Hurricane Patricia: What You Need to Know

October 23, 2015 6:05 PM

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The storm “exploded,” said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, adding that it currently had the strongest winds and lowest air pressure ever recorded by the agency. “This is one for the record books,” he said. And it’s easy to see why, he said, with its “perfect environment” for rapid intensification, “very warm waters off the coast of Mexico and almost nonexistent wind shear,” or a change in wind direction that tends to blunt the force of a storm.

The speed of its strengthening caught many researchers by surprise, said Kerry A. Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “None of the models we use to forecast intensity, including my own, got this right,” Professor Emanuel said. He suggested that t...

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