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Observations of Cold fronts over Appalachian Piedmont during MU-PAST

By Abigayle Gant, Rhiannon Fleming, Laurel Blanchard, & Cameron Gonteski

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Abigayle Gant is a senior Meteorology major with a minor in Environmental Hazards and Emergency Management as well as one in Mathematics. As she finishes up her final year, Abigayle thought that there would be no better way to top off her department involvement than to co-lead a research project with her good friend and peer, Rhiannon Fleming. Along with her co-lead, Abigayle has worked hard on this project both applying her meteorology skills and the knowledge she has gained from her Emergency Management background to develop a research project  that not only involves students

ranging from freshman through senior, but that accomplished that research while abiding CDC and University guidelines during the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through her prior storm chasing and forecasting experience, Abigayle has been able to provide a unique perspective on the observational portion of this project. This portion of the study details the Arctic frontal cases that were “chased” as part of the MU-PAST project. The data collected was used by launching multiple windsondes within three separate environmental times of each front, the pre-front, during front, and post-front. Abigayle hopes to take this experience and use it to aid in her future endeavors as a meteorologist. She intends to pursue a career within the National Weather Service. 

Rhiannon Fleming is a senior Meteorology major with a Heliophysics/Space Weather and Mathematics minor. As her final project at Millersville, she and her co-lead, Abigayle Gant, wanted to develop a  Department-wide research opportunity so that students could still research despite a global pandemic.  Through Dr. Sepi Yalda, Rhiannon and her co-leads worked hard to make sure this research was safe. She is especially passionate about teaching the underclassmen to work with the balloon and radiosondes and providing a fun entry into research. This study is the modeling part of the MU-

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PAST campaign,  where we use data and compare it to model runs generated by our modeling software. Rhiannon anticipates that she will further her understanding of numerical modeling in an effort to help her in her future career. After she graduates, Rhiannon will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Solar Physics.

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Cameron Gonteski is a Meteorology major with minors in Emergency Management and Mathematics. She is in her junior year at Millersville University and has performed numerous research projects under the Department of Earth Sciences. During her sophomore year, she received the NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship, as well as the Tim Samaras Scholarship for her contributions to the meteorological field. After completing her internship at the National Weather Service office in Memphis during the summer of 2021, Cameron hopes to continue as a researcher for severe weather. 

Author's Note: 

We have no known conflict of interest to disclose.

Thank you to our faculty supervisor, Dr. Richard D. Clark, and our technical supervisor David Fitzgerald for all of your support and assistance during this project.

Correspondence regarding this article should be addressed to Abigayle J. Gant or Rhiannon M. Fleming,

Keywords: storm, climatology, cold fronts, upper-air, data, fixed sites, mobile sites, profiles

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