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Frontal Structure in the Interior of an Intense Mature Ocean Cyclone

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  • 1 Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
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Abstract

Low-level (300 m) aircraft observations, taken within an intense extratropical storm during Intensive Observation Period 2 of the Experiment on Rapidly Intensifying Cyclones over the Atlantic, are used to document the near-surface frontal structure in the interior of the storm at 1800 UTC 14 December 1988, when the storm was at its maximum depth (959 mb). The flight data revealed that a well-defined occluded front spiraled into the low, making one-and-one-half turns about the center. The front followed the inner boundary of a spiral cloud and moisture band seen in satellite visible, infrared, and water vapor imagery. The results provide support for the idea that sharp occluded, or occluded-like, fronts can wrap around the core of deep ocean storms and that satellite imagery can be helpful in locating such fronts.

Corresponding author address: Prof. Richard J. Reed, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Box 351640, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1640.

Email: reed@atmos.washington.edu

Abstract

Low-level (300 m) aircraft observations, taken within an intense extratropical storm during Intensive Observation Period 2 of the Experiment on Rapidly Intensifying Cyclones over the Atlantic, are used to document the near-surface frontal structure in the interior of the storm at 1800 UTC 14 December 1988, when the storm was at its maximum depth (959 mb). The flight data revealed that a well-defined occluded front spiraled into the low, making one-and-one-half turns about the center. The front followed the inner boundary of a spiral cloud and moisture band seen in satellite visible, infrared, and water vapor imagery. The results provide support for the idea that sharp occluded, or occluded-like, fronts can wrap around the core of deep ocean storms and that satellite imagery can be helpful in locating such fronts.

Corresponding author address: Prof. Richard J. Reed, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Box 351640, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1640.

Email: reed@atmos.washington.edu

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