Forecasters say hurricane to kind off Mexico's Pacific coast

09 June, 2018, 20:57 | Author: Cecelia Webb
  • Hurricanes are slowing down, causing more damage in coastal communities

Tropical cyclones around the world are moving slightly slower over land and water, dumping more rain as they stall, just as Hurricane Harvey did past year, a new study found. It points directly to the example of Hurricane Harvey, whose catastrophic rains were enabled by the storm's lingering in the Houston area for such a long period. Slowdowns over land were higher in some regions (a 20 percent slowdown over land for Atlantic storms, a 30 percent slowdown over land for western North Pacific storms and a 19 percent slowdown over land for storms affecting the Australian region).

Kossin admits that there are probably both natural and manmade factors influencing the slowing of storms and recommends further studies using climate models to determine how much greenhouse gas emissions are responsible for affecting the storms' speeds.

"Kossin is right that a 10 percent change in tropical cyclone motion would be an important change due to its effect on accumulated precipitation", Texas state climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon said in an email.

At the same time, related research published just last month suggests that warming temperatures from climate change will slow storms more in the future.

Kossin said the findings were of great importance to society.




"Nothing good can come of a slower storm", Kossin told Mashable.

In addition to slower atmospheric circulations possibly causing the storms to move slower, the amount of rainfall that the storms are able to dump is increasing as global temperatures climb.

"If the atmosphere can hold more water vapor, then things are going to tend to rain more", Kossin said.

To understand the relationship between climate change and hurricane speeds, Kossin analyzed the paths of 7,585 tropical cyclones from 1949 to 2016.

Kossin concluded that the trend has all the signs of human-induced climate change.

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