Posted on August 2, 2017 by Neil Ungerleider

Heavy Rain

Photo:  Mavision PC, CC BY 3.0

Despite last summer’s drought, the reality is that rainstorms have been heavier in recent years.

On July 12, Bedford, Mass., received a month’s precipitation on a single day when three inches of rain fell.  The average total precipitation for Bedford in July is usually 2.5 inches, according to MassAudobon.

Scientists who study climate report that the amount of precipitation falling in the heaviest one percent of rain events increased by 71 percent in the Northeast in the last three to five decades.

“Across most of the United States, the heaviest rainfall events have become heavier and more frequent. The amount of rain falling on the heaviest rain days has also increased over the past few decades,” according to a report, Our Changing Climate.

Gardeners may like the heavier rain events, but the report blames climate change, noting that, “Warmer air can contain more water vapor than cooler air.”

Storms that were once categorized as "200 year storms," may now occur every 50 years. "100 year storms," every twenty-five.

“We are seeing more heavy downpours than in the past, and that trend is likely to continue into the future,” writes MassAudobon. 

The work that Greenbelt does to preserve open space, can help deal with its impact.

“That’s a difficult challenge to solve, but one the best ways to make the landscape as resilient and flexible as possible is to preserve open space and let nature take care of itself," according to  MassAudobon.

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