Department of Geography and the Environment

Professors Ramos-Scharrón and Arima’s Collaboration on the Rainfall Associated to Hurricane María in Puerto Rico are Published in the Journal Scientific Reports

Fri, November 8, 2019
Professors Ramos-Scharrón and Arima’s Collaboration on the Rainfall Associated to Hurricane María in Puerto Rico are Published in the Journal Scientific Reports

The 2017 North Atlantic hurricane season induced record-breaking economic losses and caused hundreds of fatalities, and for many represents a presage of what the future holds under warmer tropical sea surface temperatures. This article focuses on one such major hurricane, María, and answers the question of how this event compares to the historical record of tropical storms that have assailed the island of Puerto Rico since 1899. Comparisons relied on interpolated weather station total rainfall and maximum 24-h rainfall intensities. Results show that Hurricane María’s 24-hr rainfall and recurrence interval signatures are undoubtedly the highest in Puerto Rico for a tropical cyclone since at least 1898. Recent work has suggested that María’s rainfall was indeed enhanced by global climate change. If this holds true, then María’s rainfall signature in Puerto Rico merits consideration as a new addition to the list of recent record-breaking rainfall extreme events likely attributable to global climate change. Therefore, the rain-induced impacts caused by María in Puerto Rico should serve as a reference of the potential of tropical cyclone rainfall under an altered climate regime.

Link to article (open access): https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-52198-2

Link to news coverage: https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/locales/nota/elhuracanmariafueelmasintensoaniveldelluvia-2527292/

 

 

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  • Department of Geography and the Environment

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