14th Conference on Interaction of the Sea and Atmosphere
14th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography


Using synthetic aperture radar to study coastal flows in the Gulf of Alaska

Nathaniel S. Winstead, Johns Hopkins Univ., Laurel, MD; and B. A. Colle, G. S. Young, N. A. Bond, F. M. Monaldo, and D. R. Thompson

The Alaskan coastline bordering the Gulf of Alaska has steep coastal topography as well as a variety of bays, straits and sounds. The combination of landfalling storms and their attendant fronts, coupled with inland Arctic air flowing through gaps in the complex local terrain, lead to significant mesoscale meteorological forcing in coastal Alaska. Storm force to occasionally hurricane force winds occur frequently here. The complex interactions between all of these forcing mechanisms lead to a wide variety of mesoscale flows. Some examples include barrier jets, gap flows, landfalling synoptic scale fronts, as well as many other phenomena.

For the past 7 years, JHU/APL has routinely archive synthetic aperture radar wind images in the Gulf of Alaska. Over 25,000 images have been collected and can be found online at http://fermi.jhuapl.edu/sar/stormwatch/ . These images contain the footprints of many of the types of mesoscale phenomena listed above. In this paper, we propose to review some of the research performed at JHU/APL using imagery contained in this archive. Specifically, we will use the results of a SAR-based barrier jet climatology in order to illustrate the promise of SAR remote sensing in the field of mesoscale meteorology.

Joint Poster Session 1, MARINE METEOROLOGICAL APPLICATIONS OF REAL AND SYNTHETIC APERTURE RADAR (Joint between the 14th Conference on Interaction of the Sea and Atmosphere and 14th Conference on Satellite Meteorology and Oceanography )
Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 9:45 AM-9:45 AM, Exhibit Hall A2

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