This was a storm that made history — for its intensity so late in the year, for where it struck and for where it traveled.
Otto became the strongest hurricane on record so late in the year in the tropical Atlantic basin when its peak winds leapt from 75 mph to 110 mph Wednesday to Thursday.
Then, Otto became one of only four storms since 1950 to cross over from the tropical Atlantic to the tropical Pacific and remain a tropical cyclone, according to Capital Weather Gang tropical weather specialist Phil Klotzbach.
As the Category 2 storm transited Central America, radar reveals a clear, well-defined eye from start to finish.
Because it retained tropical characteristic as it passed over land, it kept its name — Otto — when it emerged off Costa Rica’s west coast, just shy of hurricane strength.
Otto is still spinning in the eastern Tropical Pacific, but it is forecast to weaken as it moves farther away from land in the next two to three days.
The storm puts an exclamation mark on a busy and extremely long Atlantic hurricane season.
Recall the season began all the way back in January when Hurricane Alex became the earliest Atlantic hurricane since 1938 (although one could argue that storm was a carry-over from the previous season). Including Alex, 15 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes have formed, which is somewhat above average.
Marshall Shepherd, weather columnist at Forbes, has a worthwhile commentary on the strangeness of this year’s hurricane season: “Alex To Otto: 2016 Was The ‘Year Long’ Hurricane Season.”