School of Meteorology Seminar Series presents...
AN EXAMINATION OF THE VERTICAL STRUCTURE OF COLD FRONTS AND ASSOCIATED ATMOSPHERIC BORES [Thesis Seminar]
School of Meteorology
20 November 2012, 2:30 PM
National Weather Center, Room 5930
120 David L. Boren Blvd.
University of Oklahoma
Cold fronts are among the most widely studied as well as the most widely variable meteorological phenomena in existence. Many different features can occur within a cold front or within the environment as a result of the cold front’s passage, including some that occur as a result of the interaction of a cold front with other meteorological phenomena such as drylines. At the leading edge of a moving cold air mass, a cold front functions as a type of atmospheric density current, which can produce disturbances such as solitary waves or undular bores that can propagate ahead of the current given the proper environmental stratification. The following body of research has focused on examining the vertical and horizontal structure of cold fronts and associated prefrontal features, including atmospheric undular bores, that may form ahead of the frontal boundary in certain circumstances. The nine cases detailed in this study were selected from data observed at the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) program’s Southern Great Plains (SGP) Central Facility (CF) site in north-central Oklahoma between October 2010 and February 2012. The wide variability in the characteristics of fronts and associated prefrontal features is readily apparent in these nine cases, which were taken from a variety of seasons and times of day. The pairing of high-resolution vertical profiling data with surface observations allows for unique insights into the nature of fronts and bore-like disturbances, producing a fuller understanding of such meteorological phenomena.