Where Did the Atmospheric Rivers that Brought all that March Snow to California Originate? Turns Out there’s Somebody who Tracks that

WeatherBrains | | WeatherWeather
atmospheric rivers, california
Distribution of landfalling atmospheric rivers on the western coast. Credit: Scripps

These last few months it seems like we’ve constantly been told about more and more ‘atmospheric rivers‘, the likes of which brought feet and feet of snow to California in March, followed by torrential rain in April.

Scripps Institution of Oceanography Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes tracks atmospheric river storms every year, and have compiled totals for this water year (October – present).

atmospheric rivers, california
Atmospheric rivers, 2018 v 2017. Credit: Scripps

Turns out this year featured 44 storms making landfall along the West Coast, compared to a record-breaking 68 in the water year 2017. Many of NorCal’s atmospheric river storms came from the southwest/subtropics, leading to higher snow levels and a smaller snowpack than last year.

If you’re interested in learning more about the¬†phenomenon that contributed to #MiracleMarch then definitely check out the Scripps site for more info and charts. Fascinating!


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