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Warming to make thunderstorms larger, more frequent

Seth Borenstein
Associated Press

Washington — A new study says summer thunderstorms in North America will likely be larger, wetter and more frequent in a warmer world, dumping 80 percent more rain in some areas and worsening flooding.

The U.S. in recent years has experienced prolonged drenchings that have doused Nashville in 2010, West Virginia and Louisiana in 2016 and Houston this year.

A study Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change says by the end of the century if emissions aren’t curbed, these gully washers will be much worse because they will be bigger.

Climate scientist Andreas Prein at the National Center for Atmospheric Research used computer simulations to see how global warming will likely change America’s summer thunderstorms. He says the increase in rain was far more than expected.