'Shark' Storm System Hovers Over Eastern United States — PHOTO
Sure, we all laughed at that ridiculous/amazing phenomenon that was Syfy's Sharknado, but then we saw this. Just days before Tropical Storm Amanda formed over the eastern Pacific Ocean, meteorologists at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., revealed a weather map featuring a storm system resembling a gigantic shark literally devouring the eastern United States. What's next? A storm in the shape of a giant alligator heading over from Europe?
The storm system was last seenover Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, part of Pennsylvania, and the entire Washington, D.C. area. Appropriately, the shark-storm seemed to be heading into the Atlantic Ocean, where it belongs.
On a serious note, the storm was real, as were its effects, and for certain parts of the impacted area it was no laughing matter. Multiple tornadoes and baseball-sized hail ripped through Denver, Colo., which was near the tail portion of the shark on the weather map, on Wednesday. The inclement weather caused major flooding and the Denver International Airport was forced to shut down. Luckily, no serious damage has been reported.
It is unclear whether the storm is related to Tropical Storm Amanda, the first named storm of eastern Pacific season, but meteorologists are keeping a close watch on Amanda's development, and they expect it to strengthen in the next few days.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami reported that as of late Friday morning, Amanda had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and was moving west-northwest at 5 mph. Judging by the favorable conditions surrounding the storm, like ocean heat content, there is potential for rapid intensification, and Amanda could reach hurricane status in two or three days.
Image: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service