Tropical storm Nicholas is heading to Texas and Louisiana, threatening to spend much of the week as the inland floods and tornado risks continue to characterize another rapid storm season and climate change in general.
Having slowed down to almost stand in the Gulf of Mexico, Nicholas was able to strengthen significantly. From Port Aransas, Texas to San Luis Pass, a hurricane clock applies national hurricane center said that means hurricane conditions – with sustained winds of at least 74 miles per hour – are possible within 48 hours.
With up to 20 inches of rain on parts of the Gulf Coast, southwest Louisiana and Mexico, Nicholas brings life-threatening storm surges, isolated tornadoes, and forecast tropical storm winds of up to 115 km / h.
As the deadly storms in Hurricane East in New York, New Jersey, and parts of Pennsylvania earlier this month showed, hurricanes could reach beyond the states and cities that are typical targets and explode inland from routine hurricanes and more damage inland.
This is because, according to scientists, climate change is causing changes in storms, which we are just beginning to fully understand. And that means most Americans, including investors and homeowners, need to be better educated about climate change and the storm risks associated with it.
Here is the basic science and some steps to better prepare for our changing Earth.
1. The hotter the temperature, the more water rises. Weather (short-term) and climate (longer period) are two different factors. Confusing weather with the climate has long been the fuel of climate change deniers. What matters is where the two intersect. Studies show that warming air and ocean temperatures increases the likelihood and severity of precipitation. This leads to changes in hurricanes, which make them more powerful and potentially more harmful.
In particular, the atmosphere can hold 7% more humidity with each 1 ° C (1.8 ° F) rise in temperature.
When storms travel across warm oceans, they draw in more water vapor and heat. This means stronger winds, more rain and more floods when storms hit the ground.
For example, earlier this month in New York, all-time rain records were broken 3.15 inches of rain in one hour In the central park.
If the Earth is allowed to warm further, more rain is expected. Research projects average increase in rainfall in tropical storms 10-15% 2 ° C for the global warming scenario, according to your site Climate Central, which brings together journalists and researchers.
2. Hurricanes are just more, the point. Last year packed with a record 30 hurricanesand another strong year is forecast for 2021. Forecasters from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Climate Forecast Center see a 60% chance of a higher-than-usual 2021 season, which should normally end in November.
3. Higher frequency, higher damage. A Report of the United Nations World Meteorological Organization He said that global climate disasters related to climate change hit four to five times more often and caused seven times more damage than in the 1970s.
The report also showed that weather disasters have killed far fewer people since the 1970s and 1980s, as prevention measures, including flood walls and evacuation plans, are more common for those who can afford it.
However, it will cost the state more to take them out. This is because development in risk areas has expanded. UN officials predicted that the East as such should outweigh Katrina’s nearly $ 164 billion in economic damage, but said the effects are still cumulative.
4. Change calendar? The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the National Hurricane Center are considering moving the start date of the hurricane season to 15 May. And earlier awareness can lead to better preparation.
Although storm sensitivity data has been collected, it is not yet clear whether climate change will lead to the emergence of tropical systems in the past. So now experts are waiting for the June-November hurricane season to be redefined. The break is a clear example of respect for the evolving nature of science in this field.
5. Hurricane homework. For residents and business owners living on hurricanes, and even those outside the typical reach of storms, a better understanding of flood risk and insurance needs is one way to prepare for these intensifying seasons.
FEMA collects information on flood insurance in each country and you can watch NOAA interactive billion-dollar website on weather and climate disasters to find historical events near you.