August 28, 2020
Hurricane Laura blew up quickly as it headed for the Louisiana coast, intensifying from a tropical storm to a major Hurricane in less than 24 hours. By the time it made it landfall, it was a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 150 mile-per-hour winds.The Atlantic has seen several hurricanes rapidly intensify like this in recent years. In 2018, Hurricane Michael unexpectedly jumped from Category 2 to Category 5 in the span of a day before hitting the Florida Panhandle. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017 also met the definition of rapid intensification: an increase of at least 35 miles per hour in a 24-hour period. Based on preliminary reports from the National Hurricane Center, Laura gained 65 mph in one 24-hour period and, more impressively, added 80 mph from Aug. 25 to Aug. 27.But do all these fast-growing, powerful storms in recent years mean rapid intensification is becoming more common?With information about hurricanes coming through Social Media and phone apps, that’s a question hurricane scientists like myself are hearing a lot. It’s useful to consider a few things: the history of U.S. hurricanes, why the Atlantic is currently so active, and the ingredients that allow storms to strengthen so quickly. What makes storms blow up?Just as a pastry chef needs all the ingredients to successfully make a cake, storms like Laura need favorable conditions to be able to form and rapidly intensify. Three key ingredients help a hurricane rapidly intensify: * Warm ocean waters. Hurricanes draw energy from warm surface water, particularly when it’s at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer.
Hurricane Laura was the latest storm to strengthen fast, but is rapid intensification really becoming more common?
* Ample moisture, or water content in the atmosphere, to maintain clouds.
* Low vertical wind shear. This is a measure of how the wind changes speed and direction with height in the atmosphere. High wind shear will disrupt the clouds, making it hard for the storm to stay together.When all of these ingredients are present, vigorous thunderstorms can form and organize, allowing a robust eyewall to develop. Large-scale changes in ocean temperature, like the El Niño–Southern Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, can also have an impact on hurricane activity.Because these ingredients change, the Atlantic hurricane season varies year to year. This year, as the seasonal forecasts created by Colorado State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned, the ingredients are favorable for an active season with more major hurricanes. A review of storms from 1981 to 2012 found that 70% of major Atlantic hurricanes – those reaching Category 3 or higher – had gone through rapid intensification. Why don’t all storms grow this quickly?Just having the right water temperature and moisture won’t ensure that storms will undergo rapid intensification or become major hurricanes. We saw that with Hurricane Marco. It swept through the Gulf of Mexico just ahead of Hurricane Laura but weakened to a tropical storm before landfall.A big difference was the wind shear. The thunderstorms powering Marco’s core struggled to stay connected to its circulation as high wind shear in the Gulf of Mexico stripped them away.When then-Tropical Storm Laura passed over Cuba into the Gulf, the high wind shear conditions had receded, leaving nothing but a favorable environment for Laura to develop catastrophic winds and a dangerous storm surge. As with ice skaters who pull their arms in during a spin to rotate faster, the thunderstorms of Laura’s eyewall pulled in the atmosphere around the storm, causing the winds to accelerate into a high-end Category 4 storm. While there are additional complexities to this process, a theoretical framework for intensification that I further developed with colleauges highlights how the location of eyewall thunderstorms relative to the storm’s maximum winds triggers rapid intensification. This theory has been supported by eyewall observations collected during “hurricane hunter” flights. So, are these events becoming more common?This is a challenging question and an active topic of research. Because rapidly intensifying hurricanes are fairly rare, there isn’t enough information yet to say if rapid intensification is happening more often. The hurricane research community has consistent, reliable observations of storm intensity only since the start of the satellite era and routine storm-penetrating “hurricane hunter” flights since the 1970s.We have seen more rapid intensification events in recent years, and some scientists have concluded that the warming climate is likely playing a role. However, we’ve also had more active hurricane seasons in those years, and more work needs to be done in this area to understand global trends, such as why hurricanes are crossing ocean basins more slowly. To try to answer this puzzle, hurricane researchers are using historical records to help refine mathematical theories and computer simulations of storms to better understand rapid intensification. The new knowledge will continue to improve forecast guidance and lead to a better understanding of how hurricanes will change in an evolving climate system.[Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]This article is republished from The Conversation, a nonprofit news site dedicated to sharing ideas from academic experts.Read more: * A burning chemical plant may be just the tip of Hurricane Laura’s damage in this area of Oil fields and industry * Hurricanes can cause enormous damage inland, but emergency plans focus on coastsChris Slocum receives funding from and is employed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Clare & Dale Split, Michael & Lori Vacay and Cardi vs. Hamburger
January 20, 2021
NdUGK2e0onA
"Celebrating America" Inauguration Special Best Moments
January 20, 2021
1RNXWWWLY9o
5 Things to Know About Inauguration Poet Amanda Gorman | E! News
January 20, 2021
JvUXTQL1-0w
‘RHOSLC’ star Jen Shah on the dangers of calling women of color ‘scary’ | Page Six Celebrity News
January 21, 2021
LpT2GAwZOLA
'Sex and the City' stars then and now: How they've changed | Page Six Celebrity News
January 21, 2021
OCkpPfUnTjk
Social media influencer Alexis Sharkey’s cause of death revealed | Page Six Celebrity News
January 20, 2021
qkGNQDfKFeE
George Clooney & Michelle Pfeiffer Remember Drinking On The Set of 'One Fine Day' | Actors on Actors
January 21, 2021
KV_Xzrj4QHQ
Tom Holland & Daniel Kaluuya On Auditioning For Marvel, The Oscars And London | Actors on Actors
January 20, 2021
vRFTy9fdxwI
Netflix Shares Skyrocket Following Blowout Q4 Results
January 19, 2021
plCb9L5qQeQ
Mattel Honors Poet Maya Angelou With Barbie Doll | TMZ TV
January 21, 2021
nEnK5Q3VqeY
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend Go Horseback Riding With Kids | TMZ TV
January 21, 2021
5CpLrILyT1U
Celebs Take Over President Biden's Inauguration | TMZ TV
January 21, 2021
3idd0ujio7M
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
21
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Eibar - Atletico Madrid
21
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Burnley
21
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Valencia - Osasuna
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Aston Villa
20
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Augsburg - Bayern Munich
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Manchester United
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Preston NE
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Bristol City
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Cardiff City - QPR
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Millwall
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Nottingham Forest - Middlesbrough
20
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Brentford - Luton
20
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
SC Freiburg - Eintracht Frankfurt
20
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
RB Leipzig - Union Berlin
20
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Arminia Bielefeld - Stuttgart
20
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Villarreal - Granada CF
20
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Betis - Celta Vigo
19
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Borussia Dortmund
19
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Chelsea
18
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Newcastle United
18
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - AC Milan
17
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Juventus
17
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Manchester United
17
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Sheffield United - Tottenham Hotspur
17
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Crystal Palace
17
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayern Munich - SC Freiburg
17
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Fiorentina
16
Jan
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Mainz
16
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Chelsea
15
Jan
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - Roma
14
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Crystal Palace
13
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Fulham
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.