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F. M. Ralph, E. Sukovich, D. Reynolds, M. Dettinger, S. Weagle, W. Clark, and P. J. Neiman

Sacramento, California, where a major reservoir and levee system protect the city from potentially catastrophic urban flood inundation ( National Research Council 1995 , 1999 ). This risk is analogous to that faced by New Orleans, Louisiana, prior to the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005, although the Sacramento meteorology, hydrology, and infrastructure differ substantially. Specifically, extreme precipitation events in the Sacramento region consist of land-falling extratropical cyclones with embedded

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F. M. Ralph, T. Coleman, P. J. Neiman, R. J. Zamora, and M. D. Dettinger

-year’s precipitation in just a few events. Finally, Dettinger (2011) analyzed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC AR4) climate projections to assess changes in AR characteristics off the California coast and showed that recent climate change projections typically include more extreme ARs in the twenty-first century due largely to greater atmospheric water vapor content. Fig . 1. (a) Satellite image of an AR over the eastern Pacific Ocean seen in IWV. Land is black since SSM

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