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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

    My thoughts exactly...lol. Just thought it was an interesting tidbit of info I keep hearing being repeated by numerous residents around the affected area. My best guess is that the original rumor many of us had heard (that there was a weather station at Tyndall AFB that recorded a 172 mph wind gust) has since morphed into this story of the mythical "black box" that recorded sustained winds of 182 mph. The one consistency that has lingered, from then until now, being this supposed extra wind data collected at Tyndall AFB...that has yet to be released to the public. They better hurry up and release it. Otherwise, Michael might continue to intensify with a newly reported maximum sustained wind of 200 mph! When conversing with these residents...many of which are genuinely dealing with severe cases of PTSD...I realize that the average person likely has no real concept of what a 115 mph wind can do, much less the type of catastrophic damage the peak wind gusts in Michael were capable of. More importantly, it breaks my heart to see these people struggling just simply to get by day to day. I've witnessed many who have just suddenly burst into tears, while in the process of going about their everyday tasks!
  2. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Talking with residents around the area, there's this persistent rumor circulating that this supposed "black box" was found near Tyndall AFB that supposedly recorded a 182 mph sustained wind. Just sharing for informational purposes, as I don't personally believe it (for obvious reasons), but goes with the consistent narrative that there's additional data, not yet released, from Tyndall AFB. A 182 mph gust I can easily believe, 182 mph one-minute sustained...can't buy that. Nonetheless, would be great to learn that there's additional data out there we are currently unaware of...but remain skeptical it could remain unreported this long after the event.
  3. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Made my way back to Mexico Beach (MB), and arrived just prior to sunset, this evening. As mentioned previously in this thread, I had already performed an exhaustive tour of the impacted coastal areas; from eastern-most MB to points a full mile inland and westward along hwy 98...and N from there to Panama City, Callaway, Springfield, and Lynn Haven. However, I had yet to survey areas along the NE quadrant of hurricane Michael any further than 1 mile inland. Today, I took that opportunity by driving into MB from the NNE...through towns such as Chattahoochee, Blountstown, Wewahitchka, and Overstreet. Even almost a full five months later, I was astonished by the destruction still visible along the trek south. As expected, the tree damage got progressively worse the closer I got to the shoreline. That said, I was still amazed to see areas of complete blow-down of forests more than 50 nautical miles, inland! Will be spending the next week or so documenting the continuing recovery in Mexico Beach and surrounding areas, as well as interviewing residents, helping however I'm able, and visiting friends I made during my initial trip to the "Forgotten Coast." Will be extremely busy, but plan to share a few visuals and experiences from this endeavor via my Twitter account @tbrite89.
  4. ncforecaster89

    March Disco

    Hi NoPoles! Hope you have safe travels and enjoy your new home.
  5. ncforecaster89

    Perhaps a Coastal Storm on March 2nd for SNE????

    Been waiting, impatiently, all winter for this type of event. I’m taking all the blame for all the heartache everyone in SNE has had to endure. Didn’t realize until now, that all I had to do was book a non-refundable trip in the opposite direction (heading to the Fl Panhandle) to entice the atmosphere to spur up a big event! My bad!!
  6. ncforecaster89

