California Storm of 10-12 December 2014: A Synopsis Including Landfalling Atmospheric River Conditions

July 10, 2015

CW3E researcher Brian Kawzenuk provides an analysis and synopsis of an Atmospheric River that made landfall along the U.S. West Coast over the 10-12 December 2014 period. The AR made initial landfall along the Oregon coast and propagated south before dissipating over southern California. Up to 350 mm of 72-hour precipitation was produced in northern California representing up to 45% of total water year to date precipitation. The precipitation from this event provided many drought-stricken California reservoirs with significant amounts of water supply and improved drought conditions throughout northern California.

Above is a sequence of 30-minute NEXRAD radar composite imagery from 10-13 December 2014 which shows the penetration of the heaviest precipitation.









The above loop shows the strong atmospheric river making landfall and the associated integrated water vapor (color bar in cm).

















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