Hurricanes are slowing down worldwide, and that is causing some concerns among scientists.
“The slower the storm goes, the more rain it’s going to dump in any particular area,” study author and climate scientist James Kossin said. “Hurricane Harvey...was a great example of what a slow storm can do.” Which, in Harvey’s case, resulted in 89 deaths, the destruction of 200,000 home and businesses, and over $126 billion in economic losses.
The study, published in Nature, looked at tropical cyclones, which included tropical storms, hurricanes and typhoons. Overall, tropical cyclones forward speed had slowed by 10% between 1949 and 2016 USAToday reported. Atlantic hurricanes specifically slowed down 6%, but when they hit land slowed by an even more significant 20%. The only area that didn’t show signs of change or slowdown was the Northern Indian Ocean.
Changing wind patterns due to global warming are to blame, at least according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).Global warming is also expected to increase the severity of the strongest tropical cyclones.