Does warm ocean water "energize" hurricanes?

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Does warm ocean water "energize" hurricanes?

Post by Caribbean Traveler » Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:08 am

Yes and no. Warm ocean water to a depth of about 100 ft is needed. Temperatures of about 80 degrees F is the benchmark for development. Now, this minimum is acheived most of the time in deep tropics, so why all of the fuss about "loop currents" and such? It goes to reason the warmer the water the more available energy for the hurricane to tap into. True, but other factores are MUCH more important such as wind shear and and potential nearby dry air which can disrupt a circulation.

The late John Hope and Dr. Steve Lyons of the weather channel did not buy into the loop current theory. In fact Steve showed me several examples of the exact opposite happening. Sure, there are cases where there was some intensification when an eyewall passed over a much warmer pool of water and wind shear nor dry air was an issue. The point is the media and some forecasters over blow this one factor on predicting the strength of a hurricane when other factors are much more of an influence on strengthening.
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Re: Does warm ocean water "energize" hurricanes?

Post by Florida Beach Gal » Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:13 pm

I hear about this reported when any time that there is a hurricane threat. In fact, there are other weather people who are talking about how abnormally warm the Atlantic waters are now.

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