Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences

Advisor/Committee Chair

Nick Bassill


Numerous studies have shown that the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events have increased significantly across the contiguous United States (CONUS) over the past several decades associated with warming global temperatures. This surge in extreme rainfall has resulted in the loss of life and property within vulnerable communities due to widespread river and flash flooding. For example, 11 of the 14 fatalities in New York City associated with Tropical Cyclone Ida’s remnants in September 2021 occurred in flooded basement apartments. The creation of a scale to differentiate extreme rainfall events with higher societal impacts from those with lower impacts is crucial to identify the locations most susceptible to flooding. Furthermore, while there has been extensive research to quantify the societal impact of winter storms through the Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale and the Regional Snowfall Index, similar indices have yet to be developed for extreme rainfall. This research aims to develop a metric for distinguishing the diverse societal impacts resulting from extreme precipitation events across the CONUS by considering the population density and rainfall distribution. As part of this effort, numerous case studies from several high-impact rainfall and flood events were conducted for the New York City Metropolitan Area. The areal distribution of the rainfall and the rate of precipitation from these events were carefully analyzed in the implementation of this extreme rainfall metric.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.