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Copyright © 2015 by Roland Stull.

Practical Meteorology: An Algebra-based Survey of Atmospheric Science

13 Extratropical cyclones

Contents A synoptic-scale weather system with low pres-
sure near the surface is called a “cyclone” (Fig.
Cyclone Characteristics  426 13.1). Horizontal winds turn cyclonically around
Cyclogenesis & Cyclolysis  426 it (clockwise/counterclockwise in the Southern/
Cyclone Evolution  427 Northern Hemisphere). Near the surface these
Cyclone Tracks  430 turning winds also spiral towards the low center.
Stacking & Tilting  432
Ascending air in the cyclone can create clouds and
Other Characteristics  433
precipitation.
Midlatitude Cyclone Evolution — A Case Study  433
Tropical cyclones such as hurricanes are covered
Summary of 3 to 4 April 2014 Cyclone  433
INFO • Isosurfaces & Their Utility  436
separately in a later chapter. Extratropical cy-
Height, Pressure, Thickness  436 clones (cyclones outside of the tropics) are covered
Potential Temperature, Potential Vorticity  437 here, and include transient mid-latitude cyclones
Surface Maps, Rules  437 and polar cyclones. Other names for extratropi-
Weather-map Discussion for this Case  442 cal cyclones are lows or low-pressure centers
Lee Cyclogenesis  443 (see Table 13-1). Low-altitude convergence draws
Stationary Rossby Waves  444 together airmasses to form fronts, along which the
Potential-vorticity Conservation  444 bad weather is often concentrated. These lows have
Lee-side Translation Equatorward  446 a short life cycle (a few days to a week) as they are
Spin-up of Cyclonic Rotation  446 blown from west to east and poleward by the polar
Vorticity Tendency Equation  447 jet stream.
Quasi-Geostrophic Approximation  449
Application to Idealized Weather Patterns  450
Ascent  451
Continuity Effects  452
Rossby Waves  453  TUSBUJGPSN
1 L1B 

Jet Streaks  454 DMPVETIJFME
Omega Equation  456
Q-Vectors  460 
TDBMF
Tendency of Sea-level Pressure  463 LN

Mass Budget  463
DPMEBJS -

XBSNGSPOU
Latent Heating  465
TFDUPS
E

Net Pressure Tendency  466
GSP CBO

Cyclone Self Development  468 
XBSNBJS
E
ME DMPV

OU

Condensation  468 Z TFDUPS
Temperature Advection  468
SN

MJGP

Propagation of Cyclones  469
Y
NV

Creation of Baroclinic Zones  469
DP
DV

Propagation of Cold Fronts  470
Review  471
Homework Exercises  473 Figure 13.1
Broaden Knowledge & Comprehension  473 Components of a typical extratropical cyclone in the N. Hemi-
Apply  474 sphere. Light grey shading shows clouds. Grey arrows are
Evaluate & Analyze  476 near-surface winds. Thin black lines are isobars (kPa). Thick
Synthesize  479 black lines are fronts. The double-shaft arrow shows movement
of the low center L .
“Practical Meteorology: An Algebra-based Survey
of Atmospheric Science” by Roland Stull is licensed
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425

426 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones

Table 13-1. Cyclone names. “Core” is storm center.
T is relative temperature.
Cyclone Characteristics
Common Formal Other T of Map
Name in Name Common the Sym-
N. Amer. Names Core bol Cyclogenesis & Cyclolysis
mid-latitude Cyclones are born and intensify (cyclogenesis)
cyclone and later weaken and die (cyclolysis). During cy-
extra- low-pressure clogenesis the (1) vorticity (horizontal winds turn-
low tropical center cold L ing around the low center) and (2) updrafts (vertical
cyclone storm system* winds) increase while the (3) surface pressure de-
cyclone creases.
(in N. America) The intertwined processes that control these
typhoon three characteristics will be the focus of three major
tropical (in W. Pacific) sections in this chapter. In a nutshell, updrafts over
hurricane warm
cyclone cyclone a synoptic-scale region remove air from near the
(in Australia) surface, causing the air pressure to decrease. The
pressure gradient between this low-pressure cen-
(* Often used by TV meteorologists.)
ter and the surroundings drives horizontal winds,
which are forced to turn because of Coriolis force.
Frictional drag near the ground causes these winds
to spiral in towards the low center, adding more air
molecules horizontally to compensate for those be-
ing removed vertically. If the updraft weakens, the
inward spiral of air molecules fills the low to make
it less low (cyclolysis).
INFO • Southern Hemisphere Lows
Cyclogenesis is enhanced at locations where one
Some aspects of mid-latitude cyclones in the or more of the following conditions occur:
Southern Hemisphere are similar to those of N.
Hemisphere cyclones. They have low pressure at the (1) east of mountain ranges, where terrain slopes
surface, rotate cyclonically, form east of upper-level downhill under the jet stream.
troughs, propagate from west to east and poleward,
(2) east of deep troughs (and west of strong ridges) in
and have similar stages of their evolution. They often
have fronts and bad weather.
the polar jet stream, where horizontal divergence
Different are the following: warm tropical air is of winds drives mid-tropospheric updrafts.
to the north and cold polar air to the south, and the (3) at frontal zones or other baroclinic regions where
cyclonic rotation is clockwise due to the opposite horizontal temperature gradients are large.
Coriolis force. The figure below shows an idealized (4) at locations that don’t suppress vertical motions,
extra-tropical cyclone in the S. Hemisphere. such as where static stability is weak.
(5) where cold air moves over warm, wet surfaces
such as the Gulf Stream, such that strong evapo-
 ration adds water vapor to the air and strong sur-
DV

face heating destabilizes the atmosphere.
NV

(6) at locations further from the equator, where
MJGP
SN

TDBMF XBSNBJS Coriolis force is greater.
DM

LN
TFDUPS
PV
EC

DPMEBJS
BO

If cyclogenesis is rapid enough (central pressures
E


TFDUPS
-  dropping 2.4 kPa or more over a 24-hour period),
 the process is called explosive cyclogenesis (also
Z nicknamed a cyclone bomb). This can occur when
 multiple conditions listed above are occurring at
Y TUSBUJGPSN the same location (such as when a front stalls over
1 L1B 
DMPVETIJFME the Gulf Stream, with a strong amplitude Rossby-
wave trough to the west). During winter, such cy-
Figure a. clone bombs can cause intense cyclones just off the
Sketch of mid-latitude cyclone in the Southern Hemi- east coast of the USA with storm-force winds, high
sphere. waves, and blizzards or freezing rain.

R. Stull • Practical Meteorology 427

Cyclone Evolution
Although cyclones have their own synoptic-scale
winds circulating around the low-pressure center,
this whole system is blown toward the east by even DPPMBJS 5ž$   B
larger-scale winds in the general circulation such as

1B
the jet stream. As a study aid, we will first move 

ET
L

V
DMP
with the cyclone center as it evolves through its 1-



day to 2-week life cycle of cyclogenesis and cycloly-

1

sis. Later, we will see where these low centers form 



and move due to the general circulation.
One condition that favors cyclogenesis is a 



baroclinic zone — a long, narrow region of large
temperature change across a short horizontal distance

near the surface. Frontal zones such as stationary 

T
VE
fronts (Fig. 13.2a) are regions of strong baroclinicity.

DMP


Above (near the tropopause) and parallel to this


baroclinic zone is often a strong jet stream (Fig. 13.2b), 
Z
driven by the thermal-wind effect (see the chapters XBSN

on General Circulation, and Fronts & Airmasses). If    BJS Y
conditions are right (as discussed later in this chap-
ter), the jet stream can remove air molecules from
a column of air above the front, at location “D” in
Fig. 13.2b. This lowers the surface pressure under C
DPPMBJS
location “D”, causing cyclogenesis at the surface.

BN
1B
Namely, under location “D” is where you would ex-

USF
L

UT
pect a surface low-pressure center to form.



KF
The resulting pressure gradient around the sur-

1
face low starts to generate lower-tropospheric winds
that circulate around the low (Fig. 13.3a, again near



the Earth’s surface). This is the spin-up stage — so


named because vorticity is increasing as the cyclone %


intensifies. The winds begin to advect the warm
air poleward on the east side of the low and cold
air equatorward on the west side, causing a kink in
the former stationary front near the low center. The BN



SF
kinked front is wave shaped, and is called a frontal UTU
KF Z XBSN
wave. Parts of the old front advance as a warm front,
BJS
and other parts advance as a cold front. Also, these Y 
winds begin to force some of the warmer air up over
the colder air, thereby generating more clouds.
If jet-stream conditions continue to be favorable,
then the low continues to intensify and mature (Fig. Figure 13.2
13.3b). As this cyclogenesis continues, the central Initial conditions favoring cyclogenesis in N. Hemisphere.
pressure drops (namely, the cyclone deepens), and (a) Surface weather map. Solid thin black lines are isobars.
winds and clouds increase as a vortex around the Dashed grey lines are isotherms. The thick black lines mark
the leading and trailing edges of the frontal zone. Grey shading
low center. Precipitation begins if sufficient mois-
indicates clouds. Fig. 13.3 shows subsequent evolution. (b) Up-
ture is present in the regions where air is rising. per-air map over the same frontal zone, where the dashed black
The advancing cold front often moves faster than arrow indicates the jet stream near the tropopause (z ≈ 11 km).
the warm front. Three reasons for this are: (1) The The grey lines are a copy of the surface isobars and frontal zone
Sawyer-Eliassen circulation tends to push near-sur- from (a) to help you picture the 3-D nature of this system.
face cold air toward warmer air at both fronts. (2)
Circulation around the vortex tends to deform the
frontal boundaries and shrink the warm-air region
to a smaller wedge shape east and equatorward of
the low center. This wedge of warm air is called the
warm-air sector (Fig. 13.1). (3) Evaporating precipi-

428 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones

B  E








DPPM
-



BJS
-
XBSNBJS


XBSN DPPM
BJS BJS







 B 

Z

 B 

Z
L1


L1
Y
1


Y

1
C F

 


DPPM


BJS 


-


-
 XBSN DPPM
DPPMBJS BJS BJS







 B 



XBSN
 B 

L1

Z BJS
L1

Z


1
1

Y Y 

D DPPMBJS G




-





-
XBSNBJS
DPPM




BJS







B

L1

Z

 B 



Z
1
L1


Y
Y XBSNBJS
1

Figure 13.3
Extratropical cyclone evolution in the N. Hemisphere, including cyclogenesis (a - c), and cyclolysis (d - f). These idealized surface
weather maps move with the low center. Grey shading indicates clouds, solid black lines are isobars (kPa), thin arrows are near-surface
winds, L is at the low center, and medium grey lines in (a) bound the original frontal zone. Fig. 13.2a shows the initial conditions.

R. Stull • Practical Meteorology 429

tation cools both fronts (enhancing the cold front but
diminishing the warm front). These combined ef-
fects amplify the frontal wave. -
At the peak of cyclone intensity (lowest central
pressure and strongest surrounding winds) the cold
-
front often catches up to the warm front near the low
center (Fig. 13.3c). As more of the cold front over-
takes the warm front, an occluded front forms near
the low center (Fig. 13.3d). The cool air is often drier, -
(a)
and is visible in satellite images as a dry tongue of
relatively cloud-free air that begins to wrap around -
the low. This marks the beginning of the cyclolysis
stage. During this stage, the low is said to occlude
as the occluded front wraps around the low center. -
As the cyclone occludes further, the low center
-
becomes surrounded by cool air (Fig. 13.3e). Clouds
during this stage spiral around the center of the low
— a signature that is easily seen in satellite images.
But the jet stream, still driven by the thermal wind
effect, moves east of the low center to remain over -
the strongest baroclinic zone (over the warm and
cold fronts, which are becoming more stationary). -
Without support from the jet stream to continue
removing air molecules from the low center, the low
begins to fill with air due to convergence of air in the -
boundary layer. The central pressure starts to rise
and the winds slow as the vorticity spins down.
As cyclolysis continues, the low center often con- -
(b)
tinues to slowly move further poleward away from
the baroclinic zone (Fig. 13.3f). The central pressure -
continues to rise and winds weaken. The tightly
wound spiral of clouds begins to dissipate into scat- -
tered clouds, and precipitation diminishes.
But meanwhile, along the stationary front to the
east, a new cyclone might form if the jet stream is
favorable (not shown in the figures). -
In this way, cyclones are born, evolve, and die.
While they exist, they are driven by the baroclinic-
ity in the air (through the action of the jet stream). -
But their circulation helps to reduce the baroclinic-
ity by moving cold air equatorward, warm air pole-
ward, and mixing the two airmasses together. As -
described by Le Chatelier’s Principle, the cyclone
forms as a response to the baroclinic instability, and -
its existence partially undoes this instability. Name- (c)
ly, cyclones help the global circulation to redistrib-
ute heat between equator and poles. -
Figures 13.3 are in a moving frame of reference
following the low center. In those figures, it is not -
Z
obvious that the warm front is advancing. To get a
better idea about how the low moves while it evolves Y
over a 3 to 5 day period, Figs. 13.4 show a superpo-
sition of all the cyclone locations relative to a fixed
frame of reference. In these idealized figures, you Figure 13.4
can more easily see the progression of the low cen- Illustration of movement of a low while it evolves. Fronts and
ter, the advancement of the warm fronts and the ad- low centers are from Figs. 13.3. Every second cyclone location
vancement of cold air behind the cold fronts. is highlighted in a through c.

translate faster. Other symbols represent genesis Niño / La Niña cycle or the North Atlantic Oscilla- and decay regions. Multi- year climate variations (see the Climate chapter) in Figure 13. tude cyclones are generally stronger.5 (below) Climatology of extratropical cyclone tracks (lines with arrows) the global circulation.5. ž/ B +BOVBSZ H-B/JÒ ž/ EVSJO B 0 ( ( N . can alter the cyclone tracks. including the prevailing westerlies at mid-latitudes and the meandering Rossby-wave pat- tern in the jet stream. 13. Typical storm tracks (cyclone paths) of low centers are shown in Fig. Mid-lati- indicate stationary cyclones. Circled symbols tion (NAO). such as associated with the El for (a) January and (b) July.430 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones Cyclone Tracks Extratropical cyclones are steered by the global circulation. as explained in the text.

/" B /JÒ ž/ N X X -B EVSJOH m /"0 X X X EVSJOH&M/JÒP X X &M/JÒP ž/ ž ž4 5. X 5- N 5- N ž4 N N ž4 ( ( LX ( LX LX ( LX ( LX ( LX ( ž4 LX ž8 ž8 ž8 ž8 ž ž& ž& ž& ž& ž/ C +VMZ - ž/ N N ž/ 5- X 5- ž/ 5. N ž4 N N ž4 ( ( LX ( LX LX ( LX ( LX ( LX ( ž4 LX ž8 ž8 ž8 ž8 ž ž& ž& ž& ž& . 5- ž ž4 5.

Hemisphere. 75 /) .* $5 ocean current causes an intense baroclinic zone that 1" /+ . NS Nova Scotia SK Saskatchewan YT Yukon gion known as a cyclone graveyard (G).# 1&2$ rents are strong sensible and latent heat fluxes from  0/ /# ž8 1SBJSJFT /4 the warm ocean into the air. These are called AK Alaska MD Maryland OK Oklahoma thermal lows (TL). 13. Hemisphere. 13. Some of these form over hot continents in summer as a monsoon circulation. America. cyclones CT Connect.(" gions. see Lee Cyclogenesis later in this ". #BIBNBT toward the northeast in the N. with most lasting Figure b. Stull • Practical Meteorology 431 and are further equatorward during winter than in INFO • North American Geography summer. . ary lee troughs just east of mountain (m) ranges. Many propagating cyclones form just HI Hawaii NE Nebraska UT Utah north of 50°S latitude. tracks.& T (S /FX&OHMBOE developing cyclones.5 days. One favored cyclogenesis region is just east of To help you interpret the weather maps. they can BC British Columbia Territories travel the distance of the continental USA from coast MB Manitoba NU Nunavut to coast or border to border during their lifetime. DC .JEXFTU 0) %& /& drives a strong jet stream above it due to thermal- PVOUBJO $" 65 *. and die just south. and translate with average KY Kentucky Mexico WV West speeds faster than 10 m s–1 (= 36 km h–1) toward the LA Louisiana NV Nevada Virginia east-south-east. #$ 1BEJGJD0DFBO "# PVOUBJO 4. Other cyclogenesis regions are over warm GGJ ž/ O  :5 *T ocean boundary currents along the western edge -BCSBEPS MB OE (VMGPG /6 4FB of oceans (shown by the symbol “w” in the figure). Hemi. Hence. bol in Fig. 5/ ž8 T (VMG4 ".: %$ 64" /$ Cyclones are often strengthened in regions un.5. CO Colorado MS Mississippi SC South In the Southern Hemisphere (Fig. . NB New Brunswick ON Ontario Since the Pacific is a larger ocean. . the strong wintertime 03 . A band with average translation MA Massa. Namely. as was explained in the Gener. east coast of Japan. the map large mountain ranges (shown by the “m” sym.FYJDP (VMGPG ward the southeast in the S. compared to the N. cyclones that form NL Newfoundland & PE Prince Edward Isl. One reason is the smaller area of continents FL Florida ND North TN Tennessee in Southern-Hemisphere mid-latitudes and subpo. off of Japan often die in the Gulf of Alaska just west Labrador QC Quebec of British Columbia (BC). NY New York WY Wyoming speeds faster than 15 m s–1 (= 54 km h–1. 3 . or > 10° chusetts OH Ohio DC Wash. .0 . R.*/ 87 7" . In such re. and the Kuroshio Current off the /- $BOBEB . Canada — a cyclolysis re. Quasi-stationary lows are indicated with circles USA Postal Abbreviations for States: in Fig. 13. and tables give state and province names. "MBTLB /5 ž/ such as the Gulf Stream current off the east coast )VETPO  3PDLZ #BZ /- of N. der the jet stream just east of troughs. Others form as quasi-station- CA California MO Missouri RI Rhode Isl.FYJDP ž8 $VCB ž8 Cyclones in the Northern Hemisphere typically  ž/ evolve during a 2 to 7 day period. /7 *" .4 ". which means they can move AB Alberta NT Northwest about 5000 km during their life.% $0 USFBN wind effects. DE Delaware Carolina Dakota sphere. 0. The region IA Iowa NH New VA Virginia with greatest cyclone activity (cyclogenesis.5). ID Idaho Hampshire VT Vermont IL Illinois NJ New WA Washing- cyclolysis) is a band centered near 60°S./ FB U. GA Georgia Dakota TX Texas lar regions.5. which adds energy to 8" .4 . They travel at typical speeds of 12 to 15 Canadian Postal Abbreviations for Provinces: m s–1 (43 to 54 km h–1).5 /% . cyclone tracks are often '. Also. MT Montana Carolina are more uniformly distributed in longitude and icut NC North SD South throughout the year. AL Alabama ME Maine OR Oregon AR Arkansas MI Michigan PA Pennsyl- al Circulation chapter in the section on Hydrostatic AZ Arizona MN Minnesota vania Thermal Circulations. and to. the jet stream steers the low center toward the 59 -" east and poleward. "3 4$  ž/  /." ž/  BLF 3PDLZ contrast between the cold continent and the warm /: "UMBOUJD0DFBO *% T 3* 4% 8* 1MBJOT 8: .  ž8 #B chapter). IN Indiana Jersey ton These Southern Hemisphere cyclones last an KS Kansas NM New WI Wisconsin average of 3 to 5 days. . During winter over such cur.

air is leaving faster than it is C 7FSUJDBMDSPTTTFDUJPO 1L1B arriving. unless a FM compensating process can remove air more quickly. 13. The normal cyclone graveyard (G. Hemisphere weather maps superimposed: (thin black lines) sea-level pressure. a low has lower central pressure than IFJH the surroundings. The average track length is 2100 km. supporting cyclo- USPVHI % SJEHF genesis. cyclolysis region) in the S. strong heat fluxes from the ocean into 1SFTTVSF 1SFTTVSF the air contribute energy into developing cyclones. 13. JTPCB TF BMFW Such a compensating process often occurs if the STBU  TPVUI axis of low pressure tilts westward with increasing XFTU FBTU height (Fig. As a low fills with air. and D indicates divergence aloft. because fewer air molecules are  in the column above the low. This change of wind speed causes di- vergence aloft. boundary-layer  %  XBSN flow will always move air molecules toward surface  BJS lows (Fig. seven stationary centers might not be real — some might be caused by improper reduction of surface pressure to sea-level pressure. Thus. DPME XBSN Conversely.7). L indicates low center at surface.) . Hemisphere is in the circumpolar trough (be- tween 65°S and the Antarctic coastline). (Pressure and height variations are exaggerated. its pressure rises and it stops being a low. Thus. with the upper-level trough shifted west of the surface low (L). you should recognize that a westward tilt of the low-pressure location with increasing [J height often accompanies cyclogenesis. Also the downslope winds can be channeled by the Figure 13. and (grey lines) 30 kPa heights.6 terrain to cause cyclonic rotation. indicating a combination of katabatic winds and relatively warm sea surface. These seven centers are labeled with “kw”. Jet-stream winds (thick grey arrows) follow the height contours (b) East-west vertical cross section through middle of (a). then the jet stream Figure 13. But for now. But some of the Two tanks filled with water to different heights are an analogy to neighboring high and low pressure systems in the atmosphere. the divergence region (D) [ USPQPQBVTF is directly above the surface low. Heavy dashed line is trough axis. when the trough aloft is stacked XFTU FBTU vertically above the surface low. Details are explained later in this Chapter.  OUP BJS DP IU  By definition. The culprit is the boundary BU layer.6). dur- ing both winter and summer. Some of these are believed to be a result of fast katabatic (cold downslope) winds flowing off the steep Antarctic terrain (see the Fronts & Airmasses chapter). where turbulent drag causes air to cross iso- VS T DPME  bars at a small angle from high toward low pressure.7 (a) Two N. B 8FBUIFSNBQ 1B [ USPVHIBYJTPG Stacking & Tilting L OPSUI   -PXIFJHIUTBU  Lows at the bottom of the troposphere always  LN USPQPQBVTF  1 tend to kill themselves. Such filling is quick 1L1B enough to eliminate a low in less than a day.432 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones longitude day–1) extends from south of southwest- KFUTUSFBNDBOQVNQ BJSGSPN-PXTJOUP)JHIT ern Africa eastward to south of western Australia. Recall from the gradient-wind MPDBUJPOPGMPX MPDBUJPOPGMPX discussion in the Atmospheric Forces and Winds BUUSPQPQBVTF BUTFBMFWFM chapter that the jet stream is slower around troughs than ridges. Seven stationary centers of enhanced cyclone activity occur around the coast of Antarctica. namely. When CPVOEBSZ these very cold winds reach the relatively warm un- )JHI MBZFSGMPX -PX frozen ocean.

