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What’s Causing More Frequent And Stronger Hurricanes Along The Gulf Coast And Atlantic Ocean?

While there is certainly a debate on what’s causing it, there is little debate on the fact the Continental U.S. Gulf Coast, Caribbean, and Atlantic Basin are experiencing more frequent and stronger hurricanes in the past 10 years, and most certainly since 2018.

And then there was 2020 which broke several records for the number of named storms and for having both the earliest named storm and latest named storm which reached Category 4 status.

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When considering things like coastal construction, beach erosion, protecting vulnerable marine and animal habitats, and the need for beach nourishment after each storm, there are many areas to think about if the U.S. continues to experience greater frequency and strength of storms, especially if the season gets extended earlier and later.

Please use the comments form below and let’s have these discussions, and consider sharing this article with family and friends so they can have their input.

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Ocean Temperatures, Global Warming, Climate Change

Weather Patterns

At a time when humans are having a debate over whether man-made climate change or normal cyclical weather patterns are causing this dilemma, the fact remains that it’s happening and could likely change how we live and play in coastal areas.

Additionally, there is another concept which is equally concerning. As we continue to see bigger storms being fed by warmer oceans, it won’t be just immediate coastal regions which will be affected. Major cities and towns inland which normally only experience remnants of these tropical systems will begin to experience full category level hurricanes if this trend continues or worsens.

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And, if that wasn’t enough to consider, think about full category hurricanes staying intact further up the east coast of the United States making landfall in places like Washington DC, New York City, and Long Island.

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Warmer Oceans

The basic anatomy of a hurricane is a low pressure system over warm ocean waters which develops and enters an area where sea surface temperatures are high enough to strengthen the system further.

As warm moist air rushes in the the lowest pressure point which is the eye, the system will begin to spin. Once this starts, the eye will continue to spin faster and faster drawing more air in at a faster rate which is what creates winds in a hurricane.

With the engine being the eye, warm water temperatures giving way to warm air is the fuel source needed to maintain these tropical systems.

If sea surface temperatures continue to get warmer and warmer, we will continue the trend of seeing stronger hurricanes, and we will see them forming in different places more frequently. It’s becoming more likely that places along the Northeast will experience impacts from a full category storm if this trend continues.

RELATED: Surge Along Coastal Beaches

And, as they reach the highest category level there is currently, it will take them longer to decrease to the minimum 73 mph winds to change from hurricane to tropical storm.

Again, this means places further up the east coast will begin to experience fully intact storms whereas now they are incredibly rare.

Hot Towers

Meteorology data shows that hot towers are columns of thunderstorms created from hot air which reach in to the stratosphere and are frequently observed in storms reaching major category status of 4 and 5. These towers are not present in all hurricanes, but they are in the most volatile where all conditions needed are perfect and there is nothing to prevent a storm from strengthening unabated.

Weather researchers are beginning to form a pattern in the past 7 years where these hot towers within big tropical systems are becoming more frequent which is yet another example of warm water becoming much warmer.

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DISCUSSIONS

Using the no registration comment form below, we’re interested in hearing from people living along coastal beaches and regions where hurricanes and tropical storm impacts are consistent. Are you seeing more active and frequent systems which are stronger?

If you live someplace where hurricanes and tropical storms are not consistent, and they becoming more frequent?

We’re very interested in hearing from people living along the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and Atlantic Ocean along the East Coast of the United States.

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Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

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