World's Largest Weather Instrument

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:05 PM GMT en Agosto 05, 2005

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If you've driving the stretch of I-15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas and get off at the Baker exit near Death Valley, you have the opportunity to see the ultimate tacky weather object--the world's tallest thermometer. Rising a full 134 feet above the dusty streets of Baker (population: 700),
the working thermometer is the brainchild of Baker resident Willis Herron, who spent $700,000 erecting the huge instrument. In an article in the June 2005 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Willis says: "Awww, I know it's tacky. But I also know people won't be able to pass it more than four or five times without saying, 'What is that?'". And hopefully pull off the expressway to take a look--and buy a burger at the Mad Greek restaurant or a slice of strawberry pie at the original Bun Boy restaurant, now owned by Steve Carter, whom Herron sold the thermometer to in 2000.

The thermometer weighs 76,812 pounds, sports 4900 light bulbs, and is held together by 125 cubic yards of concrete--much of this added after 70-mph winds snapped the thermometer in half shortly after it was built in 1991. The 134 foot height is symbolic of the 134 degree maximum temperature recorded in Death Valley in 1913--the all-time record for North America.

Dr. Jeff Masters

The world's tallest thermomerter! (robsters)
Located in Baker, California, 109 degrees
The world's tallest thermomerter!

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1099. CosmicEvents
10:20 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
theres really nothing to worry with Irene. even if it does hit east coast of FL( thats me yay) or east USA, the storm cant intensity enough, maybe a cat 2. thats nothing to worry about. it will just be a nice experience... period
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Whirlwind......they didn't think much about Andrew until the last 24 hours. And as myself and others will attest to, you don't want to be in the direct path of even a cat. 2. For Irene, I'm just keeping an eye out, as I do with all cyclones that stay south and east of me. But whatever it turns out to be, I don't want it coming my way. It's an experience if you're on the fringes, but it's not a nice one if you're in the direct path.
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1098. Alec
6:22 PM EDT on August 09, 2005
turtle it looks as if the models and atmosphere is shifting so much nothing really can be pinned down just yet. Some of the models have actually shifted a little to the right but the bamm models insist it coming towards the SE. Still too early to tell. The steering currents could weaken in the days to come making the track possibilities even more uncertain. My call is conservative right now. I cant find a consistent pattern that would make this thing do something or else. If the weakness in the ridge fills in more then irene could be shot more westward.
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1097. Jedkins
10:20 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
LOL see I was always watching the eat coasdt of the us from day 1 stormtop NEVER insure that something is going in a certain direction but I am sure you already know that. But I saw a big group of spaghetti models and a large amount eventually curve it west and south west towards east and south florida lol and some do a jeanne loop a few still take it out to sea and a fair group take it towards north carolina so basically FL to NC should watch out based on what I saw with this huge model group and it includes every model out there.
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1096. STORMTOP
10:07 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
punk thats why i say you dont have the experience to make a call its not going to hit florida...you dont even know what randy was trying to explain to you...you think a stronger hurricane would automatcally move northward...wrong puk there are many factors that move a hurricane along a certain path and also how fast it travels...if you think a stronger storm would move north and a weaker storm would move south i just proved my point you need to take some classes i dont think you understand the principle how a hurricanes steering is affected by different atmospheric conditions at the time the hurricane is in a strengthing phase...punk you have lots to learn..i would try to teach you but you are a person that has your mind made up...it would do no good you know it all punk..even after the info you read from me and randy you still telling the people on here its going to move north in 36 hours..i cant help anyone like you..
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1095. turtlehurricane
10:15 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
hey alec, wat do u think of the storm?
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1094. turtlehurricane
10:12 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
check out my blog, its my full analysis of Irene for South Florida and overall
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1092. HurricaneKing
10:08 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
NC strong cat 2 weak cat 3
Member Since: Julio 6, 2005 Posts: 71 Comments: 2481
1091. whirlwind
6:07 PM EDT on August 09, 2005
i say north fl as a cat 1
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1090. weatherboyfsu
9:58 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
