Meteorological Applications of Fractal Analysis

Abstract

Fractal analysis was utilized in a manner similar to Lovejoy (1982) to investigate atmospheric scale selectivity. Midlatitude cloud and precipitation areas associated with baroclinic, convective and baroclinic/convective regimes were examined. In addition, 500 mb isohypse and isotherm fields were studied on a seasonal basis. Results from the midlatitude cloud and precipitation data were similar to Lovejoy's findings for analogous tropical structures: fractal analysis indicates no scale selection for atmospheric phenomena with horizontal length scales between m10 and 103 km. The upper level data, however, indicate a change in regime at =10 4 km. This may be interpreted as representing the change from synoptic scale forcing mechanisms to planetary scale dynamics. Thesis Supervisor: Dr. Frederick Sanders Title: Professor of Meteorology

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