Skip to Content

Eos: Extreme Rainfall Statistics May Shift as U.S. Climate Warms

As the earth gets warmer, the water cycle is getting amped up, with both more droughts and more floods. On the wet side of that swing, the statistics of flooding events is showing a trend towards more extreme values. This is important because a lot of our infrastructure, including how roads, dams, and sewers are built, depends on having accurate statistics for how often these storms occur. If the statistical distribution shifts over time, that could mean roads or bridges that were designed for a climate of the past may be less safe in the newer, wetter climate. You can read more about how these statistics are used in Eos at https://eos.org/research-spotlights/extreme-rainfall-statistics-may-shift-as-u-s-climate-warms.

St. James Street bridge failure in Tarbuck NC due to Hurricane Floyd, taken in November 1999 by Dave Gatley, FEMA.