A novel method for estimating spatial-temporal modes of time varying
data containing complex non-linear interacting multivariate fields,
called the entropy field decomposition (EFD), is applied to the problem
of characterizing the formation and intensification of atmosphere rivers
(ARs), and reveals two novel findings. First, analysis of global
time-varying interacting wind (w) and specific humidity (q) fields
produces spatiotemporal modes consistent with observed global
distribution of ARs detected by Integrated Water Vapor Transport (IVT).
Secondly, space-time information trajectories (STITs) generated from
coupled w-q EFD modes, representing optimal (in the sense of maximum
entropy) parameter pathways, reveal a clear connection between ARs and
planetary-scale circulation with structure similar to Rossby waves and
reveal that ARs appear to be dynamically linked with the outflow region
of the wave troughs. These findings provide an automated quantitative
method to examine impacts of interacting multiscale dynamics on AR
formation and activities.