A large area of disturbed weather developed across much of the Caribbean Sea and gradually organized to the southeast of Jamaica.
Originally, the hurricane was forecasted to re-intensify into a Category 5 hurricane, with one forecast predicting it to make landfall on the Yucatán Peninsula with winds of 165 mph (265 km/h), though Wilma remained a strong Category 4 hurricane as it tracked northwestward. This page was last modified on 17 October 2020, at 15:42. Computer models predicted steady strengthening as the depression moved westward before turning to the north. The central pressure quickly dropped 54 mbar (1.65 inHg) from 0000 to 0600 UTC. Convection deepened around the eyewalls, and the inner core of convection, which had previously become disrupted over land, became a little bit more organized. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Medical Assistance Team checks a patient outside of the JFK Medical Center (Boynton Beach). Right after becoming a tropical storm, the National Hurricane Center predicted Wilma to track west-northwestward, reaching winds of 105 mph (170 km/h) before striking the northeastern portion of the Yucatán Peninsula. Environmental conditions remained favorable, with the eye becoming more distinct early on October 21. By late on October 15, the surface circulation became defined well-enough, with enough organized deep convection, for the National Hurricane Center to designate the system as Tropical Depression Twenty-Four while it was about 220 miles (345 km) east-southeast of Grand Cayman. Wilma was the twenty-second storm (including it was a subtropical storm as discovered in reanalysis), thirteenth hurricane, sixth major hurricane, and fourth Category 5 hurricane of the record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season. The extratropical remnant continued east-northeast before being absorbed by another extratropical storm on October 27. Originally, the tropical depression was forecast to drift west-southwestward before turning to the north; within 120 hours of the forecast's issuance, the system was predicted to be about 80 miles (130 km) south of the Isle of Youth as a 105 mph (170 km/h) hurricane. Deep convection continued to develop to the south of the center, and the depression strengthened into Tropical Storm Wilma at 0600 UTC on October 17, while about 200 miles (320 km) southeast of Grand Cayman. As the hurricane moved farther inland, the eye became cloud-filled as the deepest convection began to warm, and the winds slowly weakened during its passage over land.
Despite increasing amounts of wind shear, the hurricane re-strengthened to hit Cape Romano, Florida as a major hurricane. At its strongest, the pinhole eye of Wilma was about 3 miles (5 km) in diameter, the smallest known eye in an Atlantic hurricane. Content is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Wilma, classified as a hurricane made landfall on October 24, 2005.
Wilma's destructive journey began in the second week of October 2005. By late on October 19, the winds in Hurricane Wilma decreased to 160 mph (260 km/h) as the inner 5 mile (8 km) wide eye weakened and the wind field expanded. From October 18, and over the next day, Wilma underwent explosive deepening over the open waters of the Caribbean; in a 30-hour period, the system's central atmospheric pressure dropped from 982 mbar (29.00 inHg) to the record-low value of 882 mbar (26.05 inHg), while the winds increased to 185 mph (300 km/h). Some content of the original page may have been edited to make it more suitable for younger readers, unless otherwise noted. Hurricane Wilma Facts. By early on October 17, the outer rainbands, which had previously controlled the structure of the cyclone, dissipated, while deep convection developed near and to the south of the center. Shortly after peaking in intensity, the coldest cloud tops surrounding the eye warmed a little bit and an outer eyewall began to form, meaning that an eyewall replacement cycle was happening. Vertical wind shear increased as strong upper-level southwesterly flow increased, though in spite of the shear Wilma continued to intensify. From October 18, and over the next day, Wilma underwent explosive deepening over the open waters of the Caribbean; in a 30-hour period, the system's central atmospheric pressure dropped from 982 mbar (29.00 inHg) to the record-low value of 882 mbar (26.05 inHg), while the winds increased to 185 mph (300 km/h). The depression tracked slowly westward, a motion due to weak steering currents caused by a high pressure system to its north across the Gulf of Mexico. After the inner eye died off because of an eyewall replacement cycle, Wilma weakened to Category 4 status, and on October 21, it made landfall on Cozumel and on the Mexican mainland with winds of about 150 mph (240 km/h). Despite wind shear values of about 30 mph (48 km/h), Wilma strengthened further to reach winds of 125 mph (200 km/h). Shortly thereafter, the wind shear combined with its rapid forward motion of 50 mph (80 km/h) resulted in a slow weakening trend. Wilma broke several records for both strength and seasonal activity. A vigorous cold front associated with the mid-level trough moved across the area to the west of Wilma, yet the cooler and drier air behind the front could not fully penetrate the inner core of the hurricane to weaken it.
The hurricane again re-intensified before cold air and wind shear penetrated the inner core of convection. It weakened a little bit as it continued northwestward, and struck the Mexican mainland near Puerto Morelos at 0330 UTC on October 22, with winds of 135 mph (215 km/h) and gusts of up to 170 mph (270 km/h). Of the intensity models, the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory predicted an intensity of 135 mph (215 km/h) within 36 hours, with other forecasts being more conservative in their predictions. Wilma weakened as it quickly crossed the state, and entered the Atlantic Ocean near Jupiter, Florida. Operationally, the peak intensity was estimated at 175 mph (280 km/h). The system continued to organize, with the National Hurricane Center remarking the system could ultimately become a hurricane. At 0800 UTC, a Hurricane Hunters flight recorded a minimum central pressure of 884 mbar (26.10 inHg) in a dropsonde near the center of the extremely small eye. The meteorological history of Hurricane Wilma, the strongest tropical cyclone known in the Western Hemisphere, began in the second week of October 2005. Continued reconnaissance flights reported peak winds of about 30 mph (50 km/h).
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