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  • Why is Irma so powerful?
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    Added on Thursday 07 September 2017 11:31:30
    by FRANCE 24 English
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    Hurricane Irma has wreaked havoc across the Caribbean...leaving a trail of destruction on a number of islands.But how did it become a monster storm?DLSHurricanes form when the water temperature within 50 m of the ocean''s surface rises above 27 degrees celsius.... heating the air directly above it. When this warm and wet air rises... it starts to spin... and condenses to form clouds... leading to a sharp drop in air pressure.Air that surrounds the low pressure zone then flows in a spiral at very high speeds... bringing heavy rain, thunder and lightning.Irma, however, is no ordinary hurricane. It has now reached category five... the highest possible classification... with wind speeds of 295 km per hour. Several factors explain why Irma has been getting stronger... DLShigh temperatures...low winds... and low levels of dust from the Sahara Desert in north Africa... which normally keeps hurricanes from developing. Experts say category 5 hurricanes will be more common in the future.SOT Jean Jouzel, Climate expert"As global temperatures continue to rise... hurricanes will get more and more powerful. It doesn''t mean we''ll get more hurricanes... but they''ll cause more destruction. And we''re not prepared for such hurricanes... Even the strongest structures won''t resist. "Other hurricanes coming after Irma... José and Katia... are expected to grow stronger in the coming days.

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