So the media narrative is that Hurricane Ida is a result of climate change. I have been a hurricane/climate change skeptic for decades. I remember Dr. William Gray telling me at a 2005 Hurricane Conference that climate change was a "red herring" and that natural multi-decade cycles caused more hurricanes. So, I don't want to be "anti-science" and ignore all the voices, but when the late, great Dr. Gray himself told me it was not the result of climate change, I find myself skeptical.
I think a few factors are at work:
1. Better technology to name storms. Even in 2001, we didn't name sub-tropical storms, and half of these weak "Julian" type storms would never be named. I remember back in 1999, there was an obvious tropical storm that developed between Hurricane Floyd and Hurricane Gert, and it was never named and quickly dissipated. When you have weather enthusiasts posting close-up visible loops of a naked swirl with a popcorn thunderstorm over it, it becomes much easier to spot and classify.
2. The media. In the post-Katrina world, CNN does non-stop coverage of insignificant non-US tropical systems. Go back to when I was a teen, circa 2000, even a Cat 4 Hurricane like Hurricane Keith near Belize only got a few short mentions on a network like CNN, and even The Weather Channel didn't go into their "super graphics special report" coverage for it, since it was a non-US storm. In a post-Katrina world, every wave gets mentioned, even on mainstream news networks.
3. Social media. How many videos of this flooding would we be seeing if the year was 2001? Remember, even twenty years ago, nobody had smart phones. (Imagine the horror of people live-streaming from the World Trade Center). Everyone having a camera today creates a world where every funnel cloud, every wave, every weather event can be seen by millions all over twitter and facebook within seconds. That's great for weather enthusiasts, but it creates a perception of a NEW constant severe weather climate, when it actuality, it was always there. It was just the social media that wasn't.
4. Population growth. I'm stunned (and uncomfortable TBH) about the massive population explosions along the coastlines. The populations have growth enormously over recent years. I don't mean from 1950 to now...I mean from 2000 to now. It's insane the amount of growth. More growth equals more people and property to feel the wrath of weather.