Written by By By Bella Mackie for CNN
Aileen Craig reports from the Caribbean:
It’s the deadliest and costliest hurricane season in years.
By mid-July, the U.S. National Hurricane Center announced that in 2018, “there were more than 40 tropical storms. Of those, 24 became hurricanes, six became major hurricanes with winds over 111 miles per hour, and six were major hurricanes with winds over 185 miles per hour.”
By mid-September, Matthew and Katia had forced 26 deaths, putting the U.S. on track to match or top 2005, when devastating Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.
Beyond the human cost, the extremely active hurricane season can have a devastating impact on the ecology of the tropical and subtropical Atlantic region. A shift in the wind pattern known as the El Niño/La Niña phenomenon can make the region more vulnerable to hurricanes.
And warmer ocean temperatures can create a wetter atmosphere that makes hurricanes more powerful.
The 2020 Atlantic Hurricane Season starts on June 1.