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Hurricane hunters are approaching storms around the West Coast sooner than before.

A storm fed by an airborne fire hose of water — known as an atmospheric river — is set to hit California this weekend. Scientists are flying planes into them to collect vital data. November and December can bring “some of the worst floods” to western U.S., expert says. Hurricane Hunters are looking for clues on atmospheric river intensity, such as the strength of their water vapor transport. Atmospheric rivers can carry 25 times the water equivalent of the Mississippi River in a stream up to 500 miles wide. The data is relayed from the plane to a central repository that feeds global weather forecasts.