ACINN Graduate Seminar - SS 2023

2023-05-03 at 12:00 (on-line and on-site)

Subtropical foehn winds, Southeast Queensland, Australia (Early insights)

Hamish McGowan

Atmospheric Observations Research Group, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Mainland Australia is known for its vast flat plains and desert landscapes with the most substantial relief near the eastern seaboard, extending from North Queensland to Victoria. This includes the 3500 km long Great Dividing Range and Australian Alps. These mountains range in height from around 300 m to 1600 m asl., while the highest peak is Mount Kosciuszko at 2228 m asl., in southern New South Wales. The influence of these ranges on winds has not attracted significant research with only one previous study on foehn-like winds and their possible influence on bushfires. In this seminar, I will present some initial findings from a new study of foehn winds in Subtropical Southeast Queensland, where local topography does not exceed 1100 m asl. A climatology of foehn winds in this region will be discussed. This will be followed by two case studies in which the Weather Research and Forecasting Model has been used to improve understanding of the thermodynamics of foehn events, and to gain insight for targeted future research. The rationale for this research is to increase awareness of topographic modification of winds and the subsequent impacts on bushfire behavior and associated hazards.




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