Ahead of the front is a squall line of severe thunderstorms (Figs. Extending south of this low is a dry line that evolves into a cold front (Figs. This included 17 tornado reports. Midlatitude Cyclone Evolution — A Case Study Summary of 3 to 4 April 2014 Cyclone An upper-level trough (Fig. which sweeps into the Mississippi Valley. 186 hail reports (of which 23 reported large hailstones great. reaching the midwest and Missis- sippi Valley a day and a half later. Behind the cold front. Legend: Red = tornado.9). When this Figure 13. we focus on 2014 [where 06 Central Daylight Time (CDT) = 12 UTC]. To show the widespread impact of a Spring mid- latitude cyclone. blue = wind reports. 13.10a) near the USA Rocky Mountains at 00 UTC on 3 April 2014 propa- gates eastward. green = hail. which is 6 hours earlier than UTC. B UJPO N ODF BJS sional weather maps. Next. 13. BDFOEJOH Other Characteristics XBSN IVNJEBJS Low centers often move parallel to the direction of the isobars in the warm sector (Fig. Movement of air around a cyclone is three-di. 13. a case-study is introduced next.1). Sometimes air in the warm-air conveyor belt is moving so fast that it Y is called a low-altitude pre-frontal jet. Thick black lines are fronts.10b & 13. 13. 13. and strengthens as the low moves first eastward. Fig. . 13. and the low fills due to the unrelenting boundary-layer flow.13. This dry air deforms (changes shape) into a diffluent (horizontally spreading) flow near the cold front.10b).3b. So even EFTDFOEJOH  without data on upper-air steering-level winds. Thin black lines er air at the warm front (or over a mountain) it can with numbers are isobars (kPa). and is difficult to show on two-dimen. R.11 & 13.12).8 humid stream of air is forced to rise over the cool. then north-eastward.19). vertical stacking is associated with cyclolysis. dump heavy precipitation and cause flooding. 13. Stull • Practical Meteorology 433 is not pumping air out of the low. and sometimes comes all the way from the lower stratosphere. 13. During the 24 hours starting at 6 AM CDT (12 UTC) on 3 April 2014 there were a total of 392 storm reports recorded by the US Storm Prediction Center (Fig. Figure 13. cold air often descends from the mid.9 er than 5 cm diameter). you DPPM ESZ - BJS  can use a surface weather map to anticipate cyclone movement. Local time there is Central Daylight Time (CDT). Thus.13 .11).or upper-troposphere. A surface low-pressure center forms east of the trough axis (Fig.8 shows the main GPS EF JGGMVF DPOWFZPS Z streams of air in one type of cyclone. Ascending and descending air in a cyclone. at 12 UTC on 4 April 2014. corresponding E CFMU to the snapshot of Fig.  XBSN mensional. 189 wind reports (of which 2 Storm reports (dots) during 06 CDT 3 Apr to 06 CDT 4 Apr had speeds greater than 33 m/s). the 12 UTC 4 April 2014 weather (Figs. 13.

$PME'SPOU L L (1) Sea-level Pressure (kPa). Valid 12 UTC 4 Apr 2014 Figure 13. Isobar contour interval is 0. and image (4) shows a squall line (of thunderstorms) in the southeast USA ahead of the cold front. “L” marks the location of the surface low-pressure center of the case-study cyclone. Valid 00 UTC 3 Apr 2014 (2) 50 kPa Heights (m). Image (1) also shows a dry line in Texas. and 99. 99. Valid 00 UTC 4 Apr 2014 (4) Sea-level Pressure (kPa).9. The central pressure of the low every 12 hours in this sequence was: 99.10a Evolution of geopotential height contours (m) of the 50 kPa isobaric surface (known as “50 kPa heights”) during a day and a half for the case-study cyclone.e. The thick dashed line shows the axis of the low-pressure trough (i.4 kPa.434 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones X X (1) 50 kPa Heights (m). Valid 12 UTC 3 Apr 2014 L L (3) Sea-level Pressure (kPa). Valid 00 UTC 3 Apr 2014 (2) Sea-level Pressure (kPa). the “trough axis”). Valid 12 UTC 4 Apr 2014 Figure 13.0.7 kPa. ..4. 100. “X” marks the surface-low location at the valid times of the two different maps. from 00 UTC 3 April to 12 UTC 4 April 2014.10b Evolution of mean-sea-level (MSL) pressure (kPa) and surface fronts every 12 hours during a day and a half. Height contour interval is 60 m.

56. Left: Overview map from the US Univ. Corp. based on US government radar data. Radar reflectivity.12. Right: Com- posite of zoomed maps from the US Storm Pre- diction Center. R. valid at roughly 6 AM CDT (12 UTC) on 4 April 2014. Figure 13.11 Surface weather map. Stull • Practical Meteorology 435 Figure 13. A higher reso- lution surface weather map for the same time is on the last page of this chapter as Fig. valid 6 AM CDT (12 UTC) on 4 April 2014. Research (UCAR). . 13. for Atmos.

436 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones INFO • Isosurfaces & Their Utility INFO • Isosurfaces (continuation) Lows and other synoptic features have five-di. An example is 100 kPa heights and 50 kPa heights. c). and that these vectors indicate shear in the Dead Sea in Israel and Jordan). Z ferent locations on the undulating isobaric surface. lower pressures correspond forecast the weather. cations and is further from the ground in other loca- By viewing multiple 2-D slices of the atmosphere tions. as was discussed in the Forces and Winds chap- as drawn on weather maps (Fig. the resulting contour map is known as a land areas that are above sea level. the same region. Pressure mensions (3-D spatial structure + 1-D time evolution Recall that pressure decreases monotonically with + 1-D multiple variables). These are called “MSL pressure” maps. you should try to form in your to higher heights. MSL = mean sea level. such as 70 kPa (which is Although some computer-graphics packages can about 3 km above sea level on average). But you would realize that L1B)FJHIUT these temperatures on your map correspond to the 7PSUJDJUZ NJE USPQPTQIFSF hilly terrain that had ridges and valleys. Mean-sea-level (MSL) maps represent a uniform After drawing isopleths connecting points of equal height of z = 0 relative to the ocean surface. At each location on the map. The first chart tells you information about jet-stream speed and direction. and the second chart can be used - to estimate cyclogenesis processes. that pressure display 5-dimensional data. (continues on next page) (continues in next column) . Figure c Thickness A set of weather maps for different altitudes helps you gain Now picture two different isobaric surfaces over a 3-D perspective of the weather. • isentropic (uniform potential temperature) maps Like a topographic map. then • uniform height maps that isobaric surface looks like rolling terrain with • isobaric (uniform pressure) maps peaks. and ridges. “50 kPa vorticity”. you can picture the ter. surface. Low heights on an • time-height maps isobaric surface correspond to low pressure on a uni- • time-variable maps (meteograms) form-height surface.e. which tells you the thickness of air in that layer. Thus. c). Back to the analogy of hilly terrain. In Chapter 1 is a table of other iso-surfaces. ated by extrapolating atmospheric conditions below You learned in the General Circulation chapter ground. valleys (troughs). less than 3 km) in some lo- stuck with flat 2-D weather maps or graphs. For most thickness. such as “90 kPa isohumes”. That chapter also showed that Meteorologists commonly plot air pressure (re- the 100-50 kPa thickness is proportional to average duced to sea level) and fronts on this uniform-height temperature in the bottom half of the troposphere. You can plot any variable on any isobaric surface. Y If you did this for the 70 kPa isobaric surface. To accurately analyze and increasing altitude. You could write those temperatures L1B)FJHIUT on a map and then draw isotherms connecting points *TPUBDIT VQQFS USPQPTQIFSF of the same temperature. such as sketched a the top of Fig. This is • vertical cross-section maps called a “70 kPa height” chart. went hiking with a thermometer and measured the air temperature at eye level at many locations within a hilly region. Computer animations of maps can show time evolu. You can even plot multiple weather variables on L1B)FJHIUT L1B)FJHIUT .4-1SFTTVSF any single isobaric map. If you conceptually draw a surface that passes 5-D structure. most of the time you are is closer to the ground (i. or ness contours. the geostrophic wind. etc. such as Death Valley and the Salton Sea USA. Examples of such 2-D maps include: through all the points that have pressure 70 kPa. these maps are cre- “100 to 50 kPa thickness” map. you would have a “70 kPa isotherm” chart. “30 kPa isotachs”. such as “30 kPa heights and *TPUBDIT VQQFS 7PSUJDJUZ NJE 'SPOUT CPUUPN USPQPTQIFSF USPQPTQIFSF USPQPTQIFSF isotachs” or “50 kPa heights and vorticity” (Fig. mind a multi-dimensional picture of the weather. you could measure the height difference between these two pressure surfac- Height es. For any one pressure. you could draw contour • thickness maps lines connecting points of the same height. (A few land-surface locations are below sea that the thermal-wind vectors are parallel to thick- level. .4-1SFTTVSF You can do the same with isobaric charts. c. 'SPOUT CPUUPN [ you can plot the temperatures that are found at dif- USPQPTQIFSF . suppose you tions. namely..

then buoyant forces isentropic surface shaded in blue in Fig. winds descending along an isentrope will warm and be cloud free. below. such as sketched for θ = 310 K in both figures 70 kPa and 60 kPa isobaric surfaces cannot intersect). if an air parcel has θ = 310 K and is plot contours of the height of that surface above mean located near the tail of the arrow in the bottom of Fig. Lines of uniform potential temperature (thin black lines) or two different potential temperatures. Stull • Practical Meteorology 437 INFO • Isosurfaces (continued) INFO • Isosurfaces (continued) shown in the bottom of Fig. cels that are blown by the wind tend to follow the Over any region for any valid time you can create a isentropic surface that corresponds to the parcel’s po- surface called an isentropic surface that follows any tential temperature. contour plots of the height of the 1. d..18 km  MSL. Namely. The heights (z) of this surface above MSL Similar rules apply for isentropic surfaces. This would cause the parcel to shift to a different isentropic surface (one that matches the  parcel’s new θ).. it fol- [ LN lows the terrain up and down. As was done for isobaric surfaces. That LN XFTU chapter also defined potential vorticity units (PVU) for TPVUI LN LN LN LN this variable. the par- isohumes”. cel descends (and its temperature would warm adia- If you were to look straight down from above the batically while its θ is constant). [ . you would see a view such as warming and cooling. Or you can plot oth. with the tropopause of- ten at about 1.5 PVU.5 PVU surface approximate the altitude of the tropopause at . This contour plot can indicate  [ features such as tropopause folds where stratospheric air can be injected into the troposphere. vector. In this illustration. For adiabatic processes. unsaturated air par- to-day variability is superimposed on that average. weather map. Thus. point in space at any instant. at the same are sketched in the background of the 3-D diagram at top.g. (shaded in blue). then as the parcel moves with the wind it will the er weather variables on that surface. and is not necessarily   at mean sea level. (continues in next column) . the through it. d. potential temperature θ increases to. isobaric Each line has a corresponding isentropic surface that goes surfaces cannot cross other isobaric surfaces (e. you can also For example. “310 K heights”). and they both can tom. such as the θ = 310 K were to stray off of that surface. FBTU and small in the troposphere. For this reason. are diabatic). Day. LN  LN   [   LN Potential Vorticity (PVU) [ LN  LN    Recall the definition of isentropic potential [   [ OPSUI [  vorticity from the General Circulation chapter. But iso- are plotted as contour lines in the isentropic chart at bot.)FJHIUT different locations.R Turbulence. The tropopause could be relative- ly low (at z ≈ 6 km MSL. while winds rising along isentropes will cool and become cloudy. The thick grey arrow represents a hypothetical wind intersect the ground surface. and P ≈ 10 kPa). ward the equator and with increasing height.e. PVUs are very large in the stratosphere. condensation and radiation are not  USPQPQBV TF adiabatic (i. R. d.. and cause the parcel’s  θ to change. LN   LN [ Surface  LN  [ The “surface weather map” shows weather   OPSUI at the elevation of the Earth’s surface. Because of adiabatic top diagram in Fig. d.g. baric surfaces can cross isentropes. sea level (e. would move it back to that surface. such as “310 K 310 K isentropic surface. LN and relatively high near the equator (z ≈ 15 . [ FBTU Rules Figure d It is impossible to have two different pressures. This bottom diagram Potential Temperature is the isentropic chart that would be presented as a On average. at P ≈ 35 kPa) near the poles. The reason is that if the parcel desired potential temperature.

Valid 12 UTC.13. 4 Apr 2014 L L 100 kPa Heights (m). . Valid 12 UTC. Maps higher on the page are for higher in the atmos. 4 Apr 2014 Figure 13. 4 Apr 2014 20 kPa Wind Vectors. Valid 12 UTC. Geopotential heights (left column) and wind vectors (right). Valid 12 UTC. Valid 12 UTC. 4 Apr 2014 85 kPa Wind Vectors. 4 Apr 2014 10 m Wind Vectors. Valid 12 UTC. Valid 12 UTC. 4 Apr 2014 X X 50 kPa Heights (m). 4 Apr 2014 X X 85 kPa Heights (m).438 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones X X 20 kPa Heights (m). 4 Apr 2014 50 kPa Wind Vectors. Valid 12 UTC.

4 Apr 2014 20 kPa Isotachs (m s–1). Valid 12 UTC. 4 Apr 2014 2 m Mixing Ratio (g kg–1). “L” and “X” indicate location of the surface low center.. 4 Apr 2014 X X 50 kPa Temperature (°C). 4 Apr 2014 Figure 13. Valid 12 UTC. R. 4 Apr 2014 50 kPa Abs. Valid 12 UTC. 4 Apr 2014 85 kPa Abs. 4 Apr 2014 X X 85 kPa Temperature (°C). Stull • Practical Meteorology 439 X X 20 kPa Temperature (°C). Vorticity (10 –5 s–1).14. Pot. Temperature (left column) and other variables (right). Valid 12 UTC. Temperature (K) at 12 UTC. Valid 12 UTC. Valid 12 UTC. . 4 Apr 2014 A L L A’ 2 m Equiv.Vorticity (10 –5 s–1). Valid 12 UTC.

Maps higher on the page are for higher in the atmosphere.440 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones X X 20 kPa Streamlines. X Figure 13. 100 . 4 Apr 2014 70 kPa Temperature (°C). Thickness (m) between the 100 kPa and 50 kPa isobaric surfaces. Valid 12 UTC. 4 Apr 2014 MSL P (kPa). 4 Apr 2014 X X 70 kPa Heights (m). “L” and “X” indicate location of surface low-pressure cen- ter.16. 4 Apr 2014 Figure 13. 85 kPa T (°C) & 1 h Precip. Valid 12 UTC.(in) at 13 UTC.50 kPa Thickness. Valid 12 UTC. Valid 12 UTC. Valid 12 UTC. 4 Apr 2014 L L Precipitable water (mm). 4 Apr 2014 . Valid 12 UTC.15. 4 Apr 2014 20 kPa Divergence (10 –5 s–1).

    " OPSUI TPVUI "h XFTU  LN FBTU (b) Fig. 12 UTC.17 Tropopause pressure (hPa). separating the tro- posphere from the stratosphere. . Red line indicates the tropopause. [ 100 hPa = 10 kPa.18 (below) Hemispheric plot of 20 kPa height contours (unit interpretation: 1220 = 12. along the dashed diagonal line shown in (b). 13.T. valid 4 Apr 2014 from NCEP operational A’ analysis.5 PVU usually X are associated with stratospheric air. where stratospheric air is closer to the ground. 4USBUPTQIFSF   5SPQPQBVTF     5SPQPTQIFSF      6  5 '   S PO   U  $P ME  ' X   SP OU  R. where the cold air to the left of the dark-blue line is advanc- ing from left to right. Thanks to NOAA Earth System Research Lab. An Upper Tropospheric (U. (b) Isopleths are of isentropic potential vorticity in potential vorticity units (PVU). 25 kPa Isentropic. 13.) Front corresponds to a tropopause fold. Pot. R. Below the U.19 (above) (a) Vertical cross section through the atmo- sphere. “X” indicates surface-low location. 4 Apr 2014 Fig. ] A X Fig. where stratospheric air descends closer to the ground. Stull • Practical Meteorology 441 [ LN (a)  R.T. The di- agonal straight dotted line shows the cross section location plotted in (a). These are plotted on the 25 kPa isobaric sur- face.2 km). Surface fronts are also drawn on this map. Front is a surface-based Cold Front. The North Pole is at the center of the map. The “bulls eye” just west of the surface low “X” indi- cates a tropopause fold. valid 4 Apr 2014 from NCEP opera- tional analysis. Thanks to NOAA Earth System Research Lab. Values greater than 1. Black lines are isentropes (lines of constant potential temperature θ). Vorticity. 13.

Associated with this system is a complete coun- ca. shown in the 85 kPa Wind Vector chart. Namely. So it is no surprise to see the rain showers in axis closer to the surface-low center (“X”).15. This trough is west 100 kPa and other Near-Surface Charts of the location of the surface low-pressure center Focus on the last row of charts in Figs. warm sides of the frontal zones. low.13-13. across the frontal zones. 13.4 km MSL) west to east along the height contours plotted in this Focus on the third row of charts in Figs. This is associated with an intrusion of Recall that fronts on weather maps are drawn on the stratospheric air down into the troposphere (Fig. of the “X”.Top of Troposphere closed low on the 70 kPa Height chart. Wind Height chart shows the surface low that is deep speeds in the 20 kPa Isotach chart show two jet relative to the higher pressures surrounding it.15. 13. as shown on the 70 kPa Temperature ica also has two short-wave troughs superimposed chart.13 . start with the big picture. around the globe. start from the top down. switching to southwest. where the height contours form closed ovals. The 100 kPa erly over most of the eastern third of the USA. Southeast of the 13. just west Starting with the planetary scale. zoom to the synoptic scale over N. This low. (“X”).18 shows of the surface low. closed low immediately to the west of the surface Next.15 shows a Hemispheric Map . This (shown in the 50 kPa Temperature chart). focus on row 3 of Fig.15. it shows ing warmer air poleward on the east side of the low the thickness of the 100 to 50 kPa layer of air.19).13. The 20 kPa Wind Vector map shows gen. — one along the west coast and the other in the middle of N. The high hu- 50 kPa Charts — Middle of Troposphere (z midities also cause large values of Precipitable ≈5. 50 kPa Wind Vectors show the predominantly westerly 100 to 50 kPa Thickness winds turning in such a way as to bring colder air Fig. Amer. The 85 kPa Height chart shows a deep packed closer together.5 km MSL) therms along the frontal zones. 13. The jet stream flows from 85 kPa Charts — (z ≈ 1. 13.16 shows the vertical distance between the equatorward on the west side of the low. been drawn on most of these charts. At this altitude the warm air Hemispheric 20 kPa Geopotential Height advection poleward and cold-air advection equator- Contours. with faster winds where the contours are . 13. 100 and 50 kPa isobaric surfaces. It shows five long Rossby-wave troughs ward are even more obvious east and west of the low. as using Figs. Ameri. America.14. and progress toward the details. 13. particularly along the frontal . The approximate surface-frontal locations have also erally westerly winds aloft.442 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones Weather-map Discussion for this Case kPa Absolute Vorticity chart shows a bulls-eye As recommended for most weather discussions. The thick dashed lines on the 20 kPa Height flow causes a large magnitude of vorticity in the 85 contour map show the two short-wave trough axes. 13. The cyclonically rotating 13. kPa Temperature chart.13 of the atmosphere). The 50 thickness is proportional to the average temperature . and bring. Also. respectively. Fig. The streaks (shaded in yellow) — one with max winds 10 m Wind Vectors chart shows sharp wind shifts greater than 70 m s–1 in Texas and northern Mexico.13. The 20 kPa Divergence map shows strong low center is a humid “warm sector” with strong horizontal divergence (plotted with the blue contour moisture gradients across the warm and cold fronts lines) along and just east of the surface cold front as is apparent by the tight isohume packing in the 2 and low center.13 diagram.13. Precipitation chart. 13. The 50 kPa Height chart shows a trough zones.14. The broad trough over N. perature clearly demark the cold and warm frontal eye” of relatively warm air (–50°C) aloft just west zones with tightly packed (closely spaced) isentropes.14. The strong temperature advection east and west 20 kPa Charts — Top of Troposphere (z ≈ of the low center are creating denser packing of iso- 11. 85 kPa Temperature and 1-h pressure region has almost become a “closed low”.13 . 70 kPa Charts — (z ≈ 3 km MSL) The second row of charts in Fig. The trough over the central USA is the one associat- ed with the case-study cyclone. kPa Absolute Vorticity chart. This is discussed in the next several subsections terclockwise circulation of winds around the low. the MSL Pressure. and a weaker jet streak over the Great Lakes. of positive vorticity just west of the surface low.5 km MSL) water (moisture summed over the whole depth Focus on the second row of charts in Figs. m Water Vapor Mixing Ratio chart. Isentropes of 2 m Equivalent Potential Tem- The 20 kPa Temperature chart shows a “bulls. Next. as shown in the 85 Focus on the top row of charts in Figs. 13.

