Investigation of Strong Surface Winds Associated with an Upper Front Using COAMPS
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA
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On 2 April 1997, strong winds blew through the central coast of California that were accompanied by an intense jet streak and upper front. The event was analyzed with standard synoptic scale DIFAX charts and mesoscale charts for comparison. The mesoscale model used was the Coupled OceanAtmosphere Mesoscale Prediction System COAMPS developed by Naval Research Laboratory NRL, Monterey, California. COAMPS captured features that were not diagnosed on the synoptic charts. Height, isotach and temperature fields showed more detail, although observations were not sufficient to completely verify the models level of detail. COAMPS was heavily influenced by the topographic field modeling lee troughs and mountain waves along the Sierra Nevada mountains. A strong mountain wave, initiated by the upper front, occurred in central California during this time period. The wave troughs correlated to wind maxima at the surface, including one near San Francisco Bay where winds as high as 66 mph were reported.