Steamier summers raise threat of flash floods

Steamier summers raise threat of flash floods
Julie Vander Weken

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The math is simple. With climate change we are seeing warmer average summer temperatures as compared to previous decades. That warmer air can hold more moisture than cooler air. This means dew points are on the rise with the temperatures.

The graph below from Climate Central shows this rise in dew points between 1980 and 2015.

What does this mean for us? Well, the monsoon mugginess is going to get worse. However, that's not necessarily a bad thing if you like the rain.

The more moisture in the air, the more potential there is for downpours. The problem is the amount of rain that comes out of the monsoon storms also may increase over time. That would raise the threat of flash flooding.

However, the data showing this possible link for the southwest is sparse. While some forecast models indicate this new normal for extreme precipitation, the scattered nature of the storms and the lack of rain gauges across parts of the sparsely populated desert mean make the real-life trend hard to track.

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