J6.2 Atmospheric Rivers in the Context of Water Cycle and Climate Change Research (Invited Presentation)

Monday, 13 January 2020: 2:15 PM
105 (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
L. Ruby Leung, PNNL, Richland, WA

Atmospheric rivers (ARs) are narrow and elongated pathways of anomalously strong horizontal water vapor transport. Visible from satellite imagery over most major ocean basins, these large-scale circulation features have been associated with heavy precipitation, flooding, and strong winds when they make landfall. The influence of ARs is particularly notable in mountainous regions as orography induces moisture convergence and formation of orographic clouds and precipitation, with subsequent impacts on the surface energy and water budgets. Implications of ARs to water resources and hydrologic extremes have motivated significant efforts in the last two decades to understand their roles in the water cycle and their response to climate change. This presentation will highlight three aspects of AR research: (1) impacts of aerosol-cloud interactions on AR precipitation in mountainous regions; (2) impacts of ARs on the surface water balance and hydrologic extremes; and (3) response of ARs and AR precipitation to warming. Recent advances and remaining gaps in these three areas of AR research will be discussed.
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