Faculty Advisor

Dr. Katherine Straub

Start Date

27-4-2021 12:00 AM

End Date

27-4-2021 12:00 AM

Description

Atmospheric Rivers (ARs) are narrow bands of atmospheric moisture that bring a significant amount of precipitation to the impacted region. While ARs on the West Coast of the United States are more frequently analyzed, evaluation of the East Coast mid-Atlantic region is also important in understanding this phenomenon. East Coast ARs can be studied using the techniques already established to study West Coast ARs. Using 6-hourly MERRA-2 data with integrated water vapor transport (IVT) and integrated water vapor (IWV) thresholds, we developed an extended scale to account for the longer duration ARs that occur, an algorithm to study AR events from 2010-2020, and a case study approach to analyze Category 5 mid-Atlantic (38°N-42°N, 71.5°W-76.5°W) AR events. We developed 3 distinct methods for analyzing ARs over the region. All 3 methods classify AR duration in the same manner, but the differences stem from how IVT thresholds are identified and the inclusion (or not) of IWV as a threshold for AR identification. Method 1 identified 533 AR events from 2010-2020 with an average of 48.45 ARs/year. Method 2 identified 512 AR events with an average of 46.55 ARs/year. Method 3 identified 669 AR events with an average of 60.82 ARs/year. Method 1 was found to be unsatisfactory in its ability to capture ARs across the region. Methods 2 and 3 are used in different applications and are both successful in identifying ARs. We identified 18 Category 5 AR events from 2010-2020 and classified them into 3 types of ARs: “Typical” Events, Tropical Cyclone Events, and Summer Events. Each extreme case type has helped to develop an understanding of East Coast ARs in the mid-Atlantic area.

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Apr 27th, 12:00 AM Apr 27th, 12:00 AM

Atmospheric River Case Studies in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Region

Atmospheric Rivers (ARs) are narrow bands of atmospheric moisture that bring a significant amount of precipitation to the impacted region. While ARs on the West Coast of the United States are more frequently analyzed, evaluation of the East Coast mid-Atlantic region is also important in understanding this phenomenon. East Coast ARs can be studied using the techniques already established to study West Coast ARs. Using 6-hourly MERRA-2 data with integrated water vapor transport (IVT) and integrated water vapor (IWV) thresholds, we developed an extended scale to account for the longer duration ARs that occur, an algorithm to study AR events from 2010-2020, and a case study approach to analyze Category 5 mid-Atlantic (38°N-42°N, 71.5°W-76.5°W) AR events. We developed 3 distinct methods for analyzing ARs over the region. All 3 methods classify AR duration in the same manner, but the differences stem from how IVT thresholds are identified and the inclusion (or not) of IWV as a threshold for AR identification. Method 1 identified 533 AR events from 2010-2020 with an average of 48.45 ARs/year. Method 2 identified 512 AR events with an average of 46.55 ARs/year. Method 3 identified 669 AR events with an average of 60.82 ARs/year. Method 1 was found to be unsatisfactory in its ability to capture ARs across the region. Methods 2 and 3 are used in different applications and are both successful in identifying ARs. We identified 18 Category 5 AR events from 2010-2020 and classified them into 3 types of ARs: “Typical” Events, Tropical Cyclone Events, and Summer Events. Each extreme case type has helped to develop an understanding of East Coast ARs in the mid-Atlantic area.

 

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