Tropics Update: Otis explosive amplification, Hamoon landfall

While the world’s attention is focused on the Middle East, there have been several tropical cyclone landfalls. As noted yesterday, Cyclone Hamoon made landfall near the border of Bangladesh and Myanmar. This area is home to over one million refugees from the civil war in Myanmar(Burma), and while early reports indicate the worst missed the camps, it has likely cause more damage that the initial reports of 2 killed and several hundred injured.

In the East Pacific, Tropical Storm Otis explosively intensified yesterday before making landfall directly over Acapulco last night. It has probably caused severe damage – the storm went from 60 mph to 170 mph a day – that’s a tropical storm to Category Five in 24 hours – and made a direct hit on the port and resort area.

Click any image to expand.

To put that in context, remember wind energy is the square of wind speed, so while the winds were three times higher, that is nine times more energy in the peak wind! The impact on damage is even more dramatic – while 60mph winds typically cause only limited damage to roofs and weaker structures, 170mph wind causes catastrophic damage, completely destroying even reinforced buildings. In this case nearly 3 million people experienced tropical storm force winds, and damage is likely approaching $15 Billion US dollars.

But that’s not all the bad news from yesterday: Cyclone Lola hit the island of Vanuatu as a Category Five cyclone , causing extensive damage:

This is the earliest category five in southern hemisphere history (recall the southern hemisphere hurricane seasons starts in September – so we are already in the 2024 SH season).

There is a pelagic storm in the Atlantic, Hurricane Tammy is still “churning” out there annoying fish and fish related interests. While Bermuda is watching, it will likely become extratropical before it reaches there (and the storm remnants may in fact do a loop and turn again out to sea). Given the transition and likely dramatic expansion in the wind field it is likely Bermuda will experience some winds and waves.


  1. I could not believe the lack of media coverage this morning. A catagory 5 hits a population of ~1 million people with only a few hours of warning? And this morning there was nothing on CNN or even the Weather Channel.

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