In recent weeks, the spring-time thaw has been forecasted and broadcasted across the contiguous United States. With this past winter bringing record snowfall to numerous places, the combination of snow melt and spring-time rain will surely create difficult situations for various locations across the U.S. A recent study citing a rise in extreme rain events will also create havoc in an already damp and strenuous environment. The long-time saying of “April showers, bring May flowers” will definitely bloom in popularity with this increase in extreme rain.
Precipitation is an ever changing aspect of an ever changing climate. A one-degree Fahrenheit rise in global temperatures would lead to a four percent increase in water vapor in the atmosphere. This abundance of water vapor would have the potential to strengthen downpours, snow fall and even those “all day” rainfalls. In a recent study NOAA and NCEI indicates that the 10 years with the most extreme one-day precipitation have come all since 1995. The study used conventional climate extremes data that looked at monthly maximum and minimum temperature, daily precipitation and drought data for regions around the globe.
This upward trend of more extreme rain can be seen as a part of other extremes that are on the rise and have been for approximately a decade or so. The NOAA/NCEI Climate Extremes Index evaluates the percentage of the contiguous U.S. that is much above (or below) normal for six indicators that are related to temperature, drought, precipitation and tropical cyclones. This data goes back to 1910, but shows the top four of the five values occurred in 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017, with 2018 coming in eighth. Of all the climate extremes that this index calculates, water imbalance issues stand out. In the coming decades, water imbalance, which includes precipitation, drought and water scarcity, will have the utmost climate impacts due to the reliance on water as well as the dangers that extreme rainfall and flooding possess.
In recent years, extreme rainfall events have seen a small but steady increase. Along with this, a slight rise in temperature, which is projected, will only increase extreme rainfall events further. To keep up with the NOAA/NCEI Climate Extremes Index, go here.
To learn more about other interesting articles related to global climate issues, be sure to click on the following link: www.globalweatherclimatecenter.com/climate
©2019 Weather Forecaster Alec Kownacki