Document Details

A Twenty-First-Century California Observing Network for Monitoring Extreme Weather Events

Allen B. White, Chris Walls, Zoltan Toth, Timothy L. Schneider, David W. Reynolds, F. Martin Ralph, Dean E. Mann, Clark W. King, Paul E. Johnston, Lynn E. Johnson, Arthur Hinojosa, R.K. Hartman, Seth. I. Gutman, Daniel J. Gottas, Frank Gehrke, Michael Dettinger, T. Coleman, Robert Cifelli, Daniel R. Cayan, Michael L. Anderson | August 27th, 2013

During Northern Hemisphere winters, the West Coast of North America is battered by extratropical storms. The impact of these storms is of paramount concern to California, where aging water supply and flood protection infrastructures are challenged by increased standards for urban flood protection, an unusually variable weather regime, and projections of climate change. Additionally, there are inherent conflicts between releasing water to provide flood protection and storing water to meet requirements for the water supply, water quality, hydropower generation, water temperature and flow for at-risk species, and recreation. To improve reservoir management and meet the increasing demands on water, improved forecasts of precipitation, especially during extreme events, are required. Here, the authors describe how California is addressing their most important and costliest environmental issue-water management-in part, by installing a state-of-the-art observing system to better track the area’s most severe wintertime storms.


atmospheric rivers, flood management, infrastructure, monitoring, water project operations, water supply forecasting