For the handful of hurricane geeks out there

Selections from lost NHC discussion bulletins:



HURRICANE HUMBERTO DISCUSSION NUMBER 5
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
500 AM EDT THU SEP 13 2007

THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER HAS DETERMINED...BASED ON RECON
AND MODEL GUIDANCE...THAT "HUMBERTO" IS A RIDICULOUS NAME FOR
A HURRICANE. THIS WILL BE THE LAST ADVISORY ISSUED CONCERNING
THIS STORM...UNTIL A MORE SERIOUS NAME IS CHOSEN.

$$ FORECASTER BLYTHE


HURRICANE FABIAN DISCUSSION NUMBER 15
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
5 AM EDT SUN AUG 31 2003

FORECASTER AVILA CONTINUES TO INSIST...DESPITE ALL RECON
EVIDENCE...THAT IT WAS NOT HE WHO TOOK MY SANDWICH FROM THE
NHC FRIDGE. THIS ASSERTION IS NOT SUPPORTED BY FORECASTER
STEWART OR MY STATISTICAL MODELS...AND BASED ON THE TIGHT
CLUSTERING OF GUIDANCE...I AM ISSUING A WARNING FOR FORECASTER
AVILA...THAT HE HAD BETTER BRING HIS OWN LUNCH TOMORROW. THIS
WILL BE THE LAST WARNING ISSUED FOR FORECASTER AVILA.

$$ FORECASTER JACOBS


HURRICANE JEANNE DISCUSSION NUMBER 5
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
5 PM EDT TUE SEP 22 1998

THIS IS JUST TO SAY...THAT THE STORM IN THE ATLANTIC...WHICH
WE NAMED JEANNE...IS STRENGTHENING. IT HAS A DISTINCT EYE...
LIKE A WOMAN...AND GOOD PRESENTATION ON RADAR. THIS IS ALSO
TO SAY...THAT ADVISORIES MAY BE ISSUED FOR BERMUDA...WHERE A
DRYING FISH...RESTS ON A BEACH...BESIDE THE COCONUT PALMS.

$$ FORECASTER CARLOS WILLIAMS


TROPICAL DEPRESSION IVAN DISCUSSION NUMBER 59
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
11 PM EDT THU SEP 16 2004

THE LOW LEVEL CENTER OF CIRCULATION OF TROPICAL DEPRESSION
IVAN COULD NOT BE LOCATED BY RECON...AND THE PRESENTATION IS
POOR TO ABSENT ON SATELLITE IMAGERY. IT SEEMS SAFE TO ASSUME
THAT...BARRING RENEWED CONVECTION ...THE CYCLONE HAS DISSAP--
...OH GOD...HE IS HERE...IVAN IS HERE IN THE OFFICE...EVERYONE
GET DOWN OH GOD HE IS INTENSIFYLKSDJFLKHHALKJKL...

$$ FORECASTER PRESCOTT


HURRICANE LILI DISCUSSION NUMBER 49
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
11 AM EDT THU OCT 03 2002

HEY GUYS...I WAS JUST WONDERING...IF YOU EVER THINK ABOUT
THINGS. LIKE...YOU KNOW...WHETHER IT IS ALL WORTH IT.

$$ FORECASTER FREDERICK


TROPICAL STORM KATRINA DISCUSSION NUMBER 30
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL
5 AM EDT TUE AUG 30 2005

THE WMO HAS DETERMINED THAT...DUE TO THE EXTREME DESTRUCTION
CAUSED BY THIS HURRICANE...THE NAME "NEW ORLEANS" WILL BE
REMOVED FROM THE LIST OF CITY NAMES...AND NOT USED FOR ANY
FUTURE AMERICAN CITY.

$$ FORECASTER SCHOEN


HURRICANE ISIDORE DISCUSSION NUMBER 24
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MIAMI FL
11 PM EDT SAT SEP 21 2002

HURRICANE ISIDORE CONTINUES TO STRENGTHEN...AND MOVE TOWARD
THE BAY OF CAMPECHE. HOWEVER...THE NHC WOULD LIKE TO REMIND
EVERYONE IN THE AFFECTED AREA THAT THE REAL STORM...IS INSIDE
US ALL.

$$ FORECASTER ANDERSON

Earthquakes

As many people have pointed out, my comic about tweets outrunning seismic waves seems to have been widely verified in yesterday’s earthquake:

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/earthquake-twitter-users-learned-tremors-226481

It’s always nice to see real-life confirmation of your calculations! The quake started in Virginia at 13:51:04 EST, where most of my family lives.  Texts from my brother in Charlottesville (25 miles from the epicenter) were slowed down by the spike in cell traffic, but I got an IRC message from my brother in Newport News, VA at 13:52:09. Based on USArray/EarthScope detector readings posted at Bad Astronomy, his message overtook the seismic waves outside Philadelphia, and reached New England over a minute before the quake was felt there.

I once heard a story (originally told by Kevin Young) about Gerson Goldhaber, who was a physicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. He was talking on the phone with another physicist at SLAC near Stanford University near the end of the day on Tuesday, October 17, 1989. The SLAC physicist suddenly interrupted with, “Gerson, I have to go! There’s a very big earthquake happening!” and then hung up. So Gerson stepped out into a group of people in the hall, made a big show of yawning and checking his watch, then said, “Aren’t we about due for an earthquake?” Before anyone could respond, the Loma Prieta earthquake reached Berkeley, and he became a legend.

My best friend from college is from Mineral, VA, a town of a few hundred people and one stoplight, which was at the epicenter of yesterday’s quake. A few years ago, he moved to Sendai, Japan, where he got an apartment just a few miles from the coast. Fortunately, he survived the March earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. Last I heard from him, he was moving back home. He really can’t catch a break. Fortunately, it sounds like there’s not too much damage. (Though from what I remember of Mineral, I can’t help but wonder—if the quake did cause damage, how would you tell?)