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Synoptic Weather Analysis and Forecasting

by: Ian Davis

Synoptic Weather Analysis and Forecasting MEA 443

Marketplace > North Carolina State University > Marine Science > MEA 443 > Synoptic Weather Analysis and Forecasting
Ian Davis
GPA 3.87


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Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ian Davis on Thursday October 15, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to MEA 443 at North Carolina State University taught by Staff in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 37 views. For similar materials see /class/223857/mea-443-north-carolina-state-university in Marine Science at North Carolina State University.

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Date Created: 10/15/15
MEA 443 Fall 2008 Course Outline and Review Sheet Within this course overviewoutline I have indicated what is expected of you In using this document as a study guide to assist in your preparation for the nal exam note that there is no guarantee that all exam topics are represented here However I have made my best effort to clarify expectations and if you know the material indicated below then you should do very well on the exam I Review A Basics 1 Scales of Motion 2 Coordinate Systems 3 Basic Variables and Notation 4 Governing Equations B Geopotential Thickness and the Thermal Wind 1 Geopotential 2 Hypsometric Equation 3 Thermal Wind Relation 4 Applications C Vorticity and the Vorticity Equation 1 De nitions 2 Types of Vorticity 3 The Vorticity Equation 4 Applications Rossby Waves Cyclones and Fronts Questions Weeks 1 and 2 o The midlatitude westerly jet stream is narrow and centered at an altitude of roughly 10 km Explain this observation using physical principles and in your own words What is the link between fronts jets and temperature gradients 0 Be able to use thermal wind arguments to explain wind or temperature patterns in jet streams 0 Know how to do a scale analysis for a given equation or meteorological quantity such as vorticity divergence or the frontogenetical function 0 Given some data eg a map analysis be able to compute vorticity and determine if a feature is a trough or ridge 0 Know the basic meteorological variables quantities and their physical meaning eg Geopotential Geopotential height potential temperature etc 0 Why is the wind subgeostrophic in a trough and supergeostrophic in a ridge 0 Know the terms in the vorticity equation and what they represent physically o What are Rossby waves and why do they propagate westward relative to the background ow What factors dictate Rossby wave phase speed 0 Given the appropriate information horizontal maps or soundings be able to identify regions of cold and warm advection From appropriate horizontal maps be able to identify positive and negative vorticity advection II SynopticScale Dynamics A Quasigeostrophic theory Carlson Ch 4 Bluestein VI Ch 5 Overview and purpose of QG The QG approximations The QG system of equations The QG omega and heighttendency equations QG omega equation Interpretation of QG omega The cancellation problem and the qvector approach The QG heighttendency equation Physical interpretation of the QG heighttendency equation 10 Addition of diabatic processes to QG system 11 QGPV and the heighttendency equation pW QMer NH Expectations 0 Know the approximations that went into the QG theory To what types of weather system does it apply and when is it not relevant o What is the physical interpretation of the QG omega How does this relate to thermal wind geostrophic and hydrostatic balance 0 What is a typical value for vertical velocity on the synoptic scale 0 Know how to interpret terms in the QG omega height tendency vorticity equations How does one go about deriving a vorticity equation 0 What are the differences between the full and QG vorticity equations 0 Be able to correctly apply QG reasoning in a forecast situation Understand the signi cance of qvector convergence differential PVA WA CA etc 0 Be able to compute qvectors given idealized or observed data 0 Be able to explain the evolution of troughs and ridges based on heighttendency equation concepts 0 What are the advantages of q vectors relative to the traditional QG omega equation terms 0 Know how to recognize QG frontogenesis given qvectors and isotherms B Cyclones and Cyclogenesis Carlson Ch 10 Bluestein VII Ch 1 1 Introduction and Climatology 2 Frontal Evolution and the Cyclone Life Cycle 3 Cyclogenesis 4 Jet Trough dynamics and surface cyclogenesis a Petterssen type A and B cyclogenesis b Upper trough structure and evolution c SutcliffePetterssen self developmen concept d QG energetics 5 Nonlinear Processes and Explosive cyclogenesis a Surface processes and feedbacks b Definition of explosive cyclones c Presidents Day cyclone example Expectations 0 Know geographically where cyclones tend to form and why they tend to form there 0 Why do cyclones frequently form along fronts What equation explains this 0 Know Petterssen type A vs type B cyclogenesis what is the role of the upper trough in cyclone development 0 What is self development Given some data could you recognize it o What process ultimately limits the cyclone self development process 0 Know the energetics of cyclones What are the energy sources How does trough tilt factor in Given some data determine the sign of the energy conversion 0 Given some data be able to assess the factors that determine the expected evolution of an upper level trough andor accompanying surface cyclone o In what sense is explosive cyclogenesis a nonlinear process What physical processes are important to cyclogenesis 0 Where do explosively deepening cyclones tend to form Why are these regions favored 111 Regional Synoptic Meteorology A Coldair damming Handout material Bluestein VII pp 359362 1 Introduction to ColdAir Damming CAD 2 CAD physics a Force balance in CAD b Theoretical parameters and CAD structure c Thermal advection and CAD d Diabatic processes e Upperlevel processes 3 CAD classification and impact a NWS CAD subtypes b Sensible weather impacts 4 CAD Erosion and model prediction 5 CAD cyclogenesis and ptype Expectations 0 Given a sealevel pressure analysis with surface observations how can you tell if CAD is underway o What is the physical mechanism of CAD What is responsible for the