Intense Wilma

Hurricane Wilma is another record-breaking phenomenon – let’s hope this monster stays away from land, or at least from densly populated areas. Meteorologist Jeff Masters is pretty excited about Wilma:

There has never been a hurricane like Wilma before. With an unbelievable round of intensification that saw the pressure drop 85 mb in just 12 hours, Wilma smashed the all-time record for lowest pressure in an Atlantic hurricane this morning. The 4 am hurricane hunter report put the pressure at 884 mb from a dropsonde, and the meteorologist reported an even lower 881 mb pressure extrapolated from 10,000 feet flight altitude. This easily bests the previous record of 888 mb set in Hurricane Gilbert of 1988. The eye of Wilma during this round of intense deepening oscillated between 2 and 4 nautical miles, and the area of hurricane force winds only covered an area up to 15 miles from the center. This is an incredibly compact, amazingly intense hurricane, the likes of which has never been seen. The Hurricane Season of 2005 keeps topping itself with new firsts, and now boasts three of the five most intense hurricanes of all time–Katrina, Rita, and Wilma.
Jeff Master’s Wunderground Blog, 12:04 PM GMT on October 19, 2005

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