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Weather extremes like flooding & drought are becoming more common

August 9, 2018

LINCOLN - Nebraska and other Midwestern states are seeing more weather extremes this summer, with many areas experiencing heavy rains that cause flash flooding followed by long periods of heat with no rain.

Meteorologist Dennis Todey, director of the USDA’s Midwest Climate Hub, says in some regions, those heavy rain showers may come more often.

Todey says, “That is something that has been noted more frequently and is potentially projected via computer models, is having larger events happening.”

Todey says part of the pattern of climate change includes more weather extremes — like what we’ve experienced this spring and summer.

“You have maybe larger periods of dryness and then you have big events after that instead of events distributed around,” he says. Todey says it’s very difficult to forecast the arrival of some storms that will bring very heavy rain.

“This is what presents this complication when you’re trying to understand precipitation,” Todey says. “Sizes of events and timing of events and trying to understand those two spatial variabilities, that more big events at different times of the year and more isolated events really confuses the situation.”

Todey says there’s growing concern those weather extremes could also apply to rapidly spreading drought conditions.

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