Hurricane Lorenzo (2019)

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Hurricane Lorenzo
Category 5 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)
Lorenzo 2019-09-29 0131Z.jpg
Hurricane Lorenzo near peak intensity on September 29
FormedSeptember 23, 2019 (2019-09-23)
DissipatedOctober 4, 2019 (2019-10-04)
(Extratropical after October 2)
Highest winds1-minute sustained: 160 mph (260 km/h)
Lowest pressure925 mbar (hPa); 27.32 inHg
Fatalities10 total, 7 missing
Damage$362 million (2019 USD)
Areas affectedWest Africa, Cape Verde, Lesser Antilles, Eastern United States, Azores, British Isles, France
Part of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane and 2019–20 European windstorm seasons

Hurricane Lorenzo, also known as Storm Lorenzo for Ireland and the United Kingdom while extratropical, was the easternmost Category 5 Atlantic hurricane on record.[1] The twelfth named storm, fifth hurricane, third major hurricane and second Category 5 hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, Lorenzo developed from a tropical wave that moved off the west coast of Africa on September 22, growing larger in size over the course of its development. On September 26, it rapidly intensified into a Category 4 hurricane before weakening due to an eyewall replacement cycle. After completing the cycle, Lorenzo rapidly re-strengthened, peaking at Category 5 intensity. Steady weakening followed as the storm moved through harsher atmospheric conditions. With a fastening northeastward track and an expanding wind field, Lorenzo skirted the western Azores on October 2, producing the strongest winds for a tropical cyclone there in 20 years. It transitioned into an extratropical cyclone shortly after, racing towards Ireland and the United Kingdom and becoming the first named storm of the 2019–20 European windstorm season.

Through late September and early October, large swells radiated from the hurricane's massive wind field, impacting much of the Atlantic basin. French ship Bourbon Rhode capsized amid the violent seas on September 27; among its 14 crew members, three were rescued, four drowned, and the remaining seven are missing. Albeit more than 3,200 km (2,000 mi) west of the storm, four people drowned in rip currents along the coast of North Carolina, and two people were found dead after being swept away by large waves along the coast of New York. Dangerous sea conditions also spread to Bermuda and as far south as the Caribbean coasts of South America. On October 2, Lorenzo sped past the western Azores, bringing brief but strong winds to much of the archipelago. Flores and Corvo endured the worst of these winds, with a maximum gust of 163 km/h (101 mph) recorded on the latter island. The extratropical remnants of Lorenzo then affected Ireland and the United Kingdom on October 3 and 4, bringing gusty winds and heavy rains.

Meteorological history[edit]

Map plotting the track and the intensity of the storm, according to the Saffir–Simpson scale[nb 1]

On September 19, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) began to monitor a tropical wave that was forecast to emerge from the west coast of Africa.[2] On September 22, the tropical wave emerged into the Atlantic Ocean.[3] Under favorable conditions, the system quickly organized afterward, and at 03:00 UTC on the next day, the NHC initiated advisories on Tropical Depression Thirteen.[4] Twelve hours later, the depression strengthened to a Tropical Storm and was named Lorenzo south of Cape Verde.[5] Early on September 25, still under favorable conditions, the storm further intensified into a Category 1 hurricane.[6] Several hours later, on the same day, Lorenzo further intensified into a Category 2 hurricane while initiating an eyewall replacement cycle, which hindered the development of the system somewhat.[7] Early on September 26, the storm completed the cycle and underwent rapid intensification, reaching Category 4 status by 15:00 UTC that day. At this point, Lorenzo had become one of the largest and strongest hurricanes on record for the eastern Atlantic in the satellite era—the only comparable hurricane in recent times with similar size and intensity was Gabrielle in 1989.[8] Lorenzo continued to intensify, reaching its initial peak intensity with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph (230 km/h) and a central pressure of 939 mbar (hPa; 27.73 inHg) early on September 27.[9] The pressure continued to drop to 937 mbar (hPa; 27.67 inHg) over the next few hours.

