HURRICANES

HURRICANES

HURRICANES

While climate change does not necessarily increase the number of hurricanes, it does appear to make them more intense and destructiveOcean 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. 

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

Science Empowering Communities In The Face Of Flooding

10/06/20
Surging Waters: Science Empowering Communities in the Face of Flooding is a report produced by AGU, a global not-for-profit scientific society dedicated to advancing the Earth and space sciences for the benefit of humanity.

National Hurricane Center

09/11/19
Find here analyses, data & tools, educational resources, and more.

Climate and Hurricanes Primer

08/31/19
Taking advantage of a teachable moment – share these vids with anyone that might want to get up to speed on what we know about ‘canes and climate.

MORE NEWS

A Monster Storm Tests New Orleans

By Christopher Flavelle  Photo: Johnny Milano for The New York Times   09/01/21  
Officials in Louisiana are still assessing the damage from Hurricane Ida, but two things are already clear: While there was widespread flooding around the state, the systems built to defend New Orleans mostly held up.…
AP

Power makes slow return to eastern New Orleans

By AP  Photo: Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser via AP   09/01/21  
Entergy said Wednesday that it is slowly adding power back to New Orleans, and the pace of that work will determine how quickly the region’s important oil refineries can restart operations that were shut down…

Lack of Power Hinders Assessment of Toxic Pollution Caused by Ida

By Hiroko Tabuchi  Photo: Devika Krishna Kumar/Reuters   09/01/21  
A fertilizer plant battered by Hurricane Ida belched highly toxic anhydrous ammonia into the air. Two damaged gas pipelines leaked isobutane and propylene, flammable chemicals that are hazardous to human health. And a plastic plant…

Before and after images show the devastation from Hurricane Ida

By Kasha Patel  Photo: NOAA via AP   09/01/21  
When Ida crashed into southeast Louisiana on Sunday, shoreline and inland communities were pummeled, some completely transformed and now unrecognizable. The storm brought 150 mph winds and pushed several feet of ocean water onto shore.…

Scientists detail role of climate change in Ida’s intensity

By Zack Budryk and Rachel Frazin   08/31/21  
A combination of climate-related factors such as warm ocean temperatures and increased sea level rise helped fuel Hurricane Ida and its path of destruction, scientists said. The deadly storm made landfall as a Category 4…

New Orleanians struggle to find their footing after yet another hurricane.

By Richard Fausset  Photo: Edmund D. Fountain   08/31/21  
Nearly all of the built city survived this time. But the misery has already arrived in New Orleans, after Hurricane Ida punched up the city on Sunday night. It was especially pronounced on a stretch…

Hurricane Ida could make the supply chain disaster even worse.

By Peter S. Goodman  Photo: Callaghan O'Hare   08/31/21  
In normal times, the devastation of a massive hurricane like Ida tends to be followed by an aggressive rebuilding effort, as carpenters, roofers and other skilled workers descend on affected communities to repair the damage.

Hurricane Ida Offers a Glimpse of the Dystopia That’s Coming for All of Us

By Andy Horowitz  Photo: Mickey Welsh, via Reuters   08/31/21  
As a boy, Louis Armstrong worked for the Karnofsky family. The Karnofskys’ tailor shop on South Rampart Street in New Orleans became a second home to him, and the family helped him buy his first…

Louisiana Residents Survey Devastation After Hurricane Ida

By Associated Press   08/31/21  
Search-and-rescue efforts continued for those stranded after the Category 4 storm battered the state. Officials warned that recovery could take days or even weeks.

As a preview of future hurricanes, Ida is ‘very scary.’

