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Sunset at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

Sunset at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

Dr. Hari Mix and ESS senior Sean Reilly examine the dynamics of powerful “atmospheric river” storms in California

Dr. Hari Mix and Sean Reilly traveled to San Diego this summer to present results and coordinate future research with the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. There, they shared oxygen and hydrogen isotope data from precipitation in several “atmospheric river” events last winter. These powerful storms deliver as much as half of the water to the American West each year. The results show that these storms consist of several phases, which may have different mechanisms of precipitation and distinct sources of moisture. The team will continue collecting and analyzing precipitation from atmospheric rivers this year, which are forecasted to be severe due to strong El Niño conditions. Be prepared for a rainy winter!!