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UAlbany Expert: Powerful Atmospheric River Brings Record Rainfall to California

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ALBANY, NY (February 7, 2024) — After days of heavy rain in California, a powerful atmospheric river continues to cross the state and head east.

Record rainfall reaching 10 inches or more caused extreme flooding and landslides in the Golden State. Tuesday afternoon, more than 130,000 Californian customers were without electricity and at least three people were confirmed killed.

Ryan rippedpresident and professor at the University at Albany Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences is an expert in atmospheric predictability and numerical weather forecasting models. He conducts research in collaboration with the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes which aims to improve our ability to predict atmospheric rivers along the US West Coast, including where to make additional observations to reduce forecast uncertainty.

Unlike most recent atmospheric rivers that hit California, Torn said this storm was not well forecast in the coming days, as the storm strengthened as it approached the coast .

“This is a notable event as the associated winter storm intensified near the central California coast, bringing high winds, a near-standstill atmospheric river and heavy precipitation,” Torn said. “Typically, most atmospheric rivers that impact California are associated with winter storms that dissipate by the time they reach the state. This meant that this storm was not well predicted more than three days in advance.

Torn is available for telephone or live/recorded interviews. UAlbany also has an on-campus television studio available for remote interviews.

About the University at Albany:

THE University of Albany is one of the most diverse public research institutions in the country and a national leader in educational equity. and social mobility. As a Carnegie R1 institution, UAlbany and its faculty and students create essential new knowledge in areas such as artificial intelligence, atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, education, public health, social sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and computer science. , public administration and social protection. Our courses are taught by an accomplished roster of faculty experts with student success at the center of everything we do. Through our parallel commitments to academic excellence, scientific discovery, and community service, UAlbany develops bright, curious, engaged leaders and launches great careers.

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