First Advisor

Andrew Martin

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Engineering and University Honors


Civil and Environmental Engineering




Rain and rainfall -- Forecasting, Cyclones, Atmospheric science




Atmospheric rivers (ARs) play a crucial role in delivering precipitation worldwide. This makes them an important phenomenon for water resource specialists to study. One such interest is to understand what mechanisms make ARs produce significant rainfall and associated hazards such as flooding. One possible mechanism is that AR duration or intensity may increase when it interacts with a secondary cyclone, either of which can increase the AR category scale. The purpose of this study is to determine whether AR and secondary cyclone interactions increase the category scale ARs. Out of 52 AR events analyzed, 32 events contained at least one AR and secondary cyclone interaction. Of those 32 events, 25 events had persistent interactions. By conducting a paired t-test to compare the average AR scale at each monitoring station between events with and without persistent interactions, we found that secondary cyclones interactions did cause an increase in AR category scale. Moreover, we also found that events with secondary cyclone interactions produced more impacts measurable by the AR scale on the US West Coast.


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