Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Increase in flash flooding not in your imagination

Flash flood risks increase as storm peak downpours intensify

Good to see some clear study showing that rainfall intensity in storms is increasing, as most people in Australia have probably been guessing anyway:
Civil engineers from the UNSW Water Research Centre have analysed close to 40,000 storms across Australia spanning 30 years and have found warming temperatures are dramatically disrupting rainfall patterns, even within storm events.

Essentially, the most intense downpours are getting more extreme at warmer temperatures, dumping larger volumes of water over less time, while the least intense periods of precipitation are getting weaker. If this trend continues with future warming, the risk of flooding due to short-term extreme bursts of could increase even if the overall volume of rain during storms remains the same. The findings were published today in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Mind you, not sure why the authors are even talking about the effect under a future 5 degrees of warming.  Rainfall intensity in that case is probably the least of anyone's worries.

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