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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

The Hurricane Bookies

By Jeva Lange 04/18/24
Are you feeling lucky? Americans are. Close to two-thirds say they’ve gambled in the past year; the sports pages are filled with headlines detailing the fallout of various investigations and scandals. But while there isn’t…
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‘Alarming’ Ocean Temperatures Suggest This Hurricane Season Will Be a Daunting One

By Judson Jones 04/09/24
A key area of the Atlantic Ocean where hurricanes form is already abnormally warm, much warmer than an ideal swimming pool temperature of about 80 degrees and on the cusp of feeling more like warm…
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An ‘extremely active’ hurricane season is headed our way, experts warn

By Scott Dance 04/04/24
An “extremely active” Atlantic hurricane season is likely this year, a key preseason forecast warns, with chances for long-lived and intense storms fueled by record ocean warmth and atmospheric patterns known for boosting tropical cyclones.
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Battered by hurricanes and tired of rebuilding, 90% of population has left this coastal town

By Nidhi Sharma and Lauren Wilson 03/19/24
Seven days a week, Tressie LaBove Smith makes the two-hour round trip from Lake Charles to what’s left of her Cajun restaurant in Cameron, Louisiana, an unincorporated town perched along the stormy Gulf Coast. Business…
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Is The Current Hurricane Warning System Outdated?

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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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

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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Floodlines

By Van R. Newkirk 2   10/07/22  
From on-the-ground reporting to rigorous fact-checking, our work depends on subscribers like you. Join us today, starting at less than $1 a week.
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Americans Are Moving Into the Paths of Hurricanes

By Kelli Maria Korducki   10/06/22  
Vann R. Newkirk II, our senior editor and Floodlines podcast host, told me, “Some of the fastest-growing areas in the country have really intense flood and hurricane risks.” He explains why, and what this means…
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New Florida Community Survived Hurricane Virtually Unscathed After Being Designed for Resilience

By Andy Corbley   10/05/22  
Even as two million Floridians lost power during the recent Hurricane Ian, one unique community survived intact.
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Strange Scenes of Ian: From a Doorbell Camera

By Rebecca Halleck and Others   10/04/22  
Hurricane Ian’s menace sent homeowners around Florida scurrying to safer parts while their technology stood sentry. Home camera security systems served as the unflinching eyes and ears for anxious people whose homes were in the…
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Three Ways to Build Back Smarter After Hurricane Ian

By Elena Shao   10/03/22  
The damage from Hurricane Ian will very likely run into the tens of billions of dollars and scientists say the United States can expect more severe storms like it as the planet heats up. They…
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Tesla Model X in “boat mode” escapes hurricane Ian floodwaters

By Zachary Shahan   10/02/22  
There is no shortage of crazy stories coming out of the path of Hurricane Ian. (I’ve got my own from my area of Southwest Florida, but none of them are saucy enough or cleantech enough…
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Floridians hit by hurricane face gridlock, flooding, extensive damage

By Tim Craig   10/01/22  
Search and rescue efforts continued along Florida’s west coast as residents confronted the sweeping devastation and rising death toll wrought by Hurricane Ian, one of the strongest storms ever to make landfall in the continental…
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Ian Latest: Weaker Storm Brings Rain, Flash Floods to Carolinas

By Brian K . Sullivan and Others   10/01/22  
Ian lost its hurricane status after pummeling South Carolina with violent winds and a deadly storm surge, knocking out power to tens of thousands in the US Southeast. The storm came ashore as a Category…
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More Americans are moving into hurricane zones even as climate risks mount

By Anna Phillips   10/01/22  
Officials in Charleston, S.C., are clear that climate change poses an existential threat. They are working on plans to build a $1.1 billion sea wall that would protect historic homes from the increasingly powerful hurricanes…
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On Florida’s Islands, Scenes of Paradise Lost, Maybe for Good

By Jennifer Reed and Others   09/30/22  
Mitch Pacyna and his wife had weathered other hurricanes in their 27 years on this sandy stripe of barrier island and decided to ride out Hurricane Ian at home.
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Ian Latest: Carolinas-Bound Storm Regains Hurricane Strength

09/30/22  
Ian, now a hurricane again, is threatening to carve a new path of destruction through South Carolina Friday when it roars ashore north of Charleston. The storm will drive a surge of water into the…
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How climate change is rapidly fueling super hurricanes

By Scott Dance   09/29/22  
An unprecedented number of storms rated Category 4 or stronger have lashed the U.S. shoreline in recent years.
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How the climate crisis is driving stronger storms further inland

By Nina Lakahani   09/29/22  
“It’s all about the water,” warned meteorologists as Hurricane Fiona battered Puerto Rico last week and as category 4 Hurricane Ian edged closer and eventually hit Florida on Wednesday.
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Before Hurricane Ian, Florida’s Southwest Coast Was a Place to Escape the Chaos

