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Rise of the Superstorms

Witness the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria in 2017.

Topic: Planet EarthPlanet EarthNova

Program Description

In just one devastating month, Houston, Florida, and the Caribbean were changed forever. In summer 2017, three monster hurricanes swept in from the Atlantic one after another, shattering storm records and killing hundreds of people. First, Harvey brought catastrophic rain and flooding to Houston, causing $125 billion in damage. Less than two weeks later, Irma lashed the Caribbean with 180 mile per hour winds—and left the island of Barbuda uninhabitable. Hot on Irma’s heels, Maria intensified from a Category 1 to a Category 5 hurricane in just 30 hours, then ravaged Puerto Rico and left millions of people without power. As the planet warms, are these superstorms the new normal? How well can we predict them? And as the U.S. faces the next hurricane season, does it need to prepare for the reality of climate refugees? NOVA takes you inside the 2017 superstorms and the cutting-edge research that will determine how well equipped we are to deal with hurricanes in the future.

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