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Entropy Field Decomposition Analysis of Atmospheric River Formation
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  • Lawrence Robert Frank,
  • Vitaly L Galinsky,
  • Zhenhai Zhang,
  • F. Martin Ralph
Lawrence Robert Frank
UC San Diego

Corresponding Author:lawrence.r.frank@gmail.com

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Vitaly L Galinsky
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Zhenhai Zhang
UC San Diego
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F. Martin Ralph
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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.