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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: 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. 2020 became the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record. Of the 30 named storms, 14 developed into hurricanes, 417 people died and over $51 billion in damages was created.  2021 was the third-most active Atlantic hurricane season. Hurricane Ida became the deadliest and most destructive tropical cyclone of that season, killing 107 people, causing catastrophic flooding and contributing 93% of the total damage in 2021. In 2022, became the season’s first major hurricane on September 20, devastating Puerto Rico and The Cayman Islands before moving up to strike Canada with 115-mile-an-hour winds. Hurricane Ian is currently threatening Florida.

A collection of helpful infographics and videos on hurricanes is posted at Climate Nexus. Climate Central has created stunning resources to help you understand the links between climate change and hurricanes. Their extreme weather toolkits on Tropical Cyclones and Heavy Rain and Flooding (available in English and Spanish) provide quick facts and reporting resources including experts available for interviews. And their Hurricane Intensity and Impacts report covers the historical trends and high impacts of rapidly intensifying hurricanes like Ian, and lists experts available for interviews.  

Please refer to hurricane advisories from the National Hurricane Center and follow your local National Weather Service Forecast Office for updates.

CREDIT: NOAA

CURRENT NEWS

Is The Current Hurricane Warning System Outdated? – Inside Climate News

By Bob Berwyn 02/05/24
As Typhoon Haiyan howled into the Philippines in November 2013, people knew that a powerful storm was coming, but they were not expecting a typhoon with 196 mile per hour winds, driving a storm surge…
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Some experts are proposing a Category 6 storm rating

By Seth Borenstein 02/05/24
A handful of super powerful tropical storms in the last decade and the prospect of more to come has a couple of experts proposing a new category of whopper hurricanes: Category 6.
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Hurricanes are getting so intense, scientists propose a Category 6

By Scott Dance 02/05/24
When meteorologists began using the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale to measure hurricane intensity in the 1970s, a Category 5 storm represented oblivion. Such a cyclone, with sustained winds of at least 157 mph, could flatten any…
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Hurricane maps predicting the ‘cone of uncertainty’ will change this year. Here’s why.

By Anthony Frazen 02/02/24
We are still about four months from the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane season on June 1, but it’s never too early to start prepping for what’s to come in 2024, especially if you…
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‘A Beautiful Place That Has a Dragon’: Where Hurricane Risk Meets Booming Growth

By Aatish Bhatia 11/19/23
The hurricanes keep coming, and the people, too: The fastest-growing places along the Atlantic coast this century are also among the most hurricane-prone. Between 2016 and 2022, the five hurricanes that hit the Carolinas cost…
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Hurricane Otis intensified more drastically than all but one other eastern Pacific storm

By David Wallace-Wells 11/01/23
As of last Monday night in Acapulco, Mexico, no formal hurricane warning had been issued for what would become, barely a day later, the first Category 5 storm ever to make landfall on the Pacific…
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How hot seas may have fueled Hurricane Otis’s sudden intensification

By Scott Dance 10/26/23
Off-the-charts warmth in the world’s oceans, so widespread and so far beyond anything ever observed, has stunned climate scientists and meteorologists for months. It set the stage for deadly floods and put Earth on track…
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Forecasters were caught off guard by Otis’ growth. But warming means more hurricanes like it

By Seth Borenstein 10/26/23
Hurricane Otis turned from mild to monster in record time, and scientists are struggling to figure out how — and why they didn’t see it coming. Usually reliable computer models and the forecasters who use…
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How Hurricane Otis shocked forecasters in a “nightmare scenario”

By Andrew Freedman 10/25/23
Hurricane Otis' extremely rapid intensification — so close to the Mexican coast — was one of the biggest, most high-stakes hurricane forecasting failures in years. The big picture: The storm's leap from a tropical storm…
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Norma Weakens to a Tropical Depression After Soaking Mexico’s Coast

By Christine Hauser, Isabella Kwai and Eduardo Medina 10/23/23
Norma, once a powerful storm that brought strong winds and heavy rain to portions of Baja California Sur over the weekend, was downgraded to a tropical depression early Monday as it was forecast to move…
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Atlantic Hurricanes Are Getting More Dangerous, More Quickly