By Winston Choi-Schagrin  Photo: Edmund D. Fountain   08/31/21  
The effects of Hurricane Ida will be felt far from where it made landfall in southern Louisiana on Sunday. As it moves across the Upper Ohio Valley and toward the Northeast later in the week,…

Hurricane Ida Knocks Out All Power in New Orleans. Here’s What to Know

By Rebecca Santana, Kevin McGill, and Janet McGill   08/30/21  
Hurricane Ida knocked out power to all of New Orleans and inundated coastal Louisiana communities on a deadly path through the Gulf Coast that was still unfolding Monday, promising more destruction.
AP

Hurricane Ida lashes Louisiana, knocks out New Orleans power

By Rebecca Santana  Photo: AP Photo/Steve Helber   08/30/21  
Hurricane Ida blasted ashore Sunday as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S., knocking out power to all of New Orleans, blowing roofs off buildings and reversing the flow of the…

We’re Hitting the Limits of Hurricane Preparedness

By Robinson Meyer  Photo: Brandon Bell / Getty   08/30/21  
Seventy-four hours. That’s roughly how much time separated the moment that Tropical Depression Nine formed in the Caribbean from the moment that the storm, transformed into a ruthless Category 4 hurricane named Ida, made landfall…

Oil Industry Surveys Damage After Hurricane Ida Slams Louisiana

By Collin Eaton and Jennifer Hiller  Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg News   08/30/21  
Energy companies were assessing the health of refineries, pipelines, petrochemical plants and offshore oil platforms along the central Gulf of Mexico on Monday, the day after Ida struck Louisiana as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.
CNN

After slamming Cuba, Hurricane Ida churns through the Gulf of Mexico where it’s expected to be Category 3 storm when it makes US landfall

By Jason Hanna , Paul P.Murphy and Melissa Alonso   08/28/21  
Hurricane Ida whipped western Cuba on Friday and the Category 1 storm is expected to slam the US Gulf Coast as an even stronger cyclone Sunday, putting states from Louisiana to Florida on alert for fierce destruction.

How is climate change impacting hurricanes?

By Rachel Ramirez, CNN  Photo: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert   08/21/21  
In the same week that Tropical Storm Fred caused catastrophic flooding in North Carolina, and Hurricane Grace made its second landfall in Mexico, Hurricane Henri is barreling toward New England, where it's expected to be…

Atlantic hurricane season is on pause. Don’t expect that to last.

By Matthew Cappucci   07/17/21  
After starting hurricane season 2021 at a breakneck pace, the oceans look to simmer over the next few weeks, with little in the way of tropical activity in the Atlantic through the end of July.…

Climate wreckage along Chesapeake fuels courtroom reckoning

By Maxine Joselow  Photo: Maxine Joselow/E&E News   07/16/21  
Jim Foster wonders if he should move away from this idyllic coastal community before the next storm. Foster, 63, has lived here on the shore of the Chesapeake Bay for nearly four decades. But he…

Tropical Storm Danny Made Landfall in South Carolina Just Hours After Forming

06/29/21  
Tropical Storm Danny - the fourth named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season - formed off the Southeast coast Monday, then made landfall hours later in South Carolina, and will spread rain into the…

With Start of Hurricane Season, It’s Time to Consider Flood Insurance

By Ann Carrns   06/11/21  
This year’s hurricane season began early, with a named storm forming before the official start on June 1, and it is expected to be active. If you lack flood insurance, especially if you live near…
NPR

Expect An Above Average Atlantic Hurricane Season This Year

By Laurel Wamsley  Photo: Luis Perez/AFP via Getty Images   05/20/21  
We're likely to see an above-average hurricane season in the Atlantic this year, according to the latest forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The agency predicts 13 to 20 named storms in the…
CNN

NOAA predicts 6th consecutive above-average hurricane season

By Allison Chinchar   05/20/21  
The Atlantic hurricane season doesn't officially begin for another 12 days, but the early signs are it may end up being yet another very busy one. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued it's…

Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 – here’s what forecasters are watching right now

By Kristopher Karnauskas   05/19/21  
As summer in the Northern Hemisphere approaches, forecasters begin watching every bout of rainy weather between the Gulf of Mexico and Africa. Each counterclockwise swirl of wind or burst of puffy clouds there has the…
NPR

Climate Change’s Impact On Hurricane Sandy Has A Price: $8 Billion

By Nathan Rott  Photo: Julio Cortez/AP   05/18/21  
When Hurricane Sandy swept up the Eastern Seaboard in 2012, it left a trail of damage from Florida to Maine. Subways were inundated in New York City. Hurricane-force winds tore across New Jersey. Blizzard conditions…

Forecasters predict an above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2021

By Jeff Masters   04/08/21  
An above-average Atlantic hurricane season is likely in 2021, the Colorado State University (CSU) hurricane forecasting team says in its latest seasonal forecast issued April 8.

