Date of Award

Winter 2008

Project Type


Program or Major

Earth Sciences: Geochemical Systems

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Cameron P Wake


Decision-makers require current data and analysis on extreme precipitation events and trends to facilitate effective adaptation. Here, multiple definitions of extreme precipitation (accumulations of one-inch, two-inch and four-inches, ten-, five- and one-yr. recurrence intervals, and the 99th percentile of events) are used to examine changes in the frequency and intensity of extreme precipitation events in New England over the past 60-100 years. Correlations of trends in extreme precipitation events with temperature and with indices of atmospheric circulation patterns are also investigated.

Predominately positive trends were found for all extreme precipitation definitions. For example, increases of 1 events/decade in one-inch events were found across the region. Spatially, positive trends were strongest in southern and central New England. These findings should contribute to flood management efforts and increase awareness of the impacts of climate change in New England.