Homeowners may be paying more for hurricane insurance than they should because meteorologists today are better at measuring the intensity of tropical storms, according to some experts.
The same argument is central to the debate about how global warming affects hurricane strength.
Satellite technology, more numerous observational sites and more frequent flights into the storms means that scientists can identify storms that briefly reach tropical storm or hurricane strength when they are still far out at sea. A decade or more ago, storms that formed far off shore and never menaced the coast were never scrutinized as heavily, and even some storms that hit land may not have had their top strength recorded as they are today.
Because insurers rely on the counts of named storms to set rates, according to UPI, the technological advance could harm homeowners. Across the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, hurricane insurance has been harder to come by and more expensive, particularly since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The same argument is important to the global warming debate because it's difficult to asses whether tropical cyclones have become more frequent or intense, because researchers can't be sure older data is as complete as data gathered today.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.