Houston’s Interstate Highway 45 was totally submerged in the deluge.
The unpredictability of hurricanes makes it hard to say for sure whether climate change is making them worse. But we do know that sea-level rise and increased evaporation will worsen the impacts.
‘Tropics’ may conjure images of sun-kissed islands, but the expanding tropical zone could bring drought and cyclones further south.
The global tropical climate zone is expanding. At the current rate, by 2100 its edge will stretch from Sydney to Perth.
Cyclone Debbie looms over Queensland on Monday afternoon March 27.
The category 4 cyclone - the fifth storm of this year’s season, and the strongest so far - has buffeted the Queensland coast across a wide area centred on Airlie Beach.
Tropical Cyclone Carlos approaches Western Australia in February 2011.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flickr
Australia is facing an above-average cyclone season, with at least 11 cyclones likely in the region.
Only a Category 1 at landfall, Hurricane Irene had plenty of energy.
Everybody wants a quick shorthand for a storm’s damage potential. But the index we hear used most often isn’t the best option.
Luckily, we have more to go on now than just knowing the tracks of previous named storms.
We’re no longer caught off guard when hurricanes make landfall, the way people were into the early 1900s. Better communications, measurements and observations all feed into better forecasts and more warning.
Hurricane path forecasts are good, but even the ‘cone of uncertainty’ doesn’t fully describe where the hazards could be.
National Hurricane Center
Forecasting successes can breed complacency in the general public. But all hurricane damage isn’t necessarily contained within the “cone of uncertainty.”
Is this image of destruction after Cyclone Pam a sign of things to come?
Sgt Neil Bryden RAF, British Ministry of Defence/AAP
Natural disasters are becoming more frequent, with more people with less money exposed to a greater number of hazards.
It’s hard to know for sure what role climate change played in the intensity of Cyclone Pam.
AAP Image/Dave Hunt
A causal relationship between cyclone behaviour and anthropogenic global warming is a very real possibility. But most climate scientists hesitate to attribute any single event to global warming.
Cyclone Pam has left a shell of Uwen Garae’s home in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
The devastation to Vanuatu left in the wake of Cyclone Pam shows small islands in the Pacific need a climate insurance scheme, similar to what has been achieved in the Caribbean.
Destruction caused by Cyclone Pam is visible on the outskirts of Port Vila.
AAP Image/ Care Australia, Tom Perry
We now have more people, infrastructure and assets exposed where tropical cyclones make landfall.
The average latitude at which tropical cyclones attain their maximum intensity has undergone a significant shift towards…