Morning Glory Wave Clouds in Oklahoma: A Case Study

Sabine P. Haase Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Monash University, Claylon, Australia 3168

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Roger K. Smith Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, Monash University, Claylon, Australia 3168

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Abstract

Early in the morning on 9 June 1982 a system of traveling wave cloud lines passed over 0klahoma, and in particular, over the relatively dense mesonetwork of surface stations, including the instrumented 444 m KTVY television tower, operated by the U.S. National Severe Storms Laboratory. An analysis of the network and other data presented herein shows that, in structure, the associated disturbance was an internal undular bore propagating on a low-level stable layer, similar to “morning glory”-type disturbances, which are common at certain times of the year in parts of northern Australia. Moreover, the speed of propagation of the component bore-waves is in broad agreement with theoretical calculations.

There is evidence that the disturbance emanated late the previous evening from an area of rapidly growing intense thunderstorms located more than 400 km north-northwest of the surface mesonetwork. Possible mechanisms for generation are discussed, but the data pertaining to genesis are insufficient to be conclusive.

Abstract

Early in the morning on 9 June 1982 a system of traveling wave cloud lines passed over 0klahoma, and in particular, over the relatively dense mesonetwork of surface stations, including the instrumented 444 m KTVY television tower, operated by the U.S. National Severe Storms Laboratory. An analysis of the network and other data presented herein shows that, in structure, the associated disturbance was an internal undular bore propagating on a low-level stable layer, similar to “morning glory”-type disturbances, which are common at certain times of the year in parts of northern Australia. Moreover, the speed of propagation of the component bore-waves is in broad agreement with theoretical calculations.

There is evidence that the disturbance emanated late the previous evening from an area of rapidly growing intense thunderstorms located more than 400 km north-northwest of the surface mesonetwork. Possible mechanisms for generation are discussed, but the data pertaining to genesis are insufficient to be conclusive.

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