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Major Hurricane Michael

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On 1/16/2019 at 5:31 PM, HurricaneJosh said:

Hey, thanks! Glad you liked it! MICHAEL was one of the more memorable 'canes I've chased, and I was thrilled to get in the eye to collect data! (I measured 923.2 mb in the eye.)

Re: the landfall intensity, which I see is the subject of fierce debate: I can see arguments both ways. Me: I'm comfortable with the operational assessment of 135 knots. This is an unscientific opinion based on 1) how it "felt" on the ground compared to the other Cat 5s and high-end Cat 4s I've been in; and 2) the wind damage from Panama City to Mexico Beach (I stayed for several days after the cyclone to check it all out). I should point out that 135 knots puts it at No. 4 on the list of several-hundred hurricanes that have hit the mainland USA since 1851-- so it's not like calling MICHAEL a high-end Cat 4 sells it short.

But Josh, exactly how much of a difference is there damage wise between a high end Cat 4 and a low end Cat 5?  It's academic IMO.

 

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6 hours ago, HurricaneJosh said:

Thanks, Tony, for your kind words-- and congrats to you, too, for an epic chase. It sounds like it was totally harrowing!

MICHAEL did "feel" a little more violent than MARIA, but that might have been an illusion, because that part of Florida (where I rode out MICHAEL) had mostly wood-frame buildings, whereas that part of Puerto Rico (where I rode out MARIA) had mostly solid-concrete buildings-- so in MICHAEL I saw a lot more stuff flying. MICHAEL wasn't a small hurricane, but it wasn't large, and it moved pretty briskly, so it felt like the whole thing came and went in a big, mighty burst, whereas MARIA was very large and lasted long-- it was like a marathon.

One thing that makes me tend more toward high-end Cat 4 with MICHAEL is the tree damage. Deciduous trees and pines looked horrible, but the palm trees-- including in Mexico Beach-- didn't look quite as beat up as I've seen after other Cat 5s/high-end 4s. It seemed the palms that went through the eyewall (on either side) mostly kept their fronds-- whereas in the wake of cyclones like HAIYAN I've witnessed massive, wholesale trunk snap-offs and de-crownings. MICHAEL just wasn't up to that level, from what I saw. (Surge damage to the right of the landfall point was spectacular-- you witnessed it yourself in real-time-- but of course that's a separate topic.)

Again, I'm not downplaying it-- MICHAEL will go down as one of the great cyclones I've witnessed, one I'll keep talking about and writing about for many years to come. But when I'm comparing it to the other legends, it doesn't quite top the list.

Curious to see what the NHC decides! :)

Josh, Haiyan was beyond anything the Atlantic has ever seen (combined size and intensity) I dont think they have a category for that level of damage in the Atlantic. I guess my point is that the difference between Haiyan and your "typical" Cat 5 (if there is such a thing) is probably more than the difference between a low end Cat 5 and a high end Cat 4.

 

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On 1/17/2019 at 2:53 PM, ncforecaster89 said:

 

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.          

I'm surprised you didn't chase Michael, it would be amazing to have you and Josh do a joint chase, that would be a great gift to the community in terms of how much data and observation reports the two of you could acquire during a joint chase.

 

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7 hours ago, HurricaneJosh said:

Thanks, Tony, for your kind words-- and congrats to you, too, for an epic chase. It sounds like it was totally harrowing!

MICHAEL did "feel" a little more violent than MARIA, but that might have been an illusion, because that part of Florida (where I rode out MICHAEL) had mostly wood-frame buildings, whereas that part of Puerto Rico (where I rode out MARIA) had mostly solid-concrete buildings-- so in MICHAEL I saw a lot more stuff flying. MICHAEL wasn't a small hurricane, but it wasn't large, and it moved pretty briskly, so it felt like the whole thing came and went in a big, mighty burst, whereas MARIA was very large and lasted long-- it was like a marathon.

One thing that makes me tend more toward high-end Cat 4 with MICHAEL is the tree damage. Deciduous trees and pines looked horrible, but the palm trees-- including in Mexico Beach-- didn't look quite as beat up as I've seen after other Cat 5s/high-end 4s. It seemed the palms that went through the eyewall (on either side) mostly kept their fronds-- whereas in the wake of cyclones like HAIYAN I've witnessed massive, wholesale trunk snap-offs and de-crownings. MICHAEL just wasn't up to that level, from what I saw. (Surge damage to the right of the landfall point was spectacular-- you witnessed it yourself in real-time-- but of course that's a separate topic.)

