A look at climate change’s impact on hurricane season

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
WINK News Meteorologist Nash Rhodes. Credit: WINK News.

We’re almost to the peak of hurricane season. As National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicted, 2021 is another active season. We’ve already had 12 named storms in the Atlantic, with another possible system over the Yucatan Peninsula.

We took a look Monday at how climate change plays a role in our hurricane seasons.

Experts say, with sea surface temperatures rising, hurricanes can become more intense and wetter. After Hurricane Ida caused destruction in Louisiana, it brought flooding and tornadoes to the Northeast. It’s reason for people to pay attention.

“The records that were broken in Central Park, for example, 3.15 inches in one hour,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (NY-D) said publicly. “It a broke a record literally set one week earlier. That says to me that there are no more cataclysmic, unforeseeable events.”

It’s part of the list of storms confirming experts’ predictions for an active hurricane season.

“We are definitely on track for an active hurricane season,” WINK News Meteorologist Nash Rhodes said. “In fact, we just got our third major hurricane. We’re only forecasting three to five in the latest NOAA update as of a few months ago, so definitely ahead of schedule for this season.”

Scientists are looking out for a possible La Nina return later this season and are studying climate change’s role in storms.

“We’ve known for decades that rise in fossil fuel emissions are driving warming across the planet,” said Kim Cobb, the director of the Global Change program at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Regardless of how many storms we have predicted for this season, it only takes one storm or hurricane to seriously impact a community.

In the face of oceans holding more heat, sea level rise and increased storminess, some experts believe the time to prepare is now.

“If we think this is bad, we have to get ready for the climate of the next decades, when we know we have a couple tenths of a degree warming more,” Cobb said.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.