Atmospheric rivers over eastern US affected by Pacific/North America pattern

Wenhao Dong, Ming Zhao, Zhihong Tan, V. Ramaswamy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Atmospheric rivers (ARs) play important roles in various extreme weather events across the US. While AR features in western US have been extensively studied, there remains limited understanding of their variability in the eastern US (EUS). Using both observations and a state-of-the-art climate model, we find a significant increase (~10% dec−1) in winter AR frequency in the EUS during the past four decades. This trend is closely linked to recent changes in the Pacific/North America (PNA) teleconnection pattern, accompanied by a poleward shift of the mid-latitude jet stream. We further reveal a strong correlation (R = 0.8; P < 0.001) between interannual variations in AR occurrence and the PNA index. This linkage has been verified in various model simulations. A statistical model, built on this linkage, has proven effective in predicting the AR frequency using the PNA index at both monthly and seasonal scales. These promising results have important implications for addressing concerns related to AR-associated extreme precipitation and flooding in this region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalScience Advances
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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