Again, I'm not downplaying it-- MICHAEL will go down as one of the great cyclones I've witnessed, one I'll keep talking about and writing about for many years to come. But when I'm comparing it to the other legends, it doesn't quite top the list.

Curious to see what the NHC decides! :)

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.

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6 minutes ago, LibertyBell said:

But Josh, exactly how much of a difference is there damage wise between a high end Cat 4 and a low end Cat 5?  It's academic IMO.

 

It isn't academic to guys like Tony and me, and it isn't academic statistically. The USA has had 3 Cat-5 landfalls since 1851. Adding another to the pantheon is big deal.

But, yes, it can be hard to distinguish damage between a high-end Cat 4 and a low-end Cat 5. My point was that the damage I saw from MICHAEL did not put it into Cat-5 range, based on the Cat-5 and Cat-4 hurricanes I've been in. (That's a subjective, nonscientific observation.)

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3 minutes ago, LibertyBell said:

I'm surprised you didn't chase Michael, it would be amazing to have you and Josh do a joint chase, that would be a great gift to the community in terms of how much data and observation reports the two of you could acquire during a joint chase.

 

Tony did chase MICHAEL. He was in Mexico Beach.

I chase mostly solo these days. I find that's how I work best.

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Just now, HurricaneJosh said:

It isn't academic to guys like Tony and me, and it isn't academic statistically. The USA has had 3 Cat-5 landfalls since 1851. Adding another to the pantheon is big deal.

But, yes, it can be hard to distinguish damage between a high-end Cat 4 and a low-end Cat 5. My point was that the damage I saw from MICHAEL did not put it into Cat-5 range, based on the Cat-5 and Cat-4 hurricanes I've been in.

Yes, that's true, but if it's speed was 155 and it was still strengthening upon landfall, that would mean it had to have reached Cat 5.  Unless you mean that the 155 mph estimate just before landfall was a little too high?

Also about comparing Haiyan,that the difference between Haiyan and your "typical" Cat 5 (if there is such a thing) is probably more than the difference between a low end Cat 5 and a high end Cat 4.

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5 minutes ago, HurricaneJosh said:

Tony did chase MICHAEL. He was in Mexico Beach.

I chase mostly solo these days. I find that's how I work best.

Oh, my mistake then, I thought he was just going by third person reports, rather than relating his own experiences.

I think if someone wants to compare it to other storms and make an argument for Cat 5, they should compare it to other Cat 5 LF's that you;ve chased, like Dean.  Did you think it was slightly less intense than Dean? That was a bonafide Cat 5 LF- one of two that season (I think you chased both?)  I think the other one was Felix?

 

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10 minutes ago, ncforecaster89 said:

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.

Actually, they occasionally factor in damage in postanalysis. For example, they explicitly cited wind damage as one of their reasons for not upgrading CLAUDETTE 2003 to Cat 2. From the report: Damage surveys were conducted by the staffs of NWS forecast offices in Corpus Christi and Houston in order to help define the surface winds at landfall. These surveys concluded the damage was consistent with Category 1 sustained winds. Unpublished information from a damage survey by a wind engineering expert with the commercial engineering firm Haag Engineering supports this determination.

We can agree to disagree about this. :) I'll accept as official whatever the NHC decides.

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3 minutes ago, LibertyBell said:

Oh, my mistake then, I thought he was just going by third person reports, rather than relating his own experiences.

I think if someone wants to compare it to other storms and make an argument for Cat 5, they should compare it to other Cat 5 LF's that you;ve chased, like Dean.  Did you think it was slightly less intense than Dean? That was a bonafide Cat 5 LF- one of two that season (I think you chased both?)  I think the other one was Felix?

 

In DEAN, I just grazed the S eyewall and it was very dark. My location did not get the absolute highest winds. Sadly, I did not chase FELIX in Nicaragua. :)

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1 minute ago, HurricaneJosh said:

Actually, they occasionally factor in damage in postanalysis. For example, they explicitly cited wind damage as one of their reasons for not upgrading CLAUDETTE 2003 to Cat 2. From the report: Damage surveys were conducted by the staffs of NWS forecast offices in Corpus Christi and Houston in order to help define the surface winds at landfall. These surveys concluded the damage was consistent with Category 1 sustained winds. Unpublished information from a damage survey by a wind engineering expert with the commercial engineering firm Haag Engineering supports this determination.