    2018/19 Winter Banter and General Discussion - We winter of YORE

    When you’re looking for this: https://goo.gl/images/TTmYt3 and, you get this, instead: https://goo.gl/images/huLirG SNE so far this season!
  7. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Hi CheeselandSkies! Thanks for sharing the footage from an inland area that took a big hit from hurricane Michael. Also find such imagery from more inland locations to be captivating. Areas so often overlooked due to the focus on the more coastal communities. There’s additional capelling footage on YouTube from Marianna, Fl and Donaldsville, Ga.
  8. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Thanks for both the kind words, as well as the excellent input and observations. No doubt we’ve covered all the data we know about and discussed our respective personal experiences and perspectives. I, too, wonder if there’s additional data...mainly from the Tyndall AFB...that has yet to be released; as you mentioned. Believe we’ve probably heard the same consistent rumors of a supposed measurement of 130 kt (150 mph) sustained with gusts to 150 kt (172 mph). Must admit I’m highly skeptical that, if true, it wouldn’t have already been confirmed. Guess we’ll see. One last thing regarding Michael’s landfall intensity estimate that hasn’t really been discussed, is the significant contraction of the eye just prior to and shortly after landfall. At most, the eye had shrunk to no more than 14 nm...if not a little less, in diameter. Was listed at 18 nm in the last VDM from RECON. As can be seen in the radar loop in my preceding post, this accompanied a significant increase in the convection of the eastern eyewall; which was also visible in the IR satellite imagery, as well. The aforementioned radar loop also shows the continued consolidation of the eye. Nonetheless, I still anticipate the NHC to retain their operational intensity estimate...unless there’s additional data we are unaware of.
  9. ncforecaster89

