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Warm Oceans Intensifying Hurricane Season
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Aug 30, 2010
Warm Oceans Intensifying Hurricane Season

On the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's landfall along the Gulf Coast (August 29,2005), tropical cyclone activity in the Atlantic is intensifying. Fueled by warm ocean temperatures, a series of consecutive storms have formed in the Intertropical Convergence Zone (the area between Africa and the Caribbean). Hurricanes Danielle and Earl have intensified into major hurricane strength (Category 3+), another system is following in Earl's wake. The National Hurricane Center estimates a 90% chance that this system will intensify into a tropical storm. If so, it would be #6 of the season, named Fiona. And yet another storm system seems to be just behind.

Using Tropical Cyclone Heat Potential data from NOAA/AOML, the amount of heat energy available to fuel hurricane intensification is plotted underneath a GOES-East image from 1445z. Earl is moving over an extremely warm area of ocean water and is expected to intensify as it moves northward along a path similar to Danielle.

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