Impact of Prior Weather on Hurricane Intensity

Oct 20, 2020

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By Pam Knox
Do you wonder why Hurricane Michael intensified so much just before it made landfall in 2018? A new study by NASA scientists looks at this question. The new study,  published in Nature Communications, identifies pre-storm conditions that can contribute to this rapid intensification – an important step in improving the ability to forecast it. The study showed that in 2018, Tropical Storm Gordon, which occurred about a month before Michael, brought up cold water from beneath the surface of the Gulf, as tropical storms often do. But in 2018, an atmospheric heatwave quickly warmed up that cold water. When Michael got near the coast and pulled water to the surface, it was the warm water left from Gordon’s passage, allowing the storm to deepen rapidly just before landfall. You can read more at Meteorological Technology International at
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