Midlatitude Synoptic Scale Systems: Their Kinetic Energy Budgets and Role in the General Circulation

PHILLIP J. SMITH Advanced Study Program, National Center for Atmospheric Research, 2 Boulder, Colo.

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Abstract

The kinetic energy budgets of several examples of synoptic scale systems are reviewed. Included are systems containing a major cyclone development, the immediate cyclone vicinity, and the anticyclone preceding the cyclone development. These are then considered in terms of their role in the general circulation of the middle latitudes.

Results show that the cyclone system and cyclone vicinity are respectively about two and five times more active energetically than the general circulation. Further, when averaged with results of Petterssen and Smehye, the resulting mean cyclone system accounts for about one-third of the energetic activity of the middle latitudes. On the other hand, circulations associated with the anticyclone case exhibit much less intense energetic properties.

Permanent affiliation: Department of Geosciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.

Abstract

The kinetic energy budgets of several examples of synoptic scale systems are reviewed. Included are systems containing a major cyclone development, the immediate cyclone vicinity, and the anticyclone preceding the cyclone development. These are then considered in terms of their role in the general circulation of the middle latitudes.

Results show that the cyclone system and cyclone vicinity are respectively about two and five times more active energetically than the general circulation. Further, when averaged with results of Petterssen and Smehye, the resulting mean cyclone system accounts for about one-third of the energetic activity of the middle latitudes. On the other hand, circulations associated with the anticyclone case exhibit much less intense energetic properties.

Permanent affiliation: Department of Geosciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.

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