Medium- to large-scale atmospheric variability during the Frontal Air-Sea Interaction Experiment
Davidson, K. L.
Boyle, P. J.
Hanson, H. P.
Khalsa, S. J. S.
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Shipboard, aircraft and satellite atmospheric data are examined to determine the representativeness of the Frontal Air-Sea Interaction Experiment (FASINEX) intensive measurement period. Phase II, in terms of climatology, atmospheric forcing, the general structure of the marine atmospheric boundary layer (MABL), and variability in boundary layer properties affecting air-ocean dynamics and thermodynamics. With regard to climatology, conditions observed during the intensive period were typical in terms of air-sea temperature differences, surface pressure patterns, cloud cover, and storm tracks. Storm system variabilities, such as the air temperature behind cold fronts, wind stress maxima occurring after frontal passage, the times for clockwise vector wind shifts associated with the frontal systems, and the systems' speeds, are estimated and emphasized in synoptic-scale characterizations, since these can be related to observed ocean responses. The local ocean surface variability was observed to have an influence on regional boundary layer properties and on air-sea interaction parameters even in the presence of the atmospheric storms.
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