    2018/19 Winter Banter and General Discussion - We winter of YORE

    Just wanted to drop by to say, “hello”, to all my NE friends and tell you I’m really rooting for all of you to get a KU before the season concludes. Will be surprised if the period of 3/3/19 to 3/15/19 doesn’t produce at least a warning event for SNE...and a possible blizzard. Been waiting all season in hopes of chasing the big dog/KU and/or blizzard in SNE. Been pretty discouraging as I intentionally passed on a couple significant events closer to home in expectation of a much bigger event up here. Ironically, the timing of a prospective big event may very well occur when I’m unable to chase. Specifically, I’ve already booked a trip from March 4 to the 14th back to the Florida Panhandle for a last family vacation prior to the birth of our baby, and to document the progress of Mexico Beach 5 months after Michael. Regardless of how things develop synoptically during the upcoming period, I’ll still be following the progression and hoping it manifests into a huge event for this sub forum! Tony
  10. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Here’s something I’ve yet to hear anyone talk about: Hurricane Michael technically made two separate landfalls on the Florida Panhandle (maybe even three). The center of the eye crossed the coastline (just S of hwy 98) near 30.0168 N & 85.5346 W, around 1730 UTC. After subsequently crossing over East Bay, Michael made a second landfall near 30.0916 N & 85.4902 W, just SSW of Sandy Creek Air Park around 1745 UTC. These are the best approximations I could make by closely analyzing the radar images and loops, available online. It’ll be interesting to see how the NHC handles these two distinct landfalls. This situation is very similar to hurricanes Charley in 2004, Arthur in 2014, and Harvey in 2017...that each crossed over bays or sounds before making a second landfall. In each one of those cases, the NHC chose to list both landfalls in their respective Best Tracks. Then again, the NHC may elect to just simply note the initial landfall. That was the case with hurricane Ike of 2008, which made an initial landfall on the Northern end of Galveston Island. Shortly thereafter, the center reemerged over water and passed through Galveston Bay, before making a second landfall near Baytown, TX. The HURDAT2 Best Track only lists the landfall on Galveston Island. Very interested in others thoughts about this? Edit: The funky highlighted text is the result of a simple copy and paste of a post I made on another WX forum, back on 1/30/19.
  11. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Hi Josh, Based on this post, it appears I most certainly misunderstood you, as well. That’s one aspect of the written word that is unfortunate, because it’s too easy to misinterpret the tone, sometimes. I genuinely thought you were being condescending with your joke about the ARA wind map. In retrospect, it was very humorous and wish I had interpreted it, correctly! Please allow me to clarify where I derived my viewpoint that there was a significant N jog/wobble within the last hour and a half prior to landfall. Not only did I observe that on the Recon VDMs, but mostly by radar analysis. Here’s a radar loop, attached below, that shows where/how I made that observation. It was heading directly NE, with the eye focused right on the center of Mexico Beach, before it made an abrupt jog basically due N...as if the eastern edge of the eyewall bounced off the St. Joseph peninsula. In doing so, it actually smoothed out the track and put it back on a more general NNE trajectory. These are the NHC advisory coordinates for the last 3.5 hours prior to landfall and 1.5 hours, thereafter: 9 am CDT........... 29.3 N 86.1 W 10 am CDT......... 29.4 N 86.0 W (NE) 1030 am CDT..... 29.5 N 85.9 W (NE) 11 am CDT......... 29.6 N 85.8 W (NE) 12 pm CDT......... 29.9 N 85.7 W (N) 1 pm CDT.......... 30.0 N 85.5 W (ENE) 2 pm CDT........... 30.4 N 85.3 W (NNE) I’ll conclude by reiterating my genuine respect and appreciation for the work you do. This encompasses all the time, money, and effort you put into chasing all over the world collecting barometric pressure readings in areas that have very sparse data, as well as the detail you put into your subsequent chase reports. You are a gifted writer and do an excellent job of conveying the experience to the reader! Of course, the video documentation is a major asset, as well. I, too, regret the unintended misunderstandings and look forward to future discussions about a topic we both find so fascinating! EDIT: To correct typo in listed hourly motion from 12-1 pm CDT (had originally listed NNE).
  12. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    It appears you’re continually misinterpreting my posts and might be assuming (erroneously) that I’m disparaging your intercept of Michael, while elevating my own. I say that in response to statements like this: “You've made it clear you feel very, very strongly that it was 140 knots and that you were perfectly situated for those winds, and I understand that you feel that.” It’s discouraging that you can read my objective posts (basing my own judgements on the actual in-situ data) and come away with that synopsis. In contrast, you continuously uphold your personal experience (how it “felt” to you on the ground), your own analysis/report, and your personal damage survey...all while suggesting that the highest winds were possibly at your intercept location. You have a right to your opinion, but it certainly is no substitute for the actual data obtained from RECON, radar, and satellite estimates...all of which is the foundation for my own personal analysis. My intercept of the storm isn’t about me or my chase abilities, but all about Michael. I’m just there to document the event and try to collect useful data, in the process. It sucks I left my Kestrel and other equipment in my vehicle, and lost them to the surge. However, I feel most fortunate