Before you do anything else, you might want to read David Leonhardt’s N.Y. Times piece explaining the connection of global warming to extreme rainfall…



Precipitation can have wide-ranging effects on human well-being and ecosystems. Rainfall, snowfall, and the timing of snowmelt can all affect the amount of surface water and groundwater available for drinking, irrigation, and industry. They also influence river flooding and can determine what types of animals and plants (including crops) can survive in a particular place. Changes in precipitation can disrupt a wide range of natural processes, particularly if these changes occur more quickly than plant and animal species can adapt. (-Source EPA)

Current climate models indicate that rising temperatures will intensify the Earth’s water cycle, increasing evaporation. Increased evaporation will result in more frequent and intense storms, but will also contribute to drying over some land areas. As a result, storm-affected areas are likely to experience increases in precipitation and increased risk of flooding, while areas located far away from storm tracks are likely to experience less precipitation and increased risk of drought. (-Source NASA)


The Precarious Future of Big Sur’s Highway 1

By Emily Witt 05/17/24
On the afternoon of March 30th, Magnus Torén, the director of the Henry Miller Memorial Library, in Big Sur, California, had a plane to catch, the first leg of a long-planned vacation in northern India.…
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Another Climate Impact Hits the Public’s Radar: A Wetter World Is Mudslide City

By Audrey Gray 02/20/24
Picture the minute hand at about eight past the hour. That’s the slope of Viet’s backyard in southern Los Angeles County. It’s a bit too aggressive for a slip-and-slide. In fact, Viet doesn’t even let…
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The unloved L.A. River just prevented a flood disaster. Can more of its water be saved?

By Hayley Smith 02/08/24
As intense atmospheric rivers become more common in a warming world, so too do questions about stormwater capture in Los Angeles. Each year, when rain pours down and the L.A. River roars back to life,…
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What is an atmospheric river? With California under flood alerts, a hydrologist explains the good and bad of these storms and how they’re changing

By Qian Cao 02/03/24
An atmospheric river is a narrow corridor or filament of concentrated water vapor transported in the atmosphere. It’s like a river in the sky that can be 1,000 miles long. On average, atmospheric rivers have…
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Coastal Cities Brace for Climate Change

By Manuela Andreoni 02/01/24
Over the past few weeks, flooding from storms has battered cities in the South and the East Coast, from Louisiana to New Jersey. Overlapping atmospheric rivers over the West Coast have brought heavy rains that…
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“Extraordinary torrential downpours” flood Southern California

By Rebecca Falconer and Emma Hurt 12/22/23
A storm that's been flooding Southern California streets with historic rainfall, disrupting travel and prompting water rescues and evacuations is expanding into the Southwest on Friday.
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One side of Florida is running out of water. The other is getting bombarded with too much rain

By Curt Anderson 12/08/23
In Florida, this year has been a tale of two states as far as rainfall totals, with the southeast coast deluged by sometimes-record rainfall and much of the Gulf of Mexico coast facing a drought.
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Why the New York City floods should be a wake-up call

By Scott Dance 10/07/23
When Shekar Krishnan walked his young children to school in a downpour Sept. 29, confronted by flooded streets, his mind went to worrying about the estimated 100,000 residents of illegal basement apartments across New York…
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El Niño is getting stronger, and odds are tilting toward another wet winter for California

By Hayley Smith 09/22/23
On the heels of a record-setting wet and warm August, forecasters on Thursday announced that El Niño is gaining strength and will almost certainly persist into 2024.
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Excessive Heat and Rainfall Combos Will Be Practically Everywhere If Emissions Keep Rising, Study Says

By Angely Mercado 09/15/23
The climate crisis is going to expose more of the world to both hotter weather and heavy rainfall. This could create dangerous flood conditions new research has found. A study recently published in Earth’s Future…
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Trapped by rain and mud, attendees at Burning Man fest bear down, and many party on

By Finn-Olaf Jones and Anna Betts 09/03/23
Thousands of people at the Burning Man festival, an annual carefree celebration of art, music, and counterculture vibes in a remote patch of Nevada desert, remained stranded there Sunday after torrential rains turned roads and…
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What your insurer is trying to tell you about climate change

By Juliette Kayyem 08/28/23
Having worked for decades in conservation nonprofits, Beth Pratt, who lives high in the Sierra Foothills in Midpines, California, understands how climate change is putting her home at ever greater risk. Her community is experiencing…
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National Inventory of Dams

