Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Anatomy of an Arctic cold front: a visual of several weather variables

Here's an interesting look at how different weather variables respond to a strong Arctic cold frontal passage.  These graphs are from WXLIVE! weather station at Cirrus Weather Solutions in Bartlett, TN (click image for larger version).  The numbers along the bottom of each graph are time (in hours) starting about 8pm on January 31 and ending shortly after 8pm on February 1. The top graph is the barometric pressure, the middle graph is wind speed (white) and gust (yellow), and the bottom graph is temperature (white) and dewpoint (yellow).

So, can you pick out the frontal passage?  You'll see that the wind gusts spike, the temperature and dewpoint fall off the edge of a cliff, and the pressure bottoms out shortly before frontal passage.  Note that the temp falls 15 degrees in just 30 minutes, then continues falling even further.  The lowest pressure of 29.39" is very low (Memphis' average pressure over the course of a year is roughly 29.93").

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