Atmospheric River Slams California
This visualization combines precipitation data from the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission's Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals (IMERG) and water vapor data from Goddard Earth Observing System Model (GEOS) . Together, they allow scientists to study atmospheric rivers and the heavy precipitation they bring to California.
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Rain is often carried by narrow tendrils of moisture called atmospheric rivers that occur all over the world, shown here in white. The atmospheric rivers that affect the western United States are known as the Pineapple Express because they transport water vapor from as far south as Hawaii to California. When the moisture reaches land, it is forced up over the hills and mountains where it cools, producing significant rainfall. This type of precipitation provides about 40 percent of the state’s annual water supply.
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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
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Datasets used in this visualization
GEOS Atmospheric Model
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