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Extratropical Cyclones Forming

Along the East and Gulf Coasts

Online 11.2: Rare April Nor'easter Strikes East Coast in 2007
300 mb: Examination of air flow at the 300 mb pressure level for convergence and divergence provides clues as to the development of the surface cyclone that developed into a nor'easter.

Courtesy of Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Madison

500 mb: An animation of conditions at 500 mb (middle troposphere) provides critical information about temperature, winds and height patterns that influence surface conditions.

Courtesy of Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Madison

850 mb: Maps of the conditions in the lower troposphere (850 mb; approximately 1 miles above the surface) show air flow patterns, air temperature and moisture content of the atmosphere.

Courtesy of Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Radar: Animated radar imagery provides a view of the path and intensity of the cyclone by tracking the precipitation associated with the storm. Radar imagery does not distinguish type of precipitation (rain vs. snow), but rather the location and intensity.

Courtesy of Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Precipitation Totals: Maps of 24-hour precipitation totals provide information on the intensity of the storm and provide insight as to where the largest storm impacts will occur.

Courtesy of Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Surface Analysis, Radar & Satellite: A composite map of surface station observations, radar and satellite data allow for a complete overview of the nor'easter as it moves up the east coast of the United States.

Courtesy of Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Infrared Satellite: Infrared satellite imagery provides information about the temperature of surfaces (cloud top or ground). Brighter colors (white) indicate cold temperatures - high cloud topics. Darker colors (gray) identify warmer areas, typically ground viewed in cloud-free areas.

Courtesy of Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Visible Satellite: Visible satellite imagery is available only during daylight hours. Visible images utilize sunlight to identify locations of clouds and snow. Animations of visible imagery allow one to distinguish clouds (movement) from snow (stationary).

Courtesy of Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Water Vapor Satellite: Animations of water vapor satellite imagery show the transport of moisture associated with a cyclone. Bright regions indicate high water vapor content in the middle and upper atmosphere. Darker regions show areas where little water vapor is present.

Courtesy of Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Atmospheric Sciences Severe and Hazardous Weather at Department of Atmospheric Sciences University of Illinois
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