Tropical storms can quickly turn deadly

April 2, 2008

U.S. meteorologists say the rapid intensification of storms is the reason people should consider any tropical storm as a dangerous threat.

The phenomenon of a tropical storm quickly becoming a hurricane is a major focus at the National Hurricane Conference meeting this week in Florida, The Miami Herald reported Tuesday.

Ed Rappaport, deputy director of the National Hurricane Center, said last year's Hurricane Humberto is an example of a stealth hurricane. It started as a tropical storm but grew into a hurricane in a little over 12 hours.

The first official hurricane warning came at almost the the same moment the hurricane was striking land just east of Galveston, Texas, the newspaper said.

"The hurricane that hit Texas was very important, not only for the people affected by it but as really the poster child for the rapidly developing storm near the coast,'' Rappaport said.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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