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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Storm of the Century coming every year now: Extreme storms 30 percent more common now than in 1948

(CBS News) A new report says it's raining more than ever over the United States, which paradoxically means there is also more dry weather that can lead to droughts. Environment America, a national environmental advocacy group, released its report "When it Rains, it Pours: Global Warming and the Increase in Extreme Precipitation from 1948 to 2011" on Tuesday, which claims extreme rain and snowstorms are becoming more frequent. Collecting data from nearly 65 years of weather history, the report sees a 30 percent increase in the frequency of extreme storms.
"In other words," the report says, "heavy downpours or snowstorms that happened once every 12 months on average in1948 now happen every 9 months, on average."
"As the old saying goes, when it rains, it pours - especially in recent years as bigger storms have hit us more often," says Nathan Willcox, Federal Global Warming Program Director with Environment America.
Speaking with CBS News, Willcox explained the method of collating 65 years of nationwide weather history. The organization collected data from "3,700 weather stations across the country via the National Climatic Data Center."
Not only are big storms getting more common, they're also getting bigger. The report found that the largest annual storms produce 10 percent more precipitation on average than they did 65 years ago.
The report points to global climate change as the obvious culprit for the increased ferocity of storms. Warm weather allows the air to hold more water, as well as increasing evaporation, leading to larger precipitation.
Continue Reading: Extreme storms 30 percent more common now than in 1948 - CBS News

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