Aman reports on the damage of Hurricane Lee, and predicts further storms due to climate change.
As Hurricane Lee strengthens, residents along the upper East Coast are bracing for its impact. Lee, currently a Category 2 hurricane, is expected to make landfall on north-eastern United
States between September 14 to September 15, 2023. Authorities are closely monitoring its path and have issued evacuation orders in vulnerable areas. Preparedness efforts are underway to mitigate potential damage.
As Hurricane Lee strengthens and the upper East Coast prepares for its impact, Are we truly prepared for the increasing frequency and intensity of such storms in our changing climate?
Fox News meteorologist Stephanie van Oppen told The Post Friday night, “It’s still a powerful major hurricane, and it’s expected to take the same approximate level of strength for the next five days.”
Lee rapidly intensified over the Atlantic Ocean’s very warm waters which reached as high as 85 degree Fahrenheit , which allowed it to swell into a powerful Category 5 hurricane before its wind speeds started to decline.
Before coming to the eastern Atlantic ocean, on September 7, Hurricane Lee was a frightening category 5 storm. Including Lee, only 40 Category 5 hurricanes have roamed the Atlantic since 1924. Category 5 is the highest level on the hurricane wind speed scale and has no maximum point. Hurricanes hit this level when their sustained winds reach 157 mph or higher, but the east coast of the US mainland does not normally experience such frightening hurricanes like lee, as 2% of storms in the Atlantic reach Category 5 strength, according to NOAA’s hurricane database.
An area of high pressure over the Atlantic, known as the Bermuda High, influenced how quickly Lee turned allowing it to miss Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as it swinged sharply to the right of them.The Bermuda High was expected to remain very strong into the coming weekend, which kept Lee on its current west-northwestward track, but slowed it down.
The high pressure weakened the hurricane which allowed Lee to start moving northward. The hurricane moving north also positioned the jet stream – strong upper-level winds that can change the direction of a hurricane’s path – to the north-east US and Canada. According to NOAA, Hurricane Lee is expected to hit the coastal areas of Maine, New Hampshire, and the Canadian Maritime Provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island.
In recent months, oceans around the world have been exceptionally warm due to global warming with the average daily global sea surface temperatures hitting a record high at the end of July. Hurricane lee is the latest storm to accelerate at a breakneck pace mainly due to Warm water, as it is a key ingredient for strengthening storms, along with high moisture content in the atmosphere and weak upper-level winds.
A category 5 hurricane carries an explosive force several times greater than that of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945. But this situation underscores the importance of preparedness and resilience in the face of increasingly severe weather events.
Hurricanes like Lee are a stark reminder of the impact of climate change on weather patterns, leading to stronger and more destructive storms. It serves as a call to action for governments and communities to address climate change and invest in infrastructure and disaster preparedness to protect vulnerable regions, as Hurricanes have become increasingly common in the past 20 years and each one of these hurricanes has the potential to kill thousands of people and cost billions of dollars due to damage.