6 & 13. Tight packing of isentropes indicates 20 kPa Heights (m) & Isotachs (m s–1) 12 UTC.17 shows the pressure altitude of the or Fig. The warm-air sector (red isopleths) southeast of the surface low. Synoptic meteorology is the study and analy- sis of weather maps. The Rossby wave atmospheric scales. Globally. due to baro.13. are plotted so as to exclude the adiabatic tempera- ture change associated with the pressure decrease with height. and airmasses. anticyclones (Highs).. Lines of uniform potential tempera- ture (isentropes). R.7. we see how dynamics can be INFO • Synoptics used to explain cyclone formation and evolution. such as in the stratosphere. even though frontal upper-air (jet-stream) flow can create mid-latitude zones are so narrow that they can also be classified as cyclones at the surface. Look for a legend or caption tropopause. often with the aim to forecast the weather on horizontal scales of 400 to 4000 km. Fronts are also included in tropic and baroclinic instability. e. one fall solidly in the field of synoptics. ary with respect to the mountain-range location. Fig. It is the big picture. rather than absolute temperature. In the next sections.10 . 13.) fronts (also called Fig.19 and elsewhere in this chapter. is at about the 20 kPa (= 200 hPa) level. tic scales include cyclones (Lows). they are usually plotted differently. Because many fields cal shear of the geostrophic wind) is parallel to the are related to each other or work together. Be. as shown in Figs.. and the cold Most of the weather maps presented in the previ- air north and west (blue isopleths) are apparent. Above the surface low (”X”) the tropopause gives units. upper-tropospheric (U.T. e. tropopause folds). 4 Apr 2014 strong static stability. . the tropopause is higher over the subtropics and lower over the sub-polar regions. 13. hence. North and west of the “X” the tropopause is at lower altitude. and surface fronts.7a.e. cause the mountain location is fixed. Syn- optic weather maps describe an instantaneous Lee Cyclogenesis state of the atmosphere over a wide area. to the “lee” of) mountain ranges. mesoscale. and literally means “seeing everything togeth- er”. opticians. triggered by such a mountain often has a trough just The material in this chapter and in the previous downwind of (ie. X Fig. as described INFO • Multi-field Charts by the hypsometric eq. One might use solid lines and the other dashed. Such waves in the synoptics because of their length. 13.19 shows a vertical slice through the at- mosphere. 13. and pressure. the resulting The word “synoptics” is from the Greek “synop- Rossby-wave trough and ridge locations are station. Further to the south over Florida. specialize in synoptic meteorology are called syn- esis. meteorolo- gists often plot multiple fields on the same chart. the tropopause is at even higher altitude (where P ≈ 10 kPa = 100 hPa). as created from weather observations made nearly simultane- Recall from the General Circulation chapter that ously. Fig. Stull • Practical Meteorology 443 in the bottom half of the troposphere. See Table 10-6 and Fig. tikos”. 10. ous case study contained plots of only one field. 13. with a direction such that cold air To help you discriminate between the different (thin thicknesses) is on the left side of the vector. as the wind field or height field. Geopotential heights (lines) and wind speed (color fill). the verti. People who East of this trough is a favored location for cyclogen.24 in the Atmo- One trigger mechanism for this instability is spheric Forces & Winds chapter for a list of different flow over high mountain ranges.15-right map). it is known as lee cyclogenesis. Special thanks to Greg West and David Siuta for creating many of the case-study maps in Figs. thickness lines. A higher tropopause would have lower that describes which lines go with which fields. Or one might be Tropopause and Vertical Cross Section contoured and the other shaded (see Fig. 13. the west-to-east jet stream can meander poleward Typical weather phenomena at these synop- and equatorward as Rossby waves. where P = 30 kPa (=300 hPa) or greater. such Recall that the thermal wind vector (i. fields.

(13. λ = ? km ∆z A ≈ mtn · Rearth ∆zT (13.53 × 10 m · s  height is irrelevant.2) 3PDLZ MFF ∆y Rearth TPVUI .1) λ ≈ 2·π·  β C Z M where the mean wind speed is M.2 km) / (11 km) ] · (6371 km) = 695 km where 2A is the ∆y distance between the wave trough Next. M = 19 m s–1. with upstream wind is 19 m s–1. Over North Given: ϕ = 48°N.294x10 –11 m–1·s–1) · cos(48°) = 1. Because β is related to fc. As you have seen OPSUI 8JOE SJEHF SJEHF in an earlier chapter. we can analytically find their ratio as fc/β = REarth·tan(ϕ). and knowing the ini- tial depth of the troposphere (∆zT). (13. β is the northward gradient of " the Coriolis parameter (fc): OE XJ 3C 3D USPVHI ∆fc 2·Ω β = = · cos φ •(13. the north-south triggering (Fig. (a) Vertical cross sec- tion. Cyclogenesis to the lee of the mountains. because its wavelength (6.4) Use eq. Con- vective clouds (e. where the average Find the Answer radius (REarth) of the Earth is 6371 km. Also. not the topography.20 β is roughly 1.785 km). wind speed is important  19m · s −1  λ ≈ 2· π·  −11 −1 −1  = 6990 km in determining Rossby wavelength.990 km) would fit 3. 13. but does not depend on 1/2 wind speed. ∆zmtn = 1.20) is the one you should focus å[NUO on. Conversely. Thus: Find: A = ? km .3) β ∆zT Rossby wave would you expect for a mountain range at 48°N that is 1.2) to find β at 48°N: and crest. At North-American latitudes. 13. ∆zT = 11 km. thunderstorms) and turbulence å[5B å[5C å[5D can cause the Rossby wave amplitude to decrease 8JOE 8JOE further east.4): A = [ (1.444 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones B [ Stationary Rossby Waves Consider a wind that causes air in the troposphere LN USPQPQBVTF to blow over the Rocky mountains (Fig.8 Use conservation of potential vorticity as a tool times around the Earth at 48°N (circumference = to understand such mountain lee-side Rossby-wave 2·π·REarth·cos(48°) = 26. (13. the Rossby-wave amplitude A is: Sample Application fc ∆zmtn What amplitude & wavelength of terrain-triggered A≈ · (13. β = (2. .UOT USPVHI XFTU B C D FBTU Y Factor 2·Ω = 1. America the tangent of the latitude ϕ is tan(ϕ) ≈ 1.2 km high? The upstream depth of the troposphere is 11 km.. Check: Physics and units are reasonable.20).1): the height of the mountains. LN These Rossby waves have a dominant wave- 3PDLZ.20).g.UOT length (λ) of roughly  B C D Y 1/2 M (13. 13. “Ridge” and “trough” refer to Knowing the mountain-range height (∆zmtn) rela- the wind-flow pattern.2 km. the equations above show that north-south Rossby-wave amplitude depends on Finally.53x10 –11 m–1·s–1 In summary. use eq. while mountain  1.5 to 2x10 –11 m–1 s–1. tive to the surrounding plains. Exposition: Is this wave truly a planetary wave? Potential-vorticity Conservation Yes. Figure 13. suming wind speed is constant in the Rossby wave. (b) Map of jet-stream flow. so the first wave after the mountain (at location c in Fig.5° of latitude.458x10 –4 s–1 is twice the angular rota- tion rate of the Earth. use eq. Create a “toy model” by as- meander of the wave spans 2A = 12.

a – ∆zmtn. But since M/R was initially in the N.5) for the radius of curvature needed to main. and what is the radius of curvature at point “b”? fc. 11km tain ζp. the cyclonic trough zero. ϕ = 45°N.031 × 10 −4 s −1 ζp = = 9.a = ? m–1·s–1. curvature is the same order of magnitude as the anti- tive R means anticyclonic curvature. (13. 13.20a). such curvature turns west of the next ridge is where cyclogenesis is sup- the wind toward the equator.7) to get the radius of curvature: −M −(25m/s) Rb = Rb = = –2223.16) can be applied to get the Coriolis parameter over the mountain range. mountain height of 1.a. ∆zmtn = 1. M/R had to also become smaller to vature means that the turn is anticyclonic (clockwise keep the ratio constant. These initial winds have no curvature at posphere thickness of 11 km. . ported. (13.a ·( ∆zmtn / ∆zT . (13.2 km / 11km) Check: Physics and units are reasonable.a ) (13. Hemisphere). km fc.6): But the latitude of the air hasn’t changed much yet. Because potential vorticity is conserved. 13.a.7) (1.458x10 –4 s–1)·sin(45°) = 1. As the air blows Eq. Next. allowing the air thickness ∆z to increase back to is original value. This positive vorticity gives that cyclonic curvature that defines the lee trough of the Rossby wave.031 × 10 −4 s −1 )·(1. apply eq. we can solve 1. R.20. the troposphere becomes fc = (1. Assumption: Neglect wind shear in the vorticity cal- Let ∆zmtn be the relative mountain height above culation. Find: ζp. with 25 m blowing straight toward the Rocky Mountains from s–1 wind at location “a”. For this situation.5) ∆z For this toy model. Because ∆z has changed. surface cyclogenesis could be supported just east of the lee trough. (10. so fc. Typically. What location “a”. (13. so the radius of cur- vature Rc at location “c” becomes positive in order to keep potential vorticity constant. Namely. 13. Stull • Practical Meteorology 445 and that there is no wind shear affecting vorticity. 13. moving air experiences smaller Coriolis parameter. the new M/R had to become negative. thus R = ∞ and eq. the conservation of potential vorticity ζp is given by eq.25) as: ( M / R) + f c ζp = = constant •(13. point “a”. But equatorward.b = ζp.7. and latitude 45°N.5).b ≈ fc. Use eq. requiring that Rb become larger (less curved) to con- serve ζp .031x10 –4 s–1 thinner as it is squeezed between mountain top and the tropopause at location “b”: ∆zT.6) ζp = ∆zT . cyclonic ridge curvature. when ∆z became smaller while Exposition: The negative sign for the radius of cur- fc was constant.5) becomes: is the value of the initial potential vorticity. But now the air is closer to the equator where Coriolis parameter is smaller. where ∆zT.2 km. (11. (13. As was sketched in Fig.a is the average depth of troposphere at ∆zT = 11 km. Rinitial = ∞.20. tro- the west.2 km. Nega.b = ∆zT. Near the east side of the Rocky Mountains the terrain elevation decreases at point “c”. Rb = ? km we can use this fixed value of ζp to see how the Ross- by wave is generated. East of the first trough and As sketched in Fig. in eq.37x10 –9 m–1 s–1 eq.a Find the Answer Given: M = 25 m s–1. a (13. consider the initial winds to be Sample Application Picture a scenario as plotted in Fig. the surrounding land (Fig.

The combined effect causes the cyclone to relative vorticity on the equatorward flank of the translate equatorward to where vorticity is greatest.002 row in Fig. Hence. Again. while the bottom follows the sloping terrain. for the Northern Hemisphere. tion. B In this diagram. which rotate due to Coriolis force. The pressure by examining terms in the vorticity tendency equa- gradient drives winds. Assume constant latitude in Northern Hemisphere. A similar conclusion can be reached by consid- Use eq. Check: Physics and units are reasonable. at its equatorward side. even though they are intimately related (Fig. and increasing vorticity WPSUJDJUZ (i.4x10 –5 s–1 . This assumes that the top of the air columns is at the tropopause.22 cyclolysis (spin down. warms adiabatically en route to position “c”.22).21 has ζp = 1x10 –8 m–1·s–1 and Conversely.8): ering conservation of isentropic potential vorticity ∆ζr = 2 · (600.446 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones 5SPQPQBVTF [ Lee-side Translation Equatorward Suppose an extratropical cyclone (low center) is positioned over the east side of a mountain range in the Northern Hemisphere. The locations of these air columns are also moving counterclockwise around the common low center (L) — driven by the . the static stability of the column decreases Exposition: A similar decrease is likely on the pole. 13. its vertical extent shrinks. Air in the bottom of column “a” descends and = 2. .002) · (1x10 –8 m–1·s–1) (IPV). as column “c” moves to position “d” R = 600 km. Find the and then “a”. Updrafts remove air molecules from near the ground. cyclone to conserve IPV. which lowers surface pressure. the green circle and the air above C E it are the cyclone. as represented by the rotat- ing blue air columns in the figure. relative vorticity to decrease to maintain constant potential vorticity. positive-vorticity increase) and Figure 13. We can investigate the processes that cause cy- Y clogenesis (spin up. Let us start . Mountains are not needed for these processes. The mountain slope is 1:500. 13. As column “a” moves to position “b” and then “c”. α = 0. the center of action of the Find the Answer low center shifts (translates) equatorward (white ar- Given: ζp = 1x10 –8 m–1·s–1. following the region of increasing ζ r . spin-up). R = 600 km. as sketched in Fig. The equation that forecasts change of vorticity with time is called the vorticity tendency equa- TVSGBDF Z tion. (13.000 m) · (0. This drives an increase in ward side. synoptic-scale circulation around the low.8) Sample Application R is cyclone radius and α = ∆z/∆x is terrain slope. while there is no descent warming at the column top. positive-vorticity decrease) Attributes of cyclogenesis.e. SPUBUJPO decreasing surface pressure.21) along the lee side of the mountains. this stretch- Figure 13. Due Z to conservation of potential vorticity ζp. forcing its relative-vorticity change on the equatorward side. 13. Hence. the cyclone moves equatorward toward the region of greater relative vorticity. its vertical extent ∆z stretches. Find: ∆ζr = ? s–1 . ∆ζr = 2 · R · α · ζ p (13.. 13.21 ing must be accompanied by an increase in relative A low-pressure (L) center above terrain that slopes Y vorticity ∆ζ r : downward to the east. Air within this cyclone has posi- D tive (cyclonic) vorticity. You can gain insight into cyclogenesis by studying all three characteristics. USPQPQBVTF Spin-up of Cyclonic Rotation VQXBSE NPUJPO Cyclogenesis is associated with upward motion.21. The cyclone of Fig. EFDSFBTJOH TVSGBDFQSFTTVSF [ with vorticity.

6.e. Z MBSHF[S TNBMM[S the spin-up or vorticity tendency) can be predict.. R. Stull • Practical Meteorology 447 Vorticity Tendency Equation B )PSJ[POUBM"EWFDUJPO The change of relative vorticity ζr over time (i.

drag [ DPOWFSHFODF GDPS[S Positive vorticity tendency indicates cyclogenesis.9) ∆f å[ S åYm ∆ζr ∆ζ ∆ζ ∆ζ ∆W    =   −U r − V r − W r    + fc    −V c Y ∆t ∆x ∆y ∆z ∆z ∆y tendency horiz. stretching beta effect ∆U ∆W ∆V ∆W ∆W ∆W ∆W M + · − · − ·    +ζr    −CD ζr C %JWFSHFODF ∆z ∆y ∆z ∆x ∆x ∆y ∆z zi PS4USFUDIJOH MBSHF8 _tilting_(A)_______(B)________(C)_ stretching turbulent of rel. advect. ed using the following equation: •(13. vort. advection vert. .

å8å[.

23a). then TNBMM8 this is called positive vorticity advection (PVA). These ad- vections can be caused by vertical winds and hori- zontal winds (Fig. Negative vorticity advection (NVA) is when lower-vorticity air is blown into a region. Horizontal convergence IJHIMBUJUVEF MBSHFGD of air toward this tube will cause the tube to become åGDåZ. 13. D #FUB&GGFDU TNBMM[S Stretching: Consider a short column of air that is Z spinning as a vortex tube. Vorticity Advection: If the wind blows air of greater vorticity into your region of interest.

(13. å8åZ. 13. 7m taller and more slender (smaller diameter). respectively. The tall- er or stretched vortex tube supports cyclogenesis MPXMBUJUVEF TNBMMGD (Fig.9) are the stretching terms for Earth’s rota- tion and relative vorticity. Stretching E 5JMUJOH means that the top of the vortex tube moves upward MBSHF8 away from (or moves faster than) the movement of the bottom of the vortex tube.23b). horizontal divergence MBSHF[S shortens the vortex tube and supports cyclolysis or anticyclogenesis. In the first and second lines of eq. hence ∆W/∆z is posi. Conversely.

35) in the Gener. Hemisphere because the å6å[. MBSHF6 Beta Effect: Recall from eq. Beta is positive in the N. TNBMM8 al Circulation chapter that we can define β = ∆fc/∆y. (11. tive for stretching.

(C in eq. If wind moves air southward (i. V = negative) to where fc is smaller.9) If the hori- zontal winds change with altitude. Coriolis parameter increases toward the north pole [ TNBMM6 (see eq. Y tive sign in front of the beta term) to conserve poten- tial vorticity (Fig. then relative Z vorticity ζr becomes larger (as indicated by the nega. 13.23c). 13.2). 13.. Tilting Terms: (A & B in eq. [ [S.e. then this shear F 5VSCVMFOU%SBH causes vorticity along a horizontal axis.

9) Neighboring up. horizontal vorticity.23 we have increased vorticity via the tilting of initially Illustration of processes that affect vertical vorticity (see eq. then the UIFSPUBUJPO tube will tilt to become more vertical.and down-drafts give hori- [J zontal shear of the vertical wind. 13. tal vortex tube experiences stronger vertical velocity %SBHGPSDFPQQPTFT on one end relative to the other (Fig. An additional drag process is shown in the next column. (A-C) If a resulting horizon. 13.9). . 13.  .23d). causing vorticity along a horizontal axis. Because spin- ning about a vertical axis is how we define vorticity. Figure 13.

23f). All of the terms in the vorticity-tendency equa- tion must be summed to determine net spin down or spin up. The result is a change of wind speed M with distance x that causes positive vorticity. such as high- 50 kPa Winds & Abs.e. Fig. 4 Apr 2014 tilting term will also be discussed in the Thunder- storm chapters. Illustration of a turbulent-drag process that causes spin-up.24 shows the wind vectors and absolute vorticity on the 50 kPa isobaric surface (roughly in the middle of the troposphere) for the case-study cy- clone.10 the figure favor cyclone spin-up (i.10 In the bottom half of the troposphere. Vorticity (10 –5 s–1). due to mass continuity. a value of w = 0. Fig.448 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones G 5VSCVMFOU%SBH QBSU Turbulence in the atmospheric boundary lay- [ . the winds M subgeostrophic because of the greater drag. Since vertical velocity is near zero at the ground. As the cold air advances (black arrow in Fig. Z "UNPTQIFSJD#PVOEBSZ-BZFS . Low-altitude spin-down due to turbulent drag up occurs wherever there is rotation. .05 –0. regions up 0. This turbulent drag acts to slow the wind and decrease rotation rates $PME"JSNBTT [J (Fig. You can identify the action of some of these terms X by looking at weather maps.26 shows down X 0. Thus.10 corresponds to convergence. Negative divergence –0.13 indicate vorticity that is spinning down.. Absolute vorticity (shaded) and winds (vectors) at 50 kPa. The 50 kPa Vertical Velocity (m s–1).24 lower vorticity. Namely. Coriolis force will turn the winds and Figure 13. 13. Such spin down can cause cyclolysis. regions of positive vertical velocity at 50 kPa must correspond to stretching in the bottom 0 half of the atmosphere.24 combines the advection and beta terms. At this altitude. Positive vorticity advection (PVA) occurs where wind vectors are crossing the vorticity con- tours from high toward low vorticity. Fig. 13. 13. 13. for cold fronts drag can increase  Y vorticity. 13. By us- ing the absolute vorticity instead of relative vorticity. 0 13. high vorticity values (dark oval in Fig. the rotation 0. The regions of low-al- titude convergence favor cyclone spin-up. Figure 13.24. cyclogenesis). Thus. Fig.68 Pa s –1. 4 Apr 2014 lighted by the dark box in Fig. 12 UTC.25 shows vertical velocity in the middle of the atmosphere.7H However. 13. 0. high.10 0 the divergence field at 85 kPa. regarding tornado formation. 13.23e). 13. the updraft regions in 0 0 –0. This region favors cyclone spin up.10 m s –1 corresponds to ω = –0.05 of 10 m wind vectors around the surface low in Fig.ř7H er (ABL) communicates frictional forces from the ground to the whole ABL. higher vorticity air is blowing into regions that contained Figure 13.15 down of stretching must correspond to regions of conver- 0. Negative vorticity advection (NVA) is where lighting regions of positive (green rectangle) and negative (red the wind crosses the vorticity contours from low to oval) vorticity advection for the case-study storm.10 gence of air. 12 UTC.25 Vertical velocity (m s –1) near the middle of the troposphere (50 kPa) for the case-study storm.23 (part 2) create a geostrophic wind Vg (large white arrow). Closer to the leading edge of the front where the cold air is shallower.24).

we know from observations that verti. while its base rises at 0. meaning stretching =(1. the winds C D are almost geostrophic (quasi-geostrophic). As a result of the simplifications above. but there is a straight north to south geostrophic wind blowing at 10 m s–1 at latitude 45°.62 × 10 −11 m −1 · s −1 ) term in the quasi-geostrophic vorticity equation in. the Figure 13.12) fc = (1.008)m//s = = Such winds never cross the isobars. use eq. Exposition: Even without any initial geostrophic Within a quasi-geostrophic system. the first law 85 kPa Divergence (10 –6 s–1). the vorticity vorticity. (10. = 1. X optic scale.62x10 –10 + 2. the last ∆ζ g = −( −10m/s)·(1. If the winds were perfectly geostrophic or Use the definition of a gradient (see Appendix A): gradient. where the relative geostrophic vorticity ζg is defined Also. The remaining terms cal motions do exist and are important for causing give: clouds and precipitation in cyclones. due to if the wind blows appropriately. for syn. ∆W Wtop − Wbottom (0. R. the top of a 1 km thick column of air rises at 0. estimate vertical velocity in cyclones. jets. ∆x ∆y W bottom = 0.01 similar to the relative vorticity of eq. (13. When such spin-up beta an ageostrophic vertical velocity is included in an +(0.008 m s–1.2): ∆fc 1. the equation is said to be quasi-geostrophic. D lyze than thunderstorms and hurricanes. the rotation of the Earth can spin-up the flow and temperature fields are closely coupled.68x10 –10 s–2 partially geostrophic. and thunderstorms) the terms in the second line C of the vorticity equation are smaller than those in the first line. (11. The quasi-geostrophic ap- proximation will also be used later in this chapter to Check: Units OK. 4 Apr 2014 of thermodynamics. ∆Vg ∆U g •(13. ∆z = 1 km. and could not ∆z ztop − zbottom (1000 − 0)m cause convergence into the low. and can be neglected.10) ∆ζ g ∆ζ g ∆ζ g ∆fc ∆W    =    −U g − Vg     −Vg     + fc Sample Application ∆t ∆x ∆y ∆y ∆z Suppose an initial flow field has no geostrophic spin-up horizontal advection beta stretching relative vorticity. These weather phenomena are simpler to ana. and ideal gas law). use eq. C = horizontal convergence (= – D). get the Coriolis parameter using eq. Physics OK. a wind that is not geostrophic.11) Find the Answer ζg = − Given: V = –10 m s–1. Also. ing quasi-geostrophic vorticity equation: •(13. We have no information about However. except m s–1.26 Horizontal divergence (D = ∆U/∆x + ∆V/∆y) for the case-study vorticity forecast equation simplifies to the follow- storm.000103 s–1 ζg = R Next.01 − 0. = 2x10 –6 s–1 gence there would be no vertical velocity. With no conver. Wtop = 0. Find the rate using geostrophic winds Ug and Vg: of geostrophic-vorticity spin-up. extratropical weather systems. advection.06x10 –10 ) s–2 = 3. Thus.16): 2 ·G •(13. The prefix “quasi-” is used for the following rea.458x10 –4 s–1)·sin(45°) = 0. continuity. Finally. ∆t cludes W.01 m s–1. eq. so assume it is zero.458 × 10 −4 s −1 where G is the geostrophic wind speed and R is the β= = · cos 45° ∆y 6.357 × 106 m radius of curvature. Find: ∆ζg/∆t = ? s–2 For solid body rotation. then they would be parallel to the isobars.10). Valid 12 UTC.008 m s–1. and can be well approximated by a set of equations (quasi-geo- strophic vorticity and omega equations) that are less complicated than the full set of primitive equa- tions of motion (Newton’s second law. ϕ = 45°. (11. .20). Stull • Practical Meteorology 449 Quasi-Geostrophic Approximation Above the boundary layer (and away from fronts.22) becomes: First.000103s –1 )·(2 × 10 −6 s −1 ) equation that otherwise is totally geostrophic.62x10 –11 m–1·s–1 sons. (13.

