Characteristics of mesoscale island barrier cloud phenomena observed in satellite and space shuttle imagery.
Markley, David R. Jr.
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Mesoscale island barrier effects occur in the lee of islands and are observed in satellite imagery and in photographs from manned spaceflight missions. These phenomena arise when, in the presence of a low-level inversion, the boundary layer flow is disturbed by a barrier. Five types of island barrier effects are examined: a) von Karman vortices, b) single plumes, c) transitions from vortices to plumes, d) calm sea streaks and e) ship wake-like cloud patterns. Results from 23 cases indicate a strong relationship between inversion height and type of barrier effect phenomena. A low, strong inversion was found for von Karman vortices cases while a higher, weaker inversion was present in the transition and plume cases. An inversion above the barrier occurred with wake phenomena. Wind shear structure appears important in the development of the calm sea streaks and the ship wake patterns.
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