April 13, 2024

We Asked a NASA Scientist: Are Hurricanes Getting Stronger?

Due to the fact that of physics, cyclones do not reach more than a classification 5. We do see more and more hurricanes in the Atlantic every season getting to classification 3, classification four, or classification five compared to seasons 40 years ago.
As researchers, we are always looking at the reasons why theres this possibility that more and more tropical cyclones are ending up being category 3 or more in every cyclone season.

As scientists, we are constantly taking a look at the reasons theres this possibility that more and more cyclones are becoming category 3 or more in every typhoon season. There is a large impact from climate modification. The warmer the water, the more powerful and the more energy this system is going to have and its going to just increase in intensity. So, are cyclones getting more powerful? The response to that will be yes. We are seeing a growing number of tropical cyclones end up being classification 3, four and five. So in truth yes, were seeing that modification every season in the last several years.

By NASA
December 30, 2022

Hurricane Katrina. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
When you state, “Are cyclones getting more powerful?” in the sense of, “Are they going to be category 6?” The response, because case, will be no. Since of physics, typhoons do not reach more than a classification 5. We do see more and more cyclones in the Atlantic every season getting to classification three, category 4, or category five compared to seasons 40 years ago.
NASA does have a substantial part in the studies of typhoons and it begins primarily with the development of all these different instruments that we put on satellites and we put in orbit.