2010 Archives

Climate Change Expected to Increase Storm Activity in Texas


The following is from the January 21, 2010, edition of News Blaze.

January 25, 2010

Climate change will likely increase the frequency and severity of storm activity in Texas, an area of the country that is especially vulnerable to the "triple threat" of hurricanes, hail storms and tornadoes, weather researchers said today at a conference at Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business sponsored by the Willis Research Network.

The Willis Research Network, part of Willis Group Holdings, the global insurance broker, is an industry-leading public-private partnership between Willis and many of the world's top scientific research institutions.

Speaking at the conference, Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) said that straight-line winds - the violent air currents that usually accompany thunderstorms and are produced when areas of low and high pressure collide - represent a growing threat to homes and businesses. Compared with hurricanes, tornadoes and, to a lesser extent, hail, such winds are a relatively small contributor to structural damage at present, he said, but as the climate changes, NSSL researchers believe these events will become more frequent and therefore contribute more significantly to overall damage.

"Based on what we know about the potential patterns of climate change, we expect severe storm activity to increase in Texas and the Midwest, including higher activity of straight-line winds with potentially damaging effects," Brooks said.

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