Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features a false-color image of Hurricane Otis on October 24, 2023. The following day, the storm slammed into Acapulco in the state of Guerrero as a category 5 storm.
At the time this photo was captured by the VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) sensor on the NOAA-20 satellite, Otis was still a tropical storm with sustained winds of 65 miles per hour, and was located about 210 miles south of Acapulco.
“Otis remained a tropical storm until the afternoon of October 24. Then, in a matter of hours, it rapidly intensified into a major hurricane. By 06:25 Universal Time (12:25 a.m. in Acapulco) on October 25, Otis made landfall near the beach resort town with sustained winds of 165 miles per hour,” said NASA.
“According to news reports, Otis was the strongest hurricane on record to hit Mexico’s Pacific Coast, and the fastest-strengthening storm on record in the northeast Pacific.”
Major damage to infrastructure, flooding, and mudslides have been reported in the state of Guerrero, and the extent of the destruction is still not clear. The government is scrambling to provide relief to those affected, deploying 8,400 members of Mexico’s army, air force and national guard to help in the cleanup efforts.
Scott Braun, a research meteorologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said that Otis had “all the right ingredients” for rapid intensification.
“Conditions were present for rapid intensification, but it is hard to say at this time why the rate and magnitude of intensification were so great,” said Braun.
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory
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