Ill be back tomorrow.....and I want predictions....where.....when....and how strong........landfall if any and how strong.....come on guys.......and by the way, miami to N.Y. wont cut it......I want to here a precise place, time, and strength...Ill be back tomorrow to give you mine........who cares who is wrong....anyone on here should know that this an amateur blog.......obviously, only a few will be right...so have some fun.....the NHC is the place if you want professional predictions.....this blog is for amatuer predictions, so have fun and dont ridicule everyone elses predictions.....I can see it now....THE WEATHER CHANNEL HAS REPORTED THAT THE LASTEST BLOGS HAVE THE STORM MOVING IN THIS DIRECTION...STAY TUNED FOR THE LASTEST BLOGS RIGHT HERE!!!!!! Give me a break.......LOL
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1089. whirlwind
6:02 PM EDT on August 09, 2005
theres really nothing to worry with Irene. even if it does hit east coast of FL( thats me yay) or east USA, the storm cant intensity enough, maybe a cat 2. thats nothing to worry about. it will just be a nice experience... period
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1088. outrocket
4:53 PM CDT on August 09, 2005
Dont know about lucky FSU..but do know I wont say much on track of this.Right now I could be way off my chain of thought.After 30 years I quit smoking, after my coffee yesterday morning .today has been tough..
Member Since: Julio 15, 2005 Posts: 104 Comments: 11010
1087. CosmicEvents
9:51 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
Yea...I'd say he's good for a laugh....but these things are no laughing matter. Those few of you who want to experience a storm...I know how you feel. I wanted the same thing, until going through Andrew. Believe me, if you have an interest in protecting your family, yourself, your property.....the closest you want to come is the satellite loop.
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1086. STORMTOP
9:37 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
cosmic i was not trying to scare anyone i said if you looked at my post it could hit anywhere from miami to n york..i was just letting people know the steering currents that is guiding this depression have changed in the last 24 hours..the weakness in the ridge is filling in and that keeps irene which i will call her again being that i forecasr her to cat 2 status in 36 to 48 hours...cosmic if you think i need a psyc well maybe i do but i want to give the people on here the facts and the nhc doesnt appear to be doing that..randyman seems to know whats going on and if it does hit fla it wont be until the weekend..this depression will strengthen and go through some rapid strengthing in the next 48 hours..i have it as a cat 2 i may revise that it depends on the track it takes how much shesr it encounters at that time and the most important thing how much dust is in the system...is it enough to drain the moisture..this could be a cat 2 storm where ever it hits and it might have very little rain just cat 2 winds...i will know more by 10pm thids evening..i believe a recon plane is scheduled to fly into this depression tomorrow or sooner...cosmic you can take it with a grain of salt it doesnt really matter to me if you like what i say or not im not trying to reach you anyway...im trying to alert the people of fla.to stay on there toes because they have been hit so much by these storms...i will say this and leave it at that this goes for you to punk....the changes that are going on in the atmosphere around the storm and the weakness at the upper and middle level has is filling in which indicates to me a westerly movement for the duration which would be about 96 hours....ant deviation with a southerly jog or movement towards the sw would represent a clear threat to south florida....i want to make it perfectly clear what i said this is not a bermuda storm or a fish storm this is a us landfall which could occur anywhere from miami to n york city....ill be back on when conditions warrant...
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1085. weatherboyfsu
9:36 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
Whats up guys......COME ON IRENE,,,,OH I SAY IRENE,,,,,COME ON IRENE.....Isnt that a song?????? We'll i see nothing has changed on here.....except the thinking that Irene may effect the good ole US of A......Tomorrow, or even now, lets here the predictions on where, when, and how strong Irene will be......everyone can make a prediction by tomorrow....I think that would be fun....lets see who knows what....or who is lucky!!!!!!! ,,,,,lol
Member Since: Julio 17, 2005 Posts: 0 Comments: 1025
1084. outrocket
4:42 PM CDT on August 09, 2005
Well Irene may do this, she may do that. If she remains uncoupled she stays beneath and moves west. If she stengthens then she gets a taller hair doo and use's it it to sail north west then north...
Member Since: Julio 15, 2005 Posts: 104 Comments: 11010
1083. TipOfIsland
9:43 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
Oh my gosh, I have not been on here for 2 weeks and StormTop is still raging. Amazing. He is a Storm unto himself. But soooooooo ridiculous.
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1082. CosmicEvents
9:08 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
Don't worry about it Stormtop. You have no responsibility. Nobody here takes your posts seriously anyway. Most of us here are here because we have an interest in tropical cyclones and an interest in protecting our family and property. We listen to the NHC, and the real experts like Dr. Masters or Steve Gregory. This is a complex situation, and no one can make a call for sure. Why don't you take off till Friday as you said you would. Go see a psychiatrist who specializes in obsessions and delusions.
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1081. punkasshans
4:16 PM EST on August 09, 2005
Stormtop,

