SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Department Of Water Resources, NOAA, and SCRIPPS Institute Of Oceanography-UC San Diego have been working on the first ever atmospheric river study over the past decade.
They collectively spent over $40 million constructing a network of 75 sensors across Northern California. The instruments gather data on wind speed & direction and moisture content from the lower parts of the atmosphere.
This data aids in filling in the missing information needed for understanding atmospheric rivers due to the weather radar’s height overshooting these lower levels of the atmosphere.
The information gathered from this study is being used to help construct better forecast models for weather prediction.
The DWR would like to improve forecast prediction from a seven-day lead time to a 14-day lead time when it comes to landfall of atmospheric rivers. This would let water management officials do a better job of releasing water ahead of a storm for flood control and storing water during dry periods.