How are Precipitation Dynamics Changing in the Houston Area Under a Warming Climate?
MetadataShow full item record
Hurricane Harvey was devastating to the Upper Texas Coast. The storm flooded a third of Houston, caused 125 billion dollars of damages, and affected 13 million people. What made Harvey so devastating was the amount of rainfall, Harvey broke records for the amount of precipitation in one storm. The 1 in 1000 year flood event delivered 51.88 inches of rain. Understanding the distribution of rainfall is the first step to take if Houston is to be better prepared for similar storms. If we are to better prepare Houston for similar storms, we must understand Houston’s changing climate. Our project, “How is precipitation dynamics changing in the Houston area under a warming climate?”, will analyze the characteristics of precipitation since 1998. I will study two decades worth of variables:amount, duration, intensity, and spatial distribution. Models will be constructed illustrating trends in each of these variables over time. Sophisticated data analysis software is essential to methodically analyze all of this information, namely Igor. My main sources of data is the Harris County Flood Warning System (HCFWS) has readily available data on Houston’s precipitation. The HCFWS has 100+ rain gauge stations, these are remote monitoring devices that routinely upload data directly to the Harris County Flood Warning System. Additionally, the Southern Regional Climate Center, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have ancillary data. Both sources have huge repositories of data on precipitation and its characteristics on the Houston metropolitan area.