you were the one forecasting Emily to hit New Orleans. . .and you said clear as can be: it will not hit mexico!


good thing the mexicans didnt listen to you

irene a tropical storm by 11 am tomorrow if it keeps the convection up. it has been very pathetic when it comes to keeping convection strong however.
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1080. Randyman
9:03 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
I can't explain the 180 degree change in philosophy regarding the forecast track/intensity of Irene by the good people of Impact Weather. It caught my attention as well.
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1079. LSUHurricaneHunter
9:07 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
With the latest track map, per NHC, i say by the ame time tommorrow, we should pretty much know whether this thing has a legit chance at hitting the east coast. But, if you look at how much mileage is north and south of the forecasted sunday point it makes you wonder how much forecasting the NHC is really doing. Could be from miami to new jersey!
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1078. DauphinIslandDunes
9:04 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
Irene is proving to be interesting and instructive. Adios for now.
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1077. STORMTOP
8:57 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
im just teling the people what is going on here..punk does not have the experience to tell someone this storm will not hit the fla coast...i think her is wrong and i felt it was my responsibility due to all the changes that happened in the last 24 hours it was my duty to tell you what i think...it seems like im not the only one who is thinking the same way...look at randyman ansd see what he says...if you dont want to listen to me for God sakes kisten to him..i dont want everyone to get excited even if it hits fla you have plenty of time to prepare...i just dont want any of you to let your guard down and listen to punk who probably does not have any meteorlogical experience to make that call it wont hit fla...this storm the way things are setting up almost looks like a repeat of jeannes scenario...please stay alert and listen to the nhc not punk...im sorry punk im not trying to down grade you here in anyway i just dont think you have the experience to make that serious call and say it wont hit fla...i hope everyone understands here im looking out for your best interest...
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1076. punkasshans
4:07 PM EST on August 09, 2005
Hawk,

I did notice that. However, i think after the 5 days ends the storm will begin to really push north. A good jog north over the next 36-50 hours. This will take florida out of play (if it ever was in play).
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1075. cornflake826
9:05 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
hawk thats a big bend to the west compared to the 11am advisory, oh well wait and see but it is getting more unlikely that the curve will not happen. gotta go pick up the kid, maybe be back later in the evening.
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1074. punkasshans
4:04 PM EST on August 09, 2005
Its almost impossible to understand that discussion
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1073. Randyman
8:34 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
StormTop if you are still here, what were your people in the Big N.O. trying to tell us (or you) this morning in their Forecast Discussion within the Extended Forecast section:


000
FXUS64 KLIX 090735
AFDLIX

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
235 AM CDT TUE AUG 9 2005

.DISCUSSION...
STATUS QUO WILL BE THE NAME OF THE GAME FOR THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.
MOISTURE DEPTH IS WELL ABOVE 700MB SUPPLYING ANY SH/TS WITH ALL THE MOISTURE THEY CAN HANDLE IF THEY DEVELOP. POPS IN CURRENT FORECAST ARE MAINLY 40% AND WILL STICK WITH THOSE FIGURES FOR THE SHORT TERM WITH THE TYPICAL DIURNAL SWING AND INVERSE RELATIONSHIP FOR THE GULF. THE ONLY REAL FORCING AGAIN WILL BE CAUSED BY HEATING. IT SIMPLY COMES DOWN TO SOME WILL GET WET AND OTHERS WILL NOT.