the JTPC Air is departing faster than entering. namely. The sum of all three terms in the quasigeostrophic vorticity equation is often D Z DM M PO positive. Forces & Winds chapter that the geostrophic wind is defined sphere).450 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones the dual constraints of geostrophic and hydrostatic HIGHER MATH • The Laplacian balance. Vertical motions as- WPS sociated with horizontal divergence in jet streaks are USPVHI Z discussed later in this chapter. 13. ex- concerned only with the horizontal (H) portion: tratropical systems. shown in Fig.   IUT POJD In real cyclones. That isobaric strophic for anticyclonic curvature. however. on the 50 kPa isobaric surface (i. contours are often more closely  JH ZDM S ET IF spaced in troughs. This illustrates the value of the Laplacian — as a way For any fixed pressure gradient. positive updraft speed at 50 kPa. Rossby also pointed out in Figure 13. then An idealized weather pattern (“toy model”) is ∂2 A/∂x2 = ∂[ ∂A/∂x ]/∂x is the change of slope. Thus. .11) gives the geostrophic vorticity: cyclonic (counterclockwise) curvature of the wind. contributes to spin- OPSUI down because air from lower latitudes (with smaller  Coriolis parameter) is blowing toward the location UZ of the surface cyclone. This implies close coupling between the wind and mass fields. The beta term. causing relative maxima in jet BOUJD XJO FM UJDJU HSBEJFOU stream winds called jet streaks. as was discussed in the Gen- A Laplacian operator ∇ 2 can be defined as eral Circulation and Fronts chapters in the sections ∂2 A ∂2 A ∂2 A on geostrophic adjustment. x on a graph. Every feature in the figure is the curvature. Hence. varying motions. This imbal- BSJ DF Laplacian of |g|·z is positive. it where A represents any variable. Plugging the height contours.11b) vorticity into the area of the surface low. and faster than geo- a low-height center on an isobaric sfc.27. fc ∂y fc ∂x Geostrophic and gradient winds are parallel to where Φ is the geopotential ( Φ = |g|·z ). The trough axis is a region of these into eq. winds are slower than geostrophic when curving cy- For example. Examine corresponds to positive the 50 kPa flow immediately above the surface low. the “toy” model of Fig. a Y W increases from near zero at the ground to some low has positive vorticity.. All three components of the 1 ∂Φ 1 ∂Φ U g = − Vg = geostrophic vorticity equation can be studied. Sometimes we are is a reasonable approximation for synoptic-scale. 13. the gradient to more concisely describe the physics. which yields a large positive value of geostrophic ∂  1 ∂Φ  ∂  1 ∂Φ  ζg = + vorticity. Thus. - 'PS[ curvature. ∂2 A ∂2 A ∇ 2H ( A) = 2 + Application to Idealized Weather Pat- ∂x ∂y 2 What does it mean? If ∂A/∂x represents the slope terns of a line when A is plotted vs. This stretching helps to spin-up the cyclone. the advection term is positive or over the L center and contributes to spin-up of the 1 2 ζg = ∇ H (Φ ) cyclone because the wind is blowing higher positive fc (13. Bjerknes in 1937. Figure f. At the ridge is negative (clockwise) rela- ∂x  fc ∂x  ∂y  fc ∂y  tive vorticity. Namely. This effect is small when the J WPSUJD  wave amplitude is small. low L is indicated. ζg is positive. (13. except the L which indicates the location of as the surface low center. Thus.27 as introduced by J. a low-pressure center corresponds to clonically (“slow around lows”). in the mid tropo- How is it used? Recall from the Atm. 13. The location of the surface has weaknesses that limit its applicability. These motions vio- late the assumption that air mass is conserved along FBTU an “isobaric channel”.e. hence. which the thick-line wind arrows in Fig. providing a net spin-up and intensification JDSF   SJEHF LN of the cyclone.27. While such close cou- ∇2 A = + + ∂x ∂y 2 ∂z 2 2 pling is not observed for every weather system. DTVSGB ance (divergence) draws air up from below. as sketched with surface is concave up.27 1940 that the gradient wind balance is not valid for An idealized 50 kPa chart with equally-spaced height contours.

14) implies that updrafts (positive W) are associ- ated with negative ω. 13.1 m s–1. Fig. (b) W = – 0. and they often give similar re. (b) ω = –(0.8 m s–2)·(40 m s–1) omega equation.0721 Pa s–1 sults. and Q-vectors.7361 kg m–3 at z = 5 km. and ω: ω = −ρ · g · W •(13. Find the corresponding omega values. Recall from classical physics that the definition of vertical motion is W = ∆z/∆t. the omega Given: (a) W = 40 m s–1.25 shows upward motion near the middle of the troposphere (at 50 kPa). omega (in kPa s –1) has magnitude of roughly a hundredth of W (in m s–1). Because each altitude has an associated pressure. Sample Application Use either W or ω to represent vertical motion. 13. Near the tropopause.7361 kg m–3)·(9. As an example. For example. suppose (a) a thun- merical weather forecasts usually output the vertical derstorm has an updraft velocity of 40 m s–1. As a quick rule of thumb. use eq. strophic (quasi-geostrophic) nature of lower-tropo- spheric winds allows you to estimate ascent at 50 kPa Next. Nu.01 m s–1. (13.8 m·s–2 and air density ρ. = 7.55 Pa s–1 motions that help maintain quasi-geostrophic flow. the pressure de- creases.14) for gravitational acceleration magnitude |g| = 9. if your weath- er map shows ω = –0.68 Pa s–1 on the 50 kPa surface. zontal divergence of jet-stream winds can force mid- tropospheric ascent in order to conserve air mass as To estimate air density. . Q-vectors consider ageostrophic = –288.28 Vertical velocity (omega) in pressure coordinates. where an mid-tropospheric density of ρ ≈ 0. then the equation above can be rearranged to give W = 0.8 m s–2)·(–0. define a new type of vertical velocity in terms of pressure.29 kPa/s These methods are just different ways of looking at the same processes. Fig.28 shows upward the subsidence velocity in the middle of an anticyclone motion (ω) near the middle of the troposphere (at 50 is –0. The following three methods will be employed Find the Answer to study ascent: the continuity equation. 4 Apr 2014 ∆P ω= •(13. Negative omega (colored red on this map) cor- You can use the hypsometric equation to relate W responds to updrafts.55 (kg·m–1·s–2)/s = –288. kPa).0721 (kg·m–1·s–2)/s = 0. Stull • Practical Meteorology 451 Ascent You can also use updraft speed to estimate cy- clone strength and the associated clouds. near the surface where air density is greater. equation. This is called omega (ω): 50 kPa Omega (Pa/s). = –0. (13. Red up. study cyclone. and (b) velocity as ω. table from Chapter 1: ρ = 0. The negative sign in eq.69 kg·m–3 was used. hori- Find: ω = ? kPa s –1 for (a) and (b). use the standard atmosphere given by the continuity equation.7361 kg m–3)·(9. with opposite sign. Remember that the sign of omega is opposite that of vertical velocity. because as height increases in the atmosphere.01 m s–1) = 0. At an elevation of 5 km MSL. Valid 12 UTC. For the X case-study cyclone. for the case- Omega has units of Pa s–1.13) ∆t Figure 13. The almost-geo.01 m s–1. for altitude z and time t. R. z = 5 km.14) to solve for the omega values: using thermal-wind and vorticity principles in the (a) ω = –(0. Exposition: CAUTION.21x10 –5 kPa s –1 Check: Units and sign are reasonable.

a planetary-scale feature for which incompressible continuity equation assumes constant the jet stream is approximately geostrophic. Thus. Given enough hours. for the region outlined with the black/ ∆z = 5 km.125 m s–1 We will focus on two processes that cause hori- zontal divergence of the jet stream: Check: Units OK. What updraft is induced below this 5 (mid tropospheric) is Wmid.17) ∆s Sample Application where the distance between outflow and inflow lo- Jet-stream inflow winds are 50 m s–1.29. the thickness of the flow winds are 75 m s–1 a distance of 1000 km further upper air layer is ∆z. In the troposphere. the Find: Wmid = ? m s–1 main inflow and outflow are at the ends of the box (arrows). most of this in- tinuity requires that this upper-level horizontal divergence be flow happens a mid-levels (P ≈ 50 kPa) as an upward balanced by ascent Wmid in the mid troposphere.452 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones USPQPQBVTF Continuity Effects L1B . storm.30 or Over the surface cyclone (X) is a region (box) with faster jet- ∆M stream outflow than inflow (arrows). km thick divergence region? Assume air density is 0. cations is ∆s. Isotachs are shaded.30 shows this scenario for the case-study kg m–3. because the • Rossby waves. if Net vertical inflow can compensate for net hori- air leaves faster (Mout) than enters (Min) horizontally.Min]·(∆z/∆s) = [75 .PVU Horizontal divergence (D = ∆U/∆x + ∆V/∆y) is .30). This can occur at locations where jet-stream wind speed (Mout) exiting a volume is greater than L1B 8NJE entrance speeds (Min).15) or  ∆U ∆ V  (13. Figure 13. then con.29.JO å[ where more air leaves a volume than enters. 4 Apr 2014 Wmid =  + ·∆ z  ∆ x ∆ y  Figure 13.5 Fig. 13. The isotachs (shaded) tell us that the in- Use eq. over an hour this updraft velocity would lift air about 450 m. (13. non-geostrophic (ageostrophic) motions. and density — a bad assumption over a 5 km thick layer. Wmid = [Mout . and the ascent speed at 50 kPa downstream. Geostrophic winds are often nearly parallel to the height contours (solid black curvy lines in Fig.17): flow (≈ 20 m s–1) is slower than outflow (≈50 m s–1). vertical velocity (Wmid).16) 20 kPa Heights (m) & Isotachs (m s–1) 12 UTC. Wmid = · ∆z (13. ber. thereby creating a cloud or enabling a thunderstorm. Find the Answer Given: Min = 50 m s–1. • jet streaks.50 m s–1]·[(5km)/(1000km)] = 0. Namely. wind speed is M. Mout = 75 m s–1. For air in the top half of the troposphere (shaded light blue). [ Conservation of air mass requires that the num- L1B &BSUITTVSGBDF Z Y ber of air molecules in a volume. . such as the light blue region sketched in Fig. must remain near- åT ly constant (neglecting compressibility). Physics unreasonable. the rising air might reach its lifting condensation level. zontal outflow. the inflows [(Min times the area across which the inflow occurs) plus (Wmid times its area of in- flow)] equals the outflow (Mout times the outflow 50 m/s area). ∆s = 1000 km. where jet-stream accelerations cause Exposition: Although this seems like a small num. 13. horizon- tally. Not much vertical inflow happens across the tropopause because vertical mo- tion in the stratosphere is suppressed by the strong static stability. while out.29 volume inflow must balance volume outflow of air. In the idealized illustration of Fig. 13. 13. white box drawn parallel to the contour lines. X The continuity equation describes volume con- 20 servation for this situation as Wmid = D·∆ z (13.

divergence induces ascent into the bottom of the dotted lines) to achieve the mass balance needed to support the hypothetical box.386] = 25.1(m/s)·[2 – 0. Hori- zontal wind speed entering the box is slow around Figure 13. you can estimate the jet-stream wind-speed increase as: 1 (3000km)2 = 1520 km R= · (13.17): [(λ / 2)2 + ∆y 2 ]1/2  25. Hence. ∆z = 3 km.23)  a toy-model estimate of the vertical motion: = 76. R. fc = 0. Fig.283 – 1.19) by using the curvature Rossby  f c · R f c ·R  number from the Forces and Winds chapter: For a simple sine wave. Knowing the decrease/increase relative to the geo.19). (13. 3 km depth. and 35 m s–1 mean geo- streamwise length of the hypothetical box equals strophic velocity. This ascent is removing air mol. (13. of air mass is moved by this updraft. recall that USPQPQBVTF the gradient wind is faster around ridges than BN E 4USF T +FU YJ " troughs. faster winds (thick lines with arrows) at the ridge. this horizontal (thin lines with arrows) are enhanced by vertical velocity (W.0001 s–1 strophic wind speed G of the actual gradient wind M Find: Wmid = ? m s–1 around troughs/ridges (from the Forces and Winds Apply eq. as sketched JE M 3 Z in Fig. H " V SP F [ H 5 One such location is east of troughs. you can an. Estimate the ascent speed under the jet.0001 the diagonal distance between the trough and ridge s–1 . Suppose a jet stream meanders in a sine wave pat- pose the jet stream path looks like a sine wave of tern that has a 150 km north-south amplitude.049 m s–1 Wmid =  · 3km  1530km  For our case-study cyclone. Since Rossby waves consist of a train H 5 JE 3 of ridges and troughs in the jet stream. Sample Application We can create a toy model of this effect.23) − 1 + 4(0. Exposition: This ascent speed is 5 cm s–1. while exiting winds are fast around the Sketch showing how the slower jet-stream winds at the trough ridge.21) Apply eq.52 × 106 m) 1 λ2 R= 2 · (13.23)  Combining these equations with eq. Sup. from 20 to 50 m/s across a distance of about 1150 km. Assume that the km wavelength.30 shows a short-wave trough with jet-stream speed increasing Check: Physics.) ecules below the hypothetical box. creating a region of low surface pressure. ) " T I YJ increasing and decreasing in speed.17) gives 2(0.19) 2π 2 (300km)  4·G 4·G  ∆M = 0. a large amount of the surface low over Wisconsin (“X” on the map).20): chapter).2 m s–1 (13. & magnitudes are reasonable.5 · fc · R ·  2 − 1 − − 1+  Simplify eq. (13. (N. G = 35 m s–1. 3000 wavelength λ and amplitude ∆y/2. (13.23 fc · R (0. (13. å[ 8 T ticipate that along the jet-stream path the winds are YJ . (13. surface lows (extra- tropical cyclones) form east of jet-stream troughs. use eq. which seems slow. but with Roc: 35m/s ∆M = ·  2 − 1 − 4(0. use eq. 13.31. But when applied under the large area of This upper-level divergence supported cyclogenesis the jet stream trough-to-ridge region.18): fc · ∆z · λ 2  8 π 2G · ∆y 8 π 2G · ∆y  d = [ (1500km)2 + (300km)2 ]1/2 = 1530 km 2 − 1 − − 1 +  4 π 2 · ∆y  fc · λ 2 fc · λ 2  Wmid = Finally. the radius-of-curvature R of G 35m/s the jet stream around the troughs and ridges is: = Roc = −1 = 0.18) Find the Answer Given: ∆y = 2 · (150 km) = 300 km. To maintain mass continuity. Hem. for any fixed latitude and horizontal pres- T I YJ H " V SP F sure gradient. Stull • Practical Meteorology 453 Rossby Waves From the Forces and Winds chapter.31 the trough.2 m/s  = 0. 1/2 ∆s = d = (λ / 2)2 + ∆y 2  (13.0001s )·(1. λ = 3000 km. units.20) 2π ∆y Next. 13. Consider a hypothetical box of air at the TVSGBDF Y jet stream level between the trough and ridge. . The latitude is such that fc = 0.

Find: Vag = ? m s–1 Let (Uag. d = weak) and convergence vectors point slightly left of geostrophic while ac- (C = strong. some of the wind vectors con- Tan dashed lines parallel and perpendicular to the jet axis divide verge in speed and/or direction to make horizontal the jet streak into quadrants. . E Suppose the wind in a weak-pressure-gradient region had reached its equilibrium wind speed as Z  given by the geostrophic wind. 13. The fast-wind D regions in the jet core are called jet streaks. Find the exit ageostrophic wind component. Geostrophic (G) winds are parallel to the deviate from geostrophic by different amounts (Fig. ∆x = 500 km.. while (ag) indicates the ageostrophic wind component. L & H indicate low & different wind speeds and pressure gradients.454 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones B Jet Streaks . stream from the west: .24) = –20 m s–1 Check: Physics and units are reasonable. The Z  RVBESBOU wind is temporarily too fast because of its inertia. MFGUFYJU RVBESBOU strophic) for a short time while it accelerates toward LN the faster geostrophic wind speed. E The opposite happens as air exits a jet streak and SJHIUFOUSBODF flows into a region of weaker pressure gradient.e. because the air has inertia. This is  ( RVBESBOU what happens as air flows into a jet streak.22) gives for a jet Exposition: Negative sign means Vag is north wind. faster geostrophic C wind speed. . Back arrows represent winds. Namely. they high height centers. isobars. c = weak) near a jet streak. Vag ) be the ageostrophic wind compo- nents Use eq. As a result. and assume fc = 10 –4 s–1. (13.23) The average wind is U = (60 + 40 m s–1)/2 = 50 m s–1. At other locations the winds cause divergence. and slightly right while decelerating. The jet stream does not maintain constant speed LN in the jet core (center region with maximum speeds). it accelerates and decelerates as it blows around the world in response to changes in horizon-  tal pressure gradient and direction. MFGUFOUSBODF % ( BH When the air parcel is too slow.51a) from the Atmospheric Forces and Wind east. it is ageostrophic (not geo- . As this air coasts Y  LN ) into a region of stronger pressure gradient (i. chapter reduces to: Find the Answer 0 = −U ∆U ∆x ( + fc V − Vg ) (13. Be- having the darkest green). thin curved black lines are height cause the air in different parts of the jet streak have contours of the 20 kPa isobaric surface.25). the U-wind forecast equa- decreases to 40 m s–1 in the jet exit region 500 km to the tion (10. % Instead. convergence regions. it finds itself slower than the new. the wind Horizontal divergence (D = strong. Figure 13.32 For northern hemisphere jet streams. steady-state jet A west wind of 60 m s–1 in the center of a jet streak stream with no curvature. Sign OK. Vag = V − Vg •(13. Vag = [(50 m s–1) / (10 –4 s–1)] · [( –20 m s–1) / (5x105 m)] U ag = U − U g •(13. This BH D temporary imbalance turns the air at a small angle SJHIUFYJU toward lower pressure (or lower heights). green shading indicates isotachs (with the fastest winds celerating. Plugging these into eq. The jet-stream divergence regions drive cyclogenesis near the Earth’s surface. Sample Application For an idealized west-to-east. The $ response of the wind to these speed changes is not  instantaneous.32a). its Coriolis force RVBESBOU (which is proportional to its wind speed) is smaller  $ than the new larger pressure gradient force. tighter packing of the isobars or height contours). (13.22) Given: ∆U = 40–60 m s–1 = –20 m s–1. Y  LN ) so the Coriolis force (larger than pressure-gradient force) turns the wind at a small angle toward higher pressure.

13.17.  When considering a jet streak. The scale for winds and the values for the maxima (one over Texas. 13. cross-jet flow (orange in Fig. hence Vag is positive according to to the wind direction.32). White/black if winds are geostrophic (or gradient). Uag is negative. perpendicular to the average jet direction. 13. inertia has caused these winds to be faster than . 13. Consider a vertical slice through the atmosphere. under the right exit region. The resulting ageostrophic entrance vector is shown in blue in Fig. Stull • Practical Meteorology 455 U ∆U INFO • Ageostrophic right-hand rule Vag = · •(13. imagine it divided into the four quadrants sketched in Fig.25). which case the direction of BH E FP The air moves into a region where U is positive and J O acceleration is opposite X increases with x.) height contours near the top of the troposphere (at Superposition of the 20 kPa charts for geopotential heights (me- 20 kPa).BH . Simi.FYJDP (VMGPG. Cyclolysis is favored under the convergence regions of the right    exit and left entrance regions. V is positive and increases with y. pressure to drop. stream. the green shading indicates isotachs of the ageostrophic winds (Mag) induce mid-tropospheric jet core into the page. isotachs in m s –1 (shading). 13. R. and white/black oval outlines the entrance region for a larger jet streak over the northeastern USA. Regions of England) that we identify as jet streaks. The combination of speed and direc- tion changes cause strong divergence in the left   exit quadrant. In Fig. isotachs. 13. hence. caus- ing the winds to be to the right of geostrophic. L1B)FJHIUT *TPUBDIT 8JOET65$ 'FC ure overlays wind vectors.26) ageostrophic wind.33 the square highlights the exit region of the Texas jet streak. where cyclolysis is favored. (13. 13. The resulting combination of the west southwest. Name- [ . Figure 13.. respectively (Fig. favoring cyclogenesis. consider the winds approaching the works for deceleration.25) fc ∆x If the geostrophic winds are accelerating. The weak. Viewed from region (Fig. dotted lines) to conserve air mass. This fig. then they square outlines the exit region from a small jet streak over Texas. DJSDVMBUJPO where winds cross the height contours to the left. $ E Inertia results in slower-than-geostrophic winds  DZDMPHFOFTJT DZDMPMZTJT (subgeostrophic).35).33). and geopotential Figure 13.33 (Not the 2014 case study.32a. yielding the corresponding ageostrophic  wind component. for U S PQ T jet streak (i.34). Your thumb V ∆V [ U ag = − · points in the direction of the fc ∆y •(13.BH ly. Also. turn removes air from near the surface. should flow parallel to the height contours. Embedded within it are two relative speed and winds (vectors). Divergence (D) in the left exit region ascent (Wmid) and descent that favors cyclogenesis creates ascent (W. 13.FYJDP This ageostrophic behavior can also be seen in the maps for a different case-study (Fig. and the other over New height contours are identical to those in Figs. use your Similarly. causing the Coriolis force to be OPSUIXFTU TPVUIFBTU too weak to counteract pressure-gradient force. These are the regions where 0DFBO cyclogenesis is favored under the jet. This right-hand rule also IJD For example. the ageostrophic wind for south-to-north right hand to curl your fingers from vertical toward jet stream axis is the direction of acceleration (the BDDFM acceleration vector).e. eq.34 Vertical slice through the atmosphere at the jet-streak exit re- perpendicular to the geostrophic wind at the jet exit gion. The 8NJE TFDPOEBSZ 8NJE oval highlights the entrance region of the second jet. 13. showing wind vectors that cross the height contours toward the right. The opposite happens ondary circulation. The broad area of shading shows the jet dium-thickness black curved lines). 1BDJGJD 0DFBO . in the entrance region) in Fig.32b.32 (also  Fig. $BOBEB lar analyses can be made for the jet-streak exit re- gions. Figure g. This causes the surface vertical. Recall that relatively darker shading indicate the jet streaks. which in and cyclolysis.34) is a sec. 13. and weaker divergence in the right "UMBOUJD entrance quadrant. . therefore Coriolis QBVTF % KFUDPSF D force is stronger than pressure-gradient force.BH USPQP geostrophic (supergeostrophic).

