Category 5 Hurricane Reminds New England of Growing Threat

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These comparatively colder Northern waters usually witness weakened storms due to cooler ocean temperatures, drier air, and stronger winds that fail to support Category 5 hurricane strength.

Category 5 Hurricane Reminds New England
Category 5 Hurricane Reminds New England ( Photo: Washington Post )

New England, accustomed to preparing for nor’easters, has been reminded of the potential threat posed by powerful storms, as the remnants of Category 5 Hurricane Lee, once a formidable force in the Atlantic, brushed past the New England coast

However, the situation may be changing. While Northeast water temperatures remain cooler than those in the South, some studies suggest that climate change could alter the conditions favoring more frequent Category 5 hurricane impacts in the region. Climate scientists agree that climate change is increasing rainfall in storms and exacerbating landfall impacts due to rising sea levels. Furthermore, Category 5 hurricane activity and the potential for stronger winds are likely to extend northward as the planet warms.

A 2021 Yale University study suggested that a warming planet could push hurricanes farther north, affecting cities like New York and Boston. Meteorologist Kerry Emanuel from MIT predicts an increase in Category 5 hurricane risks along the Maine coast, with hurricane-force winds becoming more likely. The Northeastern continental shelf, particularly the Gulf of Maine, has warmed rapidly, making it one of the fastest-warming regions globally.

The warming oceans not only contribute to Category 5 hurricane intensity but also fuel sea level rise and affect marine ecosystems

Recent research by the First Street Foundation, in collaboration with Emanuel, suggests that the Northeastern states are likely to experience higher winds more frequently in the future. According to their analysis of 50,000 potential storm tracks, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Maryland, and New Jersey are expected to see the most significant increases in wind damage.

As the threat of Category 5 hurricanes in Northern waters looms larger, the Northeast must adapt to a changing climate with the potential for more severe storms and their devastating impacts.

 

READ ALSO: National Hurricane Center Reports Post-Tropical Cyclone Lee’s Impact And Response

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