CW3E Launches New Website

CW3E Launches New Website

March 8, 2017

Today CW3E launches it’s new and improved website. In addition to the new design, the website is now more efficient, more user-friendly, more secure, and more able to handle increased traffic as interest in western weather extremes, in particular atmospheric rivers grows. CW3E is collaborating with the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD, which is hosting the website and has infrastructure built to prevent any down time of the CW3E website. The development was lead by staff researcher Brian Kawzenuk with additional input from CW3E employees and collaborators. All the same great material, including news items and real-time forecasts and observations are still available on the website.

For comments, concerns, or questions about the new website contact Brian Kawzenuk, Julie Kalansky, Chad Hecht, or Marty Ralph.

CW3E in the News

CW3E in the News

January 10, 2017

Due to several recent landfalling Atmospheric Rivers (ARs), the media has been contacting CW3E for their expert commentary. We share some recent examples below.

Director of CW3E, Marty Ralph, recently joined Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti on National Public Radio to discuss ARs and their impact on California’s water supply. He described how ARs form and generate precipitation and how their annual variability largely impact the annual precipitation in California. The interview can be heard here.

Dr. Ralph also discussed the importance of ARs with Alex Cohen on Take Two, this interview can he heard here

Given the importance of water supply to California, Forecast Informed Reservoir Operations (FIRO) has also gained media attention. The most recent volume of the Flood Risk Management Newsletter highlights the potential of FIRO to improve resiliency to droughts and floods by improving water supply and decreasing flood risk. The newsletter can be found here.

The impacts of the most recent AR caused widespread damages and hazardous conditions from the extreme precipitation (see CW3E AR Update: 9 January 2017 Outlook and Summary). Prior to the event as forecast confidence grew several CW3E forecast tools were featured in various news outlets. One example can be seen here, as the Capital Weather Gang highlighted the Time Integrated Water Vapor Transport maps produced by CW3E. After the event Marty Ralph describes the large variability in California’s annual precipitation and the importance of flood management strategies. Article found here.

Click here for more CW3E news.

CW3E AR Update: 6 January 2017 Outlook

CW3E AR Update: 6 January 2017 Outlook

January 6, 2017

Click here for a pdf of this information.
 

Update on Strong AR over the weekend

  • Forecast confidence of AR conditions have improved since yesterday’s update
  • Moderate AR conditions could last over 24-hrs over some locations in Central CA
  • 1–3 Day Precipitation forecasts by the Weather Predication Center are as high as 15.5 inches over high elevations of Sierras
  • 19 river gauges are currently forecast to rise above flood stage by the California Nevada River Forecast Center
  • Extended forecasts show another AR making landfall next week, though the forecasts are more uncertain

Click IVT or IWV image to see loop of 0-132 hour GFS forecast

Valid 1200 UTC 6 Jan – 0000 UTC 12 Jan 2017


 

 

 

 

 

 

Summary provided by C. Hecht, B. Kawzenuk, and F.M. Ralph; 5 PM PT Fri 6 Jan. 2017

Products presented in this outlook are meant for informational purposes and are not intended to support decision making operations

CW3E AR Update: 15-17 December 2016 Outlook

CW3E AR Update: 15-17 December 2016 Outlook

December 15, 2016

Click here for a pdf of this information.

  • AR conditions could last up to 24 more hours over northern CA resulting in as much as 1–3 more inches of precipitation
  • Flood warnings have been issued by the NWS at locations in Oregon and northern California
  • Visit weather.gov for point specific watches, advisories and warnings

Update on AR Impacting California

  • The AR has begun to move southward as precipitation continues to fall over northern California
  • 48-h precipitation accumulations range from 1–10 inches over portions of northern CA


 

 

 

 

Summary provided by C. Hecht, and F.M. Ralph; 1 PM PT Wed 15 Dec. 2016

CW3E AR Update: 14-17 December 2016 Outlook

CW3E AR Update: 14-17 December 2016 Outlook

December 14, 2016

Click here for a pdf of this information.

  • NWS precipitation forecasts for the rest of the event continue to predict higher precipitation amounts of ~10 inches in 3 days over the higher elevations of the Sierra Nevada Mts. with other locations in northern CA receiving an additional 2-10 inches
  • CNRFC river forecasts are now predicting several river gages to rise above flood stage

Update on AR Impacting California

  • Precipitation has begun falling in portions of northern CA and southern Oregon where 24-h precipitation accumulations range from 1 to 4.9 in.
  • AR conditions are expected to continue over northern California for the next 48-hrs before moving southward


 

 

 

 

Summary provided by C. Hecht, and F.M. Ralph; 1 PM PT Wed 14 Dec. 2016

CW3E AR Update: 9-13 December 2016 Outlook

CW3E AR Update: 9-13 December 2016 Outlook

December 9, 2016

Click here for a pdf of this information.