strophic dynamics and thermodynamics. column geostrophic vorticity is ζgc = ζg top + ζg bottom + fc . the mid-tropo- km downstream. Sutcliffe devised •(13. then this for the 100 to 50 kPa layer. at the exit region.16) with Vag in place of M. this conclusion for upward motion is nearly represents an average over the whole depth of the identical to that from the Trenberth omega eq. sphere (at P = 50 kPa). INFO • Sutcliffe Development Theorem The resulting approximate omega equation is: To help forecast cyclogenesis. We will use a form of this equa- Wmid = · = 0.15).35 (Not the 2014 case study. FYJU "UMBOUJD 0DFBO Thus. looking equations in meteorology (see the HIGHER MATH box).FYJDP FOUSBODF right entrance region of jet streak # 2). layer. based on quasi-geo- Check: Physics and units are reasonable. ω). suppose that Sample Application Vag gradually reduces to 0. V TH) are the thermal-wind components. and convert the result from ω to W.2x106 m. Figure 13. Looking again at the 23 Feb 1994 weather maps. you can expect divergence aloft at the left exit +FU 3JHIU and right entrance regions.29). ig-  -FGU nore the smaller jet streak over the Pacific Northwest). column top than bottom.033 m s–1 (10 −4 s −1 )·(1.25) A 40 m s–1 in a jet core reduces to 20 m s–1 at 1.27) Given: ∆U = 20 – 40 = –20 m s–1. fc = 10 –4 s–1. apply it to the bottom half of the tro- posphere (the layer between 100 to 50 kPa isobaric surfaces). spheric ascent driven by the jet streak is tion is 4 km thick and 800 km wide. and the overbar (13. 13. ∆x = 1. it is called an indirect circula-  tion. fc = 10 –4 s–1. 3JHIU FOUSBODF Fig. X marks the surface low center. fc is Coriolis parameter. can be important for cyclogenesis. ∆z = 4km.FYJDP a new cyclone formed over the Carolinas (under the 0DFBO 3JHIU (VMGPG. ∆z is the 100 to 50 kPa thickness. These are locations that -FGU 4USFBL FOUSBODF  FYJU would favor cyclogenesis near the ground. (13. U · ∆U ∆z Wmid = · Find the Answer fc · ∆x ∆y (13. When combined with eq. Exposition: This small ascent speed. Find: Wmid = ? m s–1 Omega Equation The omega equation is the name of a diagnos- Use eq. when active The full omega equation is one of the nastier- over a day or so.27): tic equation used to find vertical motion in pressure ( 40m/s)·( −20m/s) ( 4km) units (omega. under the right entrance and left exit regions as fol- lows. To simplify it. The jet cross sec. focus on one part of the full equation. must be associated with greater air divergence at the β is the change of Coriolis parameter with y (see eq. Convergence L1B*TPUBDIT NT 65$ 'FC aloft. Indeed. Define ∆s = ∆y as the north-south half-width of a predominantly west-to-east jet streak.) You can estimate mid-tropospheric ascent (Wmid) Entrance and exit regions of jet streaks (highlighted with ovals). Combining eqs.28) 1  Dtop − Dbottom = − UTH ∆ ζ gc + VTH ∆ ζ gc  −2 · ∆z  ∆ζ g ∆ζ g β fc  ∆x ∆y   Wmid ≅ UTH + VTH + VTH  fc  ∆x ∆y 2  where divergence is D = ∆U/∆x + ∆V/∆y. (13.  1BDJGJD . ∆y = 800 km. In the jet entrance region is a direct secondary -FGU FOUSBODF circulation. U = 40 m s–1. 13. An equivalent form is: . ζg is the geostrophic vorticity. favoring cyclolysis (cyclone death). This says that if the vorticity in an air column is UTH and V TH are the thermal-wind components positively advected by the thermal wind. and where Wmid is the vertical velocity in the mid-tropo- (UTH.35 shows the entrance and exit regions of the  9 two dominant jet streaks in this image (for now. Find the mid-tro- pospheric ascent. (13.456 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones $BOBEB The secondary circulation in the jet exit region is opposite to the Hadley cell rotation direction in that +FU  4USFBL hemisphere. hence.200 and (13. As you move distance ∆y to the side of the jet. is at the left entrance and right exit regions. Trenberth.2 × 106 m) (800km) tion developed by K.2).

A west to east thermal wind of 20 m s–1 blows through fc  ∆s  a region where avg. 13.4 m the whole 100 to 50 kPa layer. 13. greater advection of cyclonic (positive) geostrophic Exposition: At this speed. Regardless of the form. B  Weather maps can be used to determine the loca- tion and magnitude of the maximum upward mo. At the surface. The geostrophic vorticity at the Use eq. [ by moving air upward from the surface. it is often near the trough axis. Stull • Practical Meteorology 457 Sample Application Wmid ≅  −2 · ∆z  MTH ( ∆ ζ g + ( f c / 2) )   •(13.29) The 100 to 50 kPa thickness is 5 km and fc = 10 –4 s–1. the vorticity maximum (vort max) is FBTU usually between those two locations. Use the omega eq. At 70 kPa. where vorticity consists of the geostroph.6 h to travel from the ground to the tropopause. mal wind. tion.36a shows the height (z) contours of the 50 kPa isobaric surface. and MTH is the thermal-wind speed. ∆x = 500 km. In Fig.36b shows the thickness (∆z) of the layer C of air between the 100 and 50 kPa isobaric surfaces. Given: UTH = 20 m s–1. The idealized map of Fig. which support cyclogenesis.36b. OPSUI  å[LN Fig. The solenoid at the identical to Fig. to find mid-tropospheric upward where s is distance along the thermal wind direc. (a). ∆ζ = –10 –4 s–1 . DPME  Thickness lines are often nearly parallel to surface fronts. and vorticity shading are areas are isopleths of vorticity. Thermal wind direction is represented by the arrows in Fig. the greatest vorticity is often near the low center. locity favors clouds and heavier precipitation. V TH = 0. This rule also works for Figure 13.  tion.36 the thin black lines around the shaded (b) Trough axis. and is outlined by a rectangular box. cyclonic vorticity decreases by   10 –4 s–1 toward the east across a distance of 500 km.36 (a) Weather at three different pressure heights: (1) 50 kPa heights advection by the thermal wind. 13. surface low and fronts. Added are: 100 to 50 kPa thickness (dotted smallest area between these crossing isopleths indi. In Fig. speed. Also shown is the loca- tion of the surface low and fronts. (3) 70 kPa vorticity (shaded). R. For this box).28): 85 kPa or the 70 kPa isobaric surface is often used to approximate the average geostrophic vorticity over −2 ·(5000m)  ( −10 −4 s −1 )  Wmid ≅ (20m/s) + 0 + 0 = 0. 7. XBSN Advection is greatest where the area between FBTU crossing isopleths is smallest (the INFO Box on the next page explains why). ∆z = 5 km. 13. thermal wind vectors (arrows). with longer arrows denoting stronger speed. The dotted lines (solid lines) and trough axis (thick dashed line). Also. with cold air to the left. Physics OK. lines). pressure center (L) and fronts. the darker shading corresponds to regions of greater cyclonic vorticity at 70 kPa. it reduces OPSUI  the pressure under it. the terms in square brack. Recall that thermal wind is parallel - to the thickness lines. ic relative vorticity plus a part of the vorticity due to Find: Wmid = ? m s–1 the Earth’s rotation. . and with the greatest velocity where the thickness lines  are most tightly packed. with the tightest packing on the cold side  of the fronts. causing the surface low to LN move toward that location and deepen. (2) surface low represent the isopleths that drive the thermal wind. fc = 10 –4 s–1. At 50 kPa. (13.  along with the trough axis. It is within this box that the omega equation gives the greatest updraft speed.36a. . 13. Find the Answer ets represent the advection of vorticity by the ther. and region of maximum cates the greatest vorticity advection by the thermal positive vorticity advection by the thermal wind (rectangular wind. an air parcel would take vorticity by the thermal wind. (10 −4 s −1 )  (5 × 105 m)  s–1 A physical interpretation of the omega equation is that greater upward velocity occurs where there is Check: Units OK. Greater upward ve.

consider temperature advection by 2 the geostrophic wind.50 kPa thickness) and W = 0 at z = 0. h. where one set of isopleths must define a wind. Thus. Vg gradients are found where the isotherms are closer to- is a vector geostrophic wind. There is also a front pecting people. thickness contours.  This gives Wmid = TPVUI  −2 · ∆z  UTH ( ∆ ζ g + ( f c / 2) ) + VTH ( ∆ ζ g + ( f c / 2) )  fc  ∆x ∆y  XFTU FBTU   Fig. we focus on an upper-air chart. σ·p   But stronger geostrophic winds are found where where fo is a reference Coriolis parameter fc at the cen. the tween very large terms on the RHS that often nearly place where the jet and temperature gradient together cancel each other. If   isopleths of vorticity and height contours are plotted For the omega subsection of this chapter. with W = Wmid at z = ∆z (= 100 . T is temperature. INFO • Max Advection on Wx Maps One trick to locating the region of maximum Full Omega Equation advection is to find the region of smallest area be- The omega equation describes vertical motion tween crossing isopleths on a weather (wx) map. Solid lines are isobars. Temperature advection will  2 fo ∂2  − fo ∂  → → ∇ p + σ ∂p 2 ω = σ ∂ p   ·  − V g • ∇ p ζ g + fc   ( ) occur only if the winds blow across the isotherms at   some nonzero angle.  The hydrostatic eq. low. The whole eq.28). . are strongest is the shaded area. 1 along with the mean value theorem for the last term. σ ∂p 2 = · σ  ∂p ( • ∇ p ζ g + ( f c / 2) )   OPSUI   5ž$      Upon integrating over pressure from p = 100 to 50  kPa:  ∂ω −2  → →  ∂p = ( · V TH • ∇ p ζ g + ( fc / 2)  fo   ) where the definition of thermal wind V TH is used. is used to convert the LHS: L1B ∂ω / ∂p = ∂W / ∂z . Grey dashed lines are iso- But fc varies with y. This leaves: vorticity advection by the geostrophic wind. (13. ℜ is the ideal gas law gether. then the smallest area between on the vertical (pressure) derivative on the LHS. Another operator is the Laplacian: This is illustrated in the surface weather map be- . For vorticity advection by the thermal wind.458 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones HIGHER MATH • The Omega Eq. One form of the quasi-geo. Each of the odd-shaped tiles (solenoids) between Trenberth Omega Equation crossing isobars and isotherms represents the same Trenberth developed a more useful form that amount of temperature advection. constant. packing crosses the tightest isotherm packing. greatest temperature flux (temperature  2 fo 2 ∂2  2 fo  ∂ V g → ∇ p +   σ ∂p 2  ω = · σ  ∂p • ∇ p ζ g + ((f c / 2 )   ) advection per unit area) is at the smallest tiles. est temperature advection is where the tightest isobar → ∇ p ( ) = ∂( ) / ∂x p + ∂( ) / ∂y p is the del operator. not x. spacing) from northeast to southwest. In order for the winds to cross the isotherms. the great- strophic vorticity. the area bounded between neighbor- which gives quasi-horizontal derivatives along an ing isotherms and isobars is smallest. However. with strong temperature gradient (tight isotherm The result of this equation is a small difference be. The result is eq. in pressure coordinates. Greatest temperature advection is at shaded tile. is then integrated over height. the isobars must cross the isotherms. therms. it turns out to be virtually useless. and • means vector dot product. ning from northwest to southeast. σ is a measure of static stability. But larger tiles im- avoids the small difference between large terms: ply that temperature advection is spread over larger  →  areas. and crossing isopleths indicates the region of maximum ignore the Laplacian. the isobars are closer together. Stronger temperature ter of a beta plane. There is a jet of Although the omega equation looks particularly strong geostrophic winds (tight isobar spacing) run- complicated and is often shown to frighten unsus. strophic omega equation is: For example. Stronger temperature gradient ℜ  → →  with stronger wind component perpendicular to that − · ∇ 2p  − V g • ∇ p T  gradient gives stronger temperature advection. where the smallest area is shaded to mark the ∇ 2 p ( ) = ∂2 ( ) / ∂x 2 + ∂2 ( ) / ∂y 2 p p maximum temperature advection. This approach works for other variables too. isobaric surface. plot iso-  →  fo 2 ∂2 ω 2 fo  ∂ V g → plets of vorticity vs. ζg is geo. and which can have large error. p is pressure. Thus. At such locations.

(b) Later. LN advecting  NT Near the surface low center (marked by the X in  slower Fig. d o x : Z ) advection  Y The Trenberth omega equation is heavily used in weather forecasting to help diagnose synoptic.  the Geostrophic Paradox describes the difficulties st roph ic of maintaining geostrophic balance in some situa. while a new cyclone “X”. Not the 2014 case study. shaded areas are wind speeds. the greatest updraft would be   expected within this box. with To apply these concepts to the 1994 event. i(a) is the region outlined by the white box. The INFO box on undo geo. 1BDJGJD   5IJDL 0DFBO . INFO • The Geostrophic Paradox mal wind. i. Entrance region of jet streak on a 50 kPa isobaric surface. the white box outlines an area of positive of the height contours and faster geostrophic winds vorticity advection (PVA) by the thermal wind. Hence. another area equally as small exists L1B7PSUJDJUZL1B5IJDLOFTT65$ 'FC further south-south-west from the low center. . at location “X” via the thermal wind equation. How- ever. Z ) Y Fig. But so anticipate substantial updrafts in that region. Suppose velocity and cyclolysis or anticyclogenesis. where updrafts.[ B Such updrafts would create bad weather (clouds and s t r o p h i c LN . R. the geo.37) is weak negative vorticity advection.36b. which l o c a t i o n  began weakening at this time. The white box warm and cold air are advected closer to each other. The white box highlights a region of positive   vorticity advection (PVA) by the thermal wind. this is a region of negative vorticity advection by the ther. of the geo- C st roph ic scale regions of updraft and the associated cyclogen- wind by LN [ . with the ther. we neglected components that w i n d   describe the role of ageostrophic motions in helping seems to 9 +FU to maintain geostrophic balance. the cyclonic vorticity is being advected away from this region rather than toward it. i(b). for a 1994 event. This w i n d +FU  implies downdrafts.FYJDP XBSN Be careful when you identify the smallest area. The  thermal wind (arrows) blows parallel to the thickness lines with   cold air to its left. L & H are low and high heights. 13. Stull • Practical Meteorology 459 Figure 13.37 superimposes the 85 kPa vorticity chart with As entrance winds (black arrows in Fig. 13. that the thickness contours are initially zonal.)       5IJO  $BOBEB    Superposition of the vorticity chart (grey lines and shading) at DPME    85 kPa with the chart for thickness (thick black lines) between  the 100 and 50 kPa isobaric surfaces. the 100 . i(a) converge. (a) Initially. balance at 8BSN  tions — motivation for Hoskin’s Q-vector approach “X”. gether (Fig. ∆z is thickness (thin grey lines). 13. Fig. speeds to  This agrees with the actual cyclone evolution.å[ esis. with initial isotachs as dotted black lines. which would imply downward vertical Consider the entrance region a jet streak.å[ precipitation). In Fig. i(a)). z is height (black dashed lines). This causes the thickness contours to move closer to- mal wind blowing from high towards low vorticity. and would encourage cyclogenesis in wind in $PME  Fig. However. in the $PME  the geo- derivation of the omega equation (which we did not LN st roph ic cover in this book). in turn suggesting tighter packing Hence.  described next.  9    "UMBOUJD   0DFBO    particular example.   cyclogenesis. 8BSN  formed near the Carolinas and moved northward Pa ra- along the USA East Coast. and bad weather would be expected. highlights a region of small solenoids. cold air to the north and warm to the south (Fig. cloudiness and precipitation. which contribute to cyclolysis.FYJDP (VMGPG.50 kPa thickness chart.37 (At right.

∆Vg/∆y = 0.E.287/85 = 0.31): Qy = – (0. Z P is pressure.38 with x and y components as follows: (a) Components of a Q-vector.32) to find Q-vector magnitude: difference.32) seem non-intuitive in their ex- ∆Ug/∆y = (–5m s–1)/300km. the Qx and Qy components at any loca- and corresponds to G = 5 m s–1 for the wind vectors.3) + (0)·(–25)]·10 –12 K·m–1·s–1 second arrow showing the geostrophic wind vec- Qy = –0. Vg. you don’t need to worry about the units of the Q-vector. Also. (13.33) both Qx and Qy are negative.47)2]1/2 · 10 –12 K·m–1·s–1 vector to the head of the final vector.460 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones B /PSUI C Q-Vectors 2Z 2WFDUPS Q-vectors allow an alternative method for di- $ $ $ agnosing vertical velocity that does not neglect as many terms. more tightly packed isotherms) these zones are where the bad weather is. computers can quickly compute Q-vectors for where ∆n is perpendicular distance between neigh- many points in a grid.  of geostrophic wind. there is an easy way ℜ/P = 0. because clinic zones (namely. Nor- boring isotherms.287 kPa·K–1·m3·kg–1 is the gas constant. just focus on Q-vector convergence ence between those isotherms is ∆T. as shown in Fig.003376 m3·kg–1·K–1)· you observe at the start of your flight. Q-vector magnitude is Find the Answer Given: P = 85 kPa. units are good. Instead. have larger temperature gradient ∆T/∆n. 13. ( ) 1/2 (13. Next. T is temperature. 2Y % % % Defining Q-vectors 8FTU &BTU 4PVUI Define a horizontal Q-vector (units m2·s–1·kg–1) Figure 13.39) [( (0)·(–8.06)2 + (–0. There was obviously a P ∆n ∆s lot of computations needed to get this one Q-vector.5m s–1)/200km Eqs.38a.41). Stronger baro- zones such as computers can plot (Fig.40. The Q-vector |Q| = 1. On a square is 100 km. which points from the head of the initial |Q| = [(–1. (b) How to recognize patterns of vector convergence (C) and divergence (D) on weather maps. estimate Ug. ∆T/∆y = –5°C/200km.3) + (–12. ∆s . look at direction.06x10 –12 m2 ·s–1 ·kg–1 tion that keeps cold air to your left). Luckily. Estimating Q-vectors ∆Ug/∆x = 0. tion are used to draw the Q-vector at that location. 13. Figure j weather map. G (m s–1) & T (°C) fields on map.32) Find: Qx & Qy = ? m2 ·s–1 ·kg–1 Q = Q x 2 + Qy 2 First. y) are Side of each grid Y eastward and northward horizontal distances. (13. Draw an ar- row describing the geostrophic wind vector that Use eq. and where the temperature differ- mally. Check: Physics.30) Given the 65$'FC L1B (NT weather map at right showing 5 ℜ   ∆ U g ∆ T   ∆ Vg ∆ T   (13. Instead.31) the temperature Qy = − · · + ·  and geostrophic mž$ P   ∆ y ∆ x   ∆ y ∆ y   wind fields over m the NE USA. 2Z 2WFDUPS ℜ ∆ T ∆ Vg it is pointing from the NNE because Q = · (13.40. Similar to Fig.47x10 –12 m2 ·s–1 ·kg–1 tor at the end of your flight. First. as sketched in Fig.5)·(–25)]·10 –12 K·m–1·s–1 in the direction of the thermal wind (in the direc- Qx = –1. Vg) are the horizontal components Pennsylvania. and draw a [( (–16. Use eq. 13. namely.7)·(–8. 13. (Ug. the “X” in S. The magnitude is Exposition: The corresponding 2Y → Q-vector is shown at right. (13. ∆Vg/∆x = (–2.16x10 –12 m2 ·s–1 ·kg–1 direction points 90° to the right (clockwise) from the geostrophic difference vector.30): Qx = – (0. Find the Q-vector at 9  where ℜ = 0. and (x. isting Cartesian form. and T gradients from the map. 13. ℜ   ∆ U g ∆ T   ∆ Vg ∆ T   Qx = − · · + ·  Sample Application TDBMF P   ∆ x ∆ x   ∆ x ∆ y   (13.30 . (13.003376 m3·kg–1·K–1)· Suppose you fly along an isotherm (Fig.003376 m3·kg–1·K–1 to estimate Q-vector direction and magnitude using weather maps. ∆T/∆x = –5°C/600km. draw the vector Use eq.13.

13. Note that the frontal locations need not cor- respond to the precipitation regions.41. and then becomes a strong convergence region over West Virginia. and precipitation.40 (Not the 2014 case study. 13. you can instead look at Q-vector forecast maps as produced automatically by numerical weather prediction models (see the NWP chapter) to help you forecast regions of updraft. Furthermore.40 and 13.41). Looking at Fig.41 gives an example for the 1994 event). This interpretation agrees with the general loca- tions of radar echoes of precipitation for this 1994 event. R. Black arrows are geostrophic wind vectors. clouds. Thus. L1B2WFDUPST TDBMFYmNpTmpLHm you can use Q-vectors to anticipate the bad-weather regions. åO å7H TU (Fig.38b). 13. you can iden- tify by eye regions of convergence and divergence in Fig. Remember that Q-vector convergence indicates regions of likely synoptic-scale upward motion and associated clouds and precipitation. Or you can let the computer analyze the Q-vectors directly to plot Q-vector convergence and divergence (Fig. Z 2WFDUPS ture) from cold toward warm. Although Figs. 65$ strates the utility of Q-vectors — even when the up. greater Z 5  changes of geostrophic wind in stronger baroclinic Y zones have larger Q-vectors. A moderate convergence region extend northwest toward Wisconsin. and ž$ ∆Vg is the magnitude of the geostrophic difference   vector from the previous paragraph. 7HTUBSU 7HFOE vectors diverge. (o means small magnitude. It continues as a weak convergence region across Alabama and Georgia. see a moderate convergence region running from the western Gulf of Mexico up through eastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi. In- BS 8 terpret Q-vectors on a synoptic weather map as fol- lows: 7H • Updrafts occur where Q-vectors converge. 'FC drafts and precipitation are not exactly along a front. as sketched in Fig. Grey Using the tricks for visually recognizing patterns arrow indicates Q-vector direction (but not magnitude).40. of vectors on weather maps (Fig. 13. Dashed grey verge. 13. 13. Q-vector E  magnitude increases with the decreasing pressure P PM $ 7H found at increasing altitude. Aircraft flies along the isotherms with cold air to its left. Y • Updrafts in the TROWAL region ahead of a warm occluded front occur during cyclolysis where the Figure 13.40 for a 1994 event. FO E Using Q-vectors / Forecasting Tips Different locations usually have different Q-vec- åT N tors.41 are analysis maps of current weather. Figure 13.) Weather map of Q-vectors.39 along-isentrope component of Q-vectors con. This demon. Virginia and Maryland. lines are isotherms. Illustration of natural coordinates for Q-vectors. Stull • Practical Meteorology 461 is distance of your flight along one isotherm. 13. BS U • Subsidence (downward motion) occurs where Q.) . • Frontogenesis occurs where Q-vectors cross isentropes (lines of constant potential tempera.