91,773Total Dams 61 years Average Dam Age

The places in the U.S. most at risk for extreme rainfall

Kim Schultz still struggles to describe how hard and fast the rain fell in her corner of southern Indiana that afternoon last September. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Never,” she recalled. Relentless rainfall inundated…

The 8th National Risk Assessment: The Precipitation Problem

Flooding from heavy rainfall events is a dangerous phenomenon and has become increasingly more probable and severe in the United States due to climate change. As air temperatures increase, more water vapor may be held…

Extreme Precipitation Increase

Global warming leads to an increase in both ocean evaporation into the atmosphere and the amount of water vapor the atmosphere can hold when fully saturated. Warmer air, holding more moisture creates conditions more favorable…


Tropical Storm Harold makes landfall in Texas as Atlantic churns up more storms

By Matthew Cappucci and Ian Livingston   08/22/23  
Tropical Storm Harold made landfall over South Padre Island late morning, bringing strong winds, heavy rainfall, rough surf and some tornado risk. The system hit the Gulf Coast less than 48 hours after Tropical Storm…
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Tropical Storm Harold slamming Texas with heavy rain, powerful winds: Updates

By John Bacon and Jeanine Santucci   08/22/23  
Tropical Storm Harold was pushing inland over Texas on Tuesday with gusty winds and pounding rain, bringing much-needed moisture to the drought-stricken state but also threatening tornadoes and flash flooding.
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California rain totals: Map shows how much rain Tropical Storm Hilary brought

By Jack Lee   08/21/23  
Tropical Storm Hilary brought torrential weather to California this weekend, crossing into the state on Sunday after making landfall in Baja California.
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Hilary drenches Southern California with record-breaking rainfall as storm wreaks havoc

By Gina Martinez   08/21/23  
The remnants of Tropical Storm Hilary, a Category 4 hurricane when it was churning in the Pacific before crashing ashore in Mexico, brought record-breaking rainfall to Southern California, flooding roads and causing mudslides and rock…
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Tropical Storm Hilary Makes Landfall in Mexico as Early Rain Pelts Southern California

The former hurricane weakened to a tropical storm on Sunday before coming inland over the Baja California peninsula, bringing heavy flooding that forecasters said could extend into the U.S.
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Hilary’s strange trip over the heart of L.A. — even Dodger Stadium

By Rong-Gong Lin II, Grace Toohey and Susanne Rust   08/20/23  
For days, forecasters tried to determine the path of Hilary as it morphed from a Category 4 hurricane in the Pacific Ocean to an exceedingly rare tropical storm that entered Southern California.
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In Palm Springs, Where Rain Is Rare, Residents Brace for Hilary’s Downpour

By Maggie Miles and Anna Betts   08/19/23  
In front of a fire station in Palm Springs, Calif., residents crowded around a pit of sand on Saturday afternoon under gray clouds, using shovels to fill bag after bag. Every 15 minutes or so,…
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Hurricane Hilary will impact large swaths of California for days. Here’s the outlook

By Gerry Díaz and Anthony Edwards   08/19/23  
Hurricane Hilary will introduce tropical storm-force winds, urban flooding and the risk of isolated tornadoes to large swaths of California on Sunday.
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East Coast faces unusually dangerous thunderstorm threat today

By Matthew Cappucci and Ian Livingston   08/07/23  
A serious and uncommonly widespread outbreak of severe thunderstorms is expected in the eastern United States, affecting more than 50 million people from Georgia to New York. The storms could unleash destructive winds, hail and…
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What this summer’s weather reveals about climate change

By Andrew Freedman   07/17/23  
Monitoring the planet's climate this summer can give one the impression that the climate system — which includes the oceans, atmosphere, ice sheets and more — has gone off the rails.
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5 people were killed by raging floodwaters in southeastern Pennsylvania. 2 children are still missing

By Christina Maxouris and Others   07/16/23  
Authorities in southeastern Pennsylvania are searching for a 2-year-old girl and her 9-month-old brother who vanished in raging floodwaters as a violent storm slammed the region.
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The dam near Montpelier held. As climate change brings stronger storms, experts fear many won’t.

