Cyclones are projected to increase around the Hawaiian Islands by the end of the century, reports work published in Nature Climate Change this week. The study shows that an increase in frequency of tropical cyclones is attributable to changes in large-scale environmental conditions that alter storm tracks.
Hiroyuki Murakami and colleagues use a number of different models, resolutions and environmental variables to predict storm activity for 2075 to 2099. Cyclones that impact Hawaii tend to form off the Mexican coast, and the results of this study indicate that the increased frequency is primarily associated with a north-westward shift of the cyclone track in the open ocean.
Moreover, although fewer storms may form in the warmer climate, those that do are more likely to reach Hawaii, increasing the risk of storm-related impacts and costs.