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STAR scientists Nick Nalli and Jonathan Smith (NRC)
investigate 'atmospheric rivers' on the CalWater 2015 mission

January 28, 2015 - The NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown set sail on January 15 as part of CalWater 2015, a two-month research study to investigate how West Coast rain and snow are impacted by atmospheric rivers and aerosols. The research crew includes STAR's Nick Nalli and NRC visiting scientist Jonathan Smith, who are launching dedicated radiosondes to observe atmospheric rivers and to collect data for validating JPSS environmental data records. CalWater 2015 has research teams working in air, on the ocean, and on land to improve our understanding of 'atmospheric rivers' of rain-bearing clouds that bring floods and extreme weather to the Pacific coast every winter. This year's CalWater project activities was recently featured in the Washington Post.


Atmospheric rivers along California Stephen Demetry and Jonathan Smith inflates a balloon that will measure wind, pressure and temperature in an atmospheric river. (photo: Nick Nalli) Lt. David Cowan preparing to fly over an atmospheric river in NOAA’s Gulfstream jet in California. (photo: Jason Monsour) NOAA's Ronald H. Brown, 'the Cadillac of the fleet'. (NOAA)

Atmospheric river along the California coast. (photo: Nick Nalli, NOAA)

Stephen Demetry and Jonathan Smith inflates a balloon that will measure wind, pressure and temperature in an atmospheric river. (photo: Nick Nalli, NOAA)

Lt. David Cowan preparing to fly over an atmospheric river in NOAA’s Gulfstream jet in California. (photo: Jason Monsour)

NOAA's Ronald H. Brown, "the Cadillac of its fleet", sets sail for California. (NOAA)


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