HW4_110311_Answers

HW4_110311_Answers - MSC 243 HOMEWORK#4 DUE NOV 8 2011...

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MSC 243 HOMEWORK #4 – DUE NOV 8, 2011 INTERPRETING DATA FROM A SOUNDING Before doing the exercises, read the following sections in the Skew-T manual linked to Lecture 8 on our course website: 2.1 2.5 (lines on chart), 4.1 4.4 (meteorological quantities), 4.18, 4.19, 4.20, 4.22, 4.23, 4.24 (CCL/Conv Temp/LCL/LFC/CIN/CAPE/EL), 5.1 (Parcel Theory), 5.4, 5.5a,b,c (Instability). Next, go through Slides 1-11 on the COMET module http://www.meted.ucar.edu/mesoprim/cape/cape.htm (you may need to sign up) Goal : To use data from a sounding to forecast the potential for convection, showers, thundershowers, and severe weather. Data: Included are data from soundings from Miami FL (KMIA) and Manzanillo Mexico (MMZO) and 2 blank Skew-T diagrams on which to plot the data for each sounding. Answer each question for both soundings. If you want some extra blank Skew-T diagrams, you can download them from http://meteora.ucsd.edu/wx_pages/stuff/Blank_Skew-T.pdf 1. The first step is to plot the temperature, dewpoint and winds on the skew-T diagrams. a. Using a pencil, plot the temperatures and dewpoints on the skew-T diagrams. Connect the temperature dots and dewpoint dots to produce 2 separate lines. See Skew-T charts at back b. Plot wind barbs at each pressure level. See Skew-T charts at back c. Is it dry or humid at each location? Both locations are humid. d. Are there any inversions in the soundings – if so, where? KMIA: Very minor inversion between 479 mb and 466.5 mb (check data) MMZO: Very minor inversions around 630 mb and 535 mb. Neither of the upper-level inversions are significant.
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2. The next step is to find the LCL (Lifting Condensation Level) where the cloud base exists, and the maximum surface temperature. a. What is the average mixing ratio for the lowest 100mb of the sounding? What is the average potential temperature? KMIA: Average mixing ratio is around 16g/kg. Average potential temperature is around 22C or 295K. MMZO: Average mixing ratio is around 18g/kg. Average potential temperature is around 28.5C or 301.5K. b. The LCL is the pressure level at which these two lines of average mixing ratio and average potential temperature intersect. Indicate the LCL on the diagram and note down its pressure level. KMIA: approx. 980 mb. MMZO: approx. 920 mb. c. To estimate the maximum surface temperature or potential temperature, follow a dry adiabat from the LCL down to the ground level, and write down the temperature reading at the ground. This is the potential temperature. An air parcel at this temperature at the ground would rise adiabatically to the LCL, at which point it would become saturated. The air parcel would then no longer rise at the dry adiabatic lapse rate, but the moist adiabatic lapse rate. KMIA: around 24C
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HW4_110311_Answers - MSC 243 HOMEWORK#4 DUE NOV 8 2011...

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