TJ9.2 Airborne and Satellite Observations of Atmospheric River Structure

Tuesday, 24 January 2017: 4:15 PM
602 (Washington State Convention Center )
F. Martin Ralph, SIO, La Jolla, CA

This presentation will review major milestones in the development of our current observational knowledge of AR structure.  This will include results from airborne measurements starting in 1998 as part of CalJet, and move through several field experiments, including CalWater, and culminating in the AR Recon campaign in 2016 that used two C-130 aircraft.  The emphasis will be on review of methods and findings on the vertical, lateral, and along-AR structure.  Dropsonde measurements, combined with airborne radar and satellite-based data will be shown.  A composite of AR structure from 17 well-observed ARs using dropsondes from storms observed over a decade using aircraft will be presented, and a brief summary of cases of observed using the two C-130 aircraft in February 2016 will be included.

A potential strategy for scaling of AR strength will be described based on total vertically integrated water vapor transport.  This AR strength parameter will be compared with other geophysical water transport processes on land and in the ocean to gain a broader perspective on the role of AR transport in the global water cycle.

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