Journal article

If Precipitation Extremes Are Increasing, Why Aren't Floods?

A Sharma, C Wasko, DP Lettenmaier

Water Resources Research | Published : 2018


Despite evidence of increasing precipitation extremes, corresponding evidence for increases in flooding remains elusive. If anything, flood magnitudes are decreasing despite widespread claims by the climate community that if precipitation extremes increase, floods must also. In this commentary we suggest reasons why increases in extreme rainfall are not resulting in corresponding increases in flooding. Among the possible mechanisms responsible, we identify decreases in antecedent soil moisture, decreasing storm extent, and decreases in snowmelt. We argue that understanding the link between changes in precipitation and changes in flooding is a grand challenge for the hydrologic community and ..

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