Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Are The Number of Toledo Extreme Rain Events Increasing?

Over the last week, I've read several articles on the increase in extreme rain events as a contributor to the increase in Lake Erie algae bloom frequency.  Here is some rainfall data I compiled for Toledo Metcalf Field. The data goes back to the late 1890s. Instead of using the entire year, I focused on the growing season period from April 1st through September 30th.
A steady increase in one inch rain events since the 1970s. The 1970s and 80s are comparable to earlier decades

The period from 2000 to 2009 wasn't off-the-charts when compared to the 1900s, 1910s or the 1940s. Yet an increase since the 1980s is evident. In the first 4 years (through August 20, 2014) already 17 one inch rainfall events; 3 in 2014 alone.

Several questions come to mind:

1)  Are these rainfall numbers correct?

2)  Is there any record of significant algae blooms in the early 20th century?
If anyone can shed light on any of this, please let me know.