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Could storm Dorian hit the UK? Expert comment from Prof Robert Kerr

As Storm Dorian stalls over the Bahamas falling from a Category 5 to a 3 yesterday, the East coast of the US stays on alert as Dorian moves in their direction.

Will the storm hit the UK? Professor Robert Kerr of the Department of Maths and Department of Engineering at the University of Warwick looks at how Dorian could move and if climate change has an impact:

"The energy source for hurricanes/typhoons is warm oceans. Before the summer of 2005, Kerry Emmanuel at MIT observed a very warm streak of water in the Gulf of Mexico perfectly situated to amplify any nascent hurricane that came its way and predicted what happened next. My recollection is that there were more Category 5 hurricanes around the Gulf that summer than either before or since.

"This was before there were the serious global temperature increases we now see, so it is arguable whether this was due to climate change or just a natural aberration.

"I believe that in the UK the extreme rainfall we got earlier this summer, exactly after the record high temperature in Cambridgeshire near the North Sea, was in part due to the unusually warm water in the North Sea.

"I would agree that the large number of Category 5 hurricanes already this year are a consequence of the warm Atlantic water, but natural variations are probably still the dominant factor.

"Where Dorian will go next? Storms that only graze the US-East Coast tend to head east as they go north and often hit the South of Ireland or Cornwall as 'tropical storms', which can still be destructive.”

ENDS

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager - Science
University of Warwick
Tel +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice.j.scott@warwick.ac.uk

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:

Alice Scott
Media Relations Manager - Science
University of Warwick
Tel +44 (0) 2476 574 255 or +44 (0) 7920 531 221
E-mail: alice dot j dot scott at warwick dot ac dot uk