By Brian Handwerk 10/19/23
Katrina. Maria. Ian. Sandy. Those once-ordinary names are now associated with grim memories. For many, just hearing them produces a sense of foreboding—which storm will be the next to join the long line of hurricanes…
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Atlantic hurricanes intensifying faster, more frequently, research finds

By Ian Livingston 10/19/23
The list of major hurricanes that rapidly intensified before hitting the United States in recent years is long and memorable: Harvey, Irma, Maria, Michael, Laura, Ida, Ian and Idalia. All of those storms, starting in…
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KEY RESOURCES

Observed increases in North Atlantic tropical cyclone peak intensification rates

10/19/23
Quickly intensifying tropical cyclones (TCs) are exceptionally hazardous for Atlantic coastlines. An analysis of observed maximum changes in wind speed for Atlantic TCs from 1971 to 2020 indicates that TC intensification rates have already changed…

How has climate change already worsened hurricanes?

08/21/23
In almost every region of the world where hurricanes form, their maximum sustained winds are getting stronger due to human-caused climate change.[12]

How to prepare your family, home and pets for a hurricane

08/11/23
Powerful hurricanes fueled by climate change have increased in frequency and intensity, causing billions of dollars in damage every year.

What are hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones?

05/17/23
Hurricanes combine unyielding winds and torrential rain to create some of Earth’s most powerful storms. When hurricanes near land, wind can cause devastating damage, even spawning tornadoes. But the bigger danger is rain, which can…

Amid the Devastation of Hurricane Ian, a New Study Charts Alarming Flood Risks for U.S. Hospitals

10/03/22
It was a scene that played out in cities and towns along the path of Hurricane Ian as it roared ashore last week: nurses, physicians and other medical personnel working feverishly to evacuate hospitals that…

Recent Years Are A Reminder Of How October Hurricanes Can Threaten US

10/03/22
H​urricane season quickly flipped a switch in recent weeks from one of the quietest starts in decades to a pair of devastating storms: Ian and Fiona. Now, we are heading through the final two months…

Asbestos and Natural Disasters Guide

10/02/22
Natural disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes, floods and tornadoes can damage asbestos-containing materials and lead to asbestos exposure among first responders, cleanup crews and nearby residents. Learn how to prevent asbestos exposure when preparing for…

A Force of Nature: Hurricanes in a Changing Climate

06/01/22
From June 1 to November 30, many Americans turn their eyes to the tropics — not just because they’re dreaming of beach vacations, but because it’s hurricane season. Called by many names depending on where…

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.

Hurricanes

05/01/20
Hurricanes are one of nature’s most powerful storms. They produce strong winds, storm surge flooding, and heavy rainfall that can lead to inland flooding, tornadoes, and rip currents.

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. Above, 2015 interview with Kerry Emanuel and…

National Hurricane Center

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

MORE NEWS

Atlantic Hurricanes Are Getting Stronger, Faster, Study Finds

By Delger Erdenesanaa   10/19/23  
Hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean are now twice as likely to grow from a weak storm into a major Category 3 or higher hurricane within just 24 hours, according to a study published Thursday. “These…
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Tropical Storm Philippe heads toward Bermuda

By Jeff Masters   10/04/23  
ATropical Storm Watch is up for Bermuda as a disorganized Tropical Storm Philippe pulls away from the Leeward Islands. Philippe brought flooding rains to portions of the Leeward Islands, Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico over…
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After Lee’s Landfall, Thousands Are Without Power in U.S. and Canada

By Jenna Russell and Meagan Campbell   09/16/23  
The storm known as Lee, still a dangerous post-tropical cyclone, made landfall in Canada Saturday, packing powerful winds in Nova Scotia and in coastal Maine that toppled trees, killing at least one person and knocking…
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How hurricanes keep Earth’s energy in balance

By Kasha Patel   09/14/23  
Hurricanes are known for their destruction. Whipping winds, fast-flowing floods and soaring storm surge take lives and rack up billions of dollars in damage each year. Devastating as they are to humankind, hurricanes also play…
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Inside an airborne quest to predict Lee, and other hurricanes

By Andrew Freedman   09/13/23  
An NOAA-operated Gulfstream IV jet flying 50 miles north of Hurricane Lee's eye has a key purpose: To help forecasters determine where the storm is headed.
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Lee forms and is poised to become ‘extremely dangerous’ Atlantic hurricane

