Coastally Trapped Wind Reversals: Progress toward Understanding

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Coastally trapped wind reversals along the U.S. west coast, which are often accompanied by a northward surge of fog or stratus, are an important warm-season forecast problem due to their impact on coastal maritime activities and airport operations. Previous studies identified several possible dynamic mechanisms that could be responsible for producing these events, yet observational and modeling limitations at the time left these competing interpretations open for debate. In an effort to improve our physical understanding, and ultimately the prediction, of these events, the Office of Naval Research sponsored an Accelerated Research Initiative in Coastal Meteorology during the years 1993–98 to study these and other related coastal meteorological phenomena. This effort included two field programs to study coastally trapped disturbances as well as numerous modeling studies to explore key dynamic mechanisms. This paper describes the various efforts that occurred under this program to provide an advancement in our understanding of these disturbances. While not all issues have been solved, the synoptic and mesoscale aspects of these events are considerably better understood.

*Department of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California.

+Marine Sciences Program, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

#Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, California.

@Coastal Studies Program, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California.

&NOAA/ERL/Environmental Technology Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado.

**National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.

++College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.

##Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

@@School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

&&Environmental Studies Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Wendell A. Nuss, Department of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, 589 Dyer Road, Room 254, Monterey, CA 93943-5114. E-mail: nuss@nps.navy.mil

Coastally trapped wind reversals along the U.S. west coast, which are often accompanied by a northward surge of fog or stratus, are an important warm-season forecast problem due to their impact on coastal maritime activities and airport operations. Previous studies identified several possible dynamic mechanisms that could be responsible for producing these events, yet observational and modeling limitations at the time left these competing interpretations open for debate. In an effort to improve our physical understanding, and ultimately the prediction, of these events, the Office of Naval Research sponsored an Accelerated Research Initiative in Coastal Meteorology during the years 1993–98 to study these and other related coastal meteorological phenomena. This effort included two field programs to study coastally trapped disturbances as well as numerous modeling studies to explore key dynamic mechanisms. This paper describes the various efforts that occurred under this program to provide an advancement in our understanding of these disturbances. While not all issues have been solved, the synoptic and mesoscale aspects of these events are considerably better understood.

*Department of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California.

+Marine Sciences Program, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

#Naval Research Laboratory, Monterey, California.

@Coastal Studies Program, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California.

&NOAA/ERL/Environmental Technology Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado.

**National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.

++College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.

##Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

@@School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

&&Environmental Studies Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia, Canada.

Corresponding author address: Dr. Wendell A. Nuss, Department of Meteorology, Naval Postgraduate School, 589 Dyer Road, Room 254, Monterey, CA 93943-5114. E-mail: nuss@nps.navy.mil
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