While climate change does not necessarily increase the number of hurricanes, it does appear to make them more intense and destructive. Ocean warming increases hurricane wind speed and precipitation, and sea level rise intensifies storm surge impacts and damages. They are, perhaps, the world’s costliest natural weather disasters.

Communities also face potential flood disasters due to hurricane stalling — when a storm slows down and releases a massive amount of rain on a small area. The relationship of this phenomenon to climate change is still being studied, but stalling has become increasingly more common: Hurricane Harvey dumped over 60 inches of rain on parts of Houston in 2017 and resulted in at least 93 deaths; Hurricane Florence in North Carolina set at least 28 flood records in 2018;  Hurricane Dorian was on track to move through the Bahamas and toward Florida, but stalled, causing massive flooding and destruction in 2019. 

A collection of helpful infographics and videos on hurricanes is posted at Climate Nexus.