Hurricanes slow their roll around the world

Storms' slowdown means more rain, and potentially more damage, for populated areas.

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Sluggish hurricanes have become increasingly common over the past 70 years, according to a new study. Storms that linger over a given area for longer periods, such as Hurricane Harvey, which stalled over eastern Texas for almost a week in August 2017, bring more rain and have greater potential to cause damage than ones that pass quickly. Scientists aren't sure why this is happening, but if the trend continues, future hurricanes could be even more disastrous.

The study1, published on 6 June in Nature, is the first to analyse hurricane speeds globally. It finds that the speed at which tropical cyclones moved across the planet slowed by about 10% between 1949 and 2016.

By Giorgia Guglielmi, Nature News


Jeremy Rehm

Intern, Nature

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