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I. Foehn Winds of Southern California. II. Foehn Wind Cyclo-Genesis. III. Weather Conditions Associated With the Akron Disaster. IV. The Los Angeles Storm of December 30, 1933 to January 1, 1934


Krick, Irving Parkhurst (1934) I. Foehn Winds of Southern California. II. Foehn Wind Cyclo-Genesis. III. Weather Conditions Associated With the Akron Disaster. IV. The Los Angeles Storm of December 30, 1933 to January 1, 1934. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/R9ZR-0776.


I. Foehn winds of southern California.
An investigation of the hot, dry and dust laden winds occurring in the late fall and early winter in the Los Angeles Basin and attributed in the past to the influences of the desert regions to the north revealed that these currents were of a foehn nature. Their properties were found to be entirely due to dynamical heating produced in the descent from the high level areas in the interior to the lower Los Angeles Basin. Any dust associated with the phenomenon was found to be acquired from the Los Angeles area rather than transported from the desert. It was found that the frequency of occurrence of a mild type foehn of this nature during this season was sufficient to warrant its classification as a winter monsoon. This results from the topography of the Los Angeles region which allows an easy entrance to the air from the interior by virtue of the low level mountain passes north of the area. This monsoon provides the mild winter climate of southern California since temperatures associated with the foehn currents are far higher than those experienced when maritime air from the adjacent Pacific Ocean occupies the region.

II. Foehn wind cyclo-genesis.
Intense anticyclones frequently build up over the high level regions of the Great Basin and Columbia Plateau which lie between the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains to the west and the Rocky Mountains to the east. The outflow from these anticyclones produce extensive foehns east of the Rockies in the comparatively low level areas of the middle west and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Normally at this season of the year very cold polar continental air masses are present over this territory and with the occurrence of these foehns marked discontinuity surfaces arise between the warm foehn current, which is obliged to slide over a colder mass, and the Pc air to the east. Cyclones are easily produced from this phenomenon and take the form of unstable waves which propagate along the discontinuity surface between the two dissimilar masses. A continual series of such cyclones was found to occur as long as the Great Basin anticyclone is maintained with undiminished intensity.

III. Weather conditions associated with the Akron disaster.
This situation illustrates the speedy development and propagation of young disturbances in the eastern United States during the spring of the year under the influence of the conditionally unstable tropical maritime air masses which characterise the region. It also furnishes an excellent example of the superiority of air mass and frontal methods of weather prediction for aircraft operation over the older methods based upon pressure distribution.

IV. The Los Angeles storm of December 30, 1933 to January 1, 1934.
This discussion points out some of the fundamental interactions occurring between air masses of the North Pacific Ocean in connection with Pacific Coast storms and the value of topographic and aerological considerations in predicting them. Estimates of rainfall intensity and duration from analyses of this type may be made and would prove very valuable in the Los Angeles area in connection with flood control problems.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Geology ; Meterology
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Geological and Planetary Sciences
Major Option:Geology
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • von Kármán, Theodore
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1934
Other Numbering System:
Other Numbering System NameOther Numbering System ID
Balch Graduate School of the Geological Sciences Contribution99
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:07252014-141735903
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:8611
Deposited On:25 Jul 2014 21:39
Last Modified:21 Nov 2023 23:38

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