Monday, June 27

With Wanda, they run out of names for the Atlantic storms and for the third time in history


Another sign of climate change? Meteorologists from the US agency NOAA have run out of names for Atlantic storms after the formation of Wanda, a tropical storm that is currently cruising the Atlantic in the direction of the British Isles.

This is the third time this has happened, after the 2005 season – Hurricane Katrina – with 28 storms and the past 2020 in which a record 30 storms were recorded. In both cases it was necessary to use the Greek alphabet to name them.

In anticipation of this eventuality, which seems increasingly likely due to the influence of climate change, the World Meteorological Organization has created a list of supplementary names, to avoid resorting to the “impersonal” solution of naming them by the Greek alphabet.

If a new Atlantic tropical cyclone occurs before the end of the year after Wanda, this supplementary list will be used and the storm will be called Adria, the next Braylen and the next Charity. (See full list at the bottom of this page).

Storm Wanda has been wandering to the west of the Azores islands and is expected to discharge, already weakened, in the British Isles in the coming days.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially begins in June and ends on November 30. This year Ana moved forward to May 22. If an Atlantic tropical cyclone were to occur out of season, for example in February, it would take the first name of the following season.

The WMO assigns 21 names to the Atlantic season, a number that until recently was more than enough. The men are decided by an international committee of the World Meteorological Organization, for each region.

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Climate change causes more intense storms

Although hurricane seasons depend on many factors and there is debate among the scientific community, experts suspect that rising Atlantic temperatures cause increased storm activity in the Atlantic. What does seem proven is that climate change is making hurricanes more powerful and global warming causes the atmosphere to be more loaded with water vapor, thus generating more precipitation.

Storms also move more slowly generating more destruction. Scientists attribute it to changes in the global atmospheric circulation.

“The heat, the evaporation, is due to the fact that the atmosphere has warmed, the surface of the ocean has warmed,” explains Professor George Hendrey, from Queens College CUNY to the AP agency. “That evaporating water rises into the atmosphere and it rises to a certain level and then decreases, the temperature decreases, and when it reaches a certain level then it condenses into a cloud. That has always happened. What happens now is that the water vapor is more abundant because it is warmer, and It will eventually turn into a cloud. But particularly as we have more convection in the atmosphere, bringing it to a higher altitude. These storms are getting bigger and bigger. “

He adds that changes in wind speed and the amount of precipitation create really destructive, big storms. “We have had much more intense storms. The frequency is perhaps debatable, but the frequency of the really intense storms has increased a lot and the damages associated with them, the costs of the same have also increased a lot.”

A recent report from the World Meteorological Organization last August revealed that the number of extreme events has multiplied in the last 50 years, especially storms, which cause the most damage.

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