A report from a non-profit environmental group says extreme storms are hitting the Midwest more frequently and the flood damage they’re causing is getting worse. Stephen Saunders, president of the Denver-based Rocky Mountain Climate Organization, says their research covered records from more than 200 weather stations in Iowa and seven other Midwestern states from the years 1960 through 2011. The lead author of the report, Saunders says, “We found the total precipitation from all the storms in the Midwest went up at a rate of 23% over that 51-year period.” Scientists point to global climate change, he says, as the culprit behind the rising severity of storms over the five decades. During that time, there was no change in the pattern of minor storms, while they found the nastier storms appeared much more often.
Saunders says, “The frequency of storms that dumped 1-2″ of precipitation in a day went up by 34%, storms of 2-3″ went up by 81% and what we call the extreme storms, those that had 3″ or more of precipitation in a day, went up by 103%.” Incidences of the most severe downpours doubled over the last half century. “The last decade, the last dozen years, has been particularly tough,” Saunders says. “Of the first 12 years of this century, seven of the nine worst years for extreme storms in the Midwest occurred in those 12 years.” The study found the two most destructive years for flooding in our region during the five decades were 1993 and 2008, years that hold foul memories for many Iowans.
“As people who lived through those floods in the Midwest know, those were two years of the worst flooding the Midwest has had in more than 80 years,” Saunders says. “In 2008, the flooding caused $16-billion in damages and in 1993, the flooding caused $33-billion in damage in the Midwest.” He says global studies already blame human-caused climate change for driving more extreme precipitation, and if emissions keep going up, Saunders says the forecast is for even more extreme storms in the region. One of the group’s recommendations is: enacting comprehensive mandatory limits on global warming pollution to reduce emissions by at least 20-percent below current levels by 2020 and 80-percent by 2050. The report is called, “Doubled Trouble: More Midwestern Extreme Storms.” Learn more at the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization website: www.rockymountainclimate.org
(Matt Kelley/Radio Iowa)
The Freese-Notis 4-day forecast (Podcast) for Atlantic & the KJAN listening area, & weather stats for Atlantic…
332 AM CDT WED MAY 16 2012
TODAY…SUNNY. HIGH IN THE UPPER 70S. EAST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
TONIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOW IN THE LOWER 50S. SOUTHEAST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
THURSDAY…SUNNY…BREEZY. HIGH IN THE MID 80S. SOUTH WIND 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 30 MPH.
THURSDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. WARMER. LOW IN THE MID 60S. SOUTH WIND 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 25 MPH.
FRIDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. BREEZY. HIGH IN THE UPPER 80S. SOUTH WIND 10 TO 20 MPH INCREASING TO 20 TO 25 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON.
FRIDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. BREEZY. LOW IN THE UPPER 60S.
SATURDAY…PARTLY SUNNY. ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS IN THE AFTERNOON. BREEZY. HIGH IN THE LOWER 80S. CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS 20 PERCENT.
SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 50 PERCENT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. LOW IN THE MID 60S. HIGH IN THE MID 70S.
512 AM CDT TUE MAY 15 2012
Counties in Iowa: GUTHRIE-DALLAS-POLK-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD-
DAY ONE…TODAY AND TONIGHT
WIDELY SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE BEGINNING BY MID AFTERNOON, AND ENDING BEFORE SUNSET. THERE IS A LOW PROBABILITY OF SEVERE WEATHER WITH HAIL AND GUSTY WINDS THE MOST LIKELY MODES OF SEVERE WEATHER.
DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…WEDNESDAY THROUGH MONDAY
THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED INTERMITTENTLY FROM SATURDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT. SOME STORMS MAY BE SEVERE WITH THE BEST CHANCE ON SATURDAY NIGHT.
Here’s the (podcast) Freese-Notis forecast for Atlantic & the KJAN listening area…
336 AM CDT TUE MAY 15 2012
TODAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. ISOLATED THUNDERSTORMS LATE IN THE AFTERNOON. HIGH IN THE MID 80S. SOUTHWEST WIND 5 TO 15 MPH SHIFTING TO THE NORTHWEST 10 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 25 MPH IN THE AFTERNOON. CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS 20 PERCENT.
TONIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY THROUGH MIDNIGHT THEN BECOMING CLEAR. LOW IN THE UPPER 40S. NORTH WIND 5 TO 15 MPH.
WEDNESDAY…SUNNY. HIGH IN THE UPPER 70S. EAST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH SHIFTING TO THE SOUTHEAST IN THE AFTERNOON.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOW IN THE MID 50S. SOUTH WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
THURSDAY…MOSTLY SUNNY. BREEZY. HIGH IN THE LOWER 80S. SOUTH WIND 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 30 MPH.
THURSDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY. A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS AFTER MIDNIGHT. LOW IN THE LOWER 60S.
FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT…PARTLY CLOUDY. BREEZY. HIGH IN THE MID 80S. LOW IN THE MID 60S.
Here’s the (podcast) forecast for Atlantic & the KJAN listening area from Freese-Notis Meteorologist Harvey Freese, and the weather stats for Atlantic from KJAN News Director Ric Hanson.
348 AM CDT MON MAY 14 2012
TODAY…SUNNY. HIGH AROUND 80. SOUTHWEST WIND NEAR 10 MPH.
TONIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOW IN THE LOWER 50S. SOUTHWEST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
TUESDAY…SUNNY. HIGH IN THE MID 80S. SOUTHWEST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
TUESDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLEAR. LOW IN THE LOWER 50S. SOUTHWEST WIND NEAR 5 MPH SHIFTING TO THE NORTHEAST AFTER MIDNIGHT.
WEDNESDAY…SUNNY. HIGH IN THE LOWER 80S. SOUTHEAST WIND 5 TO 10 MPH.
WEDNESDAY NIGHT AND THURSDAY…PARTLY CLOUDY. LOW IN THE UPPER 50S. HIGH IN THE LOWER 80S.
THURSDAY NIGHT…MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 20 PERCENT CHANCE OF THUNDERSTORMS. LOW IN THE MID 60S.
FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY…PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGH IN THE MID 80S. LOW IN THE MID 60S.
Here’s the (podcast) forecast for Atlantic and the KJAN listening area, as prepared by Freese-Notis Meteorologist Wayne Ellis, and today’s weather stats for Atlantic….
Today…Mostly cloudy. High in the upper 60s. Northeast wind 10 to 15 mph.
Tonight…Partly cloudy. Low in the lower 40s. Northeast wind near 10 mph through midnight becoming light.
Sunday…Sunny. High in the lower 70s. North wind near 5 mph.
Sunday Night…Mostly clear. Low in the upper 40s. Northwest wind near 5 mph through midnight becoming light.
Monday…Sunny. High in the upper 70s. West wind near 10 mph.
Monday Night Through Thursday…Mostly clear. Low 53 to 58. High in the lower 80s.
Thursday Night And Friday…Partly cloudy. Low in the lower 60s. High in the lower 80s.