A Small Hint of Big Trouble in the Oceans

By Moises Velasquez-Manoff and Jeremy White  Graphic: Jeremy White/The New York Times   03/03/21  
Some scientists fear that meltwater from Greenland may be affecting ocean currents that help regulate far-reaching weather patterns.

New climate ‘normal’ for Atlantic hurricanes shows more frequent and intense storms

By Matthew Cappucci and Andrew Freedman   03/03/21  
Every 10 years, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration revises the baseline of what weather and climate conditions are considered “normal.” The most recent normals for Atlantic hurricane activity will soon be released, and a…

2020 rivals hottest year on record, pushing Earth closer to a critical climate threshold

By Chris Mooney, Andrew Freedman and John Muyskens  Photo: Kyle Grillot/The Washington Post   01/15/21  
Escalating temperatures poise planet to breach1.5 C for the first time, possibly later this decade

2020 North Atlantic Hurricane Season Shatters Records

12/17/20  
One of the most remarkable characteristics of the 2020 North Atlantic hurricane season was its extremely high level of activity. The season saw 30 named storms (storms with winds of 39 mph or greater) develop,…

Deadly Tropical Storm Eta targets Florida, would be state’s first landfall of historic hurricane season

By John Bacon  Photo: Orlando Sierra, AFP via Getty Images   11/07/20  
Eta targeted Florida after storming through Central America as a Category 4 hurricane, triggering deadly mudslides that destroyed entire villages.

Tropical Storm Eta Forms, Tying a Record Set 15 Years Ago

By Maria Cramer   11/01/20  
Eta became the 28th named storm of the 2020 hurricane season, matching a record set in 2005.

As mold grows in the aftermath of hurricanes, more NC asthma patients suffer

By Lynn Bonner   10/30/20  
In North and South Carolina, sea-level rise is most noticeable in counties along the coast, where beaches shrink, dunes disappear and homes crumble, but the effects of climate change reach well inland. “Beyond the Beach”…

‘Nothing Left’: How Back-to-Back Hurricanes Gutted a U.S. Town

By Shannon Sims and Eric Roston  Photo by Luke Sharrett   10/11/20  
On the day after Hurricane Delta cut its ruinous path across southern Louisiana, Dick Frerks pointed to a lone 20-foot pylon rising from the bayou and summed up what he’d lost.

Hurricane Delta blasts Louisiana, eastern Texas with record surge, high winds Hurricane Delta approaches Louisiana with dangerous winds

By Andrew Freedman   10/10/20  
Hurricane Delta barreled into southwestern Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane Friday evening, making landfall near Creole at 6 p.m. local time. This is the latest in a barrage of hurricanes to strike the northern…

Louisiana braces for its 3rd dangerous hurricane in only 6 weeks

By Rafi Letzter   10/06/20  
Hurricane Delta is whirling toward the Gulf Coast and is forecast to approach Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula tonight (Oct. 6) as a Category 4 storm before threatening Louisiana and Mississippi Friday (Oct. 9). This 25th-named storm…

Hurricanes near U.S. coast forecast to worsen and multiply due to global warming

By Tristram Korten  Photo by Gerry Broome   09/27/20  
The 2020 hurricane season may be best remembered as the one that spawned so many storms that forecasters ran out of names and had to resort to Greek letters. But it is notable for another…

Why the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has spun out of control

By Bob Henson   09/23/20  
By late spring, the consensus among experts was unsettlingly clear: 2020 would be an abnormally active hurricane season. What the experts didn’t anticipate was just how wild things would get.

