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Winter floods in Britain are connected to atmospheric rivers David A. Lavers,1,2
 

Summary: Winter floods in Britain are connected to atmospheric rivers
David A. Lavers,1,2
Richard P. Allan,2,3
Eric F. Wood,4
Gabriele Villarini,4,5
David J. Brayshaw,2,3
and Andrew J. Wade1,6
Received 23 September 2011; revised 26 October 2011; accepted 26 October 2011; published 6 December 2011.
[1] Damage from flooding in the winter and fall seasons has
been widespread in the United Kingdom (UK) and Western
Europe over recent decades. Here we show that winter flood
events in the UK are connected to Atmospheric Rivers (ARs),
narrow ribbons along which a large flux of moisture is trans-
ported from the subtropics to the mid-latitudes. Combining
river flow records with rainfall measurements, satellite data
and model simulations, we demonstrate that ARs occur
simultaneously with the 10 largest winter flood events since
1970 in a range of British river basins, suggesting that ARs
are persistently critical in explaining extreme winter flooding
in the UK. Understanding the physical processes that deter-

  

Source: Allan, Richard P. - Department of Meteorology, University of Reading

 

Collections: Geosciences