Read at www.theguardian.com
Scientists are utilizing advanced tools such as small parachutes and balloons to measure atmospheric rivers and improve weather forecasts. These tools provide key intelligence that can help water managers plan and communities prepare for the destructive floods caused by these powerful storms. However, there is still much to learn about atmospheric rivers as the dangers they pose continue to grow.
Scientists were ready, on land and in-flight, to deploy instruments that measure atmospheric rivers like this one. They released tools from planes, equipped with small parachutes, or floated them up from the ground attached to balloons, directly into the storm's path.
Warming oceans are intensifying atmospheric rivers, making them deadlier and costlier. The recent storm in California killed nine people, caused $11 billion in damage and economic loss, and dumped half of Los Angeles's annual rainfall in just a few days. This highlights the urgency for scientists to better understand these systems and improve forecasting accuracy to mitigate the impacts of future storms.
Warming oceans are supercharging the storms, making them deadlier and costlier. This week's storms killed nine people, caused an estimated $11bn in damage and economic loss, and dumped half of Los Angeles's annual rainfall on the city in a matter of days.