Atmospheric Rivers: A Tale of Feast or Famine

Seminar by Dr. Bin Guan from University of California

28 June 2023
KST 14:00 – 15:00

The Seminar is being held in Room 1010 (Jasmin) – Integrated mechanical engineering building. Click here for the campus map.

Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are narrow, elongated, transient corridors of enhanced water vapor transport that play important roles in the global water cycle. Based on nearly two decades of research now, ARs have been recognized as major precipitation deliverers, flood producers, and drought busters in the western US, and have been the focus of a rapidly increasing volume of studies in the recent few years, including those that extended the consideration of ARs to many different regions across the globe. The important role of ARs in hydroclimatic variability is exemplified by the drought-breaking, exceptionally wet 2022/23 winter in the western US, especially in California where the number of AR landfalls was about double the climatology. While the detailed processes contributing to the storminess in this winter remain to be investigated, preliminary analysis of large-scale climate patterns points to potential directions for consideration. In this context, the global application of an AR ranking scale, which aims to better communicate the beneficial vs. hazardous aspects of ARs, will also be discussed.