S87 A Twelve-Year Cold Air Damming Climatology of Northern New England

Sunday, 7 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 5 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Briana Stewart, Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH; and J. Cunningham and E. G. Hoffman

Cold air damming (CAD) events occur on the leeward side of mountain ranges and can produce freezing rain and icing. A 12-year cold season (Oct.-Mar.) subjective climatology of CAD events in the Northern Appalachian mountains was created using objective guidelines. Hourly surface potential temperature analysis maps created in GEMPAK similar to those available online at SUNY Albany were used to identify events. These displayed hourly potential temperature contours, station plots, and shaded potential temperature gradients. CAD events were identified when cold air pooled east of the mountains and warm air wrapped around to the east and west of the damming region. This method identified 139 CAD events over the 12 cold seasons. CAD events are most frequent in December and are most often centered in northern New Hampshire and southern Maine. The average duration of an event is 13.7 hours. Initial synoptic analysis shows that the majority of CAD events feature a low sea-level pressure center over the Great Lakes and a high sea-level pressure center over Quebec and New Brunswick. This research was conducted in hopes of improving models and generating better forecasts. Future work will include additional investigation of synoptic characteristics and other societal impacts (e.g. freezing rain and icing).
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