Why Hurricane Dorian Defied Forecasts and Sank the Bahamas

Listen To Hurricane Dorian’s Furious Roar, As ‘Heard’ By Seismometers

If you live far from the regions affected by Hurricane Dorian, you might understandably be unable to comprehend the fear that nucleates and grows within the minds of the people in its path. That’s why a new YouTube clip, created and shared by Zhigang Peng, a geophysicist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is so striking: it shows how a seismometer in Florida responded to the ominous approach of Hurricane Dorian over the past few days.

As you can see – and hear, if you turn up your speakers – the seismometer is registering some decent rumbles even as the tropical cyclone is still out in the Atlantic Ocean. As it nears the Florida coastline, the grumbling amps up considerably until it becomes a disconcerting, disturbing, static-like roar as the hurricane drifts up along Florida’s eastern shores….


Why Hurricane Dorian Defied Forecasts and Sank the Bahamas


Jason Dunion has been flying on “hurricane hunter” planes for the past 20 years to collect data on tropical storms. Yet Sunday’s flight into Hurricane Dorian was the first time he had felt the awesome power of a Category 5 storm.

Dunion, a scientist at a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration meteorology lab in Miami, was strapped into his seat along with the 18 other scientists and crew as winds approaching 200 miles per hour buffeted the P-3 Orion, an aircraft originally designed to hunt enemy submarines. When the plane dropped suddenly, he and the others felt a few moments of weightlessness.

“It was like a roller coaster, but you couldn’t see where the turns were,” Dunion says. “It was intense. It was like nothing I had ever felt.”

Once the plane had passed through the turbulence to the calm eye of the storm, Dunion looked out the window to see a swirling maelstrom of fast-moving clouds topped by a patch of bright blue sky above. “You appreciated the beauty, but you were completely surrounded by this hostile environment.” For Dunion and other scientists, Hurricane Dorian has defied predictions of both its strength and its path toward Florida and the southeastern US. The unpredictability has kept coastal residents on edge and made it tougher for relief agencies to anticipate where the worst effects will be felt….


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