Secrets on why this hurricane is so destructive as well as revelations on similar phenomena that hit Cuba.
Irma has already hit the Cuban eastern region, happily a bit weakened because its sustained top winds dropped to 250 km/h and now ranks on the verge of a Category-4 Hurricane.
But since it appeared in the proximities of Cuba it had very peculiar features.
Generally hurricanes keep category-5 in the Saffir-Simpson scale for only a few hours. This hurricane still keeps that terrible condition for about three days.
This is because warm waters are the "fuel" of those phenomena and Irma has remained among waters with temperatures that surpasses between 0,7 and 1 degree Celsius the usual heat. This Thursday, for example, the waters it whirled with fury had a temperature of 30degrees and more.
It so happens that hurricanes need that the water to be at least 26 degrees Celsius and the top stage in the hurricanes season in the Atlantic is right between mid-August and Mid-October.
Besides hot, waters where Irma has been are deeper than usual and on top of that the winds at great altitude which are those that can dissipate the hurricane, are not strong enough to do so.
While on Tuesday it remained on the Atlantic Ocean, winds about 297 km/h of this phenomenon had already reached a record in the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Mexican Gulf because only hurricane Allen, in 1980, could rival it with winds of 305 km/h.
Since these phenomena started to be tracked via satellite, about 40 years ago, this is the second time in which sustained winds of 297 km/h have been registered for more than 24 hours, said Philip Klotzbach, outstanding meteorologist from Colorado University.
Previously, the satellite had detected bearing similar characteristics the sinister typhoon Haiyan which in 2013 took the life of more than six thousand people in the Philippines.
Other hurricanes with terrible winds were Wilma, in 2005; and Gilberto in 1988.
Since year 1851 began a record of these phenomena, top winds reached by Irma have been the highest registered in the Atlantic since the 80’s, next to those of 305 km/h of hurricane Allen, which crossed the Caribbean, went through the Yucatan peninsula and the south of Texas, leaving a toll of 269 dead and billionaire losses.
Along the history of hurricanes, Wilma had been the most intense and Hurricane San Calixto the most deadly. The latter took place in 1780, also known as The Great Hurricane, and possibly the one with the highest death rate; nearly 22 thousand after hitting the Caribbean.
The largest of registered hurricanes was Sandy which in 2012 reached 1 520 kilometers of diameter.
By the time I a finishing these lines, Irma had already surpassed the record of maximum energy generated by a hurricane in 24 hours.
Hurricane expert Kerry Emanuel, from the Massachusetts Institute Technological (MIT), calculates that Irma has about 7 trillion watts: almost twice the energy of all the bombs used in World War II.
Amilkal Labañino Valdés / Cubasi Translation Staff
- Published in Specials