The First International Conference on Atmospheric Rivers (IARC) is Being Hosted by the Center for Wester Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E) at the Scripps Seaside Forum from 8-11 August 2016

August 8, 2016

IARC is part of a multi-year effort led by CW3E’s Director F. Martin Ralph, Mike Dettinger of USGS and David Lavers of ECMWF to foster collaboration and exchange of ideas on atmospheric rivers (AR).

  • The first event was held in June 2015 and brought together about 30 key individuals in a workshop, with a special emphasis on identifying the relationships between ARs, warm conveyor belts, and tropical moisture exports, all phenomena involving horizontal water vapor transport. A brief workshop synopsis is available in EOS (Dettinger et al. 2015) and here. Two main directions emerged:
    • 1) agreement that it was time to develop a comprehensive monograph on ARs, and
    • 2) an atmospheric river focused conference should be organized.
  • The second event in this 3-year effort is the 2016 IARC conference held from 8-11 August (described below; agenda).
  • The third event is a summer colloquium intended for summer 2017 at Scripps. It is intended to bring together at Scripps authors of the AR Monograph Book Chapters and graduate students from around the world for roughly 3 weeks of lectures and mentored mini-research efforts.

Woven through this series of events over 3 years is the development of the AR Monograph, which has been funded by a grant, including publication by University of California Press. IARC brings together most of the Chapter authors, at a point in the writing where new ideas garnered during the conference can be incorporated into the Monograph. The goal is then to have the Monograph finalized and in print for the AR Summer Colloquium. A technical editor, Lauren Muscatine (and her experienced team from UC Davis), is supporting preparation of the Monograph.

IARC received 75 abstracts from people around the world studying ARs, their impacts and applications of AR information to decision making. Submissions represent work on 6 continents plus Greenland. It has been planned by an international steering committee of experts on the subject. 90 people have registered for the conference, which will include several invited presentations, oral sessions, a poster session, panels on “applications to decision making,” “converging on a definition of atmospheric rivers” and on “future directions.” Breakout sessions will be held on “AR Forecasting,” “AR Book Chapters” and on “ARs in future climates and subseasonal to seasonal prediction.”

Sessions are organized around the following themes, which represent sections in the AR Monograph:

  • AR Applications
  • Global and Regional Perspectives
  • Observing and detecting ARs
  • Impacts of ARs
  • Theory, Structure and Processes
  • Modeling methodologies

Contact: F. Martin Ralph (