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

A. B. White * NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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M. L. Anderson California Department of Water Resources, Sacramento, California

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M. D. Dettinger U.S. Geological Survey, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

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F. M. Ralph * NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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A. Hinojosa California Department of Water Resources, Sacramento, California

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D. R. Cayan U.S. Geological Survey, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California

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R. K. Hartman NOAA/California Nevada River Forecast Center, Sacramento, California

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D. W. Reynolds Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, NOAA/University of Colorado Boulder, and NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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L. E. Johnson ** Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere, NOAA/Colorado State University, Fort Collins, and NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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T. L. Schneider NOAA/Office of Hydrologic Development, Boulder, Colorado

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R. Cifelli * NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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Z. Toth * NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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S. I. Gutman * NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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C. W. King * NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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F. Gehrke California Department of Water Resources, Sacramento, California

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P. E. Johnston Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, NOAA/University of Colorado Boulder, and NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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C. Walls UNAVCO, Inc., Boulder, Colorado

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D. Mann UNAVCO, Inc., Boulder, Colorado

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D. J. Gottas * NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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T. Coleman Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences, NOAA/University of Colorado Boulder, and NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado

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Abstract

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.

Denotes Open Access content.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Allen B. White, NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, R/PSD2, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305. E-mail: allen.b.white@noaa.gov

This article is included in the ISARS 2012 special collection.

Abstract

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.

Denotes Open Access content.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Allen B. White, NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory, R/PSD2, 325 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80305. E-mail: allen.b.white@noaa.gov

This article is included in the ISARS 2012 special collection.

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