By Matthew Cappucci   09/05/23  
A new tropical storm midway between Africa and South America is set to become the season’s next major hurricane, organizing and intensifying markedly in the coming days as it churns west toward the Bahamas and…
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The director of the National Hurricane Center reflects on what he’s seen in his 15-year tenure

By Ayesha Rascoe   09/03/23  
MICHAEL BRENNAN: If you're asked to evacuate by your local officials, you want to get out of harm's way. You don't have to go too far - maybe just tens of miles to get inland,…
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Hurricane Franklin Weakens in the North Atlantic

By Judson Jones and Hogla Enecia Perez   09/02/23  
The storm, which has lingered over the Atlantic for nearly two weeks, was continuing to move away from Bermuda and into the open ocean early Saturday. It posed no threat to land.
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How sea level rise made Idalia’s storm surge worse

By Chris Mooney and Kevin Crowe   09/01/23  
Rising oceans substantially worsened the devastating storm surge that Hurricane Idalia flung at the Florida coast on Wednesday, according to scientific experts and data analyzed by The Washington Post. An unusual, dramatic surge in sea…
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How Hurricane Idalia Swamped Florida, in 9 Striking Photo

By Jacob Lambert   08/31/23  
While it appears that Hurricane Idalia may not have been as destructive as initally feared the storm still incurred plenty of damage, with heavy rains and flash flooding stretching from Florida’s Gulf Coast to eastern…
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Hurricane Idalia is yet another test of America’s aging power infrastructure

By Alex Fitzpatrick and Kavya Beheraj   08/31/23  
In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Idalia, getting the power back on as quickly as possible will be one of the most pressing challenges — and any major delays will once again call into question…
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Atlantic, Pacific Are Simultaneously Churning Up Storm Chaos: Weather Watch

By Brian K Sullivan   08/31/23  
The Atlantic has produced 11 storms so far in 2023 — including three that are currently spinning in the ocean — making it a relatively active year already for tropical systems. The similar patterns being…
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Hurricane Idalia heads into Georgia

08/30/23  
Florida’s Big Bend, one of the last truly natural places in the state, was the bull’s eye of Hurricane Idalia. It is the first major storm to hit there since Hurricane Easy in 1950.
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What We Know About Climate Change and Hurricanes

By Veronica Penney   08/29/23  
Hurricane Ida intensified overnight, becoming a Category 4 storm over the course of just a few hours. The rapid increase in strength raises questions about how much climate change is affecting hurricanes in the Atlantic…
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Hurricane Idalia Storm Gaining Strength as It Advances on Florida Coast

By Abigail Geiger and Others   08/29/23  
Hurricane Idalia continued to power toward Florida on Wednesday morning with wind speeds of about 120 miles per hour, as its rain bands lashed Florida’s west coast. The storm, expected to intensify further and become…
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Biden signs state of emergency order for Florida as Tropical Storm Idalia approaches

By Emma Kinery   08/28/23  
President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for Florida as Tropical Storm Idalia approaches and strengthens. Idalia is projected to grow to a Category 3 hurricane as it approaches the Florida coast, Florida Gov. Ron…
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Tropical Storm Idalia is a feared Gulf intensification scenario

By Andrew Freedman   08/28/23  
Tropical Storm Idalia may be following the path of many previous storms, but it is about to encounter Gulf of Mexico waters that are record warm for this time of year — the equivalent of…
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Category 4 Hurricane Hilary prompts first-ever tropical storm watch for California

By Andrew Freedman   08/18/23  
The latest: A tropical storm watch is now in effect from the California/Mexico border northward to all of Los Angeles County, portions of Ventura County and Catalina Island. This is the first such severe weather…
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U.S. hurricane deaths concentrated in vulnerable counties, research finds

By Nidhi Sharma   08/17/23  
People in socially vulnerable counties have accounted for the vast majority of deaths from hurricanes in the U.S. over the past 30 years, according to a wide-ranging study that drew on decades of data. The…
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New study finds far more hurricane-related deaths in US, especially among poor and vulnerable

By Seth Borenstein   08/16/23  
Hurricanes in the U.S. the last few decades killed thousands more people than meteorologists traditionally calculate and a disproportionate number of those victims are poor, vulnerable and minorities, according to a new epidemiological study. A…
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Hurricanes have become deadlier in recent decades, study shows

