S77
Diagnosis of Synoptic Patterns for Snow Events in Northern Alabama

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Sunday, 23 January 2011
Diagnosis of Synoptic Patterns for Snow Events in Northern Alabama
Ismarí Ramos, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, PR; and J. M. Coyne

Due to the complex nature of winter weather forecasting, model output and other traditional tools may not always be sufficient. Forecasters may then utilize case studies to determine how current or expected events may be similar to those in the past to make more accurate forecasts. The objective for this research was to obtain a definable pattern in the tracks of west gulf lows (WGL) systems and see how they relate to general upper level patterns throughout the winter season. Maps were generated on ArcMap® with tracks for each WGL. A southwest to northeast track pattern was seen for these systems. All the WGLs have different routes as they move inland. Roughly 37.5 % of the storms enter through Alabama, 29.2% through Florida, 25% through Louisiana and Mississippi with 8.3%. Upper level features like troughs play a major role in the intensification of associated surface lows. Many of the cases showed similar characteristics of strong jet stream winds approaching the base of the upper level trough which helped to strengthen both the trough and associated surface low. A larger study about low pressure systems developing in the Gulf and impacting the southern United States would likely show more consistent results.