United States (TFC) – Yet another massive storm cell, Hurricane Irma, is expected to collide with the American mainland. This marks the second such storm in two weeks, spelling gloom for areas hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey. Even as journalists were allowing this to settle, another storm–Jose–formed behind Irma. And Jose isn’t alone.
Whereas little is known about Tropical Storm Jose at the moment, Hurricane Irma is dangerously close to hitting the mainland. It’s already ripping through the Caribbean Sea, including Puerto Rico and other tropical island chains. In recent hours, Irma’s been named one of if not the most powerful recorded hurricane in history.
Upon reaching America, it could cover any large swath of coastline. Some of the more risky areas including already devastated Texas, Louisiana–ripped bloody from Hurricanes last year–and Florida. Numerous sources are echoing Hurricane Irma’s record setting winds, and how quickly it followed Harvey. As it neared Puerto Rico, New York Times reports, officials shut off power to the island forcing residents to follow the news via radio, in the dark. “We have to prepare for an event we’ve never experienced here”, says Governor Ricardo Rossello’.
The politician’s words echo the deepest feelings of many attributing the intense weather events to climate change. We’re now faced with weather monsters which form more quickly than we can prepare. Looking into an adaptive-focused future means anticipating more events “we’ve never experienced”. Such foresight will be critical for the world over, not just individual regions.
Irma’s power is also wreaking havoc with weather in areas as far as Maryland, Baltimore, and Washington. Not only is copious rain expected, but tornadoes are a heightened risk in some areas. It’s a facet of these storms which is often lost in the superficial panic and destruction. For those living in affected areas, the hurricane may be just the beginning.
Hurricane Irma hasn’t really even hit yet, and already another storm is at its back. Tropical Storm Jose formed out in the middle of the ocean before becoming another hurricane. Currently, it’s expected not to hit landfall but its path isn’t static.
Even if Jose doesn’t hit a population center, it’s a disconcerting omen. Hurricane Jose counts the third major tropical storm in just a couple weeks. Yet another formed after Jose and intensified into what’s now called Hurricane Katia. With sustained winds of over 75 miles per hour, Katia is expected to skim the coast Thursday, September 7th. Hurricane Jose also currently has 75 MPH winds and is still growing.
With damage from Hurricane Harvey alone estimated in the billions, imagine what three more storms could do. Even if Jose or Katia don’t make landfall, but come close, environments and local weather patterns will feel the effects. Additionally, increased storm activity further out at sea may influence how friendly the tide is the next several days.
These are pressing disasters on the American mainland, and is the government competent and cohesive enough to respond effectively? What kind of political damage control may we expect? Will the hurricane trio at all sway debate of climate change and adaptation in the halls of government?