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RTI expands capabilities to tackle extreme precipitation and effects of climate change

New hydrometeorology team in RTI’s Center for Water Resources will develop precipitation inputs – essential for flood analyses

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — RTI International, a nonprofit research institute, has established a new hydrometeorology team to address the effects of climate change on extreme precipitation and floods. They will join the Center for Water Resources (CWR), expanding RTI’s capabilities to help clients translate data into actionable information to strengthen water security and resilience.

The new team includes three meteorologists who specialize in extreme precipitation: Debbie Martin, Victoria Sankovich Bahls and Kyle Chudler. They have more than 40 years of combined research experience collaborating with water resource engineers to thoughtfully incorporate hydrometeorology, including the frequency of extreme precipitation and reconstructed storm patterns, into hydrologic models. Together they will tackle the key issues of flood risk assessment, which are critical for industries such as hydropower, including climate vulnerability, dam safety and water resource management including monitoring and forecasting.

“Our team will develop precipitation inputs, which are integral to flood analyses,” said RTI senior hydrometeorologist Debbie Martin. “These new capabilities expand RTI’s in-house expertise to conduct flood studies from start to finish.”

The CWR conducts research against a backdrop of increasing water demand and scarcity, extreme weather events and hydrologic uncertainty. The center has worked on more than 3,000 projects in the past 30+ years for a wide variety of clients including the National Weather Service, Tennessee Valley Authority, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the World Bank, the Panama Canal Authority and the Nile River Basin Initiative.

Learn more about RTI’s hydrometeorology team