Synoptic meteorology

meteorology traditionally involves the study of weather systems, such as - extratropical high and low pressure systems, - jet streams - associated waves - fronts.

mesoscale meteorology

the study of convective storms, land–sea breezes, gap winds, and mountain waves

Weather forecasting

forecasting necessitates understanding a wide range of processes and phenomena acting on a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

forecasting for a coastal location requires information concerning:

- The near-shore water temperature

- The potential for land–sea breeze circulations

- The strength and orientation of the prevailing synoptic-scale wind flow.

The prediction of precipitation type can benefit from knowledge of:

- Atmospheric thermodynamics - Cloud physics.

quasigeostrophic (QG) equations

simplified version of the full primitive equations

Momentum equations

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- continuous
- ideal gas
- hydrostatic

scale analysis

systematic strategy to determine which terms in the equations, often associated with specific physical processes, are most important and which are negligible in a given meteorological setting. By characterizing the temporal and spatial scales associated with specific weather systems, we can systematically neglect “small” terms in the governing equations in the study of those systems.

The length scale

related to the size of a weather system, or how far an air parcel would travel within the system during a given time interval.

The time scale

how long it would take an air parcel to circulate within the system

rawinsonde can measure pressure with

baroswitch

length scale of microscale

time scale of microscale

Example phenomena of microscale

turbulence, PBL

length scale of mesoscale

1-1,000 km

time scale of mesoscale

1h - 1day

example phenomena of mesoscale

thunderstorm and, land sea breeze

length scale of synoptic scale

1,000-4,000 km

time scale of synoptic scale

1 day - 1 week

Example phenomena of synoptic scale

Upper- level troughs, ridges. surface low and high

length scale of planetary scale

>4,000 km

time scale of planetary scale

>1 week

Example phenomena of planetary scale

polar front jet stream, trade winds

what are the variables in the system?

Four independent variables: three spatial directions (x,y,z) and time (t)

a variety of vertical coordinates measures are used in place of the ..........

vertical distance z

a variety of vertical coordinate measures are used in place of the vertical distance z to determine .....

determine position along the vertical coordinate axis

popular choice of vertical coordinates

pressure, sigma (a terrain-following ratio of pressure to surface pressure), potential temperature, or a hybrid among these

the k unit vector maintains

right angles with the horizontal unit vectors.

vertical coordinates are known as......

isobaric coordinates

what is the method pilots use to fly?

aircraft's measure pressure and fly along surfaces of constant pressure