Hurricane Lorenzo near its initial peak intensity on September 26

As Lorenzo began to turn slowly northward, the sea surface temperature dropped slightly and the hurricane weakened with the onset of another eyewall replacement cycle late on September 27.[10] Though sea surface temperature remained at 28 °C (82 °F), strong wind shear continued to disrupt Lorenzo, causing the hurricane to bottom out as a low-end Category 3 storm on September 28.[11] Although restrengthening was not forecast due to moderate wind shear and low ocean heat content, Lorenzo defied expectations and re-intensified to a Category 4 hurricane upon completing its eyewall replacement.[12] Lorenzo continued to intensify, reaching Category 5 strength early on September 29,[13] becoming the easternmost hurricane of such intensity recorded in the Atlantic basin, surpassing Hugo in 1989.[14][1]

Lorenzo’s peak was short lived because of increasing wind shear, cooler waters, an intrusion of dry air, and a third eyewall replacement cycle; the hurricane lost its Category 5 status several hours later.[15] This weakening trend became faster as it encountered increasingly hostile conditions. The hurricane's large size upwelled plenty of cool water, and Lorenzo dropped below major hurricane strength early on September 30.[16] Early on October 2, Lorenzo passed just west of Flores Island, and weakened to a Category 1 storm.[17] After passing the Azores, Lorenzo began to transition to an extratropical cyclone as the cloud pattern became increasingly asymmetric in appearance,[18] eventually completing the transition by 15:00 UTC on October 2.[19]

Records[edit]

In addition to being the easternmost Category 5 Atlantic hurricane on record, Lorenzo featured the highest accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) index of any Atlantic tropical cyclone on record to the east of 45°W.[20] Additionally, Lorenzo spent more days as a major hurricane east of 45°W than any previous cyclone on record, surpassing Carrie of 1957.[21]

Preparations and impact[edit]

Bourbon Rhode[edit]

On September 26, the Luxembourg-flagged anchor handling tugboat Bourbon Rhode, with 14 crew members on board, issued a distress signal at 08:20 UTC about 70 mi (110 km) from the eye of Lorenzo—approximately 1,110 mi (1,790 km) west of Cape Verde.[22] At the time, the hurricane was rapidly intensifying from Category 2 to Category 4 strength.[23][24] The ship continued to receive signals until 12:20 UTC, by which time it presumably sank. The bulk carrier SSI Excellent arrived the following day as search and rescue operations began;[22] a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft was diverted from a research mission to assist in the search.[25] Additional commercial vessels and French aircraft arrived over the following days. Three crew members were spotted on a life raft by a French aircraft and rescued on September 28.[22][25] By October 2, four bodies were recovered while the remaining seven crew members were still missing. With no additional signs of the crew, French authorities suspended rescue operations on October 5.[22] The three survivors were transferred to Martinique on October 6, while the bodies of the four other crewmen were repatriated to their families.[26] On October 7 the tugboat ALP Striker reported distress flares. Search and rescue resumed on October 9, albeit at a much smaller scale, after calls to French authorities by the Croatian and Ukrainian governments. Relatives of those on the ship established a fund to pay for private jets to continue aerial surveillance.[22]

On October 4, relatives of crew members and people who worked on the vessel indicated that repairs on the ship were incomplete and it was not ready for a trans-Atlantic voyage. In particular, the propulsion and steering systems were not of sufficient quality.[22]

North America[edit]

Despite being over 2,000 mi (3,200 km) away from the storm, United States National Weather Service (NWS) offices in Florida and North Carolina warned that the swells from Lorenzo could cause rip currents and beach erosion. People in coastal areas were advised to avoid being by the beaches.[27][28] However, four people drowned after being caught in rip currents in North Carolina.[29] In New York City, three people were swept away by strong waves. One of them was rescued later, but the other two found dead.[30][31]

In Bermuda, Horseshoe Bay was closed to swimmers because of the dangerous swells.[32] The storm’s influence on sea conditions was felt as far south as the coasts of the Caribbean and South America.[33]

Azores[edit]

Early on September 30, the Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (IPMA) issued hurricane and tropical storm watches for the Azores,[34] which were upgraded to warnings later that day.[35] Schools and government offices were closed on October 2 and people were told to remain indoors. Azores Airlines cancelled all flights to the islands.[36] Lorenzo was regarded as the strongest storm to hit the islands in 20 years. Wind gusts of 101 mph (163 km/h) were recorded at Corvo Island, while gusts at Faial Island and Flores Island reached 90 mph (145 km/h) and 88 mph (142 km/h) respectively.[37] Wave heights reached 15 m (49 ft) in the islands. 53 people were left homeless and had to be relocated.[38] The most serious damage occurred at the Port of Lajes das Flores, the only commercial port on Flores Island.[39] The port building and some cargo containers were swept away, while the dock itself was partially damaged.[36] On October 3, the government of the Azores declared an "energy crisis situation" in Flores and Corvo due to difficulties in supplying fuel to the two islands. Limits were placed on the sale of petrol at petrol stations on the two islands for the rest of October.[40] Total damage across the island chain were around €330 million (US$362 million).[41]

Ireland[edit]

Hurricane Lorenzo approaching the British Isles on October 2.

