What is a temperature inversion


1. Describe the life-cycle of a frontal cyclone (also called "wave cyclone" or "midlatitude cyclone"). Draw a diagram if that helps.

2. Describe the weather characteristics (wind, precipitation, temperature) experienced by a city as a mature frontal cyclone passes overhead.

3. Briefly describe how surface high and low pressure centers and associated surface temperature patterns can persist for days and weeks in the vicinity of the polar front at the surface and the polar jet aloft? Draw a diagram if that helps. Where in this persistent (long wave) pattern would you expect midlatitude cyclones (short waves) to form (spin up)?

4. Name the global-scale condition (i.e. circulation) that leads to Marine Layer Cloud (June gloom/May gray) formation? Why are Marine Layer Clouds most prominent in summer along the California coast?

5. What is a temperature inversion? How does global circulation together with regional surface features act to create frequent temperature inversions over our coast?

6. Describe the two conditions necessary for a strong Santa Ana wind (Hint: think temperature and pressure). Describe the seasonal dependence of Santa Ana winds and what explains this seasonality?

7. (Bonus question) Why does the Southern California fire season tend to peak in the fall, while the Santa Ana winds that fan the major fires peak in winter?

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