Kevin Reed, Alyssa Stansfield, Michael Wehner, and Colin Zarzycki

Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

Published date September 12, 2018

The human influence on Hurricane Florence

This study is the first advanced forecast attribution statement about climate change influence on a tropical cyclone--a breakthrough in climate science. Studies attributing the extent to which climate change influenced a weather event are typically conducted and published after a storm has already hit.

  • Rainfall will be significantly increased by over 50% in the heaviest precipitating parts of the storm, due to human interference in the climate system. This increase is substantially larger than expected from thermodynamic considerations alone.
  • The storm will remain at a high category on the Saffir­-Simpson scale for a longer duration and that the storm will be approximately 80 km (49.7 miles) in diameter larger at landfall, both changes due human interference in the climate system.