Excessive rainfall–the new normal

The midwestern United States on 1 October
The Midwestern United States on 1 October 2019
Tropical Storm Imelda in Texas, September 2019
Tropical Storm Imelda in Texas, September 2019
Flooding along the Missouri River--western Iowa, September 2019
Flooding along the Missouri River–western Iowa, September 2019

News: Do you see a trend?

More episodes of excessive, even extreme rainfall leading to widespread, frequent, and long-lasting flooding. It is happening now in the midwestern United States–and other regions around the world.

Is this unexpected?

No, predictions since at least the 1980’s based on unrestrained climate change have forecast this very scenario. And, recent research backs it up showing “a tendency towards greater and more frequent extreme precipitation” and “an increasing trend in the annual daily maximum rainfall, and an increase in the annual number of rainfall events above the 90th, 95th, and 99th percentile thresholds … since 1890.”

Impacts? A long list that includes loss of agricultural production, costly damage to roads and other infrastructure, severe business losses, loss of homes, livelihoods, even ways of life, the spread of disease, despair … people are dying.

It’s happening now, today, in the United States. We have to adapt; to adapt successfully though requires actual regard for the common good and cooperation. We have to work together; can we do that?

Go to the sources:

Analysis of frequency and magnitude of extreme rainfall events with potential impacts on flooding: A case study from the central United States (Vahid Rahmani, et al., International Journal of Climatology, August 2016).

Assessment of climate change for extreme precipitation indices: A case study from the central United States (Vahid Rahmani and John Harrington, Jr., International Journal of Climatology, February 2019).

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