Hurricane Dorian stalled out over the Bahamas last week, causing intensified damage to the island.
WGBH's science correspondent Heather Goldstone joined Boston Public Radio on Thursday to explain why hurricanes that stall are more dangerous and increasingly more common.
"Stalling out means that hurricanes are essentially much more damaging because they just sit in one place for such a long time," Goldstone said. "Stalled storms also tend to be harder to predict because there's a lack of strong steering winds, so forecasters are unsure where it will move next."
Hurricanes have been unleashing more rain in the past few years due to a warming climate, Goldstone said.
"We've definitely been hearing in the past few years with hurricanes that there's more rain that's been falling and we've been seeing more flooding," she said. "That makes sense because a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, there's more energy for the storms and then more rain."
The combination of storms having more rain and a greater likelihood of stalling makes them more hazardous, Goldstone said. She referenced a study that shows the likelihood of hurricanes stalling out has become more common over the last 70 years.
"It turns out that's actually being compounded it looks like by a greater tendency for these storms to slow down and stall out the way that Dorian did, and it's a much longer trend than just the past few years."