Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/184868
Title:
Tropical squall lines of the Arizona monsoon.
Author:
Smith, Walter Prestont.
Issue Date:
1989
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
Squall lines possessing nearly all the characteristics of tropical squall lines occasionally develop during the summer monsoon over southern Arizona and northwestern Mexico. Initial thunderstorm formation is over the mountains along the Continental Divide in the late afternoon. Satellite imagery, cloud-to-ground lightning strike data, and surface observations indicate the squall lines move from east to west or northeast to southwest by discrete propagation faster than all the winds below 20 kPa so that most of the anvil clouds lag behind. The synoptic-scale circulation is anomalous with a strong ridge located over the western United States and a deep trough located over the eastern United States. West to northwest winds are found in the boundary layer over southern Arizona and northwest Mexico while a deep layer of east winds are observed above. As a result, most of the environmental wind shear is confined to the lowest 2.5 km above the ground. The low-level wind shear seems to be required for the westward propagation of thunderstorms and the formation of the squall lines. Extremely dry midtropospheric air develops in the easterly flow through some combination of advection and subsidence and also appears to be an important factor in the development of the squall lines. A two-dimensional, nonhydrostatic, numerical model was able to simulate many of the features observed in these squall lines. Solar heating of the elevated terrain in the model caused the initial thunderstorm to develop over the Continental Divide. Continued development of new thunderstorms to the west of the Divide produced a squall line that travelled westward by translation of cells and discrete propagation, wherein new cells would develop 10-25 km ahead of the old ones, at a speed greater than all the winds below 30 kPa. Upward motion produced by westward propagating gravity waves and by the strong low-level convergence found just ahead of the gust front appeared to cause several episodes of discrete propagation. The creation of horizontal potential temperature gradients and the vertical and horizontal advection of preexisting vorticity gradients combined to produce the vorticity field associated with the rear inflow jet that developed beneath the simulated squall line.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Squall lines -- Arizona.; Thunderstorms -- Arizona.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Atmospheric Sciences; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Gall, Robert L.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleTropical squall lines of the Arizona monsoon.en_US
dc.creatorSmith, Walter Prestont.en_US
dc.contributor.authorSmith, Walter Prestont.en_US
dc.date.issued1989en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractSquall lines possessing nearly all the characteristics of tropical squall lines occasionally develop during the summer monsoon over southern Arizona and northwestern Mexico. Initial thunderstorm formation is over the mountains along the Continental Divide in the late afternoon. Satellite imagery, cloud-to-ground lightning strike data, and surface observations indicate the squall lines move from east to west or northeast to southwest by discrete propagation faster than all the winds below 20 kPa so that most of the anvil clouds lag behind. The synoptic-scale circulation is anomalous with a strong ridge located over the western United States and a deep trough located over the eastern United States. West to northwest winds are found in the boundary layer over southern Arizona and northwest Mexico while a deep layer of east winds are observed above. As a result, most of the environmental wind shear is confined to the lowest 2.5 km above the ground. The low-level wind shear seems to be required for the westward propagation of thunderstorms and the formation of the squall lines. Extremely dry midtropospheric air develops in the easterly flow through some combination of advection and subsidence and also appears to be an important factor in the development of the squall lines. A two-dimensional, nonhydrostatic, numerical model was able to simulate many of the features observed in these squall lines. Solar heating of the elevated terrain in the model caused the initial thunderstorm to develop over the Continental Divide. Continued development of new thunderstorms to the west of the Divide produced a squall line that travelled westward by translation of cells and discrete propagation, wherein new cells would develop 10-25 km ahead of the old ones, at a speed greater than all the winds below 30 kPa. Upward motion produced by westward propagating gravity waves and by the strong low-level convergence found just ahead of the gust front appeared to cause several episodes of discrete propagation. The creation of horizontal potential temperature gradients and the vertical and horizontal advection of preexisting vorticity gradients combined to produce the vorticity field associated with the rear inflow jet that developed beneath the simulated squall line.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectSquall lines -- Arizona.en_US
dc.subjectThunderstorms -- Arizona.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAtmospheric Sciencesen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorGall, Robert L.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberSellers, William D.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberStaley, Dean O.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberDavis, Owen K.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest9010487en_US
dc.identifier.oclc703427928en_US
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