Virginia. you can anticipate frontogenesis in this  region. . (2) The cyclone strophic winds. region. This would connect the updraft region equation (see a previous HIGHER MATH box for an over western Maryland with the downdraft region explanation of most symbols). These opposing geostrophic and ageostrophic winds agree nicely with the warm-air convergence (creating thunderstorms) for the cold katafront sketch in Fig. This shift indeed happened. Namely. Using the third bullet on the pre-  m vious page. This up- frontal and cyclone evolution. given the Q-vector di- draft adds air mass to the top of the air column.) of the circulation.40 are crossing the cold front from cold to-  m ward warm air. we would antici- pate a mid-tropospheric ageostrophic wind from the The left side looks identical to the original omega east-northeast. in- vergence region of southern Illinois and convergence creasing air pressure in the jet streak right entrance in Maryland & W. 13. using Fig. This suggests that: (1) The cyclone is entering the cyclolysis phase of its evolution (synoptic-scale subsidence that opposes HIGHER MATH • Q-vector Omega Eq. there is a local maximum of sensible heating ∆QH. the Q-vectors  in Fig. the ageostrophic winds as diagnosed using Q-vectors Exposition: For this 1994 case there is a low center help prevent the Geostrophic Paradox (INFO Box). frontal & cyclone evolution strophic winds in the entrance region. 2  2 fo ∂2  −2  ∂Q1 ∂Q2  fo ·β ∂Vg ∇ p + 2 ω= · + + The absence of Q-vectors crossing the fronts in west. 12. and tightening the pressure gradient across Find the Answer the jet entrance. the Q-vector omega equation is: will likely shift toward the more favorable updraft re- gion over Maryland. 65$ Due to mass continuity. right at the location of maximum divergence of Q-vectors in Fig. 13. Divergence (dashed lines).41 suggests updrafts at the Q-vector conver- gence region over the western Gulf of Mexico. along the Texas Gulf coast. This drives faster geostrophic Given: Q-vector convergence fields..  σ ∂p  σ  ∂x ∂y  σ ∂p ern Tennessee and Kentucky suggest no frontogenesis R / Cp 2 there. Similarly. − ∇ ( ∆ QH ) σ·P Between Maryland and Illinois. helping to feed warm humid air into the cloud scale systems. warm pre-frontal air up over the cold front in a di- rect circulation (i. and subsidence at the divergence region of central Texas. The first term on the over southern Illinois. any remaining convective updrafts from earlier in the cyclones evolution) as it is steered northeastward to. suggesting rising air in that region. 13.41.e. over southern Illinois.   Resolving the Geostrophic Paradox  What about the ageostrophic circulations that m m were missing from the Trenberth omega equation? m Fig. winds that counteract the advection of slower geo- Discuss: circulations. expect an ageostrophic cir-   'FC culation of mid-tropospheric winds from the south- L1B2WFDUPS$POWFSHFODF mNpTmpLHm east toward the northwest over the Texas Gulf coast. Fig.41.41 (Not the 2014 case study. The second from the warm-sector of the cyclone to over the low term is small enough to be negligible for synoptic- center. The last term contributes to updrafts if shield over and north of the low. But if you had used the 85 kPa height chart to anticipate geostrophic winds over central Texas. This ageostrophic wind moves Convergence of Q-vectors (shaded).16a. over West Virginia and Maryland.462 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones Also. a circulation where warm air rises and cold air sinks). 13. This circulation would move air right is the convergence of the Q vectors.41 shows convergence of Q-vectors at low alti- Discuss the nature of circulations and anticipated tudes. you would have expected light winds at 85 kPa from the northwest. By considering the added influence of ageo- ward the Great Lakes by the jet stream. Sample Application 13.and down-draft portions Figure 13. which connects the up.

. Conversely.e. Suppose there is a weightless leaf (grey rectangle in that figure) that can SDPOTU So move up and down with velocity Wmid in response to movement of air molecules in the column. On an isobaric surface. . The corresponding time variation of Change of geopotential height with time near the surface. and the two densities do not change. But we JO PGG 1TGDDPOTU 1TGDo will focus mostly on how the densities at these fixed altitudes change for the following scenarios. R. sea-level) the case-study storm.43a: Air is pumped into the PGG JO bottom half of the column. Since Sm Sm mass_out = mass_in. deepen the low) favor cyclogenesis. As down with the air. of cyclogenesis. and consider the air densities at these heights. processes that cause rising sea-level pressure (i. filling the low) cause cyclolysis.43a. Given the close (and surface pressures) are decreasing (falling). for pressure on a constant height surface (e. the density (ρ2) below the leaf is 9 greater than the density (ρ1) above the leaf.42). Because SDPOTU So air is compressible. the change of geopotential 100 kPa Height tendency (m/24h). Imagine a column of air over 1 m2 of the Earth’s B C PVU PVU surface. On iso- baric surfaces such as 100 kPa.. 4 Apr 2014 heights with time is called the height tendency Figure 13. sures (recall Fig. 1TGDm 1TGDm flows in the real atmosphere: horizontal conver- gence of wind just above the surface.. For an isobaric surface. the total mass in the column 8 NJE m 8 NJE  o is constant. 12 UTC. But the leaf is pushed upward (Wmid = up) following the Sm Sm flow of air molecules upward in the column. Height rises favor anticyclogenesis.43 aloft in the jet stream. regions relationship between geopotential heights and pres. 13. An accounting of the total number of molecules in an air column is called a mass budget. Stull • Practical Meteorology 463 Fall Tendency of Sea-level Pressure Because cyclones are associated with low surface Fall pressure. 13. both of which favor cyclogenesis. Negative regions indicate where heights is known as pressure tendency. Therefore the surface pressure (Psfc) is constant. 9 JO PGG What could cause analogous inflows and out. or even anticyclogenesis. 10. falling heights correspond to falling pressures. Pick 8 NJE m 8 NJE m two arbitrary heights above and below the leaf.2 in the Atmospheric Forces and Winds chapter).43b: Horizontal divergence of middle. (b) Leaf location changes after some air is withdrawn air aloft removes air molecules from the top of the from the top. as sketched in Fig. D E Scenario of Fig. and divergence Figure 13.g. a falling surface pressure must correspond to a removal of air mol- ecules from the air column above the surface. a deepening cyclone Rise corresponds to falling geopotential heights. (a) Column of air (blue shading) with a leaf (grey sheet) in the Scenario of Fig 13.e. Mass Budget Because sea-level pressure depends on the weight of all the air molecules above it. this corresponds to rising geopotential heights. 13. with no flow in or out of the bottom. namely. Assume that the weightless leaf moves up and air column.42 (Fig. processes that lower the sea-level pressure L (i. while an equal amount 9 of air molecules are pumped out of the top.

with no flow in or out of the top. As Given: A = 1 m2. most of the air (7.8 m·s–2.35) Subtracting this value from the previous answer ∆t A ∆t shows that of the total 10. ∆Ps g ∆m = · •(13. = 10.464 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones air molecules are evacuated from the column. g Ps = · m •(13. then the mass of air above the surface pressure: tropopause is one quarter of the previous answer. with no flow in or out of the bottom. If you know the wind di- rection and speed Mc that is blowing the low-pres- .43c: Low-level convergence Find the Answer causes inflow. if the tropopause column mass changes with time. Consider the following four processes that can cause inflow or outflow to/from the column: • Advection • Boundary-layer pumping • Upper-level divergence • Diabatic heating We can estimate a Wsurrogate for the last three pro- cesses. den- Find: m = ? kg sities and surface pressure increase. 13. densities and surface pressure in- m = [(105 kg·m–1·s–2)·(1 m2) ] / (9. thus: enter the column. (13. For example. densities decrease.2 Mg of mass in the atmo- Suppose that a hypothetical column of height z sphere above a square meter.43d: Horizontal convergence m = Ps·A/|g| = [(100 kPa)·(1 m2) ] / (9. Plugging the previous two equa- tions into eq.55 Mg over each square meter. contains constant-density air.37) if it is driven at the top of the tro- posphere.2 x 10 3 kg = 10.2 Mg Pressure at sea level (Ps) is related to total column Check: Physics and units are reasonable. where ∆z/∆t is vertical ve- locity Wsurrogate. Eq. the Sample Application leaf moves upward. (13. but the leaf is pushed downward.8 m s–2) aloft causes inflow at the top of the column. and surface If the surface pressure is 100 kPa. but only if m represents the mass of gravitational acceleration is |g| = 9. 2. and the leaf is pushed upward. As more molecules But from Appendix A: 1 Pa = 1 kg·m–1·s–2 .8 m s–2) crease.36) Thus. namely. Use the negative sign in eq. If the air above that height.34 can be used for the pressure at any height where the column bottom surface as area (A) and in the atmosphere. then so must the is at pressure 25 kPa. (13.34) gives a way to estimate the ten- dency of surface pressure as a function of the motion of our hypothetical leaf Wsurrogate: ∆Ps = ± g · ρ( z)· Wsurrogate ( z) (13. and positive sign if driven at the bottom. Scenario of Fig.65 Mg) is within the troposphere. Ps = 100 kPa more molecules are pumped into the column. and then add all the processes to estimate the net pressure tendency. how much air mass is in the whole air column above a 1 meter pressure decreases because the fewer air molecules squared surface area? in the column cause less weight. air mass (m) by: Exposition: This calculation assumed that gravita. Advection moves a low-pressure region from one location to another. You can relate density to mass by m = ρ · Volume = ρ · A · z (13.34) tional acceleration is approximately constant over the A depth of the atmosphere. Rearrange eq.34) to solve for m: Scenario of Fig 13. ∆m/∆t causes ∆z/∆t.37) ∆t assuming we know the density ρ(z) of the inflow or outflow air occurring at height z. 13.

ρliq ) are air and not heated (contains no clouds) and remains cool. and adds mass into the cool-air merged to give: regions (creating sea-level highs). along with the average Exposition: The corresponding hourly pressure ten- mid-level air density ρmid. we would classify this explosive cyclogenesis as a cyclone Non-adiabatic heating (diabatic heating) can bomb. and where (ρair . This For air density at z = 8 km. (c) The resulting changes to temperature changes (Fig.185 kPa h–1. Mass continuity requires that Given: z = 8 km.44 Illustration of diabatic heating. Check: Physics and units are reasonable.0515 Pa s–1 curvature and jet-streak processes can cause upper. R. with ρliq = 1000 between isobaric surfaces is thicker in warm air than cool. assume a standard atmo- boundary-layer pumping vertical velocity can be sphere. ground level (AGL). Use ρ = 0. ing of the cyclone were to continue for 24 h.Diverg. a = 10 –6 km mm–1.L. cyclogenesis). is at the top of the troposphere: ∆Ps/∆t = – (9. be caused by solar or IR radiation. purple arrows) from warm kg m–3)..15x10 –5 kPa s –1 level divergence (U. used with air density ρBL at the boundary-layer top in the pressure tendency equation: Use eq. Stull • Practical Meteorology 465 sure air column toward you. The Wmid from that section.8 m s–2)·(0. This causes pressure gradient forces (FPG.    The precipitation that does reach the ground is  related to the net amount of condensational heating    during time interval ∆t by   )JHI -PX )JHI ∆Tv a Lv ρliq = · · · RR (13. ∆z warming in the center of the air column due to latent heating. which can remove mass from an air column and cause cyclogenesis. (a) Initial condition of cool air where RR is rainfall rate (mm h–1). The thickness liquid-water densities. reduction of air mass in the warm core reduces sea-level pres- eq. and other factors.e.L. The effect of latent heating on the surface pressure is described next. in the column. by condensation of water vapor. and if you know (∆Ps/ Sample Application ∆s) how surface pressure changes with distance s Divergence of air at the top of the troposphere re- between your location and the advecting column. If this rapid deepen- ∆Ps/∆t|U. B C D      Latent Heating )JHI )JHI Water vapor might condense into drops or de- posit into ice crystals at some heights within an air 1    L1B '1( '1( column — releasing latent heat and warming the    column.).1 m s–1 this horizontal inflow be balanced by vertical out.5252 kg m–3. Green lines are isobars. What is the corresponding surface pressure Recall from the Atmospheric Forces and Winds tendency? chapter that frictional drag in the boundary layer causes the horizontal wind to spiral inward toward Find the Answer a low-pressure center. (13. the ratio of latent with precipitation falling out of the bottom of the column (repre- heat of vaporization to specific heat of air is Lv/Cp = sented by black rain drops). is depth of the air column (km). Find: ∆Ps/∆t = ? kPa s–1 flow WBL out of the top of the boundary layer. But the outside of the air column is 2500 K·kgair /kgliq. (13. i.38) and the hypsometric equation can be sure (Low. can be used to give: dency is ∆Ps/∆t = –0. respectively. causing a 0. .01 m s–1) Earlier in this chapter we saw how jet-stream = – 0.Diverg.38) ∆t ∆z Cp ρair Figure 13.37) with negative sign because the forcing ∆Ps/∆t|B.0515 kg·m–1·s–3 = –0.1 m s–1 updraft at height 8 km above advection by ∆Ps/∆t|advection = –Mc·(∆Ps/∆s). (b) A deep cloud causes column virtual temperature. to the cold air.44). 13.Pumping = –|g|· ρBL · WBL . Tv is average air. moves air molecules from the top of a tropospheric col- then you can estimate the pressure tendency due to umn. If some of these precipitation particles DPPM DPPM DPPM XBSN evaporate before reaching the ground. Thus. These forces drive winds that remove air mol- But the hypsometric equation relates pressure ecules from high pressure into lower pressure.5252 kg m–3)·(0. No other processes add or remove air mass. = –|g|· ρmid · Wmid . Wsurrogate(8 km) = 0. = – 5. then they ab- sorb latent heat and cool the column.L.

Initially (time A in Fig. Although  latent heating and cooling might occur at different "UMBOUJD 0DFBO heights within the air column. & B.  For a typical value of Tv . . |g| = 9. RR is rainfall rate at the surface. sea-level pressure begins to decrease (time layer and divergence (D) in the upper atmosphere. and % b ≈ 0.FYJDP ∆Ps ≈ −b · RR •(13.082 kPa/mmrain.39) reduces to: 1BDJGJD .Diverg. Fig.Pumping) and upper-level divergence (U.8 KFUTUSFBNEJWFSHFODF m·s–2 is gravitational-acceleration magnitude.082 kPa mmrain–1 . Tv Cp You can estimate rainfall rate with weather radar. (13.39)  ∆t Tv Cp   L   for an air column with average virtual temperature    (Kelvin) of Tv (≈ 300 K).L. eq. upper-level trough.41) ∆Ps/∆t = –(0.) and latent heating can be combined First. 13.205 kPa h–1 = − Mc s + g · ρBL · WBL − g · ρmid · Wmid − b·RR ∆t ∆s Check: Physics.45 g Lv with factor b = · ·ρliq ≈ 0.47). then we can an- $ MBZFSQVNQJOH ticipate horizontal divergence aloft (at the altitude of Y the tropopause) at a horizontal location east of the .8 m·s–2.466 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones $BOBEB ∆Ps g L = − · v · ρliq · RR •(13. L is location of low-pressure center at surface. (13. eq. & heating Exposition: This deepening rate corresponds to 4.Pumping & U.39) describes  the net column-average effect.082 kPa/mmrain)·(2. resent winds. and where gravitational ac-    celeration magnitude is |g| = 9. convert RR from 24 h to 1 hr: within the framework of Fig.Diverg. Net Pressure Tendency Find the Answer The previous heuristic models for horizontal Given: RR = 60 mm/24 h advection (horiz. 13. adv. 13.45).40): •(13. magnitude & units are reasonable. respectively. Arrows rep- B in Fig. 13.L. (13.46 to give an equa- RR = 2. Wmid) are the average air “bomb”. Precipitation (liquid equivalent) measured with rain gauges.47a) there is no extratropical cyclone.L.FYJDP 0DFBO (VMGPG. or you can measure it with rain gauges. But if there CPVOEBSZ is a Rossby wave in the jet stream.45 shows measured precipitation liquid-equivalent Sample Application depth (after melting any snow) for the case-study For the maximum contoured precipitation rate for storm. As this upper-level divergence Figure 13.40) 1SFDJQJUBUJPO NNI BDDVNCZ65$ "QS ∆t Figure 13. adv.) and boundary-layer pump- Find: ∆Ps/∆t = ? kPa h–1 ing (B. VQXBSE We can create a toy model of cyclone evolution NPUJPO using the equation above. tendency = horiz. The air-col- umn horizontal translation speed is Mc (defined as [ positive for the average movement direction along path s). find the diabatic heating contribution to sea-level pressure tendency. Cyclogenesis occurs when ∆Ps/∆t is negative. 13. ρmid) and (WBL.5 mm h–1) ∆Ps ∆P = –0. the case-study storm (in Fig. densities and vertical velocities at boundary-layer top and mid-troposphere.5 mm h–1 tion for sea-level net pressure tendency: Use eq.L.9 kPa day–1 — large enough to be classified as a cyclone where (ρBL.46 removes air molecules from the air column under- Sketch of coupling between convergence (C) in the boundary neath it.

leaving the strongest  m  kg   m  −  9. In the B. 13. Meanwhile. Wmid = 0. upper-level divergence in the jet stream is greater Given: ρmid ≈ 0..47). but will B 1SPDFTTFT 6QQFS-FWFM not be getting stronger. Sample Application the combination of pressure-gradient force.Diverg. eventually creating clouds and precipita. Latent heating in the cloudy updrafts continues = – 5 x10 –5 kPa s–1 = – 0.47).47).5kPa   m  kg   m −  15   + 9. strong winds.5 kPa/300 km. ∆Ps/∆t = (–2. heavy precipitation).L. R. which -BUFOUIFBUJOH ceaselessly tends to weaken the cyclone. • Rainfall of 2 mm h–1. way the cyclone can continue to intensify is if the • Boundary-layer pumping WBL = 0. RR = 2 mm h–1 . . Eventually Check: Physics. Without QSPDFTTFT the jet-stream support aloft. 13.084 kPa   mm   2  temperature gradients eastward and equatorward  s  m  s  mm   h  of the low center.5 kPa/300 km. the air column begins  " # $ % & ' to fill with molecules — cyclolysis has begun. & B. UJNFMJOF As the cyclone occludes (Figs. 13.3 that circulation of air mass. ary-layer gradient wind that spirals into towards • Advection due to a 15 m/s west wind across a hori- the low.8 2   0.47 Processes that cause extratropical cyclone evolution. So the only • Upper-level divergence causing Wmid = 0. The resulting inflow and boundary-layer zontal gradient of ∆P/∆x of 0. it means that the Rossby wave shifts eastward tendency = horiz.02 m s–1.112 3   0.7 )x10 –5 kPa s–1 wind. 13.04  −  0. cyclogenesis contin- ues and sea-level pressure continues to drop.6 – 4. which enhances buoyancy to create faster updrafts Apply eq.5 kg·m–3 . Because these temperature gradi- ents are what drives the jet-stream via the thermal. 13.02  es around the cyclone center reduces the horizontal  s   3 × 105 m   s   m   s temperature gradients there. Stull • Practical Meteorology 467 But once a low-center forms near the surface.18 kPa h–1 to support cyclogenesis. pumping tends to fill (weaken) the low. condensation and pre- cipitation end. For the rainfall term I ued boundary-layer pumping.02 m s–1 . the cyclone acted -PX to move cold air equatorward and warm air pole- ward to reduce the baroclinic instability that had created it (as per Le Chatelier’s principle). Coriolis A cyclone experiences the following processes: force. no horizontal pressure C 3FMBUJWF4FBMFWFM1SFTTVSF C  gradient). magnitude & units are reasonable. Figure 13. the upper-level divergence of the jet stream decreases. batically. the cyclone has disappeared.02 m s–1. Exposition: The negative sign implies cyclogenesis. the central pressure rises to equal the surrounding pressures (i. and $ZDMPHFOFTJT $ZDMPMZTJT anticyclogenesis (creation of surface high-pressure)  " # $ % & ' UJNFMJOF has begun. WBL = 0. 13. $ZDMPHFOFTJT KFUTUSFBN The strong circulation around the low continues QSPDFTTFT to cause strong boundary-layer pumping. Find the Answer Rising air in the cyclone (Fig. the sum of upper-level divergence and diabatic pro.L. QSPDFTTFT Eventually. ρBL ≈ 1. 13.pumping and U.8 – 19. By )JHI time F in Fig.5 + 21.04 m s–1 . & heating relative to the low center (times C to D in Fig.41): ∆Ps/∆t = and continued cyclogenesis (time C in Fig.112 kg·m–3 than the convergence in the boundary layer (times B What is the sea-level pressure tendency?. in Fig.L.  m   0.Pumping & U.Diverg. 13. At this time. terms I divided cesses is insufficient to counterbalance the contin- by 1000 to convert Pa into kPa. cyclogenesis ceases.47). At this point (time D converted from kPa h–1 to kPa s–1. adv.5 3   0. to C in Fig. During the three-day life cycle. Find: ∆Ps/∆t = ? kPa h–1 tion.L.3e & f). thereby helping to fill it $ZDMPMZTJT -PXBMUJUVEF CPVOEBSZMBZFS even faster with air molecules. the Ross- by wave shifts so far eastward that the jet-stream is causing upper-level convergence over the weaken- ing low (time E in Fig. and the sea-level pressure stops dropping.46) cools adia. (13.8 2   1. 13. Winds decrease. and the circulation spins-down. Given: ∆P/∆s = 0. and frictional drag start to create a bound. Recall from Fig.47.47). The cyclone has reached its mature stage and is still strong (low surface pres- sures.e. The condensation creates diabatic heating.

which enhances the vorticity and the vorticity advection. Such a cloud region is sometimes called an upper-level disturbance by broadcast I meteorologists. etc. However. pre- SJEHF USPVHI cipitation.48) causes a broad OF region of upward motion there.48 kPa pressure surface upward (i. and the upward motion withdraws some of the air away from the surface. vorticity advection. as sketched in Fig. according to the hypsometric relationship. Namely. HF The resulting stretching enhances spin-up of the E HF PM vorticity. This builds or strengthens a ridge in the upper-level Rossby wave west of the initial ridge axis. BEWFDUJPO BEWFDUJPO Figure 13. Vorticity advection also increases. The result is a shortening of the wavelength be- tween trough and ridge in the 50 kPa flow.48). the ridge axis. leaving lower pres- sure.e.49 50 kPa chart showing a temperature field (shaded) that is 1/4 wavelength west of the wave in the height contours (solid lines). . increasing its 50 kPa chart showing cloud and precipitation region in the up- per troposphere. Temperature Advection Cyclone intensification can also occur when warm air exists slightly west from the Rossby-wave ridge axis.. This is often called self development. causing tighter turning of the winds and greater vorticity (Fig. warm air advects into the region just west of the upper-level ridge.49.). FBTU Diabatic heating also increases the average tem- perature of the air column. JUBUJPO Condensation OPSUI QSFDJQ SFHJPO As discussed in the quasi-geostrophic vorticity subsection. 13. The net result is rapid strengthening of the surface cyclone. cyclogenesis has been treated as a response to various external imposed forcings. causing ridge heights to in- crease. more precipitation and latent heat- ing can occur. This positive feedback shifts the $PPM upper-level ridge further west. Also cold air advects under the upper-level DPMEBJS XBSNBJS FBTU trough. causing latent heating and a westward shift of height). which pushes the 50 Figure 13. 13. OPSUI As the surface low strengthens due to these fac- tors (i. OFXSJE Latent heating of the air due to condensation enhances buoyancy and increases upward motion.. 13. causing heights to fall there. divergence aloft. divergence of the upper-level winds east X of the Rossby-wave trough (Fig.e. For this situa- 8BSN tion. Rising air forms clouds and possibly precipitation if sufficient mois- USPVH ture is present. some positive feedbacks allow the cyclone to enhance its own intensification. because the bad weather is not yet PMESJE associated with a strong surface low.468 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones Cyclone Self Development Up to this point. a surface low forms.

