Hurricane Marie Intensifies into Category 4


Over the Pacific, Hurricane Marie rapidly intensified over the past few hours and became a Category 4 hurricane Friday. Thankfully, the hurricane formed far out over the Pacific and poses no threat to any landmasses. It’s in the Eastern Pacific, a few hundred miles off the west coast of Mexico. Its trajectory could take it towards Hawaii, but it seems unlikely to make landfall there as a hurricane.

Marie is what is known somewhat humorously among meteorologists as a “fish storm,” meaning it’s unlikely to affect anyone other than fish. Of course, boats tracking through the pacific need to take pains to avoid such a powerful storm, but it poses no threat to nearby landmasses.

This is a lucky break for the Pacific region, which has seen powerful storms this season. Not to mention, fires along the West Coast of the US have made that region wary of any further natural disasters.

Speedy Intensification

Hurricane Marie gained power rapidly over the Pacific. To put it bluntly, the storm’s ascension to Category 4 happened swiftly enough to cause concern. It’s very fortunate that the storm is over the open ocean and nowhere near any landmasses. However, Marie’s sudden buildup of power is notable for meteorologists.

If the storm had the opposite trajectory than it currently does, it could be posing a major threat to Mexico right now. As such, understanding how it was able to become so strong so quickly is critical for reporting in a timely manner.

Why Did it Get so Strong?

A major factor contributing to the storm’s sudden growth: moving over warmer water. As Marie moved west, it moved over a pocket of Pacific water that was averaging around 83 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing it to strengthen considerably in a short time.

Simultaneously as the storm took to warmer waters, it moved into an area with very low wind shear. Typically, storms can be blunted and torn apart by high external wind shear tearing off parts of the system. Instead, Marie was left in a calm part of the ocean, fed by warm water.

As the storm continues to move through the Pacific, however, it is unlikely to maintain the strength it has exhibit for the past few hours.

The storm is likely to stay a Category 4 through Friday evening, and then calm down to a Category 3 by Saturday. Into Sunday and Monday, Marie will likely become a Category 1, and then a simple tropical storm. By the middle of next week, it will likely have dissipated altogether.