By Jennifer Reed and Others   09/29/22  
Jessica Cosden’s family was huddled together at home as roofs rattled, trees crashed down and surging waters filled the 400 miles of canals lacing their city. Then everything went dark. “We just lost power,” Ms.…
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Here’s Where All The Strongest Hurricanes Have Hit the U.S. in the Past 50 Years

By Solcyre Burga   09/29/22  
Hurricane Ian devastated southern Florida on Wednesday afternoon when it hit as a Category 4 storm, causing intense flooding and leaving 2.5 million Floridians without power.
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Hurricane Ian’s Staggering Scale of Wreckage Becomes Clearer in Florida

By Patricia Mazzei and Others   09/29/22  
The extent of Hurricane Ian’s destruction became clearer on Thursday as people across southwestern Florida, left without electricity, drinking water or inhabitable homes, began to assess the damage and gird for what Gov. Ron DeSantis…
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Hurricane Ian’s climate warning

By Andrew Freedman   09/29/22  
Hurricane forecasters' worst nightmare came true on Wednesday morning, when what had been a Category 3 storm Tuesday night suddenly jumped almost to Category 5. Why it matters: It used to be rare for storms…
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‘Historic’ flooding slams Florida as Ian turns toward the Carolinas

By multiple authors   09/29/22  
Early assessments offered a grim look at widespread damage as rescuers struggled to reach stranded Floridians. The storm is expected to strengthen back into a hurricane and make landfall again in South Carolina. Our reporters…
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Here’s why Hurricane Ian is sucking water out of Tampa Bay.

By Elena Shao   09/28/22  
Even as some parts of Florida’s coast experience a catastrophic surge of seawater over their shores, Hurricane Ian has pushed water out of Tampa Bay, leaving it less than a foot deep in some areas.
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Cat. 5 storms making landfall in U.S. are rare. But three out of the four smashed Florida

By Clara-Sophia Daly   09/28/22  
Before touching down around 3 p.m at Cayo Costa, an island off Captiva that’s accessible only by boat and has few full-time residents, it had been swirling around the southwest Florida coast with maximum sustained…
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Maps show how millions of people have moved into Hurricane Ian’s path

By Simon Ducroquet, Brady Dennis and John Muyskens   09/28/22  
Florida’s allure has been a constant for generations. But recent decades have brought more transplants — and more development — than ever. In few places is that more apparent than along the swath of coastline…
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Factbox: The worst hurricanes in Florida’s history as Ian takes aim

09/27/22  
Hurricane Ian is expected to hit Florida's Gulf Coast later this week, possibly as a Category 3 storm, prompting residents to prepare for life-threatening conditions. As Florida braces for Hurricane Ian, here are the five…
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Florida prepares for Ian’s impact ‘one way or the other’ as hurricane strengthens

By Scott Dance and Others   09/26/22  
Evacuation orders expanded by the hour along Florida’s Gulf Coast on Monday as officials warned residents to prepare for powerful, widespread impacts from a strengthening Hurricane Ian — a storm on its way to becoming…
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Ian strengthens on perilous path toward Florida

By Matthew Cappucci and Others   09/25/22  
Tropical Storm Ian is gaining strength as it continues to churn through the northwestern Caribbean. It is set to slam western Cuba before turning north and aiming toward Florida later this week. A period of…
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Fiona slams Atlantic Canada, leaving destruction, outages in its wake

By Selena Ross and others   09/24/22  
One of the strongest storms ever to hit Canada slammed into Nova Scotia’s coastline on Saturday, leaving much of Nova Scotia and nearly all of Prince Edward Island without power.
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Hurricane Fiona likely to be ‘extreme weather event’ as it barrels toward eastern Canada, forecasters warn

By Aya Elamroussi and others   09/23/22  
Deadly Hurricane Fiona has weakened slightly to a Category 3 storm but is still packing forceful winds of 125 mph as it barrels toward Canada’s Atlantic coast. It’s expected to bring hurricane conditions to the…
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Studying hurricanes at sea to save lives on shore

By Kristen Pope   09/23/22  
NOAA oceanographer Greg Foltz knew it was going to be a long night last fall when he saw Hurricane Sam‘s trajectory. Glued to the National Hurricane Center data, Foltz, who works in NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic…
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Storm Impacts Continue to Show Inequitable Harms of Climate Change

By Nexus Media   09/22/22  
Multiple new reports continue to reveal how historically excluded groups were hurt by systemic inequities exacerbated by Hurricane Ida. Entergy, the utility that supplies electricity to much of southeastern Louisiana, raked in a record $1.4…
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Fiona will lash parts of Canada as region’s strongest storm on record

