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The Life Cycle of the Dryline

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  • 1 National Severe Storms Laboratory, NOAA, Norman, Okla, 73069
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Abstract

The dryline, a narrow non-frontal zone of sharp moisture discontinuity, has long been known as a preferential location of thunderstorm development. Through an examination of several years of data, a conceptual model of the dryline life cycle is developed.

The dryline originates along the trailing edge of a continental air mass and is coincident with an old frontal surface. As it moves, it is located on the surface projection of the western edge of the low-level inversion. The dryline is destroyed either by a new cold air outbreak or by becoming too diffuse to be easily recognizable.

Abstract

The dryline, a narrow non-frontal zone of sharp moisture discontinuity, has long been known as a preferential location of thunderstorm development. Through an examination of several years of data, a conceptual model of the dryline life cycle is developed.

The dryline originates along the trailing edge of a continental air mass and is coincident with an old frontal surface. As it moves, it is located on the surface projection of the western edge of the low-level inversion. The dryline is destroyed either by a new cold air outbreak or by becoming too diffuse to be easily recognizable.

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