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Andrew Johnson Jr. and James J. O'brien


A series of meteorological observations including aircraft, pilot balloon (pibal), rawinsonde, surface buoy, and special land-based surface observations was taken on 23–24 August 1972, on the central Oregon coast, to investigate the mesoscale thermal and kinematic responses of the lowest 4 km of the atmosphere during a sea breeze event.

A description of those field observations is given. Vertical cross sections of the wind field on a line perpendicular to the coast, extending 60 km inland from data obtained at three pibal stations, are presented and discussed. Time sections of the wind field and temperature fields at the coast are discussed. Mesoscale features are presented and related to prevailing synoptic-scale changes occurring aloft during the observational period.

The sea breeze event on 23 August exhibited the following important characteristics: 1) a sea breeze front, distinguishable in the zonal wind field, which penetrated more than 60 km inland; 2) a distinct wind maximum which followed the front inland; 3) the surface onshore flow at the coast which took place below the main inversion, deepening the marine layer at the onset; and 4) a return flow above the inversion which appeared in quasi-periodic surges in response to surges in the sea breeze flow.

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