Friday, September 14, 2007

Instant Hurricane: Humberto

Speaking of climate, did you notice Humberto, the instant hurricane that formed in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday?

Not too long ago, after category five Hurricane Dean slammed Mexico, we noted that the waters of the Gulf of Mexico are so warm that any tropical system that works its way into that body of water is going to be rapidly energized. We were right. After Dean, we had Felix, another cat 5 that bashed Central America. Both of those storms rapidly blossomed into ferocious major hurricanes on the jet fuel of the Gulf.

Then yesterday a little low pressure system off the Texas coast turned into a hurricane in a matter of a few hours. Fortunately, it was close enough to shore already that it hit before having time to turn into yet another major hurricane. (It was a category one when it went ashore last night.)

If I was a Gulf Coast resident, I'd be pretty worried. It may not be this season. It may not be next. But as long as the Gulf stays so warm, we're likely to have a series of very nasty, Katrina-esque, hurricanes over the coming years. It's just a matter of time.

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