Humberto's Lightning Birth Stuns Experts

Forecasters unprepared for overnight sensation that slammed Texas
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2007 5:57 AM CDT
A man rides his bike through a flooded street in the Uptown section of New Orleans, La., Thursday, Sept. 13, 2007. Tropical Storm Humberto dumped heavy rain on much of Louisiana, flooding streets as it...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – An unremarkable tropical depression headed for Texas stunned forecasters when it jumped speed overnight to become a hurricane faster than any other storm in more than a century. Hurricane Humberto slammed Beaumont and Port Arthur, still recovering from Rita, killing at least one person, knocking out power to 100,000 people and dumping up to 15 inches of rain on the already sodden region.

Humberto wasn't expected to reach hurricane status at all, but it took a more easterly path than expected, staying over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico for longer and zooming from 35 to 85 mph in a matter of hours. "It's very, very rare to see a storm go from a depression to a hurricane in this short a time," said a hurricane specialist.