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Climate change could increase thunderstorm severity, climatologist predicts

Date:
March 19, 2014
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
Climate change may increase the severity of storms this spring, a climatologist who studies weather events predicts. This researcher looks into how often weather events occur and the conditions when they occurred. He says climate change may be increasing the severity of storms.

This spring may be more like a lion than a lamb. John Harrington Jr. is a synoptic climatologist and professor of geography at Kansas State University who studies weather events, how often they occur and the conditions when they occurred. He says climate change may be increasing the severity of storms.

"One of the big concerns I have is that the warmer atmospheric temperatures will drive a little bit more evaporation out of the ocean and the Gulf of Mexico," Harrington said. "One of the things that helps storms be stronger is having more moisture, so that added moisture may increase the height and severity of a tall cumulonimbus thunderstorm cloud."

Harrington said the added moisture might make storms stronger and more potent in the future.

This year may also bring a change in weather conditions due to El Niño, which the United States hasn’t experienced for about two years. El Niño warms the temperature of the Pacific Ocean, which creates cooler and wetter conditions for the West Coast. Harrington says there is a good possibility El Niño will arrive this fall going into winter.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Climate change could increase thunderstorm severity, climatologist predicts." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140319114604.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2014, March 19). Climate change could increase thunderstorm severity, climatologist predicts. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140319114604.htm
Kansas State University. "Climate change could increase thunderstorm severity, climatologist predicts." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140319114604.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

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