Texas A&M University investigators found that the intensity of hurricanes can increase by as much as 50 percent if the tropical storm from which it originates passes over a large volume of freshwater on its way to the mainland.
The director of the Texas Center for Climate Studies, professor of oceanography and atmospheric sciences Ping Chang, says that this discovery is very important because it may help authorities prepare themselves better in the event of a natural disaster, Science Blog
“We tested how the intensity of the storm and others increased over a 36-hour period. We found that as a storm enters an area of freshwater, it can intensify 50 percent faster on average over a period of 36 hours when compared to storms that do not pass over such regions,” the expert adds.
Chang and his group analyzed tropical storms that occurred around the world between 1998 and 2007. A total of 587 such atmospheric events occurred. Then, the team cross-referenced storm intensity with the nature of the water underneath, and found this positive correlation.