The perfect storm creates dangerous conditions and is the cause of multiple recent extreme weather events like flash floods, intense heat waves and destructive hurricanes. This perfect storm occurs when high temperatures, low humidity, higher atmospheric pressure, and fast upper atmosphere winds align. The combination of these conditions creates a sort of conveyor belt of extreme weather traveling around the world.
The combination of the hot air in the atmosphere with the cool air from the lower atmosphere and the fast upper winds creates a strong storm system. This perfect storm can last much longer than usual and can also cause larger, more destructive storms to move more quickly.
Although this is a natural cycle, climate change has had a hand in the intensity of this summer’s ‘perfect storm.’ Warmer temperatures increase the amount of moisture in the atmosphere, increasing the intensity of any storm that forms. Additionally, climate change has caused more extreme weather patterns to be more common, keeping the perfect storm in motion.
Not only are these storms more powerful, but also more frequent and impacting more places. The added intensity of the ‘perfect storm’ is causing more extreme weather situations with potentially devastating consequences. It is up to all of us to reduce our carbon footprint in order to mitigate some of the damaging effects of climate change.