Synoptic and Mesoscale Factors Influencing Stratus and Fog in the Central California Coastal Region
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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This study was done to describe the synoptic and mesoscale events associated with the development of fog and stratus along the Central California Coast during the 30 April to 5 May 1990 period. These events were compared and contrasted to the synoptic and mesoscale evolution found for stratus surge and Catalina Eddy events. Based on the analysis, the formation of the stratus and fog was found to be initiated by the movement of an upper-level cut-off low and a short-wave ridge. Their movements provided increased subsidence and upper- level negative vorticity advection NVA over Southern California, which, in turn, produced higher pressure over the Vandenburg region. This coupled with relatively lower pressure over Oakland, set up flow conditions that lead to the formation of the stratus and fog. The Vandenburg Oakland pressure gradient produced southerly flow, which carried warm moist air over relatively cooler water. The moist air condensed and stratus and fog developed.