"Gustav growing into ‘monster Category 5 storm.’"
Hurricane Gustav is growing into “a monster Category 5 storm” as it heads towards the Gulf Coast. The storm is moving into the Loop Current, a deep bed of hot water in the Gulf of Mexico that is helping to intensify the storm. In May, climatologists reported that the Gulf has been experiencing warmer waters than usual:
Off St. Petersburg, water temperatures have been 2 to 4 degrees above the 80-degree average for this time of year. In Fort Myers, temperatures have been similar. If that warm water continues to deepen and spread, it could be disastrous if a hurricane enters the gulf. … The gulf, with its loop current of deep, warm-water pools, is a hurricane minefield. If the water heats up enough, it can send storms spinning headlong into the coast.
ABC News writes, “Many scientists predict over the next decade we’ll see stronger hurricanes — Category 4 and 5 hurricanes even more violent than Katrina. The cause, some argue, is rising sea surface temperatures caused by global warming.”