Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Superstorm Sandy and the tropopause

Among the many remarkable aspects of Superstorm Sandy is the evolution of the tropoause during the event. Lacking time for a full post on that right now, I will share the most recent view of potential temperature on the tropoause, which shows a plume of very warm air (>340K) over the North Atlantic ocean.

The plume has been stretched, with one blob over  the central Atlantic and the other over eastern North America. These blobs are connected by a thin ribbon over the North Atlantic. An animation of over the past seven days shows the evolution of the tropical plume, and the thinning filament. One gets no hint of this detail from a 500 hPa map (NOAA/ESRL)

which shows an omega-type blocking pattern (slightly different time, but that doesn't matter). There's no hint of the tropical air over eastern North America, or the filament.

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