November 29, 2022

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How awesome are this winter's violent storms?  RMI answers |  science and planet

How awesome are this winter’s violent storms? RMI answers | science and planet

Last winter we had to deal with four severe storms in no time. Storm Eunice, for example, was one of the strongest in nearly 20 years, with winds of up to 133 km/h. But how extraordinary is such a thing? RMI provides clarification.

At the end of January, a Curie storm swept through Belgium and in the second half of February at least three storms broke out over our country in a row: Dudley, Eunice and Franklin. The occurrence of many storms in a relatively short period of time. There is something, according to the Marshall Islands Institute, wonderful, but not exceptional: “In February 2020, four storms also passed over our country in a short time (Ciara, Dennis, Elaine, Francis),” it seems.

“In 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2019, there were also several consecutive days with high winds of at least 9 Beaufort. Since 1990 we have seen a record number of storms in a short time: then there were 9 storms between January 25 and February 28″.

Climate change

According to the Marshall Islands Institute, it is not yet clear whether climate change will cause more or fewer storms in the long term. Several factors play a role. One such factor is the jet storm, strong winds over 10 km in height that wrap around the Earth from west to east. The strength of the jet stream is determined by the temperature difference between the equator and the North Pole.

The greater the temperature difference, the stronger the jet stream. Due to climate change and stronger warming at the poles than at the equator, the temperature difference between the poles and the equator is becoming smaller. As a result, the jet storm will weaken, and therefore we should expect fewer storms in our area.

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But there is also the lower air layer or the troposphere, for example. It is increasing due to climate change. This may actually cause more storms. In short, it is not yet certain whether we can expect more or fewer storms due to climate change.

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