Rain in the Garden
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News Spotlight – Rain, Rain, and More Rain

Earth and Climate Change in the News

Water, water everywhere we’re gonna get wet,” according to Kidsongs.

It seems USA TODAY reached the same conclusion (December 3rd) in an investigation revealing a stunning shift in the way rain falls in America. This reporting connects with my recent November article discussing the issues around Shifting Weather Patterns and More Rain.

The USA Today report provided some interesting findings that add to the conversation:

At some point over the past three years, 27 states — all east of the Rocky Mountains — hit their highest 30-year precipitation average since record keeping began in 1895.

A dozen states, including Iowa, Ohio and Rhode Island, saw five of their 10 wettest years in history over the past two decades.

Michigan saw six of its wettest 10 years on record over the past 13 years.

In June, at least 136 daily rainfall records were set during storms across five states along the Mississippi River.

At the opposite extreme, eight states — including five in the West — had at least three record-dry years in the same time period. That’s double what would be expected based on historical patterns.

The USA Today article also points out how decreasing temperature differentials between the Arctic and the mid latitudes effectively slows down the jet stream, meaning weather systems move more slowly and have a longer time to dump precipitation on a single location.

Read more about the polar vortex and a weak jet stream.

Sources & References

USA TODAY investigation reveals a stunning shift in the way rain falls in America (by Nicole Carroll; USA Today)

Shifting Weather Patterns and More Rain (by WM House; ArcheanWeb) (Read on Medium Also)

Polar Vortex: Cold weather meets global warming (by WM House; ArcheanWeb)

Cover Photo: Rain in the Garden by WM House; ArcheanArt

William House
William is an earth scientist and writer with an interest in providing the science "backstory" for breaking environmental, earth science, and climate change news.