Climate Decade in Review - Post 29: Hurricane Wilma Most Intense Hurricane Ever in Atlantic

October 2005 - Hurricane Wilma was the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic, with a low pressure reading of 882 millibar of pressure and sustained winds of 185 miles per hour.

The 2005 hurricane season was the most severe in recorded history, with Hurricane Katrina being the most well remembered for the devastation it brought to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. However, Hurricane Wilma was an even more intense storm. Three of the six most intense Atlantic storms ever all occurred in 2005 and six of the top eleven occurred since 1998.

Much of the excess heat energy the earth is absorbing as a result of increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is going into the oceans, making them warmer. Warmer ocean waters provide more energy to tropical storms, making them more intense. Research indicates that the prevalence of more intense tropical storms is likely to increase in the future. It is not clear if a warmer world will result in more, fewer or the same frequency of storms, but those storms will tend to be more intense.

This is one in the series of "Decade in Review" posts on this blog that began in January 2010. These posts present climate-change-related events that occurred during the 00's, the warmest decade in recorded history.

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