According to several reports, a new forecast by NOAA has scientists worried about an increase in hurricane intensity. Over the last several years, massive hurricanes have caused billions of dollars in damage across the US, particularly in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic Coast from Florida to New England.
The NOAA bulletin read scientists believed there could be “a transition from El Niño to ENSO-neutral is likely by April-June 2024 (79% chance), with increasing odds of La Niña developing in June-August 2024 (55% chance).” This could raise the odds that the atmosphere and ocean temperatures could produce more storms.
Yale Climate Connection experts estimated that storms during the most recent hurricane season did $4 billion worth of damage. Its experts wrote, “This year is the first Atlantic season since 2016 without at least two billion-dollar U.S. landfalls.” Hurricane Idalia did $2.4 billion worth of damage last year.
Category 6 Hurricanes
The level of concern about hurricanes is not just the number. It is also the wind speed and destructiveness of the storms. Because of warm ocean water, there is a push for a new Category 6 designation for storms with sustained wind speeds over 193 MPH. The Saffir-Simpson scale was invented in the 1970s. At the time, it had five categories. The number of storms and power of the storms has moved up substantially since then.
The new worry about hurricanes so soon after California’s coast was hammered by heavy rain and winds from the Pacifca because of a weather phenomenon known as the Pineapple Express shows that the major causes of severe weather can change within months, if not weeks. The California storms, in turn, come on the heels of what has been called a 1,200-year drought.
. Not only can the weather change from day to day, but So can long-term forecasts.