Low-Level Coastal Jets

Low-Level Coastal Jets
After completing this module, the learner should be able to do the following things. With regard to the features of coastal jets: • Describe a coastal jet; its location, size, strength, and operational impacts • Describe the synoptic conditions that lead to a coastal jet • Describe the boundary layer structure that results in a coastal jet • Describe the role of coastal mountains in the formation of coastal jets With regard to the thermal structure and forcing of coastal jets: • Describe how a cool, well-mixed marine boundary layer leads to a baroclinic structure • Identify an appropriate baroclinic structure for a coastal jet in a vertical cross section of potential temperature • Given a global plot of sea level pressure, identify locations that are prone to coastal jets • Recall the difference in conditions that lead to a coastal jet as opposed to a sea breeze • Recall the origins of cool sea surface temperatures (SSTs) • On a world map, identify areas prone to cold ocean currents and coastal upwelling With regard to along-coast variations of coastal jets: • Given a map of California or Oman, identify local regions of maximum and minimum wind speeds within a coastal jet • Recall the correlation of wind speed with mesoscale variations in sea level pressure and thickness of the marine boundary layer • Describe how hydraulic theory can explain variations in the thickness of the marine boundary layer With regard to forecasting coastal jets: • On a synoptic scale, recognize the structure that leads to a coastal jet at the surface and at 850 hPa • On the mesoscale, recognize areas that are prone to local wind maxima within a coastal jet • Recall which satellite sensors will help detect coastal jets