A warming climate leads to a moister atmosphere and more rapid hydrologic cycle. As such, many parts of the country are predicted to experience more total rainfall per year and more frequent extreme rainfall events. Most regions of the country have stormwater systems designed to a standard that matches outflow rates to pre-development values for specified return period storms. Increases in these return period storm depths, as predicted by many global climate models, will stress existing stormwater infrastructure. This paper examines how rainfall patterns will change over the remainder of the century across the state of South Carolina.
Rainfall simulations from 134 realizations of 21 global climate models were analyzed across the state of South Carolina through 2099. Results show that there will be increases in both annual total rainfall (ATR) and 24-hour design storm depth for a range of return period storms. Across South Carolina, ATR is predicted to increase by approximately 2.3-4.0 inches over the forecast period while the 100 year design storm depth is predicted to increase by 0.5-1.2 inches depending on location. However there are significant regional variations with the Savannah River Basin experiencing smaller increases in ATR compared to the rest of the state.
Hutton, Derek; Kaye, Nigel B.; and Martin III, William D.
"Analysis of Climate Change and 24-Hour Design Storm Depths for a Range of Return Periods Across South Carolina,"
Journal of South Carolina Water Resources: Vol. 2
, Article 4.
Available at: http://tigerprints.clemson.edu/jscwr/vol2/iss1/4