Extreme Weather and Climate Events







An extreme precipitation event in September 2013 washed out this culvert conveying Rock Creek under Dillon Road in Broomfield, Colorado. (Photo credit: Will von Dauster, NOAA)


Extreme events cause the majority of societal costs related to weather and climate. They provoke societal responses that can either enhance or detract from long-term adaptation to climate risk. In 2015, WWA began a new research focus on extremes that is designed to place extreme events in the context of historical climate variability and projected climate change, assess how the risk of these events varies over time and space, and examine how extreme events interact with place-based vulnerability.

The first activities in this new research theme have been to build a database of 160+ major historical extreme weather and climate events in the three-state region, and to generate a complementary set of regional event maps showing how risk varies seasonally across the region for different types of weather and climate events.

Additional Resources:

NOAA - U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters, 1980-present

3rd U.S. National Climate Assessment: Extreme Weather (2014)

IPCC - Special Report: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation (2012)

National Academies Report: Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change (2016) - free PDF available, requires registration