Drought Effects on Flood Frequency in the Northeast United States

Authors: Elizabeth Geesey*, Kutztown University, Michael Davis, Kutztown University Associate Professor, Department of Geography President
Topics: Climatology and Meteorology
Keywords: climate, anthropogenic, flash flooding, precipitation, drought
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The United States National Climate Assessment, as well as climate science literature, depicts a much wetter climate across the northeast region of the country. This trend in increased moisture is the result of atmospheric warming, largely from anthropogenic forcings, which allows for a greater water carrying capacity. Heavy rainfall events can lead to flash flooding conditions in communities within this highly populated region of the United States leading to high economic and property loss and potential loss of human life.
An aspect of this emerging, and significant, climate research topic, is the consideration of wet/dry events that precede flash flooding. Utilizing precipitation and drought data from the National Center of Environmental Information (NCEI), seasonal trends in precipitation, and the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) are used to assess the vulnerability of the 42 climate divisions that comprise the northeast US region. Spatial trends will be analyzed to assess whether specific sub-regions are exhibiting seasonal tendencies in terms of “pre-flash flooding”.

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