What are Atmospheric Rivers?

news image
Special Stories
16 Dec 2018 11:05 AM
The rainy season in the west is in full swing. With multiple storms expected to bring heavy rain and snow into next week, a specific meteorological phenomenon keeps popping up. Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow regions in the atmosphere that transport water vapor from the tropics. These columns of moisture move with the weather. They can carry the same amount of water vapor roughly equivalent to the average flow of water at the mouth of the Mississippi River. When atmospheric rivers fuel a storm system, they can cause heavy rain and snow. Stronger atmospheric rivers create very powerful winds and the threat of flooding. If they stall over vulnerable watersheds, extreme rainfall events can disrupt travel, induce mudslides, and threaten life and property. However, some are much weaker. These systems help provide beneficial rain and snow crucial to the water supply. You may have heard of the "Pineapple Express." It's a common, strong type of atmospheric river the channels water vapor to the U.S. West Coast from the tropics near Hawaii. Credit: NOAA http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/atmrivers/.  
All Weather News
More
Another Round of Snow for California and Oregon

Another Round of Snow for California and Oregon

WEST - Additional snowfall is headed to Calif

4 Mar 2024 3:50 AM
Largest Fire in Texas State History Continues to Burn

Largest Fire in Texas State History Continues to Burn

TEXAS - The Smokehouse Creek Fire began less

4 Mar 2024 3:50 AM
Tornado Warning Issued Sunday near West Palm Beach, FL

Tornado Warning Issued Sunday near West Palm Beach, FL

The National Weather Service in Miami issued

4 Mar 2024 3:30 AM
Wide-Reaching Severe Threat Develops Monday

Wide-Reaching Severe Threat Develops Monday

A cold front and large upper-level trough wil

4 Mar 2024 3:20 AM
Cherry Blossom Peak Forecast Released

Cherry Blossom Peak Forecast Released

Credit: NPS / Victoria StauffenbergSpring is

3 Mar 2024 6:30 PM
Fire Threat Forecasts: Spring 2024

Fire Threat Forecasts: Spring 2024

The National Interagency Fire Center [NIFC] h

3 Mar 2024 10:10 AM
Feet of Snow for the Rockies

Feet of Snow for the Rockies

The powerful storm system impacting Californi

3 Mar 2024 3:55 AM