52a. Black arrows are geostrophic wind Cyclones and anticyclones tend to create or vectors encountered by the airplane on either side of the cyclone strengthen baroclinic zones such as fronts. of Q-vectors (white box with dotted outline) indicates region of downdraft.50) by deepening the trough and strengthening the ridge. Thus. This (L). The rotation around the lows and highs tend of the dashed vector.51 the thickness contours. and ending geostrophic-wind vectors (drawn displaced to the Consider a train of lows and highs in a region right a bit so you can see it) for the portion of aircraft flight with uniform temperature gradient.51b) suggests convergence of VQ Q-vectors east of the low. Hemisphere.. 7HFOE å7H plitude can cause stronger surface lows due to en- hanced upper-level divergence. But convergence regions imply updrafts with the associated clouds ) . (c) Q-vector from (b) is copied back to the cyclone. 13. Stull • Practical Meteorology 469 OPSUI X USPVH OF I PME OFX PME OFX SJEHF E PM B 7HFOE $PME FBTU Figure 13. ) north-south wave amplitude caused by differential temperature advection. (for N.e. as shown in Fig. The net result is that cyclones tend to propagate in the direction of the thermal wind. by mov- the anticyclones (H). 8BSN gion indicated by the Q-vector convergence. Similar analyses can be done to find the Q-vectors for to distort the center isotherms into a wave. Grey dashed lines are isotherms (or thickness contours). Divergence and moving warm air poleward on the east side.51c would tend to move toward the updraft re.) . R.51c). i. Stronger wave am. 13. Thin black lines are isobars (or height contours). 13. (a) Airplane is flying in the direc- Creation of Baroclinic Zones tion of the thermal wind. and divergence of Q-vec- tors west of the low (Fig. 13. Convergence of Q-vectors (grey shaded ing cold air equatorward on the west side of the lows box with dotted outline) indicates region of updraft. a Q- vector analysis (Fig. 2WFDUPS 7HTUBSU Propagation of Cyclones For a train of cyclones and anticyclones along D $PME the mid-latitude baroclinic zone (Fig. Z 7HTUBSU 8BSN Y The net result is intensification of the Rossby- C wave amplitude (Fig. across the low. (b) Vector difference (black dashed line) between starting works as follows. Using Q-vectors to estimate cyclone propagation.51a). parallel to Figure 13. the cyclone (L) in Fig. ) and surface-pressure decrease — conditions associ- EPXO ated with cyclogenesis. 13.50 50 kPa chart showing the westward shift and intensification of ) . Q-vector (grey thick arrow) is 90° to the right 13.

If the difflu. then you can use Q-vectors to analyze the geostrophic wind vectors. (a) Thin black region of cold air behind the cold front. 13. D Z Y - In addition. Q-vector convergence in grey shaded region suggests updrafts.53 Using Q-vectors to locate regions of upward and downward mo- a cyclone can include a deformation and diffluence tion due to diffluence of air behind a cold front. )   8BSN 7H 7H C 7H 7H å7H Figure 13. along ent winds in this baroclinic zone are roughly geo. convergence into lows pulls the iso- EFTDFOEJOHDPPM  therms closer together. Hemisphere. with near-zero Q-vectors (grey “o”) elsewhere. and also be- Fig. ) EFTDFOEJOHDPPM  ESZBJS 8BSN 5ž$ DF Z FO  G MV  EJ G Y  C UJPO $PME GPS NB EF    ) . which an imaginary airplane flies. 2WFDUPS Propagation of Cold Fronts Recall from Fig. EPXO Much of the first part of this chapter showed 2 how cyclones can develop over existing baroclinic WF 2W regions. and spread isotherms into somewhat ho. (b) ageostrophic behavior near the front. 2WFDUPS gence tends to pack the isotherms into frontal zones near lows. 13. while divergence around ESZBJS highs tends to push isotherms further apart. Thick black arrows show strophic. with “o” representing zero wind.8 that the circulation around Figure 13. lines are wind direction.470 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones B $PME B Z Y - ) .52 å7H Rotational and divergent wind components (thin black arrows) and isotherms (dashed grey lines) in the lower troposphere. The combination of rotation and convergence/diver. (b) Later evolution of the isotherms into frontal zones (shaded rectangle is a baroclinic zone). Here we find that cyclones can help cre- DUP S ate those baroclinic zones — resulting in a positive FDU PS feedback where cyclones modify their environment VQ to support further cyclogenesis. Dashed grey lines are isotherms. (c) The Q-vectors from (b) plotted in the and shows the isotherms and geostrophic wind vec. tween points 2 and 3. Estimation of Q-vectors between points 1 and 2. 2WFDUPS 2WFDUPS ture gradient in the N. .52b).53a is zoomed into the diffluence region. baroclinic zone. 2WFDUPS mogeneous airmasses at highs (Fig. 13. cyclogenesis 2WFDUPS and frontogenesis often occur simultaneously. Thus. (a) Initial train of highs (H) and lows (L) in a uniform tempera.

13. By flying an imaginary airplane along the iso- A SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE • Uncer- therms and noting the change in geostrophic wind tainty and Truth in Science vector. as best they can. are no certainties in science. and a few maps were for a similar cyclone during 23 February 1994. ject to further testing and refinement. phenomena.8). [CAUTION: The definition.53c). estimate the Q-vectors at the front as drawn in Fig. Stull • Practical Meteorology 471 tors. 13.” They ruled indeed rising over the front. The Review “A SCIENTIFIC PERSPECTIVE” boxes in this book can help you to refine your own philosophy of science. Further from the front.] Extratropical cyclones (lows) are horizontally large (thousands of km in diameter) relatively thin (11 km thick) storms in mid latitudes. R. Cyclone strength can be in- ferred from its vorticity (rotation). The storm core is generally cold. role. temporary theories edge of the cold front (Fig. ascent (updrafts). Cyclones rotate (counterclockwise/clockwise) in the (Northern/Southern) Hemisphere around a cen- ter of low sea-level pressure. Q-vector convergence is along the leading that they know what is immutably ‘true’ — they are committed to searching for new. strong winds) are often concentrated in narrow frontal regions that extend outward from the low-pressure center. precipitation. which implies that the upper-level Rossby wave trough is generally west of the cyclone.” sphere (Fig. science is a philosophy that has gradually developed and has been refined by scientists. and activities of science cannot be defined or constrained by a legal court or reli- gious inquisition. Scientists do not assert Thus. Many case-study maps were presented in this chapter for the 4 April 2014 cyclone. Weather maps are used to study synoptic-scale storm systems such as mid-latitude cyclones and fronts. . the Q-vectors The Supreme Court of the USA ruled that: “There are near zero. They undergo an evolution of intensification (cyclogenesis) and weakening (cyclolysis) within a roughly three-day period while they translate eastward and poleward.53b. and sea-level pressure. 13. where warm air is to explain. Behind the cold front that science is “a process for proposing and refining is Q-vector divergence. Instead. Bad weather (clouds. associated with downward theoretical explanations about the world that are sub- air motion of cool dry air from higher in the tropo.

most landfalling cyclones that reach the advected toward the coast by this atmospheric riv- Pacific Northwest coast of N. If the source of this jet is near Hawaii.54).54. Amer- The cyclone labeled L1 in Fig. gence Zone in the USA). Figure 13. such Fig. Victoria region (corresponding to the For cyclone L2. from its parent cyclone L2). 13. couver. 13. But by the shown by the black arrows in Fig. Low-altitude winds over the complex mountainous terrain of the Pacific split around the Olympic Mountains. its Fig. ž/ 3B 3B UOT JO JO  4 ) ž/ 7B OD IB EP PV WF X $BOBEB  ž/ 3B S JO *T r7BODPVWFS MB OE - ž N  64" - N 7JDUPSJBr $BTDBEF. In the late occluded phase. and a short stub of a warm front. As the rising air T (grey shaded in Fig. and straits are white. Oregon).54 has just started ica is nicknamed the “Pineapple Express”. as proaching the dateline (180° longitude). Arrows represent low-altitude wind. then copious amounts of moisture can be tion. satellite images show and flooding. fast low-altitude winds just ahead of the cold front. 13.54). while in between is often a southeast as a “headless” front (seemingly detached rain shadow of clearer skies and less precipitation. occlud. The windward slopes of The remaining portion of L2’s cold front still over mountain ranges often receive heavy orographic pre- the Pacific often continues to progress toward the cipitation (dotted ovals). with the cold front. America. (continues in next column) . 13. Satellite images of these systems show a When this humid air hits the coast. verge (thick dashed line) in a region of heavy rain or the front becomes much more disorganized and dif- snow called the Olympic Mountain Convergence ficult to recognize in satellite and surface weather Zone (also known as the Puget Sound Conver- observations (as indicated with the dashed line over British Columbia). to occlude. tion form over the mountains (indicated by “m” in As the cyclone translates further eastward.UOT  ž/ ž/ 0MZNQJD ) POTIPSF . Thus.54 sounds. then the cluded and are spinning down. Pacific Ocean.UOT r4FBUUMF GMPX 64" ž8 ž8 ž8 ž8 ž8 ž / )VNJE   ž8 ) ) Figure 13. America are already oc. the air is characteristic tilted-“T” ( ) shaped cloud structure forced to rise over the mountains. cal air. Pacific Northwest coast of N. 13. conveyor belt of moist air streaming toward N. Sometimes the cold front stalls (stops ad- translation speed often slows and the low center vancing) while the pre-frontal jet continues to pump turns northward toward the cold waters in the Gulf moisture toward the mountains. clouds and orographic precipita- ed front. er. Washington. cools adiabatically. while higher terrain is shaded Sketch of occluding mid-latitude cyclones approaching the darker.472 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones INFO • Landfalling Pacific Cyclones INFO • Pacific Cyclones (continued) Mid-latitude cyclones that form over the warm Sometimes there is a strong “pre-frontal jet” of ocean waters east of Japan often intensify while ap. only to con- Northwest (British Columbia. when the cold front progresses lower-right “m” from Fig.54). This atmospheric- of Alaska — a cyclone graveyard where lows go to river situation causes extremely heavy precipitation die. a characteristic “cinnamon roll” cloud structure. If the source time they reach the eastern North Pacific ocean they region of this jet is in the humid sub-tropi- are often entering the cyclolysis phase of their evolu. 13. $P $BOBEB BT  U. Seattle.55 shows an expanded view of the Van- as sketched with grey shading for cyclone L2.55 Zoomed view of the Pacific Northwest.

Use these maps to identify Rossby wave lengths and amplitudes. blizzards. Collect weather maps for a new case-study cy. R. Capture a radar reflectivity image (perhaps B7. Find weather maps of common cyclogenesis lo. Cascade Mountains. or other significant range in the world (as assigned by your instructor). Stull • Practical Meteorology 473 and largest negative vorticity advection. Comment on the amount of sea-level pressure ten- B8. Same as exercise B1. Get upper-air maps of vorticity on the 70 kPa Broaden Knowledge & Comprehension isobaric surface. and a map of 100 to 50 kPa thick- For all the exercises in this section. measure the by meteorologists. Draw on a map the path of a cyclone center. normal surface weather map with fronts. ness. Get and comment on the value radius-of-curvature of troughs. Using the maps from exercise B8. windstorms. Get geopotential height and vorticity maps on based on a Q-vector analysis. Get maps showing cyclone bombs. Print this map and a the map has the largest temperature advection. calculate verti- is affected as it moves over large mountain ranges. Label the quadrants of relative to the jet-streak axis. Identify a location that supports cyclogenesis. but use the maps to create (from other maps or information). B16. Comment on how the B6. weather (heavy rains. to explain the processes involved in the evolution of this cyclone. Rocky caused by divergence in the jet-streak winds. Get upper-air weather maps (such as at 30 or 20 dency due to latent-heating in different parts of the kPa) showing wind isotachs or geopotential height cyclone. Get a map of geopotential height on an iso- baric surface of 20 or 30 kPa. Get a map of isotachs for the 20 or 30 kPa iso- cations and storm tracks. contours.). the 50 kPa isobaric surface. etc. Depend- on damage. B14. At one of those regions. For a location near a cyclone. B18. Find a web site that produces maps of Q-vec- od of crossing isopleths to identify which point on tors or Q-vector divergence. The case-study in this textbook showed weather maps of typical variables and fields often employed B9. B13. Use the meth. and dis- cuss how you would anticipate the cyclone to evolve B11. B4. deaths. tribution of dBZ around an extratropical cyclone. those max advection locations. surface. as you can acquire from national weather services or weather research centers. B17. Identify points on the map that have the largest positive vorticity advection . Don’t forget to cite the web mal wind. Given typical wind directions B3. Next. an isentropic surface). identify a point on the map having site URLs that you use.e. Get geopotential height and temperature maps for the 70 or 85 kPa isobaric surfaces. largest advection of vorticity by that thermal wind. Use these maps omega equation. indicate storms? which part of the isentropic surface might be in the stratosphere (if any). Homework Exercises B12. B15. What are some web sites that provide data tial temperature (i. as described by the clone assigned by your instructor. cal velocity in the mid-troposphere that would be such as the North American Coast Range. collect informa. Get weather maps that display how a cyclone is favored.. Mountains. Get an upper-air map that shows contours of the height or pressure of a surface of constant poten- B2. and how the is like ascending or descending along the isentropic storm dynamics affect its evolution. and discuss a composite from many radars) that show the dis- their life cycle. B10. estimate the ther- tion from the internet. packing of heights changes as the jet stream flows in and encircle regions on that map experiencing bad troughs and ridges. and travel disruptions due to ing on the potential temperature you pick. and combine with of weather maps of other types of fields or variables. wind-speed information to calculate vorticity. Suggest locations where cyclogenesis B5. Recall that ascent and cyclogenesis is supported at B1. indicate if the air a sketch of the 3-D nature of the storm. baric surface.

3. 75 .0 f. 1. 15) l. 50 . 1/2500 j. –580 c. find the potential vorticity in units of m–1s–1. of: a. 40 b.6 following USA state: h. (-25. (–15. (0. 75 . 10. 1/750 c. 50 . 50 . (7. 1500 the north of 25 m s–1. what is the meridional (north-south) ampli. 10. MD j. A location at 55°N with vertical velocity decreas- i.6 m. 40 f. 1/3000 l. (20. 50 . 1/2250 a. 10) j. 11 j. 55 e. A7. 20 b. Find the value of geostrophic vorticity (s–1). Regarding equatorward propagation of cy- a. (13. 2810 12 km. IN A4. l. (15. a. 2.0 d. 0) h. –988 range of height 2 km within a troposphere of depth g. 55 e. (0. 1/1500 f. 60 f. 30 d.5 e. 65 g. (–10. 20 m. Find the Coriolis contribution to the stretching term gered by mountains. and south sides of the cyclone. 75 m. –2900 m. KY e.474 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones Apply “C” in Fig. 55 i.4 l.. –20) e. 85 triggered by mountains. 10) c. 45 c. j. 70 i.0 given a geostrophic wind speed of 35 m s–1 with the h.0 e. 55 i. 1. 5) b.5 following radius of curvature (km). 1/500 b. 75 . 70 l. 1300 h.0 j. 0) f. 7. 1/1750 g. find the approximate wave. 75 . east): n.2 k. (13. AB i. 13. 3014 n. Vg) in m s–1 with m. assuming that the following is the only h. 85 of radius 1000 km and potential vorticity of 3x10 –8 m–1s–1 is over a slope as given below (∆z/∆x). A location at 50°N with geostrophic wind from e. 65 k. find i. 30 d.5 g. How good is the approximation of eq. NY m. 0) g. – 2000 a. 75 . ID k. 25 c. 7. 1/1250 tude (°N): e.4 g.0 b. KS d. 12. 0. 80 n. tance north) in units of m–1s–1 at the following lati. When air at latitude 60°N flows over a mountain a. f. 35 e. 13 n. –1500 ing 0. 13. 45 g. 10) k.8 n. 9. 30 k.3) at the following latitude (°N)? A10.5 m s–1 with each 1 km increase in height.8 d. if a cyclone h. 12 l. 1/2000 h.4 b. Geostrophic wind of 30 m s–1 from north with- A5. 35 e. Given a tropospheric depth of 12 km at latitude chapter that incompressible mass continuity implies 45°N. 1500 A11. 1.20 given an average wind speed (m s–1) A1.6 c. 75 m. 50 . 60 j. CO g. find the radius of curvature (km) at location l.2 f. 80 i. central TX l. find the A2. –3333 . – 1000 e. WI c. Find the spin-up rate (s–2) of quasi-geostrophic a. 1/2750 k. Recall from the Atmospheric Forces and Winds A3. 25 c. –1400 i. 60 f. 500 ing 0. For latitude 50°N. For a troposphere of depth 12 km at latitude in region where geostrophic vorticity increases to- 43°N. 2000 d.5 k. ward the north by 6x10 –5 s–1 over 500 km distance. For air at 55°N with initially no curvature. –8) d. 690 d. (0. –2643 k. 80 n. 2000 given the following changes of (Ug. 11. 0. 10 non-zero characteristic: a. 825 f. that ∆W/∆z = –D. –750 e. (5.5 i. VA f.2 m s–1 with each 2 km increase in height. b. 25 l. 15 n. 1/3250 h. 0. Find the rate of increase of the β parameter (i. 2. 50 length (km) of upper-atmosphere (Rossby) waves h. A location at 35°N with vertical velocity increas- g. –500 the south of 45 m s–1. change in relative vorticity (s–1) between the north the rate of change of Coriolis parameter with dis. 1. 50 clones on the eastern slope of mountains. where D is horizontal divergence. 65 g. radius of curvature (km)] in region where geostrophic vorticity increases to- a. h. 30 k. 20 b. 50 d. 8. Assume the air rotates similar to a solid-body. 1. 1000 k. 50 .5 c. 60 j. 80 i. KA h. Geostrophic wind of 50 m s–1 from west with- [wind speed (m s–1) . –1000 500 km distance toward the (north.5 m. 70 vorticity. a. 450 b. tude (km) of upper-atmosphere (Rossby) waves trig. (s–2) in the relative-vorticity tendency equation. 45 g.8 i. 15 n. d.4) to eq. 2. 25 l. giv- range height (km) of: en the average 85 kPa divergence in Fig. 2. 50 . (–12.0 a. 45 c. (0. -2000 f. 0) A6. given an average mountain. A location at 40°N with geostrophic wind from c. Find the value of geostrophic vorticity (s–1). 1000 c. 70 l. 500 ward the east by 8x10 –5 s–1 over 1000 km distance. given the following: b. 1/1000 d. 35 j. 75 . 2. 8. 10 A9. 9.e. –12) the potential vorticity in units of m–1s–1 for a tropo- sphere of depth (km): A12. AZ b. 2430 j. 40 b. 13. 65 k. given an average wind speed (m s–1) of: A8. 50 . 40 f. 20 m. 35 j.26 for the a. 50 d.

