Financial TimesFinancial Times

The new era of stronger hurricanes: Bigger storms, better forecasts

By Aime Williams

02 Oct 2022 · 10 min read

Editor's Note

In this Financial Times Big Read, we come to understand why hurricanes are increasing in frequency, discover how they are detected and learn about methods of prevention.

By the time Lieutenant Colonel Sean Cross realised he was in trouble, it was too late to turn back. Cross’s plane slammed into the wall of Hurricane Michael, a violent Category 5 hurricane that in October 2018 was barrelling towards the coast of Florida.

As the plane tried desperately to propel itself forward through the chaos, an extreme wind picked up the left wing of the aircraft. It flipped 90 degrees, wrenching the passengers sideways. The nose dived towards the ground. The engine began to stall as the autopilot system shut down.

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