Intense tropical cyclones are one of the most devastating natural disasters in the world due to torrential rains, flooding, destructive winds, and coastal storm surges.
Intense tropical cyclones are one of the most devastating natural disasters in the world due to torrential rains, flooding, destructive winds, and coastal storm surges. New research co-authored by a University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa atmospheric scientist revealed that since the 1980s, Category 4 and 5 hurricanes (maximum wind speed greater than 131 miles per hour) have been arriving three to four days earlier with each passing decade of climate change. Their findings were published recently in Nature.
“When intense tropical cyclones occur earlier than usual, they cause unexpected problems for communities,” said Pao-Shin Chu, atmospheric sciences professor in the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology and Hawai‘i State Climatologist. “Moreover, the earlier advance of these storms will overlap with other weather systems, for example local thunderstorms or seasonal monsoon rainfall, and can produce compounding extreme events and strain the emergency response.”
Changes in many characteristics of intense hurricanes under a warming climate, for example, the number, intensity, and lifespan, are fairly well-studied. However, little is known about changes in the seasonal cycle of these intense events.
Read more at: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Aerial view of flooding in Texas from Hurricane Harvey, 2017. (Photo Credit: Harris County Sheriff Office)