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Michael D. Dettinger, F. Martin Ralph, and Jonathan J. Rutz

1. Introduction Atmospheric rivers (ARs; Zhu and Newell 1998 ) are naturally occurring, transitory, long (>2000 km), narrow (~850 km) streams of intense water vapor transport through the lower atmosphere (<3 km above sea level; Ralph et al. 2004 ; Guan and Waliser 2017 ). ARs over the northeast Pacific conduct massive amounts of water vapor (anywhere from 5 to 25 times the average flow of the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico) through the atmospheric arm of the extratropical water

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Xiaokang Wang, Xiquan Dong, Yi Deng, Chunguang Cui, Rong Wan, and Wenjun Cui

). Changes in extreme weather and climate events have significant impacts and are among the most serious challenges to scientists ( Seneviratne et al. 2012 ; Qin et al. 2015 ). The mei-yu season over the Yangtze–Huai Rivers basin, typically occurring from mid-June to mid-July, is one of three heavy-rainfall periods over China ( Ding 1992 ; Luo et al. 2014 ; Cui et al. 2015 ). In some years, mei-yu precipitation can contribute 50% of the annual precipitation ( Liu and Wang 2006 ). The mei-yu period is

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Michael L. Kaplan, Christopher S. Adaniya, Phillip J. Marzette, K. C. King, S. Jeffrey Underwood, and John M. Lewis

1. Introduction Primary sources of water vapor over the North American Pacific coast during heavy precipitation events are “atmospheric rivers,” first theorized by Newell et al. (1992) and analyzed by Ralph et al. (2004) . The flux of water vapor in these “rivers of air” is comparable to the flux of water within the Amazon River, thus justifying the term “atmospheric river.” The magnitude of the flux in these atmospheric rivers has been calculated by Newell et al. (1992) . Their

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Kristie J. Franz, Holly C. Hartmann, Soroosh Sorooshian, and Roger Bales

1. Introduction and scope In the southwest United States, water supply outlooks of naturalized, or unimpaired, volumes are issued jointly by the National Weather Service (NWS) River Forecast Centers (RFCs) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Each agency generates forecasts individually and then meets with other interested forecasting parties to subjectively evaluate each forecast for combination into one product ( Hartmann et al. 1999 , 2002a ). Water supply forecasts have been

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Ying Huang, M. Suhyb Salama, Zhongbo Su, Rogier van der Velde, Donghai Zheng, Maarten S. Krol, Arjen Y. Hoekstra, and Yunxuan Zhou

1. Introduction The Tibetan Plateau is geographically known as the roof of the world or third pole of the earth. It not only plays an important role in the formation of the Asian monsoon ( Yanai et al. 1992 ; Yanai and Wu 2006 ), but it also serves as the headwaters of several large rivers in East and Southeast Asia, such as the Indus, Mekong, Brahmaputra, Yellow, and Yangtze Rivers. This area has experienced significant environmental changes, such as increased warming (e.g., Chen and

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T. G. Huntington and M. Billmire

climate responses to warming ( Trenberth 1999 ; Held and Soden 2000 , 2006 ). In spite of overall global trends, specific regions have experienced distinctly different hydrologic responses with wet areas generally becoming wetter and dry areas becoming drier ( Bates et al. 2008 ; Trenberth 2011 ). In North America ( Walter et al. 2004 ), most of Europe ( Teuling et al. 2009 ), and southeastern South America ( Garcia and Mechoso 2005 ), precipitation and runoff increased over large river basins

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Noriaki Ohara, M. Levent Kavvas, Michael L. Anderson, Z. Q. Chen, and Kei Ishida

1. Introduction Extreme storm events in Northern California are mainly driven by large weather systems called atmospheric rivers (ARs; Zhu and Newell 1998 ). This large system in the northeastern Pacific Ocean is often referred to as the “Pineapple Express” since the moisture converges near the Hawaiian Islands ( Weaver 1962 ; Dettinger 2004 ). In fact, the majority of major winter storms in Northern California were produced by ARs ( Ralph et al. 2006 ; Dettinger et al. 2011 ; Neiman et al

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Nicholas R. Nalli, Christopher D. Barnet, Tony Reale, Quanhua Liu, Vernon R. Morris, J. Ryan Spackman, Everette Joseph, Changyi Tan, Bomin Sun, Frank Tilley, L. Ruby Leung, and Daniel Wolfe

theoretically difficult to resolve but located in critical raob-sparse regions over oceans, specifically Saharan air layers (SALs), Hadley cells, and atmospheric rivers (ARs). Saharan air layers are stable layers of dry, warm air of desert origin that advect across the tropical Atlantic Ocean, often accompanying high levels of Saharan dust aerosols ( Carlson and Prospero 1972 ) and bounded to its south by the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ; Tsamalis et al. 2013 ). Previous research has shown that

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F. C. Sperna Weiland, L. P. H. van Beek, J. C. J. Kwadijk, and M. F. P. Bierkens

1. Introduction The transport of water through rivers to oceans was previously often neglected in general circulation models (GCMs; Miller et al. 1994 ). In the last decade it has been recognized that surface hydrology and river flow play an important role in the global climate system. For instance, the freshwater influx to oceans changes their salinity and consequently may affect ocean circulation and convection ( Arora 2001 ). Furthermore, the hydrological cycle influences feedback

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Bin Guan, Duane E. Waliser, and F. Martin Ralph

1. Introduction Characterized by enhanced water vapor transport in long and narrow corridors in the lower troposphere, atmospheric rivers (ARs) play important roles in the global water cycle ( Zhu and Newell 1998 ) and deliver precious freshwater to many arid/semiarid regions ( Guan et al. 2010 ; Dettinger et al. 2011 ; Rutz and Steenburgh 2012 ), but they can also represent a significant hazard around the globe due to the associated extreme wind and precipitation (e.g., Waliser and Guan

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