UW-Madison AOS 453 - Research Paper (12 pages)

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Research Paper



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Research Paper

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Pages:
12
School:
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Course:
Aos 453 - Mesoscale Meteorology

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An Investigation of February 1999 Chinooks Laura A Betker Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences University of Wisconsin Madison Undergraduate Madison Wisconsin Abstract A downslope windstorm event in the Rocky Mountains referred to as a Chinook occurred in early February of 1999 This paper investigates this Chinook and the high and low pressure systems on the synoptic scale that led to their formation Cool air pools formed by high pressure systems to the east and west of the Colorado Rockies led to a mid level inversion that trapped lee side waves eventually breaking into winds of more than 100 mph This also cause a warming to the east in the Denver area and lee cyclogenesis to create a small scale low pressure system over eastern Colorado Introduction Over the two day period from February 2 3 1999 a severe downslope windstorm severely affected a large part of the western part of the United States with major damage occurring in Washington State Wyoming and Colorado and minor power outages and or damage in western Idaho and eastern Montana Inversions are either side of the mountains were responsible for inversion formations at mid levels that led to trapped mountain waves eventually breaking to form downslope wind storms These windstorms occur all over the world and in the Rockies are given the special name of Chinooks Chinooks typically occur from December through March due to the strong presence of the jet stream is frequently located directly over the region A map of Chinook locations in combination with other strong winds found throughout the region is provided in figure 1 Found throughout the Rocky Mountains Chinooks are made of warm westerly winds as opposed to the East Winds North Winds Wasatch Winds and the Santa Ana Winds each associated with unique wind directions locations and temperatures Figure 1 Typical regions affected by downslope windstorms including Chinooks Jonathan Vigh Image Source Casualties were solely made up of a litter of puppies



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