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/content/aip/journal/chaos/25/6/10.1063/1.4919768
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/content/aip/journal/chaos/25/6/10.1063/1.4919768
2015-06-09
2016-12-03

Abstract

We show that filamentous Atmospheric Rivers (ARs) over the Northern Atlantic Ocean are closely linked to attracting Lagrangian Coherent Structures (LCSs) in the large scale wind field. The detected LCSs represent lines of attraction in the evolving flow with a significant impact on all passive tracers. Using Finite-Time Lyapunov Exponents, we extract LCSs from a two-dimensional flow derived from water vapor flux of atmospheric reanalysis data and compare them to the three-dimensional LCS obtained from the wind flow. We correlate the typical filamentous water vapor patterns of ARs with LCSs and find that LCSs bound the filaments on the back side. Passive advective transport of water vapor in the AR from tropical latitudes is potentially possible.

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