Extreme Rainfall Becoming More Common, New Analysis Finds

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As floodwaters ravage Texas and Oklahoma, a new analysis finds that heavy downpours have increased dramatically since 1950. And scientists project that precipitation patterns will become increasingly erratic as the climate changes.

The Northeast had a 31 percent increase in heavy downpours between the 1950 to 1959 period and the 2005 to 2014 period. The Midwest had a 16 percent increase between those periods, according to a report from climate news and data website Climate Central.

Individual states have seen even more dramatic changes in rainfall. Rhode Island had a 104 percent increase, while Maine had a 61 percent increase. The report also notes that rainfall is highly localized; levels can vary widely by metropolitan area, even within a state. McAllen, Texas, for example, saw a 700 percent increase, while the increase for the state as a whole was much more modest.

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