Northeastern US cities will face worse hurricane outcomes by the late 21st century, as more storms will arrive, only to slow down upon reaching the shore. This was the findings of a recent study published in Earth’s Future, which revealed that damages will be worse because storms will stick around much longer in the East Coast.
Rowan University’s climate scientist Andra Garner analyzed 35,000 simulated storms alongside her collaborators. They compared storms from the pre-industrial period up to the end of the 21st century, taking note of where the storms are formed, how fast, and where they ended.
The researchers discovered that upcoming East Coast hurricanes are likely to cause more damage compared to past storms. Not only that the amount of future hurricanes that will form around the East Coast is predicted to increase, they will get to the Northeast corridor faster.
The computer-generated storms approached the East Coast at a slow pace, which lets them bring about more floods, rain, wind, and other damage in the Northeastern region. The scientists added they predict that the longest tropical storms will last twice as long storms do nowadays.
There will be changes in how fast the storm will be, but depend on the changes in atmospheric patterns over the Atlantic which are caused by higher air temperatures.
Climate Researchers Foresee Hurricanes Stronger than Hurricane Sandy
Garner’s work is focused on the effects of storms in the East Coast such as Hurricane Sandy, specifically in the Mid-Atlantic. She mentioned how the new study’s finding is concerning as the predicted storms are capable of causing damage similar to Sandy. Storms that linger longer bring on greater damage, just like what Hurricane Dorian did in 2019 over Bahamas, and Hurricane Harvey in 2017 over Texas
The researchers said that there are a lot of research yet to be done in order to understand the correlation between changing storm tracks and the warming climate. Garner and her colleagues also mentioned that it is possible that the potential northward shifts in the area are partly to blame. The environmental wind speeds slow down when Northern and Southern Hemisphere trade winds meet. Hurricanes linger longer without them.
For the past decade, the country’s coastlines were struck by 19 tropical cyclones that resulted in billion-dollar disasters valued at around $480 billion. The economic damage is likely to inflate if the hurricanes would linger longer around the coasts.
According to co-author Benjamin Horton, a specialist in rising sea levels, the study reveals that climate change has a long-term role in the increase in strength of storms around coasts. It is important to consider creating plans on alleviating the impact of major storms to come.