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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

With a Month Left, the Pacific Hurricane Season Reaches 16 Storms

By Eduardo Medina   10/13/21  
Across much of the Atlantic Ocean, from Cuba to Texas and Florida to Newfoundland, hurricanes and tropical storms have flooded streets, taken out the power and caused serious damage to cities this year. In the…
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AgCenter: Ida agriculture damage at least $584M in Louisiana

09/24/21  
Hurricane Ida’s winds and floods did at least $584 million in damage to agriculture in Louisiana, experts at the LSU AgCenter estimate. More than half of that — $315.9 million — is timber damage, with…
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New Orleans is coming back from Ida, but rural Louisiana is still struggling.

By Sophie Kasakove   09/10/21  
Christine Verdin received numerous photos from friends and family of the destruction Hurricane Ida brought to the rural community of Pointe-aux-Chenes, which runs along a bayou southwest of New Orleans.
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Nearly all power has been restored in New Orleans, where at least 10 people died of excess heat after Ida.

By Giulia Heyward and Sophie Kasakove   09/09/21  
With the vast majority of lights now on in New Orleans, city officials on Thursday were prepared for the next phase in navigating the aftermath of Hurricane Ida: recovery. The slow progress toward normalcy came…
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Fossil Fuel Leaks, Spills, Flaring & Chemical Releases After Hurricane Ida May Be Worst Ever Recorded

09/08/21  
Oil and gas investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz says the extent of damage done after Hurricane Ida from the fossil fuel and petrochemical industry from leaks, spills, flaring, ruptures and chemical releases in the Gulf Coast…
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Can Hurricane Ida Move Public Opinion on Climate Change?

By Justin Worland   09/07/21  
For many climate reporters, myself included, the arrival of Hurricane Ida brought a recognizable pit to the stomach. The details of the stories emerging as the storm barreled toward the Gulf Coast were new—of course—but…
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Hurricane Larry Strengthens to a Category 3 Storm

09/05/21  
Hurricane Larry, the 12th named storm of the busy 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane on Friday night in the eastern Atlantic Ocean, the National Hurricane Center said.
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Death toll from Ida climbs above 60 from Louisiana to New England

By Bob Henson and Jeff Masters   09/03/21  
At least 48 people have died in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast as a result of flooding and tornadoes associated with Post-Tropical Cyclone Ida, and the toll continues to rise. Between its category 4 landfall in…
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More than 45 dead after Ida’s remnants blindside Northeast

By Bobby Caina Calvan, David Porter And Jennifer Peltz   09/03/21  
A stunned U.S. East Coast faced a rising death toll, surging rivers and tornado damage Thursday after the remnants of Hurricane Ida walloped the region with record-breaking rain, drowning more than 40 people in their…
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How Many Hurricanes Must Slam the Grid Before We Get the Message?

By Elisa Wood   09/03/21  
The electric grid’s dysfunctional relationship with hurricanes offers a new twist on the Humpty-Dumpty story. Again and again when fierce storms like Hurricane Ida topple wires and poles, all the king’s horses and all the…
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U.S. Civil Engineers Bent the Rules to Give New Orleans Extra Protection from Hurricanes. Those Adjustments Might Have Saved the City During Ida

By Alejandro De La Garza   09/02/21  
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans in late August 2005, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was tasked with building a new flood-defense network. Congress allocated billions of dollars to build…
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Northeast pummeled with colossal flooding, destructive tornadoes

By Bob Henson and Jeff Masters   09/02/21  
Some of the worst urban flash flooding in U.S. history struck the New York City area on Wednesday night, as the remnants of once-category 4 Hurricane Ida teamed up with a frontal zone, upper-level energy,…
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43 Die as Deadliest Storm Since Sandy Devastates the Northeast

By Andy Newman   09/02/21  
Three days after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana, its weakened remnants tore into the Northeast and claimed at least 43 lives across New York, New Jersey and two other states in an onslaught that…
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The Truth Is That You Can’t Protect Everything From Every Hurricane

By Robert S. Young   09/02/21  
Hurricane Ida, which on Sunday struck the coast of Louisiana near Port Fourchon as a very strong Category 4 storm, will teach us many lessons. The first is the hardest to acknowledge: No matter what…
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A Monster Storm Tests New Orleans

