Surface Analyses

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The videos below show the spatial and temporal evolution of weather, at Kerbin's surface, during the first year of the MPAS simulation (after the spin-up period). In each video, grey lines depict landmasses while gridded white lines show parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude. Weather animations are looped daily at 00 UT.

Above, surface pressure is shaded and contoured during the first year of the MPAS simulation. At tropical latitudes, areas of low pressure are small and associated with tropical cyclones. In the extratropics, large areas of high and low pressure are associated with mid-latitude cyclones. Areas of low pressure are generally associated with fronts and storminess. Conversely, areas of high pressure are typically associated with calm and clear weather. Examining the spacing of pressure contours (isobars) reveals information about the speed of the wind. Where pressure contours (i.e., black lines) are more tightly spaced winds are stronger. 

This loop shows wind speed (shaded) and surface pressure (contoured) during the first year of the MPAS simulation. Wind barbs depict the speed and direction of the surface wind. In the tropics, high wind speeds are observed in hurricanes that periodically spin up. These tropical cyclones form over the ocean and are seen as compact areas of low pressure with strong rotational winds. In the mid-latitudes, strong winds meander around the planet. Associated with low-pressure systems, these regions of high wind speed often coincide with fronts where gradients in temperature are large.

The above two animations depict the evolution of the surface temperature and dew point temperature during the first year of the MPAS simulation. Isotherms, or lines of constant temperature, are represented by solid (dashed) contours when temperatures are above (below) freezing. In the temperature animation, fronts associated with low-pressure systems propagate around the planet. Frontal zones are visible where isotherms are tightly packed and there is a large contrast in color shading. Cold dry air is seen extending equatorward in association with cold fronts. Over the oceans, warmer temperatures and higher dew points are observed. Tongues of warm moist are pulled poleward by low-pressure systems producing warm fronts.