Science Inventory

AN OBJECTIVE CLIMATOLOGY OF CAROLINA COASTAL FRONTS

Citation:

APPEL, W., A. J. RIORDAN, AND T. A. HOLLEY. AN OBJECTIVE CLIMATOLOGY OF CAROLINA COASTAL FRONTS. AMERICAN METEROLOGICAL SOCIETY. Plenum Press, New York, NY, 20(4):439-455, (2004).

Impact/Purpose:

The objective of this work is to investigate the impact of global climate change on the regional air quality of the United States. Impacts of climate change on meteorological patterns and primary source emissions are investigated as primary elements influencing future air quality.

Description:

This study describes a simple objective method to identify cases of coastal frontogenesis offshore of the Carolinas and to characterize the sensible weather associated with frontal passage at measurement sites near the coast. The identification method, based on surface hourly data from offshore and adjacent land stations, was applied to an 11-yr dataset (1984–94). A total of 379 coastal fronts was found, 70 of which eventually made landfall along the North Carolina coast; 112 that remained offshore, and 197 were termed diurnal since they remained offshore but disappeared during daylight hours. Results show that most coastal and offshore sites experience a wind shift of about 40°–70° and a warming of about 2°–3°C during the hour of frontal passage. Exceptions include sites near colder waters where the rates are markedly reduced and frontal passage is often less discernible. Excluding diurnal fronts, just over half the cases were associated with cold-air damming (CAD) during the cold season of 16 October–15 April. Most of these winter cases linked with CAD were onshore fronts. During the warm season, most fronts were diurnal, but the association with CAD was still significant. To explore the synoptic-scale environment, composite maps for the cold season were generated for all three frontal subtypes from NCEP–NCAR reanalysis data. Results show a strong surface anticyclone centered north of the region of frontogenesis for all three composites. However, several features in the synoptic-scale regimes appear to differentiate the three frontal types. For example, cyclogenesis in the Gulf of Mexico and onshore southeasterly low-level flow along the southeast Atlantic coast accompanied by warm advection distinguish onshore fronts from the other two types. The offshore fronts are accompanied by more nearly zonal flow aloft and a surface anticyclone that stalls near the New England coastline. Finally, the diurnal type is associated with much weaker pressure and height fields and an east–west elongated surface anticyclone centered much farther south than in the other cases.

URLs/Downloads:

Weather and Forecasting   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 08/01/2004
Record Last Revised: 03/06/2012
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 154423

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

ATMOSPHERIC MODELING DIVISION

MODEL EVALUATION AND APPLIED RESEARCH BRANCH