By Christopher Flavelle   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.…
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Ida churns up tension on infrastructure vs. climate change

By Zack Colman   09/01/21  
Hurricane Ida’s lashing of Louisiana is supercharging a fight in Washington over spending tens of billions of dollars to protect the U.S. from future storms.
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Power makes slow return to eastern New Orleans

By 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…
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Lack of Power Hinders Assessment of Toxic Pollution Caused by Ida

By Hiroko Tabuchi   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…
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Before and after images show the devastation from Hurricane Ida

By Kasha Patel   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.…
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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…
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New Orleanians struggle to find their footing after yet another hurricane.

By Richard Fausset   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…
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Hurricane Ida could make the supply chain disaster even worse.

By Peter S. Goodman   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.
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Hurricane Ida Offers a Glimpse of the Dystopia That’s Coming for All of Us

By Andy Horowitz   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…
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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.
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As a preview of future hurricanes, Ida is ‘very scary.’

By Winston Choi-Schagrin   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,…
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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.
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New Orleans homeless shelters scramble to bring in residents, facing storm and Covid surge

By Devika Krishna Kumar   08/30/21  
Alarmed aid workers raced to get New Orleans' homeless off the streets on Sunday ahead of fast-moving Hurricane Ida, a complicated, last-minute push made all the more difficult by a severe outbreak of COVID-19 cases…
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Hurricane Ida lashes Louisiana, knocks out New Orleans power

By Rebecca Santana   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…
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We’re Hitting the Limits of Hurricane Preparedness

By Robinson Meyer   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…
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Oil Industry Surveys Damage After Hurricane Ida Slams Louisiana

By Collin Eaton and Jennifer Hiller   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.
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Hurricane Ida: Louisiana residents ask to be rescued; officials say it’s too dangerous to be on road

By Emma Discher   08/29/21  
First responders in St. John the Baptist Parish have received at least one confirmed report of people trapped in their attic and others needing to be rescued as Hurricane Ida floods their homes, Parish President…
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Nearly 1 million customers without power as Hurricane Ida charges inland

By Jason Samenow and others   08/29/21  
Nearly 1 million customers were without power in Louisiana on Sunday night as Hurricane Ida battered the southeastern part of the state on the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
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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.
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Oil companies shut down 91% of Gulf production ahead of Hurricane Ida

By Paul Takahashi   08/28/21  
Oil companies have temporarily shut down nearly 91 percent of crude production in the Gulf of Mexico as Hurricane Ida barrels toward the Louisiana coast, threatening the nation’s largest concentration of oil and gas facilities.
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Intensifying Hurricane Ida a significant threat to key infrastructure

By Jeff Masters and Bob Henson   08/28/21  
After making landfall in western Cuba on Friday night as a category 1 hurricane with 80 mph winds, Hurricane Ida is now in the Gulf of Mexico, headed northwest at 15 mph towards Louisiana. Ida…
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How is climate change impacting hurricanes?

By Rachel Ramirez, CNN   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…
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‘Unequivocal’ IPCC Report Confirms Human Causation Of Climate Change

08/09/21  
An alarming new IPCC report released this morning confirms, with “unequivocal” certainty, that the climate change causing the devastating phenomena hammering the globe is driven by human-sourced greenhouse gas pollution. While some impacts of climate…
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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.…
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Climate wreckage along Chesapeake fuels courtroom reckoning

By Maxine Joselow   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…
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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…
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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…
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Expect An Above Average Atlantic Hurricane Season This Year

By Laurel Wamsley   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…
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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…
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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…
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Climate Change’s Impact On Hurricane Sandy Has A Price: $8 Billion

By Nathan Rott   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…
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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.
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A Small Hint of Big Trouble in the Oceans

By Moises Velasquez-Manoff and Jeremy White   03/03/21  
Some scientists fear that meltwater from Greenland may be affecting ocean currents that help regulate far-reaching weather patterns.
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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…
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2020 rivals hottest year on record, pushing Earth closer to a critical climate threshold

By Chris Mooney, Andrew Freedman and John Muyskens   01/15/21  
Escalating temperatures poise planet to breach1.5 C for the first time, possibly later this decade
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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,…
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