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Hurricane Sandy & Climate Change

By: tornadocam , 3:25 AM GMT on February 19, 2013

In late 2012 we watched in Horror as a Hurricane named Sandy made landfall in New York and New England region of the United States. Sandy had already left a trail of destruction in Cuba when it made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane. Sandy was sub-tropical when it made landfall in the United States but it was a large and powerful storm. Sandy has been blamed for 250 deaths and $65 Billion in damages. If that holds true it would rank as the second costliest Hurricane behind Katrina and ahead of Ike. But Sandy also raised Questions Was Sandy a typical Hurricane that made landfall in the Northeast or was Sandy enhanced due to Climate Change.

While it could be hard to tell if it was Climate Change I think we need to look at past History to similar storms that have impacted the North East. North East Hurricanes are not as common as the Carolina Coast or the Gulf Coast (two regions prone to hurricanes) but they do happen so here is some notable Hurricanes

1938 The New England Express made landfall in the states of New York and Connecticut as a Category 3 Hurricane. This hurricane claimed 700 lives and cost over $300 million in damages.

In 1944 another Hurricane came on shore in New York as a category 3 hurricane and Massachusetts as a category 1, this hurricane claimed 390 lives and at least $100 million in costs

1954 Hurricane Carol, was also another category 3 hurricane that struck the region. Carol claimed 68 lives and cost $460 million

1960, Donna, which had devastated Florida as a Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Connecticut as a category 2 hurricane

1985 Gloria made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane in New England costing $1 billion in damages.

1991 Hurricane Bob also impacted the area doing $1.5 Billion in damages

2011 Irene made landfall in New Jersey costing $14 billion and over 50 lives.

However, what has raised issues on climate change is the size of Irene and Sandy where huge Irene was a 400 mile wide hurricane and Sandy was estimated to be over 800 miles wide. While the past hurricanes have been bad, but where not as huge as those two. Some Scientist have said that warmer water temperatures is causing storms to increase in size as they are able to build more thunderstorms. Skeptics point out that Irene and Sandy where just like other New England Hurricanes.

While I'm not sure if this is a cycle or if there is truth to global warming. I find it alarming that the past two new England Hurricanes has been very large in size.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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3:48 AM GMT on February 19, 2013
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About tornadocam

I'm a Christian who loves weather. I have been into weather since I was 3 years old and I continue to study weather, I'm also a weather spotter