to have captured video in MB, and to provide visual evidence of what transpired in the inner-core of Michael’s eastern eyewall. My point in bringing up the significant northern wobble, within the last hour or so prior to landfall, was to acknowledge that I was somewhat lucky to be in the right location to document the highest winds...not to elevate my chase abilities or diminish your own. We both did an excellent job getting into position, but there ultimately comes a time we can’t relocate, safely. Hence, my reference to “wobbles” in general. In this case, the RECON center positions (see attached map) clearly show the significant north jog that spared places like Port St. Joe the surge and highest winds that it delivered into Mexico Beach, instead. To clarify further, a continuation of the preceding three center positions would’ve carried the absolute center of the eye directly into MB. You totally missed the point derived from the two reports provided, and by the damage analysis contained, therein. I wasn’t undermining my argument that Michael was a 140 kt Cat 5 with those reports. I am quite aware of the peak wind gusts displayed on the ARA map. Of course, I also recognize that their wind gust estimate maps are usually very low in their particular analysis. The point was that the highest winds were estimated to be to the right of the eye in all of the respective reports. While you may continue to rely foremost on your subjective personal opinions/experience, I’ll base my own estimate regarding the MSWs of Michael on the objective scientific data.
  13. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Hi Josh! Obviously, we aren’t going to agree on the estimated maximum sustained winds (MSW) within Michael’s core when it made its historic landfall. And, as you noted, that’s perfectly fine, of course. I understood your point regarding the SFMR data, and agree that such intensity estimates shouldn’t necessarily be based on a single piece of data. That said, the 138 kt observation wasn’t the only set of data suggesting Michael came ashore as a 140 kt Cat 5. To be redundant, there’s far more data to support a 140 kt intensity, as opposed to the 135 kt operational estimate. In contrast to many non-USA landfalls, where most have to simply rely on satellite intensity estimates, we have all the RECON and Doppler radar velocity data, as well. All three support 140 kt at landfall. As far as my reference to stating that I’m confident your impression of how intense Michael “felt” would’ve much greater had you been at my position in Mexico Beach (MB)...it was simply in response to one of the three criterion you listed to suggest a 125-135 kt intensity is most applicable. They may have been an accurate representation of the MSW experienced in Callaway or Panama City, but not near the shoreline in western-most MB. It’s very important to understand that my own opinion of the MSW for Michael, at landfall, isn’t influenced by my own personal experience. That leads to far too much subjectivity, and believe our respective experiences of how intense it felt isn’t relative to ascertaining the most accurate MSW estimate; especially considering all the aforementioned in-situ scientific data, available. To avoid any unintended misunderstandings, I want to make it abundantly clear that I’m not trying to minimize the value of your past powerful tropical cyclone intercepts with the preceding statement. Greatly respect and appreciate your work, and the data you collect is a major asset to the field! I’m genuinely happy that you “penetrated the inner eyewall and got into calm and sunshine”, in Callaway. Even though I was initially disappointed that Michael took a significant jog N just prior to landfall, whereby I missed the eye by no more than 2 nm, I’m now most grateful it put me in position to document the highest winds and the extreme storm surge (from simply a chase perspective). The reality is that it would’ve been impossible to have been in the eye and also document those onshore winds and surge. No matter how hard we try to get into the perfect spot (had intercepted the eye of the previous 15 hurricanes I’d chased, back to 2004), it’s those very last minute wobbles that can make all the difference. Without that wobble, Callaway would’ve missed the eye and MB would’ve got it, instead. Would’ve been a huge benefit for Panama City (PC) and MB, but far worse for places from Port St. Joe to Apalachicola. Like you, I also did a very extensive damage survey from the east end of MB to downtown PC. As you mentioned, there was major wind damage throughout the entirety of this region. On the other hand, my observations differ significantly from yours regarding the wind damage I witnessed in Mexico Beach...where I spent a full three days documenting the destruction...up to points 1 nm inland. On this topic, we will again simply have to agree to disagree, respectfully. We are both acutely aware of the apparent unique wind structure within the eyewall of hurricane Celia. Having occurred only a few months after I was born, it was the very first USA major hurricane landfall of my lifetime. Four things I should point out: 1) The winds on the left side of the eyewall weren’t “way worse.” In fact, the estimated wind gusts are shown to be virtually the same on each side of the eyewall...as can be seen on this local NWS map : https://www.weather.gov/crp/hurricanecelia. 2) Even though the wind damage was found to be most extensive in Corpus Christi, that would be expected considering the increased amount of structures there compared to the less densely populated areas that were on the E side. Despite that fact, the NHC report https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/storm_wallets/atlantic/atl1970-prelim/celia/ stated a higher percentage of the buildings to have suffered damage (100% in Port Aransas), were from the E quadrant. 