A new analysis of global hurricane data since 1980 shows the number of storms with winds over 124 mph has doubled, and those with winds over 155 mph has tripled. As the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season begins, scientists are worried that U.S. coastal communities could face more super storms with winds, storm surges and rainfall so intense that current warning categories don’t fully capture the threat.
Therefore, scientists call for expanding the hurricane scale for better warnings that could save lives. This year’s forecast is about average and much more subdued than last summer’s hyperactive season turned out to be, partly due to cooler ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic, as well as a nascent El Niño pattern. But that doesn’t mean an individual storm won’t blow up to exceptional strength, as Andrew did before striking Florida in 1992, an otherwise relatively quiet year. READ MORE