Unhurried hurricanes: Study says tropical cyclones slowing

Hurricanes are slowing down, causing more damage in coastal communities

He said Hurricane Harvey in Texas previous year was a dramatic example of the consequences of a slow-moving or "stalled" tropical cyclone.

The first tropical storm of the eastern Pacific hurricane season formed well off the coast of Mexico on Wednesday, AP reported, as forecasters said it's not a threat to land.

The study in the journal Nature, finds a 10 percent slowdown in storm speed between 1949 and 2016.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Aletta was centered about 425 miles (680 kilometers) southwest of Manzanillo, Mexico, late Wednesday.

At the same time, related research published just last month suggests that warming temperatures from climate change will slow storms more in the future.

The center said the storm was likely to strengthen some more as it moved farther out into the Pacific, but predicted Aletta would begin weakening Saturday. But one scientist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration chose to look back in time, to see what happened in the past.

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Tropical cyclones have slowed more in the Northern Hemisphere, which is significant because that is where a majority of storms occur each year.

James Kossin's research showed that over the past 68 years, cyclones have slowed by 10 percent globally as the planet warms. Some places in Houston got roughly a foot of rain per day as the storm crawled ashore.

Christina Patricola, a scientist with the climate and ecosystem sciences division of California's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, called Kossin's work "important and new" and says she found it "pretty convincing".

That's the real risk of a slower storm. Rainfall, on average, increased 24 percent. "Not quite like a cork in a stream, but similar", he said.

"I went in with that hypothesis and looked at the data, and out popped the signal that was much bigger than anything I was expecting", Kossin said. "And, unfortunately, this signal would point to more freshwater flooding".


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