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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published September 27 2013

Weather Talk: Storms can’t be blamed on our changing climate

Extreme storms such as the record rainfall that flooded Boulder and other areas in Colorado last weekend raise the issue of climate change for many people. Can we blame today’s warmer climate for that particular storm?

Martin Hoerling, an attribution researcher in Boulder, says that relationship is hard to prove. The primary causes of that storm were the location of a stalled front over the mountains and an unusually moist feed of moisture from the Pacific Ocean present at that time.

A number of elements had to come together at the same time for this storm to have happened, and most of those elements are not related to climate change at all.

However, in recent years, there has been a small increase in atmospheric water vapor that would make such a storm slightly more likely. But it is not correct to lay all the blame for this or any other particular storm on our changing climate.

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com,

or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at http://stormtrack.areavoices.com/.