New Publication Investigates Potential Changes to Extreme Rainfall Across Eastern NC

SE CASC Researcher, Jared Bowden, co-authored a new publication, Projecting changes in extreme rainfall from three tropical cyclones using the design-rainfall approach, which was released in the open access journal, Nature Partner Journals, Climate and Atmospheric Science on March 25, 2021. Learn more about the paper in the abstract below and read the full publication here.

Projecting changes in extreme rainfall from three tropical cyclones using the design-rainfall approach

Study area in Eastern North Carolina. Image Credit: npj Climate and Atmospheric Science

Journal Abstract
In the past quarter-century, Eastern North Carolina (ENC) experienced several devastating tropical cyclones that led to widespread flooding and damage. Historical climate records reflect an increasing trend in the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events across the eastern U.S., which is projected to continue to increase throughout the twenty-first century. Potential changes to extreme rainfall across ENC are explored and quantified for 2025–2100 for three tropical cyclones using an approach based on relative changes in future extreme rainfall frequencies (return periods) from dynamically downscaled projections. Maximum rainfall intensities at ‘2100’ could increase locally by 168%, with widespread regional increases in total rainfall up to 44%. Although these magnitudes exceed the consensus in the literature, the values here are comparable to the most extreme rainfall events observed in the U.S. during the early twenty-first century, which suggests that the intensity of projected future events is already a present-day reality.

Anna M. Jalowska (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), Tanya L. Spero (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), and Jared H. Bowden (North Carolina State University)

NPJ Clim Atmos Sci 4, 23 (2021). 10.1038/s41612-021-00176-9