The recent “atmospheric river” that soaked California, as seen in a forecast

Watts Up With That?

An unusual April storm system brought heavy rains to northern California during the beginning of the month. The soaking rains caused localized flooding and even melted some higher elevation snow, but also filled reservoirs in northern parts of the state.

This image shows the total precipitable water forecast to be in the atmosphere at 11 a.m. on the West Coast on April 6, 2018 using data from the Global Forecast System model run at 0600 UTC April 6 which, translates to 11pm April 5, West Coast time. What is precipitable water? It is an estimate of how much water would be present if you could snap your fingers and turn all of the water vapor in the column of air above your head into liquid.

The darker blue colors in the image show where the atmosphere was chock full of moisture, while blacker areas were regions where the atmosphere was…

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About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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