Changes in Rainfall Patterns are Projected for Next 30 Years

Manoa have projected an increased frequency of heavy rainfall events but a decrease in rainfall intensity during the next 30 years (2011-2040) for the southern shoreline of Oahu, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research.

Chase Norton, a Meteorology Research Assistant at the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at University of Hawaii - Manoa (UH), and colleagues (Professors Pao-Shin Chu and Thomas Schroeder) used a statistical model; rainfall data from rainfall gauges on Oahu, Hawaii; and a suite of General Circulation Models (GCMs) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to project future patterns of heavy rainfall events on Oahu. GCMs play a pivotal role in the understanding of climate change and associated local changes in weather.
 
Heavy rainfall and flash floods are common in the Hawaiian Islands due to their steep terrain, rain‐producing weather systems, and abundant moisture supply. They have caused multimillion dollars damage to homes, properties, roads, agriculture, and other sectors. Environmentally, heavy rainfall and runoff events in Hawaii, which are likely to cause slope and coastal erosion, pollutant discharges to the near shore marine environment, coral reef degradation, among others, are expected to change as Earth undergoes an unprecedented warming. Given the socioeconomic repercussions resulting from past storm events, it is of considerable interest to investigate changes in the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall events in Hawaii, particularly for Oahu, as it is the most populous island in Hawaii.
 
"The results presented in this study may benefit many agencies who are concerned with floods and relevant policy-making in the face of climate change," says Chu, UH – Manoa Meteorology Professor, Hawaii State Climate Office Director, and co-author of the study. "For instance, changes in rainstorm intensity may be a serious consideration in aquifer management – as precipitation is the primary water source for streams and groundwater supply."
 
Norton, Chu, and Schroeder would like to use the IPCC GCM simulations and extend the rainfall model to project future events in other locations. They also plan to use a high resolution regional climate model to project future changes in water resources in the Hawaiian Islands.

Download Center

  • Monitoring and Reporting on Air Emissions for Regulators and the Real World

    When it comes to managing compliance and regulatory issues surrounding air emissions, there are no easy jobs. With interviews from practitioners from American Electric Power, Red Cedar Gathering, Trinity Consultants, and Cority, this eBook provides practical advice to advance your air emissions monitoring and reporting programs.

  • What Every EHS Professional Should Know About ESG

    Join experts from Arcadis and Cority on April 27th to learn the most common ESG reporting frameworks and how technology can help you improve reporting efficiency, identify areas for improvement, and create defensible audit trails.

  • Green Quadrant EHS Software 2021

    Read the new report by independent analyst firm, Verdantix, to get an unbiased comparison of the 22 most prominent EHS software vendors in the industry.

  • RFP Template for Waste Management Software

    Learn the essential questions to ask when evaluating waste management software solutions with this free, ready-to-use RFP template

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

Featured Webinar