Across A17. 2 d. 800 h.3 j. is: sphere and the jet-stream speed moving through the a. Find the vertical velocity (m s–1) at altitude 9 the troposphere. 70) l. where the with wavelength (km) of: temperature change is given below. 2 d. 2. (40. 4. find the radius (km) of curvature near the crests of a si. –16 i. 1. –20 k. (70. –8 e. 80) j. 93 j. 1100 h. A28. if during 1 minute its tropopause is at 12 km. 50 e.0 k. At an altitude where the ambient pressure is 85 north-south component of ageostrophic wind (m kPa.5 assume a geostrophic wind speed of 75 m s–1 for a wave centered on latitude 40°N. WI c. 4100 m. 50 e. Using the data from A22. 20 l. PA k. TN f. 6 l. 2 e. 500 e. – 0. a.5 A19. a.5 k. k. Qy. 40) d. Stull • Practical Meteorology 475 calculated in the previous exercise is valid over a A13. 1400 n. 900 i. –4 c. convert the following vertical velocities (m s–1) s–1) in this region. All other gradi- a. –3 l. –5 A 20 m s–1 thermal wind from the west blows across a domain of x dimension given below in km. Find the Q-vector components Qx. (60. –2. 30 f.5 i. AB i. 6. MS h. 1000 b.03 i. 7. –14 h. 5. 30 j. 1 b. Given the data from the previous 3 exercises. 4 trough.–0. On the 70 kPa isobaric surface. 3. 700 g.5 m. –12 g. 96 Assuming that the gradient-wind speed difference h. 3.5 c. 4. 7 n. 80 m. (10 –5 s–1) given below occurs within a 2 km thick layer within the top of the troposphere. 3 f. 5 j. –1. that domain in the x-direction is a decrease of cy- er near the top of the troposphere.02 the first speed (m s–1) given below. where the a vertically-moving air parcel. Find the diagonal distance (km) from trough to A26. 1300 m.00005 l. 1 b. ∆Ug/∆x = (4 m crest in a jet stream for a wave of 750 km amplitude s–1)/(500 km) and ∆T/∆x = ___°C/(500 km). SC A24. Using Fig. 20) A15. 0. 1 c. 75 n. 99 e. Suppose that a west wind enters a region at m. 2700 h. 98 f.5 m.5 j. (40. –1.5 g. –0. 6 layer is 5. 90 k. 15 m. 2000 e. 97 g. 3 f. 80) f. Hemi. –10 f. 5 k. 10 d. 95 i. 400 d.5 e.7 k. 101 d. –18 j. 2200 ents are zero. (80. 1000 j. 5. f. 4 h. Jet-stream out.8 l. 4200 n.5 c. and the magnitude of A20.50 kPa a. 55 f.003 n. 70 i. 5 h. IL d. 600 a. Jet-stream inflow is 30 m s–1 in a 4 km thick lay. A25. 300 c. What is the flow (m s–1) given below occurs 800 km downwind value of mid-tropospheric ascent velocity (m s–1). Suppose that the thickness of the 100 . 20 e. 0. 200 b. Given the data from the previous exercise.5 e. 65 f. (30. i. surface if the magnitude of the horizontal tempera- ture gradient is 5°C/200 km. 3 f. 30) g. 2. 3000 i. 1400 A18. 2500 g. 1. into omega (Pa s–1): a. (30. 0. 7 n. (30. A27. 60 g. KY j. 10 n. 1200 l. if the divergence streak is 200 km. Find the mass of air over 1 m2 of the Earth’s surface if the surface pressure (kPa) is: A21. and leaves 500 km downwind at the second speed (m s–1). 60) c. 1300 c. –3. (70. 708 . 13. 40) h.15. 45 d. Location is 55°N. 40 c. 5 j. find the updraft speed (m s–1) into a 4 km thick layer at the top of A16. 40 g. 25 k. clonic relative vorticity of 3x10 –4 s–1. 103 b. Use the ageostrophic right-hand rule to find horizontal divergence (10 –5 s–1) at 20 kPa over the the ageostrophic wind direction for the data of the following USA state: previous problem. 3800 l. Find the gradient-wind speed difference (m s–1) the geostrophic-wind difference-vector component between the jet-stream speed moving through the (m s–1) along an isotherm is __ /200 km. 6.5 i.5 km and the Coriolis parameter is 10 –4 s–1. R. a.2 b. –2 b. 3100 j. 4500 a. 4 g.5 k. within the same layer.5 n. find the most extreme value A23. 50) b. 6 l. –6 d. 0. Find the vertical velocity (m based on the omega equation? s–1) at the bottom of that layer a. 7. Find the A14. 2 b. where __ anticyclonic crest of a Rossby wave in the N. 3300 and the magnitude and direction of Q.2 i. 30) h. (50. Use data from the previous 2 exercises. 5 c.5 d. 102 c. What is the value of omega (Pa s–1) following layer between altitudes 8 km and 12 km. 0. 35 b. find the vertical velocity (m pressure change (kPa) is: s–1) at 8 km altitude. 1. Find Q-vector magnitude on the 85 kPa isobaric nusoidal wave in the jet stream. 70) k. (40.2 m. 85 l. –0. assuming the half-width of the jet km in an 11 km thick troposphere. (60. –5 m. 1600 d. 50) a. –0. NY l. GA g. and h. IN e.5 g.0004 A22. MI b.

13. Assuming this air has high hu- with that cyclone in geostrophic equilibrium? Hints: midity.7 a & b for the Southern Hemi- E1. and test your hypothesis against the data seems the most peculiar (unusual.3 d. If the condensation that caused this precipita- tion occurred within a cloud layer of thickness 6 km. Justify the comment that cyclone evolution obeys E17.476 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones A29. Fig. Fig.3. 50 c. a.5? ground if the change of surface pressure (kPa) dur- ing 1 hour is: E9.5 b.2 h. From the set of case-study maps in Figs. Make a photocopy of Fig. 0. explain how this conveyor helps to strength- consider the rate of air-parcel acceleration. 0. 13. (Hints: On which side of the cy- rate of decrease of surface pressure (kPa) per hour. 13. 1. the last half of the chapter. by extending your knowledge of how cy- tween cyclone structure in the Northern and South- clones work in the Northern Hemisphere. For each one of Based on your knowledge of cyclone evolution. 10 l. ern Hemisphere? E13. Assume the Earth’s surface is at sea level. clone do you expect the warm air and the cold air? assuming an average air temperature of 5°C. Explain why this A31. lation chapter that sketches the position of moun- tain ranges in the world. and explain why there is a difference in behaviors based on the dynamical A30. 13. 7 j. but are mostly in different regions than the wind-dam- for cyclone evolution in the Southern Hemisphere. 1. . and anticyclones. E4. infer the centerline draw two weather maps similar to Fig. Refer back to the figure in the General Circu- would you pick? Justify your answer. –0. age reports.10a.10a has coarse temporal resolution when it shows the evolution of the case-study cyclone. Of the following isosurfaces (height.5. 5 h. E16. 30 k. through 13. 13. 40 g. 0.6 is a then find the virtual-temperature warming rate (°C good analogy to atmospheric flow between cyclones day–1) of that layer due to latent heat release. Fig.2 m. illogical) to you? in Fig. 13.8 k. 20 E11. but position of the jet stream and draw it on those dia- for 12 UTC 3 Apr 2014 and 00 UTC 4 Apr 2014.) Evaluate & Analyze E12. 25 m.7 shows the axis of low pressure tilting westward with increasing height. are the winds associated from the tropics. the figure panels on this copy.3.0 l. For a cyclone bomb. Compare the similarities and differences be- sphere. –0. 13. In the Cyclogenesis & Cyclolysis section is a list with altitude. 13. –0. 0. Southern Hemisphere g. Find E8. grams. b and e draw the likely position 3 of those bullets. 13. –0. Justify why the tank illustration in Fig. 13. 45 e. 13. Regarding stacking and tilting of low pressure E2. –0. explain why they are valid based of the trough axis near the top of the troposphere. E6. 15 n.4 (using the info in Fig. 1 b. Use that information to E18. 2 d. 13.9 Le Chatelier’s Principle. 0. on the dynamical processes that were described in Justify your hypothesis.8 shows a warm-air conveyor bring air E3. 4 f.5). 13. 1. E10.3.4 c. For any this copy for Figs. Create a 6-panel figure similar to Fig. Speculate on why the hail reports in Fig. make a photocopy of Fig. which 3 E7. fast enough to keep up with the rapidly increasing pressure gradient? E15. pressure.1 and tracks in the Northern vs. For the data in the previous exercise. The hypsometric equation in Chapter 1 tells us how fast pressure decreases with height in air of differ- ent temperatures. and on of conditions that favor rapid cyclogenesis. if you had to pick 3 maps to give you the best 5-D mental picture of the cyclones. which one the world. based on en the cyclone. hypothesize favored locations for lee cyclogenesis in thickness. Namely.19.4 i. Given the rainfall (mm) accumulated over a principles in the last half of the chapter. Why are there no extratropical cyclone tracks the vertical velocity (m s–1) at height 3 km above from east to west in Fig. 35 i.6 j. and potential temperature). Contrast the climatology of cyclone formation a. E14.9 E5. Using dynamical principles from the Newton’s 2nd Law. Redraw Fig. can winds accelerate last half of the chapter to support your explanation.1 f. 13. find the tilt is expected.2 e. day.

24. 13. 13.19a.13. 13. and trace all the height contours onto the same chart. North America (assume the valley is not filled with water). E38. but just the first tilting term was illustrated in Fig.13.20. use a different color happens in the real atmosphere. why E32. sea level. Compare the wind vectors of Fig. In Fig. even though the caption General Circulation chapter. What is it about the mathematics of the 13. the heights in Fig. 13.23a. Can “stationary” Rossby waves such as in Fig. what are their turbulent drag term in that equation that always characteristics? make it a loss of relative vorticity? E27. all the other terms can evaluate to be positive or negative (i. and sea level. similar to the drawing in Fig. Use your understanding of wind dynamics to explain the relationship between E31. speculate on why the particular set of Rossby waves discussed in that section are E35. and discuss how you can confirm if this in the left column of Figs. Stull • Practical Meteorology 477 What questions would you want to ask to help you E28.9). If drag were the only non-zero term on the right betan Plateau? side of eq.20 occur near the equator? If so. then how would vorticity change . E25.20.14 vertical velocity. rain elevation? Explain. Starting with a photocopy of the 4 height charts answer.A’ in Fig. Given zonal flow of the whole troposphere (12 E36. Considering the terrain height changes. map of Fig. the plateau. In the vertical cross section of Fig. Why or why not would E30. E33. than in winter. If extratropical cyclones tend to propagate the two maps. Based on what you learned from Fig. For cyclogenesis we focused on three attributes: ture values along cross-section A . In Fig. Except for the last term in the full vorticity ten- known as “stationary” waves. Summer tropopause height is higher. are the isentropes packed more closely together in the stratosphere than in the troposphere? Also. 13. dency equation. 13. R. E34. why storms to propagate poleward? Justify. (13. and jet- you expect them to be similar? stream winds are slower. 13. wavelength of planetary waves be different? Why? Can you relate your answer to weather over the Ti. 13. running north-south across the center of state of cyclone evolution at that time. Suppose that all of North America is nearly at the tilt with height of the axis of low pressure.. Consider the these attributes separately. if any. vorticity).e. is there any geographic feature that would cause these E22. 13. What attributes would you want to focus on to anticipate cyclolysis? Explain. Describe the relationship between the surface values of isentropes in Fig.14 with the thickness map of Fig. Explain what Rossby waves would be trig- E20. Draw figures for the other two terms. Speculate on why we study temperature profile from Chapter 1. and pressure-tendency at (bottom left).22 highlights 3 important attributes of is the tropopause higher on the right side of that cyclones that are discussed in greater detail in the figure? [Hints: Consider the standard atmosphere last half of the chapter. 13.16 for the case-study storm. gain or loss of relative E26. pen/pencil for each isobaric surface. Assume the tropopause height doesn’t E37. Compare and contrast the 85 kPa temperature gered. and the associated weather downwind. 13. Analyze E29. would learn more about that one isosurface? anticyclones be triggered upwind of mountain rang- es. vorticity. km depth) hitting a semi-infinite plateau at 32°N what tips would you teach to others to help them latitude. analogous to lee-side cyclogenesis? Justify your E19. Use math to explain the flow behavior over easily find regions of PVA and NVA. 13. E24. Make a diagram that shows vertical advection change. (13. Three vorticity tilting terms are given in eq.23d. Would the triggering of cyclones. Explain the seasonal differences you would expect in ter- E21. assuming a 2 km plateau height above sea level. except for a 2 km deep valley that is 500 explain why such tilt does or does not agree with the km wide. Fig. how would lee cyclogenesis be af- fected if the tropopause perfectly following the ter.9). 13.] to that figure discusses how all 3 attributes are re- lated. 13. E23. equatorward on the lee side of mountain ranges. and the of vorticity.19a and the tempera.13 with rain-triggered Rossby waves.

e. E46. the change of geostrophic wind with height.26? E43.478 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones with time if initially the flow had some amount of E50. 13. a. rising motion. and for what situations would it be inappropriate? E51. E55. ondary circulation. straight jet stream from west positive vorticity? to east..30.9 . (13. ex. explain es. cludes a term related to vorticity advection by the geostrophic wind. ed to the geostrophic-wind vertical gradient by the thermal-wind relationship. use the information based on: plotted on that map to estimate how the jet-stream a. zero baroclinicity)? plain why two of the quadrants have weaker conver.34 suggests low-altitude convergence of vorticity-tendency terms as reasonably possible for air toward cyclones (lows). 13. Why? gence or divergence than the other two quadrants. 13. . E59. and eq. 13. according to Newton. and how the figure and equation can be the possible strength of the jet-stream curvature ef. Using the jet- stream curvature and jet-streak information that E58.11 for cold fronts.37 relates to the omega are weak. Create a new form for the omega equation.) the relationship between Rossby-wave radius-of- curvature and latitude. and 13. fect for cyclogenesis? E57. The green arrows showing near-surface winds focus on the vorticity effects east of the ridge axis. Instead of a jet streak of higher wind speed imbedded in the jet stream.29)? your copy the locations in the Northern Hemisphere where cyclogenesis is favored. and high- that case study event. ic approximation be useful.27. suppose the jet streak E39.19 to estimate as many E53. are plotted in Fig. E48. (13.18. For the jet-streak illustration of Fig. but E54. Is this sketch supported by the at the location of the “X”.15. What steps and assumptions must you make to you can estimate from the height contours. Create a “toy model” similar to Fig. Employ Figs. case-study data from Figs.25) was for a west wind. and how they provide infor. Devise a tilting term for vertical vorticity that has lower wind speed imbedded in the jet stream. Discuss how Fig.32b. In the Forces and Winds chapter you saw that the horizontal pressure gradient and wind speeds E56. What drives these near-surface winds? (Hint: Recall that winds are driven by forc- E44. Does this physical constraint influence equation. Does the “Ageostrophic right-hand rule” work in the Southern Hemisphere too? Justify your an- E41. What method would you use Contrast these terms. 13. surface cyclogenesis east of the jet trough axis rather Similar questions but using Fig.26) related to vorticity advection by the thermal wind. Consider a steady.34 as a component of the sec- Use this to help explain anticyclogenesis. For the right and left entrance and exit regions to this “slow” jet streak.28 into eq.13. Eq. E47. is tilted into horizontal vorticity.25. The quasi-geostrophic vorticity equation in. on the 50 kPa isobaric surface altitude divergence. the southwest? E42. Use Figs. Fig.12 from the Fronts & Airmasses chapter to find the location where horizontal tem- E45. Make a photo copy of Fig. to estimate ageostrophic wind if the wind was from mation about cyclogenesis. to sea-level pressure and ascent speed in the middle Hint: The horizontal-temperature gradient is relat- of the troposphere. 13. 13. describe which ones would E40. 13. At the “X” in Fig. If nothing else changes except latitude. 13. The omega equation has a term E52. was for a south wind. Why does jet-stream curvature contribute to perature advection is greatest near a warm front. swer based on dynamical principles. (13. b. 12. curvature and jet-streak processes influence changes b. Would the omega equation give any verti- cal motion for a situation having zero temperature E49. 13. used to locate regions that favor cyclogenesis. (13. For what situations might the quasi-geostroph. support cyclogenesis at the surface. gradient in the horizontal (i. 12. the temperature change in the horizontal. draw on change eq. than west of the trough axis? Hint: Use the technique shown in the INFO box for max advection in Chapter 13.

13. Would the flow differ from that sketched in S4. Suppose that the temperature wave in Fig. and pen. Fig. 13.g. Use Fig. MO d. AR E73. Describe the orientation of baroclinicity.and down-couplet of air motion in Fig. and weather-radar echo intensity (dBZ) can be used to estimate rainfall rate. 13. In Fig. Suppose western North America was cold. Consider Fig. If rainfall rate (RR) affects surface pressure.9 . the jet stream. In Fig. E69. E65. Explain why the Q-vector analysis of Fig. of the “leaf” in the air column could be a surrogate for changes in mass and surface pressure. describe the dynamics that makes occurred in February rather than April.. 13. what broad the time of maximum convergence in the boundary aspects of the storm data would change. S2. IL b. If global baroclinicity is absent (e.52 to explain why fronts are associ- paradox”? ated with cyclones and not anticyclones. and were replaced by one perature wave is shifted this way.47. E62. Describe changes to Rossby waves and cyclo- the jet-stream flow. and dif- E70. could there be cyclogenesis? Why? lowing USA state: a. namics of the case-study cyclone. west-east mountain range. east. genesis for an Earth that rotates twice as fast as the real Earth. Compare and contrast the Pacific cyclones of surface-pressure change as a function of dBZ.49 in the resulting climate and weather.13 for the case-study storm. Justify your arguments. based on informa- tion from the weather maps that help you estimate E64.40 and 13. poles). during cyclone evolution. 13. 13. . S3. USA (in the upper left quadrant of Figs. spin-up. Suppose that the 85 kPa geostrophic wind vec. S1. KS e. Are there situations for which cyclolysis (quan- layer). IA c. Do you think that anticyclones could self de- velop? Explain what processes could make this hap- S5. eastern North America was warm.13.43 we showed have the vertical speeds and propagate. What if the case-study cyclone of Figs. E74. Describe differences in the resulting climate and weather. was a quarter of a wavelength east of the height wave.53c (as diagnosed using Q-vectors). if at all? layer occur after the time of maximum divergence in the jet stream. Use the Q-vector approach to forecast where works in a way to strengthen and propagate the cold cyclogenesis might occur in the Pacific Northwest front.14 to estimate temperature gradient between the equator and the the direction of the Q-vectors at the center of the fol. The same figure can be used to explain why airmasses are as- E61. Synthesize a coherent description of the dy- the pros and cons of that approach. 13. 13. and sea-level pressure tendency.41).6. Use a Q-vector analysis to speculate on the dy- namics needed to cause warm fronts to strengthen E63. What if all south-north mountain ranges disap- Fig. Discuss. R. what cyclogenesis information can be gained from Dop- pler velocities measured by weather radar? State the Synthesize limitations of such an approach. Discuss E75. tors are parallel to the height contours in Fig. Considering surface-pressure tendency. 13. What if there were no mountain ranges oriented south-north in North America.50? Speculate on how likely it is that the tem- peared in North America. Explain how the up. Also explain why this relates to self-propaga- tion rather than relating to cyclogenesis driven by S6.51 ferences in resulting climate and weather relative to indicates the propagation of cyclones is toward the our actual climate and weather. Describe differences in the resulting climate tified by sea-level pressure tendency) might be and weather. ascent.15. 13. sociated with anticyclones.19 E67. no air- with the 85 kPa isotherms in Fig. 13. Stull • Practical Meteorology 479 E60.13 . 13. What role does inertia play in the “geostrophic E71. caused by latent heating. Use that information along E72.54 with the case-study cyclone of Figs. 13. then devise an equation for E76. Describe differences E68. 13. What if frictional drag is zero at the bottom of the atmosphere (in the boundary E66. 13.

Surface weather map for the case-study cyclone. describe the pros and cons of using weather if there were no mid-latitude cyclones. but radioactive de- continuity. 13. cay of minerals in the solid earth caused sufficient ern numerical weather prediction). describe how you could use those forecasts to estimate the corresponding temperature and S10. What if this happened on a planet where ing tips to create your own concise synoptic-weather the tropospheric and stratospheric static stability forecast guide.hpc. Suppose the sun turned off. Finally. these quasi-geostrophic equations instead of using the forecast equations for momentum. APRIL 4. Next. heat. Describe possible changes to climate and wind. S11.00N 7  2 0 +32 NM 100 200 300 400 500 2  70 3 0 7    í í 1012 í í 1012 1012 í í 72 í1012 1016 í FRIDAY. heat to keep the Earth-system temperature the same as now. How would you numerically solve (iterate) the S9. ncep.480 chapter 13 • Extratropical cyclones S7. Describe changes in climate and weather that quasi-geostrophic omega and vorticity equations to might be expected of stratospheric static stability ex- step forward in time to forecast those variables. from www. Describe resulting changes to the jet stream.56. 996 1004 1016 1004 1004 1012 1020 1028 1028 1020 1000 10081016 1024 1024 1000 998 í  í 50 í 0 í4   í 25 054 0 32 30  1004 1000 7 0 í 2 0 34 053  33  +5 0 2    227 22 4 1008 43  25 043  1025    í 5 3  40 0 22 0 í  4 30  45   207   32 í   25 235 20  7 0 1012  2  í  í 20  1024 4 0   37 204  2 0 43  25 0   í  4 0 í 32 35 0    0 2  42  4  45   í í 33    í   02 204  2  35   í  20 í 44  42   í 25  22 20 0  í 7 í 1023  í 3  1016 4 47   3 4 25    3    1016  í  í  í 3   40 200 44 3  22 34 070  42   +4  43  3  25  3  34 7 32     32  í  í 22   í 1012 0 í +2 4 5 32 20 20 2   2  +2  2 0  22 23  í 2 2 3  23 0 3   í  4  2 0  3   í 20 997  í 20 í 44   í 24 30  30 3 0 42  40  í 2 +4    +3 3  24   45   í  5  2 20 37 3 34 2  í 30 40  24 5 33  45  42 7  +5 30  37 007   47  3  3 í    í    í 30 5   +3   í 53  3 0  í í 24 24 3 5  í 35 3 0 2 42 32   3 3 í54 074   42  5 3 3 í 1016  í 24   53 0 5 52  4   3 205 í 42     +4  44  í  32  1021  í  20 +4 32 7 33   1000 4    í  032 52  40 47 0  í 27  30 4     4 0  57 32 í  í 1016 42   í 34  +45 37  50 0 52  50  42  52     í  +32 2   32  í 22     33 5  í 035 57 043 47 4 50  30  í   35   44 044 52  í 55  57 77  5 0 52    +47 í  í  30  í  27   1004  54 0    4  1020 23   052 2 +7 3   34  1008 45 074 7  3   32  í 23 205    +47 5 027 5   +3 1010 1020 4   í  í   í 27 37   í 52  í 2  20  1022 55  1020 42 2  2  7   í    +4 1011    27  33    077  í  +2   40  40 52 1012 45 5  5  24 203      +27  +25 55   í í  í  í 22  30 57 72  077   20  3 í 1012 1015 5 0 53  4  2  +4 54  54  1023 44    4      í  í 30  40   +4 50   52  5 53 3  47   í 33  33    32      20  í   30 3   +4 27 42 5 5 23  54  22  í 54  7  30  54   í    í   0  33 3    7  1020  +5 44  53  3 +24  43  22  +24  +45 0 73    í 4 203 35 44 72  +5       44  37  30 4  3         25  +5    33     70  7  50  7  +5 7     +20 2  7   0 0   +27   2 0 5  55   55 0 5 í   74      3 0  Weather 32  Prediction Center 7  Analyst Ryan 1016 3    4 73   +4  75  +7 4 0   7 70   True at 40. Fig. and the ideal gas law (as is done in mod. 2014 . tended all the way to the Earth’s surface.gov/dailywxmap/ . S12. Describe the resulting dif- ferences of climate and weather on that planet com- pared to Earth. were nearly the same. and weather. water. Accelerations and direction changes of the jet Rossby waves. stream create regions of horizontal convergence and divergence that support cyclogenesis and anticyclo. Re-read this chapter and extract all the forecast- genesis. S8.