World Weather Attribution

Two Year Anniversary of UK’s Storm Desmond: New Paper Confirms WWA’s Prior Rapid Analysis Findings

Two years have passed since Storm Desmond caused large disruption in the UK. On December 5, 2015, heavy rainfall and high winds led to devastating flooding in Northern England, Southern Scotland and Ireland, and left many families with damaged homes. Desmond was the first of three storms to bring heavy rain to the region; December 2015 would go in the books as the wettest December on record in that part of the UK.

At the time, WWA scientists performed a rapid attribution analysis within five days after the storm, and found that human-caused climate change made a rainfall event like Storm Desmond more likely now than in preindustrial times. This analysis was based on provisional observations available soon after the event and pre-existing climate model experiments.

Now that more time has passed, all measurements from those days have been made available and more climate model experiments have been performed. WWA scientists have revisited their original attribution analysis and show in a new scientific article that rapid analyses, of which the Desmond rapid attribution is an example, can stand the test of time: the results in the revisited analysis were essentially the same as in the rapid analysis.

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Hurricane Harvey Update

WWA researchers have completed a multi-method attribution analysis of the catastrophic heavy rains that accompanied Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. The manuscript for this analysis is currently undergoing peer review. Our findings will be released when the paper is accepted for publication.

Please continue to check the WWA website for updates.

Photo: REUTERS