Daily Wind Accelerations in Mountain Valleys in Western Montana
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Valley regions within the Rocky Mountains frequently experience high wind events based on a variety of reasons. In the western Montana area there is a specific wind event that occurs almost daily, one to two days at most in between any two given events, that are observed during the summer. For this study the valley in which Missoula, MT is located in was the area of focus to determine the cause of these high winds and if they are forecastable. Based on the findings from the study indicated that the events were not caused by Chinook or Katabatic winds but rather due to layer mixing from the breaking of surface-based temperature inversions driving higher winds to the surface. Wind profilers with Radio Acoustic Sounding System (RASS) units are recommended for observing the strength of the winds above the temperature inversion and the location and size of the temperature inversion at any site that is experiencing these events.