Anomalous Gulf Heating and Hurricane Katrina's Rapid Intensification

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Global warming due to the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases has become a great concern and has been linked to increased hurricane activity associated with higher sea surface temperatures with conflicting views. Our observational results based on long term trends of sea surface temperatures reveal that the anomaly reached a record 0.8 C in the Gulf of Mexico in August 2005 as compared to previous years and may have been responsible for the intensification of the devastating Hurricane Katrina into a category 5 hurricane that hit the Southern coast of United States severely impacting the low lying city of New Orleans and the surrounding areas. In most intensifying storms, air-sea interaction is the major contributing factor and here we show how air-sea interactions might have affected Katrinas rapid intensification in the Gulf.


This is the pre-print of an article that will be published at a later date. This version has not yet undergone peer review and may differ from the final, published version.