CNN - Hurricane Laura was a formidable storm when it made landfall in Louisiana on Thursday.
Laura broke multiple records, including the highest water level ever recorded at the Mermentau River gauge at Grand Chenier location. The gauge topped out at 17.14 feet, more than 4 feet above the previous high of 13 feet from Hurricane Audrey in June 1957, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers.
Another notable record was that Laura was the seventh named storm to make landfall in the US so far in 2020, the most to do so before the end of August (four tropical storms and three hurricanes). This begs the question, why are so many more named storms impacting the US?
The planet has warmed significantly over the past several decades, causing changes in the environment in which extreme weather events are occurring.
A study of 40 years of satellite data of global storms by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that the probability of storms reaching major hurricane status -- Category 3 or above with sustained winds of 110 mph or higher -- has increased decade after decade.