Since the records began in the early 1900s, hurricanes have only reached a category five peak force for six seasons: 1932, 1933, 1961, 2005, 2007 and 2017.
But scientists now warn as the Earth gets warmer due to climate change, hurricanes will produce more wind and rain, becoming category six.
Hurricane Beryl is currently coasting the Caribbean with wind speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, but if it reaches Florida, scientists believe the gusts could exceed the 200 mph barrier needed to become the first Category 6 never recorded.
Hurricanes will become stronger and wetter as global warming increases the temperature of the oceans.
Warmer oceans are fertile ground for storms and hurricanes.
Adam Sobel, professor of applied physics at Columbia University and director of its Extreme Weather and Climate Initiative, told the LA Times: âThere is almost unanimous agreement that hurricanes will produce more rain in the region. a warmer climate.
âThere is a consensus that there will be an increased risk of coastal flooding, at a minimum due to rising sea levels. Most people think hurricanes will, on average, become stronger.
“There is more debate as to whether we can already detect this.”
Brian Soden, professor of atmospheric science at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami, added, âWhether we’re talking about a change in the number of storms or an increase in the more intense storms, the changes that are to come from global warming are unlikely to be detectable for another 50 years. “
2017 saw 10 hurricanes with Harvey, Irma and Maria killing more than 350 people and causing hundreds of billions of pounds in infrastructure damage in the United States and the Caribbean.
Hurricane season runs from June to November, when the seas are warmest and wettest, creating conditions for a hurricane to develop.
Previous research from Colorado State University found there could be as many as 18 named storms in 2018 – there were 17 in 2017.
A Colorado State University statement said, âWe forecast a slightly above average chance of major hurricanes making landfall along the continental United States coast and in the Caribbean.
“As with all hurricane seasons, coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane to make landfall to make it an active season for them.”