What We Do

Extreme precipitation has the ability to impact almost every part of life. From causing contaminated water supplies and leading to the spread of infectious diseases to disrupting transportation and energy production, there are many facets of life that can be affected by extreme precipitation.

In order to make decisions to protect life and property, decision makers need the best information available to them and to be able to plan for extreme events. However, sub-seasonal to seasonal forecasts (on the time scale of 14 – 90 days) tend to perform poorly and there are no adequate tools to predict extreme precipitation events at this time scale.

To address the need for better forecast models that can help foster resilience and preparedness to extreme precipitation events, we aim to answer four research questions.

Question 1: What are the typical atmospheric patterns associated with sub-seasonal to seasonal extreme precipitation events in the United States and what are the common characteristics of these events?

Question 2: Does large-scale climate variability influence extreme precipitation events and if so, how?

Question 3: How predictable are sub-seasonal to seasonal extreme precipitation events?

Question 4: How can we create informative predictions of extreme precipitation events that are easily communicated to policymakers and other stakeholders?

This project is funded through the National Science Foundation’s Prediction of and Resilience against Extreme Events (PREEVENTS) program.