Science & Technology

Atmospheric Rivers: Australian Meteorologists Spot Double Cloud Trouble

August 10, 2020. (Click on picture for full detailed view.)

Australian meteorologists took observe lately when not one—however two—huge bands of clouds stretched from the jap Indian Ocean to Australia, channeling streams of moisture that delivered intense rains to each side of the continent.

Moisture-transporting atmospheric rivers happen everywhere in the world and usually hit Australia, however it’s uncommon for 2 of the rainmakers to hit without delay, in keeping with Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology. One in every of them delivered greater than 150 millimeters (6 inches) of rain in lower than 24 hours to Western Australia’s Nullabar Coast, a dry space that usually receives 24 millimeters of rain in the entire of August. The second system dropped massive volumes of rain on New South Wales.

The Seen Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the NOAA-NASA Suomi NPP satellite tv for pc captured this natural-color picture of the cloud bands on August 10, 2020.

Atmospheric rivers are sometimes known as Northwest Cloud Bands in Australia. The identical kind of occasion in the US is colloquially known as the Pineapple Categorical, as a result of it brings moisture from the tropical Pacific close to Hawaii to the U.S. West Coast.

There are some indications that the frequency of atmospheric rivers may very well be growing as international local weather adjustments. After looking out via 30 years of satellite tv for pc information (1984-2014) for Northwest Cloud Bands affecting Australia, of College of Melbourne researchers concluded that the variety of cloud band days had elevated by almost in the future per yr over the examine interval.

NASA Earth Observatory picture by Joshua Stevens, utilizing VIIRS information from NASA EOSDIS/LANCE and GIBS/Worldview and the Suomi Nationwide Polar-orbiting Partnership.

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