These plots show the percentage of rapidly intensifying tropical storms in the Atlantic basin. As shown in yellow, the majority of tropical storms rapidly intensify. The total number of storms is counted for each year and the fastest 24 wind increase is tracked for each storm. The storms in each intensity increase category are counted. The counts in each category are divided by the total storms and hurricanes for the year. Post-tropical wind increases are ignored. Storms that fail to achieve tropical storm criteria (>= 35 knots) are ignored.

The trend of rapid intensification is flat since 1990. A possible explanation is that detection of weaker storms has improved (see Percentage of Tropical Storms with Weaker Winds) and stronger storms that rapidly intensified were always more likely to be detected. So the percentage of RI storms goes down in the record, but not in reality. Also 20 years (lowest chart) is probably too short to be a meaningful trend.

Code: | Data: hurdat.csv | Instructions: README.tropicalstorms