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Otis in a warm sea year

October 25, 2023

Otis’ remarkable unforecasted rapid deepening reminds us how difficult it still it to prognose the intensity of systems even if we are getting good at track forecast. But has this year’s remarkably warm seas had an impact? Turns out – probably not. The chart below shows the warmth of the sea at this time of year (23rd Oct for every year, to be precise) in the box on the chart that surrounds the part of Otis’ track where it underwent rapid intensification.

So it’s only the 11th warmest it’s been going back to 1981 at this time of year. So yes, it’s warmer than average maybe but the reality is that the sea is typically often warm enough to support a hurricane of notable strength at this time of year.

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