THE TROUGH NEAR THE AREA ATTM WILL WEAKEN A BIT AND THEN PULL NORTH AS SOME STRONGER(FOR THIS TIME OF YEAR...35KT) JET LEVEL WINDS MOVE INTO THE WEST SIDE OF THE TROUGH. THE INVERTED UPPER LEVEL TROUGH EXTENDING FROM THE YUCATAN INTO CUBA WILL CONTINUE MOVING NW AND WILL INFLUENCE OUR WEATHER BY LATE WED THROUGH THE REMAINDER OF THE WEEK.

EXTENDED...SOME CHANGES MAY BE COMING IN THE EXTENDED. THE
BERMUDA HIGH IS CURRENTLY RIDGING INTO THE NE STATES...HOLDING THE TROUGH AT BAY ACROSS THE MIDWEST. THE UPPER LOW OFF THE CAROLINA COAST HAS SUDDENLY WENT ALMOST STATIONARY. GFS SHOWS THIS UPPER LOW MEANDERING AROUND THIS AREA THROUGH MUCH OF THE WEEK BEFORE THE ATLANTIC UPPER AND MID LEVEL RIDGE WEAKEN IT AND FORCE IT WESTWARD. THE RIDGE BUILDS WESTWARD ACROSS MUCH OF THE GULF STATES STARTING LATE WED. THE WEAKNESS IN THE RIDGE REMAINS WELL OUT
OVER THE ATLANTIC ATTM BUT THIS WILL SOON CHANGE AS THE RIDGE BUILDS WEST. THIS WEAKNESS WILL BE TRANSFERED TO THE WESTERN GULF AS A TROPICAL WAVE ENTERS THE EASTERN CARRIBEAN LATE FRIDAY. ATTM...THIS IS SIMPLY INFORMATION WITH A LOT OF IF-ANDS-AND BUTS. MODEL SOLUTIONS WILL OF COURSE CHANGE AND THINGS MAY BE A LOT DIFFERENT DURING THIS TIME FRAME IN REALITY SO CHANGES TO THE EXTENDED AT THIS POINT WOULD NOT BE WARRANTED.

(I noticed their forecast discussion this evening doesn't mention this possible scenario...)
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1072. Hawkeyewx
4:00 PM CDT on August 09, 2005
Notice, however, the NHC's forecast track has gone from curving north toward Bermuda to bending back west a bit.
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1071. Hawkeyewx
3:57 PM CDT on August 09, 2005
Punk, sounds like a reasonable prediction, whether it comes true or not. I guess for now I'm still leaning toward Irene missing the US, but it's not much of a lean.
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1070. punkasshans
3:59 PM EST on August 09, 2005
Still a depression at 5pm. . its just too disorganized to be upgraded at this time.
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1069. punkasshans
3:57 PM EST on August 09, 2005
Hawk,

yes, i did notice that. it really doesnt make any sense to me. I thought a stronger storm would move north. I read that and got a little confused. I wish randyman would explain why they are predicting that.
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1068. punkasshans
3:49 PM EST on August 09, 2005
Ok, now that i got that out of my system. I can see why people think this storm will go south. However, I see this storm moving to the north in the next 36 hours. It will get CLOSE to the mid-atlantic coast. . maybe even brush it. But i dont see a direct landfall. I still think its more of an issue for Bermuda.

The frontal system that I thought would move off the coast isnt coming. This may allow the system to try and move a bit closer to the US. And with thunderstorms moving south over the last few hours within the system, it could regenerate a low pressure further south than it was before. This would put it closer to a Andrew type latitude/longitude with almost the same strength. However, a storm moving in this area RARELY reaches Florida. A NC or Mid-atlantic landfall is more common from storms in this area.

I predict a move north in 36 hours, a weak tropical storm at the time. Clouds will brush the US coast and storm moves out to sea.

