unflagged SFMR data in all quadrants just prior to initial landfall. Had they actually gone with that data, Dorian's advisory intensity would have been even higher. To my point, I believe MVs that were clearly visible within the first early morning visible shots might be to blame for those recordings. Josh has not yet released any footage, however he did mention cars and heavyweighted objects bring lifted and flung through the air like toys. It sounds like the type of lift you would witness given strong MCVs in progress at landfall which can give intermittently temporary intense boosts to windgusts with vertical lift beyond typical straight-line eyewall winds associated with the core vortex (which would usually be stronger in the northern periphery of the eyewall in most cases for an east to west moving hurricane). We'll see if he interjects into this discussion or touches on it further in his report. I'll only add that I wouldn't doubt that such short-lived and wind-enhancing mesovorticies may very well have rotated around into MH, as can often be the case in such extreme hurricanes that are rapidly intensifying (as you already noted). Case in point, If you analyze the video footage I captured during hurricane Michael, from the western-most portion of MB, it also appears that there were mesovorticies that hit that location....as was alluded to in the NHC post-season TCR.
  12. ncforecaster89

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    I'd argue Josh at least got winds close to mean speeds contained in the northern inner boundary of the eyewall. Some of what he describes sounds like the work of mesovortices, which can result in stronger winds than typical for a west and east impacting quadrant based on due easterly steering flow. Yes, obviously the average wind speeds were likely worse overall just to their north. But strong MCVs we sometimes observe in the most intense cyclones can wreak havoc 360° around the eye. All we have available to formulate a genuine scientifically objective best guess/estimate is the data obtained via Recon, radar, satellite, and any in-situ obs collected by weather stations on the ground. Based solely on those data, and all the available video I've seen thus far, nothing suggests the max winds reached those extreme velocities in either MH or EC. If there is any video evidence or additional data that might suggest winds greater than 140 kt Cat 5 MSWs at either location, I'm very eager to see it. The whole point of my initial post was to express how fortunate both Josh and Jim were that those max winds passed a little more than 10 nm to their N; which is a very significant deal regarding receiving MSW winds of 140 kt versus 160 kt. Theoretically, it may have literally been the difference between life and death. As such, I'm thankful that the absolute peak wind did pass to their N. Even if your theory is correct about possible MVs hitting MH, the main point remains exactly the same. And, secondly, to see if anyone knew of any possible vids that may have been taken by residents in those areas a little more than 10 nm to the N of our guys on the ground. To reiterate, I'm just most thankful they both survived those Cat 5 conditions, unharmed. P.S. I'd be remiss if I didn't also convey my genuine respect and appreciation for your knowledge and scientific opinions, regardless if we might possibly disagree on this subject.
  13. ncforecaster89

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    Been so busy the past 10 days, I am just now catching up on the exact track Dorian took through the Bahamas. As far as I know, we had two chasers there for the landfall: Josh at Marsh Harbour and Jim Edds at Elbow Cay. Looking through the Recon archives, and radar and satellite loops...it appears that both Josh and Jim were somewhat fortunate (as much as one can be that still gets hit with Cat 5 conditions and a very large storm surge) that the maximum winds passed to their north. Based on all the videos I've seen so far from both locations, I'd estimate they both saw MSWs in the 140 kt Cat 5 range...with those 160 kt max winds fortuitously staying a little more than 10 nm to their N. To date, I've personally only seen a little of Jim's footage and none of Josh's. Very much look forward to seeing more of Jim's if he took any and whatever Josh may have captured. As I'm most curious as to what those 160 kt winds look like, has anyone seen video from the areas that endured the max winds in the N eyewall? Edit: Both Josh and Jim each collected some truly remarkable data from the eye of an officially estimated 160 kt Cat 5. Simply amazing!
  14. ncforecaster89

    Category Five Hurricane Dorian

    I'm confident the NHC will adjust best track to 100 kt MSW for the 00z best track in the TCR at the end of the season. The data has been pretty conclusive since that time.
  15. ncforecaster89

    Hurricane Barry

    It's highly likely the result of frictional convergence that often times helps tighten up the circulation after a TC crosses the coastline. Especially ones like Barry.
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