WASHINGTON, March 7 (UPI) -- Extreme weather can apparently be directly linked to global warming, at least according to federal climate scientists.
A new weather model put out by climatologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- the U.S. federal science agency responsible for monitoring the planet's oceans and atmosphere -- predicts that rain will fall in larger and larger concentrations, thanks to a warming planet.
If climate models hold true and the planet continues to warm, much of the Northwest, Northeast and Midwest can expect torrential downpours to become increasingly common.
"Several major watersheds are predicted to have more days of extreme rainfall by the middle of the century, including the Pacific Northwest, the Ohio River Basin, the Great Lakes, and parts of the Great River and Missouri River Basin," the NOAA said in a news release.
In a blog post on the subject, John Metcalfe, writer at The Atlantic Cities, suggested Seattle, Washington; Portland, Oregon; Boise, Idaho; and Richmond, Virginia should "consider wooing the umbrella-manufacturing industry."
NOAA analysis shows that precipitation totals have increased five percent over the last century, and that downpours -- "rainfall totals in excess of the historic 98th percentile" -- have increased 20 percent in the last 50 years.
Upon releasing the new precipitation prediction model and map, NOAA was predictably confronted by skeptics on Twitter. But the agency was ready with a quick response.
@tan123 Climate models show that in a warmer world, precip tends to be concentrated into heavier events w/ longer dry periods in btwn.— NOAA Climate.gov (@NOAAClimate) March 5, 2014
[NOAA] [The Atlantic Cities]