Report: why Hurricane Joaquin weakened
Hurricane Joaquin’s mild impact on Bermuda was likely due to the storm system passing directly over its own “cold wake”, scientists have claimed.
In their postmortem report on the hurricane, John Wardman and Mark Guishard from the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) sampled the upper ocean temperatures near the Island and found that the areas in Joaquin’s passage had cooled.
Cold wakes form when hurricanes pass over the ocean surface, churning up colder water from below the surface and forcing warm surface water downwards.
This phenomenon, which directly affects the intensity of a storm and can cause it to weaken, was also recorded in an assessment of impacts to Bermuda during the 2014 hurricane season.
Elsewhere, the report explored how Bermuda had adapted to a rise in hurricane activity.
It noted the increased use of social media by agencies such as the Bermuda Weather Service, as well as the pre-positioning of ambulances at strategic points in the east and west ends of the Island.
The findings were released by the Bermuda Risk project, a BIOS initiative launched in September offering scientific insights into natural hazards to inform local business and emergency management decision-making.
For more information and a copy of the report, visit http://bdarisk.bios.edu.
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