I wont make any more predictions from here on out. Thats my final one, we will see who is right.

And as EVERYONE knows on this website: We are NOT professionals. . .people shouldnt be taking what is said on this as professional opinions!
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1067. punkasshans
3:56 PM EST on August 09, 2005
Ok, now that i got that out of my system. I can see why people think this storm will go south. However, I see this storm moving to the north in the next 36 hours. It will get CLOSE to the mid-atlantic coast. . maybe even brush it. But i dont see a direct landfall. I still think its more of an issue for Bermuda.

The frontal system that I thought would move off the coast isnt coming. This may allow the system to try and move a bit closer to the US. And with thunderstorms moving south over the last few hours within the system, it could regenerate a low pressure further south than it was before. This would put it closer to a Andrew type latitude/longitude with almost the same strength. However, a storm moving in this area RARELY reaches Florida. A NC or Mid-atlantic landfall is more common from storms in this area.

I predict a move north in 36 hours, a weak tropical storm at the time. Clouds will brush the US coast and storm moves out to sea.

I wont make any more predictions from here on out. Thats my final one, we will see who is right.

And as EVERYONE knows on this website: We are NOT professionals. . .people shouldnt be taking what is said on this as professional opinions!
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1066. cornflake826
8:53 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
also usually with td and ts we would have already had the 5pm advisory come out by now, something is brewing over there at nhc
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1065. Hawkeyewx
3:44 PM CDT on August 09, 2005
Anyone else notice the discussion posted by Randyman where it says Irene will move more westerly if it gets stronger and more northerly if it stays weak? Isn't this the complete opposite of what everyone else has been saying?
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1064. punkasshans
3:44 PM EST on August 09, 2005
I dont know why ANYONE would want to learn from him. He is probably the worst forecaster here on this website.

And anyway, if he really was a forecaster he wouldnt be telling people how awefull they are, but rather trying to inform and explain things in a civil manner.

I have a theory:
1) Stormtop is either young and doesnt really know what he is doing
2) Used to forecast (or currently does) for someone or some organization, was cheated in the past and wants to prove that he can be right. However, he screwed up his initial forecasts with Emily and now is upset about it. He is taking his anger out on everyone else.

3)Or he is just a cranky old man.

I will go with number 2.
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1063. SEFL
8:36 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
"punk you dont have the experience to say its not going to ...keep your opinion to yourself dont let these people take there guard down and you be responsible for loss of life and property...."

Stormtop, you are a piece of work. You bluff and bluster and make all sorts of erroneous predictions, then when you feel backed against the wall you come out and attack someone for doing exactly what you were doing 48 hours ago. You do this over and over....with every storm....I'll decline your invitation to hurricane forecasting class.
1062. cornflake826
8:37 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
since the 11am advisory, irene seems to tracking a notch south and west of the nhc tracking. and I dont see this west track changing for the next 12-24 hours. and if it keeps up with the wws track it has been doing for the last couple of hours, i believe all bets are off for this storm to curve and swim with the fishies!!!
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1061. jeff14photos
1:39 PM PDT on August 09, 2005
i agree with turtle we dont know exactly were its going yet
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1060. turtlehurricane
8:35 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
Stormtrop, u dont have to be raising hysteria, nothing is really scary about this yet
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1059. cornflake826
8:34 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
and by the way i dont listen to punks anyway
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1058. Randyman
8:31 PM GMT on August 09, 2005

Exclusive Discussion regarding Irene:


At 3PM CDT, Tropical Depression Irene will be near 22.4N/54.7W or about 920 miles southeast of Bermuda. Movement is to the west at about 12 mph. Central pressure is estimated to be 1009 millibars, or 29.80 inches. Maximum winds are estimated to be 30-35 mph.


Satellite pictures this afternoon indicate Irene remains poorly organized. Even though thunderstorms have increased, the center is quite broad and very difficult to pinpoint. We think the center may be trying to redevelop underneath some of the heavier thunderstorms located on the eastern side of the depression. If this were to happen, there would be a much better chance of organization to tropical storm strength over the next day or two. For now we will keep Irene at tropical depression status and continue to monitor the latest satellite pictures.