By Kasha Patel   08/16/23  
Hurricanes have become deadlier and have disproportionately affected the most socially vulnerable communities, according to a study released Wednesday in Science Advances. The study estimated that, from 1988 to 2019, Atlantic hurricanes caused nearly 20,000…
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This strange hurricane season may take a turn for the worse

By Umair Irfan   08/10/23  
Hot water is the fuel for tropical cyclones like hurricanes and typhoons, and the weather this year has boosted the octane rating of the world’s oceans, forcing forecasters to revise their predictions upward.
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What new data reveal about how hurricanes kill

By Michael Lowry   08/09/23  
On Tuesday, new research released by the National Hurricane Center underscored the threat posed by water in hurricanes — finding that over the past decade, rainfall flooding has accounted for nearly 60% of all U.S.…
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We’re in a really odd hurricane season

By Umair Irfan   08/02/23  
Hot water is the fuel for tropical cyclones like hurricanes and typhoons, and the weather this year has boosted the octane rating of the world’s oceans.
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For Florida’s Hurricane Ian survivors, extreme heat is a ‘second disaster’

By Brianna Sacks   07/17/23  
Lying on the floor of her storage unit, wet, with a fan to her face, Kimberly Goulet began to feel anxious and “extremely, desperately sad.” It was from the heat. No matter what she did,…
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Florida ocean temperatures at ‘downright shocking’ levels

By Dan Stillman   07/10/23  
Not only is Florida sizzling in record-crushing heat, but the ocean waters that surround it are scorching, as well. The unprecedented ocean warmth around the state — connected to historically warm oceans worldwide — is…
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Hurricanes Beatriz and Adrian Churn Off the Coast of Mexico

By Judson Jones and Johnny Diaz   06/30/23  
Tropical Storm Beatriz developed into a hurricane in the Pacific off the coast of Mexico on Friday morning, the National Hurricane Center said, and was expected to strengthen as its center moved near or over…
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Hurricane Season Could Bring 12 to 17 Named Storms, Forecasters Say

By Judson Jones   05/25/23  
There could be from 12 to 17 named tropical cyclones this hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean, similar to the number of named storms last year and a “near-normal” amount, forecasters said.
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Atlantic hurricane season expected to be near average this year, NOAA says. Here’s how many storms to expect

By Brandon Miller   05/25/23  
This year’s Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be near average, officials with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. Forecasters at the agency are predicting 12 to 17 named tropical storms, five to…
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The 2023 Atlantic hurricane season forecast is ‘near-normal’ — but there’s a wild card

By Justine Calma   05/25/23  
After a few years of heightened risk, the Atlantic hurricane season is shaping up to look pretty average for 2023. That’s thanks to an unusually long-lasting weather pattern called La Niña finally ending, with its…
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Here’s why this hurricane season could be unusually unpredictable

By Scott Dance   05/24/23  
Under normal circumstances, a quiet Atlantic hurricane season would be a safe bet this year: The global climate pattern known as El Niño is fast developing, and it’s known to diminish tropical cyclone activity in…
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A New Report Is Out on Hurricane Ian’s Destructive Path. The Numbers Are Horrific – Inside Climate News

By Amy Green   04/03/23  
Hurricane Ian caused $112.9 billion in damage and at least 156 deaths as it forged a path of destruction across Florida, the Caribbean and southeastern United States, according to a report released Monday by the…
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Mississippi tornado: Biden declares emergency after storm kills 26 in region

By Oliver Laughland   03/26/23  
Search and recovery efforts continue after twister hit hardest in some of the most economically deprived areas of US’s poorest state
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Insurers slashed Hurricane Ian payouts far below damage estimates, documents and insiders reveal

By Brianna Sacks   03/11/23  
Companies altered licensed adjusters’ reports of Hurricane Ian damage without their consent, resulting in lower payouts for homeowners, a Post investigation found....
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1 big thing: Supercharging hurricane rainfall

By Ben Geman and Andrew Freedman   03/03/23  
Milder than average ocean temperatures in the tropical North Atlantic Ocean, where many hurricanes tend to form, are causing these storms to grow more intense and dump far more rainfall over land than they used…
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Highlights From “Worsening Winds”

