Texas, Calif. to Face More Climate-Induced Downpours—Report

Nathanial Gronewold

Climate change is causing heavier rainstorms to occur more frequently across Texas and Southern California, according to separate versions of a new report released yesterday.

In mid-July, the Houston area and much of the southeastern part of the state received torrential downpours over successive days. Manhole covers popped up onto some downtown streets where sewer systems were overwhelmed, and in this city's northwest corner, one of the hardest-hit areas, 100 homes were flooded when Cypress Creek spilled over its banks.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the sizes of storms have been increasing since data were first collected in 1948, according to the Environment California Research and Policy Center. Storms that were previously once-a-year ordeals are now occurring every 8.8 months and are 7 percent bigger than usual, the center said. 

In both parts of the country, according to the report conducted by the nonprofit group Environment America, the impacts can be directly attributed to climate change and can be expected to intensify should recent decadal trends continue. Meanwhile, 40 other states also are expected to experience a rise in rainstorms and snowstorms as global temperatures rise.

"We need to heed scientists' warnings that this dangerous trend is linked to global warming and do everything we can to cut carbon pollution today," said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas, which co-produced a portion of the findings. The California data were put out by the Environment California Research and Policy Center, a sister organization.