The Oklahoma Cold Front of November 10, 1995
Answer to Question 9
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Question 9. Look at the Mesonet temperature plots between 3:00 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. Describe a change in shape of the isotherms. What do you think might be responsible for this change? Hint: Looking at a particular isotherm, like 32F, might be helpful.



 
 
Answer. The shape of the 32°F isotherm changes due to the topography in the state. As the front pushes southward, in reality the cold air oozes along the ground. When it encounters higher terrain, the cold air moves around the obstacle until the depth of the cold air reaches the top of the obstacle. Thus the higher terrain dams up the cold air and prevents the front from moving as quickly.

In Oklahoma, these obstacles include the Wichita Mountains near Lawton, the Arbuckles, and the Ouachita Mountains in far southeast Oklahoma.


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