Published on 7 October 2019
Storms this strong don’t typically make it this far east. But Lorenzo has not been a normal storm — it has been a record-breaker.
Lorenzo was a tropical storm last Monday, tracing a northwesterly route from the coast of West Africa. By Wednesday, it was a hurricane. And on Saturday night, it gained Category 5 status, with maximum sustained winds of around 160 miles per hour.
“This is something totally unusual for this kind of environment,” said Miguel Miranda, the president of the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere, which is supervised by the government’s Ministry of the Sea. — Credit: National Hurricane Center
At the time, it was about 1,420 miles southwest of the Azores, an archipelago of volcanic islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and a protectorate of Portugal, which is about 850 miles to the east. The nine major islands are home to about 250,000 people.
No Category 5 storm had ever been recorded that far north and east in the Atlantic, according to Andrew Latto, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center.