We can agree to disagree about this. :)I'll accept as official whatever the NHC decides.

You've chased so many hurricanes and typhoons/supertyphoons, Josh, in your opinion, as far as experiences on the ground are concerned, how much worse are Pacific super typhoons (let's assume 160 mph and higher) vs Atlantic Cat 5s?  I would think their huge size makes them worse at a similar intensity.

 

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1 hour ago, LibertyBell said:

You've chased so many hurricanes and typhoons/supertyphoons, Josh, in your opinion, as far as experiences on the ground are concerned, how much worse are Pacific supertyphoons (let's assume 160 mph and higher) vs Atlantic Cat 5s?  I would think their huge size makes them worse at a similar intensity.

 

Well, a 140-knot typhoon is the same as a 140-knot hurricane. The difference is that the WPAC generally gets more Cat 4s and 5s than other basins. That having been said, by far the strongest reliably-observed cyclone in terms of winds was in the EPAC: Hurricane PATRICIA of 2015, at 185 knots. That even kicks HAIYAN's ass. By the way, HAIYAN-- like many of the really extreme Atlantic hurricanes-- was quite small. Everyone thinks it was so big, and it wasn't. I took a direct hit and the main event lasted less than two hours, with the really hairy conditions under an hour.

Anyhoo, I'm going to sleep now-- it's late here on the West Coast! :)

 

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5 minutes ago, HurricaneJosh said:

In DEAN, I just grazed the S eyewall and it was very dark. My location did not get the absolute highest winds. Sadly, I did not chase FELIX in Nicaragua. :)

Honestly based on what you said and on the ground wind reports that I've seen, I think the 155 mph estimated wind speed before landfall may have been an overestimate for Michael.  I know we have to factor in a 15% reduction for ground reports because of friction and other factors, vs the strength over water, but even so, I don't think this was just a couple of mph below the Cat 5 threshold, especially factoring in that it was still strengthening at landfall.  Maybe if it was over water for another few hours it would have been a Cat 5, do you think it would have been?

I still feel though that the 157 mph min threshold is ridiculous for Cat 5, when we measure wind in 5 mph increments, they should just go ahead and raise the threshold to 160 mph because that's what it effectively is anyway :P

And raise Cat 1 to 75, Cat 2 to 100, and Cat 3 to 115.

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1 minute ago, LibertyBell said:

Honestly based on what you said and on the ground wind reports that I've seen, I think the 155 mph estimated wind speed before landfall may have been an overestimate for Michael.  I know we have to factor in a 15% reduction for ground reports because of friction and other factors, vs the strength over water, but even so, I don't think this was just a couple of mph below the Cat 5 threshold.  

I still feel though that the 157 mph min threshold is ridiculous for Cat 5, when we measure wind in 5 mph increments, they should just go ahead and raise the threshold to 160 mph because that's what it effectively is anyway :P

And raise Cat 1 to 75, Cat 2 to 100, and Cat 3 to 115.

Landfall intensity is not based on winds over land. It's based on the highest estimated winds anywhere in the system (including over water) at the time the center crosses the coast. I do not think the 135 knots was an overestimate. The wind damage was extremely severe. Anything around 130 or 135 knots seems right to me.

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1 minute ago, HurricaneJosh said:

Well, a 140-knot typhoon is the same as a 140-knot hurricane. The difference is that the WPAC generally gets more Cat 4s and 5s than other basins. That having been said, by far the strongest reliably-observed cyclone in terms of winds was in the EPAC: Hurricane PATRICIA of 2015, at 185 knots. That even kicks HAIYAN's ass. By the way, HAIYAN-- like many of the really extreme Atlantic hurricanes-- as quite small. Everyone thinks it was so big, and it wasn't. I took a direct hit and the main event lasted less than two hours, with the really hairy conditions under an hour.

 

Thats because it looked so HUGE on satellite, but I guess it wasn't anywhere near the size of Tip?

The damage was colossally bad, I went there afterwards to do some volunteer work and you would have thought it was the apocalypse.  Even so, the most heartwarming thing is that people who literally had nothing left were still helping others :)

Josh, how do we equate wind speed Pacific vs Atlantic- dont they measure wind speeds differently over there?  Over longer time intervals?

 

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2 minutes ago, LibertyBell said:

Thats because it looked so HUGE on satellite, but I guess it wasn't anywhere near the size of Tip?

