Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cold and Warm Advection (CA and WA)

I am looking at the TA700 SATREP fields today. The concept of temperature advection is difficult to understand because it involves differences in temperature. This means that in the hot tropics, one can have the same value of cold advection as near the arctic circle. Similarly, one can have the same magnitude of warm advection in the arctic as in the tropics. It is possible that meteorologists already have in the back of their mind an idea of what the actual temperature is (similar to knowing wind direction from isotachs, see a previous post).

So, today, there is a nice T shaped cloud system just south of Greenland. There is a large area in the left half of the T which is south of the WA which is in the right part of the T. Words are inadequate here. But I have this mental block that associates CA with cold areas and I have to overcome this. It is afterall, the change in temperature that causes the pressure differences which generate (is this the right choice of word? Discuss in a future post.) the forces which move tha air around.

Similar to isotachs, the direction of the advection is not obvious from the image. When I get back to work after the Christmas vacation, I will improve the TA analysis usingthe NCEP reanalysis products and describe the TA using vectors and contours.

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