“Orographically Induced Cirrus Clouds in the Lee of the Southern Appalachian Mountains” published in NWA Journal of Operational Meteorology


GOES Infrared Satellite Imagery from 1145 UTC on 7 January 2015 showing the relative locations of KGSO, KRDU, KRWI, and KFAY.

For those that have been following some of the Orographic Cirrus posts that have been on here over the last couple of years, the NWS WFO Raleigh is proud to announce that this work has been published in the National Weather Association Journal of Operational Meteorology and can be found at http://www.nwas.org/jom/abstracts/2015/2015-JOM10/abstract.php.  The .pdf can be attained through the NWA website.  Thanks to the many on this list that have provided valuable feedback and support throughout this project. The abstract follows.  -Ryan Ellis (WFO RAH)

The development of orographically induced cirrus clouds in the lee of the southern Appalachian Mountain chain can result in areas of unanticipated cloudiness downstream of the higher terrain across the Carolinas and Virginia. Both the degree of cloudiness and its impact on surface temperatures can reduce forecast accuracy. The general environmental conditions favorable for orographic cirrus development are known and have been qualitatively documented but to this point have not been extensively quantified. This study attempts to quantify the conditions necessary for orographic cirrus development across the southern Appalachian Mountains. Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite imagery and atmospheric soundings are evaluated in order to better understand the most important environmental conditions needed for an orographic cirrus event to occur as well as which scenarios may produce null events. Case studies will be presented illustrating classic orographic cirrus events and their impacts on local forecast variables. Finally, best practices for operational forecasting of orographic cirrus are proposed, and the role of high-resolution models in the detection of orographic cirrus events is discussed.

About Ryan Ellis - WFO Raleigh, NC

Meteorologist, NWS WFO Raleigh, NC B.S. University of Miami 2004 M.S. University of Hawai'i 2008
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