Atmospheric Gravity Waves and Coastal Cyclones

Stanley David Gedzelman Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, City College of New York, NY 10031 and Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Colmbia University, Palisades, NY 10964

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William L. Donn Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964

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Abstract

Relations between the behavior of atmospheric gravity waves and the meteorological conditions during the approach of coastal cyclones at Palisades, New York (near New York City) are investigated. It is shown that the temperature and wind conditions favoring the development of the largest amplitude waves are most likely to occur when coastal cyclones strike. This wave record can be used to distinguish between those storms which do and those which do not produce precipitation at New York City. The wave record is also shown to provide a monitor for some of the finer scale features of the storm structures such as the shallow pockets of cold air that often form to the cast of the Appalachian Mountains. Finally, climatological aspects of the gravity-wave behavior for coastal cyclones are investigated and it is shown that there is frequently an abrupt increase in wave amplitudes some 6–12 h prior to the onset of precipitation and an abrupt decrease in wave amplitudes at about the time precipitation ends.

Abstract

Relations between the behavior of atmospheric gravity waves and the meteorological conditions during the approach of coastal cyclones at Palisades, New York (near New York City) are investigated. It is shown that the temperature and wind conditions favoring the development of the largest amplitude waves are most likely to occur when coastal cyclones strike. This wave record can be used to distinguish between those storms which do and those which do not produce precipitation at New York City. The wave record is also shown to provide a monitor for some of the finer scale features of the storm structures such as the shallow pockets of cold air that often form to the cast of the Appalachian Mountains. Finally, climatological aspects of the gravity-wave behavior for coastal cyclones are investigated and it is shown that there is frequently an abrupt increase in wave amplitudes some 6–12 h prior to the onset of precipitation and an abrupt decrease in wave amplitudes at about the time precipitation ends.

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