Why Is Water Temperature Important?

Human populations demand solid weather forecasting. They need to know exactly what they are up against especially during the Atlantic tropical hurricane season. Not only do they need to know the speed, direction, and likely point of landfall, but for them to prepare they need to know days in advance. They have to buy the boards to board up the windows, batten down the hatches, and get everyone to a safe haven. There’s a lot that goes into forecasting the direction, path, and speed of hurricanes.

You may wonder why water temperature is so important for hurricane information. The reason has to do with a meteorological phenomenon. Surface water temperature increases the amount of evaporation. The more evaporation you get off the surface of the ocean, the more easily the normal wind flows and trade winds are blocked. When the trade winds are weak, or blocked by walls of heavy moisture content, the hurricane is allowed to freely form and grow stronger. The hurricane doesn’t have to worry about the trade winds knocking down the eye wall of the hurricane, or not allowing it form.

Without the trade winds moving the tropical storm along, that storm starts slowing down, as it goes slower all of that energy starts moving in a circular fashion. The hurricane eye wall becomes tighter and tighter, constantly evolving from a well-defined circle into a broken pattern, and reforming again. Eventually it finds a perfect groove, and the eye wall lasts longer between re-formations. If the water is cold, the evaporation slows down, and any prevailing winds push the hurricane forward on its path preventing the eye wall from creating a very tight circle with an increased low-pressure area.

This is why the super computers take into consideration the water temperature. It has often been said that warm water is like jet fuel for a hurricane. This is indeed true, and this is why warm water temperatures are so important and such an important component of the algorithms used to guesstimate, predict, and forecast the wind speeds, forward speed, and low-pressure numbers. By knowing these things and the prevailing trade winds, the artificially intelligent computer software system can adequately predict within a small range of probability.

It seems everyone knows that very warm water close to the shore in the path of a hurricane is a very dangerous factor to consider when predicting the impending disaster as the hurricane hits land, now you know why.