The damage was colossally bad, I went there afterwards to do some volunteer work and you would have thought it was the apocalypse.  Even so, the most heartwarming thing is that people who literally had nothing left were still helping others :)

Josh, how do we equate wind speed Pacific vs Atlantic- dont they measure wind speeds differently over there?  Over longer time intervals?

 

I use the Joint Typhoon Warning Center intensities. JTWC is the US military, meaning they use 1-minute sustained winds, just like in NHC does in the Atlantic-- so it's the same standard. Goodnight!

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1 minute ago, HurricaneJosh said:

Landfall intensity is not based on winds over land. It's based on the highest estimated winds anywhere in the system (including over water) at the time the center crosses the coast. I do not think the 135 knots was an overestimate. The wind damage was extremely severe. Anything around 130 or 135 knots seems right to me.

Oh okay so a postanalysis wouldn't reduce the intensity even though nothing near 155 mph was directly measured anywhere?  That's what confuses me, if it really was 155 mph (135 knots) just before landfall and still strengthening, how could it not have gained the scant 2 mph necessary to become a Cat 5?  The way out of that conundrum is to say it was slightly weaker than that so even if it was strengthening it wouldn't have reached Cat 5 at LF.

Or maybe there is a difference between a Cat 5 hurricane and a hurricane that is measured to be Cat 5 at LF over land?  The latter would cause more damage of course since the damage over land would be of Cat 5 level since Cat 5 winds were actually measured over land.

 

 

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11 minutes ago, HurricaneJosh said:

I use the Joint Typhoon Warning Center intensities. JTWC is the US military, meaning they use 1-minute sustained winds, just like in NHC does in the Atlantic-- so it's the same standard. Goodnight!

Thanks Josh, they use so many systems over there it's confusing lol.

What separates Haiyan (and Meranti) from Patricia, is that the two Pacific storms actually made landfall at peak intensity while Patricia wasn't near peak strength at LF.

from the wiki page for Meranti:

Additionally, in terms of 1-minute sustained winds, the storm's landfall on the island of Itbayat shortly after peak intensity ties it with Haiyan as the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone on record. 

But I see they list both for Haiyan and Meranti (Meranti is listed first)

Highest winds 10-minute sustained:220 km/h (140 mph) 
1-minute sustained:315 km/h (195 mph) 
Highest winds 10-minute sustained:230 km/h (145 mph) 
1-minute sustained:315 km/h (195 mph) 
Gusts: 380 km/h (235 mph)

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27 minutes ago, HurricaneJosh said:

It isn't academic to guys like Tony and me, and it isn't academic statistically. The USA has had 3 Cat-5 landfalls since 1851. Adding another to the pantheon is big deal.

But, yes, it can be hard to distinguish damage between a high-end Cat 4 and a low-end Cat 5. My point was that the damage I saw from MICHAEL did not put it into Cat-5 range, based on the Cat-5 and Cat-4 hurricanes I've been in. (That's a subjective, nonscientific observation.)

I forgot to add that I think people are making some sort of comparison between Michael and Andrew (which was also a 155 mph Cat 4 that was upgraded to Cat 5 postanalysis, and was similarly strengthening at LF.)  When do you think the reanalysis will be complete?

 

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4 minutes ago, HurricaneJosh said:

Actually, they occasionally factor in damage in postanalysis. For example, they explicitly cited wind damage as one of their reasons for not upgrading CLAUDETTE 2003 to Cat 2. From the report: Damage surveys were conducted by the staffs of NWS forecast offices in Corpus Christi and Houston in order to help define the surface winds at landfall. These surveys concluded the damage was consistent with Category 1 sustained winds. Unpublished information from a damage survey by a wind engineering expert with the commercial engineering firm Haag Engineering supports this determination.

We can agree to disagree about this. :) I'll accept as official whatever the NHC decides.

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! :)    

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8 minutes ago, ncforecaster89 said:

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! :)    

Yeah, like I said, my gut tells me it was a juiced-up, vigorous Cat 4, but I don't feel strongly about it. If the NHC bumps it to 140 knots in post, that's totally cool by me, and I'll call it a Cat 5. :) 

P.S. I'm working on my MICHAEL report now, which means I'm really going over my air-pressure data line by line (sample rate was 2/min, so there's a lot). Interestingly, so far the peak gradients I've found are in the neighborhood of MARIA, but nowhere near what I measured in PATRICIA (which was officially a hair below MARIA, but had nuclear gradients). But that's preliminary. I'm still going through it. Full report soon! 

