How is the Climate Changing?

Poughkeepsie Waterfront, Hurricane Sandy

Understanding Climate Change in Dutchess

Resilient Ways Forward begins with an analysis of climate data to better understand how the climate is changing in Dutchess County. We then look at how these changes are affecting our transportation system. The chart below summarizes these findings. Read our Climate Change Summary report and Fact Sheet for more information.

 

HazardCurrentFutureTransportation Concerns

EXTREME TEMPERATURE

  • Average annual temperature has increased by nearly 3°F since 1960

  • High temperatures occur with greater frequency and intensity


  • Average temperatures continue to rise

  • More extreme temperatures will occur


  • Pavement can soften, crack, or buckle

  • Rail lines can buckle

  • Travelers experience discomfort


FLOODING

  • About 44 inches of rain/year


  • Many extreme precipitation events


  • Hudson River water level has risen more than one foot since 1900


  • Precipitation will become increasingly variable

  • More frequent and intense heavy rain events

  • Sea level rise and storm surge along the Hudson River more frequently


  • Damage to roads, bridges, and rail lines

  • Closures, delays, and safety risks



DROUGHT

  • Notable flash droughts in 2002, 2017, and 2022


  • Longer periods without precipitation


  • None identified


WIND

  • Multiple high wind events


  • Greater potential for high winds as intensity of hurricanes, tropical storms, and tropical depressions increases


  • Speed or travel restrictions

  • Road closures

  • Damage to traffic signals, road signs


WINTER CONDITIONS

  • Winters have warmed 3x faster than summers

  • Later snowfall and earlier snowmelt


  • Fewer days below freezing (32⁰F)

  • Greater snowfall during major winter storm events



  • Dangerous driving conditions

  • Road closures, travel restrictions

  • Increased maintenance costs

  • Roads can crack and buckle



LANDSLIDES

  • Southern and eastern parts of Dutchess County at risk due to steep slopes


  • Precipitation-driven landslides could occur more frequently


  • Major damage to infrastructure

  • Safety risks for travelers

For this analysis, we collected data about climate threats from multiple sources, combined with input from stakeholders and the public, and packaged it to show the current and future threats to our transportation system, looking out to 2050 and 2080. 


Climate Change Trends Identified in Moving Dutchess Forward

Moving Dutchess Forward, our long-range transportation plan for Dutchess County, examines how to make our transportation system safer, more reliable, and better able to meet people’s basic needs. As part of that plan, we reviewed data to learn how climate change could impact our transportation system, and identified several climate-related trends:

  • Rising temperatures
  • More extreme weather
  • Greater, but uneven, precipitation
  • More flooding events
  • Impact from sea-level rise and storm surge
  • Potential population increase from migration

To learn more about these trends, check out the Climate Change section in Moving Dutchess Forward. For more detailed information about our changing climate, its impacts on transportation, and ways we can address these vulnerabilities, check back here at Resilient Ways Forward.

Share Your Story!

Help us understand how the transportation system in Dutchess County is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Click here to send us documentation of how flooding or other extreme weather has affected your ability to travel.

If possible, include a photo, date, and description of the damage caused.