Local weather change tends to convey out the worst within the climate, be it excessive chilly or warmth, rain or fireplace. A brand new examine discovered that the warming ambiance will increase the probability {that a} wildfire within the Western U.S. can be adopted by intense rainfall. This confluence of occasions raises the danger of landslides and flash floods.

“As soon as you have had a wildfire burn by way of, you kill off all of the vegetation, and you have no root buildings there holding the soil in place, so it is much more weak,” says College of California, Santa Barbara, local weather scientist Samantha Stevenson, who was a co-author on the examine.

The fires aren’t inflicting the storms, however the identical rising temperatures that lead fires to turn into extra extreme permit the ambiance to hold extra moisture, inflicting rain occasions to dump extra water shortly. “We’re speaking about superstrong rainstorms, the 99.ninth percentile,” Stevenson says.

Line charts show how coupled extreme fire and rainfall events are projected to increase by 2021 in the Western U.S.


Credit score: Jen Christiansen; Supply: “Local weather Change Will increase Danger of Excessive Rainfall following Wildfire within the Western United States,” by Danielle Touma et al., in Science Advances, Vol. 8, No. 13; April 1, 2022 (knowledge)