Hurricane Matthew: Strongest hurricane to reach Haiti in a generation

In just 36 hours hurricane Matthew went from a tropical storm tickling Caribbean islands to a category 5 storm. When it hit Haiti Tuesday, it had weakened into a category 4 story, which Climate Signals still described as the most powerful storm to hit Haiti in a generation.

Hurricane Matthew is now tracking toward the southeastern United States. The storm’s 145 mph winds have already caused devastation in Haiti and the Dominican Republic with 40 inches of rainfall in the Dominican Republic and 15 to 25 inches in southern Haiti (the average rainfall in Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince is just 33.68 inches).

The severity of this particular storm cannot be attributed to climate change until an attribution study is conducted, say scientists. But hurricane Matthew reflects a recent pattern of stronger storms due to rising ocean temperatures. And given the Caribbean toll, it also serves as an example of how these hurricanes can disproportionately affect people in low-income communities. READ MORE.