Monday, 20 August, 2018

Season's 1st tropical storm forms in eastern Pacific

People walk through floodwaters near Interstate 10 in Houston on Aug. 27 2017 People walk through floodwaters near Interstate 10 in Houston on Aug. 27 2017
Frank Williams | 08 June, 2018, 21:11

According to a study released on Wednesday, June 6, 2018, tropical cyclones around the world are moving slightly slower over land and water, dumping more rain as they stall, just as Hurricane Harvey did.

These slower speeds don't mean the winds circling the eye of the storm are slowing down. Storms worldwide in 2016 moved about 1.25 miles per hour (2 kph) slower than 60 some years ago.

And that was before slowpoke Harvey hit previous year.

Kossin, who is also with the National Centers for Environmental Information, found a 20% to 30% slowdown over land areas affected by North Atlantic and North Pacific tropical cyclones, respectively.

According to the research of climatologist James Kossin, the rise in global temperatures is leading to a slowdown in the speed of hurricanes and typhoons, allowing them to linger atop coastal communities and inflict more damage.

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Tropical cyclones, including hurricanes and typhoons, are now crawling across the planet at a slower pace than they did decades ago, dragging out and amplifying their devastation, new research published Wednesday shows.

These two trends ought to work in tandem to make today's storms much worse rainmakers. So it isn't clear just how much of the change that Kossin found is actually attributable to human-induced climate change.

"Every one of the hazards that we know tropical cyclones carry with them, all of them are just going to stick around longer", Kossin said. The storms, in effect, are sticking around places for a longer period of time.

Kossin acknowledged problems with pre-1970s data but said that most of it deals with how strong storms are. The fact that their results show quite similar trends should be a wake-up call.

But there are probably more variables at play than a warmer climate putting the brakes on tropical cyclones. A slow storm increases the risk of damaging floods. "And when you start getting more and more lines of evidence that all point in the same direction, you get more confident in the answers".

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