By Sabrina Shankman   07/15/23  
As record rain pounded Montpelier for the second day and rivers raged far beyond their banks early last week, city leaders and first responders were awake deep into the night, huddled around a police station…
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Heat wave, flooding: Two of the biggest political stories of the week

By Olivier Knox   07/12/23  
You’re probably watching — and maybe living — two of the biggest political stories this week: The punishing heat wave across the West and South, and torrential rain drowning Vermont and upstate New York. But…
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Flooding Closes Roads and Threatens Towns Through Much of Vermont

By Liam Stack, Jesse McKinley and Kristin Chapman   07/10/23  
Torrential rainfall and widespread flooding wreaked havoc in the river valleys and mountain towns of Vermont and New York State on Monday, ravaging communities and drawing comparisons to the devastation of Tropical Storm Irene more…
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Rainfall Extremes Increasingly Threaten Mountain Regions and Areas Downstream From Them

By Bob Berwyn   06/28/23  
A global increase of extreme precipitation, well outside the range of natural variability, has been well-documented by scientists. It’s one of the hallmarks of human-caused global warming, and new research published this week in Nature…
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Climate Change Can Turn Snow Into Rain, Raising Risks in Mountain Zones

By Delger Erdenesanaa   06/28/23  
As the climate warms, mountain regions will get more extreme rainfall than previously thought, and more of the dangers that come with it, according to a study published on Wednesday in the journal Nature.
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Billions in federal infrastructure spending could be wasted due to outdated government rainfall models

By Diana Olick   06/26/23  
Billions of dollars in federal funding from the Biden administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act could be wasted because state highway and bridge projects are using an outdated government precipitation model to determine future flood…
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Study shows federal weather model underplays flooding, putting infrastructure spending at risk

By Zack Colman   06/26/23  
The federal government is relying on an outdated weather model that is putting hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure spending at risk, according to a study by climate research firm First Street Foundation.
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The places in the U.S. most at risk for extreme rainfall

By Kevin Crowe, John Muyskens and Brady Dennis   06/26/23  
Kim Schultz still struggles to describe how hard and fast the rain fell in her corner of southern Indiana that afternoon last September. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Never,” she recalled. Relentless rainfall inundated…
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Intensifying Rains Pose Hidden Flood Risks Across the U.S.

By Raymond Zhong   06/26/23  
As climate change intensifies severe rainstorms, the infrastructure protecting millions of Americans from flooding faces growing risk of failures, according to new calculations of expected precipitation in every county and locality across the contiguous United…
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The high cost of an El Niño in 2023

By Isabelle Gerretsen   05/25/23  
Over the coming months, a vast body of warm water will slosh slowly across the tropical Pacific Ocean in the direction of South America. As it does so, it will trigger the start of a…
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See Fort Lauderdale Underwater Following This Week’s Torrential Downpour

By Angely Mercado   04/14/23  
A Miami National Weather Service meteorologist called the especially heavy rain from Wednesday to Thursday a…
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Fort Lauderdale was inundated with a third of its annual rainfall within hours

By Tim Craig, Scott Dance and Others   04/12/23  
The city’s main hospital was knocked offline for all but emergency procedures. Floodwaters shorted out the electrical equipment and generators at City Hall. And for the second straight day, one of the nation’s busiest airports…
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California Farmworkers Are Underwater in More Ways Than One

By Anne Marshall-Chalmers   03/29/23  
Farmworkers who can’t work in flooded, damaged fields are losing out on weeks—or months—of wages.
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A lost lake is re-emerging in California, and farms and communities are going underwater

By Kurtis Alexander   03/25/23  
Tulare Lake, once four times the size of Lake Tahoe, had several ports and a ferry before it was converted to farmland decades ago. Now the floodwaters are rushing back.
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A Very Wet Winter Has Eased California’s Drought, but Water Woes Remain

By Elena Shao, Mira Rojanasakul and Nadja Popovich   03/17/23  
Torrential rain and snow have again drenched California in recent weeks, amplifying an already wet winter season. The extreme precipitation has begun to ease the state’s long-term drought, the driest three-year stretch on record.
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Next atmospheric river brings “high risk” of flooding to soaked California

By Rebecca Falconer and Andrew Freedman   03/13/23  
California faces another atmospheric river event Monday through Wednesday that forecasters warn will bring a heavy rains, extensive flooding and mountain snow to much of the state— as officials continue to respond to the last…
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Roads wash out, rivers flood as deadly storm pelts California and forces evacuations

By Melissa Gomez and Others   03/10/23  
California’s deadly storm season turned even deadlier Friday as the first of two atmospheric river storms descended on the state, prompting widespread evacuation orders as it flooded creeks and rivers and dropped warm, heavy rain…
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Why epic California rains might not prevent a dangerous fire season

