Lidia Rapidly Intensified Before Slamming Mexico: Weather Watch

By Brian K Sullivan | October 11, 2023

Hurricane Lidia rapidly intensified in the Pacific Ocean as it approached Mexico’s coast on Tuesday, coming ashore as a powerful Category 4 with 140-mile-per hour winds near Cabo Corrientes, the US National Hurricane Center said. It has since dissipated over the western part of the country but continues to drop heavy rain in the region.

Lidia’s winds rose from 70 mph at 6 p.m. local time Monday doubling to 140 mph by 6 p.m. Tuesday as it came ashore.

Lidia was tied as the third-strongest hurricane to hit Mexico’s Pacific coast on record, Jeff Masters, a meteorologist with Yale Climate Connections said in a social media post. The others occurred in 1957, 1959 and 2002. The strongest storm to hit the region was Patricia with winds of 150 mph in 2015.

Rapid intensification is a scientific term defined as a storm’s winds rising by 35 mph in 24 hours. As climate change warms the world’s oceans, providing fuel for hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons, it is happening more often.

It is dangerous because it can take coastal residents and emergency officials by surprise when a storm has a huge burst of strength just before landfall.

In other weather news:

Atlantic: Tropical Storm Sean has formed in the far Atlantic with winds of 40 miles (64 kilometers) per hour and is forecast to meander through the ocean without becoming a threat to land for now.

Western Pacific: Super Typhoon Bolaven is forecast to veer away from Japan arcing across the ocean just south of Alaska’s Aleutian Islands early next week. The storm is currently a Category 5 system on the five-step, Saffir-Simpson scale with 166 mile per hour winds, according to the US Joint Typhoon Warning Center. Storms that follow this track can often end up bringing stiff temperature fluctuations across Canada and the US weeks later.

US: Water levels continue to fall in the Mississippi and Ohio River systems. Three gauges on the Mississippi in Missouri and Tennessee reached their all-time low levels earlier this week, Masters, from Yale Climate Connections, said in another social media post. A fourth gauge on the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois hit its lowest since 1901 on Sunday.

Europe: The continent is set to get its first taste of winter, with a sudden cold snap testing the region’s energy systems.

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