The 2018 hurricane season: storms are suddenly rolling in thick and fast
Until the end of August it looked as though this year’s hurricane season would be a quiet one. But then it was as if someone had turned the tap on, with storm activity in the tropical North Atlantic suddenly picking up at the beginning of September. Hurricane Florence is the first severe hurricane of the season to reach the US coastline, making landfall close to the border between North and South Carolina. Florence had weakened to a category 1 hurricane prior to reaching land, though still brought with it winds of 150 km/h – and even stronger gusts. In particular, the storm carried in widespread torrential rain. Before making landfall, Florence had been a category 4 hurricane at times, with wind speeds way over 200 km/h. What has caused this sudden change? Eberhard Faust, Leading Expert for climate risks and natural hazards at Munich Re, provides answers.
What has the hurricane season been like so far?
What factors facilitated this sudden emergence of hurricanes?
Should we expect further severe storms before the season ends in late November?
It is important to say that every severe hurricane making landfall is enough to bring about extreme losses. Whatever the forecasts say, it is essential to continue to take measures to prepare for storms and mitigate their impact, such as by improving the stability of buildings.