Heavier summer downpours with climate change
Extreme summer rainfall may become more frequent in the UK due to climate change, according to new research led by Newcastle University and the Met Office.
The study, which used a state-of-the-art climate model, has provided the first evidence that hourly summer rainfall rates could increase – while summers are expected to become drier overall by 2100, intense rainfall indicative of serious flash flooding could become several times more frequent.
The results, published in Nature Climate Change, are the first step towards building a more complete picture of how UK rainfall may change as our climate warms.
Dr Lizzie Kendon, lead author of the research at the Met Office, says: “The very high resolution model used in this study allows us to examine these changes for the first time. It shows heavier summer downpours in the future, with almost five times more events exceeding 28mm in one hour in the future than in the current climate – changes we might expect theoretically as the world warms.”