Friday, September 14

Humberto was rare hybrid system

Two systems converged to create havoc


Fast-forming Humberto was a "fairly rare" weather event during which two systems collide and quickly spin up into a hurricane, according to the National Weather Service's Lake Charles office.

Meteorologist John Trares said Humberto wasn't a pure tropical system, but a hybrid of two types of systems colliding — in this case a cold front and a broad low pressure trough in the warm waters of the northwest Gulf of Mexico.

Many times such merging systems don't spin up anything, but this time they did, he said.

Trares said this type of weather event more commonly occurs in October in the Bay of Campeche.

Hurricane Humberto resulted from a "double shot of energy," he said.

The meteorologist said a pure tropical system, such as a Cape Verde hurricane, takes much longer to develop into a hurricane, usually three to four days.

Trares said the highest wind speed recorded at the weather service office at Lake Charles Regional Airport was 41 mph at 4:36 a.m.

Rainfall was recorded at 2.33 inches at the airport, but radar estimates showed that throughout the area rainfall ranged from 3 to 6 inches in isolated areas.

The area already was 11 inches above normal for rainfall before Humberto.

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