Notes from 4/4/2012 CSTAR TC Boundary/QPF conference call

Notes from 4/4/2012 CSTAR TC Boundary/QPF conference call

5 participants

  • Barrett Smith (RAH)
  • Gary Lackmann (NCSU)
  • Jordan Dale (NCSU)
  • Eric Seymour (AKQ)
  • Frank Alsheimer (CHS)


In early March, Jordan Dale was able to spend some time at the WFO in Raleigh going through data for TS Ernesto on Weather Event Simulator (WES).  Most of the desired data was available; however there was a period on 1 September, 2006 that was missing.  Thanks to WFOs ILM and CHS, we have data disks for that date and will be loading those on the WES as soon as possible.

Jordan was able to print surface observations for several hours on 31 August and 1 September to be hand analyzed.  Most of the conference call consisted of a presentation of the maps, and a summary follows:

  • Jordan completed 6 manual surface analyses of pressure and temperature from 00Z 8/31 to 06Z 9/01 using METAR observations from SC, NC, VA, and (a few) offshore. A cold front prominently appears at 00Z 8/31 over central SC. Meanwhile, a stationary boundary is present from near Fayetteville to Cape Hatteras, NC. An MCS was situated over central NC and southern VA at the initial time. The MCS dissipated by 06Z 8/31. The cold front over SC becomes less prominent by 06Z 8/31 with a weak temperature gradient while the stationary boundary remains situated along the coast. The frontal boundaries remain nearly stationary at 12Z 8/31. By 18Z 8/31, as Ernesto is centered roughly 100 km SW of Charleston, the cold front moves southward along the SC coastline. As Ernesto approaches the coastline near Wilmington at 00Z 9/01, the cold front begins wrapping into the western section of Ernesto. After Ernesto makes landfall at 06Z 9/01, a boundary becomes oriented along a more N-S line running from offshore through Eastern NC (Wilmington to Elizabeth City) with the center of Ernesto near Wilmington along the boundary.
  • No METAR obs. were available after 06Z 09/01, but when these obs are obtained the evolution of the boundary at later times will be analyzed. Generally, except for the 00Z 8/31 analysis, a weak temperature gradient is located along the boundary making it difficult to detect. Further analyses using equiv. potential temp and frontogenesis will be necessary to better determine where the boundary was located.

The next call is scheduled for Wednesday, May 2nd .

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