Mesoscale Frontogenesis During Cold Season Cyclones Along
The Southern New England Coastal Plain
Jonathan Ariel Forest Byrne
Rising Sun Consulting
Boston, MA USA
As cyclones propagate northeast off the New England coastline ( sometime referred to informally as "nor'easters) mesoscale processes can become predominant especially in eastern Southern New England. For example, the cyclonic rotation within the surface and mid level circulation results in a thermal boundary between more moderate maritime inflow from the Atlantic and a colder continental meridional flow over interior. Although the alignment of this thermal boundary or "coastal front" is in turn, dependent upon on the magnitude of the prevailing isallobaric field, the front also tends to align with the concave structure of the Southern New England eastern coastline. This is due in part to the boundary layer temperature gradient between relatively warm SST and colder landmass temperatures This mesoscale feature results in a high impact on precipitation intensity and type especially during winter precipitation events through increased symmetric instability and frontogentic forcing in the vicinity of the frontal boundary; and the marine layer warming east of the front which produces higher liquid water density snowfall or a change in precipitation type.
This paper will investigate the dynamics of the coastal front and will cite several case studies of coastal cyclones in which this phenomenon was a high impact mesoscale forcing.