The U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center said earlier this week it expected Super Typhoon Haiyan to weaken as it crossed the ocean to the Philippines. Instead, Haiyan intensified and accelerated as it moved closer to Philippines and ultimately made landfall today. Why?
According to NOAA’s Visualization Laboratory, deep warm water in the Pacific fueled Haiyan’s intensification.
NOAA said that “ideal” environmental conditions for intensification – namely low wind shear and warm ocean temperatures – exist in the Pacific now. Those conditions allowed Haiyan to grow into one of the strongest – perhaps the strongest – storm ever recorded.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.