A New Conceptual Model for Cyclones Generated in the Lee of the Rocky Mountains

Peter V. Hobbs Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

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John D. Locatelli Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

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Jonathan E. Martin Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

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When a shortwave trough moves eastward over the Rocky Mountains and into the central United States, the following important features may form: a drytrough (i.e., a lee trough that also has the characteristics of a dryline), an arctic front, a low-level jet, and two synoptic-scale rainbands (called the cold front aloft rainband and the pre-drytrough rainband) that can produce heavy precipitation and severe weather well ahead of the drytrough. These features are incorporated into a new conceptual model for cyclones in the central United States. Use of this model can aid the interpretation of observational data and numerical model output, and it may also help to improve short-range forecasting in the central United States.

Corresponding author address: Prof. Peter Hobbs, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Box 351640, Seattle, WA 98195-1640. E-mail: phobbs@atmos.washington.edu

When a shortwave trough moves eastward over the Rocky Mountains and into the central United States, the following important features may form: a drytrough (i.e., a lee trough that also has the characteristics of a dryline), an arctic front, a low-level jet, and two synoptic-scale rainbands (called the cold front aloft rainband and the pre-drytrough rainband) that can produce heavy precipitation and severe weather well ahead of the drytrough. These features are incorporated into a new conceptual model for cyclones in the central United States. Use of this model can aid the interpretation of observational data and numerical model output, and it may also help to improve short-range forecasting in the central United States.

Corresponding author address: Prof. Peter Hobbs, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Box 351640, Seattle, WA 98195-1640. E-mail: phobbs@atmos.washington.edu
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