Researchers argue that a climatic quirk appears to shield the coast of the US during the hurricane seasons. The protection offered by this climatic barrier proved to weaken severe storms as they neared America’s beaches. The new study which brought all these new data might help us figure out why there have been more than ten years since the US coast was affected by a severe hurricane with dangerous winds that registered 110 mph.
Hurricane Matthew which hit America last year represents a proof which attests the existence of this climatic barrier of strong crosswinds which weakened the hurricane. The protective quirk is well-known for cooler coastal water and stronger crosswinds. The lead author of this study, Jim Kossin, a climate scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, has provided more data.
Last year, Matthew damaged Haiti with its powerful winds of 145 mph which hit the land. This hurricane threatened Florida and then dissipated as it headed towards the shores of South Carolina with winds of 75 mph. The study developed by Kossin was published on December 4th in the Nature magazine.
It revealed that over decades, these changes which occur in ocean conditions and air might work together, weakening massive storms which usually hit the US coast. Kossin claimed that this protective barrier during hurricane seasons appears around the border between Mexico and the US, in Brownsville, Texas, being more perceptible near the Atlantic coast.
The lead author stated that these protective winds might be considered a lucky catalyst for the shores of the United States. Unfortunately, only this part of the world benefits from this climate protection. The Atlantic Ocean appears to swing between cycles of low and heavy hurricane activity. Back in 1993, the current heavy cycle started after a period of low hurricane activity which lasted twenty years.
During quite times, if a massive hurricane forms in the Atlantic, then it is more likely to become even more dangerous as it approaches the coast of the US compared to those busier times of the year. Kossin also developed a map of the temperatures registered at the surface of the sea, and he also measured the wind levels in the Atlantic to reveal the changes which occur near the US coast, during a busy cycle. He discovered an increase in high altitude crosswinds that demolish at a hurricane’s structure.
Image source: wikipedia