The United States Has Become a Disaster Area

By Emma Marris  Photo by Ringo Chiu   09/22/20  
If you are reading this in the United States, you are experiencing a disaster—maybe more than one. Hurricane Sally hammered Alabama and the Florida panhandle last week, submerging homes and leaving tens of thousands without…

Devastation left in the wake of Hurricanes Sally and Laura along the US Gulf Coast

By J. L'Heureau   09/22/20  
Power restorations, debris hauling, and the rebuilding of damaged critical infrastructure continue in communities along the northern Gulf Coast portion of Florida and southern Alabama in the wake of Hurricane Sally, which made landfall as…

Weary Gulf Coast mayors say hurricane season has changed for the worse

By Ashley Cusick  Photo by Jabin Botsford   09/20/20  
It has been a tough summer across much of the Gulf Coast, where storm after storm has taken aim and two hurricanes — Laura and Sally — have decimated homes and claimed lives in a…

After Sally: Rescue, recovery and a wary eye on rivers

09/17/20  
Rivers swollen by Hurricane Sally's rains threatened more misery for parts of the Florida Panhandle and south Alabama today, as the storm's remnants continued to dump heavy rains inland that spread the threat of flooding…

Hundreds Rescued as Floods From Hurricane Sally Hit Florida and Alabama

By William Widmer  Photo by Emily Kask   09/16/20  
Floodwaters rushed through parts of Alabama and Florida on Wednesday, turning roads into rivers, submerging cars and sending several out-of-control construction barges into waters along the Florida Panhandle as Hurricane Sally dumped a torrent of…

Climate change may make extreme hurricane rainfall 5 times more likely in the Caribbean, study suggests

By Stephanie Weaver   09/01/20  
In August, Hurricane Laura battered the Caribbean before making landfall on the Gulf Coast. In 2017, Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 Hurricane, brought as much as a quarter of normal annual rainfall to some regions…

Our Focus Has to Be on the Victims of Hurricane Laura

08/28/20  
Atmospheric scientist Adam Sobel writes that yes, Hurricane Laura is about climate change, but first it's about people.

Hurricane Laura Live Updates: Storm Plows Through Louisiana

08/27/20  
After landfall overnight with 150 m.p.h. winds, Laura ripped northward. Officials confirmed at least six deaths tied to the storm, and hundreds of thousands of people have lost power.

Hurricane Laura jumped from Category 1 to Category 4 in a day

By Morgan McFall-Johnsen and Aylin Woodward   08/26/20  
Between Tuesday and Wednesday, the hurricane strengthened from a Category 1 storm to a major hurricane — a process called rapid intensification. As the planet continues to warm, such rapid intensification events are expected to…

Louisiana Braces As Hurricane Marco Approaches With a Stronger Storm Right Behind It

By Rick Rojas and Christina Morales   08/23/20  
The “one-two punch” of hurricanes has created a heightened sense of alarm along the Gulf Coast. Officials warned residents they might have to shelter in place for as long as 72 hours.

3 Years After Hurricane Harvey, Many Houston Homeowners Don’t Know Who’s At Risk Next

By Sophie Kasakove  Photo: Marcus Yam via Getty Images   07/05/20  
A lack of data and options is trapping people in flood-prone homes and driving inequality.

Climate crisis to blame for $67bn of Hurricane Harvey damage – study

By Fiona Harvey  Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty   06/12/20  
Exclusive: new figure far higher than previous estimates of direct impact of global heatingAt least $67bn of the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017 can be attributed directly to climate breakdown, according to research…

Cristobal Threatens Gulf Coast From Louisiana to Florida

By Maria Cramer  Photo: Cuauhtemoc Moreno/EPA, via Shutterstock   06/05/20  
The third named storm of what is predicted to be an intense hurricane season is expected to make landfall on Sunday.