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‘It’s like a death:’ What it’s like to leave one flood-prone community

By Brady Dennis Photo: Madeline Gray, Washington Post

On the day she would finally move to higher ground, Terri Straka awoke in the neighborhood where she had lived for three decades, but a place steadily becoming less recognizable.
“No Trespassing” signs adorned the lawns of other flood-prone houses whose owners had already taken government buyouts. Storage pods sat in the driveways of neighbors who would soon follow. In one yard, a sign warned would-be house hunters, “Don’t buy in the swamp.”


Seattle, a city known for rain, has received barely a drop since early June

By Jennifer Gray

After a slow start to summer in Seattle – with temperatures consistently running below normal for the month of June – a huge change happened in July and the city has been sizzling since.
“Sunday was our latest … 80-plus-degree day on record in Seattle,” Maddie Kristell, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in the city told CNN. The temperature reached a scorching 88 degrees.


Mississippi River Basin adapts as climate change brings extreme rain and flooding

By Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco Photo: Scott Olson, Getty Images

After a torrential downpour began on Aug. 7, the Pecatonica River jumped its banks in Freeport, Ill. and flooded the basement of Laurie Thomas’ family home, nearly to the ceiling.
This latest was Freeport’s fifth major flood in just the past four years. Thomas and her mother have experienced flooding at least 15 times in the past 20 years.


‘Significant fire season slowing’ rain set to soak Northern California

By Diana Leonard Photo: Eric Thayer/Getty Images

An unusual September storm is set to arrive in California late this weekend, providing a much-needed pause on the state’s rapidly deteriorating wildfire season.


Mapping this summer’s extreme divide in rain and drought

By Kasha Patel and Tim Meko

Like an unhinged seesaw, this summer’s rainfall has teetered between too much and too little across the United States. Record-high rainfall in pockets of the country brought unprecedented flooding; meanwhile, other communities yearned for just a few drops as droughts worsened.


Here’s how extreme the D.C.-area rainstorm was Wednesday night

By Jason Samenow

The deluge in the D.C. area Wednesday night flooded roads and triggered traffic gridlock, with high water levels even stranding motorists — some needing rescue — and entering homes and businesses. Many areas saw an extreme of between 1 and 3 inches of rain in an hour.


The U.S. Just Saw Four Rare Rainfall Events, Death Valley Was One of Them

By Kevin Hurler

the hottest and driest place in North America—was recently the site of an extreme bought of rainfall and subsequent disastrous flooding. This intense rainfall is rare, but was one of major thousand-year rain events that the United States experienced over the past few weeks.


Thunderstorms are moving East with climate change

By Alejandra Borunda

The towering clouds, the thundering claps, the sudden, torrential downpours: The dramatic summer thunderstorms of the Plains states etch themselves into the memory of anyone who experiences them.
But a new study finds that climate change is likely to affect their flavor. By the end of the century, the commonplace, intense storms that deliver 50 to 90 percent of the southern Plains states’ annual water are likely to occur a little less frequently, while more thunderstorm days both weak and strong will drench the East and Northeast.


What’s driving the massive, destructive rainfalls around the country

By Brady Dennis Photo: Ryan C. Hermens, AP

At one weather station in Fairbanks, Alaska, each hour of rainfall is about 50 percent more intense, on average, than it was a half-century ago. The Wichita area is experiencing rains about 40 percent more fierce these days. Huntington, W.Va., and Sioux City, Iowa, are seeing deluges roughly 30 percent more extreme than in 1970.


Extreme rainfall will be worse and more frequent than we thought, according to new studies

By Zoya Teirstein Photo: Palazzolo Paolo, Getty Images

Joshua Studholme was finishing his doctoral program in physics at Lomonosov Moscow State University when his thesis advisor told him a story about Queen Victoria, the monarch who ruled the British Empire for the better part of the 19th century. The queen was walking the grounds at one of her palaces, accompanied by a science advisor, when she noticed that it was raining heavily in one corner of her garden but not at all in another corner. She wondered why that was. “Ever since then, imperial meteorologists have been trying to figure out why extreme rainfall can vary so much,” said Studholme, who is now an academic at Yale University. “It’s only really now that we’re getting the technology to answer that question.”