Climatology of Barrier Jets along the Alaskan Coast. Part I: Spatial and Temporal Distributions

Loescher, Kenneth A.; Young, George S.; Colle, Brian A.; Winstead, Nathaniel S.
February 2006
Monthly Weather Review;Feb2006, Vol. 134 Issue 2, p437
Academic Journal
This paper investigates the temporal and spatial climatology of coastal barrier jets in the Gulf of Alaska. The jets are divided into two categories based upon the origin of the air involved: “classic” barrier jets fed primarily by onshore flow and “hybrid” jets fed primarily by gap flow from the continental interior. The analyses are compiled from five years (1998–2003) of synthetic aperture radar images from the Radarsat-1 satellite totaling 3000 images. Thermodynamic and kinematic data from the NCEP reanalysis is used in the interpretation of the results. The majority of coastal barrier jets occur during the cool season, with the coastline near Mount Fairweather and the Valdez–Cordova mountains experiencing the greatest number of barrier jets. Hybrid jets are even more strongly restricted to the cool season and are commonly found to the west of Cross Sound, Yakutat Bay, and Icy Bay. Some interannual variability in the total number of jets is observed. Coastal barrier jet formation is associated with onshore wind directions and maximum terrain heights exceeding 2 km within 100 km of the coast, features that support low-level flow blocking. Hybrid jet formation requires the additional condition of an abnormally large offshore-directed pressure gradient force. Half of the barrier and hybrid jets exhibit surface wind speeds in excess of 20 m s-1 (strong gale), although their widths are typically less than 100 km. The maximum speed of both types of jet tends to be 2–3 times that of the ambient synoptic flow. A small percentage of the jets detach from the coastline, with the typical detachment distance being 10 km.


Related Articles

  • Accuracy of the modelled wind and wave fields in enclosed seas. Cavaleri, Luigi; Bertotti, Luciana // Tellus: Series A;Mar2004, Vol. 56 Issue 2, p167 

    The meteorological model of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, run with different resolutions, has been used to explore, with a number of numerical experiments, the underestimate of wind speeds and wave heights found in enclosed basins. Comparisons have been made between the...

  • TROPICAL CYCLONE DESTRUCTIVE POTENTIAL BY INTEGRATED KINETIC ENERGY. Powell, Mark D.; Reinhold, Timothy A. // Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society;Apr2007, Vol. 88 Issue 4, p513 

    Tropical cyclone damage potential, as currently defined by the Saffir-Simpson scale and the maximum sustained surface wind speed in the storm, fails to consider the area impact of winds likely to force surge and waves or cause particular levels of damage. Integrated kinetic energy represents a...

  • Past and future changes in sea level near the Estonian coast in relation to changes in wind climate. Suursar, Ülo; Jaagus, Jaak; Kullas, Tiit // Boreal Environment Research;2006, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p123 

    The dependence of sea level on past and future climatological conditions is investigated in nearly tideless semi-enclosed sub-basins of the Baltic Sea using trend analysis of the tide gauge data for the period of 1924-2003 and hydrodynamic modelling. The results suggest that in addition to the...

  • Airborne Observations of a Catalina Eddy. Parish, Thomas R.; Rahn, David A.; Leon, Dave // Monthly Weather Review;Oct2013, Vol. 141 Issue 10, p3300 

    Summertime low-level winds over the ocean adjacent to the California coast are typically from the north, roughly parallel to the coastline. Past Point Conception the flow often turns eastward, thereby generating cyclonic vorticity in the California Bight. Clouds are frequently present when the...

  • Synoptic Climatological Analyses of Extreme Snowfalls in the Sierra Nevada. O’Hara, Brian F.; Kaplan, Michael L.; Underwood, S. Jeffrey // Weather & Forecasting;Dec2009, Vol. 24 Issue 6, p1610 

    The Sierra Nevada of eastern California receives heavy snowfall each year. However, it is the snowstorms that deposit heavy snowfall in a relatively short period of time that can cause major inconveniences and even life-threatening situations for the residents and visitors to the region. Some of...

  • Estimating Downburst-Related Maximum Surface Wind Speeds by Means of Proximity Soundings in New South Wales, Australia. Geerts, Bart // Weather & Forecasting;Apr2001, Vol. 16 Issue 2, p261 

    ABSTRACT A regional climatology of strong wind gusts associated with thunderstorms is presented, and the ability to estimate gust strength from ambient conditions is tested. Strong wind events were selected for 10 stations in New South Wales, Australia, from anemograph records and coincident...

  • From short-scale atmospheric variability to global climate dynamics: Toward a systematic theory... Nicolis, C.; Nicolis, G. // Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences;6/1/95, Vol. 52 Issue 11, p1903 

    Investigates the properties of the time-averaged observables of a red noise atmosphere and of a simplified model of thermal convection. Lorenz model and its `climate;' Averaging, error growth and predictability.

  • Statistical downscaling of historical monthly mean winds over a coastal region of complex terrain. I. Predicting wind speed. Curry, Charles; van der Kamp, Derek; Monahan, Adam // Climate Dynamics;Apr2012, Vol. 38 Issue 7/8, p1281 

    Surface wind speed is a key climatic variable of interest in many applications, including assessments of storm-related infrastructure damage and feasibility studies of wind power generation. In this work and a companion paper (van der Kamp et al. ), the relationship between local surface wind...

  • Statistical downscaling of historical monthly mean winds over a coastal region of complex terrain. II. Predicting wind components. van der Kamp, Derek; Curry, Charles; Monahan, Adam // Climate Dynamics;Apr2012, Vol. 38 Issue 7/8, p1301 

    A regression-based downscaling technique was applied to monthly mean surface wind observations from stations throughout western Canada as well as from buoys in the Northeast Pacific Ocean over the period 1979-2006. A predictor set was developed from principal component analysis of the three wind...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics