JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hurricane Lorenzo was a Category 2 hurricane Monday evening, setting its sights on the Azores and possibly Ireland.
Earlier in Lorenzo's journey, the storm became the only Category 5 hurricane to ever have ventured that far north and east in the Atlantic. Typically, the relatively cooler waters in these regions cause storms to weaken and dissipate.
Lorenzo's peak intensity was as a Category 5 storm, with sustained winds of 160 mph. Lorenzo was the second Category 5 hurricane of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, the prior being Hurricane Dorian as it ravaged the Bahamas.
Lorenzo was very large and fairly well-organized well before the system became Lorenzo. The area of thunderstorms that moved off the coastline of Africa that eventually strengthened into Lorenzo showed signs of intensification and organization early on.
Lorenzo's path took the storm over the warmest waters of the Atlantic for several days, which aided in the storm's rapid intensification. Forecast models were in agreement that the storm would curve north into the Atlantic and stay well clear of the U.S. and the Bahamas, remaining largely over the Atlantic.
The current forecast will bring Lorenzo close to the Azores, producing life-threatening large waves for the entire area. Lorenzo is expected to bring hurricane and tropical storm-force winds to the Azores beginning Tuesday night, and these conditions will continue into Wednesday. Hurricane and Tropical Storm Warnings are now in effect for the Azores.
Large swells generated by Lorenzo will continue to spread across much of the north Atlantic basin during the next few days. These swells will produce life-threatening surf and rip currents.
Lorenzo also pushed us into the above-average range for Atlantic Accumulated Cyclone energy.
#Lorenzo has pushed seasonal Atlantic Accumulated Cyclone Energy over above-average NOAA season threshold definition (e.g., 111 ACE). All that is needed to officially define 2019 as an above-average #hurricane season is 1 more named storm (almost a certainty with 2 months to go) pic.twitter.com/Qe7vBbwLRV— Philip Klotzbach (@philklotzbach) September 30, 2019