USAToday: Plug in Your Zip Code to See How Climate has Changed Rainfall in Your Town

December 3, 2021

Well, this helps explain a lot.
My Yale Climate Connections video above describes the climatic changes behind increases in extreme rains across the country and around the world, including a specific catastrophic incident in my local area.

Now, USAToday has a fantastic tool developed from rainfall data, where you can plug in your zip code, and see how precipitation has changed in your area.

Even I’m blown away with this result – that in my local area, extreme rains have increased almost 50 percent.

USAToday:

Think your area has had more rain than usual? You’re probably right. 

Think your area has had less rain than usual? Again, you’re probably right. 

For our climate change investigation out this week, called Downpour, USA TODAY reporters used 126 years of monthly data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to analyze average annual precipitation at 344 climate divisions. They used daily precipitation data from weather stations to measure the change in frequency of extreme rain events across the U.S. from 1951-2020.

“We were hearing a lot about extreme rainfall, stories of flooding, people with sewer backups, people flooded out of their homes, and we wanted to know, is this happening everywhere?,” said Dinah Pulver, one of the project’s lead reporters. “How many people, how many places, are contending with this kind of rainfall?

We found more than half of the nation’s 344 climate divisions had their wettest periods on record since 2018. We calculated the same rolling averages for states. 

“East of the Rockies, more rain is falling, and it’s coming in more intense bursts,” our report finds. “In the West, people are waiting longer to see any rain at all.

“Taken together, the reporting reveals a stunning shift in the way precipitation falls in America.”

Specifically, our reporting finds:

  • 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.

One Response to “USAToday: Plug in Your Zip Code to See How Climate has Changed Rainfall in Your Town”


  1. A good post! Thank you 😊🌍


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