Thermal and Wind Structures Related to Major Cloud Bands of TIROS-Photographed Extratropical Vortices

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  • 1 GCA Corporation, Bedford, Mass.
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Abstract

Over 50 cases of TIROS-viewed cloud vortices associated with extratropical cyclones over North America, Europe and Asia between April 1962 and November 1963 were examined to determine what meteorological information could be derived from the satellite pictures. Radiosonde stations were grouped in five principal classes according to their time-adjusted positions with reference to the vortex center and the major cloud bands. Meteorological parameters were statistically related to the age of the vortex, season, and geographical location as Well as to the principal sounding class for the position of the station.

The thermal results indicated that the means of the dew-point depression for each principal class were significantly different from the overall mean of the sample, according to the analysis of variance test. Relative tropopause heights were estimated from the means and variances of the vertical temperature differences. These results will be of value as input parameters for numerical prediction over data-silent areas.

The wind results showed that the wind directions within 333 km ahead of the major cloud band aids averaged 16° clockwise from the nearest band orientation, and behind the bands, 25° clockwise. The mean vertical wind shears within the major cloud bands and in the dry zones behind the bands were about 60° and 20°, respectively, clockwise from the band orientation. Most of the cloud bands were characterized by a speed convergence of the normal components and by a cyclonic shear and vorticity of the parallel components of the mean winds on the two sides of the bands.

Abstract

Over 50 cases of TIROS-viewed cloud vortices associated with extratropical cyclones over North America, Europe and Asia between April 1962 and November 1963 were examined to determine what meteorological information could be derived from the satellite pictures. Radiosonde stations were grouped in five principal classes according to their time-adjusted positions with reference to the vortex center and the major cloud bands. Meteorological parameters were statistically related to the age of the vortex, season, and geographical location as Well as to the principal sounding class for the position of the station.

The thermal results indicated that the means of the dew-point depression for each principal class were significantly different from the overall mean of the sample, according to the analysis of variance test. Relative tropopause heights were estimated from the means and variances of the vertical temperature differences. These results will be of value as input parameters for numerical prediction over data-silent areas.

The wind results showed that the wind directions within 333 km ahead of the major cloud band aids averaged 16° clockwise from the nearest band orientation, and behind the bands, 25° clockwise. The mean vertical wind shears within the major cloud bands and in the dry zones behind the bands were about 60° and 20°, respectively, clockwise from the band orientation. Most of the cloud bands were characterized by a speed convergence of the normal components and by a cyclonic shear and vorticity of the parallel components of the mean winds on the two sides of the bands.

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