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ncforecaster89

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  1. ncforecaster89

    2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season

    For me, we’re still too far out in time to even provide a reasonable best educated guess regarding what may be in store for the upcoming season. Come June 1, we’ll have a much better idea of where we stand relative to the state of the important atmospheric and oceanic indicators, and their likely influence on the peak months of the 2019 season. As such, thought I’d share a few interesting continental USA hurricane landfall statistics (dating back to 1851) that are relative to the 2019 season. 1) There have been at least one major hurricane landfall, for three consecutive years/seasons, on 5 different occasions. These periods are 1854-1856, 1898-1900, 1915-1919, 1947-1950, and 1957-1961. 2) There have been at least one category 4 or greater landfall, in three consecutive seasons, on two different occasions. These are the periods of 1947-1950 & 1959-1961. In addition, the 1957 and 1958 seasons each had a hurricane that struck the continental USA as a borderline category three/four hurricane; Audrey in 1957 as a direct landfall and Helene in 1958 as a powerful Cat 4 hurricane that hit the NC coastline with 110 kt maximum sustained winds...while remaining just offshore. 3) Each of the two periods, of at least 3 consecutive years with a category four hurricane landfall, had at least one make landfall somewhere on the east coast of the USA. The Big Question: Will the 2019 Atlantic basin hurricane season produce the continental USA hurricane landfalls required to join, any or all of, the 3 year periods listed above?
  2. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Hi Don. Thanks for the link! It's not atypical that TCRs for such noteworthy hurricanes to be delayed until March (or until April, in this case, due to the shutdown). The TCR for hurricane Irma, from 9/10/17, wasn't released until March 3, 2018. Moreover, the spokesperson, quoted in the article, essentially just stated the obvious regarding all the standard information contained in a TCR. I'm sure any conversation and/or debate on the possibility of upgrading the operational classification, will be kept in-house until the official report is released. Although I'd respectfully argue that there is far more evidence to support a 140 kt MSW landfall estimate, I'll be pleasantly surprised if the NHC doesn't retain the current operational 135 kt estimate; the main reason being that they are very reluctant to go against their operational intensity estimates. Also, the most recent TCRs for major intensifying hurricanes, (such as Irma, Maria, and Harvey from 2017 near their peak strengths 1), were derived solely by using a blend of the peak SFMR measurement and a 10% reduction of the highest flight-level (700 mb) wind (FLW) to surface estimate. If they continue to find the 138 kt SFMR reading to be contaminated, the next highest value would be a 133 kt measurement...which they round to the nearest 5 kt; equating to 135 kt. The peak FLW of 152 kt reduces to 137 kt at the surface...which they would round down to 135 knots. Consequently, it's unlikely they adjust the current operational intensity estimate unless they determine the aforementioned 138 kt SFMR was indeed reliable, after all, and/or they take into consideration the great likelihood that the peak FLWs (which is just 1 kt short of being rounded up to 140 kt) was undersampled. Since "Michael" was still increasing in strength when both of these data were taken, a little reasonable, albeit subjective, judgement is all that's required to facilitate the upgrade to a Cat 5. Proponents of an upgrade, such as myself, will likely need for the NHC to also consider the satellite intensity estimates and Doppler radar velocity data...which each support a 140 kt landfall intensity. Unfortunately, these data haven't been a factor in their most recent reports of significant landfalling hurricanes. 1 https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/data/tcr/index.php?season=2017&basin=atl
  3. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Thanks, Josh! The immense power of the winds was truly astonishing. Like during our Wilma chase, there was a time where I was pretty concerned about just how high the surge was going to get. That aside, I, too, enjoyed reading your chase report on "Michael." It is a very thorough, and exceptionally well written, account of your experience. Thanks for sharing!!
  4. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Here’s what I witnessed, and recorded, from the westernmost portion of Mexico Beach on that fateful day of October 10, 2018! Footage was shot mostly in 4K...except what you see when I’m filming with a 1080 HD camera, shooting over the balcony railing. At some point, I will ultimately put together my own edited version along with the immediate aftermath I captured during the three days I stayed in Mexico Beach. Made lifelong friends, there, and my thoughts and prayers are still with them as they try to recover from this devastating event.
  5. ncforecaster89

    Major Hurricane Michael

    Hi Liberty! The specific reason I’m so adamant that hurricane “Michael” should be upgraded to Cat 5, in the NHC TCR, is simply because that’s precisely what the totality of the objective scientific data suggests. It’s important to remember that in the case of the three current Cat 5 USA mainland landfalls, there was not a single MSW of that intensity actually measured on land. The same was true of Michael and virtually every other Cat 4 and 5 hurricane landfall. This is to be expected given that the estimated MSW is typically based on direct Recon obs or satellite intensity estimates. If Doppler radar data is available, that too can be used to quantify the maximum winds. In regards to the “Great Labor Day Hurricane” of 1935, wind-pressure relationships were utilized to best assess its strength. As I, and a few others, have noted in this thread, each one of those four parameters equate to “Michael” being nothing less than a 140 kt Cat 5. Despite the incredible wind damage left behind, it’s impossible for anyone to differentiate between a 135 kt and a 140 kt MSW...much less account for all the different variables involved trying to do so. Another complication in attempting to accurately determine a MSW by apparent wind damage, is that the MSW is only going to be found in a tiny area right at the land-ocean interface. Since that’s predominantly felt in the eastern quadrant of the eyewall, coinciding with onshore winds, the storm surge often makes such evaluations problematic. The large and catastrophic storm surge produced by hurricane Camille is a prime example of such complications. Based solely on the in-situ data collected by Recon, in combination with estimates from both radar and satellites, it’s exceedingly difficult to argue that Michael was only a 135 kt hurricane at landfall. To do so, one has to believe all the aforementioned data is somehow inaccurate and Michael was somehow the same strength (or even less intense) than hurricane Maria when it struck Puerto Rico. The NHC retained the operational intensity estimate of 135 kt for Maria despite Recon reporting lower flight-level winds, lower satellite intensity estimates, lower wind-pressure relationship, and a comparatively higher central pressure...while in a rapid weakening state. As such, it’s simply inconceivable to me how the NHC could justify retaining their current operational intensity estimate.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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!
  15. ncforecaster89

    January 19-20th Winter Storm Threat

    Ratios alone won't produce "big-time" snow drifts. Will need "big-time" winds, as well.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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!
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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?
  25. 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)!
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