What exactly is an Atmospheric River? – USGS Communication

Atmospheric rivers occur all over the world in this global view from February, 2017 (courtesy of NASA | Goddard Space Flight Center Visualization Studio).

Atmospheric rivers have been in the news a lot over the past couple of months, from a late October atmospheric river that brought record-breaking rainfall across Northern California to a mid-November storm that led to catastrophic flooding in Washington. A new atmospheric river storm is hitting the Western U.S. now and more are likely on their way. But what exactly is an atmospheric river?

USGS Remote Sensing Data Tracks Coastal Erosion from California Storms – USGS

Views of the Santa Cruz, California coast before (Sept. 13, 2022) and after (Jan. 5, 2023) the powerful storms of early January 2023. (by USGS, public domain)

The USGS has collected and released topographic data that show the erosional effects of the January 2023 storms on the coast for the Santa Cruz region of California…Comparing the data with pre-storm conditions mapped in September 2022 provide “before” and “after” perspectives of the effects of the January storms. These data have been released under USGS Emergency Use Data authorities for data that have immediate or time-sensitive relevance to public health and safety…