02/27/23  
To understand how properties’ exposure to and damage from tropical cyclones will be impacted by climate change, this report introduces the First Street Foundation Wind Model (FSF-WM). The FSF-WM is a probabilistic property-level risk model…
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See the future risk of damage from hurricane winds by Zip code

By John Muyskens, Andrew Ba Tran, Brady Dennis and Niko Kommenda   02/27/23  
Hurricane winds fueled by climate change will reach further inland and put tens of millions more Americans’ lives and homes at risk in the next three decades, according to a detailed new analysis released Monday.
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Displaced Hurricane Ian survivors brace for a holiday without a home

By Derek Hawkins and Others   12/23/22  
Meals like this have become sacrosanct for the family of 10 since Hurricane Ian inundated their house here in late September, destroying their belongings and forcing them to strip the interior down to the studs…
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Hurricane season was tamer than expected and horrific all at once

By Ian Livingston   11/30/22  
It was an Atlantic hurricane season of high expectations from the start. But after a sleepy August with no storms, questions swirled about whether preseason forecasts for above-normal activity would be a bust.
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Florida beaches were already running low on sand. Then Ian and Nicole hit.

By Lori Rozsa   11/25/22  
In the days since Hurricane Nicole lashed this stretch of Florida coast with punishing winds and a powerful storm surge, contractor A.J. Rockwell has found himself on an urgent mission. He has to find sand…
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History-repeating hurricane paths in Florida amaze meteorologists

By Amudalat Ajasa   11/10/22  
2022′s hurricanes Nicole and Ian hit in same respective locations as 2004′s Jeanne and Charley; in both years, the storms struck 43 days apart...
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Hurricane Nicole hits Florida

By Jeff Masters   11/10/22  
Hurricane Nicole made landfall around 3 a.m. EST November 10 near Vero Beach, Florida, with sustained winds of 75 mph and a central pressure of 981 mb. Nicole was just the fourth hurricane on record…
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Subtropical Storm Nicole forms, hurricane watch issued for Florida’s east coast

By Matthew Cappucci   11/07/22  
We’re not quite two weeks from Thanksgiving and still the 2022 hurricane season, with all its plot twists, charges on. Subtropical Storm Nicole was named early Monday and could near hurricane strength as it gets…
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The Scars of Hurricane Sandy, 10 Years Later

By James Barron   10/28/22  
Debbie Ingenito slipped the little box with the Christmas ornaments out of the plastic sandwich bag she keeps them in. She got the Christmas ornaments on the day that then-President Obama toured the muddy wreckage…
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Drones and satellites are making better, life-saving hurricane forecasts

By Andrew Freedman and Others   10/17/22  
The killer app for hurricane prediction? It could be lightweight drones that explore some of the fiercest parts of a hurricane and send back real-time data — or new satellite tech that gives forecasters a…
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Ian may push Florida real estate out of reach for all but the super rich

By Christopher Flavelle   10/13/22  
The hurricane’s record-breaking cost will make it even harder for many to get insurance, experts say — threatening home sales, mortgages and construction.
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The new hurricane resiliency: being off the grid

By Niala Boodhoo   10/11/22  
More than 4 million Floridians lost power after Hurricane Ian. But not communities like Babcock Ranch, a Southwest Florida development that bills itself as America’s “first solar-powered town.”
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Babcock Ranch: Solar-powered “hurricane-proof” town takes direct hit from Hurricane Ian, never loses electricity

10/09/22  
While hard-hit Fort Myers, Florida, continues its recovery from Hurricane Ian, some hope can be found 12 miles to the northeast at the planned community of Babcock Ranch. That's where Syd Kitson and his partners…
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Florida Commits $1 Billion to Climate Resilience. But After Hurricane Ian, Some Question the State’s Development Practices

By James Bruggers   10/08/22  
Outside his first-floor apartment where he had slept, Hurricane Ian moved violently and slowly over the Florida interior, dropping monumental amounts of rain on the low-slung landscape pockmarked everywhere with lakes and rivers, ponds and…
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Many of Hurricane Ian’s Victims Were Older Adults Who Drowned

By Mitch Smith and Others   10/07/22  
A 57-year-old woman in the Sarasota area developed hypothermia and died after her roof caved in and she became stuck in floodwaters. A 96-year-old man drowned after getting trapped under a parked car in Charlotte…
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