Local scientists study impact of ‘atmospheric rivers’

Data pix.

SAN DIEGO -- Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography on Wednesday published a study in the Journal of Science Advances detailing so-called "atmospheric rivers."

Unlike most of the region's storms, which originate in the Gulf of Alaska, these storms form in the tropical Pacific Ocean before heading east and ultimately slamming into the western United States, causing lots of flooding and other problems.

"Atmospheric rivers transport about two and a half times the water in the Amazon River, which is the biggest river in the world," said Scripps Researcher Alexander Gershunov said when speaking about the storms in July.

The findings by Gershunov and fellow researchers at Scripps predict these storms will have negative impacts in cities across California, to the tune of a billion dollars per episode.

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