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Transcript
Air mass source regions and their paths.
From C. Donald Ahrens: Essentials of Meteorology: An Invitation to the Atmosphere and D. Miller at UNCA
Cold Front
Cold Front Cross-Section
Possible Conditions Near a Cold Front
Warm Front
Warm Frontal Cross-Section
Possible Conditions Near a Warm Front
Quasi-Stationary
Fronts
Occluded Fronts
• As a surface cyclone evolves, its
associated cold front will move faster than
its warm front and the two will eventually
collide to form an occluded front
• Two Types of Occlusion
– Warm
– Cold
Warm Occlusion
Warm is a relative term meaning cool air
moves over colder air
Cold Occlusion
Very cold air overtakes the cold air already in
place
Cyclogenesis
Cyclogenesis: Development or
strengthening of a mid-latitude cyclone
Cyclones form where there is a contrast
between air masses (warm vs. cold)
Polar Front Theory
(a)
(d)
(b)
(c)
(e)
(f)
Step One
cP and mT air meet at a stationary front. There is a trough of low pressure with
higher pressure on both sides, cold air to the north, and warm air to the south.
Wind flows parallel to the front.
From C. Donald Ahrens: Essentials of Meteorology: An Invitation to the Atmosphere and D. Miller at UNCA
Step Two
Under the right conditions, a wavelike kink forms on the front. The wave that
forms is known as a frontal wave. The circulation of winds around the cyclone
tends to produce a wavelike deformation on the front.
From C. Donald Ahrens: Essentials of Meteorology: An Invitation to the Atmosphere and D. Miller at UNCA
Step Three
Steered by the winds aloft, the system typically moves east or northeastward and
gradually becomes a fully developed open wave in 12 to 24 hours. Open wave –
the stage of development of a wave cyclone where a cold front and a warm front
exist, but no occluded front. The center of lowest pressure in the wave is located
at the junction of the two fronts.
From C. Donald Ahrens: Essentials of Meteorology: An Invitation to the Atmosphere and D. Miller at UNCA
Step Four
The central pressure is now lower and several isobars encircle the wave. The more
tightly packed isobars create a stronger cyclonic flow and winds swirl
counterclockwise and inward toward the low’s center. Energy for the storm is
derived from rising warm air and sinking cold air transforming potential energy to
kinetic energy (energy of motion). Condensation supplies energy through latent heat
release. Converging surface winds produce an increase of kinetic energy. The cold
front advances on the warm front.
From C. Donald Ahrens: Essentials of Meteorology: An Invitation to the Atmosphere and D. Miller at UNCA
Step Five
As the open wave
moves eastward,
central pressures
continue to decrease,
and the winds blow
more vigorously. The
faster-moving cold
front constantly inches
closer to the warm
front, squeezing the
warm sector into a
smaller area.
Eventually the cold
front overtakes the
warm front and the
system becomes
occluded. The storm
is usually most intense
at this time, with
clouds and
precipitation covering
a large area.
From C. Donald Ahrens: Essentials of Meteorology: An Invitation to the Atmosphere and D. Miller at UNCA
Step Six
The intense storm gradually
dissipates because cold air now
lies on both sides of the cyclone.
Without the supply of energy
provided by the rising warm, moist
air, the old storm system dies out
and gradually disappears.
Occasionally, a new wave will
form on the westward end of the
trailing cold front.
•The entire life cycle of a wave
cyclone can last from a few
days to over a week.
From C. Donald Ahrens: Essentials of Meteorology: An Invitation to the Atmosphere and D. Miller at UNCA
A series of wave cyclones (a "family" of cyclones) forming along the polar front
From C. Donald Ahrens: Essentials of Meteorology: An Invitation to the Atmosphere and D. Miller at UNCA