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Articles on Hurricanes

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The Wall of Wind can create Category 5 hurricane winds for testing life-size structures. Margi Rentis/Florida International University

The Wall of Wind can blow away buildings at Category 5 hurricane strength to help engineers design safer homes – but even that isn’t powerful enough

The test facility in Miami helps building designers prevent future storm damage. With the warming climate intensifying hurricanes, engineers are planning a new one with 200 mph winds and storm surge.
Satellites captured the tree loss from Hurricane Michael in 2018. This is where fires were burning in 2022. Forwarn/USDA Forest Service

How a hurricane fueled wildfires in the Florida Panhandle

Hurricane Michael left a jumbled mess of downed trees. Cleaning it up is even harder than it sounds, and now dead trees are burning.
Exposure to videos of disasters can trigger post-traumatic stress symptoms in some children. Chokchai Poomichaiya / EyeEm via Getty Images

Disaster news on TV and social media can trigger post-traumatic stress in kids thousands of miles away – here’s why some are more vulnerable

Children don’t have to be in physical danger for disaster images to have a powerful psychological impact.
A tropical storm’s rain overwhelmed a dam in Thailand and caused widespread flooding in late September. It was just one of 2021’s disasters. Chaiwat Subprasom/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Ocean heat is at record levels, with major consequences

While surface temperatures were about the 6th warmest on record in 2021, the upper oceans were at their hottest – and they’re a stronger indicator of global warming. A top climate scientist explains.
Wildfires that swept through Sequoia National Forest in California in September 2021 were so severe they killed ancient trees that had adapted to survive fires. AP Photo/Noah Berger

Devastating Colorado fires cap a year of climate disasters in 2021, with one side of the country too wet, the other dangerously dry

US disasters in 2021 told a tale of two climate extremes. A climate scientist explains why wet areas are getting wetter and dry areas drier.
People wade through high water to evacuate a flooded home in LaPlace, La., after Hurricane Ida struck. Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

The 2021 hurricane season showed US isn’t prepared as climate-related disasters push people deeper into poverty

The most vulnerable communities are being pushed deeper into poverty with each climate-related disaster. Part of the problem is that government aid helps the wealthiest people most.
“My family has lost everything. We all live in this area, and now it’s all gone,” said Fusto Maldonado, whose home in Barataria, Louisiana, flooded during Hurricane Ida. Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Louisiana’s coastal cultures are threatened by the very plans meant to save their wetlands and barrier islands

As the state copes with hurricanes and climate disasters, it is figuring out how to manage the slow-motion loss of its coastal land. But its plans could endanger the cultures that define the region.
Outages left downtown New Orleans in the dark after Hurricane Ida made landfall on Aug. 29, 2021. Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Can burying power lines protect storm-wracked electric grids? Not always

Hurricane Ida left the entire city of New Orleans in the dark and renewed discussion of burying power lines. But there’s no way to completely protect the grid, above ground or below.

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