Search Results

You are looking at 1 - 4 of 4 items for

  • Author or Editor: Matthew E. Jeglum x
  • User-accessible content x
Clear All Modify Search
Matthew E. Jeglum and Sebastian W. Hoch

Abstract

Climatological features of the surface wind on diurnal and seasonal time scales over a 17-yr period in an area of complex terrain at Dugway Proving Ground in northwestern Utah are analyzed, and potential synoptic-scale, mesoscale, and microscale forcings on the surface wind are identified. Analysis of the wind climatology at 26 automated weather stations revealed a bimodal wind direction distribution at times when thermally driven circulations were expected to produce a single primary direction. The two modes of this distribution are referred to as the “northerly” and “southerly” regimes. The northerly regime is most frequent in May, and the southerly regime is most frequent in August. January, May, and August constitute a “tripole seasonality” of the wind evolution. Although both regimes occur in all months, the monthly changes in regime frequency are related to changes in synoptic and mesoscale phenomena including the climatological position of the primary synoptic baroclinic zone in the western United States, interaction of the large-scale flow with the Sierra Nevada, and thermal low pressure systems that form in the Intermountain West in summer. Numerous applications require accurate forecasts of surface winds in complex terrain, yet mesoscale models perform relatively poorly in these areas, contributing to poor operational forecast skill. Knowledge of the climatologically persistent wind flows and their potential forcings will enable relevant model deficiencies to be addressed.

Full access
Matthew E. Jeglum, W. James Steenburgh, Tiros P. Lee, and Lance F. Bosart

Abstract

The topography in and around the Intermountain West strongly affects the genesis, migration, and lysis of extratropical cyclones. Here intermountain (i.e., Nevada or Great Basin) cyclone (IC) activity and evolution are examined using the ECMWF Re-Analysis Interim (ERA-Interim) the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR), and the NCEP–NCAR reanalysis from 1989 to 2008, the period during which all three are available. The ICs are defined and tracked objectively as 850-hPa geopotential height depressions of ≥40 m that persist for ≥12 h.

The monthly distribution of IC center and genesis frequency in all three reanalyses is bimodal with spring (absolute) and fall (secondary) maxima. Although the results are sensitive to differences in resolution, topographic representation, and reanalysis methodology, both the ERA-Interim and NARR produce frequent IC centers and genesis in the Great Basin cyclone region, which extends from the southern “high” Sierra to northwest Utah, and the Canyonlands cyclone region, which lies over the upper Colorado River basin of southeast Utah. The NCEP–NCAR reanalysis fails to resolve these two distinct cyclone regions and produces less frequent IC centers and genesis than the ERA-Interim and NARR.

An ERA-Interim-based composite of strong ICs generated in cross-Sierra (210°–300°) 500-hPa flow shows that cyclogenesis is preceded by the development of the Great Basin confluence zone (GBCZ), a regional airstream boundary that extends downstream from the Sierra Nevada across the Intermountain West. Cyclogenesis occurs along the GBCZ as large-scale ascent develops over the Intermountain West in advance of an approaching upper-level trough. Flow splitting around the high Sierra and the presence of low-level baroclinicity along the GBCZ suggest that IC evolution may be better conceptualized from a potential vorticity perspective than from traditional quasigeostrophic models of lee cyclogenesis. Although these results provide new insights into IC activity and evolution, analysis uncertainty and the cyclone identification criteria are important sources of ambiguity that cannot be fully eliminated.

Full access
Matthew E. Jeglum, Sebastian W. Hoch, Derek D. Jensen, Reneta Dimitrova, and Zachariah Silver

Abstract

Large temperature fluctuations (LTFs), defined as a drop of the near-surface temperature of at least 3°C in less than 30 min followed by a recovery of at least half of the initial drop, were frequently observed during the Mountain Terrain Atmospheric Modeling and Observations (MATERHORN) program. Temperature time series at over 100 surface stations were examined in an automated fashion to identify and characterize LTFs. LTFs occur almost exclusively at night and at locations elevated 50–100 m above the basin floors, such as the east slope of the isolated Granite Mountain (GM). Temperature drops associated with LTFs were as large as 13°C and were typically greatest at heights of 4–10 m AGL. Observations and numerical simulations suggest that LTFs are the result of complex flow interactions of stably stratified flow with a mountain barrier and a leeside cold-air pool (CAP). An orographic wake forms over GM when stably stratified southwesterly nocturnal flow impinges on GM and is blocked at low levels. Warm crest-level air descends in the lee of the barrier, and the generation of baroclinic vorticity leads to periodic development of a vertically oriented vortex. Changes in the strength or location of the wake and vortex cause a displacement of the horizontal temperature gradient along the slope associated with the CAP edge, resulting in LTFs. This mechanism explains the low frequency of LTFs on the west slope of GM as well as the preference for LTFs to occur at higher elevations later at night, as the CAP depth increases.

Full access
Manuela Lehner, C. David Whiteman, Sebastian W. Hoch, Erik T. Crosman, Matthew E. Jeglum, Nihanth W. Cherukuru, Ronald Calhoun, Bianca Adler, Norbert Kalthoff, Richard Rotunno, Thomas W. Horst, Steven Semmer, William O. J. Brown, Steven P. Oncley, Roland Vogt, A. Martina Grudzielanek, Jan Cermak, Nils J. Fonteyne, Christian Bernhofer, Andrea Pitacco, and Petra Klein

Abstract

The second Meteor Crater Experiment (METCRAX II) was conducted in October 2013 at Arizona’s Meteor Crater. The experiment was designed to investigate nighttime downslope windstorm−type flows that form regularly above the inner southwest sidewall of the 1.2-km diameter crater as a southwesterly mesoscale katabatic flow cascades over the crater rim. The objective of METCRAX II is to determine the causes of these strong, intermittent, and turbulent inflows that bring warm-air intrusions into the southwest part of the crater. This article provides an overview of the scientific goals of the experiment; summarizes the measurements, the crater topography, and the synoptic meteorology of the study period; and presents initial analysis results.

Full access