6 months ago this morning, Category-5 #Hurricane#DORIAN, with winds of 160 knots (185 mph), made perfect, direct hit on Marsh Harbour in #Bahamas. I was there. This morning I’ll tweet like I would’ve in real time, if I’d still had connection to outside world. Check back here.
11:30 am (01 Sep): In a school on a hill—hunkered down in solid-concrete classroom with 11 others, including toddlers. Radar says hurricane’s inner core is just about here. Winds getting nasty—trees coming down, stuff flying. Feel like I'm about to get on rollercoaster. 973.4 mb.
12:12 pm (01 Sep): Getting deep in cyclone's inner core. Wind coming in big, sweeping pulses—& getting worse. Roaring. Gusts hammering walls with force of dynamite. Watching it all through cracks in shutters on downwind side of room. 952.4 mb.
Time for countdown: my Top 10 chases of 2010s! I've got lots of war stories, & it hurt to limit myself to 10. Criteria varied, ranging from intensity to fear factor to footage coolness to quality of my data. Rankings are subjective, & y'all may hate my decisions. Ready? Let's go!
No. 10: #Typhoon#KAMMURI
Dec 2019 – Legazpi City, PHILIPPINES – Cat 4
Intense Christmastime cyclone slammed Filipino port city. Despite nighttime darkness, I caught some of my best footage of combo wind/water assault on waterfront. Bonus: weirdly violent wave action in calm eye.
My timestamped footage from #KAMMURI. The real pounding (in the front eyewall) happens from ~11:16 pm to ~12 midnight. Wind & water become one ferocious flow of energy ripping in off the gulf:
Buildup to peak winds was gradual—even once I was in eyewall—likely because of cyclone’s slow forward motion.
Eye had bright, misty quality—I didn’t get stadium effect. Lull lasted long: ~1:05-2:30pm.
2/5—I collected data w/ 2 devices. They matched well: 913.4mb (1:50pm) & 913.7mb (1:53pm) in eye. I sadly ended data collection in eye, as I needed to relocate to safety. I believe I caught min pressure, as it was starting to edge upwards when I relocated—but can’t be sure. Grrr.
3/5—It’s clear my location was stricken by high-energy mesovortices. Couldn't see them in 100% whiteout, but that’s only explanation for crazy pressure fluctuations & also damage—i.e., car thrown from parking lot up onto lawn next to our bunker, *against* primary wind flow.
Yep, I’m alive. Made it to Nassau. #Hurricane#DORIAN: By far the most intense cyclone I’ve witnessed in 28 years of chasing. Thought I was playing it safe by riding it out in a solid-concrete school on a hill in Marsh Harbour. Thought wrong.
Winds pounded the building with the force of a thousand sledgehammers. Crept out during eye to find school mostly destroyed, cars in parking lot thrown around & mutilated. Barometer said 913.4 mb.
Frantically piled into few functioning cars (one of them mine) & relocated to government complex before backside struck. Building filled with terrorized refugees, many who had swam to safety or abandoned collapsed houses. The calm eye saved lives—gave victims chance to relocate.