Atmospheric River 1000 (ARk)

Really, it’s not like I just sit around thinking up the next disaster that might occur; or that I spend all day searching the Internet for catastrophic events to scare the stuffing out of people.  But, given what I do for a living, they just kind of have a way of finding me.

About a year ago, someone told me about the potential of a huge rain storm on the West Coast of the United States known as an ARk Storm.  Apparently there is this weather pattern known as an Atmospheric River (the “AR”) that has a catastrophic occurrence about every 1000 years or so (thus the “k”) that scientists are studying and suggesting could occur again.  The last ARk Storm to hit the West Coast happened in the late 1800s, (so, in my book that means we have another 900 years to wait) but meteorologists are just starting to understand the potential impacts another ARk Storm could carry.

Up here in the Pacific Northwest we are very used to the Pineapple Express weather pattern, which, I now understand, is an example of an Atmospheric River – just not the build your Ark kind of event the ARk Storm is supposed to be.

Certainly, throughout the US we have had our share of floods, mudslides and other heavy rain events that have resulted in Emergency Response, Crisis Management and Business Continuity plans being engaged.  Who cares what neat, scientific name we give the events that caused them?  But, I did find some interesting articles about this ARk Storm potential that I thought you might want to check out, including a story that suggests its just a bunch of Internet hype.

And no, I am not suggesting we now need an ARk Storm Response Plan!  I just like to share potential risk information with people who might want to know.  You know, to scare the stuffing out of you!

Thank you for your input.