Hurricane Ida’s destructive appearance marks the first Category-4 hurricane of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, causing massive damage and flooding across the state of Louisiana. The storm’s impact was compounded by the resilience of its powerful Category-4 winds, a tempest that held on to its open-water strength—even hours after the
Super Typhoon Yutu, packing sustained winds of 180 miles an hour and likely producing gusts at or above 200 MPH is hammering the Northern Mariana Islands. It is the strongest storm to form on Earth so far in 2018 and is hitting Tinian, Saipan and Rota. It is the most powerful storm ever to stirike the Northern Marianas and is among the strongest tropical cyclones recorded in modern times. It is similar in strength to Super Typhoon Haiyan which killed thousands of people in the city of Tacloban in the Philippines in 2013. Because the storm is moving through and area with light upper level winds it is traveling slowly. Because it is over an area of extremely warm water, it could continue to intensify.
A recent review of global hurricane data has revealed that the occurrence of powerful cyclones has increased dramatically since 1980, with the number of strong Category-5 storms having more than tripled, with a disturbing trend for these storms to both reach their peak wind speeds farther north and dump ever increasing amounts of rainfall, flooding areas that normally wouldn’t experience weather this extreme.
Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Science has released their extended forecast for the 2018 hurricane season in the North Atlantic, and while they’re not calling for the same magnitude of devastating, record-breaking storms from the 2017 season, they sill expect this year to see higher than average activity.