By Hayley Smith   01/31/23  
It’s something of a Golden State paradox: Dry winters can pave the way for dangerous fire seasons fueled by dead vegetation, but wet winters — like the one the state has seen so far —…
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Climate change could turn Seattle into an umbrella city

By Christine Clarridge   01/31/23  
Seattle has long been known for its umbrella-shunning ways, but more extreme weather and heavier rain may put that ethos to the test....
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Atmospheric river bears down on California, but storms are weakening

By Kim Bellware   01/16/23  
The atmospheric rivers that brought pounding rains and heavy snow over parts of California this month continued to drench Southern and Central California on Monday, prompting a fresh round of flood advisories, heavy snowfall and…
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Big WWII-Era Bunker Thing Falls Off Cliff, Lands On Beach at Fort Funston

By Jay Barmann   01/16/23  
On Monday, a World War II-era structure — likely one of the many gun batteries or something similar that were built in the lead-up to the U.S. entry into the war, when there was a…
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California bracing for one final round of storms as officials assess damage

By Taryn Luna   01/15/23  
Another moderate storm moved into California Sunday evening, bringing more rain to Los Angeles, the coast and inland valleys, and dropping potentially up to 2 feet of snow in the mountain regions of Northern California…
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The rain paused, but the work hasn’t for road crews battling nature’s wrath

By Susanne Rust   01/14/23  
The 11-man crew assembled at the Felton office of Santa Cruz County’s Department of Public Works, waiting to hear what physical and mental toil they were going to be assigned.
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California’s winter storms have been deadlier than any wildfire since 2018

By Reis Thebault   01/14/23  
Relentless wind and rain has killed people sleeping in homes and in tents. It has taken the lives of those sheltering indoors and those working outside. Some victims have been elderly, others very young. And…
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Mass storm outages bring misery across California, exposing power grid’s vulnerabilities

By Grace Toohey   01/13/23  
David Higares was on his fourth day without power in his Morada home in San Joaquin County when he woke up to indoor temperatures barely above 50 degrees. His lights had flickered twice since his…
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A Look Back: 2022’s Temperature Record

2022 effectively tied for Earth’s 5th warmest year since 1880, and the last 9 consecutive years have been the warmest 9 on record. NASA looks back at how heat was expressed in different ways around…
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Weeks of Storms Test California’s Approach to Taming Nature

By Christopher Flavelle   01/12/23  
As California battles a third week of lashing rain and snow that have flooded communities, broken levees and toppled power lines, the state is facing questions about whether its approach to handling crippling storms is…
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Southern California digging out from days of relentless rain

By Noah Goldberg et al.   01/10/23  
Residents across California’s Central Coast were allowed to return home Tuesday following a torrential storm that swamped the region with eye-popping amounts of rain and choked roadways with mud and debris.
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California faces more rain as residents are forced to flee

By Mark Chediak   01/10/23  
Atmospheric rivers will continue to dump heavy rain, snow When will the rain stop? Not this week, forecasters say.
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Wild Weather Swings Are Robbing California of Its Trees

By Shawn Hubler and Jill Cowan   01/07/23  
The coast redwood crashed through the roof and into Nicole Valentine’s bedroom while she was away at a party, trying to ignore the powerful storms that were hammering Northern California with fierce winds and rain.…
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U.S. in for more severe weather as ‘atmospheric river’ arrives

By Lauren Leffer   12/28/22  
The West Coast is bracing for heavy rains and snow as freezing temperatures left a trail of burst pipes across the Southeast.
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‘It’s like a death:’ What it’s like to leave one flood-prone community

By Brady Dennis   10/25/22  
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…
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Seattle, a city known for rain, has received barely a drop since early June

By Jennifer Gray   10/18/22  
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…
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Mississippi River Basin adapts as climate change brings extreme rain and flooding

By Juanpablo Ramirez-Franco   10/18/22  
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…
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‘Significant fire season slowing’ rain set to soak Northern California

By Diana Leonard   09/16/22  
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.
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Mapping this summer’s extreme divide in rain and drought

By Kasha Patel and Tim Meko   09/03/22  
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…
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Here’s how extreme the D.C.-area rainstorm was Wednesday night

By Jason Samenow   08/11/22  
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…
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The U.S. Just Saw Four Rare Rainfall Events, Death Valley Was One of Them

By Kevin Hurler   08/11/22  
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…
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Thunderstorms are moving East with climate change

By Alejandra Borunda   08/09/22  
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…
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