The Michigan Engineer News Center

Atmospheric rivers

Michigan researchers have developed a series of animations to predict when atmospheric rivers will impact land, allowing for better preparation for extreme weather events. | Short Read

Atmospheric rivers are global scale moisture transport systems that drive the majority of moisture redistribution from the tropics to higher latitudes. These systems of transport are highly important in connection with the replenishment of water resources in many areas around the world. However, they are also influenced by climate change. Extreme weather events such as severe flooding and high winds are now found to be associated with atmospheric rivers. Postdoctoral fellow Ashley Payne has developed a series of animations that have enabled her to understand what creates an intense atmospheric river before its impact, with the goal of better representing them in climate models so that water resource managers can be better prepared for these events.


Ashley Payne is a fellow of the University of Michigan’s President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Her research interests are in the large-scale mechanisms influencing extreme events, particularly in relation to the intense moisture transport features known as atmospheric rivers.

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EJ Olsen
Marketing Communications Specialist

Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering

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  • Ashley Payne

    Fellow, Assistant Professor, Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering

The outside of the Ford Robotics building

U-Michigan, Ford open world-class robotics complex

The facility will accelerate the future of advanced and more equitable robotics and mobility | Medium Read