Coastal meteorology

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The coastal zone often experiences a unique weather which results into a very special climate. Coastal meteorology is the study of meteorological phenomena within about 100 km inland or offshore of a coastline. Improved understanding of the processes in the meteorology of the coastal zone is based on detailed knowledge of marine and terrestrial boundary layers and air-sea-interaction but has also to consider large-scale atmospheric dynamics and circulation of the coastal ocean. In addition to the importance of coastal meteorology to coastal weather forecast the subject helps in understanding the physical, chemical and biological aspects of the coastal ocean. Furthermore, the application of the knowledge is vital for the prediction of sea state and pollutant dispersal, and it is also important for public safety, ship routing and naval operations. The phenomena in coastal meteorology are caused, or significantly affected, by sharp changes in heat, moisture, and momentum transfer and changes in elevation, often a complex orography, that occur between land and water. Thermally driven effects like the land-sea breeze and orographically induced flows are the most prominent features in coastal meteorology, but also coastal cloud systems and fog, low level jets, coastal fronts and land-falling hurricanes, whose low-level flows are often modified as to favour the formation of tornadoes, are aspects of coastal weather phenomena. Complex terrain or coastlines and marine boundary layer stratus complicate the subject of coastal meteorology.

Topics to be elaborated:

Boundary Layer Processes, Air-Sea Interaction aspects

Thermally driven effects, the land-sea breeze

Mechanically induced flows

Orographic Influences

Interactions with large scale meteorological systems

Meteorological measurements in the coastal environment


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External links

Overview on coastal meteorology

Transparency collection - pdf