Patrick Guinan, J. Lory and R. Massey, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia, MO
Since the 1950s, Missouri has experienced a notable increase in heavy precipitation events. Precipitation data from 28 long-term Missouri weather stations indicates since 1985 there has been a 32% increase in daily precipitation events totaling 3 or more inches. Additionally, more than 50% of these long-term weather stations have experienced their all-time daily rainfall extreme since the 1970's.
According to the 2014 National Climate Assessment, the Midwestern wet weather trend will continue with an increase in heavy downpours and flooding over the next several decades. Numerous sectors, including agriculture, will need to adapt to these predicted changes and employ strategies to mitigate potential impacts from extreme wet weather events.
Extreme weather can produce precipitation events that exceed design criteria for open manure storages and other water impoundments and control structures. A new tool, called the Automated Design Storm Notification System (ADSNS), is under development to create an automated system to track precipitation accumulation across Missouri and notify interested parties when and where precipitation totals have exceeded design criteria and wet weather or emergency management may be warranted.
A specific need for the system is in Missouri's Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) rules. Farmers can petition the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to use “wet weather” criteria for manure application when precipitation exceeds specific rainfall totals for a 1 in 10 year return rainfall frequency over a 10-day, 90-day, 180-day and 365-day operating period. The Missouri Climate Center is designated to determine when precipitation exceeds these specific design storm totals. Currently, MDNR contacts the Missouri Climate Center's state climatologist when they want an assessment of rainfall totals for regions of the state. The state climatologist manually checks a combination of NOAA radar-based estimates and weather station data to establish if any design storm criteria have been exceeded at the county level.
The new tool will create an efficient automated system to track precipitation accumulations across the state notifying the Missouri Climate Center, MDNR, farmers and other designated entities when and where precipitation totals indicate wet weather management may be warranted. This automated approach will directly address CAFO requirements and can be readily adapted to help manage extreme weather events affecting other structures in Missouri.
The author will discuss the design and utility of this newly proposed system and how the information can be used in agriculture and other sectors.