Your Macerating Toilet Specialists Talk About What Is Causing This Big Issue
Raritan Engineering your macerating toilet distributors would like to share with you these topics we thought would be of interest to you this week regarding why we’re having so many hurricanes this year.
Your macerating toilet suppliers share how just as Hurricane Harvey wrapped up its devastation of Houston, Irma got into line behind it and quickly built into the strongest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history. Now, Maria leaves a broken Caribbean in its wake: Dominica’s rooftops and rainforests have been ripped to shreds, and Puerto Rico may be without power for months as a result of the storm.
If you have a question about this hurricane season compared with recent years, we’ve got you covered:
WHY IS THIS SEASON SO ACTIVE?
In short: atmospheric conditions were hurricane-friendly, and surface sea temperatures were warmer than usual. The Climate Prediction Center says that multiple conditions, such as a strong west African monsoon, have aligned to make the Caribbean Sea and part of the tropical Atlantic—a storm-spawning area called the “Main Development Region”—particularly well-suited to hurricanes.
“[Thermal potential] is a thermodynamic speed limit on hurricanes,” Emanuel says. “The greater the speed limit, the more favorable conditions are for hurricanes to form, and the more powerful they can get.”
WHAT CAUSED THE DROUGHT?
Largely, it’s an artifact of how we measure hurricanes. As Hart and colleagues demonstrated in a 2016 study, if you slightly tweak the definitions of hurricane categories, the “drought” mostly vanishes.
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“Tell the folks who survived [2007’s Category 2] Hurricane Ike that that wasn’t a major hurricane—it destroyed a large part of the Texas coastline,” says Emanuel. “Tell folks that Sandy wasn’t a major event… and it wasn’t even a hurricane.”
ALL THAT SAID, IS THIS SEASON UNUSUAL?
The longer it goes, the more severe it seems to get.
For starters, Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane—the second Category 4 storm to make landfall on the continental U.S. this year. Such a vicious one-two punch hasn’t hit the U.S. in over a century, though 1954 came close, says Florida State University meteorologist Robert Hart. That year, the Category 4 Hurricane Hazel devastated the Carolinas, and two Category 3 hurricanes just missed landfall.
Now, in less than a day, Maria has intensified from Category 1 to Category 5, battering Dominica at full strength, with Puerto Rico still in its sights. According to meteorologist Eric Holthaus, no Category 5 hurricane has struck Dominica since at least 1851. Prior to Maria, no Category 4 storm had made landfall in Puerto Rico since 1932.
DOES A MORE ACTIVE SEASON MEAN THAT MORE HURRICANES WILL HIT LAND?
Not quite. Forecasters caution that within a single year, there’s no solid relationship between the number of storms in a hurricane season and the number of landfalls.
“Andrew, which occurred in 1992, was at the time the most expensive hurricane ever to hit the U.S., [and] that occurred in one of the quietest years we’ve seen the Atlantic, as a whole,” he says.
“People who are potentially in the path of a hurricane really need to pay attention and absolutely need to follow direction of emergency managers,” Emanuel says. “If you’re told to get out, get out—don’t mess around.”
HOW DOES CLIMATE CHANGE FIGURE INTO THE PICTURE?
It’s complicated, but there’s reason to think that a changing climate will have at least some impact on hurricane season activity.
That said, in coming decades, predictions based on warming suggest that average-intensity tropical cyclones—Atlantic hurricanes included—will likely get more intense.
Emanuel and the report both say that on average, individual hurricanes will drop more precipitation in the future, since warmer air can hold more water vapor.
Future storm surges may also worsen, says Emanuel—partly because the intense hurricanes that cause them will be more numerous, and partly because of sea level rise.
Don’t forget the helpful information found here as to why there are so many hurricanes occurring this year. 1) Atmospheric conditions were hurricane-friendly, and surface sea temperatures were warmer than usual; and 2) the Climate Prediction Center says that multiple conditions, such as a strong west African monsoon, have aligned to make the Caribbean Sea and part of the tropical Atlantic—a storm-spawning area.
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