The New York Bight Jet: Climatology and Dynamical Evolution

Colle, Brian A.; Novak, David R.
June 2010
Monthly Weather Review;Jun2010, Vol. 138 Issue 6, p2385
Academic Journal
This paper describes the southerly New York Bight (NYB) jet (11–17 m s−1) that develops primarily during the warm season just above the surface offshore (east) of the northern New Jersey coast and south of Long Island (the NYB). Observations from two offshore buoys are used to develop a 9-yr climatology of 134 jet events from 1997 to 2006. There is a seasonal maximum (2.5 events per month) during June and July, with a skew toward the spring months. The wind directions for the jet trace out a nearly elliptical orbit for the 24-h period around the time of jet maximum at ~2300 UTC [1900 eastern daylight time (EDT)] on average. Composites reveal that the NYB jet occurs on days with southwesterly synoptic flow, and the jet is part of a larger-scale (200–300 km) wind enhancement offshore of the mid-Atlantic and northeast U.S. coasts during the early evening hours. High-resolution observations (surface mesonet, aircraft soundings, and a terminal Doppler weather radar) and Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model simulations down to 1.33-km grid spacing are used to diagnose the evolution of the NYB jet on 2 June 2007. The NYB jet at ~150 m MSL occurs within the sloping marine inversion near the coast. Low-level trajectories illustrate low-level diffluence and weak subsidence within the jet. A WRF momentum budget highlights the evolving pressure gradient and accelerations during jet formation. The maximum jet winds occur 1–2 h after the peak meridional pressure gradient is established through a geostrophic adjustment process. Sensitivity experiments show that jet occurrence is dependent on diurnal heating and that the concave bend in the southern New Jersey coast limits the southern extent of the jet.


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