Climate change is real, and it's having a real impact on our weather, according to a report released Wednesday by the Environment Michigan Research & Policy Center.
The non-profit advocacy group says "extreme downpours" -- unusually large rainstorms and snowfalls recorded at local weather stations -- are increasing in frequency and severity across the country, an expected outcome of increased evaporation and moisture trapped in the atmosphere as a result of global warming.
Here in Michigan, extreme rain and snow events are happening 37 percent more often than they did in 1948, according to the analysis of state-level weather data. Large-magnitude downpours that used to occur once a year now are happening every 8.8 months.
And Michigan's largest annual storms now produce an average of 12 percent more precipitation than they did 65 years ago, according to the report. "As the old saying goes, when it rains, it pours -- especially in recent years as bigger storms have hit Michigan more often," Nic Clark, campaigns director of Michigan Clean Water Action, said in a release announcing the report.