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Announcements
Homework Assignment #1 due today. Hand in class or by 5pm
to mailbox in PAS building. I will not accept emailed
assignments.
Groups 3A and 4A pick up lab equipment today after lecture.
Exam #1 key and grades will be posted later today. Grades
posted by radio IDs for clicker devices. Please check to make
sure your posted grade matches the score recorded on your
exam. If not, please see me ASAP.
Suggestions for improvement, if you
performed poorly on Exam #1…
Set aside a regular time to do written questions from the assigned
readings. Make sure you would be able to answer these questions if posed
in an exam setting.
Study in group. You all are welcome to use the listserve for this purpose.
In your groups, don’t just go over the questions for the “right” answer.
Discuss the concepts and formulate your own questions that you can ask
each other.
A “flash card” memorization approach is not the way to go. Concentrate on
broad concepts and themes.
Approach the material according to your own learning style. For example,
do you learn better by reading and writing, talking things out, or drawing
pictures?
See myself or TAs during office hours AFTER you have tried to answer the
questions—preferably in a group.
If you’re still concerned about
your grade…
The first exam is typically the poorest one in this course.
Students improve as they become familiar with exam format,
can anticipate what kind of questions will be asked, and
develop better study habits.
It is not the “end of the world” if you got a poor grade. The
grade can be dropped if you’re final exam grade is one letter
grade above average of all homeworks and exams.
You are on a flight from Tucson to Denver in January. The pilot
approaches Denver airport from the south, passing over
Colorado Springs, about 30 minutes prior to landing. You look
outside your window.
You’re probably in for a very bumpy ride if you see this type of
cloud:
A) Cirrus
B) Low stratus clouds
C) Lenticular
D) Altocumulus
Summary of Lecture 17
Hydrostatic balance is the force balance in the vertical. Gravity balances the
upward pressure gradient force. This explains the exponential decrease in
pressure with height.
Buy’s ballot law gives a crude approximation to where high and low pressure
are relative to your position.
Various scales of atmospheric motion are used to classify weather and climate
phenomena. Be familiar with them.
Turbulence is irregular atmospheric motion characterized by eddies.
Mechanical: Due to wind shear
Thermal: Due to differential heating leading to thermals.
The local circulations mentioned today are direct thermal circulations driven by
the diurnal cycle of solar heating.
Sea-land breezes: Occur because of the difference in heat
capacity between water and land.
Mountain- valley winds: Occur because of the heating and cooling
of elevated terrain. Important for weather in the western U.S.,
especially in summer.
NATS 101
Section 4: Lecture 18
Katabatic Winds
and Monsoons
Katabatic Wind: Any downslope wind that is not due to
diurnally-forced mountain-valley circulation
They have many regional names, so we’ll just stick to the ones
relevant to the ones in our part of the world.
Bora: Cold Downslope Wind
Cold, dense air over
elevated plateau
PGF
Cold, dense air over an elevated plateau blows downslope.
If the slope is steep and/or the wind is forced through a narrow
passage, a bora can be very strong.
BOULDER
FRONT RANGE
Downslope windstorms
Colorado Front Range
Factors
High elevated plateau
to west with mountain
peaks upwards of
14,000 ft.
Steep sloped
topography in the
foothills.
Narrow canyons
which can channel the
wind.
Topographic Map of Colorado
Result: Windstorms
which can have
hurricane force
winds!
Chinook: warm downslope wind
Windward side
Leeward side
Air is forced upslope
Air reaches its lifting
condensation level
Clouds forms and
precipitation
Heat is added to the
air due to latent heat
release (i.e. diabatic)
Air flows
downslope
As it descends the
pressure increases
Air is compressed
and warms
adiabatically.
The word “chinook” is derived from the Chehalis Indians (Pacific
Northwest) and means “snow eater.” It is the reason why snow doesn’t
last east of the Rockies for very long.
