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Mesosystem Weather in the Pacific Northwest A Summer Case Study

OWEN P. CRAMERPacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Berkeley, Calif.

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Abstract

Three kinds of mesosystems—two squall mesosystems, an instability line, and a strong marine push—were all observed in Oregon on the same day. Each system produced sudden changes in temperature and gale-force winds, yet none was identified on routine synoptic analyses. The development and progress of each mesosystem is reconstructed in a series of detailed sea-level analyses. Effects on local winds and temperature of a pseudo cold front associated with a squall mesosystem in mountainous terrain were documented as the system passed through a mesonet in the Cascade Range. The impact of these mesosystems emphasizes the need for greater attention to mesoscale systems for identification and warning of important summer weather events. The mesosystems appear to be closely related to the approach of a minor short-wave trough, with maximum development at the 250-mb level.

The author is currently stationed at Portland, Oreg.

Abstract

Three kinds of mesosystems—two squall mesosystems, an instability line, and a strong marine push—were all observed in Oregon on the same day. Each system produced sudden changes in temperature and gale-force winds, yet none was identified on routine synoptic analyses. The development and progress of each mesosystem is reconstructed in a series of detailed sea-level analyses. Effects on local winds and temperature of a pseudo cold front associated with a squall mesosystem in mountainous terrain were documented as the system passed through a mesonet in the Cascade Range. The impact of these mesosystems emphasizes the need for greater attention to mesoscale systems for identification and warning of important summer weather events. The mesosystems appear to be closely related to the approach of a minor short-wave trough, with maximum development at the 250-mb level.

The author is currently stationed at Portland, Oreg.

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