10/13 Colloquium: Prof. Allen Frei of Hunter on Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee: How Unique Were They in the Catskill Mountains

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Date(s) - 10/13/2016
12:00 am

The Graduate Center


ALLAN FREI –  Room C204



Join us for our next seminar presented by Allan Frei on “Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee: How Unique Were They in the Catskill Mountains?”, followed by our always-fun reception in the student’s lounge.  Please note that the room for this talk is Room C204.


During the late summer and early fall of 2011 the Catskill Mountains in south – central New York State experienced major flood events associated with former Hurricane Irene and former Tropical Storm Lee. These were perceived to be unique in the known history of the region, were perceived to be part of a recent change in the frequency of such events, and marked a turning point in the perceptions of residents about climate change. Here the precipitation and stream gauge records are evaluated to determine just how unique this season was, considering that this region is particularly flood prone. The historical precipitation gauge record requires careful analysis due to the changing availability of stations. After an appropriate set of stations is developed specifically for this analysis, events of lengths 1-day, 5-days, as well as 30 and 60 days are analyzed to identify the major events since ~1900; and to evaluate Irene and Lee in the historical context. Results indicate that the period between 1996 and 2011, and in particular the events of Fall, 2011, were unprecedented in the historical record. The implications of this about climate change, if any, will be discussed.



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