CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – New climate normals have been released by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Association (NOAA). These normals provide a new metric of averages for the Tri-State and across the country every ten years.
From this, meteorologists, climatologists and other scientists look for trends to answer questions, such as whether we are seeing increases in temperature or rainfall.
In the latest climate normals, Dr. Kevin Law, a professor at Marshall University and the state climatologist, says our area has experienced an increase in both rainfall and precipitation.
“We have seen about a one degree Fahrenheit change in the normal period at least in the Charleston-Huntington area and probably about a five percent increase in terms of the precipitation too,” remarks Dr. Law.
Though these changes might not sound extreme, Dr. Law says that the ripple-effect can be felt in a variety of industries and can lead to more disasters in the Tri-State.
“I think in terms of temperature, that might translate into things like perhaps a longer growing season for agriculture. It might place a little bit more importance on cooling degree days perhaps, so more energy consumption in terms of air conditioning. Precipitation-wise, we might actually see a little bit more of a threat in terms of flooding potential – more increased precipitation – intense precipitation that is,” comments Dr. Law.