Series: Extreme Precipitation And Wisconsin's Climate

Climate change is already beginning to affect Wisconsin in subtle but important ways. As the average global temperature creeps upward, climatologists have projected that the upper Midwest will experience heavier precipitation. This shift means not just a greater volume of water in the form of rain or snow, but also more intense storms happening more frequently. While climate change on its own isn't necessarily the culprit behind a given storm, its effects can intensify existing weather patterns and make long-running climatic cycles more unpredictable. While researchers work to understand how climate change interacts with seasonal cycles like El Niño and how human activities affect the outcome of catastrophic floods, communities across the state face new challenges protecting people, infrastructure and their economy.
 
As recently as 2013, water levels on most of the Great Lakes were very low. But since 2014 the issue has been too much water, not too little.
People often recount the floods in living memory. August 2018 will be remembered for record-breaking floods that brought devastation throughout the Driftless Area.
Very little is known about the smallest tributaries that flow into Lake Superior.
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Is a big-box store like Costco the best or worst place to get stuck in a natural disaster?
While efforts after August 2018 storms focused on cleaning up and limiting flooding, Madison will need to address its vulnerability to extreme rainfall if it wants to prepare for the future.
After yet another summer of dangerous and destructive flooding, from Ino to Madison to Coon Valley, Wisconsinites seem more ready than ever to discuss how climate change is affecting the state.
Human activities and intense precipitation drive nutrients into water sources that help support the growth of cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae. Paul Dearlove of the Clean Lakes Alliance discusses some of its dangers and how to mitigate exposure.
With the summer of 2017 in the record books, many parts of Wisconsin are still feeling the impact of the season's wet weather.
The concept of flood recurrence intervals is a classic example of a communication gap that can form between scientists and the public.
What would happen if a devastating rainstorm that hits an area and causes damaging floods instead struck somewhere else?