Atmospheric River press conference at AGU 2012

This press conference at the AGU (American Geophysical Union's fall meeting) this year is brilliantly timed, coming just two years after a series of big AR storms surprised Southern California, and a week or so after one hit Northern California. 

Improving forecasts of “Pineapple Expresses”
Monday, 3 December
1:30 p.m.

NOAA scientists and colleagues are installing the first of four permanent “atmospheric river
observatories” in coastal California this month, to better monitor and predict the impacts of landfalling atmospheric rivers. These powerful winter systems, sometimes called “pineapple express” storms, can cause destructive floods and debris flows, and can also fill the state’s reservoirs. The coastal observatories – custom arrays of instruments installed in collaboration with the California Department of Water Resources – will give weather forecasters, emergency managers and water resource experts detailed information about incoming storms. The move to install the observatories comes after several winters of testing, during which the scientists determined the most effective arrays of instruments for collecting information useful for decision makers.

F. Martin (“Marty”) Ralph, research meteorologist and chief of the Water Cycle Branch,
Physical Sciences Division of NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory;
Mike Anderson, California State Climatologist, California Department of Water Resources;
Kevin Baker, Meteorologist-in-Charge (MIC) of the San Francisco Bay area National Weather
Service forecast office;
Michael Dettinger, research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey and a research
associate with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California.

Session: GC14B


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