California sea breeze structure and its relation to the synoptic scale
Foster, Michael D.
Wash, Carlyle H.
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The sea breeze structure was examined at several locations along the California coast during the summers of 1993-1995. The sea breeze was objectively classified as three distinct types: gradual, frontal and rapid onset. The sea breeze wind and virtual temperature structure were determined at the surface and the planetary boundary layer. Especially important were the identification of distinct local and regional scale sea breeze circulations. To examine the role of the synoptic scale wind patterns on the development of sea breeze type/ structure, an objective classification scheme was developed and applied along the West Coast. The synoptic scale classification scheme identified the long- term position of the eastern North Pacific Ocean anticyclone and significant north/south deviations that determined large scale wind regimes. Using the classification scheme, the "continental" sea and land breezes, previously only seen in long term statistical analysis, emerged from NOGAPS model analysis fields. The role of the synoptic scale wind circulation patterns in determining the sea breeze types was explored. The roles of coastline geometry and inland heating sources was determined to be essential in the development and understanding of the sea breeze circulation types.
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