This lesson provides a basic understanding of why gap winds occur, their typical structures, and how gap wind strength and extent are controlled by larger-scale, or synoptic, conditions. You will learn about a number of important gap flows in coastal regions around the world, with special attention given to comprehensively documented gap wind cases in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Columbia River Gorge. Basic techniques for evaluating and predicting gap flows are presented. The lesson reviews the capabilities and limitations of the current generation of mesoscale models in producing realistic gap winds. By the end of this lesson, you should have sufficient background to diagnose and forecast gap flows around the world, and to use this knowledge to understand their implications for operational decisions. Other features in this lesson include a concise summary for quick reference and a final exam to test your knowledge. Like other lesson in the Mesoscale Meteorology Primer, this lesson comes with audio narration, rich graphics, and a companion print version.
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