Our forecast track hasn't changed much and is in line with most of the dynamic model guidance which turns Irene west-northwestward in about 24-36 hours and moves it to a location southwest of Bermuda in 5 days. Of course, this track is based upon some relaxation of the wind shear that has been hindering Irene's development. If Irene remains a sheared depression or a tropical wave, then it would likely track farther northwestward, perhaps along the right edge of the yellow probability cone above. However, if Irene does strengthen we would more than likely see it travel more westerly on the bottom side of the probability cone. Overall, confidence in the forecast track remains low, primarily due to uncertainties in Irene's intensity over the next 5 days.


The next advisory will be issued near 9PM CDT


Fred Schmude
2005 ImpactWeather, Inc. / All rights reserved.

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1057. punkasshans
3:29 PM EST on August 09, 2005
Here is accuweather's forecast for Irene:

http://sirocco.accuweather.com/adc_hurr_images/2005/ai/UHAI_2.GIF
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1056. Randyman
8:29 PM GMT on August 09, 2005

Irene's Center Still Hard to Pinpoint

Issued: 2:40 PM Tuesday, August 9, 2005


At 2:40pm CDT, the center of Tropical Depression Irene is located near 22.4N/54.7W, or about 920 miles southeast of Bermuda. Movement is to the west near 12 mph. Maximum winds are estimated to be 30-35 mph, mainly in squalls northeast and east of the center.


Thunderstorms have increased in coverage and intensity with Irene this afternoon; however, the center is very broad and very difficult to pinpoint. We do think the center may be trying to develop underneath some of the stronger storms on the east side of the depression. If this does happen, we may see the depression upgraded back to a tropical storm over the next day or two. Short and long-range projections indicate a general west-northwest motion over the next 5 days, possibly threatening the east U.S. Coast in a week or so.


The latest forecast track and detailed discussion are listed below.


Meteorologist: Fred Schmude
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1055. Hawkeyewx
3:12 PM CDT on August 09, 2005
12z ECMWF (European model) just out keeps Irene weaker and takes it even more westerly than before for a landfall in the Carolinas. Even if Irene turns out to sea and affects nobody, the more westward track has at least kept things interesting considering the storm itself has been pretty pathetic so far.

Link
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1054. STORMTOP
8:18 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
look i told you i would come back on if conditions changed..im only telling you what i reviewed all day and i observed many changes with the storm so i came on to tell you guys what i observed...yes i did say it was a wuss last night but you dont understand things can change in a matter of hours..weather doen not stay stationary it moves and atmospheric conditions that were guiding the storm have become more defined ..irene will beging to strengten and peach hurricane force in the next 36 hours and it will stay on a westerly course and possibly move south of due west which would present a greater threat to florida sometome over the weekend...im just letting you know what i observed and also punk has no reason on earth to tell you irene wont hit florida...this in not a game we are playing here we are playing with peoples lives and property...i came on because of the changes that took place to let you know....i will be standing by after the 5 pm advisory and you can look for a more west movement and be sure toread the discussion from the nhc....
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1053. LSUHurricaneHunter
8:21 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
exactly cornflake, irene would still have to do some ridge weakening dodging to pull an andrew but i guess its tryin now./
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1052. punkasshans
3:19 PM EST on August 09, 2005
I still will stick to my thoughts and prediction. Many of the models have it going west, many of the models have it going north. . .many of the models have it weakening. . many of the models have it strengthening. I still think its going north.

But anyway, I am done responding to you Stormtop, good day.
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1051. cornflake826
8:21 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
it wasnt till the 22aug when the forcasters predict a landfall in florida, giving us barely 2 days to prepare
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1050. cornflake826
8:17 PM GMT on August 09, 2005
and if think about it andrew was a depression
6 GMT 8/21/92 23.9N 63.3W 50 1010 Tropical Storm

Irene is not far from approaching these coordinates
and if memory serves correct they andrew around this time swerving out to the fishs
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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