Hurricane Ian, which ravaged parts of Florida last week, nearly reached Category 5. The hurricane’s highest sustained winds were about 155 miles per hour, strong enough to uproot trees, generate large storm surges, and wreck homes.
In a couple of hours, streets were flooded, and residents were trying to locate sturdier buildings to shield them from the hurricane’s fierce winds and rainfall.
Similar images were acquired when Hurricane Ian landed in Cuba a few days ago.
The island was rendered powerless as Hurricane Ian slammed into the coast of Cuba with winds powerful enough to destroy the island’s electrical grids.
Category 5 hurricanes are extremely rare, with just four ever hitting the United States, according to weather authorities. Storms like Ian, however, will grow more common and perhaps more violent as the climate problem deepens.
Human-caused global warming hastens the formation of larger and more powerful storms.
The major cause of this condition is heat. If there is adequate heat, cloud systems may assemble into storms and acquire propulsion if the heat continues.
Furthermore, when countries burn fossil fuels to supply electricity for homes and infrastructure, large amounts of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases are lost to the atmosphere, causing a rise in global temperatures.
The heat permits a tiny hurricane to develop over the Atlantic, allowing it to expand. Ian experienced the same thing. When the storm was still in its initial phases, it was feeble and could only wreak so much damage if it reached ashore.
On the other hand, the blazing heat of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean allowed it to proliferate and grow in size quickly.
Climate change causes the formation of stronger storms
The heat not only increases the frequency of hurricanes but also speeds up their development into stronger storms. For example, Hurricane Ian evolved from a tropical storm to a hurricane in less than 24 hours. It even increased before hitting Cuba, wreaking devastation to the island.
When it was flung towards Florida, it gathered power and nearly reached Category 5.
Rapid hurricane strengthening is becoming ubiquitous, particularly with typhoons passing over the US Gulf Coast.
Hurricanes Ida, Harvey, Irma, and Michael were all fast strengthening storms that passed over warm water along the country’s coast.
According to studies, one of the primary causes of storms rapidly acquiring power, particularly those building over the Atlantic Ocean, is heat. However, other considerations, such as wind conditions and the existence of other weather systems, must be noted.
Therefore, scientists are now closely researching the direct consequences of global warming on storm intensification per the current pattern.
Flooding will affect more states
When the atmosphere warms, it becomes more capable of retaining moisture.
As a result, more storms will carry tremendous amounts of water when they strike land. This simply implies that flooding will become more common if hurricanes deliver heavy rains.
Scientists have previously demonstrated that climate change significantly increases the volume of water delivered by hurricanes by researching Hurricane Harvey’s characteristics.
Not only that, but as storms grow in size, the probability of stronger storm surges grows, making communities more perilous, particularly in low-lying locations.
Photo Credit: NASA