January 07, 2023

The Origins of Atmospheric Rivers and the Latest Forecast. My New Podcast

 My new podcast talks about the origins and importance of atmospheric rivers.    As I describe, atmospheric rivers are relatively narrow plumes of water vapor that extend out of the tropical and subtropics into the midlatitudes (see the example below for Monday morning).

California gets it again, as an atmospheric river (red and white colors) 
of enhanced water vapor hits the Golden State.

Atmospheric rivers result from a specific atmospheric configuration with a trough of lower pressure to the north and a ridge of higher pressure to the south.


When the plumes of moisture associated with atmospheric rivers hit land, huge amounts of precipitation can be released, as illustrated by the forecast of 12-h precipitation on Monday (below).

A lot more is found in my podcast (see below).  By the way, I am moving my podcast release date to Saturday.  Hope that is ok.

To listen to my podcast, use the link below or access it through your favorite podcast service.


Some major podcast servers:

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Like the podcast? Support on Patreon 



7 comments:

  1. Right now, I'm very happy that I made the move from Vancouver Island to Regina, SK. I just couldn't take the four months of rain anymore. Mind you, it isn't -40 right now, but there's still plenty of winter to go.

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  2. Is our winter (snow) in the lowlands..basically under 500 feet over already...the pre Christmas snow was awesome but has winter passed us by in western Washington

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    1. Snow in the lowlands of Western Washington is almost always marginal. There are many years when there is no measurable snow at all. However, when snow occurs, it is often in January and February and sometimes March. But, of course, nature really does not much care how people "feel" about the weather, so wishes and desires are pretty much irrelevant. If you want to live in an area that regularly receives winter snow, the lowlands of Western Washington is not your place.

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  3. Nice. I once attended a seminar led by Rod Scofield, a name you will recognize, who called them "Tropical Moisture Plumes," and which featured in his review of the Big Thompson flood 1976.

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  4. Scripps Inst. of Oceanography has developed a system for back checking ARs impacting the West Coast for the last 69 years. Their results indicate: "We also detect a long-term increasing trend in water vapor transport impinging on the west coast of North America associated with atmospheric rivers and overall wintertime water vapor transport associated with climate warming. " Published in Geophysical Research Letters

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  5. At least you'll have a scientific explanation if you're stuck by lightning for posting on the Sabbath, right? ;)

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  6. Yikes, looks like where I grew up, Monterey County, will be hit hard by this latest plume. Let's hope Highway 1 (referred to as "PCH" by lame Southern Californians) doesn't experience massive landslides, although that's almost a given.

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