Flying into an Atmospheric River with NOAA

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Planes used to track storm clouds using sophisticated instruments have been waiting at McClellan Field in Sacramento for a unique weather pattern. Then, came this weekend's atmospheric river, sometimes called a Pineapple Express.

The system begins over the Pacific, and passes over Hawaii as it barrels toward California. They can bring a lot of water, mostly in the form of rain, to the area.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA is sponsoring research being done using planes flying out of McClellan Field. On Saturday, they dropped buoy's into the ocean, several hundred miles offshore, at nine locations.

These devices will measure what impact Friday's storms had on the ocean, and how those changes impacted Sunday's storm.

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