Atmospheric Rivers Left California Mostly Dry in Water Year 2021

Water News Network

The Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, or CW3E, at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, released its report October 11 on atmospheric rivers during Water Year 2021.

The report, “Distribution of Landfalling Atmospheric Rivers over the U.S. West Coast During Water Year 2021: End of Water Year Summary” shows that more atmospheric rivers landed on the U.S. West Coast in Water Year 2021 than in Water Year 2020. But the majority of those storms reached the Pacific Northwest, not California, where drought conditions have impacted water supply.

“The report on atmospheric rivers shows the variability in weather across the state from year to year,” said Jeff Stephenson, Water Resources Manager with the San Diego County Water Authority. “Through our partnership with CW3E and the AR forecasting tools they’ve developed, it better prepares us in management of our water resources using regional storage. This storage, in conjunction with developing multiple water supply sources in the San Diego region, has prepared us for years when rainfall levels are below normal in the region.”

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