A Case Study of Extended East Coast Frontogenesis

Len G. Keshishian Department of Atmospheric Science, State University of New York at Albany, Albany, New York 12222

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Lance F. Bosart Department of Atmospheric Science, State University of New York at Albany, Albany, New York 12222

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Abstract

A case study of extended coastal frontogenesis was done to examine the contributions of geostrophic versus observed wind deformation to frontogenesis and to determine the significance of a preexisting baroclinic zone along the Atlantic coast as a condition for frontogenesis. Both geostrophic and observed with deformation play a role in the coastal frontogenesis. The frontogenetical process involves a weak cyclone which strengthens the preexisting temperature gradient as it moves northward. A moist baroclinic zone remains in place along the coast in the absence of strong cold advection in the wake of the weak cyclone. The residual moisture, enhanced baroclinicity and surface vorticity are important factors contributing to a second disturbance which intensifies as it moves northeastward to the coast along the frontal zone.

Abstract

A case study of extended coastal frontogenesis was done to examine the contributions of geostrophic versus observed wind deformation to frontogenesis and to determine the significance of a preexisting baroclinic zone along the Atlantic coast as a condition for frontogenesis. Both geostrophic and observed with deformation play a role in the coastal frontogenesis. The frontogenetical process involves a weak cyclone which strengthens the preexisting temperature gradient as it moves northward. A moist baroclinic zone remains in place along the coast in the absence of strong cold advection in the wake of the weak cyclone. The residual moisture, enhanced baroclinicity and surface vorticity are important factors contributing to a second disturbance which intensifies as it moves northeastward to the coast along the frontal zone.

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