Ophelia poised to break a hurricane season record more than a century old

miamiherald | 10/9/2017 | Staff
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The feverish 2017 hurricane season doesn’t seem to be letting up: on Monday, Tropical Storm Ophelia formed in the central Atlantic and is expected to become a hurricane this week.

While the storm poses no threat to land, it could become the 10th consecutive storm to grow to hurricane strength — a streak of intense systems that will tie a record last set in the late 1800s. It comes in a season that has already produced five major hurricanes, including three ferocious Category 5 storms, and 15 named storms.

Amount - Cyclone - Energy - Measure - Intensity

The amount of accumulated cyclone energy — a measure of the intensity and longevity of storms — is also 254 percent higher than average with seven weeks left in the season, said University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy.

“We had 15 named storms last year, but things got named that weren’t really things people would remember,” he said. “There’s some heavy hitters this season.”

Ophelia - Miles - Azores - Pm - Monday

Ophelia, located about 845 miles west-southwest of the Azores at 5 p.m., formed Monday morning from a tropical wave rolling off Africa. National Hurricane Center forecasters said Ophelia will likely become a hurricane in three days as it swirls in the Atlantic far from the U.S. coast. With weak steering currents, the storm could linger in the area until next week, McNoldy said.

So far this hurricane season, the accumulated cyclone energy — a measure of the intensity and longevity of storms — is about two and a half times higher than the average season, according to University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy.

Harvey - Landfall - Texas - Coast - Aug

Since Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast on Aug. 25 — the first major hurricane to strike the U.S. coast since Wilma in 2005 — the amount of hurricane energy has climbed steadily....
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