Warmer Air, Heavier Rain, More Flooding

David Leonhardt writes in the NY Times about flooding in Grafton, Ill., a small town along the Mississippi River. Because of a bridge closure, the only other way for the vil­lage’s 1,000-plus res­i­dents is to the north via tens of miles of wind­ing, poorly paved coun­try roads that are barely wide enough to al­low a ve­hi­cle go­ing in each di­rec­tion,” The Wall Street Journal’s Erin Ailworth wrote recently. “A 20-minute drive to a gro­cery store now takes a few hours…”

It rained “heavily” all day long in East Hampton NY, on Thursday June 13th. One inch of rainfall according to https://www.localconditions.com/weather-east-hampton-new-york/11937/past.php The winds were out of the NE at about 10-20 mph. Nothing unusual, right?

I decided to take a drive down Gerard Drive. It is arguably one of the most sensitive areas to flooding and East Hampton Town has just completed an expensive fortification of the road to prevent ‘noreaster’ storms from crashing over the road in to Accabonac bay.

The road was passable with large puddles. About 50% of the private drive-ways were flooded.

Then I visited the cross section of Springs Fireplace Rd. and Gardiners Avenue, just by Springs Auto (Edgar’s place). This place usually gets flooded with every storm, at least in recent memory. No surprise:

This kind of flooding was rare 30-40 years ago when I first moved to East Hampton. Perhaps only with a hurricane? Now it seems more common.

To test this I tabulated historic data going back to 2000: a) total precipitation in inches for 6 months (January to June), b) average temperatures measured daily for the same 6 months (January to June). The linear trendlines computed by Excel over the 20 year period, show a slight increase of about 1 degree in average temperature and an increase of about 1 inch of rain per 6 months. Online source of data.

Inches of rain for 6 month period (blue) and average temperature for same 6 month period (red). Measurements are from Westerly State Airport, Rhode Island, about 15 miles north of Montauk.

Warmer air carries more humidity and this leads to heavier rainfall and flooding. It is happening locally and it is a clear and present danger.

Clean energy is one major way we can fight this trend.

From Kate Mueth on June 25th after a few hours of rain fall:

2 thoughts on “Warmer Air, Heavier Rain, More Flooding

  1. If you doubt this, just try to turn left at Stephen Hands Path off of Rt 114 TODAY! And, as Peter Van Scoyoc points out, the frequent flooding in Northwest is not just rainwater runoff, it is the groundwater table which is rising rapidly. The little kettle hole pond in my yard is now a river headed towards the road. We need Wind Power now if we are to have any chance of slowing, stopping, or mitigating the effects of Climate Change.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Flooding all over the Springs today after just 3-4 hours of rain. Rising groundwater table makes perfect sense. Since access to businesses on 3 Mile Harbor Road, like Damark’s Market and Sam’s Auto Service, was partially blocked, you would think the business community would be more vocal?

    Like

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