Earlier this week Environmental America, a climate change environmental group, released a report that found that in the last 50 years the number of severe rainfalls and heavy snows has grown significantly. The report, “When it Rains, It Pours: Global Warming and the Rising Frequency of Extreme Precipitation in the United States,” is available at the group’s website. From the New York Times coverage:
“[The report] shows that the number of downpours and heavy snows has increased by 22 percent to 26 percent across the country since 1948. Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont were among the states in which occurrences of severe precipitation have increased more than 50 percent, according to the report. In Oregon and Florida, however, the incidence of extreme rainfall dropped slightly, though in Florida the drop was not statistically significant.”
The Dirt is by no means a researcher or statistician, but wonders if the increased population and attendant buildout of suburban areas in the past 50 years has an effect on the accuracy of storm recording and the attendant damage of strong storms.