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  • 04 April, 2023

  • 4 Min Read

Atmospheric Rivers

Atmospheric Rivers

Since late December 2022, 11 atmospheric rivers have pounded California, making it an unusually wet winter.

About atmospheric rivers

  • The Long, slender bands of moisture in the air that travel from the tropics to higher latitudes are known as atmospheric rivers.
  • When the moisture goes inland from the ocean and climbs over the mountains, it produces rain and snowfall. Despite the fact that many fire-weary Westerners anticipate these downpours, atmospheric rivers can also result in other catastrophes like catastrophic flooding and debris flows.

  • There are atmospheric rivers all over the planet, and they have an impact on the west coastlines of the major land masses, including Portugal, Western Europe, Chile, and South Africa.
  • They come in a variety of flavours, with the so-called "Pineapple Express" storms that transport moisture from Hawaii to the US West Coast just one of them.
  • In the 1960s, storm tracks that began close to Hawaii and brought warm water vapour to the coast of North America were dubbed the "Pineapple Express" by meteorologists.
  • Mostly found in the extratropical North Pacific/Atlantic, Southeast Pacific, and South Atlantic oceans, atmospheric rivers frequently make landfall on the west coastlines of North and South America. Greenland, Antarctica, and the south-central United States are other areas where atmospheric rivers make ashore.


  • Over tropical areas is where atmospheric rivers typically start. Ocean water evaporates and rises into the atmosphere as a result of warm temperatures. To move the water vapour through the atmosphere, there must be strong winds
  • The water vapour ascends higher into the atmosphere as atmospheric rivers pass over land. Water droplets form as it cools, and they eventually fall as precipitation.


  • AR (Atmoshperic river )-related heavy rainfall may result in mudslides, landslides, and flooding.
  • Moreover, they have the potential to create drought-like conditions and impair the water supply.
  • Not all atmospheric rivers are destructive; the majority are frail systems that frequently produce helpful precipitation or snow that is essential to the water supply.
  • Particularly in the mid-latitudes, climate change is predicted to increase the frequency and intensity of ARs in several parts of the world.
  • In terms of managing water supplies, preventing flooding, and other aspects of public policy, this might have a big impact.

Read Also: Sukapaika River & Mahanadi River System

Source: Indian Express

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01 Feb,2024


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