Tuesday, 16 January 2007: 8:30 AM
Using the Foothills Climate Array (FCA) to examine chinooks of Southwestern Alberta
207A (Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center)
Located on the lee side of the Canadian Rockies, southwestern Alberta and the city of Calgary experience a local climate that is greatly influenced by Chinooks. The horizontal variability of the Chinooks in this region is not well understood. The Foothills Climate Array (FCA), which consists of a mesonet of over 320 weather stations, was established in 2003 as a long-term observational study covering an area 200km by 120km. The FCA weather stations are spaced approximately 5km apart in the east-west direction, 10km in the north-south direction, and vary in elevation from the Continental Divide down to the foothills and plains of Southern Alberta. The high temporal and spatial resolution of the FCA mesonet makes it an excellent tool for examining the local variability of temperature and humidity associated with the Chinooks of Southwestern Alberta. Data from the FCA is being analyzed in conjunction with high-resolution, mesoscale simulations in order to understand the processes that control the observed variability. This paper will present data collected on Chinooks during the first few winter seasons of the FCA.