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Climate Change May Cause More Storms to Rapidly Intensify as Delta Did

Climate Change May Cause More Storms to Rapidly Intensify as Delta Did

A warming climate is not expected to have much effect on the number of storms, but those that do form may be stronger

An unusually busy Atlantic hurricane season is showing no signs of letting up.

Hurricane Delta is currently churning toward the Gulf Coast, expected to make landfall in Louisiana later today. Delta is the 25th named storm this season and the ninth hurricane.

It’s the earliest in the year that any season has reached 25 storms.
Delta is also the third storm this year to achieve “major hurricane” status—that is, Category 3 or higher. Delta reached Category 4 status Tuesday night before weakening as it moved over Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula.

An average Atlantic hurricane season sees only 12 named storms, six of which typically become hurricanes and three of which grow into major hurricanes.

This year’s season already has exceeded two of those thresholds. And hurricane season doesn’t end until Nov. 30.

According to NOAA’s hurricane records, the 2020 season is inching closer to a record-breaking year.

The only year known to produce more Atlantic storms was 2005, which saw 27 named tropical storms and hurricanes and one unnamed subtropical storm. With nearly two months left in the season, it’s possible 2020 could break the record for total number of storms.
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