Climate change has made familiar weather patterns a thing of the past, according to Jeff Masters, director of meteorology for Weather Underground.
"I don't recognize the climate anymore," Masters said in an interview for Public Radio International. "I look at the weather maps in the morning, sometimes afraid of what I'm going to see. It's just gotten so insane. The climate of the 20th century is gone. The climate I knew is not here anymore. We're in an entirely new climate regime, and it is extremely intense." Climate scientists had been reluctant to attribute any one storm to the effects of climate disruption, but this is starting to change with an increasing number of rapid attribution studies.
Masters finds the situation in the Pacific Ocean particularly alarming. "It's really crazy to see two major hurricanes approaching the Hawaiian Islands," he explains. "They've only ever had five direct hits by either tropical storms or hurricanes since 1949, and two of those hits were in the last three years. There's never been a case where two major hurricanes have threatened Hawaii."
Masters believes this is happening now because water temperatures in the Pacific have crossed a critical threshold.
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