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Conference Meeting Announcement

August 23, 2010

A special session on Atmospheric Rivers — A Grand Challenge for Hydrometeorology, Flood and Water-Supply Sciences has been proposed for inclusion in the American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting in San Francisco (Dec 13-17, 2010). HMT-West has done much to advance understanding of the relationship between ARs and extreme precipitation and flooding in the West Coast states, including:

  • documenting the underlying physical processes,
  • evaluating the capabilities of the current monitoring and prediction system,
  • developing prototype tools to provide new information to scientists and forecasters,
  • implementing long-term observing capabilities and numerical modeling methods to better monitor AR conditions on the U.S. West Coast and in the Pacific.

The formal announcement for this special session is as follows:

Recent research has shown the importance of long filamentary bands of strong water vapor transport in the atmospheric water cycle. Characterizing and forecasting these features—called atmospheric rivers (ARs) by Zhu and Newell (1998)—and their storm and flooding impacts are a grand challenge with many applications. Several observation and modeling programs are addressing ARs and their impacts in Pacific coast states, including field campaigns over land and ocean and in atmosphere, storm-warning observatories, AR/aerosols/water supply research, and storm-preparedness exercises. Results and prospects motivated by ARs (as well as other framings of midlatitude storm processes) are solicited.

Please consider contributing to this special session ("A37") on all aspects and applications of atmospheric rivers at AGU's 2010 Fall Meeting to be held this December in San Francisco. The abstract deadline is September 2; submit via the AGU meeting web page at: Please stay tuned as this special session is shaped into what promises to be an exciting forum on atmospheric rivers.

For more information, contact: Marty Ralph (NOAA) or Michael Dettinger (USGS)

San Francisco Cable Car, Credit: BrokenSphere/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Credit: BrokenSphere/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)