Ambient conditions associated with the maintenance and decay of quasi-linear convective systems crossing the northeastern U.S. coast

Kelly A. Lombardo, Brian A. Colle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Quasi-linear convective systems (QLCSs) crossing the Atlantic coastline over the northeastern United States were classified into three categories based on their evolution upon encountering the coast. Composite analyses show that convective lines that decay near the Atlantic coast or slowly decay over the coastal waters are associated with 900-800-hPa frontogenesis, with greater ambient 0-3-km vertical wind shear for the slowly decaying lines. Systems that maintain their intensity over the coastal ocean are associated with 900-hPa warm air advection, but with little low-level frontogenetical forcing. Neither sea surface temperature nor ambient instability was a clear delimiter between the three evolutions. Sustaining convective lines have the strongest environmental 0-3-km shear of the three types, and this shear increases as these systems approach the coast. In contrast, the low-level shear decreases as decaying and slowly decaying convective lines move toward the Atlantic coastline. There was also a weaker mean surface cold pool for the sustaining systems than the two types of decaying QLCSs, which may favor a more long-lived system if the horizontal vorticity from this cold pool is more balanced by low-level vertical shear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3805-3819
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Weather Review
Volume140
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atmospheric Science

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