Tuesday, 19 June, 2018


Hurricanes Are Moving Slower-And That's a Huge Problem

Affable aware and in control Jonathan Lord Flagler County's new emergency chief brings vast state and local experience to the job Affable aware and in control Jonathan Lord Flagler County’s new emergency chief brings vast state and local experience to the job
Kristine Garrett | 08 June, 2018, 22:37

He said Hurricane Harvey in Texas a year ago was a dramatic example of the consequences of a slow-moving or "stalled" tropical cyclone.

Their forward speed has decreased globally by about 10 percent since 1949, the study said, making these storms more likely to drop heavier rain as they spend longer amounts of time over the affected areas, increasing the risk of flooding. Storms worldwide in 2016 moved about 1.25 miles per hour (2 kph) slower than 60 some years ago.

In the last 70 years the storms have slowed by ten per cent. Storm speeds across land, for instance, slowed by 20% in eastern North America, 30% in eastern Asia, and 19% in Australia, the researcher reports today in Nature. In some regions, the pace of those storms slowed even more as they hit land. But one scientist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made a decision to look back in time, to see what happened in the past.

According to a study released on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, tropical cyclones around the world are moving slightly slower over land and water, dumping more rain as they stall, just as Hurricane Harvey did.

Tropical cyclones have slowed more in the Northern Hemisphere, which is significant because that is where a majority of storms occur each year. Between 1949 and 2016, tropical cyclone translation speeds declined 10 percent worldwide, the study says.

The trend has all the signs of human-caused climate change, Kossin said.

In an editorial accompanying Kossin's work, she points out that it raises several new questions. The storms, in effect, are sticking around places for a longer period of time.

The reduced speed leads to heavier rainfall and an increased risk of flooding. "Not quite like a cork in a stream, but similar", he said.

"Roughly 7 percent more water vapor per degree C of warming", Kossin said.

But there are probably more variables at play than a warmer climate putting the brakes on tropical cyclones. "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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