Landfalling AR to impact California

  • A moderate AR is expected to make landfall in north/central California tonight
  • The AR propagates southward over the weekend bringing AR conditions to portions of southern California
  • Current precipitation forecast suggests higher precipitation amounts of up to 150 mm over the Sierra Nevada Mts., while the Coastal Mts. are not expected to receive as much
  • Above normal soil moisture conditions in northwestern CA suggest that conditions are primed for more of the precipitation to turn into runoff rather than be lost to moistening the soil
  • Extended forecasts suggest the landfall of another AR over southern California on the 13th, but forecast confidence is currently low

GFS forecast from 06 UTC 9 Dec – 00 UTC 13 Dec 2016, showing IVT (shading and vectors) and sea level pressure


 

 

 

 

Summary provided by C. Hecht, and F.M. Ralph; 3 PM PT Fri 09 Dec. 2016

CW3E Represented at NWS San Diego’s WeatherFest 2016

CW3E Represented at NWS San Diego’s WeatherFest 2016

September 22, 2016

Dr. Anna Wilson explaining how weather looks from a satellite’s point of view at WeatherFest 2016

CW3E’s Rachel Weihs and Anna Wilson were on hand at the annual WeatherFest event hosted by the local National Weather Service office in San Diego, CA on September 17th, 2016. WeatherFest is presented by the Young Meteorologist Program and serves as an outreach event informing the general public on weather preparedness, safety, research, and education.

Over 600 local weather enthusiasts attended this year’s WeatherFest where they were able to interact with representatives of the National Weather Service, first responders, research institutions, and local newscasters while enjoying games, viewing demonstrations, and gathering information.

Dr. Rachel Weihs (left) and Dr. Anna Wilson (right) discussing CW3E’s Research with the publc.

The CW3E booth showcased the ongoing research into atmospheric river (AR) events with emphasis on the major contribution of ARs to California’s annual precipitation and their associated impacts on the management of water resources, reservoir flood risk, and drought. Attendees learned about the term “Atmospheric River” by viewing satellite animations of the associated clouds and precipitation during an AR event in December 2014 and referencing the narrow river-like transport of moisture from the tropics using SSMI visualizations. The CW3E booth featured a fully-functioning weather station with state-of-the-art research quality instruments feeding live data into a computer for viewing. They also provided interactive demonstrations and graphical information highlighting the importance of California’s topography and the influence of orographic lift on the spatial distribution of precipitation. Adult attendees enjoyed comparing the weather instruments on display to those they had at home, talking about storms they had experienced during their lifetimes, and viewing the satellite animations. Kids enjoyed the diorama of the California coastline and simulating rainfall with the tipping bucket rain gauge on the weather station. Through these activities, attendees were able to gain a better understanding of ARs and their impact on daily life.

Dr. Rachel Weihs and James Taeger, General Forecaster at the San Diego NWS office, at the CW3E booth

Contact: Anna Wilson (anna-m-wilson@ucsd.edu) and Rachel Weihs (rweihs@ucsd.edu)

Mike Dettinger elected AGU Fellow

CW3E congratulates Mike Dettinger – 2014 AGU Fellow<

July 30, 2014

CW3E congratulates PI Dr. Michael Dettinger’s election to AGU’s 2014 class of Fellows. This honor is a compliment to Mike’s long career and is presented with the citation “For insightful and useful research in understanding how climate and weather affect the variability of hydrologic systems”. Only one in a thousand members is elected AGU Fellow each year so this is a prestigious achievement. CW3E PI and colleague Dr. Dan Cayan notes “Mike was among the first to explain how hydrologic variability is organized across continental to global scales. Mike’s contributions also include new insights about how longer period climate variation may affect shorter period hydrologic phenomena. Mike’s recent emphasis on understanding North Pacific storms, with close ties to Marty Ralph and colleagues, has produced a sharper image of how “atmospheric rivers” produce most of the floods along the West Coast and deliver a large portion of its water supply.”

CW3E welcomes Reuben Demirdjian

CW3E welcomes Reuben Demirdjian

June 24, 2014

CW3E is pleased to welcome Reuben Demirdjian. Reuben joins CW3E to pursue his doctoral degree at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Reuben completed his undergraduate degree at UC Santa Barbara in physics. “I met Dr. Ralph at the Scripps Open House and was impressed with the group he is building and his enthusiasm for understanding the role atmospheric rivers play in the precipittion regime of California and the western US,” Reuben said. Reuben is getting a head start this summer learning tools, especially the WRF (Weather, Research and Forecasting) model, and use of dropsonde observations from research aircraft.