Reports of record rains and flooding seem incessant: Hurricane Harvey (2017), Ellicott City (2016, 2018), Hurricane Florence (2018), Missouri River Basin (2019), Hurricane Ida (2021), Washington State flooding (2021), to name just a few. I will present analyses of heavy rainfall trends in the United States extending back to the early 20th Century. There is an overall upward trend in extreme precipitation occurrences by several metrics but with substantial regional variability. I will discuss the possible meteorological causes of the trends and climatological relationships we have found in the historical record. These results inform estimates of future changes in response to global warming. Based on this meteorological understanding, we have developed a method to adjust NOAA Atlas-14 rainfall design values that incorporates potential future changes.
Dr. Rosario Sanchez Flores is a Senior Research Scientist at the Texas Water Resources Institute at Texas A&M University and Associate Graduate Faculty of the Water Management and Hydrological Sciences Program. She is Co-Chair of the Transboundary Aquifers Commission of the International Association of Hydrogeologists and Director of the Permanent Forum of Binational Waters. She is the PI of the Transboundary Aquifer Assessment Act program for the state of Texas, and she leads the transboundary groundwater research team with 25 years of academic and work experience on transboundary issues between Mexico and the United States.
Seminar sponsored by the Environmental Fluid Dynamics (EFD) Group
Sanchez Seminar Flyer