By Kevin Bryan
The news about Hurricane Dorian has been picking up, as the storm has quickly grew from a category two storm in the eastern Caribbean to the category five that it is currently surging towards the Florida coast. It hit the Bahamas on September 1st as the second strongest hurricane the island has ever seen.
Dorian has been very challenging to predict. If the speeds of the winds near the middle of the hurricane start to slow down, the speed of the hurricane may slow down. The hurricane nearly hit the mountainous region of the Caribbean that could have slowed it down further, but because of its narrow miss, the hurricane will continue to grow.
Global warming in the last decades has been shown to increase the size and intensity of storms. As the Atlantic ocean continues to warm up, the storms that the Carribeans and Southeast U.S. experience will continue to ramp up. Florida will be the first part of the U.S. impacted by Dorian, but the storm may continue to move northward along the country’s coast, impacting South Carolina as well. The last hurricane to have majorly hit Florida was Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the costliest hurricane ever at the time. Since then, the sea level in Florida has risen several inches, which could increase the amount of coastal erosion that occurs during the disaster.
The environmental impacts that the hurricane has upon the U.S. have been predicted to be massive. The extremely high rainfall that is predicted will lead to flooding seen last with Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Florence. These floods will further saturate the amount of groundwater in the area, and storm surges will become worse.
As in all natural disasters, those in danger of the hurricane should be taking precautionary measures. Sudden storm surges and flash floods are the highest cause of death during hurricanes, so evacuation plans should be prepared and emergency food and water supplies should be stowed away in a safe location.