Anatomy of a hur­ri­cane

Popular Science - - CHARTED -

IN OC­TO­BER 2016, HUR­RI­CANE MATTHEW KILLED MORE THAN 550 peo­ple and caused $15 bil­lion in prop­erty dam­ages. The most pow­er­ful storm to hit the Caribbean and South­east­ern United States in a decade, it whipped winds up to 160 miles per hour and pushed a 10-foot surge of sea­wa­ter onto the coast. Un­for­tu­nately, Matthew might be more of a har­bin­ger than an out­lier. Based on com­puter mod­els and his­tor­i­cal records, many cli­ma­tol­o­gists think that warm­ing oceans might make storms like Matthew more com­mon. Re­search sug­gests that a hot­ter planet might cre­ate the per­fect weather conditions for form­ing these ex­cep­tion­ally strong, dan­ger­ous trop­i­cal cy­clones. Here’s why.

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