On October 2, Met Éireann issued an orange wind warning for six counties on the western coast. Met Éireann also noted the potential for coastal flooding and damage due to large storm surges.[42] On the next day, Met Éireann issued a yellow wind warning for the entire country, and issued yellow rainfall warnings for Connacht, Leinster, Cavan, Monaghan and Donegal.[43] Several flights at Dublin Airport were cancelled.[44]

On October 3, the extratropical remnants of Lorenzo passed over an M6 Buoy, which is located about 250 mi (400 km) west of Mace Head in Galway, recorded a pressure of 969 hPa (28.6 inHg).[45] The buoy also noted waves of 12.5 m (41 ft) near the center of Lorenzo.[46] A peak gust of 107 km/h (66 mph) was observed at Mace Head.[47] Thousands of homes and businesses lost power, with the Electricity Supply Board restoring 12,000 outages during the night of October 3–4; another 7,500 homes remained without power in the morning.[48] By Friday, October 4, all power had been restored.[49] Donegal town was partially flooded after 50 mm (2.0 in) of rain fell as the River Eske approached high tide.[50] Floodwaters reached 8 in (20 cm) deep in houses next to the river, while several roads were blocked.[51] The nearby towns of Bundoran, Frosses, and Laghey also suffered significant flooding. Damage in the country was generally minimal, with no injuries or major incidents reported.[50]

United Kingdom[edit]

