How do hurricanes gain strength?

A map illustrating pathways of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season

Good morning everyone! I’ll have our September 2012 weather stats available on Wednesday, but today I wanted to share something that I found fascinating.

In the Northwest we’re not accustomed to hurricanes, although we have from time to time experienced hurricane force winds which has in turn caused severe damage. But hurricanes or tropical depressions are something the east coast can depend on every year as “hurricane season”  typically lasts from June 1st to November 30th.

This year hurricanes and tropical depressions have been less frequent than last year’s hurricane season, but that’s primarily due to the cooler nature of the Atlantic. The NOAA has issued an incredible video which discusses how hurricanes are formed and where they get their strength.

Click here to view the video.

Thankfully we don’t have a lot of the issues and concerns associated with hurricanes in the Pacific Northwest, yet we have our own fair share of wild weather from year to year! Such will not be the case for at least the next week, however, as high pressure remains dominant and another rex block sets up off the coast. (Remember the T-Rex block a few blog posts back? ;)) Truly, this sunny, mild and dry streak is rare and impressive in this region and it doesn’t show any major signs of stopping.

A brief surge of Canadian air will cause both high and low temperatures to dip tomorrow, but as we progress throughout the week warmer, sunny weather will rebuild and provide more unseasonably delightful October weather through the weekend.

But I don’t think I hear any complaints 😉

Have a great day everyone,

Matthew Leach

Forecasting Kitsap

3 thoughts on “How do hurricanes gain strength?

  1. It is fitting to discuss how hurricanes are fueled by warm water and our own wind storms of equal and greater strength in our area are fueled by the difference in water temperatures. Fitting, because we approach the season. Fitting, because we approach the 50th anniversary of the Columbus Day Storm, October 12, 1962, the most powerful and damaging storm since the arrival of Europeans to the North American continent.

    While some of us continue to relish in our post summer drought, does anybody know what happens to the salmon if the lack of rainfall prevents them from traveling up our rivers and streams?

  2. Here’s a complaint. Plants are dying, fires are burning, that’s not good. I have lived here more than 20 years and have never seen it this dry. We have been somewhat lucky because it has become so dry thunderstorms can’t form over the Cascades. If I wanted 3 straight months of weather like this I would move back to California. Bring on the rain and hope it rains for days!

  3. Valid points, Ron! I spaced on the Columbus Day storm! I’ll have to do a write up about it in a couple weeks. Thanks for the reminder 🙂

    Mark: I’m with you! This has been quite an abnormal stretch of dry weather, and it’ll likely continue for at least another 7-10 days. Hang in there, though. Relief WILL come 🙂

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