Dot’s Reading Room: Are Torrential Rains Becoming the Norm?

September 7, 2021

Last week’s rainfall and the “lake” that formed in the Stop and Shop plaza are local reminders that climate change can hit close to home. But why are these rains so intense?

Russ Schumacher, Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University and climatologist for the state of Colorado, offers this explanation, as posted in The Conversation on September 3.

Here’s the story:

Hurricane Ida: 2 reasons for its record-shattering rainfall in NYC and the Northeast long after the winds weakened

“Record downpours from Hurricane Ida overwhelmed cities across the Northeast on Sept. 1, 2021, hitting some with more than 3 inches of rain an hour. Water poured into subway stations in New York City, and streets flooded up to the rooftops of cars in Philadelphia. The storm had already wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast after hitting Louisiana three days earlier as a Category 4 hurricane.

“Ida had weakened well below hurricane strength by the time it reached the Northeast, so how did it still cause so much rain?

“Two major factors likely contributed to its extended extreme rainfall.

“First, Ida’s tropical moisture interacted with developing warm and cold fronts.

“Second, evidence is mounting that, as the climate warms, the amount of precipitation from heavy rainstorms is increasing, especially in the central and eastern United States.”

Read the full story at

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