Tropical cyclones, hurricanes are slowing down, study says

Christopher Davidson
June 8, 2018

Study author James Kossin of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says Harvey is a great example of what he found.

This means the more time they spend above land, the more devastation they can wreak with rainfall and storm-induced damages. It stated the storm was forecast to maintain shifting out into the Pacific. "It's safe to say you want them [hurricanes] to get out of your neighborhood as quickly as possible".

Warmer air is able to hold more water vapor through a process called the Clausius-Clapeyron relationship, which shows that the water-holding capability of air increases about 7% with each degree Celsius of warming. However, scientists have struggled to isolate the impacts of climate change on the characteristics of extreme weather events.

Worldwide weather research has revealed Australia has some of the slackest tropical cyclones.

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey stalled for 4 days over southern Texas, dropping more than a meter of rain and causing $125 billion in damage (above).

The trend has all the signs of human-caused climate change, Kossin said.

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On average, the storms moved 2 kilometers per hour slower in 2016 compared with 1949-a change of 10% during a period when Earth warmed by 0.5⁰C. The change is even more dramatic in storms that have made landfall from the North Atlantic - they're moving 20 percent slower.

The study published in Nature this week by USA weather experts shows the problem weather systems are taking longer to travel across the planet.

A big storm that drops a lot of rain is more risky if it's going slow.

The first tropical storm of the eastern Pacific hurricane season formed well off the coast of Mexico on Wednesday, AP reported, as forecasters said it's not a threat to land.

The reduced speed leads to heavier rainfall and an increased risk of flooding.

The speed at which hurricanes move is largely dictated by atmospheric circulation, and atmospheric circulation in the tropics has been weakening, especially in the summer, as temperature gradients between the tropics and polar regions decreases.

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