By Matthew Cappucci   09/22/22  
Canada’s Atlantic provinces are bracing for the strongest storm they have experienced on record as Hurricane Fiona barrels through the North Atlantic, set to hit the area Friday night into Saturday. The storm, which unleashed…
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Even before Fiona, Puerto Rico’s power grid was poised for failure

By Joshua Partlow   09/19/22  
The hurricane winds that knocked out power to the entire island of Puerto Rico over the weekend encountered an electrical grid that experts liken to a house of cards: a fragile, decrepit, patchwork system running…
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Dallas flooding is 5th 1-in-1,000-year flood event in US since late July

By Wyatt Loy   08/26/22  
From the Desert Southwest to the southern Plains and Midwest, epic deluges have been an unfortunately common occurrence over the past month.
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Harvey Hit 5 Years Ago. Its Floodwaters Did Not Strike Equitably.

By Elana Shao   08/25/22  
Up to 50 percent of the properties that were flooded in Harris County, Texas, during Hurricane Harvey might have escaped that fate in a world without climate change, scientists reported on Thursday.
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The coming California megaflood

By Raymond Zhong   08/12/22  
California, where earthquakes, droughts and wildfires have shaped life for generations, also faces the growing threat of another kind of calamity, one whose fury would be felt across the entire state.
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These hurricane flood maps reveal the climate future for Miami, NYC and D.C.

By Jenny Staletovich and Others   07/28/22  
As climate change warms the planet, drives up sea levels and energizes hurricanes, the arsenal of dangerous impacts delivered by the fierce storms is expected to get supercharged. Among the most worrisome: powerful flooding from…
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Atlantic Hurricane Season May Get Boost From Lingering La Nina

By Brian K. Sullivan   07/14/22  
La Nina will probably stick around for at least several more months, potentially leading to more hurricanes and tropical storms across the Atlantic during the heart of the season.
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What is the impact of climate change on hurricanes?

By Veronica Penney   06/29/22  
Researchers are unsure about whether human-caused climate change will mean longer or more active hurricane seasons in the future, but there is broad agreement on one thing: Global warming is changing storms.
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What to expect during the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season

By Samantha Harrington   06/16/22  
The Atlantic is expected to have an active hurricane season this year. Colorado State University scientists predict 20 named storms and 10 hurricanes, including five major hurricanes. NOAA’s forecast calls for slightly fewer storms but…
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The most reliable hurricane models, based on their 2021 performance

By Jeff Masters   06/09/22  
Although an individual model may outperform the official NHC forecast in some situations, the 2021 National Hurricane Center Forecast Verification Report documents that overall, it is very difficult for any one model to consistently beat…
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Disturbance 91L in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico likely to become the Atlantic’s first tropical cyclone of 2022

By Jeff Masters   06/02/22  
Adisturbance designated Invest 91L by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has grown more organized over the past day, and is likely to become the Atlantic’s first tropical depression or named storm by Saturday. A hurricane…
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NOAA predicts above-normal 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season

05/24/22  
Forecasters at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, a division of the National Weather Service, are predicting above-average hurricane activity this year — which would make it the seventh consecutive above-average hurricane season. NOAA’s outlook for the…
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Biden tells America to brace for a ‘more extreme’ hurricane season amid worrying loop current

By Johanna Chisholm   05/20/22  
“We know hurricanes are coming our way. They grow more extreme every season,” the US president said ahead of a scheduled briefing with top officials, including Deanne Criswell, the administrator for the Federal Emergency Management…
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Lake Charles starts program for 2020 hurricane home repairs

04/17/22  
Registration has started for a new program to help low- and moderate-income Lake Charles residents fix 2020 hurricane damage to their homes, and Mayor Nic Hunter says he expects it to fill up fast.
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Ocean Warming Doubles Odds for Extreme Atlantic Hurricane Seasons

By Bob Berwyn   04/13/22  
For storm-battered residents of the Caribbean, the Southeast and the Gulf Coast, new research on hurricanes is rarely good news, with recent studies showing trends toward stronger storms that intensify suddenly near the coast and…
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Pouring it on: Climate change made 2020 hurricanes rainier

By Seth Borenstein   04/12/22  
Human-caused climate change made the entire season -- 30 named storms -- drop 5% more rain. During the 14 storms that reached hurricane status the rainfall was 8% heavier, according to the study in Tuesday’s…
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Drone Sails Into Category 4 Hurricane, Sends Back Incredible Video and Data

By Brian Kahn   12/17/21  
While us average folks enjoyed the incredible footage captured by a floating drone in the midst of a Category 4 hurricane, scientists were geeking out on the data. And now, they’re ready to share some…
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Atlantic Hurricane Season 2020

10/15/21  
The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is one for the record books. There were two storms in May, before the season's official start on June 1, and this is the first year since storm record-keeping began…
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