Forecasting Change: Rainfall becoming more intense

Survey of 150 US weather stations shows increase in simple hourly rainfall since 1970

Rainfall Intensity (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Rain chances are returning to our forecast. We are not quite into the rainy season in Central Florida. Today, I want to focus on rainfall. Specifically intense rainfall.

As a general rule, a warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture. More moisture means heavier rain. In the last three decades, rain has been getting heavier in most of our country. Orlando is no exception. The chart below shows a gradual trend up since 1970.

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More intense rainfall. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

The same chart for Miami shows more of an increase.

More intense rainfall. (Copyright 2022 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.)

According to our media partners at Climate Central, 90% of the 150 U.S. weather stations surveyed show an increase in the simple hourly rainfall since 1970. That increase leads to the risk of flooding, the loss of life, injuries, and problems with agriculture.

Keep in mind that this does not take into account the increase in tropical storm rain. The torrential rains of the tropical systems are also on the rise as our climate continues to warm. The impacts from a changing climate are not all just hotter temperatures. In this case the impacts of the “Global Weirdness” are not warm, but really wet.

About the Author:

Tom Sorrells is News 6's Emmy award winning chief meteorologist. He pinpoints storms across Central Florida to keep residents safe from dangerous weather conditions.