Unhurried hurricanes: Study says tropical cyclones slowing

09 Juin, 2018, 20:54 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Unhurried hurricanes: Study says tropical cyclones slowing

Dr Christina Patricola, from the Climate and Ecosystems Sciences Division at University California, Davis, says the findings raise several questions, especially regarding "stalled" tropical cyclones.

The unusually slow-moving Hurricane Harvey was a recent example.

"Storms should be responding to changes in the whole global wind pattern, since they are mostly just carried along in the flow", Kossin said.

If Harvey is any indication of what hurricanes will look like in the future, this will create a considerable strain on countries' ability to respond financially to storms.

Dr Kossin came to his conclusion by studying the tropical cyclone record, which spans from 1949-2016.

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The result is more rainfall and more damage to buildings as hurricanes hover over population centers for longer periods of time.

Kossi hopes that scientists will begin building models that show which communities are likely to face the most risk. Some places in Houston got roughly a foot of rain per day as the storm crawled ashore. "And so that's never a good thing".

The study published in Nature this week by U.S. weather experts shows the problem weather systems are taking longer to travel across the planet. Older data on location, and thus movement, are more reliable, Kossin said. Rainfall, on average, increased 24 percent. And there are limits to each approach.

Severe storms will develop across the Plains into the Midwest today.

But both scientists say the importance is in the bigger picture. "And when you start getting more and more lines of evidence that all point in the same direction, you get more confident in the answers".

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