Automated Atmospheric River Detection
An automated technique has been developed to objectively identify and characterize atmospheric river
events in the fields of integrated water vapor (IWV) content and integrated water vapor transport (IVT).
The initial application of the technique to IWV was fundamentally based on thresholds for the length,
width, and core IWV content of features as defined by Ralph et al. (2004). Description of the technique
is presented in
Wick et al. (2013a)
. The technique has subsequently been extended to IVT employing thresholds on IVT of either
250 or 500 kg/m/s. A comparison of the detection criteria for IWV and IVT and the automated technique
processing flow chart are shown here
Real-Time Applications of the Automated Technique
Application to GFS Forecast Fields
Comparison of IWV- and IVT-based Detection
Comparison of GFS Forecast Fields with Recent Observations
Wick, G.A., P.J. Neiman, and F.M. Ralph, 2013a: Description and validation of
an automated objective technique for identification and characterization of the
integrated water vapor signature of atmospheric rivers. IEEE T. Geosci. Remote,
51, 2166-2176, doi:10.1109/tgrs.2012.2211024.
Wick, G.A., P.J. Neiman, F.M. Ralph, and T.M. Hamill, 2013b: Evaluation of
forecasts of the water vapor signature of atmospheric rivers in operational
numerical weather prediction models. Wea. Forecasting,28,
Jackson, D.L., M. Hughes, and G.A. Wick, 2016: Evaluation of
landfalling atmospheric rivers along the U.S. west coast in reanalysis data sets,
J. Geophys. Res., 121, 2705-2718, doi:10.1002/2015JD024412.
Mahoney, K.M., D.L. Jackson, P.J. Neiman, M. Hughes, L.S. Darby,
G.A. Wick, A.B. White, E.M. Sukovich, and R. Cifelli, 2016: Understanding
the role of atmospheric rivers in heavy precipitaiton in the southeast United
States, Mon. Wea. Rev., 144, 1617-1632, doi:10.1175/MWR-D-15-0279-1.
Ralph, F.M., P.J. Neiman, and G.A. Wick, 2004: Satellite and CALJET aircraft
observations of atmospheric rivers over the eastern north Pacific Ocean during
the winter of 1997/98. Mon. Wea. Rev., 132, 1721-1745.