CW3E Hosts Virtual Atmospheric River Reconnaissance Workshop

July 8, 2020

The first official Atmospheric River Reconnaissance (AR Recon) Workshop was planned to be held at Scripps Institution of Oceanography from June 29 – July 1, 2020. Due to the pandemic, the workshop was instead held virtually from 8-11 am Pacific Time each morning June 29 – July 1.

The purpose of the AR Recon Workshop was to document impacts and envision AR Recon out to 2025. The goals were to share results, to coordinate and inspire future work on data collection, data assimilation, metric development and impact assessment, and to discuss the research and operations partnership approach being developed in AR Recon. The workshop was organized by the AR Recon Modeling and Data Assimilation Steering Committee. Workshop co-chairs were CW3E Director Marty Ralph, Chief of the Modeling and Data Assimilation Branch of the Environmental Modeling Center at NCEP Vijay Tallapragada, and Naval Research Laboratory Senior Scientist Jim Doyle. The workshop brought together over 60 attendees from leading academic institutions and US and international agencies to focus on AR Recon and improvements in AR prediction. In addition, the workshop provided an opportunity for early career researchers to participate in developing a road map for future AR Recon efforts.

The meeting began with opening remarks from workshop co-chairs. The first day’s schedule focused on the Research and Operations Partnership and included background presentations on the relationship between atmospheric rivers and extratropical cyclogenesis along with perspectives from partners in the Air Force and NOAA Aircraft Operations Center. There were also presentations on data collection and impact assessments from GPS Airborne Radio Occultation, and Global Drifter Program buoys deployed as part of AR Recon.

The second day was focused on results of studies looking at the impacts of AR Recon dropsondes on forecasts. Exciting results were shared by all modeling centers partnering in the AR Recon Modeling and Data Assimilation Steering Committee, including CW3E, NCEP, ECMWF, NRL, and NCAR. One outcome was the decision to coordinate on a group of cases to study in more detail.

The third day of the workshop consisted of facilitated discussions on topics including collaborations with European colleagues to develop AR Recon in the Atlantic, leveraging plans for the North Atlantic Waveguide, Dry Intrusion, and Downstream Impact Campaign (NAWDIC) effort (a follow-on campaign to NAWDEX); sampling strategies thus far and in future; and the National Winter Season Operations Plan. Excellent progress was made during these discussions and follow up activities are planned on all topics.

Throughout, the workshop was very collaborative and featured lots of lively and in depth discussion between the participants. Future events will be planned for the fall ahead of the next AR Recon season.

This workshop integrates several of the CW3E priorities from the 5 year strategic plan including Atmospheric Rivers Research and Applications, Emerging technologies and Modeling capabilities for the Western US.

AR Recon Workshop participants (unfortunately, only 25 cameras are allowed on at once) before adjourning the virtual meeting on July 1, 2020.