According to a study performed by engineers at the University of Iowa, the threat of flooding in regions across the United States has been changing. More specifically, the risk of flooding has been decreasing in the southern half of the United States, and increasing in the northern half. Meanwhile, the west and southwest are seeing a decreasing risk of flooding.
The study was led by engineers Gabriele Villarini and Louise Slater and published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
The team attributed these regional shifts in flooding to changing patterns of rainfall relative to the amount of water in the ground. They determined that on average, the areas in the north have generally seen an increased amount of water held in the ground, while the south has experienced the inverse. The drought felt across the west and southwest has naturally led to decreased stored water levels.
A 2015 study led by Villarini showed that the Midwest and Plains have seen far more frequent heavy rains in the last 5o years.
Credit: University of Iowa/American Geophysical Union