climate change

CT Will Be More Susceptible to Hurricanes in The Future: Study

Nobody enjoyed seeing what was Hurricane Henri headed straight for Connecticut in August, or the damaging winds, torrential rain and flooded streets when the state saw the remnants of Hurricane Ida shortly after.

But that kind of weather is something we're going to have to get used to, according to Yale researchers.

A new study finds more hurricanes are likely going to slam Connecticut.

Hurricanes, tropical cyclones and typhoons are typically more prevalent in lower latitudes - places like Florida.

But with Henri in August and a subtropical storm named "Alpha" which hit Portugal in 2020, researchers believe these violent storms are migrating north.

Study lead Dr. Josh Studholme says these storms are getting a wider range for the first time in 3 million years, and that's because of greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change.

"We're seeing a sort of expansion of the parts of the planet that can allow hurricanes to exist. In the satellite observations, it's already been observed that the latitude at which hurricanes reach their maximum intensity has moved northward so that that is a shift," Studholme explained.

He says hurricanes will migrate further south as well. But this northward expansion also comes as water levels in both the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound keep rising.

That's fueled by melting glaciers thousands of miles away, and it's bad news for our coastal cities and towns, which will get double the impact.

Storm surge will mean frequent flooding on roads in neighborhoods, and rising ocean levels could submerge parts of towns like Groton.

Researches expect these changes as soon as 2050.

"What we already knew about hurricanes and climate is that as the climate warms, sea level rise, so even if hurricanes climatology remained constant with climate change, rising sea level would be would result in more damages from hurricanes because they would cause more flooding. We also have an expectation that hurricanes will cause more rainfall as the climate warms, and therefore present more damage just from that perspective, too," Studholme said.

On top of all that, the study predicts global warming will make these storms more intense.

Studholme foresees these tropical storms will primarily impact the northeast between New York and Boston. Overseas, he expects bigger storms in Western Europe and the mid-Pacific.

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