Record-breaking hurricane season 'just a preview of the future'

An aerial view of floodwaters from Hurricane Delta
An aerial view of floodwaters from Hurricane Delta surrounding structures destroyed by Hurricane Laura on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020 in Creole, Louisiana. Hurricane Delta made landfall near Creole as a Category 2 storm.
Mario Tama | Getty Images

The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season broke many records, and it’s not just the record 30 named storms or the record 12 U.S. landfalls. It’s the way storms behaved in 2020 that’s got climate change experts talking.

A record 10 storms rapidly intensified in 2020, including Hurricane Eta, which took just 36 hours to flare from a tropical depression to a major Category 4 hurricane.

The data increasingly point to warmer oceans from climate change as the driving force behind this new breed of supercharged hurricanes, and hurricane expert Jeff Masters of Yale Climate Communications said you can expect it to get worse.

“Things are going to start getting really intense, and this year is just a preview of the future,” he said.

Masters joined MPR News chief meteorologist Paul Huttner on Climate Cast this week. Hear their conversation using the audio player above, or subscribe to the Climate Cast podcast wherever you get your podcasts. 

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