The Washington Post has written an article discussing a new study published by a researcher from the National Center for Atmospheric Research which finds there has been “a fivefold increase in the area affected by straight-line winds since the early 1980s” in the central U.S. Straight-line winds are often produced by thunderstorms and can impacts similar to that of a tornado.
By creating a high-resolution wind model and comparing it to observed results, the paper found maximum wind speeds in the central United States have increased by 2.58% each decade. This has consequences for any organization in this region that depends on electricity, as these winds are a common reason for damage to power infrastructure. Furthermore, as the study’s author noted, the research suggests “a decrease in moderate or low intensity storms, but an increase in extreme storms,” leading to fewer, yet more impactful, weather events to prepare for. Read more at the Washington Post.