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This Year's Hurricane Season Was Intense. Is It A Taste Of The Future?

"With the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season finally over, scientists are taking stock of what they say was a monumental year."

"A total of 10 hurricanes swept the region. Six were major storms of Category 3 or higher, and three of those were Category 4 or higher when they made landfall, spreading havoc from the Caribbean to Texas."

"The Atlantic Ocean is vast and has always made its own weather. But a typical year sees about six hurricanes, not 10. And three strong hurricanes hitting land — Harvey, Irma and Maria — is extraordinary."

So what's going on?

Meteorologist Kevin Trenberth at the National Center for Atmospheric Research says hurricanes feed off ocean heat. "Having high ocean heat content below the surface means that they can be sustained and remain stronger, more intense than they otherwise would," he says.

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