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The 1996 Mid-Atlantic Winter Floods: Exploring Climate Risk through a Storyline Approach

Presentation Date
Sunday, January 23, 2022 at 6:00pm



In the United States, especially at higher latitudes, rain-on-snow (ROS) events can cause severe flooding. The Northeastern flood of January 1996 was a particularly devastating ROS event, which led to billions of dollars in damages and numerous fatalities. In this study we use the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM) at high resolution to hindcast the flood of 1996 over the Susquehanna River Basin. The model was altered to simulate the 1996 ROS event in various warmer climates. We evaluated numerous variables associated with flooding, such as precipitation, snow depth, runoff, temperature, and river discharge. We examined the variables through time and compared values for the different perturbed simulations. We will discuss the balance between snow, increased rain, and the hydrological implications of increasing temperatures and possible flooding risks for the future.

Funding Program Area(s)