98 A Simple Method of Depicting Advections as Vectors with Applications to Frontal Diagnosis

Monday, 23 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
David A Barber, NWS, Anchorage, AK

A Simple Method of Depicting Advections as Vectors with Application to Frontal Diagnosis

By defining a vector whose direction is determined by that of the wind and whose magnitude is a linear function of the advection of temperature or potential temperature, a field is produced that reveals fronts and frontogenesis. The method provides an efficient, visually appealing aid to the forecaster for the rapid diagnosis of operationally significant boundaries and what may be termed “surges” of warm or cold air.

Operational forecasters continue to use frontal concepts and to apply both classical and more recent models of the relationships between fronts and the distribution of clouds and weather. Moreover, in the short-term forecasting of such sensible weather as precipitation, aircraft icing, turbulence, and winds, the location and structure of fronts and related temperature advections play an important role in parallel to the application of high-resolution numerical models.

Case examples of the temperature advection vector displays based on both surface and upper-air analyses will be presented showing the Alaska area as well as the contiguous US. Examples of operationally significant advection boundaries revealed by the method having good temporal continuity but not meeting the classical definitions of a front will be included.

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