24 An analysis of surface gradient relationships during cold front events in the eastern United States: a numerical modeling study

Thursday, 2 July 2015
Salon A-3 & A-4 (Hilton Chicago)
Robert Conrick, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, IN; and N. Curtis, P. Staten, and C. Kirkpatrick

Cold frontal passages are a relatively common occurrence throughout the eastern United States. Such frontal systems are often accompanied by intense winds capable of causing damage to forests and human-built structures. Previous research has shown that while a cold front's maximum 2-minute sustained winds (ASOS-measured) do tend to increase with increasing across-front temperature gradient, there is not a statistically significant relationship. The aim of this research is to examine the relationships between temperature gradient and wind near the surface along cold fronts. To do this, several recent, strong cold fronts are modeled in high spatial detail by using the WRF-ARW model. Results of this study do confirm a lack of relationship between near-surface temperature gradients and wind along cold fronts for both front-normal and front-parallel wind. To build a more comprehensive picture of wind observed along cold fronts, this work also investigates where near-surface wind is strongest behind the front.
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