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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Emerging Science Note/Northeast Forecast: Big Hurricanes

Air Date: Week of March 24, 2006

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Meteorologists at the AccuWeather forecasting service say the 2006 hurricane season could bring a devastating storm to the Northeast. Bobby Bascomb reports.

Transcript

BASCOMB: Meteorologists at the private forecasting service AccuWeather are predicting the 2006 hurricane season will be more active than normal and could result in a devastating storm in the densely populated northeastern United States. The northeast United States is long overdue for a major hurricane, they say.

Super-sized hurricanes in the northeast are not unheard of. One in 1938 hit southern New England in Providence, Rhode Island; up to 600 people were killed. Experts say the above-normal water temperatures that accompanied that storm are very similar to what they’re seeing this year.

Increased severity of hurricanes is linked to global warming. That’s because as air temperature rises, so does water temperature. Hurricanes feed on heat energy from the Atlantic Ocean which is why they occur in late summer and early fall when the ocean’s temperature is at it’s yearly high. Scientists believe an increase in ocean temperature could cause an increase in the number and severity of hurricanes as a result.

Weather patterns observed in the Atlantic Ocean this year have forced experts to conclude that a major hurricane making landfall in the northeast is not a matter of if, but when. That’s this week’s Note on Emerging Science. I’m Bobby Bascomb.

 

 

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