Could the historic August flood happen again - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Could the historic August flood happen again

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This weekend marks the anniversary of the historic August flood of 2016 and many of you might be wondering if something like this could happen again in the future.

According to State Climatologist Barry Keim he says that it's very unlikely that we will ever see an event of this magnitude again in our lifetime.

However, Keim did go on to say that it did happen once and so it is possible Mother Nature could unleash another storm like what we experience or something even worst. 

The August flood of 2016 has been classified as a 200 year flood event for Lafayette and a 500 year event for New Iberia but what does that mean.

Meteorologist Rogers Erickson with the National Weather Service explains that a 100 year flood event means there is a 1 percent chance of a storm of that magnitude occurring in any given year.

But you might be thinking with the earth warming could the probability of these heavy rain events be on the rise.

Keim says it is very possible that this could be some artifact of climate change.

Keim believes it's certainty consistent with climate change in that warmer temperatures have the capacity to store more moisture which can be infused into the storms.

Also, during the flooding of August 2016 the sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico were running above normal. 

Not only are we seeing warmer temperatures and ocean waters but more moisture is being detected in the atmosphere as data has proven humidity levels are increasing across the entire Southeast over the last 50 years.

Thus the earth's atmosphere might be becoming more primed for such events but it will still take a unique storm like what we saw last year to pull all those ingredients together to produce another historic rain event.

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