Thank god this storm passed over Cuba, then dealt with slightly lower TCHP* (tropical cyclone heat potential) values while also fighting dry air on it's South side. This could have been a situation similar to Katrina. Some say it most likely could have been much worse. When I say some, I mean people with degrees in the field.
What primarily distinguishes tropical cyclones from other meteorological phenomena is deep convection as a driving force. Because convection is strongest in a tropical climate, it defines the initial domain of the tropical cyclone. By contrast, mid-latitude cyclones draw their energy mostly from pre-existing horizontal temperature gradients in the atmosphere. To continue to drive its heat engine, a tropical cyclone must remain over warm water, which provides the needed atmospheric moisture to maintain the positive feedback loop running. When a tropical cyclone passes over land, it is cut off from its heat source and its strength diminishes rapidly.
The passage of a tropical cyclone over the ocean can cause the upper layers of the ocean to cool substantially, which can influence subsequent cyclone development. Cooling is primarily caused by upwelling of cold water from deeper in the ocean due to the wind stresses the storm itself induces upon the sea surface. Additional cooling may come in the form of cold water from falling raindrops. Cloud cover may also play a role in cooling the ocean, by shielding the ocean surface from direct sunlight before and slightly after the storm passage. All these effects can combine to produce a dramatic drop in sea surface temperature over a large area in just a few days.
Scientists at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research estimate that a tropical cyclone releases heat energy at the rate of 50 to 200 exajoules (1018 J) per day, equivalent to about 1 PW (1015 watt). This rate of energy release is equivalent to 70 times the world energy consumption of humans and 200 times the world-wide electrical generating capacity, or to exploding a 10-megaton nuclear bomb every 20 minutes.
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