Hurricane Delta bears striking resemblance to Wilma, the Atlantic’s most intense hurricane on record
Hurricane Delta strengthened at an incredible rate: more than 85 mph over 24 hours, reaching Category 4 on Tuesday before dropping back down to a Category 2. It was the fastest rate of intensification in the Caribbean since Hurricane Wilma in 2005, when that storm went from 75 mph to 185 mph in just 24 hours time.
Delta’s rapid intensification is no coincidence. Memorable storms like this season’s Hurricane Laura, and past season storms like Michael and Harvey, have done the same. Over the past few decades, rapid intensification has been increasing by about 3 to 4 mph per decade due to hotter waters from human-caused climate change. That means a system in 1980 that may have intensified by 40 mph in 24 hours might now intensify at 55 mph in 24 hours.
But Delta is looking especially similar to Wilma, the most intense storm on record in the Atlantic. And it could similarly have a catastrophic impact…
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Asked if the human-caused climate crisis made wildfires bigger and hurricanes wetter, slower and more damaging, Pence did not answer the question directly. Instead, he claimed that, “with regard to hurricanes, the National Oceanic Administration tells us that actually, and as difficult as they are, there are no more hurricanes today than there were 100 years ago.”…
Hurricane Delta is the latest disaster in a vicious season
Hurricane Delta is the latest storm to threaten the US during a hurricane season that’s smashed records and mangled Gulf Coast communities time and again. The Atlantic hurricane season has lived up to early forecasts of an unusually busy year, and there’s still enough of 2020 left to set new records.
Since modern record-keeping, there have never been more than nine named storms to make landfall in the continental US. That’s forecast to change when Delta hits later today. If it does, it will be the first time since 2005 that five hurricanes have battered the mainland US within a single season.
This is the 25th named storm in a season that’s been so prodigious that the World Meteorological Association ran out of storm names three weeks ago. (In a typical season, only about a dozen tropical depressions gain enough strength to be given a storm name.) Meteorologists resorted to using the Greek alphabet for just the second time in history. The first time this happened was in 2005, and this year’s season is burning through names faster. (In 2005, Hurricane Delta didn’t form until late November.)…