The final day of the Atlantic hurricane season has come quietly as no named storms formed after Sept. 25. The season, which runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, was once again incredibly active and—for the second year in a row—resulted in all 21 storm names that were unveiled by the World Meteorological Organization being exhausted. The final storm of the season was Tropical Storm Wanda, which clung to the northeast and resulted in $200 million in damages.
Of those storms, seven were classified as hurricanes and four were deemed major storms classified as Category 3 or higher. Inarguably the costliest—and deadliest—storm of the season was Hurricane Ida, which made landfall multiple times as a weaker storm before coalescing into a Category 3 hurricane that hit Port Fourchon, Louisiana, on Aug. 29. It was upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane within an hour of making landfall in Louisiana.
Last year saw 30 named storms, marking the most active season in recorded history, though the cost of their impact totaled around $51 billion. This year is the third-most active hurricane season, but it likely won’t hold that position for long as storms continue to ramp up and their costs keep rising. Whereas 2021 was a difficult year for North America, Central America saw a reprieve from the major storms that hit the region last year.
The Atlantic hurricane season was also deemed “above-average” when it comes to accumulated cyclonic energy (ACE), a metric the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calculates based on the maximum wind speed per six hour intervals over the course of any storm categorized as a tropical storm or hurricane so long as wind speeds reach at least 39 miles per hour. Compared with last year, 2020 had a considerably higher ACE number.
Consistently active Atlantic hurricane seasons can certainly be chalked up to climate change, but it’s a mixed bag. Climate change can yield more storm surges and intense storms suddenly forming that slow as they approach land, contributing substantial rainfall. Scientists also believe that climate change may lead to fewer hurricanes, as was seen during the latter half of this Atlantic hurricane season due to increased wind shear—another component that ties back to climate change. Wind shear is defined as a change in wind speed or direction along a straight line and can, at times, effectively destroy a storm as it forms.
This doesn’t negate the pressing dangers of stronger, more intense storms rapidly forming in ways that make it difficult for those in a hurricane’s path to safely hunker down or evacuate. The city of New Orleans notably did not instate a mandatory evacuation for Hurricane Ida due to its quick formation and rapid intensification. It’s anyone’s guess what next year’s Atlantic hurricane season may bring, but NOAA has been issuing predictions earlier ahead of the season and may even add an additional two weeks to the season itself.
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From Daily Kos at Read More. This article is republished from DailyKos under an open content license. Read the original article at DailyKos.