Cold Air Damming is part of the Mesoscale Meteorology Primer series. This module first presents a Navy forecast scenario prior to the development of a major cold air damming (CAD) event along the east slopes of the Appalachian Mountains. Then, from a conceptual standpoint, the classic CAD scenario is described in detail, both from an observational and modeling standpoint.
After completing this module, the learner should be able to do the following things:
Characterize cold air damming
• Identify the elements that are required for a CAD event.
• Identify sensible weather phenomena associated with cold air damming.
• Describe the nature and importance of overrunning winds in a CAD event.
• Describe the conditions leading to a barrier jet during a CAD event.
• Identify the origin of precipitation particles in a CAD event.
• Locate the deepest part of the pool of cold air in a CAD event.
Classify CAD events
• Recognize the three different types of CAD events.
• Recall the different cooling processes important to cold air damming.
• Describe the role different cooling processes play in the different types of CAD events.
• Match cooling processes to their respective causes.
Describe the climatology of cold air damming
• Identify geographically where CAD events occur.
• Remember the climatology of CAD events for the following:
• Seasonal occurrence,
• Probability of occurrence, and
• Duration of events
Identify a CAD event
• Identify a CAD event from synoptic MSLP, 850 mb, and 500 mb pressure charts.
• Identify a CAD event from soundings.
• Identify a CAD event from surface observations.
Forecast the start of a CAD event
• Using MSLP charts, identify the synoptic conditions that lead to cold air damming for the Appalachians and other mountain ranges, including the Rocky Mountains, Alps, and Andes.
• Identify atmospheric conditions that lead to terrain blocking and cold air damming.
• Recognize the limitations of forecast models in a predicting a CAD event.
Forecast the end of a CAD event
• Using synoptic charts, choose the charts that indicate dissipation of a CAD event in a 24-hour time frame.
• From soundings, recognize the atmospheric conditions leading to dissipation of a CAD event.
• Identify surface observations that indicate the dissipation of a CAD event.
cold air damming, topography, terrain blocking, inversion, barrier jet, anticyclone, Appalachian, Rocky Mountain, cold air advection, diabatic cooling, adiabatic cooling, ridging, in situ cold air dammong, hybrid cold air damming, coastal front, erosion, hybrid cold air damming, in-situ cold air damming, coastal front, cold air wedge, overrunning, Rocky Mountain cad, mesoscale model, upslope, adiabatic cooling, ageostrophic, barrier jet, freezing rain, sleet, diabatic cooling, melting evaporation, large-scale influences, trough
July 2014: Good conceptual model information. The modeling sections are specific to the old Eta model, and are likely not representative of current operational model.
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