|Category 5 major hurricane (SSHWS/NWS)|
1-minute sustained: |
180 mph (285 km/h)
|Lowest pressure||883 mbar (hPa); 26.08 inHg|
|Damage||$4 billion (2044 USD)|
|Areas affected||Tobago, Costa Rica, China (Taiwan)|
|Part of the 2044 Atlantic hurricane season, 2044 Pacific hurricane season and 2044 Pacific typhoon season|
The meteorological history of Hurricane Crystal (also known as Typhoon Crystal), a destructive hurricane, is described in detail below.
Hurricane Crystal was a very unusual storm in the fact it existed in four seperate basins. Crystal began its life as a tropical wave that exited the western coast of Africa on August 2. It transversed the Atlantic Ocean, but did not intensify to a tropical depression. Once the disturbance neared the Windward Islands, tropical storm force winds, a closed circulation, and Dvorak numbers of T2.5 led to the wave being designated Tropical Storm Crystal by the National Hurricane Center on August 17, becoming the second cyclone in a row to skip depression status. After being named, Crystal rapidly slowed down, stalling some 70 miles east of the Windward Islands. It gradually intensified in the favorable conditions, soon reaching a 50 miles per hour (mph) windspeed and a 993 millibar (mb) pressure by August 20. It quickly made a landfall near Tobago with 55 mph winds. It spent three hours over land before entering the Carribean Sea. Abnormally warm late August waters let Crystal reach 70 mph and 987 mb on August 23 before interacting with wind shear. The shear prevented Crystal from reaching hurricane status prior to its landfall over Costa Rica on August 25, becoming the first storm in decades to directly hit the country. It spent three days over the small landmass, weakening to 40 mph and 1004 mb before crossing into the Pacific Ocean.
Once entering the Pacific, Crystal stayed at 40 mph, but rapidly accelerated to a forward speed of 20 mph due to an interaction with a trough. The storm, after four days, began to rapidly intensify, going from 40 mph and 1004 mb to 70 mph and 991 mb in 18 hours. Shortly after this round of strengthening, Crystal became a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale on September 1 by reaching 80 mph windspeeds, and developed a pinhole eye. Its pressure dropped to 975 mb in this time, too. Hours later, ocean tempratures of 85 degrees Farenheit and extremely low wind shear let Crystal explosively intensify. A pressure drop from 975 to 944 mb occured, and windspeeds went from 80 to 130 mph, making it a strong Category 3 hurricane. The hurricane also crossed into the Central Pacific Ocean at this time, and advisories were now issued by the Central Pacific Hurricane Center (CPHC).
The CPHC declared Crystal a Category 4 hurricane as it continued to feed on very warm waters. The trough dragging Crystal sped up. As a result, the intense hurricane accelerated to 30 mph. Windspeeds increased from 135 mph to 155 mph and the pressure dropped to 925 mb on September 3. Crystal then begun a 24 hour long eyewall replacement cycle and became a Category 5 hurricane several hundred miles north of Honolulu, Hawaii. The warm waters let Crystal keep strengthening until it became the strongest tropical cyclone recorded east of the International Date Line on September 5 in terms of both of pressure and wind with a 180 mph and 883 mb intensity recorded, shattering Hurricane Linda's records. In addition, Crystal was the strongest storm worldwide since Hurricane Peter in the 2029 Atlantic hurricane season. Soon after hitting peak intensity, Crystal started to weaken due to the wind shear surronding it increasing. Despite this, Crystal became annular, and kept Category 4 force winds until September 11, when it weakened back to a Category 3 hurricane as it crossed into the Western Pacific Ocean.
In the western Pacific, Crystal's advisories were passed again, from the CPHC to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA). The JMA announced Crystal's forward speed had increased to 50 mph, as it was becoming extratropical. The hurricane rapidly weakened to a Category 2, then a Category 1 in one day becuase of decreasing ocean tempratures and increasing wind shear. With a 80 mph and 987 mb pressure, Crystal made its penultimate landfall near Taipei, Taiwan on September 14 and weakened back to a severe tropical storm on the JMA scale. Crystal sped up to 60 mph, weakened to a tropical storm, and made an ultimate landfall near Macau, China with a 50 mph windspeed and 1005 mb pressure on September 15. Over land, Crystal weakened to a tropical depression and dissipated on September 16.