In this presentation from the 2022 AMS Weather Band Community and Citizen Science Symposium, Christopher Bridges discusses how the effectiveness of water resources management projects in rural communities can be limited by a lack of reliable long-term monitoring data. This is particularly important when considering agricultural drainage water, stormwater runoff controls and floodplain management in the erodible soils of the Coastal Plains. Additionally, measurement of extreme precipitation events is essential to understanding flooding risk in rural areas. Therefore, this project uses CoCoRahs precipitation observations to better understand spatial and temporal variation in rainfall across forested and agricultural catchments in a West Tennessee watershed. Analysis of daily rainfall observations over the past 2.79 years indicates that while the NOAA 14 estimate for the 1 year, 24-hour rain event was exceeded twice, the daily rainfall in the study area exceeded 1" a total of 57 times. This local precipitation record has important implications for understanding flood risk, monitoring sediment deposition patterns and communicating the connections between extreme rainfall and environmental management in rural watersheds.
Christopher Bridges is a teacher and weather observer who works to incorporate precipitation monitoring into science education and applied problem solving. He completed a BS in natural resources management from the University of Tennessee Martin, an MSc from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree in secondary science education from the University of Memphis.