A Climatology of Atmospheric Rivers

Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Plaza Grand Ballroom (The Condado Hilton Plaza)
Taotao Qian, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; and J. L. Lin

An atmospheric river (AR) is a narrow corridor or filament of concentrated moisture flux in the atmosphere, and a single one can carry a greater flux of water than the Earth's largest river, the Amazon River. ARs deliver much of the water vapor from the tropical and subtropical oceans to mid-latitudes, and have a central role in the global water cycle. On any given day, atmospheric rivers account for over 90% of the global meridional water vapor transport. This study provides a climatology of ARs using 36 years (1979-2015) of ERA-Interim reanalysis. The spatial distribution of ARs are analyzed, as well as the modulation by major climate modes such as ENSO and PDO.
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