Hurricane Delta, now a major Category 4 storm, has strengthened at an incredible rate: more than 85 mph over 24 hours. It’s 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
Simultaneous heatwaves and droughts are becoming increasingly common in western parts of the Unites States, according to a new study led by researchers from McGill University. Periods of dry and hot weather, which can make wildfires more likely, are becoming larger, more intense, and more frequent because of climate change.
In a study published by Science Advances, the researchers analyzed heat and drought events across the contiguous United States over the past 122 years. They found that combined dry and hot events have not only increased in frequency, but also in size geographically. Where such events were once confined to small parts of the United States, now they cover whole regions, such as the entire west coast and parts of the Northeast and Southeast.
“Dry-hot events can cause large fires. Add wind and a source of ignition, and this results in ‘megafires’ like the 2020 fires across the west