On October 2, the Met Office issued a yellow wind warning for parts of Northern Ireland, as well as Cornwall, Devon and parts of Wales.[52] Disruption was minimal, however,[53] with the weather warnings lifted by October 4.[54][55]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The position of Lorenzo's Category 5 peak is not depicted in this graphic as it is an asynoptic point (i.e. not at the 6-hour intervals of all other points) occurring at 02:10 UTC September 29.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mersereau, Dennis (September 28, 2019). "Historic Hurricane Lorenzo Becomes A Category Five In The Atlantic Ocean". Forbes. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  2. ^ David Zelinsky (September 19, 2019). "Five-Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  3. ^ Eric S. Blake (September 22, 2019). "Five-Day Graphical Tropical Weather Outlook". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  4. ^ Jack Beven (September 23, 2019). Tropical Depression Thirteen Advisory Number 1 (Report). Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  5. ^ David Zelinsky (September 23, 2019). "Tropical Storm Lorenzo Discussion Number 3". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  6. ^ David Zelinsky; Dan Ramos (September 25, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Discussion Number 10". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  7. ^ Andrew Latto (September 25, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Discussion Number 13". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  8. ^ Jack Beven (September 26, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Discussion Number 16". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  9. ^ Andrew Latto (September 27, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Advisory Number 18". National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  10. ^ John Beven (September 27, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Discussion Number 20". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  11. ^ David Zelinsky (September 28, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Discussion Number 23". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  12. ^ Robbie Berg (September 28, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Discussion Number 25". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  13. ^ Daniel Brown; Andrew Latto (September 28, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Tropical Cyclone Update". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 28, 2019.
  14. ^ Andrew Latto (September 29, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Discussion Number 27". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  15. ^ John Cangialosi (September 29, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Discussion Number 28". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 29, 2019.
  16. ^ Eric Blake (September 30, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Discussion Number 31". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  17. ^ Stacy R. Stewart (October 2, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Advisory Number 39A". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  18. ^ Richard Pasch (October 2, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Discussion Number 40". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  19. ^ Daniel Brown (October 2, 2019). "Post-Tropical Cyclone Lorenzo Discussion Number 41". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  20. ^ Klotzbach, Philip [@philklotzbach] (September 30, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo has now generated the most Accumulated Cyclone Energy at or east of 45°W by any Atlantic hurricane on record" (Tweet). Retrieved October 2, 2019 – via Twitter.
  21. ^ Klotzbach, Philip [@philklotzbach] (September 29, 2019). "Lorenzo is now a Category 2 hurricane with max winds of 110 mph. It was a major (Cat. 3+) hurricane for 3.5 days. All of its time as a major hurricane was spent at or east of 45°W. This shatters old Atlantic record of 1.75 days as a major hurricane <=45°W set by Carrie in 1957" (Tweet). Retrieved October 2, 2019 – via Twitter.
  22. ^ a b c d e f "Bourbon offshore tug sank in the Atlantic. Updates". Maritime Bulletin. October 9, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  23. ^ David Zelinsky (September 26, 2019). Hurricane Lorenzo Advisory Number 14 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  24. ^ Jack Beven (September 26, 2019). Hurricane Lorenzo Advisory Number 16 (Report). National Hurricane Center. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  25. ^ a b Jan Wesner Childs (October 2, 2019). "Fourth Body Recovered in Atlantic Ocean After Boat Sinks in Hurricane Lorenzo; Search for Survivors Continues". The Weather Channel. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  26. ^ "Bourbon: Press release - Update on the search operations of the Bourbon Rhode crew". GlobeNewswire. October 7, 2019. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  27. ^ McCloud, Cheryl (September 30, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo brings potential of coastal flooding, beach erosion to Space Coast". Florida Today. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  28. ^ "Swimmers Warned to Avoid Ocean Due to Hurricane Lorenzo". USA Today. September 30, 2019. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  29. ^ Price, Mark; Fowler, Hayley (October 3, 2019). "Four swimmers have died off the North Carolina coast since Monday". Charlotte Observer. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  30. ^ Sheehan, Kevin; Weissmann, Ruth (October 2, 2019). "Teen swept to sea at Rockaway Beach went in to save pal: family". New York Post. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  31. ^ Moynihan, Ellen; Tracy, Thomas (October 11, 2019). "Body of second teen who went missing in waters off the Rockaways recovered: officials". New York Daily News. Retrieved October 12, 2019.
  32. ^ "Weather Summary for September 2019". Bermuda Weather Service. October 1, 2019. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  33. ^ Richard Tribou (September 30, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo so big it's sending dangerous waves to Florida". Orlando Sentinel.
  34. ^ Eric Blake (September 30, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Advisory Number 31". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  35. ^ Andrew Latto (September 30, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo Advisory Number 33". www.nhc.noaa.gov. Miami, Florida: National Hurricane Center. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  36. ^ a b Hatton, Barry (October 2, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo batters mid-Atlantic Azores Islands". ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  37. ^ ""Lorenzo" com rajada máxima de 163 km/h no Corvo" (in Portuguese). Jornal de Notícias. October 2, 2019. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  38. ^ Sambado, Cristina (October 3, 2019). "Açores. Furacão Lorenzo provocou danos elevados" (in Portuguese). Rádio e Televisão de Portugal. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  39. ^ "Hurricane Lorenzo batters Azores". The Portugal News. October 4, 2019. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  40. ^ Silva, Rui (October 3, 2019). "Estragos do furacão Lorenzo deixam Açores em crise energética" (in Portuguese). TSF Rádio Notícias. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  41. ^ "Furacão "Lorenzo" provocou prejuízos de 330 milhões de euros" (in Portuguese). Jornal de Notícias. October 14, 2019. Retrieved October 14, 2019.
  42. ^ Carroll, Rory (October 2, 2019). "Hurricane Lorenzo: Ireland braces itself for powerful storm". The Guardian. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  43. ^ Ganly, Conor (October 3, 2019). "Met Eireann updates Storm Lorenzo weather warnings". Leinster Express. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  44. ^ Cappucci, Matthew (October 3, 2019). "Ex-hurricane Lorenzo slams into Ireland, Britain". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  45. ^ "Tracking Hurricane Lorenzo". Met Éireann. October 3, 2019. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  46. ^ Fahy, Graham (October 3, 2019). "Ireland braces for damage and flooding as storm Lorenzo nearss". Reuters. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  47. ^ "Storm Lorenzo: Weather warning extended as 7,500 homes and businesses without power". BreakingNews.ie. October 4, 2019. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  48. ^ "Storm Lorenzo: Power outages, debris and minor flooding". British Broadcasting Corporation. October 4, 2019. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  49. ^ McGreevy, Ronan; McLaughlin, Rachel (October 4, 2019). "Power restored to all electricity customers following Storm Lorenzo, says ESB". irishtimes.com. The Irish Times. Retrieved October 5, 2019.
  50. ^ a b McGreevy, Ronan (October 4, 2019). "'No major reported incidents' as a result of Storm Lorenzo". The Irish Times. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  51. ^ McLaughlin, Rachel (October 4, 2019). "'It's total devastation', says Donegal woman as home flooded by Storm Lorenzo". The Irish Times. Retrieved October 4, 2019.
  52. ^ "How will Storm Lorenzo affect the UK?" (Press release). Met Office. October 2, 2019. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  53. ^ McStravick, Sheena (October 4, 2019). "Northern Ireland weather forecast for the weekend after Storm Lorenzo". Belfast Live. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  54. ^ MacMath, Jillian (October 4, 2019). "The Met Office on Hurricane Lorenzo aftermath and the weekend weather forecast for Wales". WalesOnline. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  55. ^ Hawkins, Jamie (October 4, 2019). "Met Office forecast for Devon and Cornwall after Storm Lorenzo warning lifted". Devon Live. Retrieved October 6, 2019.

External links[edit]