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1 hour ago, LibertyBell said:

I'm surprised you didn't chase Michael, it would be amazing to have you and Josh do a joint chase, that would be a great gift to the community in terms of how much data and observation reports the two of you could acquire during a joint chase.

 

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!  

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9 minutes ago, HurricaneJosh said:

Yeah, like I said, my gut tells me it was a juiced-up, vigorous Cat 4, but I don't feel strongly about it. If the NHC bumps it to 140 knots in post, that's totally cool by me, and I'll call it a Cat 5. :) 

P.S. I'm working on my MICHAEL report now, which means I'm really going over my air-pressure data line by line (sample rate was 2/min, so there's a lot). Interestingly, so far the peak gradients I've found are in the neighborhood of MARIA, but nowhere near what I measured in PATRICIA (which was officially a hair below MARIA, but had nuclear gradients). But that's preliminary. I'm still going through it. Full report soon! 

Patricia was a 150mph at landfall but a much tighter storm as you said, I hadn't seen you get so excited over a storm since Charley lol.

 

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2 minutes ago, ncforecaster89 said:

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!  

Thats too bad about the Kestrel, you were in the area of the strongest winds :(  

But completely understandable with all that was going on.  Maybe one of these days someone will create a combo camera/anemometer/barometer ha.

 

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1 hour ago, ncforecaster89 said:

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.  

I know you, and I know you find the editing process challenging. I'm with you on that-- I find the process really unpleasant. You have hours of footage, and it feels overwhelming to go through it all and pick the best little bits. (Even my latest release, WILLA-- a relatively small, simple video-- was a total birth struggle. Lol.)

But get it done. Just force yourself. You'll feel great when you get it on YouTube and share it with the world. (And I'm sure you have cool footage just because of where you were!)

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32 minutes ago, HurricaneJosh said:

Yeah, like I said, my gut tells me it was a juiced-up, vigorous Cat 4, but I don't feel strongly about it. If the NHC bumps it to 140 knots in post, that's totally cool by me, and I'll call it a Cat 5. :) 

P.S. I'm working on my MICHAEL report now, which means I'm really going over my air-pressure data line by line (sample rate was 2/min, so there's a lot). Interestingly, so far the peak gradients I've found are in the neighborhood of MARIA, but nowhere near what I measured in PATRICIA (which was officially a hair below MARIA, but had nuclear gradients). But that's preliminary. I'm still going through it. Full report soon! 

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.  

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24 minutes ago, HurricaneJosh said:

I know you, and I know you find the editing process challenging. I'm with you on that-- I find the process really unpleasant. You have hours of footage, and it feels overwhelming to go through it all and pick the best little bits. (Even my latest release, WILLA-- a relatively small, simple video-- was a total birth struggle. Lol.)

But get it done. Just force yourself. You'll feel great when you get it on YouTube and share it with the world. (And I'm sure you have cool footage just because of where you were!)

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.  

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13 minutes ago, ncforecaster89 said:

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.  

Yeah, I heard about that. My data don't show gradients anywhere near that high. Mine are a little greater than MARIA's, not as high as PATRCICIA's. (All data are from my devices, so it's apples to apples.)

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Awesome post discussion by you guys! Really enjoy the opinions from both of you. Recovery has been a slow arduous process over that way but it is ongoing. I'm definitely not an expert but I feel like the NHC will stick with 135. There are supportive facts for 140 but nothing overwhelming. I realize from a historical perspective this is important but the on the ground struggle remains the same. I do know that the vast majority of the people I've spoken to from those areas want the Cat 5 badge of honor so to speak. One of the biggest concerns in the Mexico Beach, St Joe Beach, & PSJ area is how things will be redeveloped. In the eyes of the residents over in those areas "Big business" may do more damage than Michael on the "Forgotten Coast".  

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On 1/19/2019 at 7:00 AM, LibertyBell said:

Oh okay so a postanalysis wouldn't reduce the intensity even though nothing near 155 mph was directly measured anywhere?  That's what confuses me, if it really was 155 mph (135 knots) just before landfall and still strengthening, how could it not have gained the scant 2 mph necessary to become a Cat 5?  The way out of that conundrum is to say it was slightly weaker than that so even if it was strengthening it wouldn't have reached Cat 5 at LF.

Or maybe there is a difference between a Cat 5 hurricane and a hurricane that is measured to be Cat 5 at LF over land?  The latter would cause more damage of course since the damage over land would be of Cat 5 level since Cat 5 winds were actually measured over land.

 

 

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.    

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