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The Structure, Evolution, and Dynamics of Coastally Trapped Phenomena of Western North America

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The overall goal of the proposed project is to determine the structure, evolution, and dynamics of topographically trapped phenomena of the coastal zone of western North America, both for the warm and cold seasons. Such coastal circulations dominate the weather of the region, as well as the weather of many other coastal zones around the world. Because of improvements in mesoscale numerical models, significant improvements in operational observations, and the availability of data from recent coastal field experiments, there is substantial potential for rapid enhancement in our knowledge of coastal disturbances. This project makes use of high-resolution numerical modeling and aircraft observations to define the detailed coastal evolution for a number of coastally trapped features, and it evaluates the potential of numerical modeling as a research and forecasting tool for orographic coastal regions. The major scientific objectives of the project include the following 1 Determination of the three-dimensional structural evolution and dynamics of coastally propagating disturbances along the West Coast during the warm season 2 Determination of the structural evolution and dynamics of mesoscale coastal pressure ridges and jets 3 Determination of how the structures and dynamical balances of synoptic systems such as troughs and fronts change as they approach and cross mountainous coastlines 4 Determination of the synoptic evolution accompanying coastally trapped wind reversal 5 Determination of the origin and three-dimensional structures of mesoscale troughing in the coastal zone and the evaluation of the contribution of such troughing to the production of coastal southerlies along the west coast of North America and 6 Evaluation of the ability of current high-resolution numerical models to realistically simulate mesoscale coastal flows and to assimilate coastal observations.

Subject Categories:

  • Meteorology
  • Physical and Dynamic Oceanography
  • Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy

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