Over the last six months, Western Water Assessments' team of scientists have been updating the High-Impact Events Database for recent and missing historical high-impact weather and climate events in our region. The database is not a scientific dataset, but rather a collection of significant weather and climate-related events in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.
The types of events included are: avalanches, cold waves, dam failures, droughts, floods, hail, high winds, landslides, tornadoes, wildfires, and winter storms. They searched federal, state, county, and local databases, library archives, news accounts, and other sources for the collection. Read more about this>>>
They are currently working on additional features that will make the database more usable and engaging, and hope to finish these features during the summer.
In 2015, WWA began a new research focus on extremes that is designed to place high-impact events in the context of historical climate variability and projected climate change, assess how the risk of these events varies over time and space, and examine how high-impact events interact with place-based vulnerability.
The first activities in this new research theme have been to build a database of 160+ historical high-impact weather and climate events in the three-state region, and to generate a complementary set of regional event maps showing how risk varies seasonally across the region for different types of weather and climate events.
The WWA team is comprised of researchers in multiple disciplines—climatology, hydrology, ecology, social sciences, and law—at the University of Colorado Boulder and several other institutions in the region. WWA is part of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. Their primary source of funding is NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) Program, and they are one of 10 RISA teams operating across the U.S. Read more about WWA>>>