Atmospheric Dynamics

Gravity Waves Propigate Off a Storm AnvilMRESS was created by a group of nerds. We'll be the first to admit it. Who, other than a nerd, can package together a sensor system, program a datalogger, engineer communication software, and design a web application for viewing live data and retrieving old events? But hey, we are proud of it.

Hydraulic Jump in a Kitchen Sink Building on that point, the MRESS system is great for observing the less-sexy meteorological events that are really just fluid dynamics at work in the atmosphere. Some of these are gravity waves, fronts, bores or hydraulic jumps, mesoscale convective vorticies(MCV's), fog, etc. You may not think of many of those as impressive events, but they really are!

One of my favorite types of events from that list are bores, otherwise known as hydraulic jumps. Lots of pictures exist on the internet of clouds associated with the bores of Australia, known as morning-glory, that form off the coast when the sea-breeze circulation begins to move toward land. Basically, it is a event that occurs when a lot of stratified fluid is being transported at a fast speed that all of a sudden needs to slow down due to either blocking flow or an obstacle. Then a hydraulic jump forms where the fluid slows down and gains depth (conserving momentum). A great example is hiding in your kitchen sink. Turn on the faucet and look for the ring of raised water that forms around the fast flow from where the water hits the sink. That's a bore! We get these events in the atmosphere and they are typically generated in the evincing from stratified and fast low-level flow that gets blocked by a storm complex's outflow, creating a bore that travels upstream...sometimes lasting all night and extending close to one thousand miles from the source! MRESS Observing a Bore High-quality rapid observations of pressure, wind velocities, and temperature/relative humidity provide a great deal of insight into these events, and even allow for validation of governing equations! So, if you ever see us out on a seemingly quiescent day, know that we might just be making some cool observations! (pocket protectors are not required!)