From ABC10– Last winter, California was slammed with atmospheric river after atmospheric river, and the phrase dominated headlines as the Sierra racked up a record snowpack. While these storms can be dangerous and produce widespread flooding, California as we know it would not exist without them. Although atmospheric river events can occur across the globe, they are particularly important for the West Coast and California in particular. Data from the Center for Western Water and Weather Extremes (CW3E) shows that they produce 25-50% of the state’s water supply and are the main causes of flooding and drought, depending on how prevalent they are in a particular winter. (more)