Recent increases in tropical cyclone precipitation extremes over the US east coast

Justin T. Maxwell, Joshua C. Bregy, Scott M. Robeson, Paul A. Knapp, Peter T. Soulé, Valerie Trouet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The impacts of inland flooding caused by tropical cyclones (TCs), including loss of life, infrastructure disruption, and alteration of natural landscapes, have increased over recent decades. While these impacts are well documented, changes in TC precipitation extremes—the proximate cause of such inland flooding—have been more difficult to detect. Here, we present a latewood tree-ring–based record of seasonal (June 1 through October 15) TC precipitation sums (ΣTCP) from the region in North America that receives the most ΣTCP: coastal North and South Carolina. Our 319-y-long ΣTCP reconstruction reveals that ΣTCP extremes (≥0.95 quantile) have increased by 2 to 4 mm/decade since 1700 CE, with most of the increase occurring in the last 60 y. Consistent with the hypothesis that TCs are moving slower under anthropogenic climate change, we show that seasonal ΣTCP along the US East Coast are positively related to seasonal average TC duration and TC translation speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2105636118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number41
StatePublished - Oct 12 2021


  • Extreme precipitation
  • Translation speed
  • Tree rings
  • Tropical cyclones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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