Climate Trends in RI and the Impact on Coastal Flooding

March 13, 2019

Hurricanes and tropical storms are no strangers to southern New England.  

Forty-five such storms have affected the region since 1900, thirteen of which made landfall with significant impact, including extensive property damage and loss of life.  

Over the past 10 years, many parts of the Northeast have had major if not record breaking flooding.  

Events such as October 1996, The Patriot’s Day Storm, The Mother’s Day Floods of 2006, The Fish and Saint John Floods of 2008, and Hurricanes Irene and Superstorm Sandy are examples of how storms have become more intense and have been depositing record amounts of precipitation. 

Each system was enhanced by the tremendously active southern stream jet and plumes of deep tropical moisture which were hurled at the Northeast by a blocked up atmosphere; a pattern favoring either slow moving systems or a series of “rapid fire” events such as those which resulted in the record floods in Southeast New England in 2010.   

For coastal residence, the impacts have been exacerbated by the continued increasing sea level, making it possible for weaker storm systems to produce significant flooding. 

David Vallee, hydrologist-in-charge at the Northeast River Forecast Center of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), will review the behavior of Climate Change and what is happening with flooding and water level changes, particularly, rainfall, wind, and storm surge.  

Lectures are free for members; $5 for non-members

Call Mount Hope Farm at 401.254.1745 or email with any questions.