‘Rapid Intensification’: How Idalia Can Quickly Become a Major Hurricane Before Landfall


Idalia It is expected to strengthen rapidly as it moves north toward the Gulf of Mexico and approaches Florida’s west coast, and is likely to become a major Category 3 hurricane as it makes landfall, forecasters said Monday.

“Idalia is expected to intensify quickly today and tomorrow, which means it could turn from a tropical storm into a very dangerous hurricane over the next two days,” he said. Brian McNoldya senior research associate at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Sciences, in a Monday morning post on X, the site formerly known as Twitter.

“They plan to complete preparations by the time tropical storm conditions arrive, and plan to evacuate if asked,” he added.

What is rapid condensation?

Rapid intensification is a process in which a storm experiences exponential growth: this phenomenon is usually defined as a tropical cyclone (whether a tropical storm or a hurricane) intensifying at least 35 mph over a 24-hour period.

“Rapid intensification occurs when a tropical storm or hurricane encounters a very favorable environment,” says hurricane researcher at Colorado State University. said Phil Klotzbach last year. “Typically, this environment consists of very warm waters, low vertical wind shear and high levels of mid-level humidity.”

It was surges like these that were the hallmarks of the most fearsome hurricanes in history. Ken Graham, The former director of the National Hurricane Center and now director of the National Weather Service told USA TODAY.

In fact, of the ten hurricanes with winds of 150 mph or greater that have struck the mainland United States over the past 104 years, all but one have experienced a burst of strength known as a rapid intensification.

Hurricane Ian experienced two severe winds this past September, with winds reaching 155 mph for a brief period before making landfall on Florida’s southwest coast.

28, 2023 at 9:41 a.m. ET satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Tropical Storm Idalia moving between Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, left, and Cuba, right.

What does the National Hurricane Center say about Adalia?

In discussing the 11 a.m. forecast for Idalia, National Hurricane Center He said: “Intensification is expected to be steady to rapid starting Tuesday as the Idalia traverses the warm waters of the eastern Gulf and the upper level environment becomes more favorable.

“The National Hurricane Center forecasts again point to Idalia reaching major hurricane strength before making landfall along Florida’s Gulf Coast,” the Hurricane Center said.

‘be cerfull’: Intensifying Idalia could hit Florida as a major hurricane

Ample fuel for rapid ramp-up

Meteorologists said the extremely warm waters of the northwest Caribbean Sea (sea surface temperatures around 86 degrees Fahrenheit) would provide enough fuel for the storm. Robert Henson and Jeff Masters in the Yale Climate Connections blog. “These warm waters extend to great depths, providing high ocean heat content and making it less likely that the slow movement of Idalia will cause a significant uplift of cold waters. The eastern Gulf of Mexico is much warmer, with broad sea surface temperatures of 88 degrees Fahrenheit. It extends to well under 100 feet.”

“These record hot conditions would be exceptionally dangerous ‘rocket fuel’,” they added, assuming that Idalia reaches “the eastern Gulf as a well-organized system.”

“We should not be surprised if Idalia makes landfall as a strong, fast-paced hurricane,” Henson and Masters said.

See spaghetti models:

The Spaghetti Model illustrations include a wide range of forecasting tools and models, and not all are created equal. The hurricane center uses the best four or five available models to help make its forecasts.

Climate change may play a role

What role does climate change play in severe storms? “We’ve seen more and more explosive power over the last five to 10 years, and that definitely makes everyone nervous,” said Jim Kosin, a hurricane expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the nonprofit First Street Foundation. Tell Axios.

“These recent rapid intensification events have also recently been linked to climate change, which tends to create new normals that forecasters may find difficult to get comfortable with.” He said.

Global warming has consequences: “Climate change is causing faster intensification of Atlantic hurricanes,” Masters, a former NOAA hurricane-hunter meteorologist and founder of Weather Underground, told USA TODAY.

more: Tropical Storm Idalia Tracker: Follow the path of the storm as it heads towards Florida

This article originally appeared in the USA TODAY: What is rapid condensation? How quickly Idalia will gain strength.

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