A hurricane can dump a lot of rain . . . | Science News



Support credible science journalism.

Subscribe to Science News today.


A hurricane can dump a lot of rain . . .

10:41am, June 7, 2005

From New Orleans, at the Joint Assembly of the American Geophysical Union

The large masses of warm, moist air that fuel hurricanes also prime those windstorms to drop a lot of precipitation in a short time, a phenomenon that residents of Puerto Rico experienced in spades when Hurricane Georges struck their island in 1998. Now, new hydrological analyses indicate just how much storm runoff and sediment washed into the surrounding waters in the wake of that storm.

In the course of a normal year, the 8,700-square-kilometer island of Puerto Rico gets about 1.6 meters of rain, says Matthew C. Larsen, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va. That's about 14 billion cubic meters of precipitation. About 6 billion m3 of that water recharges the island's aquifers, but the other 8 billion m3 runs off the island in streams, carrying around 5.9 million metric tons of sediment.

In September 1998, however, Hurricane Georges swept over the island, dump

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from this issue of Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content