Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A glimpse of things to come?

Inversion: 22 Jan 2005
The next few days should prove quite interesting for inversion aficionados.  We've just had one of the strongest cold surges in years, have a nice coat of fresh snow, and, beginning tonight, an upper-level ridge will be building over Utah and temperatures aloft will rebound rapidly.  NAM 700-mb temperatures are forecast to reach -12C by tomorrow afternoon, which doesn't sound very warm, until you think about how cold it is down here in the valley.  Bottom line is we'll be inverted tomorrow.

By Friday, we're pushing -2C at 700 mb and a whopper of an inversion should be in place.  The saving grace, however, will be reduced emissions during the holiday break and the fact that the next upper-level trough swings in later in the weekend, so air quality shouldn't suffer too much.  For PCAPers, this case should offer big "signal to noise" for examining the thermodynamic budget of inversion buildup, and then an interesting erosion of the cold pool over the weekend.

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