3) Unlike Michael, they didn’t have the Doppler radar velocity data that might’ve alerted them to such enhanced wind speeds in that quadrant, at the time, and shown where the highest winds truly were. 4) Those unusually enhanced winds were reported to have been gusts far in excess of observed MSWs, and lasting no more than 15 minutes. Even then, the MSWs were still determined to have been in the eastern quadrant of the eyewall. Consequently, hurricane Celia isn't a realistic analog or reflective of the verified wind structure contained in the eyewall of hurricane Michael. To reiterate, Recon consistently found the highest MSWs to be in the E quad - predominantly, the SE portion - during the last hours prior to the eye crossing the coast...while the highest radar precipitation reflectivity appeared to be in the NW quadrant. Furthermore, the coldest cloud tops (indicative of the deepest convection) was on the right side, as well. The simple fact is that tropical meteorology is, and will always be, an inexact science. Thus, no one can be 100% certain exactly how strong the MSWs were. All we can do is utilize all the tools available to determine the most accurate estimates the current science allows. All of those tools support a 140 kt Cat 5 landfall intensity estimate, and that the highest winds were located in the inner eyewall of the eastern quadrant. P.S. Here are a couple damage survey reports by structural engineers: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/328568657_PRJ-2111_STEER_-_HURRICANE_MICHAEL_FIELD_ASSESSMENT_TEAM_1_FAT-1_EARLY_ACCESS_RECONNAISSANCE_REPORT_EARR https://www.rms.com/blog/2018/10/24/hurricane-michael-field-reconnaissance-contrasting-performance-of-structures-at-design-wind-speeds/
  14. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Hi Liberty...great question and observation. Here's the reasoning via the NHC...shared as an attachment from my phone. I, too, agree than they might as well simply convert to mph without rounding, but that's their process. The 137 kt conversion would be 158 mph, and a CAT 5...as you mentioned, without the rounding application.
  15. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Hi Josh, Always good to hear from you, and hope you’re doing well! The downward adjustment made to the peak intensity of hurricane Irma was to be expected given the manner by which the NHC has been recently determining their MSW estimates, in the TCRs. In that specific case, the highest flight-level wind (FLW) measured at 700 mb was 164 kt. Applying the standard 90% rule, it calculates to a MSW estimate of 150 kt (after rounding to nearest 5 kt). Likewise, the peak SFMR reading was 160 kt. Taking the blend, as they have been doing most recently, we get their 155 kt max intensity estimate. Applying that same standard, the aforestated blend would put Michael at 140 kt if they determine the 138 kt SFMR estimate was truly uncontaminated. Otherwise, it’s highly likely they retain the current operational intensity figure of 135 kt. Although tropical meteorology is most certainly an inexact science, I do my best to remain as objective as possible when formulating my own personal opinion on these best educated MSW estimates. Consequently, I simply can’t fathom any realistic intensity estimate below 135 kt. For all the reasons I’ve expounded upon throughout this thread, the totality of the objective, in-situ data argues for the 140 kt estimate I feel is most applicable. I’ll always regret losing my Kestrel in Michael, whereby I failed to capture the data that would’ve been most helpful in calculating the extreme wind gradient at my intercept location...as well as the lowest barometric pressure, there. Despite that misfortune, the USGS did measure a 925 mb reading at the Mexico Beach pier (about 0.5 nm to my SE). As Simon Brewer noted, he measured a lowest pressure of 944 mb at the same time...while roughly 1.5 nm due E of the pier. That would constitute an incredibly steep pressure gradient indicative of a Cat 5, as well. But, I’ll add that, by itself, it really isn’t a trustworthy tool to accurately gauge a MSW estimate. Unlike myself, you took the necessary steps to ensure you captured the lowest pressure at your intercept location (s); which I commend you for! Although some have incorrectly interpreted the higher precipitation reflectivity shown on radar, at the time of landfall, to mean the highest (or equivalent) winds might’ve been in the NW quadrant...that was definitely not the case. Not only did RECON consistently measure the peak winds in the NE and SE quadrants (mainly the SE) throughout the morning of the 10th, but in contrast to the winds in the W quad encountering increased friction over land, Mexico Beach had direct onshore winds into a completely exposed portion of the coastline. More importantly, those winds were enhanced by the translational speed in that quadrant of the eyewall. As such, I’m confident your impression of how Michael’s intensity, felt, would’ve been significantly greater had you been standing beside me on that balcony at the western-most part of Mexico Beach. Even though I’d argue that the damage observed in the area is consistent with a 140 kt hurricane, I feel that there are way too many factors that affect how such winds correlate to the damage inflicted upon various trees and structures...that it’s not as effective for accurately estimating a given hurricanes MSW. For just one example, the duration of the highest winds are a huge factor in how much damage is incurred.. Thankfully, the core of Michael was relatively narrow and moved through at a pretty brisk pace. Then again, how is anyone really going to be able to legitimately differentiate between a MSW of 135 kt and one at a velocity of 140 kt, just simply based on damage alone? They aren’t. All of the aforementioned takes us back to my expectation that the NHC will retain the 135 kt operational intensity estimate, despite my own personal opinion that 140 kt is the more appropriate landfall intensity estimate.
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