A series of extremely rare powerful storms have hit the United States in recent weeks, inundating areas affected by prolonged drought, a sign that climate change, when it occurs, is triggering a “climate wave.”
Scientists warn that global warming This means that events that were once rare are now more likely, casting doubt on the models they have long used to predict potential disasters, with the worst yet to come.
At least 40 people died in the past month from storms in Kentucky, Illinois, Texas and Missouri, which inundated areas that, in some cases, had seen little rain for months. In one of these storms, up to 300 mm fell, and this type of heavy rain, according to statistical models, should occur only once every thousand years.
“This is the weather,” tweeted Peter Gleick, co-founder of the Pacific Institute, a nongovernmental organization working on water issues around the world.
It is “caused by the intensification of the global hydrological cycle and how water is distributed around the planet, affected by man-made climate change.”
The warnings that scientists have been giving for decades about the effects of uncontrolled fossil fuel use have become the focus of millions of people.
A warm planet is a place of wild change, where the wetter is wetter and the drought is drier. We see it now.
“What these and other extreme precipitation events have in common is that you need the right set of ingredients for them to happen,” David Novak, director of the National Weather Service’s Center for Weather Prediction, told AFP.
“You need moisture, you need atmospheric instability. And you need some kind of feature (…) to run storms.”
Although a storm in Texas, Kentucky, or Illinois is unheard of at this time of year, these events were fraught with excess moisture in the atmosphere, a direct result of the planet’s warming.
“There is an absolute scientific consensus that warmer air can hold more moisture,” Novak told AFP. “There’s more moisture available…to touch these fronts, so you can really be exposed to these really intense rain events.”
The probability of these storms occurring was 0.1% in a given year under pre-industrial conditions, which means that they occurred on average once every thousand years. But the potential for it to occur in a warmer, wetter environment increases exponentially. “Something that was absolutely not bearable, only a little moisture could make it bearable.”Novak said.
Two tropical waves under watch in Florida, USA
Hurricane season is still active on the coasts of the United States, with August, September and October being the most active hurricane months of the year. Despite the weather measurements, it’s still relatively calm at the moment.
This year’s hurricane season is scheduled to begin in June, through the end of November 2022. At that time, there were a total of three tropical storms and no hurricanes.
The National Hurricane Center (CNH) reported in the last hours that two tropical waves are constantly being observed, which are likely to become the next tropical storms of this season.
The first identified wave is moving through the Windward Islands, which, according to CNH experts, are unregulated, which translates to rain and electrical storms. This wave is expected to develop slowly as it moves into the Caribbean Sea this weekend and early next period.
According to the report, meteorologists have identified a 20% chance of turning into a tropical depression or storm in the next five days. Orlando Sentinel.
*With information from AFP.
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