2020-2021 Annual Report | 8.17.2021

SCIPP’s latest annual report provides an overview of our accomplishments, collaborations, research, and outreach from June 2020 through May 2021.

The annual report presents SCIPP’s extensive network of connections with both RISA teams and other climate research organizations. Some of the collaborative projects highlighted in the report include but are not limited to: 1) the SCIPP-GLISA Research to Action Project for Gulf Coast communities who are vulnerable to extreme precipitation and flooding, 2) an ongoing partnership with personnel at Louisiana, Mississippi-Alabama, and Texas Sea Grants to investigate how meteorological variables impact crawfish yields in research ponds in Baton Rouge, LA, and 3) SCIPP’s enhanced research outputs with Texas Sea Grant through a variety of climate information resources which focus on crucial problems such as sea-level rise and soil moisture variation in drought-prone areas.

A diverse collection of research projects are also included: 1) a social network-based project intended to improve connectivity between the National Climate Assessment and stakeholders, 2) how National Weather Service forecasters in the SCIPP region process and communicate extreme rainfall events, 3) a new tool that shows historical trends in temperature for locations across the state of Texas, and 4) a comparative case study of hazard mitigation planning in six inland countries in the SCIPP region.

A unique feature of this annual report is its coverage of COVID-19 impacts on SCIPP’s in-person engagement efforts. While many engagements were able to take place virtually, the SCIPP team experienced limitations with obtaining quality feedback and discussions. However, SCIPP found ways to serve our stakeholders through virtual outreach such as the Gulf Coast Water Workshop, a NOAA-designed workshop hosted by SCIPP in July 2020.

SCIPP’s mission is to assist organizations with making decisions that build resilience by collaboratively producing research, tools, and knowledge that reduce weather and climate risks and impacts across the South Central United States. Accordingly, the application of SCIPP’s mission objectives is detailed throughout the annual report.

To download the full version of the report, click here. To view the archive of SCIPP’s annual reports, visit the About SCIPP Page.

Cover Page: SCIPP Annual Report June 2020 to May 2021
Cover Page: SCIPP Annual Report June 2020 to May 2021

New Publication on Flood Hazard Mitigation in Tulsa, Oklahoma | 6.29.2021

The northeastern Oklahoma city of Tulsa was one of the most flood-prone cities in the nation in the 1970’s. Now, Tulsa is known for its success in mitigating flood hazards. SCIPP researchers have published a study in Natural Hazards Review that examines Tulsa’s progression toward effective flood hazard mitigation. Jazz on Tulsa Time: The Remarkable Story of the Network of Flood Mitigation Champions behind the Tulsa Turnaround addresses two questions: First, does Tulsa’s nationally acclaimed model local hazard mitigation effort fit what the research points to as the standard model of hazard mitigation? Second, how have the characteristics and roles of local champions and the relationships between them shaped Tulsa’s successes?

Using a case study approach, University of Kansas Associate Professor Ward Lyles, University of Kansas Graduate Student Penn Pennel, and SCIPP Deputy Director Rachel Riley, collected primary documents, conducted and transcribed interviews, and made site visits to Tulsa. Their analysis found that Tulsa’s hazard mitigation effort shared many of the principal features of the standard model of hazard mitigation, thus confirming its importance. Additionally, analysis of the second research question gave insight into how local champions shaped the network of mitigation advocates in Tulsa. These findings highlighted the importance of following the standard model for hazard mitigation, as well as promoting a diverse group of stakeholders with regard to their professional roles, personal characteristics, and relationships, in order to cultivate the conditions for local champions of hazard mitigation to succeed.

The study offers four recommendations for practitioners and policy makers who are interested in replicating Tulsa’s successes in other locations: 1) Foster and sustain a team of champions, 2) Make room for multiple models of leadership, 3) Acknowledge the personal sacrifices that can arise for a mitigation champion, and 4) Approach hazard mitigation primarily as a community planning issue, not an emergency management function.

The full manuscript is available here.

Tulsa’s hazard mitigation network and champions over four periods of time.
Tulsa’s hazard mitigation network and champions over four periods of time.

Some Data Tools Have New URLs | 6.23.2021

Due to the ongoing change in IT infrastructure, some tools have new URLs and must be accessed through the new links on the Data Tools page.

The following tools have updated URLs and can be viewed on the Data Tools page or by clicking on the following links:

Southern U.S. Drought Tool

Average Monthly Temperature and Precipitation Tool

Historical Climate Trends Tool

Climograph Tool

SURGEDAT Storm Surge Tools

Water Reservoir Data Visualization Tool

IT Change Causing Tools to Malfunction | 6.1.2021

An unanticipated change in IT infrastructure is causing the SCIPP data tools that are hosted at the Southern Regional Climate Center to malfunction. We are working to resolve this matter as soon as we can. We thank you in advance for your patience.

SCIPP Research Associate Creates Dashboard Presenting Local Historical Temperature Trends in Texas | 5.20.2021

SCIPP Research Associate Simone Speizer, in collaboration with Texas Sea Grant, has created a tool that shows historical trends in temperatures for locations across the state of Texas. The Texas Temperature Trends Dashboard presents trends in extreme heat, extreme cold, warm nights, heating and cooling degree days, seasonal average temperatures, seasonal extreme temperatures, and yearly average temperatures from 1970-2019 for 75 stations (point locations) in Texas. The graphs show both individual data points for each year and overall trend lines, and they can be downloaded as images. The dashboard also includes a link to a fact sheet discussing the temperature indicators shown in the tool and their importance.

While other resources exist that present regional or national trends in temperatures, few tools offer such information on a local level. This dashboard helps to fill that gap by providing location-specific information about changes in temperature in the last 50 years. By incorporating trends in indicators such as extreme heat and warm nights to data of overall temperature trends, the dashboard delivers insight into changes in heat that can bring public health and economic ramifications to communities. Other indicators, such as heating and cooling degree days, are relevant to analyses of energy use and emissions.

Access the dashboard directly here or through the Data Tools page.

Extreme Heat Days Per Year (1970-2019) at the Houston Intercontinental Airport Station.
Extreme Heat Days Per Year (1970-2019) at the Houston Intercontinental Airport Station.