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Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

Formation of Thermal Troughs Over the Great Lakes

Synoptic scale low pressure systems often travel across the Great Lakes during the late fall. During this time, strong surface heating from the relatively warm water below modifies the cold air behind the circulation. This is speculated to cause the formation of thermal troughs. This lake enhanced circulation could potentially alter mesoscale circulation patterns that lead to lake effect precipitation regimes. Analysis of NDBC data including wind direction, lake temperature and atmospheric pressure are used in conjunction with upper air observations to resolve and determine the strength to which the atmospheric changes occur in the wake of these extra-tropical system passages over the Great Lakes. It is hypothesized that the greater the influence of the lake, as measured by the temperature gradient between the lake surface and 850mb and low pressure resident time over the lake, will result in the strongest changes in the extra-tropical system.

Presenter: Howard Manges (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Earth Science
Location: 306 Lennon
Time: 10:45 am (Session II)