Using a Local Weather Research and Forecasting Model in an Operational Setting to Predict Strong Mountain Waves in Southern California
Southern California offers a unique location for verification of winds in complex terrain due to one of the densest observational networks in the United States, with hundreds of automated weather stations, spatially positioned across diverse terrain, including mountains, desert slopes, passes and canyons. These observations were used in sensitivity studies of model parameterizations. In this study, we will examine results of the WRF numerical weather prediction during high-wind events in southern California for different synoptic weather patterns, ranging from Santa Ana winds (katabatic offshore flow) to inland surface low pressure troughs which bring intense onshore winds to the desert mountain slopes and sometimes the adjacent desert floors. Better understanding these Foehn winds will assist forecasters with predicting weather conditions which can result in large wildfires, wind damage to structures and dust storms.