Airmass Wholly Seasonal

Dean gave me a cool idea for visualizing the big cyclonic vortex spinning across the Great Lakes that's providing so much interesting weather and announcing rather boldly that the vernal season is upon us. Grab some of the archived hi-res visible imagery from the appropriate geostationary operational environmental satellite, which happens to be GOES-12 for North America. Shoot for near sunset to enhance the contrast of the cloudtop structures. A bit of cutting and stitching and overlaying the supplied map outlines, and voilĂ ! One enormous low pressure system in sharp relief.

Fun fact: these systems are sometimes referred to as inland hurricanes due to their prominent vorticity and occasionally associated high winds. But the mechanism is completely different from a tropical system. These are driven by colliding airmasses of very different temperatures. That happens a lot in the spring.

0603312045G12I01.jpg
Image 0603312045G12I01, a mosaic of the Iowa and Great Lakes sectors. Click to enlarge.

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on April 1, 2006 6:30 AM.

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