E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology

E-Journal of Severe Storms Meteorology, Vol 2, No 4 (2007)

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A Comparison of Two Cold Fronts – Effects of the Planetary Boundary Layer on the Mesoscale

Charles A. Doswell III, Matthew J. Haugland


Two cold fronts passed through central Oklahoma in late 2006, one on 29 November and the other on 7 December. Meteorograms for Norman, OK, show the two frontal passages had very different characteristics. The late November event was a textbook example, with the windshift and rapid temperature drop very close together in time. On the other hand, the early December event was unusual, showing a temperature rise after cold frontal passage. The reasons for this behavior in the December case are shown to be associated with the time of day and the ambient conditions in the planetary boundary layer at the time of the frontal passage. Shear-induced turbulence within the nocturnal boundary layer is likely responsible for the seemingly paradoxical initial temperature rise following passage of the cold front.

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