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Numerical Simulations of Cold Air Advection over the Appalachian Mountains and the Gulf Stream

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  • 1 Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina
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Abstract

Cold air advection over the Gulf Stream off the Carolinas and the Appalachian Mountains is studied using idealized two-dimensional cases for the Genesis of Atlantic Lows Experiment (GALE) lop 2 conditions. An anelastic hydrostatic mesoscale model is used. Turbulent transfer in the planetary boundary layer, diurnal heating, cloud dynamics, atmospheric longwave and shortwave radiation and subgrid cumulus parameterization are included in the model.

Model results show that the geometry of the oceanic and coastal rainbands depends on the direction of the ambient flow (onshore or offshore). For onshore flows, the rainbands remain in the vicinity of the oceanic baroclinic zone. The rainbands become, transient and migrate downwind of the Gulf Stream front for offshore flows. Depths of the marine boundary layer (MBL) and the cloud (or rain) bands depend more on the ambient flow speed than its direction. The rainbands develop primarily in response to the strong low level convergence.

As expected, southward winds are produced at the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains for onshore conditions. A significant amount of the turning, however, results from the baroclinic zone over the ocean. Upstream influence of the mountain intensifies the updrafts'in the MBL and moves the oceanic rainbands further offshore. The effects of the atmospheric longwave and shortwave radiation, subgrid cloud heating and diurnal ground heating are of secondary importance in influencing the structure of the MBL as compared to the surface turbulent beat fluxes. Diurnal effects can change the coastal inland flow regime considerably, resulting in a local breeze and the formation of another cloud (or rain) band.

Abstract

Cold air advection over the Gulf Stream off the Carolinas and the Appalachian Mountains is studied using idealized two-dimensional cases for the Genesis of Atlantic Lows Experiment (GALE) lop 2 conditions. An anelastic hydrostatic mesoscale model is used. Turbulent transfer in the planetary boundary layer, diurnal heating, cloud dynamics, atmospheric longwave and shortwave radiation and subgrid cumulus parameterization are included in the model.

Model results show that the geometry of the oceanic and coastal rainbands depends on the direction of the ambient flow (onshore or offshore). For onshore flows, the rainbands remain in the vicinity of the oceanic baroclinic zone. The rainbands become, transient and migrate downwind of the Gulf Stream front for offshore flows. Depths of the marine boundary layer (MBL) and the cloud (or rain) bands depend more on the ambient flow speed than its direction. The rainbands develop primarily in response to the strong low level convergence.

As expected, southward winds are produced at the eastern side of the Appalachian Mountains for onshore conditions. A significant amount of the turning, however, results from the baroclinic zone over the ocean. Upstream influence of the mountain intensifies the updrafts'in the MBL and moves the oceanic rainbands further offshore. The effects of the atmospheric longwave and shortwave radiation, subgrid cloud heating and diurnal ground heating are of secondary importance in influencing the structure of the MBL as compared to the surface turbulent beat fluxes. Diurnal effects can change the coastal inland flow regime considerably, resulting in a local breeze and the formation of another cloud (or rain) band.

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