Reasoning Behind So Many Atmospheric River Events This Year - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Reasoning Behind So Many Atmospheric River Events This Year

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Blocking patterns can be rather stubborn and last for several months or more, impacting our weather for quite some time. .
Our current set up is keeping the storm track south and aimed right at us. Like a jump rope of ridges and troughs, what's going on elsewhere in the world also influences our weather in Northern Nevada. 

Thursday's storm will be the seventh atmospheric river event we've seen since October. We usually get anywhere between one to three on a normal year.

"There's kind of been an ongoing joke in the office that it's been a long year," said National Weather Service meteorologist Alex Coon. 

The one in the beginning of January produced the most damage. Since then we can't seem to catch a break. 

"This is our atmospheric river right here and it's pointed right at us," said Coon while looking at the latest weather images. This will be the second atmospheric river we've seen so far this month. The cause of it may have to do with blocking to the north, not El Niño or La Niña.

"This is just more of a function of how much moisture is being pulled up in the Pacific and where the jet and storm track wants to set up," said Coon. 

This kind of blocking pattern creates a pathway for tropical moisture to ride into our area from the south. Essentially pointing a hose right on the west coast. 

"We're following a curve that's wetter than 82 or 83 which is extremely remarkable," added Coon. 

The recent Station 8 Index for the Sierra's water supply, compares last year to normal as well as this year. Last year we were slightly above normal, and this year we are well above, and on track to possibly break records. It was even raining at Mt. Rose Wednesday morning, which the National Weather Service says is quite unusual for this time of year. Graph is from the Department of Water Resources. 

"For the rest of this winter it does look like we're going to continue seeing active storms especially through the end of February and potentially March as well," said Coon. 
While the atmospheric river season typically goes through February all be it rare, we can get them in June too. 

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