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Storm Intensity & Frequency Increase

A high degree of uncertainty surrounds the formation of major storms and how they will be affected by global climate change. Attribution of individual storms to climate change is fraught, but an uptick in the severity of weather is a likely result of climate change. Worldwide, hurricanes are grower more intense, with wind speeds and durations on the rise.

Episodes of heavy precipitation are likely to increase, alongside major flooding events. Climate change accents the extremities of climate. Just as precipitation will likely increase, so are dry spells. Droughts may threaten the water security of Rhode Islanders who rely on superficial wells and shallow reservoirs. Rhode Island’s urbanized landscape, with a large cover of impervious surface (like rooftops and pavement), heighten the danger associated with flooding. Green infrastructure, natural vegetation that helps capture and disperse stormwater, is an important component of flood mitigation. Increasing areas of natural habitat, which are highly resilient, is another component to managing potentially-hazardous stormwater.