SOURCE: Think Progress
DATE: September 14, 2017
SNIP: Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in Texas was “unprecedented” and “beyond anything experienced,” as the National Weather Service described it late last month. Now scientists are beginning to quantify just how unprecedented it was.
A study released Friday by Metstat, a weather-analysis company specializing in “detailed precipitation analysis” and “weather frequency analysis,” found that Harvey delivered a stunning once-in-25,000-year deluge over much of southeast Texas.
Some places saw an unimaginable once-in-500,000-year deluge, which translates to a 0.0002 percent chance of this deluge occurring in any given year.
Since global warming has been making extreme precipitation events more likely, however, the U.S. won’t have to wait 25,000 years to witness the next event of Harvey’s proportion.
As climatologist Michael Mann explained during the storm, “the kind of stalled weather pattern that is drenching Houston is precisely the sort of pattern we expect because of climate change.” Climate science predicted a weaker jet stream, and Harvey stalled because of a weakened jet stream.