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  • Barry
  • Eye to Eye with Tropical Storm Allison

    The most fatalities in the US from tropical cyclones has been from inland flooding. Unfortunately, at least 41 fatalities were attributed to TS Allison, which white caps tell us wind direction

    Just five days into the new 2001 Atlantic Hurricane Season, some of us were surprised when our morning training flight was turned into a Low-Level Investigative mission. Expecting a nice, short 2-hour trainer in the local area, we instead found ourselves bouncing around in a developing tropical system for over 8 hours. This was the only mission we flew before the storm made landfall.

    On that mission, we found a tropical cyclone that was strong enough to prompt the National Hurricane Center to upgrade the system directly to a Tropical Storm. This storm caused over $5 billion damage, much of it in the Houston area: the costliest Tropical Storm to strike the US. We flew two more missions on this storm
    weak winds stronger winds
    One of the things we look for is the state of the sea. In portions of the storm, the sun glinted off the sea. In this area, there was barely a white cap to be seen, and we could classify the winds below 10 knots. However, things quickly turned uglier in the northeast side of the storm, which had a broad area of stronger winds. Rainshowers and thick clouds darkened the seas, and white caps, foam patches, and streaks all attested to the tropical storm force winds battering the oil rigs off the Texas coast.
    Greeted by thunderstorms
as we came home
    On June 11th, the remnants of Allison blasted across our own home area on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and she still had a powerful punch. beached shrimp boat

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