DISCUSSION: It is very well-known and understood throughout the atmospheric science forecasting and research community that tropical cyclones chiefly rely upon a combination of low to moderate vertical wind shear along with warm sea surface temperatures as well as above-average to well above-average upper oceanic heat content to. Tropical cyclones need such a plethora of above-average oceanic heat content since this is the “fuel” which allows tropical cyclones to intensify and/or sustain a given intensity (assuming all other atmospheric parameters/factors remain favorable). Thus, with the prospects of a continued net warming of the Earth’s respective ocean basins, this continues to raise more substantial causes for concerns regarding future tropical cyclone frequency and intensity forecasting.
The reason for such large concerns regarding tropical cyclone frequency and intensity forecasting is chiefly connected to the fact that with a net average increase in the magnitude of upper oceanic heat content, this creates a scenario wherein tropical cyclones will have even more upper oceanic heat content energy to tap into during their lifetimes in many cases. This is a major cause for concern since ever since the Industrial Revolution, and increasingly larger percentage of people have flocked toward coastal regions and set up a permanent way of life in such regions. Thus, an increase in the average maximum potential intensity (MPI) of future tropical cyclones is an alarming precedent to contemplate since there are unimaginable logistical and economic vulnerabilities across coastal regions all over the world. Within the last two decades alone, the world has seen what tropical cyclones including (but certainly not limited to) Hurricane Katrina (2005), Hurricane Rita (2005), Hurricane Wilma (2005), Hurricane Ike (2008), Hurricane Sandy (2012), Hurricane Harvey (2017), Hurricane Irma (2017), and Hurricane Maria (2017) have done to coastal regions just across the United States and Puerto Rico.
Hence, considering the prospects of even further MPI increases is a downright scary thing to consider based on the recollection of just the collection of intense tropical cyclones which have slammed parts of the United States just within the past 20 years or so, as noted above. However, regardless of how future MPI changes with storms due to changing oceanic and atmospheric tendencies, it is important to make sure that you are always preparing for the next tropical cyclone threat well before it ever gets close to your hometown (if you live in an area which is prone to tropical cyclone impacts). Have a plan and a way to execute the plan well ahead of danger making itself known.
To learn more about this particular story and another directly related story, click on the following website links which are attached here: https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/10/610140149/record-heat-in-the-gulf-fueled-hurricane-harveys-deluge or www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/news/132662/record-breaking-ocean-heat-fueled-hurricane-harvey?utm_source=AtmosNews&utm_campaign=3b06810369-AtmosNews&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_80502e816e-3b06810369-93154697.
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© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz