P2.16 Idealized simulation of a Great Basin cyclone and attendant fronts

Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Arches/Deer Valley (Sheraton Salt Lake City Hotel)
Gregory L. West, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT; and W. J. Steenburgh and J. B. Olson

The Great Basin region of the western US, bordered on the west by the Sierra Nevada and on the east by the Rocky Mountains, has been established as an area of cyclogenesis and a breeding ground for strong cold fronts. In this study the authors utilize a technique developed by Olson and Colle (2007) for initializing idealized baroclinic waves using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. Processes contributing to the development of Intermountain cyclones and their attendant fronts are investigated. The contribution of flow-mountain interaction is examined through various simulations: one with the full western US topography, one in which the Sierra Nevada are replaced with a low plateau, and one without topography. Results are compared with recent real world case studies.
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