All posts tagged: near-shore patch of hot water

Everything Went Wrong With Hurricane Otis

Everything Went Wrong With Hurricane Otis

[ad_1] In the hours before Hurricane Otis made landfall, everything aligned to birth a beast. The hurricane, which arrived near Acapulco, Mexico, early this morning, had an improbable combination of terrible traits. It was small and nimble, as tropical storms go, which reduced the amount of data points available to forecasters and made it harder to track. It came toward land at night, which is the least ideal time for a chaos-inducing event to hit a population center. Winds in the upper atmosphere were moving in exactly the way that hurricanes like. Its compact size also meant that it didn’t need as much energy to become ferocious as a more sprawling storm would. And energy in its particular patch of superheated ocean was in no short supply. Yesterday morning, Otis was merely a tropical storm. Then the system moved over a near-shore patch of hot water, where the sea-surface temperatures reached 31 degrees Celsius in some places (88 degrees Fahrenheit). It “explosively intensified” in a “nightmare scenario,” according to the National Hurricane Center, gaining more …