Chinook wall cloud
Cloud stops when the air begins to descent adiabatically on the
leeward side of the mountain range (e.g. the Front Range in CO).
It’s a pretty good bet it’s snowing up in the mountains if you see
this!
Santa Ana Wind
Dry and hot
elevated
plateau
East wind from the Mojave desert is forced through narrow
canyons in the mountains east of Los Angeles and San Diego.
Rapid warming due to adiabatic compression occurs.
Other interesting wind phenomena
particular to Arizona and
desert places…
Dust Devils
Wind is obstructed by a barrier which disturbs it enough to
cause turbulent eddies, which rise in the thermal.
Another example of cyclostrophic balance—their rotation does
not depend on whether they happen in Australia or Arizona!
Haboob: Dust or sand storm
Phoenix, Arizona
Caused by rapid movement of air associated with the gust front of a
thunderstorm. Common during the monsoon, particularly just as it
starts because the preceding months are dry.
Yet another danger our troops
have to deal with in Iraq…
Fallujah, Anbar province, Iraq
Monsoon
A seasonal shift in winds and rainfall
It is also a thermally direct circulation,
but on much larger continental scale.
They occur on every continent, except
Europe and Antarctica, but the strongest
by far is in Asia—specifically India.
Why is the strongest monsoon in India?
To the north of India is the
Himalaya Mountains and
the Plateau of Tibet, with
an average elevation of
over 15,000 ft. and a
horizontal extent of more
than 1000 miles.
Contrast between the
elevated plateau and the
surrounding bodies of
water south of India sets
up a giant thermally direct
circulation.
The Indian Monsoon: Winter Dry Season
WINTER LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION
Tibetan Plateau is relatively
cooler than the surrounding
ocean off Asia
H
Cold air over the Tibetan
Plateau is relatively more
dense
Wind flows from the off the
Tibetan Plateau to the ocean.
(Aguado and Burt)
Offshore flow, no moisture
transported to the interior of
Asia.
Indian Monsoon: Summer Wet Season
SUMMER LOW LEVEL CIRCULATION
Tibetan Plateau is relatively
warmer than the surrounding
ocean off Asia
Warm air over the Tibetan
Plateau is relatively less
dense
L
Wind flows from the ocean to
the Tibetan Plateau.
(Aguado and Burt)
Onshore flow transports
moisture to the interior of
Asia.
A Three-Dimensional View of
the Indian Monsoon during the wet season
www.nassmc.org
The monsoon in India is REALLY WET!
Monthly rainfall
Cherrapunji, India
ONE OF THE WETTEST
SPOTS ON EARTH!
If the Indian monsoon is
too dry or too wet it can
be a very big deal for
rapidly growing Asian
countries.
New Delhi, India
Consider that India and
China alone have a
combined population of
over two billion people…
North America has a monsoon too--and
it affects the Southwest U.S. and Mexico
in a very big way!
Today: Monsoon climatology
Later: Monsoon interannual variability
and severe weather
Why a North American Monsoon?
Similar to Asia, North
America has a giant
elevated plateau in the
western U.S. and Mexico.
However, in our case, the
Mexican plateau is only
about 4000-7000 ft. in
elevation, depending on
where you are.
Though it is not as high as
Tibet, it IS high enough that
there is a regular seasonal
reversal of circulation.
Average Low-Level Flow: July
Low level winds (900-mb)
are directed onshore.
East of the Rockies,
moisture is transported
at low-levels from the
Gulf of Mexico
West of the continental
divide, low-level moisture
transport from the Gulf of
California and East
Pacific.
(Douglas et al. 1993)
Upper-level flow (500-mb)
Before monsoon
WESTERLIES
ALOFT
DRY IN AZ
Westerlies aloft.
High pressure ridge to the south.
Little moisture at upper levels.
During Monsoon
EASTERLIES
ALOFT
WET IN AZ
Easterlies aloft.
