Stories

The big picture: Hurricanes are slowing down, making floods worse

Flooding from Hurricane Harvey inundates roads in Port Arthur, Texas on Aug. 30, 2017.
Flooding from Hurricane Harvey inundates a roadway in Port Arthur, Texas, on Aug. 30, 2017. Photo by Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Last year, Hurricane Harvey dumped more than 5 feet of rain on the Houston area in just a few days making it the heaviest rainstorm the U.S. has ever recorded. Now, a new study shows that multiple factors, each of them climate change-related, are raising the risk of similar, meandering hurricanes in the U.S. and other parts of the globe.

Why this matters: Hurricanes are nature's most powerful and destructive storms, inflicting billions in damage each year. In the U.S., inland flooding, not coastal storm surge, is now their deadliest threat, and new data suggests this problem is going to get worse as the climate continues to warm.