Atmospheric Rivers Workshop: June 15-17, 2015

June 19, 2015

An atmospheric rivers (AR) workshop was held 15-17 June at the Seaside Forum at UC San Diego/Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). This workshop was sponsored by the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes (CW3E) at SIO. Mike Dettinger, David Lavers and Marty Ralph were co-chairs of this workshop. The photo below shows the workshop participants.

Left to right: Jay Jasperse (Sonoma County Water Agency), Jennifer Haase (Scripps), Lauren Muscatine (UC Davis), Brian Kawzenuk (Scripps/CW3E), Tamara Shulgina (Fulbright Scholar at Scripps/CW3E), Sasha Gershunov (Scripps/CW3E), Joel Norris (Scripps and CW3E), Roger Pierce (NOAA/NWS), Harald Sodemann (Univ. of Bergen), Marty Ralph (Scripps/CW3E; Workshop Co-Chair), Nina Oakley (Univ. of Nevada Reno), Mike Dettinger (USGS & Scripps/CW3E; Workshop Co-Chair), Dale Cox (USGS), David Lavers (Scripps/CW3E; Workshop Co-Chair), Jon Rutz (NWS), Jason Cordeira (Plymouth State Univ.), Andrew Martin (Scripps/CW3E), Allen White (NOAA/ESRL), Bin Guan (UCLA), Heini Wernli (ETH Zurich), Larry Schick (US Army Corps of Engineers), Dan Cayan (Scripps/CW3E and USGS), Julie Kalansky (Scripps/CW3E), Ryan Spackman (Science and Technology Corp. and NOAA/ESRL), Maximiliano Viale (Univ. of Chile). Attendees not in picture: Mike Anderson (California Dept. of Water Resources), Bruce Cornuelle (Scripps & CW3E), Duane Waliser (NASA/JPL)

This workshop brought together experts from around the world to survey the current state of atmospheric-river (AR) science and plan the First International Atmospheric Rivers Conference to be held in summer 2016 at Scripps’ Seaside Forum. The group also planned the development of a Monograph on atmospheric rivers that is intended to become the standard reference on the roughly 20 years of AR research. The meeting addressed an outstanding debate in the science community about the physical relationship between ARs, the warm conveyor belt (WCB) in extratropical cyclones and tropical moisture exports (TME) to the extratropics.
The workshop concluded with a plan for the conference in 2016, a strategy for the book, and development of a schematic summary of the relationships between ARs, WCBs and TMEs, each of which plays a critical and complementary role in transporting water vapor through the atmosphere, in terms of horizontal transport and sloped ascent in extratropical cyclones.
The term “atmospheric river” was first coined in 1994 to describe atmospheric water vapor transport across the mid-latitudes. Subsequent research has shown them to be responsible for the majority of extreme hydrologic events in the western United States, Europe, and South America, as well as being critical to water resources in these regions.

For real-time observations and forecasts of atmospheric rivers, please visit the “AR Portal”