High pressure ridge to north (and east)
Moisture transport from Gulf of Mexico
Evolution of Monsoon Ridge
and Upper-Level Moisture
DRY AIR
MOIST AIR
(Douglas et al. 1993)
Shaded areas indicate region of relatively high mixing
ratio (i.e. atmospheric moisture content)
Monthly rainfall in western Mexico
The core of the North
American monsoon is in
Mexico, not Arizona
MEXICAN PLATEAU It accounts for about 60-
BAJA CA
70% of the rainfall there, so
it is a pretty big deal for the
country and its population,
as a relatively large
percentage of the
population depends on
subsistence agriculture.
(Douglas et al. 1993)
SIERRA MADRE OCCIDENTAL
Investigación del Clima del
Verano en Norteamérica:
Estudio con un Modelo
Atmosférico Regional
Christopher L. Castro
Departamento de Ciencias Atmosféricas
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona
Seminario
Universidad de Sonora
Hermosillo, Sonora, México
9 de noviembre de 2007
Los Mochis, Sinaloa, México. Verano de 2004 durante NAME.
Foto por Peter Rogers
La importancia del monzón:
Disponibilidad del agua
Arizona: depende del deshielo de la nieve de las montañas para la
mayoría de los recursos hídricos. La mayoría de esta agua viene del
Río Colorado por el acueducto llamado “Proyecto Central de Arizona”
Nieve en las montañas
de la cuenca del Río
Colorado durante el
invierno
Flujo de agua en el
Río Colorado
Proyecto Central de Arizona
(Central Arizona Project)
La importancia del monzón:
Disponibilidad del agua
Sonora: depende de las lluvias del verano para sus recursos hídricos
y el flujo máximo de agua en los ríos ocurre al mismo tiempo. Más
del sesenta por ciento del agua en la región viene durante el verano.
Tormentas durante el monzón
El flujo de agua en los ríos
La importancia del monzón:
La distribución de la población
y el modo de vivir
Arizona: El ochenta por
ciento de los cinco millones
de habitantes viven en dos
ciudades (Tucson y Phoenix)
y ellos no dependen de la
tierra directamente para
sobrevivir.
Sonora: Una parte importante
de la economía depende de
las actividades agrícolas y
estas a su vez dependen de
las lluvias durante el monzón.
From Los Mochis to Choix
Choix
Los Mochis
Topolobampo
Continental Scale Shift in Rainfall (mm)
Summer Average Rainfall
During monsoon – before monsoon
(Castro et al. 2007)
As the Southwest U.S. and western Mexico get wet, it
dries out in the central U.S.
Monsoon in Tucson
Old definition: monsoon onset defined as when dew
point exceeds 54°F for three consecutive days.
The monsoon from Kitt Peak…
Summary of Lecture 18
A katabatic wind is any downslope wind that is not due to a mountainvalley circulation.
Bora: cold downslope wind
Chinook: warm downslope wind
Katabatic winds can be very strong if the topography is steep and the wind
can be channeled.
Dust devils and haboobs are examples of wind phenomena particular to
desert regions.
A monsoon is a seasonal shift in winds and rainfall. It is caused by
thermally direct circulation which reverses between winter (dry) and
summer (wet).
The biggest monsoon is in India because of the strong thermal contrast
between the Tibetan Plateau and surrounding ocean south of Asia.
The North American monsoon is much weaker than India’s because the
Mexican Plateau is only about one-third as high, but it is still a very
important factor in the climate of western Mexico and the Southwest U.S.
Review Questions and
Reading Assignment
Reading: Chapter 10, pp. 255-269 (8th ed.)
pp. 260-273 (9th ed.)
Chapter 9 Questions
Questions for Review: 22,25,27 (8th ed.)
23,26,28 (9th ed.)
Questions for Thought: 13
Problems and Exercises: 3(a,b,g,h), 4(a,b,f,g)
Chapter 8 Questions
Questions for Thought: 18