The devastating impact of Hurricane Maria on human life and infrastructure in Puerto Rico has been well reported; less known is her damage to the island’s physical landscape. Our work revealed this damage using satellite observations and numerical simulations. Over 40% of the forest cover was wiped out. Consequently the land-atmosphere interactions has considerably changed in the months following the hurricane. The changes have significantly impacted the near-term climatology of the Island. This extensive damage to Puerto Rican forest will take years to recover, affecting not only the economy but also how the land interacts with the atmosphere on both weather and climate scales.
Citation: Hosannah, N., Ramamurthy, P., Marti, J., Munoz, J., & González, J. E. . Impacts of Hurricane Maria on land and convection modification over Puerto Rico. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 126, e2020JD032493. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JD032493