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Sat Oct 13, 2018, 06:16 AM

Here's why hurricanes are rapidly exploding in strength

Hurricane Michael’s sudden intensification fits a recent pattern.

The unforgettable thing about record-setting Hurricane Michael will always be how rapidly it became a near-Category 5 storm, perfectly timed for a sneak attack on the Florida Panhandle.

On Tuesday morning, Floridians knew a storm was coming but not how strong it would be. As of 5 a.m., Michael was a strong Category 1 hurricane with a minimum pressure of 973 millibars, a measure of atmospheric pressure indicating that air is rising in the storm, pulling winds toward its center. The official forecast took the storm up to mid-Category 3 at landfall.

But 24 hours later, Michael was already far stronger: It now had 140 mph winds and a pressure falling sharply. The wind speed increased 45 mph in just 24 hours, representing a leap from Category 1 to Category 4 — and the storm wasn’t done intensifying.

Pressure would ultimately fall to 919 millibars, one of the lowest measures of any hurricane at landfall in the United States — and the winds responded by increasing to 155 mph right as the storm struck the coast. This was a borderline Category 5 storm, and it’s clear that the only reason Michael didn’t quite cross that threshold was because it was crossing beaches by that time instead.

This process of “rapid intensification” — extremely dangerous near a coastline — is something we keep seeing lately. Technically, it is defined by the National Hurricane Center as an increase in wind speeds of 35 mph or more in 24 hours.


Read more (Includes video): https://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-environment/2018/10/11/hyper-hurricanes-warm-waters-fueled-hurricane-michaels-sudden-strengthening-that-fits-recent-pattern/?utm_term=.cf26b78ad0aa



This NOAA/RAMMB satellite image taken on Wednesday afternoon shows Hurricane Michael as it approaches the U.S. Gulf Coast. (Lizabeth Menzies/NOAA/RAMMB/AFP)

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Reply Here's why hurricanes are rapidly exploding in strength (Original post)
Rhiannon12866 Oct 2018 OP
TreasonousBastard Oct 2018 #1
Rhiannon12866 Oct 2018 #2
TreasonousBastard Oct 2018 #3
Rhiannon12866 Oct 2018 #7
Uncle Joe Oct 2018 #4
Auggie Oct 2018 #5
JudyM Oct 2018 #6

Response to Rhiannon12866 (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2018, 06:27 AM

1. In a nutshell-- warmer water reduces atmospheric pressure, which causes air to...

rise faster, causing faster winds.

I'm no expert in either weather or climate, but it looks like we're going to see a lot more of this.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 13, 2018, 07:01 AM

2. In recent years, it seems like each hurricane is more devastating than the last

And just here in New York, the winters are getting a lot worse. Last winter we had record low temperatures all over the area - not to mention the storms. Here in the Northeast, we had four nor'easters as late as the month of March. I'm dreading what's to come this year.

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 13, 2018, 07:43 AM

3. You're upstate somewhere, right? I've experienced the bucolic weather of Syracuse and...

Watertown, so I understand your concern.

Here on Long Island the Gulf Stream helps moderate things, but the last couple of years things have been out of sorts. Last winter we got the low temps, too, from an arctic front we didn't appreciate. It's rare it gets to 0F around here, but it did. Nor'easters are normal
here every Spring, but always seem to surprise people.

The global warming hoax crowd loved the low temps-- claimed it proved their point.

I probably won't live to see the major sea rise, but when it happens, Long Island will end up as Shorter Islands.



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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #3)

Tue Oct 16, 2018, 07:47 AM

7. Yes, I'm in the Northeast

Just north of Glens Falls, south of Lake George. And the extremes we've been experiencing have been getting noticeably worse. We heard about the damage from Hurricane Sandy, but that just gave us rain here, it was Hurricane Irene that devastated this area - we saw major damage as far south as Albany and as far east as Vermont. I went to camp in Vermont as a kid and saw the damage they suffered. The camp has been there since 1951 and Lake Champlain rose so high that the buildings on the beach level were just gone!

Two years ago this month we had a blizzard in October. I had to go out, kept thinking that the main roads had to be okay, but I was wrong. I pulled over to call my friend to see if anyone else was going out and I got stuck, traffic was at a crawl because the snow was accumulating so fast and visibility was terrible. Because the leaves were still on the trees and the ground wasn't yet frozen, trees were uprooted all over, there was damage all over from the fallen trees, not to mention power outages. These extreme weather events are becoming more common.

Last winter was a nightmare we had so many storms - well into March. And it's not just the record lows, the summer was hotter than we experienced as kids. When I was in school, I worked summers at an amusement park in Lake George. My boss used to send the mechanics around with "salt pills" for us ride operators standing out in the sun. But this year it was so much hotter every day that I can't imagine dealing with that now.

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2018, 08:29 AM

4. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread Rhiannon.

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2018, 08:45 AM

5. Are windy days in California getting more intense?

I'm recalling a few days in the last three/four years, including last year at this time north of San Francisco with the Tubbs/Atlas fires.

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Response to Rhiannon12866 (Original post)

Sat Oct 13, 2018, 09:45 AM

6. If only those hurt by these storms could press a class-action suit against rethugs.

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