Westerlies give early warning of hurricanes

2019-03-07 10:16:01

TWO weeks before a hurricane hits the Gulf of Mexico there is often a subtle change in the winds halfway around the globe. Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle have found that during the hurricane season, the onset of westerlies in the western Pacific and the Indian Ocean signals a fourfold rise in the risk of a hurricane blowing in the Gulf of Mexico (Science, vol 287, p 2002). “We were somewhat surprised to find such a strong dependence,” says researcher Eric Maloney,