pressure distribution Be able to figure out where ridging and troughing would develop given a hypothetical situation with isobars and an orographic barrier 0 Know the Froude number the Rossby radius of deformation and the force balance expected during CAD 0 Given some data be able to classify a CAD event using the NWS scheme 0 Understand the role of diabatic processes in CAD 0 Know the typical model problems relating to CAD o What are the mechanisms that lead to the erosion of CAD Physically how does CAD erosion occur 0 How does the CAD climatology relate to winter weather climatology B Winter Precipitation Processes and Forecasting 1 General considerations and climatology 2 Physical processes a Factors affecting the thermal pro le b Model representation of winter weather physics c Case study comparison 3 Lakeeffect snowstorms n n L 39 I 4 I r tJr39 r Expectatrons o What is partial thickness How theoretically does thickness help us with precipitationtype forecasting 0 Given a temperature pro le or thickness information be able to form a prediction of expected precipitationtype at the surface based on either the partial thickness nomogram or sounding interpretation 0 What are the mechanisms responsible for lakeeffect snow 0 What diabatic processes can alter precipitation type at the surface What are the limitations of numerical models in accounting for these biases 0 Given a real data set be able to make a precipitation type and amount prediction based on techniques used in class and your knowledge of meteorological processes 0 Understand the basic impacts of freezing melting thermal advection adiabatic ascent and other mechanisms that can impact surface precipitation type C Isentropic Analysis Carlson Ch 12 1 Basics 2 Interpretation of Isentropic Charts a Montgomery streamfunction and geostrophic ow b Constructing an isentropic map c Representation of vertical motion on an isentropic surface d The Frozen wave approximation e Interpretation of systemrelative air ow in the isentropic framework 3 Applications Expectations 0 Know the basic premise behind isentropic analysis Understand why it is advantageous to use potential temperature as a vertical coordinate and know what complications can arise from this 0 Why do we call lines of constant potential temperature isentropes 0 Be able to tell the difference between profiles of T and 9 and locate upper fronts jets and the tropopause on a crosssectional plot 0 Given an isentropic map you should be able to identify regions of isentropic uplift or subsidence 0 Why does isentropic moisture transport provide a more accurate picture of moisture advection than isobaric methods 0 What is stormrelative isentropic ow and why is it useful 0 Be familiar with the conveyor belt paradigm and be able to identify the main airstreams in a midlatitude system IV Fronts and Jets A Fronts and Frontogenesis Carlson Ch 13 14 l Frontogenesis a General frontal properties b Review of kinematic frontogenesis mechanisms c QG frontogenesis d Transverse circulations The SawyerEliassen Equation e Frontal collapse and frontal dynamics 2 Types of fronts a Cold frontal structures b Warm fronts c Occluded fronts d The coastal front 3 Upper Fronts and Jets Expectations 0 Know the basic frontal properties Given data be able to locate and analyze a front 0 Why are fronts frequently accompanied by clouds and precipitation 0 Know the basic mechanisms of frontogenesis 0 Specifically why are fronts favored along the southeast coast of the US and Texas Know the mechanisms of coastal frontogenesis How does it relate to CAD o What is the difference between kinematic and dynamic frontogenesis o What is frontal collapse 0 What are katafronts and anafronts o How do the dynamics of upper fronts differ from surface fronts o What is potential vorticity How does it relate to upper fronts 0 Know the straightjet model and understand why the associated circulations eXist What is meant by thermally direct and thermally indirect Where do each of these circulations occur 0 When is the straightj et model not applicable How is it modified for strongly curved ow Or strong thermal advection o What is the link between frontal circulations and QG forcing o What is the difference between a primary and secondary circulation V Atmospheric Modeling Numerical Weather Prediction NWP A Background Overview of Operational NWP 1 Historical background of NWP 2 Premise and an example 3 Finite differencing of equations 4 A simple program 5 Overview B Details 1 Numerics Vertical coords hydrostatic and nonhydrostatic 2 Grid point versus spectral models 3 Data assimilation initialization and boundary conditions 4 Sources of model error 5 Ensemble prediction C Operational model characteristics D Model Output Statistics MOS Expectations 0 Know the basic approach to weather forecasting For example if surface upperair and satellite data are provided in addition to numerical forecast output I expect that you would be able to make and defend a forecast 0 Know how numerical forecast models work What types of observation go into the model analyses Is the model analysis really an observational analysis 0 What is the CFL condition Why does it matter in operational modeling and weather prediction 0 For the NAM and GFS know the type of model spectral or gridpoint the approximate vertical and horizontal grid spacing and the vertical coordinate 0 Know what the term parameterization means What is it Why is it necessary How can it limit the accuracy of NWP 0 Know the main limitations of NWP what are the main sources of error 0 Why are there two different kinds of precipitation in numerical models 0 Be able to provide a basic explanation of how a CP scheme works 0 What happens when a model is run at high resolution without a CP scheme 0 What are some ways that CP schemes can in uence a weather forecast What can forecasters do to tell if the CP scheme is important to the forecast If they nd that it is how does this change the way they interpret the information 0 Know what ensemble forecasting is and what information it provides beyond what a deterministic forecast can provide 0 What is data assimilation and how does it relate to the numerical forecast process 0 What is MOS What information does it include and what is the basis for MOS forecasts What are the limitations of MOS


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