Weatherdem's Weblog

Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Nashville Rainfall Record Shattered Last Week

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Amidst all the bad news emanating from the Tennessee area after storms hit the region last week, an important piece of information was not very well reported.

In 1979, a weakening Hurricane Frederic let 6.60″ of rain loose in the Nashville, TN area.

In 2010, thunderstorms dumped over 13″ of rain in Nashville over two days.  That includes a new one-day record, 7.25″, and the third highest 24-hour amount recorded, 6.32″.  13″ of rain in two days is a ridiculous amount of precipitation.

To the anti-science, climate change denier crowd: extreme precipitation events are one of the projected effects of climate change as we continue through the 21st century.  Storm systems that unleash twice as much rain in two days as a hurricane did 30 years prior would easily qualify as an extreme precipitation event.  While no one storm system can be directly attributed to climate change, it’s not like such projections were never made by climate scientists.  We continue along the same destructive habits at our own peril.

Remember the deluge that affected Atlanta, GA last September?  Conditions for these kinds of events have been primed.  The climate system is responding to the forcing being exerted.

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