Hurricane Irma is raging in the Atlantic, with wind speeds clocking in at 185 miles per hour. The Category 5 storm has already made landfall in the Caribbean, and forecasters warn that if the storm keeps its current path, it could threaten densely populated regions of Florida later this week. MPR News chief meteorologist Paul Huttner talked to Angela Fritz, deputy weather editor at the Washington Post, about tracking Irma, and how the storm compares to Hurricane Harvey.
"The fingerprint of climate change is on every weather event now," Fritz said. "It's just a matter of how much."
Irma comes less than two weeks after Hurricane Harvey dealt a devastating blow to Texas, killing at least 60 people along the Gulf Coast and causing billions of dollars in damage to homes, businesses and property.
How do we begin to assess the economic and social costs of extreme weather events like Harvey — and the costs of climate change in the future?
Huttner also put that question to Noah Diffenbaugh, a professor of earth system science at Stanford University; Newsha Ajami, Stanford senior research associate and director of Urban Water Policy for Water in the West; Amir Jina, assistant professor at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy; and Andrew Siffert, senior meteorologist at BMS Re US.