Department of Applied Aviation Sciences
Measurements from the NOAA Boulder Atmospheric Observatory (BAO) 300 m tower, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) Sabreliner aircraft, and the NOAA GOES-5 satellite, give evidence for the cross-front scale collapse of nonprecipitating surface cold-frontal zones to horizontal distances of ∼1 km or less. The leading edges of these frosts possess the characteristic structure of density current flows: an elevated hydraulic head followed by a turbulent wake. Vertical motions at the frontal heads exceed 5 m s−1 at 300 m (AGL). The ascent at the frontal head may act as a (∼1 km-scale) triggering mechanism for the release of potential instability and the formation of intense squall-line mesoconvection.
Monthly Weather Review
American Meteorological Society
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Scholarly Commons Citation
Shapiro, M. A., Hampel, T., Rotzoll, D., & Mosher, F. (1985). The Frontal Hydraulic Head: A Micro-α Scale (~1 km) Triggering Mechanism for Mesoconvective Weather Systems. Monthly Weather Review, 113(7). https://doi.org/10.1175/1520-0493(1985)113<1166:TFHHAM>2.0.CO;2