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Re: DE paper: extreme rain on rise?

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13548
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Historically speaking, tropical systems in the northeast are in a somewhat active period. But not abnormally so. We had a similar active period in the 70's, which included Agnes, perhaps the most damaging storm in PA ever. Another similar period in the early 50's.

The most active period on record was 1900-1910. And back then they only counted storms with major wind. Excessive tropical rain, like Lee, was just "rain". We're more aware of what's remnants and what's not these days.

Not to discount that tropical impacts could rise due to warming. The logic makes sense. But 0-20 storms a decade are all within normal parameters. Any real effect so far is lost in noise. You can't take a few events and then say " see". We won't know if this is just noise or part of a trend for 30 plus years.

But that, apparently, doesn't sell newspapers like sensationalism does.

Posted on: 4/7 22:42


Re: DE paper: extreme rain on rise?

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2007/5/11 21:03
From Media, PA
Posts: 441
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I'm not even going to get into the facts/sampling etc. arguments. My observations is this: In the last several (especially the last few) years, we have had a huge no. of rainfalls events of two in" or more. Anymore a rain (nice on and off moderate) like today's seems to be the exception rather than the rule. In my 60 plus years of data I can only say for sure that both of the streams I grew up with (Pickering and French Ck.) are but a shadow of what they once were. Pickering more so do run off and dewatering from wells etc. These days when most streams are near median flow they appear to be robust as the median flow now is not even close to what is was twenty or thirty years ago.

Posted on: 4/7 23:34


Re: DE paper: extreme rain on rise?

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2009/7/29 10:25
Posts: 1808
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"We won't know if this is just noise or part of a trend for 30 plus years.

But that, apparently, doesn't sell newspapers like sensationalism does."

makes sense to me, but of course nothing sells newspapers like sensationalism does. that's why my OP identified the source as a DE newspaper and ended with a question mark.

Posted on: 4/8 6:38


Re: DE paper: extreme rain on rise?

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13548
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Fair enough.

Yes, the last few years have seen a higher than average amount of 2+ inch storms, including tropical storms.

1. Abnormally high number? No. Not yet. Range is within historical "noise". But if "higher than average" either gets a lot higher, or else sustains over several decades, it becomes statistically valid and indicates that a change has taken place.

2. Due to global warming? You gotta answer IF before attacking WHY.

And I am one who considers global warming to be absolute fact, thinks humans as a contributing cause is extremely likely, and that humans as the PRIMARY cause is more likely than not.

But I'm trained in statistics and chaotic systems, and know that the effects on any individual outcome (such as storms over 2") is highly variable and uncertain, and recognize that human nature is to try to glean signals from what actually is nothing more than noise. It doesn't help that most of the public gets their information from the media, who loves to tap into political controversy. The politics end of this is that BOTH sides are misrepresenting science to further their pre-determined agenda. One side to hype the effects of global warming. The other to deny it outright.

Listen to neither. If your position pisses off both sides of the aisle, you probably got it about right. :)

Posted on: 4/8 8:37


Re: DE paper: extreme rain on rise?

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more extreme rain spells in our area? who knows, but interesting chart:

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/scie ... climate/heavy-precip.html

my real point is hyperlocal and from undisputed data in the last ten years: the loyalsock area was whacked with sharp enough rain spells to change some streams

Posted on: 4/8 8:40



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