Last updated June 20, 2017

Increased Storm Intensity

More heat and water in the atmosphere and warmer sea surface temperatures could provide more fuel to increase the wind speeds of tropical storms. Storm intensity is measured by the maximum surface wind speed or the minimum sea level pressure. Climate change affects many of the factors that can result in greater storm intensity. It leads to additional latent heat available in warmer air, and an increase in the meridional (or poleward) temperature gradient, which increases available potential energy.